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The Monday Roundup: Election reactions, victim shaming response, Chicago’s Gateway Green, and more

Posted by on November 14th, 2016 at 11:27 am

A response to shaming.

A response to shaming.

Welcome to the first full week in what some are calling “The Trump Era.”

Deep breath.

The rise of the right means different things to different people. From our end, we’re staying vigilant to the real and potential changes that Trump’s access to power might bring to all aspects of our lives. While it’s hard to focus on anything but national news right now, there’s a lot of work to be done in our respective corners of the world.

Here are the stories that caught our attention this past week…

Bike comic in New Yorker: It’s not every week the New Yorker includes a multi-page comic from the perspective of a city-dwelling woman on a bike that deals with race and urban life.

Safety message smackdown: If you’ve ever been frustrated by victim-blaming public safety messages from government agencies, you’ll love this response.

A view from ‘The Brown Bike Girl’: Some solid truths spoken by Courtney Williams with Black Girls Do Bike about how people of color see cycling and whether or not gentrification should be blamed on bike infrastructure.

Supressing the bike vote: A 99-year old man who showed up to his polling place in Wisconsin pedaling a tricycle was turned away because he no longer drives and didn’t have a driver’s license to use as a photo ID. He ultimately voted, but only after someone helped him get to the DMV.

One challenge to another: Libertarian candidate for presidend Gary Johnson will decompress from the campaign by riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Chicago’s Gateway Green: Want to get a feeling for what we’ll soon have at Gateway Green in Portland? Check out the new Big Marsh bike park in Chicago.

Floating bike path in Chicago: We think Portland needs to be more bold for cycling and do bigger projects. Imagine having a floating bike path like this one proposed for the Chicago River between northwest Portland and a new path suspended under the St. Johns Bridge — or to connect the Overlook/University Park neighborhoods to the central city?

NYC mayor and Vision Zero: In New York City advocates aren’t afraid to directly criticize their mayor for a lack of urgency around making streets safe.

Election Reactions

People don’t like paying for new freeways: TransitCenter says that of all the big transit funding measures that passed last week, the ones that included big money for highways did a lot worse than transit-only measures.

Focus local: Ben Fried from Streetsblog says the election makes action at the local level more important than ever.

Road lobbyists head to DC: We reported about this a bit last week, but read more about the road and highway-building lobbyist Trump has tapped to oversee his transportation transition team.

Privatization coming: Laura Bliss from Citylab has an in-depth breakdown on how Trump’s love of privatization will impact transportation policy. She too says local governments must step up to protect transit and non-motorized infrastructure.

Tell stories, burst bubbles: Chris Bruntlett with Modacity (who lives in Canada) has six bits of advice for U.S. advocates. They include using stories not statistics and getting out of the biking bubble.

Thanks for all the suggestions. It really helps now that BikePortland is once again back to one staff person. Trying to keep up. I need your support. Thanks for reading.

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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

117 Comments
  • q November 14, 2016 at 11:33 am

    That “response to shaming” is perfect.

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    • q November 14, 2016 at 11:38 am

      …and it’s a public campaign in the Washington DC area:

      http://bestreetsmart.net/

      Why can’t PBOT do this instead of its cutesy light giveaways and telling people to wear bright clothes when they walk?

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      • I voted for Trump! November 14, 2016 at 11:54 am

        That would be because they want peds/cyclists to have a better chance of being seen by drivers. Reflective material and lights are an absolute necessity at night. Motor vehicles are a lot bigger than peds/cyclists and they are required by law to have lights that work.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 12:12 pm

          This is all true.

          It is, of course, incumbent on drivers to drive in a manner that they can avoid striking pedestrians, even those in dark clothes. If they do this, any further steps that pedestrians take to be visible will act as a fail-safe, but drivers cannot and should not count on pedestrians to dress in any particular way when using the streets in a lawful manner.

          Wouldn’t you agree?

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          • Middle of the Road guy November 14, 2016 at 12:55 pm

            I think that if one is using the transportation network, they have a responsibility to not only look out for others but to also make it easier for others in the same network to see them (as well as engaging in predictable behaviors, like obeying the signs/lights).

            A car is obviously required to use its lights at night, in part to see but in part to be seen (esp. brake lights). Cars that don’t do this are frequently reminded by other drivers (flashing their lights) to turn their own lights on.

            Why? Because someone operating in that environment without being seen introduces a whole lot of unnecessary risk into that system.

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            • Alex Reedin November 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm

              I disagree, vehemently. We have not as a society agreed that all persons who are outside walking in the vicinity of a road must wear hi-viz and lights. We don’t mandate this by law, our fashion industry is not at all on board, and the behavior of the majority of people outside walking indicates that they don’t accept this “responsibility.”

              On the other hand, we have as a society agreed that people operating motor vehicles must use their lights during low-visibility conditions. We have laws to that effect, the vast majority of people driving follow them, and other people, as you point out, try to remind those who aren’t complying. Personally, I would like to extend this lighting requirement to people biking as well (front AND rear – front is all that’s required now). There is a huge difference in the level of effort, annoyance, and impedance of freedom and self-expression between putting lights on vehicles (including bikes) and putting lights on people.

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              • wsbob November 14, 2016 at 8:17 pm

                “I disagree, vehemently. …” reedin

                In your comment, there doesn’t seem to be a clear explanation of what it is about ‘middle road guy’s’ that you disagree with.Rightfully so, he makes no suggestion that people walking are obliged by law to wear day glo or hi-vis colors, or carry flashlights, to help themselves be visible to people driving motor vehicles.

                There is mention of responsibility of vulnerable road users in their use of the road…and acceptance by them of a range of responsibility in using the road, is mandatory by law. The specs of that concept in the statutes is brief, very brief compared to that for use of the road with vehicles, but it is there: check out ‘Due Care’.

