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The BTA has changed its name to “The Street Trust”

Posted by on August 10th, 2016 at 8:09 pm

BTA members voting on the new name last night at Velo Cult in northeast Portland. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

BTA members voting on the new name last night at Velo Cult in northeast Portland.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Seeking to “break through to the next level” of effectiveness and political power, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance officially changed their name last night.

The new moniker, “The Street Trust,” was ratified by members by a wide majority at the the organization’s annual meeting last night in northeast Portland.

Board President Justin Yuen said the new name will enable the BTA to, “Fundamentally get to the next level of change we are all seeking,” and to, “Be able to influence the conversation in the region.”

“So much of executing on protected bikeways,” he continued, referencing the bike-related investments around TriMet’s Orange Line MAX project, “Is intertwined with investments in pedestrian and transit.”

BTA Board President Justin Yuen (at the mic) with Executive Director Rob Sadowsky and a Spanish language interpreter (sorry I don't have her name yet).

BTA Board President Justin Yuen (at the mic) with Executive Director Rob Sadowsky and Ivonne Rivero, a Spanish language interpreter.

In addition to new name for their core advocacy work under a 501(c)3, BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky confirmed last night that they will also form a new 501(c)4 corportation that will focus on political lobbying. The details behind how exactly that new entity will operate are still being hashed out. The new (c)4 won’t be ready to influence the 2016 election but it will be up and running for the 2018 contest.

For Sadowsky, the name change is the result of asking the question, “How do we expand our community and political clout in order to get the big things we want in the street?” He also sought to reassure members that just because “bicycle” is no longer in their name and their expanded mission now officially includes walking and transit advocacy, it doesn’t mean bikes will take a back seat.

“If bikes don’t win [in a policy or project context], we don’t win. We will seek win-win-win opportunities.”

Prior to the vote, Sadowsky also promised the 60 or so members in attendance that the expanded mission will add resources to the bicycle-related work they do.


The new name, Sadowsky said, is modeled after existing non-profit organizations like the Freshwater Trust and the Trust for Public Lands.

To help understand this change in direction, here’s a comparison of the BTA’s new mission and vision statements.

Old mission statement:

The BTA creates healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, convenient, and accessible.

New mission statement

We advocate for healthy and thriving communities where it is safe and easy for people to bike, walk, and ride public transit.

Old vision statement:

Bicycling transforms communities by reinventing transportation and offering solutions for the universal challenges facing health, livability, and the environment.

New vision statement

We envision a region where all those who call our community home embrace walking, bicycling, and riding transit.

Before the vote, Sadowsky also shared a few slides. One of them listed the goals behind the new name: “denote trust and strength; embody a strong sense of pride and love for great, healthy strees; and a need for stewardship, responsibility, accountability and reward of our transportation networks for all.”

The BTA plans to launch a new strategic visioning process on October 1st.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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278 Comments
  • Josh G August 10, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Caption: “And the graybeards have it!” “All in the silver class, raise your hand.”

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    • Lester Burnham August 11, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Yeah let’s get some jabs in on the old white men while we are at it.

      Recommended Thumb up 19

    • rick August 11, 2016 at 8:14 am

      Will they paint streets with gray paint?

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    • wsbob August 11, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Strange name…but maybe it just seems to be that, without much of a story yet, to explain the reasoning for the name.

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    • kittens August 11, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      Hey, at least they get involved in stuff like this. Sometimes they are the only ones who have time and motivation.

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    • CaptainKarma August 11, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Why are agosy comments allowed to slide on BP, I wonder.

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      • CaptainKarma August 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        “Ageist”

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      • Lester Burnham August 12, 2016 at 1:29 pm

        Interesting isn’t it? Especially how “sensitive” Maus is about other offending comments. Hey at least the old guys are getting involved instead of just bitching about problems here on BP.

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      • Mossby Pomegranate August 13, 2016 at 7:29 am

        BP has very selective “moderation”. Some posters are allowed free reign, while others are heavily censored.

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  • David Hampsten August 11, 2016 at 2:50 am

    Oh joy! The BTA can now truly connect to the 1%, as even Wikipedia says that “the street” refers to Wall Street in NYC. How very original! Not.

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    • rick August 11, 2016 at 8:15 am

      As if the BTA hasn’t pushed to overhaul ODOT’s deadly TV Highway in the poor parts of Washington County?

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  • johnr August 11, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Ugh.

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    • 9watts August 11, 2016 at 8:58 am

      TST –
      that just trips off the tongue.

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      • John Lascurettes August 11, 2016 at 10:48 am

        “TST” sounds like you just let some air out of your tire.

        Still, I like the name and the updated mission and vision statements.

        BIkeLoudPDX is still the way to get direct bicycle advocacy done. TST will be the way to get broader-picture things done and, in particular, I’m super hopeful for the 401(c)4 organization yet to be fleshed out.

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      • B. Carfree August 11, 2016 at 8:04 pm

        I suppose we could call it The ST, as in The Street. Still, that has so many Wall Street connotations I don’t know how well it works either.

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  • Chris I August 11, 2016 at 6:42 am

    ^
    I’m sensing some hostility, here…

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  • I wear many hats August 11, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Everyone knocks advocates but they are the ones that show up to meetings and raise a stink. Yes, older people have more free time, get over it. Better yet, block your schedule so you can be heard. This is what the Mountain Bike community has had to do for years to counter the Portlander Anti Mountain Biking League (PAMBL).

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    • wsbob August 11, 2016 at 9:55 am

      Anyone that wants to advocate for biking…that is, ‘truly’ advocate…is fine with me, and has my encouragement for doing that. People considering themselves to be advocates, or that seek to portray themselves as advocates, whose efforts in that respect rarely rise above sarcastic, insulting remarks, are a flat out drag…at meetings, and in discussions, like the one some people are trying to have here.

      I didn’t go to the meeting. Maybe I should have. Never been to a BTA meeting, though thanks to bikeportland, I’ve read a fair bit about what this advocacy group believes is important to try and accomplish, and has tried to accomplish. At times, the group has done alright, and at other times, its efforts have misfired.

      I do know there’s a big difference between people as individuals, being personally aware of something they’d like to be different…and people in a group recognizing together, things they believe should be different, not just to their own liking, but for improvements in conditions for a much wider segment of the population than their own small group of friends and acquaintances.

      The least that should be said for this group, is that it would appear the group is showing a serious intent at finding some way of being more consistently effective in accomplishing better conditions for biking on area roads and streets, for everyone. I’d like to hear more about the origin and reasoning for this particular name choice.

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      • wsbob August 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

        small addition to my above comment, following third paragraph, that I neglected to include:

        “…Another big difference: Developing fair, supportable and effective strategies for accomplishing objectives they decide upon through discussions together. …”

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      • meh August 11, 2016 at 10:11 am

        There lies the problem, letting Bike Portland tell you what BTA/TST is about. Letting someone elses filter guide you is never a good thing.

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      • wsbob August 11, 2016 at 10:46 am

        The opportunity is here for you. Why haven’t you taken that opportunity to report for us reading here, what, in substantial terms, you think this group is ‘…all about…’?

        Lacking at least some effort in that respect on your part, I can have no idea of what you’re talking about, except that your remarks unfortunately seem to smack of just another shallow snipe, directed at both the newly named, The Street Trust, and bikeportland. Please try, at least a little harder, to give people reading here, something informative and worthwhile of your opinion to read.

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      • meh August 12, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        I’m just commenting on your lack of effort to find out anything about the group other than through Bike Portland’s article. You are free to assume that Bike Portland is free of bias. But why should I make any effort when you don’t?

        “I didn’t go to the meeting. Maybe I should have. Never been to a BTA meeting, though thanks to bikeportland, I’ve read a fair bit about what this advocacy “

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      • wsbob August 13, 2016 at 1:01 am

        “I’m just commenting on your lack of effort to find out anything about the group other than through Bike Portland’s article. You are free to assume that Bike Portland is free of bias. But why should I make any effort when you don’t?” meh

        “…I didn’t go to the meeting. Maybe I should have. Never been to a BTA meeting, though thanks to bikeportland, I’ve read a fair bit about what this advocacy group believes is important to try and accomplish, and has tried to accomplish. At times, the group has done alright, and at other times, its efforts have misfired. …“ wsbob

        My “…lack of effort…” ? I’ve been regularly reading bikeportland stories, and the comments to them, possibly including some of yours, for eight years. Thats a lot of stories and comments, and quite a number of them have been about, or have given info about what the formerly named, BTA is about and what it’s worked to accomplish. Plus from time to time, news about the group in the Oregonian and Willamette Week. From all that source material, I figure I probably have a fair idea of what the group believes in and has done, both good, and bad.

        I have no idea what effort you’ve made to find out about the now named The Street Trust, because for some reason despite the opportunity available for you here on bikeportland, you’re declining to share your thoughts about that.

        I’m trying to think about whether, in Portland, there are more than the two bike advocacy groups that come to mind: forrmerly BTA…now, The Street Trust, and the more recently formed BikeLoud. That’s just two major local advocacy groups hold improvements for biking as being a major priority. I want them both to do well, both to be successful in identifying important, improvements needing to be made to travel infrastructure that will appeal to great numbers of people on a grassroots level. And, successful in developing effective strategies for getting the improvements made.

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      • wsbob August 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm

        Does bikeportland, as it seems you may be implying, attempt to “…filter guide…” information to its readers, about this particular group, what it believes in and what it’s worked to accomplish? I think efforts of that sort, are bias influencing.

        While as a media source, I think the one, sometimes two man staff bikeportland’s unbiased reporting performance falls quite a bit short of perfect, I think I’d say, in general, with some definite exceptions, it does a fairly good job of reporting the news objectively and impartially. And has gotten better at that as years have passed.

        At any rate, I think I’m fully capable on my own, or as need be, with insight from friends and reliable acquaintances, to filter out what, about a particular news story coverage, is on the level, or is hoked up to put a positive spin on things. Over years of its existence, bikeportland has produced quite a few news items and stories about this group, formerly named ‘the bicycle transportation alliance’. Reporting in all of those news items and stories related to the group, seemed impartial and objective, for the most part.

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    • TJ August 11, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Or maybe folks have lost faith in the BTA/TST.

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    • stephanlindner August 11, 2016 at 11:38 am

      I wanted to come but the time is really hard when you have two kids below age 5. Perhaps something to consider for these kind of meetings. For families, especially those with young kids, any time between 5 and 8/9 is typically tricky.

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      • Clint Culpepper August 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm

        There were actually a lot of small children in tow including mine. It’s not easy but it’s something that I did before and still important to me. It’s really twofold for me. I’m active in the community because my son will inherit it. I bring him with me so that he knows that involvement is what is necessary to make things happen. Tough but possible if you prioritize it.

        I’ve had some pretty awful experiences at neighborhood/city open houses but at an advocacy meeting you’ll receive nothing but support from those present.

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  • rick August 11, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Since so many people live in unincorporated Washington County, I hope serious efforts are made to overhaul certain roads and transit.

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  • Brian August 11, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Dang, so much for my hope that transportation advocacy in PDX might include some dirt and gravel. I love streets. I live next to one. But I sure do prefer riding on things that cars cannot whenever possible.

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    • Patrick August 11, 2016 at 9:01 am

      “Streets” include paths, trails and all corridors of movement for people. Rob mentioned this specifically in the meeting.

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      • Brian August 11, 2016 at 9:31 am

        Excellent, thanks for sharing. I will definitely stay informed moving forward.

