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The Monday Roundup: Extremist NFL announcer, power of bikes, big data, and more

Posted by on August 22nd, 2016 at 12:07 pm

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Welcome to the 34th week of the year. Here are the stories and tweets that caught our eyes in the past seven days…

Extremist views go mainstream: An announcer with the NFL Network displayed his deviant and violent tendencies when he said on Twitter that he wanted to hit people on bikes with his car. He later deleted the tweet saying he “didn’t mean to offend anyone.”

Great public spaces more important than ever: In these days of protest and sorrow around killings of black people on our streets, the Project for Public Spaces says we need to plan them a different way. There has never been a more important time to integrate transportation and public space advocates with Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements.

Much more than a bike ride: The ability of bicycles to help connect people to others and to themselves and the world around them never ceases to amaze me. This woman’s recap of a Sydney Night Ride weaves together racism, sexism, politics, and a huge plate of nachos.

Summer driving season = summer dying season: As gas prices come down, driving goes up and so do the vast societal costs that come with it. City Observatory breaks it down for us.

Paris is doing it right: Still angry after Friday’s fatal collision on Hawthorne, my heart swelled with joy reading about this plan in Paris to expand a ban on cars along the Seine River.

A really wild trail: Some first responders have voiced concerns over the Salmonberry Trail, a new coastal route in the works between Banks and Tillamook, because it would be difficult to reach in emergencies.

An outsider’s view: Stop patting yourself on the back for just one second and read what one visitor to Portland felt after biking here for a few days.

Bike making in the New Yorker: Regaining Detroit’s prominence as a bike manufacturing capitol is an exciting vision, but it’s proving to be as difficult as you might expect.

Get the feds out of transportation planning: The USDOT is so out of touch that even its “new” rule for measuring congestion keeps driving speeds as a key measure of success.


Bike share is public transit: This Portland Business Alliance story on the new walking and rolling bridge over I-405 at Flanders got one thing wrong. They say it won’t carry public transit when in fact it will likely serve more bike share trips than any other bridge in the city.

Who’s burdening who?: Get out your anti-bike bingo cars, you’re about to have a very fast game thanks to this classic rant from a Boston Herald columnist.

Moving fast to go slower: Boston is grabbing power to control its speed limits from the state DOT in order to reduce them citywide.

Parking cars is very expensive: City of Portland is about to spend $25 million to renovate one parking garage downtown. That’s a lot of money just to store people’s private vehicles.

Documentation gap: Sad and familiar story up in Seattle about the scope of streetcar track crashes: They hurt many people but without official data the city acts like it doesn’t happen.

Bikes in wilderness: A bill in congress that aims to open up some wilderness trails to bicycles gets a takedown in the form of an opinion column in High Country News. The author says it’s a “sham” that’s too heavily tipped in biking’s favor.

Big data a big deal for transpo planning: There’s a lot of talk about computerized data analytics in all fields these days — and transportation is among them. The problem is, like other parts of the system, the data winner will be motor vehicle usage. Since data in equals data out, there’s a big risk that human-centric transportation like biking and walking would get the short end of the stick.

Disabled and biking: Ever heard ADA activists utter concerns about new bike infrastructure? In London they are pushing back against that narrative with a new report that showed 15 percent of people with disabilities cycle for transport — nearly the same amount as people without disabilities.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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  • 9watts August 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Monday mornings without a Roundup are giving me withdrawal. Glad I didn’t have to wait ’til Tuesday!

    The Boston op-ed could have been written by our very own Middle-of-the-road-guy. 😉

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  • bradwagon August 22, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Evans got plenty of “feedback” on twitter regarding some tweets about bikes using sidewalks also… yikes.

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  • bikeninja August 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Boo NFL Guy! but what do you expect from a cog in the wheel of an organization that has been trying to deny and hide the concussion carnage that has been going on for years.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. August 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Here’s an extremest view for ya: I think drivers should slow the f**k down.

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  • matt August 22, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Pretty ridiculous that they’re looking to spend $25M to fix a garage that only earns $3M per year. Doesn’t seem like that good of an investment.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. August 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      They must be taking advice from the PDC.

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    • lop August 22, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      How often do you think they need to spend that $25 million?

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      • Chris I August 23, 2016 at 8:42 am

        It’s going to take them nearly a decade to pay this back in parking revenue. I wonder if the city is really making much money at all from these garages. How much property tax would the city be taking in if these garages were torn down and developed into private commercial high-rises?

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    • Gary B August 23, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      ~8 year payback? Or, roughly a 12% ROI? (neglecting operational costs, which of course are important). That’s excellent actually. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a good idea for other reasons, but the financials don’t seem like the problem.

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      • matt August 23, 2016 at 3:03 pm

        That’s assuming that 100% of the funds pulled in by the garage should go directly towards paying off the debt at 0% interest.

        Realistically you’re looking at the debt having some interest. The garage also has additional expenses, some of which may go up after the improvements. And there’s the costs of not receiving tax revenue from the property because it’s gov’t owned.