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              • Alex Reedin November 15, 2016 at 5:44 am

                How else does one “make it easier for [others] to see you” other than bright colors and lights, without changing one’s route to a route with street lighting (which is not practical for the vast majority of trips without street lighting)? I think you’re reading a more moderate version into Middle Of The Road’s comment, which is different from what he actually said, and different from the blanket “lights at night” pushing that I’ve seen elsewhere in the media.

                I don’t consider the wearing of lights whenever one goes out at night in Portland to be covered under “due care.” I’m open to the concept in rural areas, but certainly not in areas with street lighting.

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              • wsbob November 15, 2016 at 9:58 am

                The degree of visibility gear a person walking is advised to be have and be prepared to use, depends much I would think, on the visibility conditions they may anticipate entering into as they go out walking. Even a flashlight, or a bike light, stored in a pocket and brought out for use where the street is really dark, may help a lot.

                I’ve seen people numerous people do this very thing, and in fact, I’ve done it myself, walking a mile to the grocery store through a nice older neighborhood that has streetlights, but is nevertheless quite dark at night because of big old trees hanging over the street. Where it’s dark, they pull the light out of the pocket, turn it on, wave it about to announce presence, etc., then back in the pocket where the visibility conditions are better. No big deal. Bike light is small, fits in my bigger closed hand, easily.

                There is another neighborhood situation I know of, popular with walkers and bikers for recreation, dog walking, etc, where the street lighting also is very insufficient on the road’s shoulders. There, I’ve seen the gamut of visibility gear used by vulnerable road users.

                Some use none at all…dark clothes…and depending on the weather conditions, the difficulty in detecting them from the surroundings can be very difficult to virtually impossible with the car headlights…and that’s at 15-20 mph when the road itself is clearly visible. Others use visibility gear ranging from hand held flashlights, garments with retro-reflective tape in varied amounts of area coverage, standard and recreation specific safety vests with the tape, shoes with reflective material, hats. The improvement in visibility the gear provides to people driving, me as an example, is huge. All chosen by individual choice and discretion.

                The value of use of such gear by vulnerable road users, for improvements to their safety in using the road, according to their good judgment and discretion for the conditions they should consider they may enter into, cannot I don’t think, be overestimated.

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            • Chris I November 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

              Exactly. Every speeding driver who ended up dying behind the wheel had it coming.

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            • soren November 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm

              i really had no idea that when i walk a few blocks to buy a baguette at grand central i am “operating in that environment”. in fact, this point of view has completely transformed my thinking about the risks pedestrians pose to people driving. i would like to apologize to drivers everywhere for the stress and anguish i caused by walking around in dark-colored clothing. i will now take personal responsibility for my actions by wearing front and back lights, a traffic vest, safety triangle, and a safety flag when i walk. vehicular walking is just common sense!

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              • James November 14, 2016 at 4:35 pm

                Considering your walking to grand central I’d assume you have street lights and crosswalks unlike other forgotten areas of Portland. Your also not walking in the middle of the street or riding a bicycle in traffic controlled lanes. This is the goofy midndset I don’t understand. If your on a sidewalk no one is saying wear reflectors or lights. Its people who run in the street with their back to traffic, or ride a bicycle on the roadway, that should be using some lights and some common sense. Otherwise it’s gonna be a legal battle if you get hit and you live and someone decides to stop.

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              • q November 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

                What you wrote would make sense if it were true. But lots of people –especially PBOT with its safety campaign–are NOT saying pedestrians only need bright clothes, lights and reflectors if they’re walking in the middle of the street. They’re applying it to all pedestrians, which only spreads the idea that any pedestrian dressing normally is irresponsible.

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              • soren November 15, 2016 at 8:25 am

                Nope…no marked crosswalks.

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              • wsbob November 15, 2016 at 9:32 am

                James, here’s the link to your comment today, the 15th, in response to q’s comment:

                http://bikeportland.org/2016/11/14/the-monday-roundup-election-reactions-victim-shaming-response-chicagos-gateway-green-and-more-195308#comment-6729192

                These various public agency safety campaigns that come out, are not, I don’t think, are saying that people walking and other vulnerable road users, should be using hi-vis and other visibility gear at all times when they’re on or near streets where motor vehicles and other vehicles, like bikes, are in use. When lighting and visibility conditions are good, there may be little if any need for such gear to be used by vulnerable road users.

                The safety campaigns emphasizing the importance of vulnerable road users taking various measures allowing them to be reasonably visible to people driving, are an appeal to all road users…those driving, as well as they that are to walking and biking, but particularly to the vulnerable road user…to be conscious of the visibility conditions existent where they are walking, etc, and to be prepared somewhat with some degree of visibility gear, to counter their lack of visibility in those situations, to people driving.

                So for example, if someone needs to quick pop out of the house for a loaf of bread down the street in their neighborhood, knowing that the 3 or 4 block distance they’ve got to travel, is, despite streetlights, characterized at some points along the route with very low visibility conditions due to deep shadows from overhanging trees, heavy rain, or other hazards…maybe they should be bringing along a small flashlight to be used in those situations, to alert the attention of people driving to their presence as a person walking. Or…some form of retro-reflective tape…sewn to a strap on a shoulder bag, etc. Doesn’t necessarily need to be a construction worker’s safety vest, that some people find to be obnoxious looking.

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              • soren November 14, 2016 at 6:42 pm

                riding a bicycle in traffic controlled lane

                the nerve of those people! if they paid taxes and had license plates this would not bother you in the least.

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              • James November 15, 2016 at 7:14 am

                No that’s me taking the lane, as I have for the past 20 years. I own a classic car that rarely moves. I don’t know why you’d think I would want bicycles registered, that’s absolutely dumb and has failed a couple times in other countries. E-bikes on the other hand should be classsified as under a moped if able to exceed 20mph, and therefore require a plate at the least.