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      • Ann August 11, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        sort of weird to choose a name that requires a clarification of this fact. I’m always a “rebranding” skeptic, though. All Hands Raised, anyone? Home Forward?

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    • rick August 11, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Tell the new TST to push Portland to effectively implement the new community-initiated trails policy and for Washington and Clackamas counties to invest money in trails that are on public right-of-way.

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    • rick August 11, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Rob, the director, was at last month’s SW Trails meeting.

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  • Mike 2 August 11, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I wonder if the photo is representational of The Street Trust membership, or just of those who care to show up to the meetings?

    I see possibly 4 women in a group of 18.
    All white.
    Half appear to be over 50.

    No judgement, just curious.

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    • Patrick August 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

      There were more women in the room and behind the camera a large group of Spanish speaking members–the meeting was bi-lingual.

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  • Pat Lowell August 11, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I really, really hope they keep the bike license plates. I love seeing those when I’m out riding. A license plate with a picture of a street on it just.. wouldn’t be the same.

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    • 9watts August 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

      I hope we don’t keep the things we habitually bolt license plates to.

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    • Chris I August 11, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Especially when the driver of the vehicle with the bike plates cuts you off or honks at you while you are riding your bike. I love those moments.

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      • J_R August 11, 2016 at 9:21 am

        There’s no excuse for a vehicle cutting you off regardless of what plates are displayed. On the other hand, maybe if the operator of a vehicle with share the road plates honks at you, it *might* be an indication that your movements were unexpected, even by someone who’s more than likely a cyclist. It might be worth considering that possibility.

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      • Pat Lowell August 11, 2016 at 10:23 am

        Seriously. I bike commute daily, and while I encounter the occasional rude/dangerous driver, I don’t face nearly the level of constant animosity from drivers that some commenters here claim. If you are constantly having conflicts with other road users, maybe you need to take a look at the common link between all of those incidents.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 10:27 am

        So sick of hearing this attitude.

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      • Pat Lowell August 11, 2016 at 10:49 am

        And I’m sick of this “us vs. them” attitude that is making it impossible to work with others to accomplish anything, whether in biking or so many other aspects of our society. Intolerance helps no one.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 10:51 am

        I just grow tired of people dismissing other’s experiences because their own happens to be different.

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      • Pat Lowell August 11, 2016 at 11:18 am

        LOL coming from a driver-hating non-driver. I don’t think the Golden Rule is worded as, “other people should treat me the way I want to be treated.”

        Sorry, I know I shouldn’t engage, couldn’t resist, please carry on.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

        No, what you’re saying is “my experience is one way, so if yours is not the same as mine, you must be doing something wrong”. Everyone has different perceptions and tolerances for things, as well as differing actions. Saying someone is “doing it wrong” when they claim to have a bad experience is a symptom of our victim-blaming culture.

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 11, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        My guess is that practically everyone believes your experiences are real. However, many also think you create the problems you experience.

        Having personally met countless numbers of cyclists over the years, I can’t think of a single one that decided a motorist was right because of a hostile interaction. I suspect motorists find hostile cyclists even less convincing since we don’t even have the ability to be intimidating.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm

        The terrible and frightening wheels of your mighty steed say otherwise.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 1:16 pm

        Ooops… I meant *my* steed. Well, yours may have terrible and frightening wheels as well.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 1:23 pm

        The funny thing is people will blame you no matter what. They say to “take the lane” for safety, but if you’re riding too slow, then you need to move over for drivers who want to pass. But doing so requires riding in the door zone. They say not to ride in the door zone, but following this advice is also “taking the lane” and therefore getting in drivers way if they want to pass. There are people that truly believe that simply being in the way of drivers counts as “antagonizing” them. That we also shouldn’t ride on Division Street because it might make drivers upset. Something is broken when simply “being in the way” is considered an act of political protest.

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      • soren August 11, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        When I ride in and between lanes at ~25 mph I am almost never harassed by motorists. When I ride at 8-12 mph with my better half we are harassed by impatient motorists reasonably often.

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      • Patrick August 11, 2016 at 2:53 pm

        I’ve slowed down, ride up right and look around a lot, and brake and wait–I almost never have any conflicts. In the past-riding in a hurry (eventho there was no hurry), passing for the sake of passing, and jinking about-I had hassles every week. I found the way I rode influenced how I was treated.

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      • Mike 2 August 11, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        Adam –

        Taking the lane at 8-10 mph is a bit slow.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 3:12 pm

        My bike is heavy and my legs are tired.

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      • wsbob August 11, 2016 at 3:53 pm

        All of this side discussion is off the topic of the main story subject, but with regards to what you say here:

        “The funny thing is people will blame you no matter what. They say to “take the lane” for safety, but if you’re riding too slow, then you need to move over for drivers who want to pass. …” adam h

        Are you confident in whatever knowledge you have that underlies what you’re doing when riding? I ask that because it doesn’t sound like you are confident in that knowledge. Read and think about Oregon’s bike and motor vehicle related laws, at least some, on your own. Mix some gradually acquired street wise biking savvy into the knowledge you gather there, and you won’t have to stress about some dink-a-link behind the wheel of a motor vehicle that lays on the horn for no good reason.

        This is not a perfect world…it’s never going to be a perfect world. Be legal and reasonable as you can in your use of the road, but it’s going to do no good to break into a quivery mass over every encounter with someone driving that had a bad morning, or forgot their indigestion tablets at home.

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      • Alex Reedin August 11, 2016 at 4:27 pm

        The comments by Patrick and Mike 2 on this thread illustrate Adam H.’s point that he will be blamed for ‘bad’ behavior creating negative interactions with people driving no matter what his behavior is. Patrick says he needs to ride slowly. Mike 2 says he needs to speed up.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm

        Mike 2 didn’t say speed up, he said if you’re going that slow, don’t take the lane and prevent people from passing.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 4:54 pm

        Why should drivers be passing cyclists on busy greenways where they are often outnumbered?

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      • Alex Reedin August 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm

        … and you say he needs to expose himself to door-zone danger and/or weave in and out of parked cars (“biking unpredictably”) in order to keep people driving on the greenway from getting too impatient and harassy. Does anyone else see the similarity between this discussion and the self-policing of feminine dress/behavior/appearance in the gay male community (my community) or the attempts of some Black parents to keep their children safe from the police by encouraging them to dress and act extremely conservatively and “respectfully?” “You’re acting too… out there. If something happens to you, you only have yourself to blame.”

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 5:01 pm

        Very good points, Alex. Everything you mentioned are symptoms of our victim-blaming society.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm

        No, I don’t see more than a superficial similarity.

        I may be slower than most of you, but I’m beginning to see that this whole conversation is pointless. Adam H. knows exactly what he’s doing, knows the reaction he’ll get, and seems to enjoy complaining about it. It’s an attempt to further the narrative that there is some big war between drivers and cyclists, even though the vast majority of cyclists are also at least occasional drivers. We don’t need to choose sides; there are no sides. It’s not us vs. them, it’s us vs. us. Cyclists are not an oppressed minority, fighting against a repressive system. We’re not making a political statement, striking a blow for our downtrodden sisters and brothers.

        We’re, you know, riding bikes. Yay bikes!

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      • Alex Reedin August 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        As far as I can tell, he’s riding his bike which he probably greatly enjoys when not being harassed or afraid of being harassed (yay bikes!), in an appropriate manner given his preferences and limitations (slowly, and taking the lane when on greenways), and being harassed for it. If I didn’t have an electric bike and didn’t fear being harassed, I would ride the same way on greenways. It’s straightforward, feels safest, is faster because of the lack of weaving and stopping and waiting for passing cars, doesn’t require a high level of attention to who is behind me, and doesn’t train my kids to ride in the door zone or weave in and out of parked cars which can be dangerous behaviors in their own right. I think all these benefits to people being able to ride this way on the few streets that are greenways outweighs the minor inconvenience to people driving. But the stress of people harassing me has led me to ride defensively/”courteously” like you, at least when I’m not riding electric. When I’m riding electric at 20mph on a greenway, I ride in the lane. I get very little harassment.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 5:52 pm

        If I am constantly complaining about aggressive drivers, why would I want to provoke them? That makes no sense. I have no desire to be a martyr. I just want to get home safely and comfortably. I am specifically choosing my route based on what the city considers to be low-stress bikeways. The way you describe the situation sounds like I’m purposely holding up rush hour traffic on Powell.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 5:53 pm

        Above is in response to Hello, Kitty, btw.

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      • soren August 11, 2016 at 4:27 pm

        after a decade or so of “avoid mentioning bikes at all costs” and “please, please like us angry motorists” advocacy maybe it’s time to stop “people who make us look bad” for the lack of progress.

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      • Aaron August 11, 2016 at 10:56 am

        Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more.

        I really feel sorry for those who choose to frame their lives as a constant battle for something or against another. I enjoy my daily bike commute because it’s nice to get some fresh air and see the City from that perspective. Although I definitely always stay vigilant and am aware of my surroundings, I don’t live in constant fear of other users, including cars. And I certainly don’t see them as a universal, pervasive enemy.

        I suspect that if I framed my ride as a consistent battle, as some others here tend to, I’d enjoy it much less… and then what’s the point?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 12:21 pm

        The point is to vanquish your foes and crush them into the dirt beneath the terrible and frightening wheels of your mighty steed.

        What else would cycling be about?

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      • dan August 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        You fascinate me.

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      • soren August 11, 2016 at 1:46 pm

        I don’t view active transport advocacy as a battle at all. Battles involve mutual violence but when it comes to vulnerable traffic one side is doing virtually all of the polluting, injuring, maiming, and/or killing. I think the correct metaphor for the way vulnerable traffic is treated by the motoring majority is one of oppression.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        There are no “sides”, at least not for the vast majority of people.

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      • soren August 11, 2016 at 4:14 pm

        Yes…that is exactly how oppression often works.

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      • Eric Leifsdad August 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm

        This is why people on bikes are expected to behave a certain way and be very careful that the motorists won’t get upset with us, plus wear a helmet and high-viz so they’ll feel safer buzzing past at 11mph over the speed limit going into the right turn with no signal.

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      • lop August 11, 2016 at 11:48 am

        While there is something to the idea that some riders who report greater conflict may by their riding style make that conflict inevitable, realize that people are not equally tolerant of stress and risk. Some people are by their nature more sensitive to such things. A car passing two people in the same manner may mean nothing for one, but despite years of experience seem horrible to the other. Should cycling be accessible only for those with high tolerance of stress, the bold and fearless? Should walking along the waterfront path only be accessible for the pedestrian equivalent? If the city must make itself accessible to those with physical disabilities, should it be made equally accessible to those who by genetics or personal history have a low tolerance for stressful riding conditions? Perhaps there is a limit to how far from the median we should offer accommodations, where do you think the riding conditions we have today are in comparison? I think they can be made much more accessible.

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      • Chris I August 11, 2016 at 1:16 pm

        Do you bike in outer-east Portland? I’ve never had issues west of 82nd…

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 10:24 am

        Unless it’s a BMW, of course. Those cars come with “honk at cyclist” buttons standard.

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      • nuovorecord August 11, 2016 at 11:34 am

        Way to stereotype.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm
      • Mike 2 August 11, 2016 at 11:52 am

        People in the US are so sensitive to horns. You would hate riding in Asia.