        For example, the same-sized sized lot next door creates at least $350k in property taxes annually. Along with employing 100s of people that are then contributing a significant portion of their salary towards taxes too. Even at just 200 median-wage employees ($60k/year), that’s a change in the tax base for the state of about $1.08M per year.

        Not only that, but the market value of the garage is only $20M, so that means they’re going to spend more renovating the garage than it was worth in the first place. Heck, even building a new parking garage of the same size (~300k sqft) should only cost about $60/sqft or $18M total.

        …something doesn’t sound right in this renovation.

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  • bikeninja August 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    These anti-bike clowns bring to mind a quote from the Great Author Ed Abbey that I have modified to fit the situation.

    ” climb those hills, ride those trails, bike those paths, explore those forests, and share in the bounty of cycling, friendship, love, and the common effort to save what we love. Do this and we will be strong, and bold, and happy, we will outlive our enemies, we will live to piss on their graves. Joy, shipmates, joy.

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  • Jon August 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    If you really want to ban any “mechanization” in Wilderness areas I would start with banning any skis, ski bindings, horseshoes, saddle, crampons, any rope system, harness, ice axe, stove, and hiking pole.

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    • GlowBoy August 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Don’t forget that besides skis, paddles and oars use mechanical advantage to multiply human power to make us go faster than we could otherwise.

      Anyone who’s reviewed the arguments made in favor of the original Wilderness Act back in 1964 knows that the legislative intent was to ban motorized – ie. mechanically powered travel – as opposed to mechanically assisted travel. In fact the latter was extensively discussed, and even widely agreed to be acceptable.

      I’ve also heard the argument that bicycles don’t belong in wilderness because they’re technological. My response to that is: have you been inside an REI? Outdoor stores are chock full of high-tech hiking equipment that would have been unimaginable 50 years ago.

      Perhaps we wouldn’t be having this discussion if groups like the Sierra Club wouldn’t keep seeing wilderness designation as the only tool in the toolbox. There plenty of places where bikes don’t belong – and, in fact, biking is illegal on most non-wilderness trails, so it’s not like allowing for the possibility of bikes on some wilderness trails is going to open the floodgates.

      Case in point would be the 2009 Wyden wilderness act, mentioned by Zimmerman, which banned bicycling from a lot of trails on the Mt Hood national forest. I argued strongly for a National Recreation Area designation, which would have protected the land from development while still allowing bike access. But no, it had to be capital-W Wilderness, or nothing.

      While that bill was in progress, I made a point of exploring quite a few of the trails in the area then being considered for designation, while I still had the chance. In fairness, a lot of them were rarely used (some were really no longer trails anymore, do to lack of use/maintenance), but we also lost some real gems, particularly Twin Lakes and most especially the Serene Lake – Shining Lake area of the Roaring River region. That last one was one of the most wonderful rides I’ve ever done, and of course I’ll never be able to ride it again.

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  • dan August 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Really? Why?

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  • Dave Thomson August 22, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Cyclists and conservationists have traditionally been allies, but that will end in a heartbeat if mountain bikers back efforts to weaken wilderness protections. This particular bill is absolutely just a first step by anti-conservation Republicans hoping to undo decades of wilderness protection.

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    • Zimmerman August 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      “Cyclists and conservationists have traditionally been allies”

      Since when? The Sierra Club was the organization that changed the word motorized to mechanized and effectively led to the banning of cycling in Wilderness areas. The language in the STC proposal gives the Forest Service the leeway to allow or disallow mountain biking in Wilderness areas as it sees fit. It does not create a pathway to dirt bikes, bulldozers or fracking operations.

      Around Portland mountain bikers lost 200 miles of trail to Wilderness expansion. Many of those trails are now impassable by even people on foot.

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    • GlowBoy August 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      “have traditionally been allies”

      The problem is the so-called conservation groups often function as hiking clubs and can’t distinguish between their dual missions. So they argue against bicycles even where they clearly cause no environmental harm – when the issue is really a user conflict – and then wrap themselves in environmental righteousness.

      Between that and their behavior during the 2000 presidential campaign, the Sierra Club will never get another dime from me.

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      • B. Carfree August 22, 2016 at 5:42 pm

        I left the Sierra Club for good back in the ’80s when their membership magazine began featuring full back-page ads for Toyota 4X4 SUV’s. Considering the incredible environmental damage the SUV boom was doing and has done, it was an unforgivable sin to get into bed with automakers, imo.

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        • wsbob August 23, 2016 at 1:55 am

          Off road vehicular recreation…jeeps, and then much later, more modern and fancy SUV’s and ATV’s, was a big thing long before off road biking, also vehicular recreation, came into being. Definitely, there should be some land set aside for recreational travel with mountain bikes. That is, on land designated for vehicular recreation, rather than on land designated as wilderness.

          What percent of citizens, the public, in the U.S. might think it would be a good idea to have the nations’ inventory of wilderness designated land, open to mountain bike vehicular recreation? I think this is an important question to consider.