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          • I voted for Trump! November 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm

            No I do not agree. If you are in the middle of a dark street (walking or riding) on a dark rainy night in all black clothing and get hit it is your fault. The police have agreed with me on hundreds of occasions – and the courts have backed them up.

            Cars do not stop instantly. Have you ever driven a car on a rainy night? It’s hard to see.

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            • Slug November 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm

              That’s why we need to slow down on rainy nights, so we don’t overdrive our headlights/visibility. Also, when driving, I always wear a reflective vest and lights because eventually I will need to park and walk a few steps or more to my destination.

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            • dan November 14, 2016 at 4:21 pm

              Oh, the “she was wearing a short skirt” defense, classy.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm

              If I’m in the middle of a dark street, in a crosswalk, and I’ve fulfilled my duties as a pedestrian, you have a responsibility to stop, regardless of what I may or may not be wearing. You would dispute that?

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              • wsbob November 14, 2016 at 8:01 pm

                People driving, have an obligation mandated by law, to yield to pedestrian’s need to use the street, as in crossing lanes of traffic. That obligation isn’t conditional upon whether the visibility of people walking to people driving, is made reasonably possible through the pedestrian’s use of some form of visibility gear.

                This is kind of a moot point though, if the person walking in poor visibility conditions and situations, happens to become involved in a collision with someone driving a motor vehicle, in part through the vulnerable road user having not taken some precaution to counter the effects of the low visibility conditions…such as carrying a flashlight, wearing some reflective wristbands, or some other visibility aid.

                Collisions involving people driving and people walking, biking, etc, aren’t entirely due, as it seems some people are inclined to think…to persons driving and involved in collisions, always having driven too fast for the conditions, or having been distracted by something other than the road, and so on.

                The potential for such collisions to happen, is not infrequently there… despite the people driving being good and attentive drivers operating equipment in good operating equipment…because visibility of the people walking and biking, to people driving, is often not reasonably sufficient for the visibility conditions at hand.

                For safety and functionality, the roads are marked with reflective painted lines. Not the entire road is covered with such material, but just enough so people driving can see the road with the headlights of their vehicle. Logic seems to suggest that some part of something a person walking or biking is wearing or carrying, should be somewhat similarly distinguished by motor vehicle headlight, as are the reflected painted lines on the road.

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              • q November 14, 2016 at 11:17 pm

                wsbob–you wrote, “Logic seems to suggest that some part of something a person walking or biking is wearing or carrying, should be somewhat similarly distinguished by motor vehicle headlight, as are the reflected painted lines on the road.”

                Cyclists riding legally already have headlights and rear reflectors, so the bikes they ride already meet your criteria.

                Pedestrians who get hit are in many cases within marked crosswalks, and the markings are a very visible warning to drivers that it is a place they should expect pedestrians.

                Unmarked crosswalks have no markings, but are readily apparent because every intersection where they occur is clear to any driver due the interruption of lane lines, the corners, etc.

                So at least in those cases, which cover all bikes and a large percentage of pedestrians in the road, your logic isn’t logical to me.

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            • B. Carfree November 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm

              Someone needs to review the basic speed law.

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            • Pete November 14, 2016 at 5:27 pm

              Unless you’re a Muslim woman, in which case you may have been brought up being taught that wearing bright clothing is an affront to Allah.

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              • Dan A November 14, 2016 at 6:34 pm

                Not to worry, if Trump has them banned.

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              • daisy November 15, 2016 at 4:28 am

                This is … not true. Many Muslim women wear bright clothing. And all Muslim women are allowed to wear whatever they want, no matter what you think about it.

                This sort of rhetoric is Islamophobic and contributes to the increase in hate crimes again Muslims we’ve seen since Trump was elected.

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              • Pete November 16, 2016 at 10:10 am

                I am not Islamophobic, and accusing me of that is completely unfounded and uncalled for.

                This is absolutely true of Muslim women from certain sects in certain countries; typically more conservative and/or oppressive ones. I’ve traveled throughout UAE and Qatar, on the other hand, where women do wear bright colors. Note that I used the word may for a reason, as it depends on the person’s upbringing, much as the way some Amish or Mennonite may be raised more strictly than in neighboring practices.

                My comment was prompted by an experience I had walking my dogs. Since the time and temperature change I wear one of my hi-viz jackets as a wind breaker and to be better seen, and my wife and I were talking about this subject when a female Muslim neighbor jogged by in dark street clothes wearing a dark hijab. We later saw her and asked what country she’s from (Iran) while walking with her a ways, and if her choice of colors had to do with Islam (she said yes). I asked if she’d consider wearing a jacket like the one I had on, and she said it wouldn’t be appropriate for her. This morning I ran into my other neighbor Naban (a Muslim from Bangladesh who I got into bicycle commuting) and asked him about women wearing bright colors as well. My wife and I have a laugh when we see Naban’s wife wearing black from head to toe, because she often sports a pair of classic red Converse high-tops underneath, but Naban told me it’s frowned upon for the women in his culture.

                Again, let’s not forget the main point… there may actually be a reason why a bicyclist or pedestrian is not wearing hi-viz or fluorescent clothing, even if they’re crossing the street on a dark, rainy night.

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              • wsbob November 17, 2016 at 11:08 am

                “…Again, let’s not forget the main point… there may actually be a reason why a bicyclist or pedestrian is not wearing hi-viz or fluorescent clothing, even if they’re crossing the street on a dark, rainy night. …” pete

                Question is whether the reason, is good enough to risk life and limb while engaged in something so mundane as walking or biking down the street in low visibility conditions where motor vehicles and other vehicles are in use.

                Consider the Amish out west of the Mississippi, in Pennsylvania and whatnot, in their black horse-drawn buggies. I kind of remember that they didn’t used to display a red tail light on the back of their rigs. Over time, collisions occurred in part because of this lack of visibility equipment…and then reason prevailed, actually having to go to the point of mandating by law, that the Amish display tail lights on their rigs.