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      • Brian August 11, 2016 at 11:59 am

        Or Mexico.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 12:29 pm

        Every Indian driver knows that when a pedestrian gets too close to the edge of the pavement, it is obligatory to let loose a powerful sonic blast to knock them back a little. All in the name of safety, of course.

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      • Buzz August 11, 2016 at 10:25 am

        Or that the motorist is an opinionated a-hole who thinks he knows better than you where you should be riding or how you should be behaving on the road.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Robert Burchett August 11, 2016 at 10:25 am

        It’s my opinion that most people with STR plates have forgotten they have them.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 10:24 am

        I swear, about half of the aggressive drivers I encounter have “Share the Road” license plates and kids in the back seat.

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      • John Lascurettes August 11, 2016 at 10:54 am

        Weird. I have the opposite experience. I was just nothing today as I was buzzed by two cars on a greenway (just before reaching a stop sign, mind you), neither had STR plates. I thought to myself at that point that I’ve never had (to the best of my recollection) an altercation, close call, or other unpleasant issue with anyone that had STR plates. I do have problems with vehicles with STR plates blocking my driveway at home frequently. 🙂

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      • John Lascurettes August 11, 2016 at 11:21 am

        * I was noting, not “I was nothing” – then again, in the grans scheme of the universe, we are all nothing. 🙂

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      • John Lascurettes August 11, 2016 at 11:22 am

        Sigh. My fingers just don’t work right today.

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      • J_R August 11, 2016 at 11:38 am

        Blocking the driveway at your home is probably by one of the bikeportland commenters who thinks you exhibit excessive tolerance for automobiles and their drivers.

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      • John Lascurettes August 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        Maybe they just think we don’t use our cars in the driveway with the STR plates on them. 😉

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  • m August 11, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I’m confused.

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  • Michelle Poyourow August 11, 2016 at 8:46 am

    What a great name!!!! I love it.

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    • Carl August 11, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Me too. But what the hell do we know?

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Gerik August 11, 2016 at 5:43 pm

        You two know more about this stuff than most, by a country mile. Thanks for the support!

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      • mole harvey August 22, 2016 at 10:06 am

        Lots of us out there…

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  • Patrick August 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Advocating for “bikes” is for many a lighting-rod for complaints. This new name flies under the radar, advocating for improvements that benefit all road users –like they always have been doing—but without the political baggage of being a “bikes” advocacy group.

    My initial hit with the name was negative but thinking more about it, it is sneaky-clever.

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    • soren August 11, 2016 at 9:13 am

      BikeLoudPDX is holding it’s general meeting this Sun at 3 pm at Director Park. No name change is on the agenda.

      https://www.facebook.com/events/1068438689876276/

      Recommended Thumb up 26

      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 10:19 am

        We’re not going to change the name to “The Bike Trust”? 😉

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      • Beeblebrox August 11, 2016 at 11:26 am

        How about “In Bikes We Trust”?

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      • bikeninja August 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        My vote is for; Bikes First!

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    • Kyle Banerjee August 11, 2016 at 10:10 am

      My reaction was similar. While it’s good for names to communicate what groups actually do, it’s not good when the name itself puts people in a defensive position before they even hear your ideas.

      If you have a fuzzy name even opponents feel good about, your range of action improves.

      It’s an extension of the basic concept that you can either look like you want, or you can think what you want — the latter is way more important.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 10:21 am

        The Street Trust tells the audience exactly nothing about the organization. It could be an on-street parking retention advocacy organization for all we know. At least the Chicago version of this, The Active Transportation Alliance, makes sense given the organization’s mission.

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    • 9watts August 11, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Advocating for “bikes” is for many a lighting-rod for complaints. This new name flies under the radar, advocating for improvements that benefit all road users –like they always have been doing—but without the political baggage of being a “bikes” advocacy group.
      You mean like Black Lives Matter?

      BTW, they changed their name to The Color Of Safety

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 10:31 am

        You’re confusing the BTA with an organization that actually wants the status quo to change.

        Recommended Thumb up 7

      • johnr August 14, 2016 at 3:16 am

        This. The BTA moved on from being an (effective) advocacy organization years ago when their business model changed and they became dependent upon public $.

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    • soren August 11, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Advocating for “bikes” is for many a lighting-rod for complaints…but without the political baggage of being a “bikes” advocacy group.

      Bike stockholm syndrome.

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  • Random August 11, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Huh?

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  • GlowBoy August 11, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Ugh. Another organization changing its name to something that obfuscates its real mission. First PUMP changed its name to “Northwest Trail Alliance”, even though the group’s actual scope covers neither the entire northwest nor all trail uses. Now this. Disappointed.

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  • bikeninja August 11, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I don’t like it. This name change follows an unfortunate, trend that activist groups start out with focused grass roots issues and names that reflect them and the passion that they have for them, then slowly morph in to the equivalent of the Rotary Club in their effort to become all things to all people.

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  • Random August 11, 2016 at 10:00 am

    “with focused grass roots issues and names that reflect them and the passion that they have for them, then slowly morph in to the equivalent of the Rotary Club in their effort to become all things to all people.”

    It’s part of seizing issues and funding from competing nonprofits.

    It’s like the Godfather, only with nonprofits.

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  • bikeninja August 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

    “The Street Trust” sounds like a place that wall street billionaires stash their kids inheritance.

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  • Mike Sanders August 11, 2016 at 10:07 am

    And the likely abbreviation – TST – doesn’t fly off the tongue very well. Sounds like a banned chemical. Regional Transportation Alliance would have been a better choice.

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    • lop August 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      But a group in Pittsburgh already has that name and all the good TLDs (com/org etc…)

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      • Harald August 11, 2016 at 12:26 pm

        Also risk of confusion with Regional Transit Authorities, of which there are many.

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      • lop August 11, 2016 at 12:40 pm

        I was alluding to this bit from past coverage:

        “””
        Why not announce the name ahead of time, or conduct a mail-in vote? Sadowsky said it’s to make sure nobody squats on the relevant URLs and social media handles while the organization is waiting to see if members approve.

        “The No. 1 name right now would cost us $2,000 to buy,” he said.
        “””

        http://bikeportland.org/2016/07/12/bta-will-ask-members-to-ratify-their-name-change-at-annual-meeting-187452

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  • wsbob August 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

    “…The new name, Sadowsky said, is modeled after existing non-profit organizations like the Freshwater Trust and the Trust for Public Lands. …” bikeportland

    In that context, yes…to me, the choice of new name, ‘The Street Trust’, does resonate better than the old name, and does make sense.

    The comparison of the groups’ new and old mission statements, say to me, the new statements are better, in that they identify quality of community livability everywhere as a key objective, of which advances in better conditions for biking, walking, and mass transit, are an integral part.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I see this name change as the BTA further cementing their decision to continue not rocking the proverbial boat. “The Street Trust” is delightfully ambiguous. Who could be against streets? If the BTA wants to work within the status quo system, that’s certainly fine. But real change still must come from outside the system and The Street Trust is too far cemented into the establishment to affect radical change. Luckily, for those of us not okay with the status quo, there are other options.

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    • Sarah August 11, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Do you see the bigger picture? The need for advocacy within the system and outside it? Change comes when there are groups pushing at all sides. There is room for everyone and we’re all fighting for safe streets that prioritize the behavior/transportation we personally choose and want our communities to feel safe and comfortable utilizing : active transportation. It is foolish to pit bikes against bikes. The more people that get involved and advocate for better biking (and walking and transit) infrastructure and policy then the more voices we have at the table and the catalyst for change grows. You’re right, the BTA/ Street Trust are not the radical activist group, but there is absolutely a need for this advocacy.

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    • dwk August 11, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Then why do you bother to comment on this topic?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 12:34 pm

        Cycletrack!!!!!!

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      • soren August 11, 2016 at 1:30 pm

        I believe that for every grumpy “experienced” cyclist stalking Adam on BP there are many dozens of “interested but concerned” cyclists who love cycle tracks and have zero desire to take the lane and/or ride fast (to make them like us).

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

        None of which are commenting on BikePortland asking for better infra. Someone’s got to speak for them. 🙂

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm

        C’mon… do you really think I’m “grumpy”? You must mean those *other* cheerless stalkers. I think of myself more as “surly”.

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      • dwk August 11, 2016 at 1:39 pm

        Who is “grumpy”?
        IF anything, Adam’s description of cycling is joyless and depressing.
        A constant struggle with cars and drivers…..
        The “interested and concerned” folks reading about his experiences would never get on a bike.

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      • soren August 11, 2016 at 2:42 pm

        like most bike blog comments sections this one attracts the hobbyists, enthusiasts, and lifers who started cycling during an era where people either learned to coexist with auto traffic or stopped cycling. a new era of cycling is dawning with bikeways populated by people who will never learn to stop worrying and love the automobile.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snTaSJk0n_Y

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        It is evident that communist infiltrators have sapped and impurified our precious bodily fluids.

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      • soren August 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

        🙂

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      • CaptainKarma August 12, 2016 at 12:16 pm

        Purity Of Essence

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      • B.E. August 11, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        That’s me I’m a new cyclist and I only ride with my more experienced partner leading the way. I would love infrastructure that I felt comfortable navigating on my own.

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 12, 2016 at 9:35 am

        This is natural as well as the smart way to approach the problem.

        The reality is that driving in urban areas requires fairly advanced driving skills, so it should be no surprise that it also takes time to develop skills to navigate a complex environment on a bike.

        Of course we should make the barriers as low as possible and make the environment as safe as we can, but motor, observation, and judgment skills will still be necessary.

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      • Dan A August 19, 2016 at 9:25 am

        If my wife ever decides to start commuting by bike, I’m going to have her read The Art of Cycling first. It has saved my butt many times.

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      • Alex Reedin August 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm

        Wow – that’s a really creative way to encourage Adam to stay quiet rather than share his experience that differs from your experience. Do you really think that what’s keeping the great mass of Portlanders from biking is that some people who currently bike and have bad experiences while doing so point out the problems they experience? Can we apply this theory to get people to do other things we want them to do despite those things being unpleasant for the majority of people in the absence of sufficient government support?

        Maybe we could shame people who talk about how bad it is to have a huge camp of homeless people living right next to them. Then everyone will clamor to have the next giant Springwater-Corridor-between-82nd-and-112th put in next to them! /s

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      • dwk August 11, 2016 at 4:01 pm

        I doubt that Adam will stay quiet, God bless him……

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      • soren August 11, 2016 at 7:52 pm

        Ever heard of the overton window?

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      • B. Carfree August 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm

        I’m just not convinced of that. I live three miles from a major employer where several of my neighbors work. We have an acceptable bike path that literally connects us door to door. In spite of that, only one neighbor out of the ten ever rides a bike to work. Several of the ones who drive do venture out occasionally to do some joy-riding, which often involves driving their bikes somewhere to ride, but they won’t ride to work.

        I suspect there are far fewer so-called interested but concerned than has been alleged. It’s easy to say one would ride “if only…” but it’s another matter to actually ride when whatever conditions needed rectifying are fixed. I really think we have a social infrastructure deficit more than a physical infrastructure deficit.

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      • Eric Leifsdad August 11, 2016 at 11:15 pm

        Until biking is the easiest thing, it’s not going to be an easy choice. Impose the socialized costs of driving on drivers and it’s easier. Funny thing about about $10/gal gas is some people still drive.

