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The Monday Roundup: A vision zero must-read, Trek prez on Trump, ADA and e-MTBs, and more

Posted by on November 28th, 2016 at 10:33 am

“If you have places in your system where you have unprotected road users and protected road users, according to Vision Zero you can’t allow a higher speed than 30 kilometers per hour [18.6 mph].”
— Matts-Ake Belin, Director of the Vision Zero Academy at Sweden’s transportation agency via Citylab

Welcome back from the long weekend everyone. Hope you had time to enjoy your friends, your family, and yourself. We’ve got another full week of news cooking for you. But before we dive in, make sure you check out the best bike and transportation-related news we came across last week…

Straight dope on Vision Zero: This week’s must-read is Citylab’s interview with Sweden’s head traffic safety strategist. I wish all U.S. electeds and engineers would adopt his perspective — or at least print out this article, tape it to the wall of their cubicle, and bring it to their project meetings.

Rare candor about “safety”: It’s rare to have a city staffer admit so bluntly that political reality was put ahead of vulnerable road user safety.

Wheelchair bike program takes off: ‘Healing Rides’ is the name of a new program in Illinois that gets wheelchair users out on the trails thanks to volunteers on customized bikes.

Seattle’s bike share saga: Seattle city council has made the end of Pronto official by setting a shutdown date. Read all about it on Seattle Bike Blog.

Daily bike riders = hunter-gatherers: People in Africa that still hunt-and-gather daily have excellent health and new research underscores the importance of daily physical activity. So keep riding your bike and you should be fine too.

More wilderness at Crater Lake: Conservation groups want to vastly expand the amount of federally-designated wilderness areas near Crater Lake in southern Oregon, a policy that would prohibit expansion of cycling access.

Trek president on Trump: Trek Bicycles President John Burke has 12 “pieces of advice” for Trump and says, “Like it or not, Mr. Trump will be the President and we should give him a chance.”


Trump infrastructure plan 101: City Observatory has published a guide to Trump’s infrastructure plan and what smart analysts are saying about it.

ADA meets e-MTBs: A woman with a muscular disease who rides a electric-assisted MTB says she should have access to non-motorized roads and trails under the American with Disabilities Act. The Forest Service disagrees.

‘Driving mode’ for smartphones: People respect airline safety enough to use ‘Airplane mode’ while flying — so why don’t phone makers have a ‘driving mode’? That’s one suggestion in a new set of guidelines from the federal government aimed at discouraging distraction.

Portland’s 37th traffic death: A man was arrested for homicide on Saturday because he drove his truck into and killed a man who was walking across SE Stark at 160th. The deceased man was in a crosswalk that had a rapid flash beacon turned on at the time of the collision.

Seat belts in school buses: Every state has mandatory bicycle helmet laws for kids. So why not require seat belts in school buses?

Bicycles rule: For some women and girls in India and Kenya having access to a bicycle is about much more than simply getting from A-to-B.

Thanks to everyone who sent us suggestions via email and flagged articles on Twitter (which where we find most of these).

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Mike 2 November 28, 2016 at 10:41 am

    “a policy that would prohibit expansion of cycling access.”

    Worse than that – it would remove some current amazing mtb trails out of Oakridge.

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    • Alex November 30, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Oakridge is nowhere near Crater Lake. Designating Crater Lake a wilderness would not affect a mountain biking trail within 45 miles of Oakridge.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. November 28, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Anyone who thinks that you know who’s transportation plan won’t be a massive handout to oil and asphalt companies is fooling themselves.

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    • Pete November 28, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      You don’t need to be a “smart analyst” (Jonathan’s words) to decipher the Trump infrastructure privatization plan. I already privately invest in my state’s infrastructure – I hold municipal bonds. They offer me a (very) small tax break, (very) little return on investment, and (some) social well-being. Otherwise, the only private investors foolish enough to invest in a profit-loss play like American infrastructure are the ones who have a vested stake in the companies providing it… like you say.

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      • bottom bracket November 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

        Are you familiar with how DJT handled the Wollman Ice Skating Rink in New York City? The city had spent 6 years and millions of dollars attempting to repair it so it would make ice. After 6 years, no ice. They announced they would need 2 more years and millions of dollars to finish the job. Trump had watched the whole mess for 6 years. He told the city he’d do the job in 6 months for free if he could operate the rink and an adjacent restaurant. Finally they agreed. He finished the job in about 4 months, 25% under his budget and people were finally able to skate. If he can do that with other infrastructure in the country, I say HAVE AT IT.