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              • Pete November 18, 2016 at 4:14 pm

                wsbob: “…mandating by law, that the Amish display tail lights on their rigs.”

                I’m curious about this. It seems to vary by county whether it’s nothing, a reflective triangle, or a light. In the case of a mandatory taillight, I wonder if it’s selective enforcement, much like automobile equipment violations have become? We now have 150 lumen tail lights, which are a far cry from most of the cheap ones out there, but do buggy regulations mandate a certain battery power, and/or visible distance?

                For a car, lights are an easy requirement because your engine won’t work without sufficient battery power to light them, and they can even turn on automatically with daylight sensors. As a kid I remember having to get my car lights inspected every year, which included headlight aim, turn signals, your lenses had to be clean and clear, etc. Nowadays it seems just probing a tailpipe for hydrocarbons is adequate… I guess protecting our future is slightly more important than protecting our present (and I say ‘slightly’ because NOX emission standards are still somewhat lenient thanks to the freight industry, so we’re fighting for the ozone layer but not our own lungs).

                I’m pretty sure you already know we’re on the same page when it comes to visibility best practices, but the technicalities and implications of ‘well-meaning’ regulations are always of interest to me.

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              • q November 19, 2016 at 12:11 am

                wsbob–there are so many reasons why someone might be crossing–or walking along–a street on a dark, rainy night without wearing high-visibility clothes. Maybe they’ve left work and need to walk to their car, or walk to the bus and then from the bus to home, and they don’t want to change their clothes for the walk. Maybe they didn’t accurately predict that it would be raining. Maybe they didn’t intend to be walking in the dark, but their last meeting ran late. Maybe they had to stop at the store and it took longer than they thought. Maybe their reflective cape is in the wash that day.

                Not everyone walking in the dark is a commuter or runner who can change into special night-walking clothes before heading out.

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            • 9watts November 14, 2016 at 6:26 pm

              “If you are in the middle of a dark street (walking or riding) on a dark rainy night in all black clothing and get hit it is your fault. The police have agreed with me on hundreds of occasions – and the courts have backed them up.”

              On hundreds of occasions? Are you a cop? Do you have the cops-who-always-agree-with-you on speed dial?
              I concede that you may be right in so far as the cops do seem to hold this biased view, but luckily this matter of walking-at-night-with-dark-clothes is handled rather differently in other countries. Fault is not automatically assigned, etc.

              “Cars do not stop instantly. Have you ever driven a car on a rainy night? It’s hard to see.”

              Of course it is hard to see out of a car on a rainy night. But as a pedestrian or cyclist this is not my problem. Driving distracted or drunk or too fast for conditions and not hitting someone can also be difficult. But we don’t experience any confusion about whose fault that is, do we?

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            • q November 14, 2016 at 8:00 pm

              When I drive on a rainy night, most drivers are going every bit as fast (several miles over the speed limit) as if it were a sunny Sunday morning. They know visibility is worse, but they don’t slow down to account for that, despite it being the law.

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              • Robert Burchett November 16, 2016 at 10:41 am

                True, and it’s even worse than that in my opinion. I frequently notice that some people in cars start to drive more aggressively at the onset of rain. As if their butts were getting wet!

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            • GlowBoy November 15, 2016 at 7:08 am

              The law is quite clear.

              Cyclists, when operating on the road as vehicles, must meet minimum conspicuity requirements including front light and rear reflector.

              As a pedestrians, however, a person has absolute right of way over vehicles ANY time they are legally in ANY crosswalk. No matter what they’re wearing, and no matter how dark and rainy it is out. There is NEVER an excuse for a vehicle hitting a person legally in a crosswalk.

              Personally, I generally don’t wear dark clothing when I’m out and about at night, and usually try to wear at least some light color or even something reflective. But if I choose to wear all dark colors, I have the right to do it, and drivers still need to yield. If they can’t see me, then they are violating the Basic Speed Law. Period.

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              • 9watts November 15, 2016 at 7:56 am

                “But if I choose to wear all dark colors, I have the right to do it, and drivers still need to yield.”

                Or you could opt to wear no clothes at all….

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              • q November 16, 2016 at 11:36 am

                You do have a constitutional right to at least bare arms.

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              • wsbob November 15, 2016 at 10:19 am

                “…But if I choose to wear all dark colors, I have the right to do it, and drivers still need to yield. If they can’t see me, then they are violating the Basic Speed Law. Period.” glowboy

                And if they hit you, in part because you did nothing to help yourself be reasonably visible to them, while they may have violated the basic speed law, but not necessarily so…it’s likely you’re still injured, or worse.

                Under what circumstances is a close examination of the specifics of basic speed laws relative to visibility of pedestrians and vulnerable road users to people driving, going to find against a person driving that collided with someone walking along the road, visible to people driving to a much lower degree than the road itself?

                Basic speed laws, I think are designed to regulate people driving according to visibility and other conditions, so they won’t run off the road or into each other. It’s the visibility of the road and what’s on it that’s the guide for appropriate mph speed, which is why roads are marked with reflective paint and in some places, have streetlights: so the road can be reasonably visible. People driving have an unconditional obligation to yield to pedestrians…I would say, and I think many would agree…to the extent they are reasonably visible.

                Something…maybe anything used by vulnerable road users to aid visibility of themselves in poor visibility conditions to people driving, may suffice for ‘reasonably visible’, but I don’t think only dark clothes that motor vehicle headlights can’t highlight from the surroundings, would.

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              • q November 15, 2016 at 1:56 pm

                So when you’re writing about people being able to see what’s on the road, and not running into each other, why aren’t you including pedestrians in that, when they have reasons to be on the road (crossing it, walking alongside it in the absence of sidewalks, etc.) that are equally legitimate to cars being on it?