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    • Sarah N August 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Do you see the bigger picture? The need for advocacy within the system and outside it? Change comes when there are groups pushing at all sides. There is room for everyone and we’re all fighting for safe streets that prioritize the behavior/transportation we personally choose and want our communities to feel safe and comfortable utilizing : active transportation. It is foolish to pit bikes against bikes. The more people that get involved and advocate for better biking (and walking and transit) infrastructure and policy then the more voices we have at the table and the catalyst for change grows. You’re right, the BTA/ Street Trust are not the radical activist group, but there is absolutely a need for this advocacy.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • wsbob August 11, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      “…. “The Street Trust” is delightfully ambiguous. Who could be against streets? …” adam h

      What I believe the new name refers to, drawing interpretation from this bikeportland story excerpt:

      “…The new name, Sadowsky said, is modeled after existing non-profit organizations like the Freshwater Trust and the Trust for Public Lands. …” bikeportland

      …is that the group recognizes public streets to be a public resource in need of special protection derived from grassroots support, in somewhat the same manner as a lot of natural land across the land has needed support and protection. It’s broad, groundswell, grassroots support I think the name change and mission statement change is initiating an effort to capture.

      Groups like the Freshwater Trust, the Trust for Public Lands, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, and more, have been very effective in the objectives they set out to accomplish, in part, because those groups embrace values that huge numbers of ordinary people across the nation, commonly relate to and are prepared to support.

      Winning that kind of grassroots support for improvements to street infrastructure for walking and biking, is worth far more than any independent effort to latch onto pots of money from the government.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm

        You know, I can’t help but think that if Sadowski wanted to run an organization that focused on streets as a public resource, he should have started his own, rather than hijack an existing organization. And the new name is pretty dooky.

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      • Mike 2 August 15, 2016 at 8:44 am

        Hijack is pretty strong. It wasn’t a hostile takeover, he was interviewed and hired. If he was leading BTA in the “wrong” direction, they could have fired him or allowed him to pursue other avenues of opportunity.

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      • wsbob August 15, 2016 at 11:02 am

        For any group or organization, new names can involve some adjustment. It can take awhile for people to get used to them, and understand what they mean. Once the info gets passed around word of mouth, I think the public, hearing the name or the initials TST, will hopefully have heard and know some of what this groups newly identified focus and objectives are.

        To my thinking, streets that are more hospitable to people using them by means in addition to motor vehicle use, will, by neighborhood residents, likely to be considered a heckuva lot more important to themselves, their family and friends, than merely adding bike lanes or other bike specific infrastructure to their streets. That’s broad, grassroots appeal, a much bigger base of support, I think, than from just those people that would like conditions improved for biking.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 11, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    As a student of US history…the first thing that came to my mind after reading about the BTAs new name “The Street Trust” were the robber barron/ gilded age era all-controlling business organizations (Cotton Trust, Steel Trust, etc.)…that the Progressive Era worked to break up. So generally “trust” has been a “negative” term when applied to organizations.

    http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/art/artifact/Ga_Cartoon/Ga_cartoon_38_00392.htm

    Perhaps for the sake of pedestrians and bicyclists…I hope the new BTA comes to hold such central power for our streets. (See cartoon above.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law

    [PS. I support the BTA looking to rebrand itself for the future…just not sure if this new one is a winner though.]

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      They obviously plan to corner the market in streets in order to extract maximum profits from the motoring public. Eventually they’ll be broken up into a set of “Baby Streets” and a competitive market will be restored… for a time.

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  • SD August 11, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    The TST will have to define what the name means through its actions. Right now it sounds like they are protecting or preserving old streets.

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    • rick August 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Yes. Deadly TV Highway is an old, run-down cesspool and it needs an overhaul. I ride it weekly.

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  • Beth August 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    In order for folks to get behind the new name and focus of an organization that plans to work within the current political system to effect change, folks will need to believe that the current political can still be navigated to actually effect change.
    For those of us who recognize that the system is broken, this news rates a great big meh.
    I said it years ago and I’ll say it again: I don’t need a political org to ride my bicycle for me. I’ll just ride my damned bicycle.

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    • rick August 11, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      What if nimbys continue to block mountain bike access?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm

        Or the conversationists?

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      • Brian August 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm

        Conservationists or conversationalists? Now I’m confused.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

        Sorry I meant conservators. Or maybe conservatives, if you are fan of Teddy Roosevelt, though I think conservatron is the PC term.

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      • Eric Leifsdad August 11, 2016 at 11:26 pm

        I think the conversationalists are winning. Everything gets talked to death and nothing gets done.

        If the Street Trust starts reclaiming pavement this month, they’ll have my support. I think two or three decades is long enough to try to “work within the system”. Portland needs BikeLoud and maybe another, louder group, or two. Let’s get the “interested but concerned” on some orange bikes.

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      • Brian August 12, 2016 at 7:26 am

        You gotta know I liked T Roose. He knew the importance of setting aside wild places for people to enjoy, and would have definitely been riding a full suspension mtb on singletrack to find those buffalo in the backcountry.

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      • gutterbunnybikes August 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm

        In 1895 Teddy started the first bicycle police squad ever, the “Scorcher Squad” – as the NYC police chief.

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  • Brian August 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    FWIW, I hope to see The Street Trust support NWTA and the Off-Road Cycling Plan. I see their new vision statements as being very similar to what NWTA is trying to achieve. Hopefully we will see more working together by the local non-profits to improve all aspects of cycling in and around PDX.

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  • jeff August 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    regardless of their name, they will still be irrelevant.

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    • rick August 11, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Who else sued Portland to make sure that bike lanes were built by the Rose Quarter in the 1990s? Who else is pushing ODOT and Washington County to make deadly TV Highway into something safe?

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Bjorn August 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm

        Who that helped sue portland is still involved in the “Street Trust” today. I think that most of the key players have either left or been forced out.

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      • jeff August 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        sweet, one action 20 years ago. got anything else to prove my point?

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      • rick August 11, 2016 at 8:42 pm

        Who else has called on Washington county and ODOT to make deadly TV Highway into something safe? 4 people died on it last year.

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      • Dan A August 19, 2016 at 9:34 am

        WashCo is getting busy with their ‘make every road wider’ plan.

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      • wsbob August 19, 2016 at 10:19 am

        A more specific concern, which would be great to have TST’s help focusing the public’s attention on, is WashCo’s response to what’s felt to be lack of sufficient north-south thoroughfares to handle increasing volumes of motor vehicle commuter traffic.

        Increasing street width, and the number of lanes on certain north-south streets in the county, is the generally recognized and accepted means to accommodate more motor vehicle travel. And the result is, going from comparatively modest width, neighborhood friendly two lane roads, to five and six lane monster roads that can have a very deleterious effect on neighborhoods.

        Reflexive street and road use accommodation of motor vehicle travel, is a very hard mindset to alter. Who better to help encourage the public and road dept’s to do differently, than advocacy groups, such as The Street Trust, focused on upgrading the quality of usability a street can offer people traveling by means in addition to motor vehicles?

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      • lop August 19, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        Even without widening a street increasing traffic levels can be a problem worth mitigating. Example: lots of new development in inner NW. New construction is expensive, top of the market isn’t saturated -> builders target upper income for new apartments -> a lot of new residents will have cars, even when the building comes with no parking. NW 18th and 19th have been getting harder to cross during peak hours with increasing traffic levels. Idea: Either use existing transpo fee from development (or use it more aggressively if already done), or add a new fee, to pay for mitigating impact of additional development on ped/bike travel in area. Remove restriction on parking permit fees capped at cost to administer program, modest increase to help pay for mitigation from traffic levels. Traffic lights, stop signs, painted crosswalks, raised crossings, bike lanes, protected bike lanes, traffic enforcement etc…as appropriate. Something for ped/bike lobbyists to work on. And if TST wants transit too, then add in lights with bus queue jumps, bus lanes, off board fare payment machines, increased frequency, bus priority at traffic lights etc…as possible improvements to spend these auto mitigation funds on where appropriate.

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  • Dave Thomson August 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Bike Portland – where people who talk about advocacy trash people who actually do advocacy.

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    • soren August 11, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      I know many of the people posting here in real life and you are so very wrong.

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    • rick August 11, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Yes and it is sad.

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  • Andy August 11, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    BTA was never effective in advocating for bicycling and I think that this diluted focus will make them even less so. For example, they appeared before the West Linn City Council to praise a new safe route to school on an important collector street without even being aware that the route did not include any provision whatsoever for bicycles on the most important portion of the route-no bike lane, no shoulder bikeway, no sharrows, nothing. This was a critical error as there is no alternate route whatsoever. It killed bicycle transportation for a major section of the community. They could have made an important difference.

    Personally, I wish they would go away altogether so as to leave room for a more effective advocacy organization focused on bicycle transportation. There have been so many bicyclist deaths in SE Portland that the situation has become unconscionable.

    There are countless examples where the interests of bicyclists, transit riders and pedestrians are not congruent. How are those differences going to be resolved within this multi-interest organization? Will the new organization relinquish its funding from the “Share the Road” bicycle license plates?

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    • rick August 11, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Never? Have they not been pushing for years to make a safe TV Highway? The Feds denied Beaverton’s plan to remove bike lanes for the third time. City council wanted wider sidewalks and a removal of bike lanes east of Lombard in downtown Beaverton.

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  • Bjorn August 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    The BTA seems to have had a lot of financial problems in the past few years. To me the rebrand seems less about increasing their ability to enact change, and more about increasing their access to a larger pool of money. I just hope that they won’t end up drowning other organizations that have been doing good work like Oregon Walks in their effort to increase revenue.

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    • Beth August 11, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      If we’re talking about accessing a larger pool of money, that feels like proof that the new organization will work completely within an existing system that remains beholden to the automotive and petroleum industries, rather than agitate to create a new system that eschews old-boy networking, subsidies for car-dependent infrastructure, and elections bought and paid for by lobbying money.

      This change is not radical, bold or even terribly promising. What it is is a potential “feel-good” club for people with influence to toss a little money at so they can point to their constituency that they “care” about environmental and social issues.

      I’d love to hear what the new organization proposses to do to provide safer infrastructure for people who cannot afford to pay for it — those living in poverty who NEED things like subsidized public transit, and truly affordable housing located near viable transit and living-wage jobs.
      What does TST plan to do to include disenfranchised infrastructure users in the future of local transportation in Portland?

      Will TST only speak to, about and for the upper middle class and above who clamor for amenities that serve as window-dressing in nicer neighborhoods?
      Or will it slam a fist on the table and use its supposedly expanded lobbying power to demand that the current system make a lot of room for the rest of Portland who struggle just to remain in this city?
      It will be interesting to hear their responses.

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  • Scott Kocher
    Scott Kocher August 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Lots of posts. Thank you to the folks who shared ideas or feelings about the BTA name change.

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  • B. Carfree August 11, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I suppose we could call it The ST, as in The Street. Still, that has so many Wall Street connotations I don’t know how well it works either.

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  • Adam August 11, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Not a fan of the new name. It’s very… vague.

    Street Trust for whom? Bikes? Freight? Peds?

    Too vague!

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    • Kyle Banerjee August 12, 2016 at 5:21 am

      If done right, it should be for everyone.

      It’s the equivalent of universal design. Good for the blind and physically disabled does not mean bad for sighted and physically able. Likewise, good for bikes does not need to mean bad for anyone else.