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        • Eric Leifsdad November 29, 2016 at 10:11 pm

          What’s NYC’s ice-skating mode share these days? More or less than unicycles?

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        • Pete November 30, 2016 at 10:52 am

          The rink and adjacent restaurant are clearly profitable ventures, or he wouldn’t have risked his investment on such. I think you missed my point about the “profitability” of American infrastructure, and I don’t want my safety dependent upon the ambitious underbidding of privatized contractors.

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        • dwk November 30, 2016 at 11:27 am

          Nice cherry picking….
          Trump also went bankrupt with a casino…..
          A real business genius.

          “Trump funded the construction of the $1 billion Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J., which opened in 1990, primarily with junk bonds at a whopping 14 percent interest. A year later, the casino was nearly $3 billion in debt, while Trump had racked up nearly $900 million in personal liabilities.”

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          • bottom bracket November 30, 2016 at 1:43 pm

            We are all free to invest in any thing permitted by law. Junk bonds are permitted and some people buy them because they pay high interest but they are high risk. It’s called investing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t win.

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        • wsbob November 30, 2016 at 12:35 pm

          I’d heard some weeks ago, about trump being a white knight in rescuing Wolman Rink from seemingly interminable disrepair…that’s the rink in Central Park, not the rink in Rockefeller Center. I did a web search, found a couple stories of interest, link to one of them:

          In that story, jump down to and read the entire paragraph that includes the following excerpt (though the entire article is well worth reading.):

          “…Plus, the city was limited by a review process and by hiring the lowest-bidding contractor. As a private entity, Trump was able to ignore all that, paying contractors at below cost by promising more work later on in one of his many projects. …” bloomberg

          Link to another story on the rink revival, this one funnier and more admiring of trump, but less incisive than the other story:

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          • bottom bracket November 30, 2016 at 5:44 pm

            bottom line is he got ‘er done at no cost to the city and in 4 months, not the 8 years that they wanted to take. see the difference?

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            • Pete December 1, 2016 at 8:21 am

              Yeah, we don’t need no stinkin’ “review process”…

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            • Pete December 1, 2016 at 8:23 am

              Just wait until the banking executive he hired to oversee banking regulation gets rid of all of their “review processes” as well.

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            • wsbob December 1, 2016 at 9:32 am

              I see the difference…of course, because I read the articles I provided the links to in my comment above. Are we talking about all the differences, or
              just some of the differences? There’s more to this success with the Woman Rink, than just the budget and time show he produced.

              Exactly how trump was able to get the rink job completed, under budget and within set time constraints, can only be inferred in those articles, and isn’t discussed in great detail, but basically, the suggestion is that as a private business person, he had none of the constraints the city had. He could hire and fire whoever he wanted, whenever he wanted…pay them the lowest rate of money they’d take, in exchange for sweetheart deals down the road.

              Some people want to think the pres elect is some kind of wunderkind that, by virtue of his prowess as an independent businessman, will be able to use those same tactics to bring the U.S. back around to the days on their minds, when they had better paying jobs than they have now.

              More power to him…if he can do it without reverting to the old, ‘ in the rise to greatness, some people and their interests are expendable’ hierarchy. As a socially conscious businessman, examples exist showing that trump has unfortunately, been far from a model citizen. As a recent story on the NYtimes reports, the people of Balmedie, Scotland have had first had experience with who trump is as a person and a businessman:


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              • wsbob December 1, 2016 at 9:34 am

                geez…Correction….intended to write ‘Wolman Rink”.

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              • Pete December 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

                The problem is these are tactical moves, and a President needs to be strategic. As with the Carrier deal, he spends a bunch of time keeping 1K jobs in a country of over 300M people (so he can “look at me!” on twitter), yet has not published an economic policy to address the deficit or thwart inflation while paying for tax breaks. He and Ryan say they’ll fight “EPA bullies” and put coal miners back to work, but the biggest users of coal-fired plants are in China, the same country he’s saying we’ll tariff imports from. He’s also repeatedly lashed out against renewable energy, but he can do nothing to reverse the planned US offshore wind farms and small-hydro dam conversions already in the works, just continue to make enemies with people in that business (as your Scotland article also mentions).

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              • bottom bracket December 3, 2016 at 8:39 pm

                Trump says he will put tariffs on products from China. What does he say? 30% tariffs? Can’t remember, but he’s using these body blows to soften them up and be happy with a lower number. He IS a genius at making deals.