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              • wsbob November 16, 2016 at 12:32 am

                “…So when you’re writing about people being able to see what’s on the road, and not running into each other, why aren’t you including pedestrians in that, …” q

                Reference to pedestrians is included in my comment…and in fact, the subject of visibility of people on foot to people on the road driving, is a central feature of what I wrote, and of what some of us commenting here have been discussing.

                Is there a danger of some pedestrians not being visible to other pedestrians in their use of the road? Maybe this is what you’re asking. Yes, there is such a danger, but at a walking speed of about 3 mph, it’s not a terribly serious danger. On the other hand, people running, which also are pedestrians…encountering in low visibility conditions, people walking that aren’t reasonably visible to someone running, may put both the person running and the person walking at risk of a collision involving just the two of them.

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              • Robert Burchett November 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

                Judicial activism here, wsbob. “. . .to the extent that they are reasonably visible.” What would Scalia say?

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              • wsbob November 17, 2016 at 10:58 am

                “Judicial activism here, wsbob. “. . .to the extent that they are reasonably visible.” What would Scalia say? burchett

                Beyond some guessing, I have little idea what Scalia would say. Being late, passed away, it would be kind of difficult for him to say anything about what would constitute ‘reasonably visible’ relative to people using the road by various modes of travel.

                Despite being a conservative when he was chief justice on the supreme court, on something like practical, everyday matters, such as trying to walk down the road safely where visibility conditions are bad and motor vehicles are in use…I’d have a hard time believing that he’d come up with some interpretation from the constitution suggesting that vulnerable road users do not have a responsibility and an obligation to take various measures enabling them to be safe road users; including the use of at least some gear that would enable the person walking, biking, etc to be somewhat as visible in the headlight beams of motor vehicles, to people driving…as are the painted, reflective lines on the road, MUTCD approved signs, and so forth.

                Back in the days of horse and buggy, when there were no such thing as distance penetrating headlights such as modern motor vehicles have, and no street lights, I’d bet that use of some kind of lantern while walking the roads, would have been highly recommended.

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        • q November 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm

          Are you saying lights are a necessity for people walking? And who is “they”? Are you saying motor vehicles are required to have lights? Or cyclists, or people walking? And if PBOT wants pedestrians to be better seen by drivers, why not focus on telling drivers to slow down and pay more attention so they can see pedestrians better, instead of telling pedestrians to change their clothes? And what difference does reflective clothing make to the people being run over by drivers texting or otherwise not paying attention? Those same drivers are running into cars that have bright headlights and taillights.

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          • Dan A November 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm

            I have no idea what IVFT is even doing here besides trolling.

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            • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

              Hi Dan A.,

              I’m approving all of I Voted for Trump!’s comments. I’ve only deleted a few (out of about 40) that I felt were not appropriate. If you think he/she has written something that warrants moderation or deletion please let me know. Thanks.

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              • Dan A November 14, 2016 at 6:21 pm

                As best I can tell, IVFT appeared immediately after the election results to gloat, and hasn’t done much since then except to suggest that bikes don’t belong on the road and people deserve to be hit if they aren’t dressed appropriately. I don’t get the impression that IVFT has ever so much as sat on a bike. So, I question why he is even here. Just my opinion. Perhaps he could explain why….

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              • Alan 1.0 November 15, 2016 at 7:39 pm

                The artist currently known as IVFT has been here stirring the pot for years under other socks. He says he rides bikes; I believe that.

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              • Dan A November 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm

                His voice definitely sounds eerily familiar. I can’t place the last moniker…

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          • Pete November 14, 2016 at 2:27 pm

            “Those same drivers are running into cars that have bright headlights and taillights.”

            Hell, some of those same drivers can’t even keep from running into large, well-marked stores in the middle of the daytime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJEp_o9TkHo

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            • Slug November 14, 2016 at 6:44 pm

              So true, here’s another local example. It would be a fun video roundup to collect a bunch of recent cars into large stationary objects clips
              https://youtu.be/yr2dGUsCpsc

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              • Pete November 15, 2016 at 10:09 am

                So a “Crashup Mashup” of sorts? You’d find plenty of material.

                This always pops into my mind when this subject arises:
                http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2007/12/03/cyclists-furious-as-council-paint-everything-else-luminous-green. There’s a good point buried in here, which is that people (who likely never wear it) talk about reflective clothing as if it’s cheap.

                Personally I think that public funding for “education” about visibility would be better spent on existing local programs that hand out free lights to underprivileged cyclists.

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              • El Biciclero November 16, 2016 at 2:33 pm

                “So a “Crashup Mashup” of sorts?”

                The Monday Rundown.

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        • Tim November 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm

          Drives are also required to stop for pedestrians at all pedestrian crossings, but only stop about 10% of the time in daylight with clearly visible pedestrians. So either 90% of drivers are too vision impaired to drive, or visibility is not the problem.

          Today I saw an elderly gentleman trying to cross the street, So I waved my yellow reflectorized arm at drives trying to get them to stop – nobody stopped.

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          • I voted for Trump! November 14, 2016 at 2:24 pm

            I’ve experienced the same. Lots of folks apparently do not know the law when it comes to crosswalks. I always wait until there are no cars coming before I try to cross. Once in a while someone who knows the law will stop for you and I’ve seen cars behind them almost rear end them because they were not expecting them to stop in the middle of the road; or some cars may pass the stopped car which has resulted in some peds being hit.

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            • Chris I November 14, 2016 at 2:49 pm

              The vast majority know the law. They are too selfish or indifferent to stop for someone else. Their time is more important than your time. What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you just buy a car?

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            • q November 14, 2016 at 8:04 pm

              And that’s the main problem–dangerous driving. Not pedestrians’ outfits.

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            • resopmok November 15, 2016 at 7:42 am

              You should probably use your political clout to leverage for more regulation of driving so that people are following the law. Those that can’t drive according to the basic speed law, they should be deported or jailed, yes?