          Obtaining wide support for designation of land as vehicle free wilderness areas, has been very successful, I think in no small part, because a key condition of acquisition is that use of vehicles will not be permitted in wilderness designated areas. Wilderness designated areas are places of natural wonder in which people visiting them can expect that vehicular traffic, or the kinds of trail and environmental impact produced by vehicular traffic, will not be present.

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      • Dave Thomson August 23, 2016 at 8:56 am

        If you believe having multiple conservation groups mobilizing their members against mountain biking is somehow not a negative then you clearly don’t understand the relative political power of conservationists vs bicyclists at the national level.

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      • wsbob August 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

        Essence and values inherently and intrinsically associated with what wilderness is, are the fundamental issues conservation direct their efforts to.

        What is ‘wilderness’? As in a description of, expressed in a concept that can convey what people of the country, the public, would hope to have sustained in perpetuity, in the face of other essences and values than those inherently and intrinsically associated with what wilderness is.

        What is the point of the public designating any area ‘wilderness’, and hope to have such areas sustained and protected consistent with essence and values inherently and intrinsically associated with what wilderness is, if the public intends to turn around and use so designated lands for vehicular recreation?

        People that have made a point of saying that any modern conveniences brought into wilderness designated areas, represent compromise and contradiction of the essence and values of wilderness…are to some extent, correct, I think. And, limits definitely should be, and I think, are, placed upon what modern conveniences people visiting wilderness are allowed to bring into the wilderness.

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  • GlowBoy August 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Re: objections from first responders to the Salmonberry Trail. Are we even going to entertain this argument?

    Let’s see: the Salmonberry Trail is remote, there’s no cellular coverage, and first responders may have trouble getting in.

    Sounds like … oh, I don’t know … Every Wilderness Area In North America?!! You don’t want to have to deal with rescuing people from remote areas? Then go become a first responder in Delaware.

    I just spent a long weekend hiking the Salmon River Trail, in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness south of Mount Hood. A long trail along a federal Wild and Scenic River, intersecting with NO roads and only two other (wilderness) trails. Let’s review the search and rescue aspects of this trail:
    – No cellular coverage.
    – It is in a 3000′ deep valley with no roads, surrounded by dense forest that would likely prevent medical evacuation by helicopter.
    – At several points I was quite a few trail miles from the nearest road. No motor vehicle other than a dirtbike would have been able to get in there, and even that would take a while.
    – Multiple natural hazards, including steep canyon walls, waterfalls and a raging river that have claimed multiple lives over the years; falling trees and branches during storms; avalanches in winter; elevated hypothermia risk due to cooler temperatures than surrounding second growth forests; dangerous wildlife including bears and cougars (I actually had a bear cub encounter – the scariest kind – on this hike).
    – Lightly used, with few fellow users to send for help if something goes wrong: despite a hot summer weekend that pushed thousands of Portlanders up into the mountains, on Friday I only encountered six human beings all day, in 13 miles of hiking.

    So maybe these guys should have been lobbying against the Wilderness Act and in favor of removing this spectacular but dangerous ancient forest, so that emergency responders could use the logging roads for search and rescue. Sheesh.

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    • Gary B August 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      I think they just want some money to increase their resources to be able to handle the new load. Not an unreasonable request. The rest sounds like scare tactics to help their cause.

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  • B. Carfree August 22, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Those mild criticisms of the PDX cycling experience for a visitor were short of the mark. I remember the first time I came to Portland on my bike. I already knew from the published numbers that the situation on the ground was going to be extremely car-dominated and that the bike story was vastly overstated. However, I wasn’t really prepared for just how bad it would be. Let’s just say I’m grateful for my time spent riding in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Sacramento. While none of those cities are quite as awful to ride in as Portland, they provided a fair primer.

    Fast forward a few years for my next visit. This found me “armed” with the bike maps that have since led to at least one death of a new arrival. Let’s just say that I found these maps to be a cruel hoax.

    The bottom line is that if the facts on the ground consist of door-zone bike lanes, bike boulevards that are full of stop signs with limited sight lines and a need for local knowledge to navigate safely and effectively, then the city just isn’t “bike friendly”. I get the desire to celebrate every tiny step along the way, but let’s not kid ourselves, there’s a greater distance left to travel than has been travelled along the road to being truly bike friendly.

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  • Sarah, the founder of Velo-a-Porter August 23, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Thanks for mentioning my blog “Why Self-Segregate, a night with Sydey Night Rides.” To clarify, we went for a halal snack pack which is a plate of potato wedges with lamb (either vegan or real) with a few different sauces layered on top. The dish has grown in prominence since our recent election.

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  • KristenT August 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Hey NFL dude, you didn’t offend me with your twit, you threatened me. Let’s rephrase your “apology”: “I’m sorry if you were offended that I threatened you.”

    Also, that’s not an apology. You aren’t sorry for what you said, you’re sorry you got blasted for it. You aren’t taking responsibility for your words, your excusing them.

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