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              • Pete December 4, 2016 at 1:18 pm

                “He IS a genius at making deals.”

                Yeah, I’ve read “Art of the Deal,” and learned nothing more about fiscal policy or international relations from it. (And no, he didn’t invent threatening tariffs as a tactic). The Chinese own over 70% of our bonded debt, so they are just as worried about inflation as the American citizen should now be.

                “What does he say? 30% tariffs?”

                Who knows minute by minute what comes out of his mouth (I don’t follow Tweeter), but it was 45% at the height of his rhetoric. Do you think we would win a trade war with China? Want to hazard a guess at how much AAPL stock is held in employee retirement accounts, and what would happen (to it alone) if he actually engaged a government who literally controls the buying capacity of the single largest population on the planet?

                You could hedge and buy stock in Baidu and Huawei, but fortunately I think even a Republican House and Senate will temper his verbal spewing in short order.

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              • bottom bracket December 4, 2016 at 5:32 pm

                Art of the Deal was about making deals. If someone at a garage sale wants $200 for a bike and you only want to pay $100, then offer them $50. Then haggle and maybe you’ll get it for $100. If you’d be satisfied with a 15% tariff, then threaten 45% – maybe they’ll be pleased to settle for 15%. 😉

                Hopefully any single retirement account has sufficient diversity that if AAPL cratered it would not make a huge dent. BUT stocks are at very high levels now and a correction is overdue – it may happen – it always goes up and down, up and down – that’s normal.

                China is going to bend over backwards to trade with us or anyone else willing to trade. They have a surplus of young, marginally unhappy males that they need to keep from revolting – and they have debt problems that are huge, monster pollution problems, etc, etc. They are in a world of hurt – of course so are pretty much the rest of the world economies including ours. Hold on tight – it could get rough.

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          • Dan A December 1, 2016 at 8:40 am

            ‘white knight’ is a good way to describe him.

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    • bottom bracket November 29, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      You are free to do something about it. Democrats rule Portland, Metro, Multnomah county, and Oregon. Do what you want within the city limits of Portland. Get the new mayor to outlaw cars in downtown, or within the city limits, etc. If you can’t get the people in downtown to agree to it, then realize that it will never happen anywhere, because no other place in the US is more anti-car. Go ahead – outlaw cars. Don’t wait. Elections have consequences – show the nation, and the world, what a car-free utopia looks like.

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  • wsbob November 28, 2016 at 11:23 am

    I definitely feel it’s a great idea for cities to provide some trail on their natural land parks for use by wheelchair and other disability bound citizens. The article featured in today’s roundup about volunteers helping people with disabilities to get out on the trails, is encouraging.

    While I’ve yet to read the article mentioned in today’s roundup about the effort, I expect the reason conservation groups are working to expand wilderness down around Crater Lake, is to avert it from being clearcut logged, mined, or otherwise diminished.

    With trump in office, if there’s money to be made off the lands, the potential for accomplishing the objective of designating as wilderness, the lands in question, may be in considerably more doubt than with previous administrations. Consider that reality as you may.

    Perhaps there is some possibility that non-profit groups having some common interests, could partner together to rally the public to help buy the lands near Crater Lake, to be sustained as conservation, mixed recreation use, excluding motorized recreation…with exceptions for people with disabilities…and including non-motorized recreation travel modes such as mountain biking. Groups such as the Trust for Public Lands, The Nature Conservancy, IMBA, and here locally in Portland, The Northwest Trail Alliance…the latter two first and forermost, being mountain bike enthusiast groups.

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    • Pete November 28, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Excellent idea! (Just be prepared to battle with local landowners…)

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      • wsbob November 29, 2016 at 12:03 am

        pete…thanks for the link…I read the article. That’s about land in Washington State…not Oregon.

        All you silent bikeportland readers: I recommend reading the Oregonian story on the Crater Lake Wilderness Area proposal: Ignore the comments to the O-live story. I’ve not read them and probably won’t.

        The story has some good info about the proposal. Half a million acres. Wyden, Merkely, DeFazio and Blumenauer, at present, favor the proposal. Walden doesn’t. Important to read quotes by Wyden and DeFazio, therein.

        This could be an opportunity for mountain bike enthusiasts to make a pitch to Oregon’s reps, offering their support of the proposal in exchange for some conditional access for mountain biking, to some of the lands hoped to be designated as federal wilderness.

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        • Pete November 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm

          “That’s about land in Washington State…not Oregon.”