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              • Dan A November 15, 2016 at 8:32 am

                You would suggest jail or deportation? I would suggest removal of driving privileges, and removal of the vehicle if they continue to drive.

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              • resopmok November 15, 2016 at 4:22 pm

                I forgot to include my sarcasm tag.. Jailing and deportation was meant as a tongue in cheek expression about Trump’s hard-line stance on crime.

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              • Dan A November 15, 2016 at 4:41 pm

                Oh right, duh.

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  • jeff November 14, 2016 at 11:40 am

    The Brown Bike Girl article is linking to the Big Marsh article

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  • Rob November 14, 2016 at 11:42 am

    courtney williams link goes to chicago

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  • Spiffy November 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm
  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Sorry the article with Courtney Williams had the wrong link. Thanks for pointing that out! It has been fixed.

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  • Dick Button November 14, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I like calling it “Donald Trumps America” that seems to really get the blood pumping.

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    • Anne Hawley
      Anne Hawley November 14, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      The missing apostrophe is intentional, right?

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      • Dick Button November 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm

        Adds to the overall quality of the remark I think.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm

        It is… there are at least two of them.

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  • Champs November 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Before you get too wrapped around the idea that wealthy private investors might take the loss on privatized roads: remember that *these* are the people who get “FREE STUFF” like stadiums, skilled labor, and roads. The money’s coming from your private savings and large institutional investors, i.e. robbing Peter to pay PERS.

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  • bikeninja November 14, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    The privatization thing is ok if done selectively. We can sell both sets of bridges over the columbia to a private operator who can charges tolls based on the weight of the vehicle crossing. Then the funds from the sale can go to extending the yellow line to vancouver, and building bike and transit infrastructure all over Portland.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Shortage of money is not why the Yellow Line was not extended to Vancouver. People there don’t seem to want it.

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      • Spiffy November 14, 2016 at 1:24 pm

        plenty of people want it, but city commissioners/counselors don’t… and the anti voices are always louder than the pro voices…

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm

          I meant “the people” as a body, not every individual. As we all know, populations are not always in full agreement when they make decisions.

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        • JeffS November 14, 2016 at 1:34 pm

          Please define plenty.

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      • Chris I November 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        The residents of the CITY of Vancouver wanted it, by a decent majority. The residents of the transit/walkability wasteland that is Clark County, did not want it, by overwhelming majority.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 1:53 pm

          Damn electoral college, thwarting the will of the people again…

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      • bikeninja November 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        They will change their mind quickly when faced with a $15* toll to cross the river in their SUV. * $15 is the current toll on the George Washington Bridge in NYC.

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        • Chris I November 14, 2016 at 2:50 pm

          That would be a game-changer for the region.

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  • wsbob November 14, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    “Pedestrians can wear whatever they want.

    If you can’t see a human being on the road in front of you, you’re driving too fast.

    BE STREET SMART DRIVE SLOWER” headline statement in picture atop this story.

    Yes, pedestrians can…wear whatever they want on the street. If what they wear may not be highlighted by motor vehicle headlights, is it wise or responsible for them to otherwise not have done something than particular selection of clothing, to enable their visibility to people driving, or for that matter, biking?

    The adage or message is equally or even more importantly directed to and received by vulnerable road users. It’s they whose life and limb is at risk in a collision with a motor vehicle or a bike, or someone on a skateboard.

    This is not a subject to make jokes about, or to sarcastically imagine that admonition made to people that drive, will alleviate the danger to vulnerable road users from the relatively small number of people driving, that drive carelessly or do not have the kind of extraordinary vision that will enable them to discern someone on foot or bike that the vehicle’s headlights are not able to highlight from the surroundings.

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    • 9watts November 14, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      “This is not a subject to make jokes about, or to sarcastically imagine that admonition made to people that drive, will alleviate the danger to vulnerable road users from the relatively small number of people driving, that drive carelessly or do not have the kind of extraordinary vision that will enable them to discern someone on foot or bike that the vehicle’s headlights are not able to highlight from the surroundings.”

      Extraordinary vision?

      How about slowing down enough so you can see the unreflective persons?

      The point isn’t to ‘sarcastically imagine that admonition will alleviate the danger,’ but rather the opposite: the continued a priori shifting of blame onto pedestrians gives motorists a free pass not to slow down, not to look. We must reverse, undo, take back this license to kill. We need to get to a point where people realize they will face severe, unaffordable consequences if they fail to see someone through their windshield under these circumstances, and once they do you can be sure they’ll pay much, much closer attention. Sometimes called Vision Zero.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Everything is a subject to make jokes about… er… not that I would or anything…

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  • Bjorn November 14, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I want to see a better connection between the current dead end of the going greenway at 72nd and Gateway Green. Currently getting in between those two places is not pleasant.

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    • Oliver November 14, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Getting to Gateway Green and Rocky Butte are both terrible.

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  • Champs November 14, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Once and for all, how about NO to long bike/ped underpasses? Isolated out-of-sight places don’t come to mind when I think of safety. I was certainly glad to be in the open when a man tried to rob my girlfriend this weekend.

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    • Chris I November 14, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Where was this? Just curious.

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      • Champs November 16, 2016 at 10:36 am

        SE 6th & Washington.

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    • B. Carfree November 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly. Bike underpasses would be fine in a civilized society, but we don’t have that. The result is that many folks will only take so much harassment while attempting to ride their bikes and eventually just give up and get back into a car. Once lost, it’s tough to get these people back, at least in my experience.

      Underpasses may be cheaper than overpasses to build, but if they either depress ridership or require extensive police services to keep them safe (or for them to be perceived as safe), then they’re counterproductive.

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      • GlowBoy November 15, 2016 at 7:13 am

        Whenever I’m in one of those underpasses I keep wondering if the Dementors are going to come for me this time.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 15, 2016 at 10:30 am

          You can usually feel them lurking nearby.