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      • soren August 12, 2016 at 6:55 am

        Building bike infrastructure that makes cycling more attractive to non-experienced cyclists will definitively make things worse for drivers. I find it really bizarre that people who ride bikes are unwilling to acknowledge this. Then again I also cannot understand why making things worse for people driving is controversial. After all, it is established city policy (see the climate action plan, bicycle plan, portland plan, and comprehensive plan).

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 12, 2016 at 9:28 am

        Why do you think this is true? Good cycling infrastructure brings many benefits to motorists including fewer really slow moving vehicles gumming up traffic so speeds can be more consistent, fewer cars which open the roads up to all cars, and more parking spaces.

        This is the real bottom line:

        B. Carfree
        . I really think we have a social infrastructure deficit more than a physical infrastructure deficit.

        Every day, I try to encourage people to walk and bike by setting an example for the people I live with. I ride, walk, and run with people who are trying to get started. And while fear of cars is definitely a big deal (I always ride behind them far left on my trike so they can be assured I’ll be hit first), that’s not what really holds them back.

        The anti car vibe we encourage too much discourages those who are still addicted to their vehicles.

        Rather than nurture fear and divisions, we need to show how cycling is both fun and practical. A shift in thinking is needed so that cycling isn’t something different or extra, but rather than it is *the* way to get around.

        If we all look out for each other, including the cars, everyone benefits.

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      • 9watts August 12, 2016 at 12:14 pm

        “If we all look out for each other, including the cars, everyone benefits.”

        Kyle,
        I enjoy your posts here a bunch, but I have to differ with you on this Kumbayaa vision of cars and bikes together.

        “Good cycling infrastructure brings many benefits to motorists including fewer really slow moving vehicles gumming up traffic so speeds can be more consistent, fewer cars which open the roads up to all cars, and more parking spaces.”

        I agree with this narrow slice of the interplay, but this really isn’t the main issue is it? Infrastructure priorities involve tradeoffs. We don’t have enough roadwidth to accommodate everyone (each mode) in the manner they might prefer. Space is easier to give to people bicycling since we take up much less of it per person, but given our massively lopsided infrastructural history the time for a course correction is now, and there is no way I can conceive of this as a win-win. Paving streets, widening freeways, building parking facilities… none of these benefit those on bikes and yet these are the top priorities of our current system. The overwhelming presence of cars IS THE PROBLEM. The only reason we even need cycling infrastructure is to carve out measly slices that are marginally less threatening to those of us not in cars.

        Mostly good cycling infrastructure is perceived as—and in fact is—a net subtraction from the once dominant mode’s unchallenged hegemony.

        “The anti car vibe we encourage too much discourages those who are still addicted to their vehicles.”

        I don’t see this as an anti-car vibe so much as a gradually dawning realization that we can’t afford the automobile anymore. There is just no way it can continue. If we jettison the car altogether, chart a course out of this mess, we have a slim chance at a future, or we stick with the car and those chances vanish altogether in a puff of CO2.

        “Rather than nurture fear and divisions, we need to show how cycling is both fun and practical.”

        This is silly. Cycling IS fun and practical, but the car is so entrenched in our psyche, our economy, our sense of identity that this strategy is wholly inadequate to the task of transportation equity. Think of it as energy conservation (biking) and nuclear power (automobility). Would you suggest that we need to show those who think nuclear power is the solution that energy conservation is fun and practical? Haven’t we done that for forty years? And how has that gone?

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm

        The overwhelming presence of cars IS THE PROBLEM

        Yes, this exactly. I rode home last night at 9:00 and all the streets that I hate riding during rush hour were delightfully pleasant and devoid of motor traffic. Cars alone create the safety problems we struggle with every day. If every car disappeared overnight, there would be no more traffic deaths. Therefore, to achieve Vision Zero, we must remove the power and influence of the motor vehicle.

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      • Mike 2 August 12, 2016 at 12:58 pm

        I disagree. I think people are the problem. Get rid of them and there are no cars or bikes on my streets. Then I can ride as fast or slow as I want and not have to share with anyone.

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      • Alan 1.0 August 13, 2016 at 11:38 am

        You know you’re superhuman when you are still riding after the people are gone.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 12, 2016 at 9:47 am

        I’ve never seen a city policy that was intended to make driving more difficult as a goal unto itself. As a by product, maybe, but not as an intentional primary effect. Sure, there may be general goals of reducing driving as a general concept, but nothing specific. Can you point me towards the ones you’ve found?

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      • soren August 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm

        your comment is entirely compatible with the “intent” of my comment. i’m not sure where you see the disagreement.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm

        It was your claim that making things worse for drivers is established city policy, and should not be controversial. I just wanted to know which policies had that goal.

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      • soren August 13, 2016 at 7:32 pm

        you might want to reread my comment and note the first sentence. my comment focused on the trade off between building more bike infrastructure and motorvehicle throughput/speed not the nefarious plot by the all powerful bike lobby to criminalize driving.

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      • 9watts August 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm

        The 2030 bike plan is that policy:
        Roger Geller conceded here not so long ago – making driving more difficult/less attractive:

        “Our policy says that we need to make bicycling more attractive than driving for trips three miles or less. We haven’t really done that yet. It’s really easy to drive a car in this city.”
        http://bikeportland.org/2014/09/23/panel-ponders-portlands-slide-cycling-superstardom-111205

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 14, 2016 at 12:35 am

        Sorry Soren, I may have misconstrued your comment; it is not policy to make things worse for drivers, it is policy to make things better for cyclists. If that was your point, then I agree with it.

        In any event, I don’t accept the zero-sum view of things. We’ve had this conversation before, and we all know where we all stand.

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      • 9watts August 14, 2016 at 7:40 am

        “We’ve had this conversation before, and we all know where we all stand.”

        That phrase suggests you see this as static; as us coming here with set views unable (unwilling?) to learn from each other. I don’t see it that way at all. Soren and I disagree a lot, as do you and I; but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a great deal from both of you; have adjusted, even changed my views on many issues we talk about here.

        And while we’re on the subject, what do you make of Roger Geller’s riff I quoted above? Do you construe that as making things easier for bikes, or (as I do) as a challenge to make things (relatively) more difficult for people in cars?

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      • lop August 14, 2016 at 9:02 am

        How do you mesh the idea that city policy is to make things worse for driving with the qualifications in this statement from the most recent TSP draft:

        Improvements. Major City Bikeways should be designed to accommodate large volumes of bicyclists, to maximize their comfort and to minimize delays by emphasizing the movement of bicycles. Build the highest quality bikeway facilities. Motor vehicle lanes and on-street parking may be removed on Major City Bikeways to provide needed width for separated-in-roadway facilities where compatible with adjacent land uses and only after performing careful analysis to determine potential impacts to the essential movement of all modes.

        It’s not like city policy is to reduce car use all that much:

        Transportation Planning Rule (TPR) The implementing rule of Statewide Planning Goal 12 dealing with transportation, as adopted by the State Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). Among its provisions, the TPR requires reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita by 15 percent in the next 30 years, reducing parking spaces per capita by 10 percent in the next 20 years, and improving opportunities for alternatives to the automobile.

        Account for population growth and does VMT actually drop citywide under this?

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      • 9watts August 14, 2016 at 9:12 am

        You ask good questions (as always). But I think there are at least two things going on here:
        (1) what are smart transportation planners like Geller, Penalosa, and many others around the world who understand the auto-juggernaut advocating? and
        (2) how do these reign in automobility positions get translated into policy? Or are they so diluted by the time money is spent that they are unrecognizable?

        I think it is pretty clear that reigning in the car is necessary if we hope to realize any of our transportation goals, much less have a planet to live on a decade hence (1), but that making this happen within our current cheap-fossil-fuel-drenched systems of governance is a tall order, and we shouldn’t be surprised that the outcomes are often unrecognizable, or I should say all too familiar (2).

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 18, 2016 at 9:13 am

        “We’ve had this conversation before, and we all know where we all stand.”

        By that I meant that we’ve rehashed the same tired arguments many times. Some people claim all bike projects necessarily degrade auto travel, others think that’s simply not true. Since there are plenty of examples of bike projects that did not impact auto travel, I think the first position is untenable, yet some still cling to it.

        I have yet to hear anyone claim that bike projects never need reduce auto capacity… that would be an equally ridiculous position.

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      • soren August 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm

        lop:

        2030 Objective 4. Create vibrant neighborhoods where 80 percent of residents can easily walk or bicycle to meet all basic daily, non-work needs and have safe pedestrian or bicycle access to transit. Reduce daily per capita vehicle miles traveled by 30 percent from 2008 levels.

        https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/531994

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      • dwk August 12, 2016 at 10:26 am

        This is not true at all. All the bikes on the roads make driving easier, not harder. If Bikeloud thinks this, they will never accomplish anything.
        The whole point of alternative transportation is to make all transportation easier, to free up road space and make thing flow smoother.
        I have no idea what you are talking about……

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      • soren August 13, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        attempting to tar bikeloud because you disagree with my individual comments online is sad. if you have a problem with a bikeloud position then address bikeloud. and for the record, i happen to disagree with many bikeloud members when it comes to infrastructure (including ted buehler below). i’ve found that getting involved in advocacy often requires compromise and a willingness to put the greater good ahead of personal ideology. i encourage you to give this a try!

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      • Beth August 13, 2016 at 7:55 am

        I am totally willing to acknowledge this. In fact, whenever infrastructure improvements for walkers and bikers inconveniences motorized traffic on surface streets, I quietly rejoice. I’m willing to bet I’m not alone. Sue me.

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      • soren August 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm

        word.

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      • wsbob August 17, 2016 at 8:31 am

        “Building bike infrastructure that makes cycling more attractive to non-experienced cyclists will definitively make things worse for drivers. …” soren

        Street infrastructure supporting biking, may make things “worse” for people having to drive, but it doesn’t have to, and whether it does, depends some on the biking infrastructure design that people decide upon. Gradually, Portland has been busily conceiving a range of different bike support infrastructure, somewhat on a trial basis, to see how it works…not just for biking…but for all street traffic, including people that drive, and that walk.

        Bottom line, is that ways must be devised to accommodate the travel needs of everyone that needs to use the street to get somewhere. Ideas for infrastructure supporting biking, that might dramatically reduce the numbers of motor vehicles a certain street must be capable of carrying…especially if the provision of that infrastructure wouldn’t, by way of biking, adequately meet travel needs of people that prior to the installation of said infrastructure were traveling by motor vehicle…are very likely not going to be viable ideas.

        The ‘us vs them’ approach to attempt to have more infrastructure supporting biking, provided, is a trouble prone route to take.

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      • lop August 18, 2016 at 12:44 am

        >The ‘us vs them’ approach to attempt to have more infrastructure supporting biking, provided, is a trouble prone route to take.

        Yes it is, and one that generates hostility to all pro walk/bike/transit projects, making it harder to implement even those that do not reduce auto capacity.

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      • 9watts August 18, 2016 at 7:37 am

        “one that generates hostility to all pro walk/bike/transit projects”

        I’m not so sure.

        Where in all this do we come to terms with the possibility that this is a zero sum thing, that the automobile not only has no future but is actively, centrally antagonistic to all transport futures that have a hope of working out to our benefit?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 18, 2016 at 9:21 am

        Even if the auto is antagonistic, it is here to stay. Nothing else provides the same combination of point-to-point on-demand low effort transportation with the ability to carry cargo and be protected from the weather.

        What cars look like will change radically in the next decade, and some of their worst attributes will (hopefully) be reduced or eliminated. My hope is that brings us to a better place, but it really is too early to tell.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 9:28 am

        That is only because we have designed our built-up environment around the use of cars. Try driving around a city that was designed around walking or public transport and you’ll find the car is the worst tool for the job.