          True, but I know a Portland couple who spent millions buying a private property there and donating it in order to make the public access contiguous. Definitely was a ‘bi-partisan’ effort… 😉

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    • bottom bracket November 29, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      Before I’d support it I would want to find out if the land proposed is unique and special enough to designate as wilderness. If it is, then more people will resist changing the designation in the future – even Republicans who hike and get to see it will want to protect it.

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      • bottom bracket November 29, 2016 at 5:32 pm

        Also, if the wilderness is part of the National Park, I would oppose it. National Parks have ridiculous rules and regulations that are not friendly to hikers. Wilderness in a National Forest is much more hiker friendly in most cases. So if they want to make the NF surrounding the NP into designated wilderness, fine, but if they want to expand the NP, I say NO WAY.

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  • Kyle Banerjee November 28, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Since the wilderness plan would need to clear Congress and get Prez Trump’s signature, it has no chance of happening.

    I personally think wilderness areas need to be greatly expanded. While making outdoor recreation accessible brings many important benefits — including raising awareness of and appreciation for why it is necessary to protect the environment — the reality is that the only way these areas can be preserved is to limit access.

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    • GlowBoy November 28, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      “The bill … would need to pass both chambers and garner President-elect Donald Trump’s signature to become law.”

      Hahahahaha. That’s the best laugh I’ve had all day. I expect monkeys to fly out of my butt about the same time.

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  • bikeninja November 28, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Some idiots on the Oregon Live Comments section are still blaming the pedestrian that was killed while crossing in a marked crosswalk with a flashing yellow crossing beacon flashing overhead. I am not sure how we solve the problem of innocent road deaths with this type of mentality out there. At least the driver is being charged with negligent homicide. Hope this charge becomes more common for negligent drivers who kill or maim.

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    • Chris I November 28, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      – We make sure that the laws support effective prosecution of these crimes.
      – We educate new drivers.
      – We wait for the commenters on Oregonlive to die of natural causes.

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    • Spiffy November 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      that type of mentality will take time to dissolve… generations have been telling their young to watch out for cars and look both ways before crossing…

      only now are we waking up and saying that we’re going to exert our rights to the road and telling drivers that they’re the ones that need to look out… retraining drivers takes generations… and people don’t like change, nor do they like being the one suddenly told they’ve been doing it wrong…

      expect nothing to change until we get younger people in power…

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    • Pete November 28, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Yeah, I saw that (that was me who replied). Also, I haven’t been to this area in a long while… doesn’t it make more sense to have flashing red lights instead of flashing yellow? Traffic moves pretty quickly here, and it’s a wide road, which of course presents a challenge to the elderly (or anyone having to move slowly across this street). Apparently Mr. Joy’s life was not as high a priority as letting a few cars go by in front or behind him while he crosses… 🙁

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      • David Hampsten November 28, 2016 at 8:49 pm

        It’s also near the family homeless warming shelter and the Rosewood center. I wonder how long it will be before someone on this blog will mistakenly blame ODOT for the road, and not PBOT?

        PBOT has been putting in these flashing beacon crosswalks all over East Portland, which can help, but only if they also slow overall traffic with replaced linework and road diets (for example, make Stark, Glisan, 122nd, and other wide streets giant curvy Chicanes, rather than straight high-speed racetracks.)

        There was a similar incident at 142nd & Division a couple years ago, again on a PBOT facility. So much for Vision Zero.

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        • Pete November 29, 2016 at 10:31 am

          You know ODOT was responsible for getting Trump elected, right? 😉

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    • wsbob November 28, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      I just now read the O story linked in this roundup. It’s a very brief story. the comments never load up on my pc with dial-up…not that from past experience, they’re very often worth browsing.

      “…Some idiots on the Oregon Live Comments section are still blaming the pedestrian that was killed while crossing in a marked crosswalk with a flashing yellow crossing beacon flashing overhead. …” bikeninja

      If you don’t mind, please summarize any comment you may have run across in those comments, that may have brought out some possibly legitimate reason the person walking might have been at fault to some degree for the collision.

      My personal observation of and experience with just a few of the flashing yellow beacon pedestrian activated lights…is that they work great and are very effective…although, for all road users, there can be a bit of a learning curve, and potential for mistakes in getting used to using the lights. Millikan Way near Murray, and also Baseline out in the Beav, are two light locations where I’ve seen the lights being used.