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      • MIke Sanders November 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm

        I have a thing about heights, so I avoid the ped overpass above I-205 near Mall 205. Built when the freeway was completed in the 1970’s, it’s way too high off the ground (presumably to allow 18-wheelers to pass underneath it with plenty to spare), basically unlit, way too narrow, and it’s not fenced to prevent people from throwing junk onto the traffic below. A short underpass, like the one along the Springwater trail under I-205 is fine, but it needs to be better lit (and so does the 205/Springwater trail crossing a short distance west of that).

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  • Todd Boulanger November 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Corrected PSA – Regarding Pedestrians Wearing Whatever They Want…the point is a very good one…how many police crash reports / news reports shame car owners for their vehicles “wearing” dark colours after being struck by another driver when parked or moving? None.

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    • James November 14, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Cars are required to have head lights, side markers, and brake lights.

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      • 9watts November 14, 2016 at 6:37 pm

        yes. cars are commonly driven at speed by people who we learn hear can’t see very well what is going on outside of them. None of this is true of a person walking down the street.

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        • Dan A November 15, 2016 at 6:32 am

          And they frequently mix up the gas and brake pedals. 16,000 crashes per year attributed to stepping on the wrong pedal!

          https://blog.gasbuddy.com/posts/NHTSA-16-000-crashes-annually-are-caused-by-pedal-error/1715-613669-3072.aspx

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          • El Biciclero November 16, 2016 at 10:36 am

            That article is hilarious. I have a theory about why “pedal error” occurs: two-foot driving an automatic transmission. If you want to use your left foot to drive with, get a manual transmission.

            I find it hard to believe that one’s foot “slipping off the brake” onto the accelerator is the cause of very many of these. Anyone who has any business being behind the wheel would a) not be stomping so hard at a pedal that a slip-off would be unrecoverable, and b) would be able to detect that one’s foot was on the edge of the pedal and in danger of slipping off prior to it actually happening. And “…when the driver intends to apply only the brake, but steps on both the brake and the accelerator” can only really happen if using both feet. Every car I’ve ever driven has had the brake pedal high enough above and to the side of the gas pedal that unless one is really trying to do an intentional “heel-and-toe” in one’s Ferrari, hitting both pedals with one foot is impossible. And the advice to “aim for the middle”? How does one do that, exactly, without looking down to see where the pedal is to make sure you’re hitting the middle of it?

            If you are a touch typist, you have probably typed an “i” instead of an “e” (or vice-versa, or a similar left hand vs. right hand typo) on occasion. Pedal error.

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            • GlowBoy November 16, 2016 at 9:57 pm

              Yes, nearly* all so-called “unintended acceleration” incidents can be attributed to pedal error. And yes, they pretty much all involve automatic transmissions. I drive a manual myself, but I’m well aware I’m in about the 2% of drivers now, so the “should have gotten a manual” point of view doesn’t apply much anymore.

              In the vast majority of these incidents (including one I witnessed years ago), the driver had just gotten behind the wheel within the past minute or two. In other words, they had just sat down, maybe not quite straight, and weren’t quite sure where their feet were supposed to go. This also explains the common explanation “I pushed on the brake pedal as hard as I could, and the car still ran away from me!” They really did believe their foot was on the brake pedal, when it was in fact on the gas.

              * In fairness, there have been a handful of exceptions: a few years ago there were several Toyota models (Priuses and Lexus ES300s among them) that had problems with floormats slipping and trapping their poorly designed gas pedals against the floor. Conventional wisdom holds that even in these rare cases, the car’s engine shouldn’t be capable of overpowering their brakes, and applying them firmly should still stop the car. However, the infamous Saylor incident proved this wrong. An ES300 driven by Mark Saylor – a former CHP officer – accelerated unexpectedly from normal highway speed to nearly 100 mph, and in the driver’s attempts to slow this powerful car from these high speeds, the brakes overheated, boiling the fluid. The car’s brakes failed completely, resulting in a horrific and fiery high speed wreck that killed Saylor and his 3 passengers. It didn’t help that this car had a POWER button that won’t shut off the engine unless you hold it for a full 3 seconds (an eternity in an emergency, and most unsuspecting drivers would probably not know to do it) and a joystick-style electronic transmission control where moving the stick to “N” doesn’t immediately do anything either.

              These are the same controls as on Priuses (and many other cars now) by the way: if you ever drive one one of these vehicles (possibly as a rental or loaner car – Saylor was in fact driving a dealership loaner car), be sure you understand the non-intuitive emergency-shutdown procedure before you put it in Drive. Very rare stuff, but good to be aware of.

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        • wsbob November 17, 2016 at 10:30 am

          With the car’s headlights in poor visibility conditions, the vast majority of people driving, apparently see the road and what’s on it, well enough to avoid collisions with everything that’s able to be made visible by the car’s headlights.

          It’s somewhat of a mystery why some people walking and biking, either neglect to, or choose not to equip themselves with something that would enable the motor vehicle’s headlights to have such persons be visible to people driving.

          If the person driving is not looking at what’s in the beam of the motor vehicle headlights, or is distracted, or driving too fast…that’s a separate problem.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      You say “none”, but it has been well known for as long as I can remember that black cars are more dangerous to drive because they are harder for other drivers to see, especially at night, leading to a higher probability of crashes. So maybe not the police, but safety-conscious drivers have been aware of this for decades.

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    • q November 14, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      Good point. I just googled “what color car is safest”. Sounds like white cars are in fewer crashes than colors like black, gray and silver in daytime. Maybe white car drivers are more careful? My guess is just more visible. My experience driving is black is hard to see at night, gray and silver in day…Also having lights on in day is mentioned as being associated with fewer crashes.

      In fact I’ve never seen anything mentioned in a police report about vehicles in regard to anything–color, condition, age, safety features–other than type of car, except for the recent St. John’s Bridge crash vehicle having bald tires. First case of a car’s condition ever being a factor in a crash? Not likely.