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      • 9watts August 18, 2016 at 10:05 am

        “Even if the auto is antagonistic, it is here to stay. Nothing else provides the same combination of point-to-point on-demand low effort transportation with the ability to carry cargo and be protected from the weather.”

        There is nothing as tiresome as the flat assertion that the car is here to stay. Ever since the Oregonian Editorial Board said this a few years ago I’ve found it grimly humorous that such a statement only makes any sense when the threat to it is beginning to grow legs, seem plausible. In 1960 no one would have said this because at the time the juggernaut was in fact undeniable. Today things look very, very different: the facade is crumbling; the bloom is off; the seamy underbelly is exposed; Robert Moses is dead. The future of the car is anything but assured, and it seems to me that your statement is premised on the circular: we’ve always had the car->the car solves a thousand real problems->therefore the car is here to stay, nothing more.

        But this skips right over the very real possibility that some external constraint will make all this moot. You point out above that the car is unmatched in its convenience. While I’m not arguing with you about that—so understood—this may or may not have any relevance to the present moment since the future as I see it is going to be shaped not by preferences (what I want; what I will allow to happen) but by constraints (circumstances beyond our control that will dictate what is or is not going to continue to work, tomorrow or next year).

        On this point I think your implicit claim that we are in control, that what matters here is what we as a species will stand for will not carry the day. It seems at first blush to be a comforting notion but I don’t think we live in that world any longer. We’re not in charge. We can’t lord it over everyone else (the planet’s systems) like we used to. We’re going to start getting used to taking what’s coming, having no more cards to play.

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      • wsbob August 19, 2016 at 10:38 am

        To my thinking, the sheer volume of motor vehicles in use for day after day, long, work to home commutes, may be the biggest problem posed by motor vehicle travel, to wider, practical and enjoyable use of the streets by modes of travel other than motor vehicles.

        Among these are motor vehicles, likely many of which are operated by people not living in the neighborhoods they’re passing through. Do people not living in neighborhoods they drive through, care much about how the quality of life in those neighborhoods, and upon the usability of the streets in those neighborhoods for means of travel other than motor vehicles…is affected by their own and all the other out of neighborhood ‘work to home’ people commuting?

        Kind of seems that it’s very easy for people on their way home from work, or vice versa..not to think of these things; they just ‘want to get out of this %#&* traffic’.

        Out here in Beaverton to the extent it’s an indication of the so called ‘car culture’, use of cars by neighborhood residents, all together, isn’t such a big deal outside of am/pm commute and 9-5 business hours.

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      • lop August 18, 2016 at 2:56 pm

        >Where in all this do we come to terms with the possibility that this is a zero sum thing

        Just west of Naito, Clay had peak hour counts last year as high as 950, maybe closer to 1000 now. Just east of 4th peak hour counts on Clay in 2012 were less than 500. At both spots there are two through lanes. 4th even has a turn lane too. Would one through lane be enough for part of Clay? Might it be the case that a protected bike lane could be put in without removing parking or reducing auto capacity on Clay from 2nd to the park blocks? Or at most you have to hike parking prices a bit to make sure there are free curb spots to cut down on double parking?

        I reject the idea that this is a zero sum game, significant improvements can be made for walking, cycling, and transit without impacting drivers. It’s my belief that an overly confrontational approach makes projects that should be free, in the political sense that they don’t hurt drivers, much more complicated than they need to be. Not every ped/bike/transit improvement that is justified is free, but many could be.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 3:05 pm

        If drivers even think they might be impacted, they will put up a fight, even if the data show they are completely wrong. Anything that looks like taking away “their” space will cause an uproar. Just look at the Foster road diet: PBOT’s analysis found that drivers will be very minimally impacted, yet they are putting up a huge fight anyway. If people can’t handle being slowed down by a cyclist for 30 seconds, what makes you think they will listen to the city when they are told they won’t be affected? People even get upset over the loss of a five parking spaces!

        Instead of trying to appease drivers, our city leadership should just power through the backlash. Because there will always be backlash. Don’t let silly “compromises” get in the way of safety projects.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm

        What happens when the city that “pushes things through” turns that power against us? It’s much better when decision makers listen to residents.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm

        That’s a false dichotomy. I’m saying we need to power through the backlash of something that is already stated goal of the city: to improve bicycle infrastructure. City Council already passed the bike plan, why do we need to rehash the same arguments over and over again every time we act on the plan?

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      • 9watts August 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

        “I reject the idea that this is a zero sum game, significant improvements can be made for walking, cycling, and transit without impacting drivers.”

        OK I see how we’re talking past each other. You are focused on the near term, on the block scale, on tweaks that deliver win-wins for both/everyone. I grant you that this is possible in some locations, with a lot of effort and a bit of luck.

        I’m focused on the medium term, on the larger scale, where the car’s continued presence suffocates, siphons money away from, trivializes sensible transport solutions that have any hope of continuing to work tomorrow much less the day after. I see any commitment to continue investing in car-centric or car-deferential infrastructure in 2016 as saddling us with stranded assets, expensive concrete monuments to a bygone era. The zero sum part comes in when we realize that the money we spent on widening the Rose Quarter or building the Dundee Bypass is money (and asphalt) we could have spent on all the delicious alternatives we here know so well, but which instead continued to wither on the vine because we spent hundreds of millions on concrete bridges criss-crossing farm fields in the Willamette Valley. Now (tomorrow) there’s no more money *or asphalt*, and what have we to show for it?
        Furthermore, every day that we keep the hope for a future of the automobile alive more people will buy these expensive four-wheeled things that we as a society, as a planet can’t afford anymore, and when those too become stranded assets we who encouraged this line of wishful thinking will be asked why we didn’t warn them.

        Gil Penalosa:
        “The dinosaurs of last century said if there’s not enough space for transit, bikes, pedestrians and cars on a street, we’ll only build for cars,” Penalosa said. “We need people in this century to say if there’s not enough space for [everything] we’ll just build for transit, bikes and pedestrians.”
        https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/gil-penalosa-citizens-involved-urban-planning-urban-design

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      • lop August 18, 2016 at 4:23 pm

        >>Adam

        > City Council already passed the bike plan

        City documents on cycling plans include lots of bits like this:

        “On-street motor vehicle parking may be removed on city bikeways to pro- vide bicycle lanes, except where deemed essential to serve adjacent land uses.”

        “Motor vehicle lanes and on-street parking may be removed on Major City Bikeways to provide needed width for separated-in-roadway facilities where compatible with adjacent land uses and only after performing careful analysis to determine potential impacts to the essential movement of all modes.”

        You write as if the city’s stated plans are to build ideal cycling facilities without any regard to the impact on those not on bikes. This is not the case.

        >That is only because we have designed our built-up environment around the use of cars. Try driving around a city that was designed around walking or public transport and you’ll find the car is the worst tool for the job.

        You’re right. But the Portland of 2016 isn’t that city designed around walking and public transit. While the city has plans to move towards different land use patterns that would be less reliant on the car, that is a process that will take decades to play out. And stated plans do not call for the elimination of cars and trucks, they are planned to be an important part of the future transportation system in this city.

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      • soren August 18, 2016 at 9:02 am

        The hostility is already there and we will never begin to reverse inequity if we do not challenge this hostility.

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      • 9watts August 18, 2016 at 9:04 am

        +1
        (the low bandwidth upvote)*

        *http://bikeportland.org/2016/08/17/cycle-exploregon-going-off-highway-between-bandon-and-gold-beach-189538#comment-6693110

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 9:20 am

        It’s not really “us vs. them” but cars vs. everything else. There are some people who only drive, or only bike/walk, some that take public transport, and some that both drive and bike. It’s not about one group of people vs. another, but an acknowledgement that building for cars destroys and degrades everything else.

        We must acknowledge that car infrastructure encroaches and degrades other transportation modes, that funding for making driving easier takes away from funding vital safety projects, that highways in cities destroy communities, and that cars are the only mode of travel that kills 30,000 people per year in the US. Driving take up the vast majority of transportation funding in this county, and has special protections under law that don’t apply to other modes. All we want is to level the playing field.

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      • 9watts August 18, 2016 at 10:10 am

        agreed but for your last sentence.
        Speaking just for myself, I don’t think anymore that what we want is a level playing field. A few years ago this is what I hoped for. Now I think that what we need is a clear-eyed reckoning with the fact that the playing field as we’ve come to recognize it is in the process of being blown to bits, and what will emerge from the rubble will probably be hard for us to recognize. It won’t in any case feature the automobile as the central element. The sooner we allow for this possibility; plan around this scenario; the easier this all will be.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 10:22 am

        Yeah, I actually agree with you on that. When I said “level the playing field”, I meant more along the lines of treating cycling, walking, and public transport as equally as legitimately as driving is treated today. Not watering down these projects “because cars”. But I agree that we need to be planning for a post-auto society now.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 18, 2016 at 10:31 am

        I think autos are here to stay, but I think they will be transformed into something much easier to live with. I think that transformation will start within the next decade, probably sooner.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 10:44 am

        My views are that we should be designing cities so that driving is an absolute last resort. Also, all cars would be shared à la ZipCar or car2go.

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      • soren August 18, 2016 at 6:12 pm

        transforming automobiles into something easier to live with along with concurrent improvements in active transportation infrastructure and technology (e-bikes) spells the doom of automobile culture. active transportation is not only undermining automobility by stealing its precious roadspace but will DISRUPT automobility (at least as we know it now).

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      • Alex Reedin August 18, 2016 at 8:51 am

        Admitting that truly good non-auto travel options will require a reduction in space available for cars is certainly trouble prone politically, but trying to fit a truly good bike infrastructure (and transit) network around the elephants in the room (the allocation of the vast majority of our land available for transportation to automobile travel and parking, and the sense of entitlement that a lot of people feel to drive and park quickly, easily, and cheaply in a large and sort-of-dense-ish urban area) is doomed to failure. I’d rather work on something hard than something impossible.

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      • 9watts August 18, 2016 at 8:55 am

        “trying to fit a truly good bike infrastructure … is doomed to failure.”

        I’m not following.
        If you give up before trying then, yeah.

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      • Alex Reedin August 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

        I’m saying – if we don’t reallocate some space (and priority, and funding) from auto travel to bike travel, it’s impossible to build a good bike infrastructure network (or transit network). So we should face the facts and say, “We need to make some sacrifices of auto convenience in order to improve our citizens’ health, freedom, and economic options through being able to bike an take transit.” Pretending that making biking and transit good will just make driving better and more convenient (because of less congestion!!) is just not going to work when you’re clearly taking away auto space to make those protected bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes.

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      • 9watts August 18, 2016 at 9:02 am

        Oh.

        Then we agree.

        Thanks for clarifying.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 18, 2016 at 9:05 am

        No one is saying that no good cycling projects will require a reduction in auto capacity. What we’re saying is that some projects won’t, and there need not always be a tradeoff. Sometimes tradeoffs are necessary, but are not as bad as they appear (removing a vehicle lane on Hawthorne between Grand and 12th, for example, will not reduce auto capacity at all, but will allow a much enhanced bike connector along that segment).

        What I find irritating about this discussion is the glee that some take in making life difficult for others, almost as if that is their real goal.

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      • 9watts August 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

        “glee that some take in making life difficult for others”

        I think I know what you mean by glee, but if you were referring to any of my comments I can assure you it is less glee than the tantalizing possibility of getting out of this dead end, pointless, desperate argument over how to work around the continued centrality of the automobile. There is no joy, no reward, no satisfaction for me in pretending that the transportation system we all live with today will survive the challenges we’re talking about here. Why would we want to rescue it when prolonging the inevitable reckoning can only make the transition more difficult?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 18, 2016 at 10:25 am

        I wasn’t thinking of you when I made that comment. I was thinking of someone with a bit more… wattage.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 18, 2016 at 10:27 am

        By the way, I’ve never seen a real proposal for a bike project I thought was too bold. Poorly designed or thought out certainly, but not too bold. I will not be the one holding us back from your vision.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 10:32 am

        Sorry, but drivers have been pampered for the last 60 years (save for a few years in the 70’s) to the detriment of all other modes. If making life easier for others prompts cries from drivers that we’re “making life difficult” for them, well I don’t know what to tell ya. A life of privilege is hard to give up.

        Assuming your talking about me… No, I don’t take glee in making life difficult for others, but I do take glee in making things better for myself, and sometimes that looks like the same thing to the untrained eye. Drivers slowing down on greenways makes my life better, so why wouldn’t I be happy about that?

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 10:40 am

        Poorly-thought out bike projects masquerading as bold proposals seems to be Portland’s MO. For once, I’d love a well-designed bike project that doesn’t make excessive concessions. The only ones I can think of are the Moody Avenue bikeway and the Tilikum Bridge (itself, not the east side path). I put most of the blame for this on City Council, as they are responsible for the paltry budget for these projects. The two examples I listed above were well-funded using federal dollars, and it shows. So far, i haven’t seen any proposals I would consider to be bold enough.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 18, 2016 at 10:43 am

        I don’t really care if we make driving more difficult, as long as it’s a good tradeoff for increased mobility for other modes. All I’m arguing against is people who want to make biking and transit appear more comparatively attractive by degrading driving. If we can make biking or transit better without negatively impacting driving, then that’s a win in my book (Orange Line, Sellwood Bridge). If we do have to impact driving, well that’s fine too, as long as there is a net improvement in the system as a whole (Foster, Better Naito).

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 18, 2016 at 10:49 am

        Sure, but my point is that driving is so pervasive in our culture and has been so vastly over-prioritized in the last 60 years, that is it impossible to make any other mode more attractive without making driving harder. Cars are the single biggest barrier to cycling and walking (and even public transport to some extent).

        It’s funny that you mention the Sellwood Bridge as an example of not negatively impacting driving, as ODOT mandated the addition of a massive highway-style interchange on the west side. These lack of concessions for driving are costly.

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  • Max August 12, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Street Trust seems like a more fitting name for an agency pledging to maintain the street network (potholes and the like), than an active transportation agency.

    …like the Highway Trust.

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  • Margaux Mennesson August 12, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I like the new name! Excited to see the BTA/Street Trust moving in this direction.

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  • Jim Lee August 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    For something even less easily pronounced try VZTST, or a permutation thereof.

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  • Mossby Pomegranate August 13, 2016 at 8:08 am

    People here are just upset because the organization no longer centers around your specific mode of transit. Get over it.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Many of us are, yes. What we need is someone to restart the BTA, since the name and niche are now available. Plenty of former members are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see how things shake out.

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  • Ted Buehler August 13, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Thanks for the memories, BTA

    Best of luck in all your endeavors, TST

    Ted Buehler

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  • Ted Buehler August 13, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Jonathan or others — was there any mention of whether TST members will continue to get a 10% discount at most bike shops?

    This alone made BTA membership worthwhile, with the advocacy as a bonus.

    Ted Buehler

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    • Beth August 13, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      Someone somewhere had to make up that ten per cent.

      If the discount is the primary reason folks would buy a BTA membership, perhaps the whole model needs to be rethought.
      After all, how many join the Sierra Club for the free binoculors?

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      • Ted Buehler August 17, 2016 at 7:56 am

        I usually don’t ask for the 10% myself, but there have been times when money has been tight and it’s been a nice bonus.

        I assume the basic theory is that the BTA’s mission was to improve conditions for bicycling and to encourage more people to cycle to work, for errands or for exercise. And that leads to more business for bike shops. So nobody anywhere “has to make it up,” except maybe the auto industry, deprived of auto sales, repairs, has sales, etc.

        Ted Buehler

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  • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Hello, Kitty,

    it is with some amusement that I discovered that Randy O’Toole apears to agree with you about the car not going away. http://www.ti.org/va.html

    🙂

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Randal O’Toole is a tool, but that doesn’t mean he’s 100% wrong on every single thing he says (though he tries mightily!)

      It’s hard to beat cars on a number of metrics, which is why they’re so popular and have stuck around so long. Perhaps automated taxis will better capture the price of driving (by paying per-ride, with costs such as fuel, maintenance, depreciation, and insurance rolled into the price), and will help people consider other options when they are viable for a given trip. But automated vehicles will (hopefully) reduce some of the externalities as well (such as danger and pollution). They may also expand vehicle use by making mobility available to entire segments that have limited access now (elderly, children, disabled, etc.)

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      • lop August 19, 2016 at 1:02 pm

        >Randal O’Toole is a tool, but that doesn’t mean he’s 100% wrong on every single thing he says (though he tries mightily!)

        To be fair, he does ride a bike.

        http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=12157

        >It’s hard to beat cars on a number of metrics, which is why they’re so popular and have stuck around so long.

        While true, part of that is from designing cities to accommodate them. Designing cities differently would make cars less useful relative to other modes, but would take a very very long time.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 1:28 pm

        I at least partially agree with this… but we’re starting with the cities we’ve got. A new city would probably be designed quite differently, but we’re not really building them anymore.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        Luckily we have a new city to use as an example, right here in town! South Waterfront was essentially built from scratch, and it prioritizes density, public transportation, bicycle infrastructure, and car-free spaces. People can still drive to the district, but they only get one lane to do so and the streets are designed to encourage slow speeds. Cars are tolerated, but not given priority.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        True. Good point! Were you the one who said you found the area overly sterile for your liking?

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm

        Sure, but that does’t mean I can’t look at it as a good example of urban planning.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 2:11 pm

        I agree that the physical layout of the place is pretty good; however, one of the goals of urban planning is to build vibrant places. I hope South Waterfront becomes a bit more interesting over time. Planned neighborhoods/cities have a bit of a reputation to overcome.

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      • Eric Leifsdad August 19, 2016 at 2:03 pm

        South Waterfront is a parking garage. There might be some people choosing to live car-free there, but I wouldn’t say the door-zone bike lanes on Bond even come close to giving bikes priority. Moody only works because there are few intersections, but that’s a very short break from the overwhelming stink of car prioritization (which has been recently supplemented with a sewage stink?)

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        Well, the bike lanes south of the Tram suck, yes. But South Waterfront also has the best cycling facility in the city on Moody north of the Tram, which is what I was referring to.

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      • lop August 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm

        It would be a better model with a good grocery for people to walk to, or even bike to without having to climb up hills (10th/Jefferson)

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm

        Yes, it does need a grocery store. I never said it was perfect. 🙂

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      • lop August 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        >A new city would probably be designed quite differently, but we’re not really building them anymore.

        Portland isn’t frozen in time. City’s are alive, and changing everyday, though given the frustration many express it’s possible at least some parts of Portland are changing too rapidly. Pushing new development to accommodate non auto transportation will not produce benefits over night, but will contribute to the city’s long run mode share goals.

        http://www.portlandonline.com/portlandplan/index.cfm?a=288098&c=52256

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 2:10 pm

        Portland isn’t frozen in time. City’s are alive, and changing everyday

        This is what I keep telling all the anti-change cranks at my Neighborhood Association meetings, but they don’t seem to want to listen…

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      • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm

        anti-change cranks?!
        whoa.
        I don’t know anyone who likes rapid, wealth-induced, existing resident-displacing change (except perhaps developers). Change comes in lots of forms, and for lots of reasons. Some in my view are good, necessary, unavoidable, interesting, etc. While others strike me as terrible, ugly, expensive, displacing, gentrifying. Kind of unfair to lump all that into one soup.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        Then explain why they also protest any proposal to provide more affordable housing?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 2:21 pm

        Who is protesting all the affordable housing being built in Richmond?

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      • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 2:25 pm

        Affordable housing in Richmond? Affordable for whom?

        I never disagreed that some folks object on-principle to apartment buildings going in where none had been, or express all sorts of regrettable biases about demographic groups they’d rather not see in their neighborhoods (if that is what you’re thinking of). My point was that I can think of many reasons why particular kinds of change (rapid, disruptive, etc) might reasonably be opposed.

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      • lop August 19, 2016 at 2:18 pm

        >though given the frustration many express it’s possible at least some parts of Portland are changing too rapidly.

        Sometimes it can be useful to try to understand other’s point of view as well as possible. By approaching a situation in a nonconfrontational manner it is sometimes discovered that a compromise can be reached that satisfies all. If they won’t listen to you, then listening to them may help you find a way to address their concerns. Once they are addressed, their hostility may reduce enough for them to hear what you have to say.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        Well said.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        I’ve listened to the NIMBY’s point of view. Their view is that they liked their neighborhood the best when they bought a house there X number of years ago, and want it to stay exactly like that forever. Hard to come to a compromise given that position.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        Change works best when it comes from within a community, not from outside it.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 2:33 pm

        What if the community you speak of was born out of racist, classist housing laws? Why should we allow the beneficiaries of these policies to decide what’s good for them? Who will speak for the groups of people who are being shut out of our communities?

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      • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 2:33 pm

        I can imagine many people on many continents and throughout time were happy with the way things were when they
        – bought a house
        – got married
        – retired
        – or whatever.

        I don’t think abrupt change of the kind we’re talking about is something we’ve evolved to tolerate very well much less welcome. And I am loath to castigate people for that stance. What they do with it; how much they are willing to listen to points of view that seek to open up this black box is important, but until we’ve had a chance to explore this I can’t fault people for resisting.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 2:40 pm

        To expect a city not to change is an unreasonable expectation. People are surprised to learn that Portland’s east side isn’t quite the charming streetcar suburb they had hoped for, but is in fact, a growing city.

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      • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

        “To expect a city not to change is an unreasonable expectation.”

        You keep conflating any change with rapid, disruptive change. I don’t think it is at all unreasonable to feel like less change and to engage in actions that might slow it down. I think that is very human, quite apart from the politics, the history, the potential racism, all of which are interesting but hardly the whole story, which is what I’m trying to sneak in here.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

        Adam H., I guess the world will have to rely on you to tell the rest of us what’s good for us. I am glad that you have donned the mantle of the oppressed who have been shut out of our neighborhoods to tell us how to mend our ways. Now that you’ve presented it this way, I can’t imagine why anyone would disagree with you, unless they themselves are racist and classist oppressors, whose views should be disregarded.

        Release the bulldozer!

        (The sad fact is that no one is trying to build affordable housing in Richmond, and that the beneficiaries of new development there are exactly the same demographic that already lives in the neighborhood.)

        (Another sad fact is that many in historically poor communities also resist this change you wish to bring, and have many of the same concerns as those in Richmond do.)

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 2:45 pm

        9watts, I am finding myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with you.

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      • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 2:46 pm

        I’ll try not to let that happen again 😉

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        “rapid, disruptive change”

        People are moving here at a rapid rate, and you can’t tell people to stop moving here. Failing to accommodate them will result in “rapid, disruptive” price increases. I know your proposal includes less people in Portland, but that’s simply not a solution.