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  • dbrunker November 14, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I’m going to assume that the second sentence isn’t trolling.

    We are still in the Obama Era until February. Blaming Trump for what’s happening now is like blaming Obama for the 2008 financial crisis.

    In 2008 Obama got 69 million votes, McCain got about 60 million votes.
    In 2016 Clinton got about 61 million votes, Trump got about 60 million votes (about the same as Romney in 2012).

    Clinton didn’t lose because an explosion in xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia and racism caused a flood of people to push Trump into the lead. Clinton lost because over EIGHT MILLION members of her own party didn’t vote for her.

    If you want references search Wikipedia for “United States presidential election, 2008” There’s a link to 2012 which has a link to 2016.

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    • BB November 14, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      It doesn’t matter why Hillary Clinton did or did not win an election. The fact is that because the electoral college has decided that Donald Trump is to be our next president, there are people who feel that this validates his hateful rhetoric that was ongoing during his campaign, and they are willing to act on that. This is how we are in the era of Trump, regardless of when our current President’s actual last day in office is.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 4:41 pm

        The electoral college didn’t decide, voters decided (though, I suppose, the college will decide on Dec. 14… but they were elected by the people). Everyone knew the rules going in. Voters chose Trump. Many may come to regret that choice, but that’s the choice they made.

        Complaining about the electoral college now is a bit like complaining that your chess opponent promoted their pawn to a queen.

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        • BarBarian November 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm

          Way to take one sentence out of context and elaborate on your personal viewpoint while failing to address the actual point of what you were replying to..

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 8:39 pm

            I was going to add that I agreed with the rest of the post, but then I didn’t. Your criticism is a fair one.

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        • Chris I November 15, 2016 at 10:13 am

          So now we’re comparing a voting system that disenfranchises millions of people to a game? This is a serious problem for our country, and more people need to be upset about it.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 15, 2016 at 10:37 am

            The voting system, while highly flawed, does not disenfranchise people. Unless you also think that Montana getting as many senators as California disenfranchises voters in the Golden State.

            I apologize for comparing presidential politics to chess. That was an unfair denigration of chess.

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            • Alex Reedin November 17, 2016 at 4:51 pm

              Well, both the current Electoral College realities and the makeup of the Senate make some people’s votes (disproportionately, white people) more important than other people (disproportionately minorities, and in the case of the Senate, in more urban states). I think both are unjust relics of the U.S.’s history as fractious states that might actually not join together and had to be bribed to stay together. Personally, I think both the electoral college and the Senate should be re-done to more equally count people’s votes. Not that I think that’s happening anytime soon.

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            • resopmok November 18, 2016 at 8:41 am

              There’s a strong argument to be made that the criminal justice system unfairly targets a certain demographic of the population which, once they have been convicted of a felony, are no longer eligible to vote. This can be easily pointed to as a method that the “voting system” disenfranchises people in the modern day.

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        • Eric Leifsdad November 15, 2016 at 10:57 am

          The electoral college should either serve its purpose (prevent an unqualified candidate from entering the white house) or get out of the way (uphold the popular vote.)

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      • dbrunker November 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm

        Can you back up your claims with more than anecdotal evidence? Do you think all sixty million Trump voters are roaming the streets, carrying out acts of hate and/or violence? Isn’t that just replacing one form of prejudice with another?

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        • Dan A November 14, 2016 at 11:39 pm

          “…there are people who feel that this validates his hateful rhetoric that was ongoing during his campaign, and they are willing to act on that…”

          Where did you get all sixty million from? “there are people” equals “everybody”?

          We already know some people are feeling more free to act out on their previously submerged feelings:

          http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/w-v-mayor-friend-joke-michelle-obama-ape-heels-article-1.2873128

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          • dbrunker November 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm

            That’s why I said, “…with more than anecdotal evidence”. Unless it’s requested of me by the moderators I’m not going to flood a bicycle news comment section with links to stories of CEOs threatening their Trump supporting employees or wanting to kill Donald Trump outright or the multiple news stories about high school students attacked for supporting Trump or the multiple news stories (which include arrests) of Trump supporters being attacked and hospitalized in politically motivated violence. We can go back and forth on this all day. You’re going to have to have some reliable statistics to support your claim.

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    • B. Carfree November 14, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Since the votes aren’t all tallied yet, with over seven million votes in NY and CA awaiting tabulation, the percentage difference between HRC and DJT is yet to be determined. The estimates of where that’s going to end up that I’ve seen peg it at about 2% in HRC’s favor. To put that in perspective, when George Herbert Walker Bush was elected in 1988, we considered his 4% margin in the popular vote to be enormous.

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    • Beaverton_Biker November 17, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      This might be relevant or funny if it was a story about a protest that occurred in one of the 12 states that actually matter during an election. Oregon has cast their Electoral College votes for the Democratic party since 1988 (http://www.270towin.com/states/Oregon) so there is nothing to be gained by increasing voter turnout or by ridiculing disenfranchised young Oregonians who did not vote in this election.

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  • James November 15, 2016 at 7:26 am

    q
    What you wrote would make sense if it were true. But lots of people –especially PBOT with its safety campaign–are NOT saying pedestrians only need bright clothes, lights and reflectors if they’re walking in the middle of the street. They’re applying it to all pedestrians, which only spreads the idea that any pedestrian dressing normally is irresponsible.
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    I’m on the wrong side of this then. I thought they meant just people using the street for running, or walking in roadway. I honestly don’t think people walking down the Park Blocks for example should be wearing safety equipment. However if your walking in the street, no sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic so you can get out of the way (which you shouldn’t have to, but yea, reality).

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  • Robert Burchett November 16, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I think that if one is using the transportation network, they have a responsibility to not only look out for others but to also make it easier for others . . .

    It’s my .choice. to give MV operators a little help and I do. It’s their .legal responsibility. not to run into other people

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