        Notice how the vast majority of people protesting this “rapid, disruptive change” already got theirs and stand to greatly profit off of housing price increases. I guarantee you won’t hear these protests from people struggling to pay the rent.

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      • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 2:58 pm

        Now you’re sounding like JEG – remember him?

        I reject this kind of strong-arming; this you only have two crummy choices, now choose. Where’s the fun in that? No, I’d rather open up the conversation to explore all the pressures that make it seem like we have no meaningful choice. Why should a place like our city perpetually roll out the red carpet to newcomers when we’ve inherited/perpetuated such a dreadful mess of things without the added complexity of another half million or two million? That doesn’t make any sense. And if you (like many) say: well, that just isn’t going to happen, then I say well let’s challenge ourselves to think of ways out of this lose-lose circus.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        That’s just your opinion that the growth choice is crummy. Some of us happen to like the fact that there are more people and amenities in our neighborhoods. I like that my neighborhood is growing and changing.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        They “got theirs” by investing in a city long before it was the subject of a trendy TV show, and working to shape it into what it is today. Like everywhere, success leads to price increases. This is neither new nor surprising. People who arrive later, complaining that things aren’t a cheap as they were in the old days, sound a bit entitled.

        My sympathies lie with those who have been here for decades, and are now finding it difficult to stay. Those new studios and 1BR apartments aren’t going to help them or their families afford a place, and much of the new development is replacing houses and units that were relatively affordable and could accommodate a small family.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm

        Of course cities change. But when you’re talking about a major overhaul of the entire transportation network, it is much easier to start from scratch than try to retrofit a new urban form on top of an old one.

        One problem is you’re dealing with the people who already live there who might not agree with your proposed changes.

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  • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Adam H: “That’s just your opinion that the growth choice is crummy.”

    Hardly.
    On a finite planet, facing climate catastrophe, exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely (would you agree?), so when in your view is the right time to face this music? Clearly you think it isn’t right now, but by what logic will it be easier when we have another million and five times more homeless?

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    • lop August 19, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      >On a finite planet, facing climate catastrophe, exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely (would you agree?)

      Is the carbon footprint of someone who moves to Portland greater than if they move elsewhere or remain where they are? If global population is static or declining moving forward, does that mean Portland’s population can’t grow? Is the carrying capacity of the planet, or Portland, truly a fixed value? Or can improved efficiencies and technological advances allow it to increase? If exponential growth can’t continue forever, does that mean it has to be stopped today? Absent immigration the population of the US is declining. If policies are pushed in other countries to help flatten global population growth and even bring it negative, would that be a path to allowing growth today, but not in perpetuity?

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      • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        “Is the carbon footprint of someone who moves to Portland greater than if they move elsewhere or remain where they are?”

        There comes a time when global averages are not the best heuristic for answering these sorts of questions and I think it makes more sense to look at the local repercussions, sweep our own doorstep, so to speak. Overshoot at the planetary level is pretty well understood; we can argue about the distribution, but the larger point I think remains: growth is killing us.

        “If global population is static or declining moving forward, does that mean Portland’s population can’t grow?”

        The global population is neither static nor declining so I don’t really understand the point of this hypothetical. But accepting it, How well are we currently surrounding the challenges of providing for those already here: water, sewer, transport, schools, housing, safety, etc? Regardless of how the rest of the planet is faring what is the point of growing when we’ve shown ourselves incapable of meeting the needs of those already here. Seems nutty to me.

        “Is the carrying capacity of the planet, or Portland, truly a fixed value? Or can improved efficiencies and technological advances allow it to increase?”

        I’m surprised to here you posit this. I thought we’d already learned that quite to the contrary our carrying capacity was in decline, thanks to our having overdone things in the population and consumption growth depts for much of the past century. The unprecedented fossil fuel subsidy did allow us to increase our apparent carrying capacity by many orders of magnitude. But this phase is drawing to a close.

        “If exponential growth can’t continue forever, does that mean it has to be stopped today?”

        Perhaps we don’t agree that we are in overshoot. But once we’ve recognized this then I think the answer is more like yesterday.

        “Absent immigration the population of the US is declining. If policies are pushed in other countries to help flatten global population growth and even bring it negative, would that be a path to allowing growth today, but not in perpetuity?”

        Not in my view. We’ve been in overshoot for more than a generation, perhaps two.
        http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/video_overshoot_explained/

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      • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 4:48 pm
  • 9watts August 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Adam H: “Some of us happen to like the fact that there are more people and amenities in our neighborhoods. I like that my neighborhood is growing and changing.”

    Don’t be silly. I like people and amenities as much as the next person, but the thing about exponential growth is that you or I don’t get to choose when the merry go round that keeps spinning faster and faster stops….
    You may like the apartment building that is going in at the end of the block, but perhaps the fellow who’s lived across the street from where you just moved in saw his rent double, has to move, and now can’t find a place he can afford within a reasonable distance of his work. One day you might see yourself priced out too. Who knows. The point some of us are making here I think is that your very recent snapshot of your block or neighborhood is highly particular, highly contingent. Just because you absolutely love the way it is right now doesn’t help the guy who just got kicked out across the street, or even you in a year should you, say, lose your job and default on your mortgage. And that is just looking ahead a tiny bit. Add another million people to the metro area and even you might decide it’s enough or too much.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. August 19, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Growth can happen while accommodating for affordability as well. But that needs to come from city leadership. I’d argue for a mandatory minimum requirement of affordable units for every new development, a moratorium on new single family house construction (all new houses should be duplexes or better), and funded by an affordability tax paid for by everyone that does not qualify for affordable housing. Everyone deserves to have a housing safety net.

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      • 9watts August 20, 2016 at 8:23 am

        “Growth can happen while accommodating for affordability”

        Care to flesh that out a bit?
        Sounds utterly fanciful to me.

        We so far haven’t even figured out how to do affordability with the existing set of parameters (today). Exponential growth (which is what we’re seeing) will by definition make this vastly more difficult, if not impossible. Or?

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    • lop August 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      >You may like the apartment building that is going in at the end of the block, but perhaps the fellow who’s lived across the street from where you just moved in saw his rent double, has to move, and now can’t find a place he can afford within a reasonable distance of his work.

      Is the apartment across the street the cause of the increase in his rent?

      I don’t see many new apartments going up in Ladd’s addition, but that hasn’t kept it affordable. In fact, the million dollar homes in the area could be bought up, knocked down, and replaced with middle class housing in the form of apartments at the density you see along transit corridors, inner NW near 21/23rd, along division and williams/vancouver etc…, with no financial assistance from the city. Much of the price of a million dollar house on a small lot is in the form land price, not the building on top of it. Apartments dilute the value of land over more people and allow middle class to outbid the wealthy for land. But if it were legal to build there, developers would aim for a higher market. Because that top of the market isn’t saturated. There may be a lot of relatively wealthy people in and moving to the Portland area, but the number is not infinite. I wonder how much construction would be required to reduce the demand for the existing apartment stock to be renovated, allowing it to remain relatively affordable.

      If that amount development was targeted in areas where it would be least intrusive, would it be better tolerated than what is going on today? And where would be the least intrusive places for that development?

      Would an apartment on what is not a quiet SFH street be as objectionable if it looks like a house, but consisted of a handful of one bedroom apartments?

      As a means of slowing change and the impact of development that existing residents are subjected to, could the city institute a parking permit system that allowed residents of apartments, even those on commercial corridors, to take part, but capped the number of permits and gave first dibs to existing residents? Make them transferable, but allow some fraction of any appreciation to be captured by the city. I.E., existing resident gets a permit for the cost of an annual administration fee of $50, sells it to a new resident later for $5k, but half of that goes to the city.

      A question for you or anyone else frustrated with the pace the city is changing: What, if anything, do you think could be done to make a transforming Portland easier to stomach, to make the largest amount of development acceptable? Program to help existing residents that get priced out stay in their current home, or another one in the same neighborhood? Street redesign to limit the destructive impact of lots of new cars? Different design standards for construction? Picking a limited number of historical properties to preserve and protect from development in perpetuity, maybe a city program to buy up a few properties and make them little museums on local history? Maybe allow some to become bed and breakfasts (NE 15th/Schuyler)? Maybe some individual blocks? Or longer stretches of bike boulevards? etc…

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        >>> If that amount development was targeted in areas where it would be least intrusive, would it be better tolerated than what is going on today? <<<

        Without question, the answer is yes. Did anyone object to the construction of South Waterfront? Well, a few folks did, but not many. Now if you imagine a proposal to bulldoze Ladd's Addition and build something similar… well, I would expect a different outcome.

        Your other questions are a little more involved, but I think that, generally speaking, if buildings are of limited scale and are well designed and integrated into the surrounding areas, most people would not find small-scale increases in development intensity objectionable. Where it becomes problematic is when existing structures are razed and trees cut to make room for it.

        One hurdle the "missing middle" proponents face is that Portlanders have learned not to trust developers or city planners, who often promise one thing, but deliver another. Many of their proposals are not, on their face, likely to upset most people.

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      • 9watts August 20, 2016 at 8:18 am

        lop,
        great post with lots of thought-provoking questions.

        “Because that top of the market isn’t saturated. There may be a lot of relatively wealthy people in and moving to the Portland area, but the number is not infinite.”

        This I think a very concise way of capturing a crucial piece of this puzzle. But while not infinite, I suspect the number is (and likely will grow to be) indistinguishable from infinite insofar as the potential supply for housing to satisfy this market IS LIMITED and the potential demand might be AS LARGE AS THE LIMITED SUPPLY + 1 or + 1,000.

        “I wonder how much construction would be required to reduce the demand for the existing apartment stock to be renovated, allowing it to remain relatively affordable.”

        There are two ways to think about an answer to this question:
        (a) with today’s high but fixed demand for housing, and
        (b) with the expectation of exponentially growing future demand. My chief problem with much of what I read here in the comments about this and elsewhere is that we are not, generally, talking about (a) though people seem to think of the problem this way, but rather (b), which kind of blows the top off any calculation.

        “Would an apartment on what is not a quiet SFH street be as objectionable if it looks like a house, but consisted of a handful of one bedroom apartments?”

        FWIW I am not among those objecting to apartment buildings. I am objecting to the unwillingness to problematize growth.

        “As a means of slowing change and the impact of development that existing residents are subjected to, could the city institute a parking permit system that allowed residents of apartments, even those on commercial corridors, to take part, but capped the number of permits and gave first dibs to existing residents? ”

        I have long toyed with caps as a way to control growth. Cap the (total) number of license plates issued; cap the number of well drilling permits; cap the number of building permits issues, etc. It seems to me that if we ever took the problem of growth seriously we could come up with a lot of administrative ways to instantiate a we-can’t-afford-growth-anymore policies.

        “What, if anything, do you think could be done to make a transforming Portland easier to stomach, to make the largest amount of development acceptable?”

        Now we’re talking.

        “Program to help existing residents that get priced out stay in their current home, or another one in the same neighborhood? Street redesign to limit the destructive impact of lots of new cars? Different design standards for construction? Picking a limited number of historical properties to preserve”

        To me this list seems kind of fussy and end-of-pipe and expensive to administer. My preference would be to attempt an end run around this case-by-case approach and focus on restricting demand more than preserving ever finer slices of threatened supply.

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