      Lots of crossings during the day at the Millikan location. People do stop when the beacons flash. People that aren’t accustomed to being on the alert for the lights coming on, may miss seeing them though. I hate to admit this, but about nine months ago, when I was hammering the pedals eastbound with the green lights ahead at Murray on my mind, I nearly missed seeing the flashing yellow beacon lights go off. Braked to a stop just in time, person waiting at the curb was looking my way, waiting for me to stop. Thank you! Apologies from myself, between deep breaths forthcoming, and were accepted, but it was embarrassing for me, and tense for the person.

      I think the pedestrian activated yellow lights are a good idea, but with them just as with the left turn flashing yellow lights for the main lane…there are some additional risks for all road users, over that of the full red-yellow-green signals.

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  • Spiffy November 28, 2016 at 11:50 am

    “Berlly wants the U.S. Forest Service to allow disabled people to use e-bikes on non-motorized trails in the same way they’re allowed to use motorized wheelchairs.”

    start taking the motorized wheelchair down the trail regularly and they’ll be quick to legalize e-bikes for disabled riders…

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    • Kyle Banerjee November 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Do you have any idea what you’re advocating?

      This is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible.

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      • Spiffy November 28, 2016 at 1:02 pm

        yes… and yes, that’s the point…

        it seems they can legally create a very dangerous situation or illegally enjoy it like everybody else…

        if they do it legally then the forest service will be forced to see the error of their ways and will work on a solution…

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        • Kyle Banerjee November 28, 2016 at 2:01 pm

          You have no idea what you’re talking about.

          First of all, it’s not illegal to go into wilderness areas. More specifically, it is not illegal to go into the wilderness area surrounding Crater Lake. If you don’t believe me, look it up or call up the ranger station and ask. Restrictions on activities are minimal. Look into other wilderness areas. You’ll find out the same thing.

          Secondly, wilderness is by its very nature rugged and dangerous — neither the forest service nor any other entity made it that way. Conditions can and do change very rapidly.

          Have you ever been in the wilderness? You display the sort of judgment that gets people killed. Encouraging people who have virtually no chance of extracting themselves from from trouble they’re highly likely to get into is beyond irresponsible.

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          • Austin November 28, 2016 at 2:15 pm

            You two are arguing over two different articles, I think.

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          • Derp November 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

            ‘”You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

            And now I have no idea what I’m reading about :p

            Spiffy’s post is regarding the “ADA meets e-MTBs” post, not the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal.


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            • Kyle Banerjee November 28, 2016 at 5:21 pm

              Either way, he’s suggesting sending wheelchairs on wilderness trails.

              One thing I’ve noticed is that the more improved areas are, the more people ignore common sense and presume that their safety will be taken care of by others. This is true in urban and wilderness environments alike.

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              • David Hampsten November 28, 2016 at 8:53 pm

                That’s pretty much what ADA is all about, equal access for all users in all places. Given the technology these days, hand-driven “wheelchairs” are becoming increasingly rare, while motorized all-terrain “mobility devices” are becoming cheaper and more prevalent.

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              • GlowBoy November 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm

                By definition, wilderness is a place for the intrepid and NOT for everyone.

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              • Kyle Banerjee November 29, 2016 at 6:18 am

                Again, do you guys actually go in the wilderness? It is by definition unsafe. Even good trails are completely inaccessible to any kind of mechanical contraption — including tracked devices equipped with winches and anything you like. Even if you are completely able bodied and prepared, you can still get into trouble.

                MTB trails are some of the easiest things out there because they need to be passable to MTB’s. But no MTB trail that’s interesting to anyone but novices should be safe for any kind of wheelchair.

                Wilderness areas cannot be made accessible without destroying them even presuming the absolutely crazy money it would cost were available. In addition to the environmental destruction, it would destroy the whole purpose for being there — namely to feel your connection with nature.

                But hey, if you want to argue all the trails should be closed if they can’t be made accessible, you have my support. I personally will be glad to be rid of the urbanites who think of these areas only as a playground and who destroy them.

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              • bottom bracket November 29, 2016 at 7:28 pm

                Exactly right. Just as wilderness is no place for people in wheel chairs, it also is no place for many other people who are not in wheel chairs. For example, lazy people not willing to walk or people who have worn their knees out and can’t walk much or old, frail, people in poor health. That’s OK – we all have our limitations. I can’t shop at Costco because I’m not a member; I can’t buy a ranch in the mountains because I’m not rich. Should I complain and sue Costco and rich ranchers? Nah. How’s that prayer go? God grand me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.


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    • BradWagon November 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      I don’t see how the bike she rides as described in the article would impact trail use any differently than a regularly mountain bike. Think a designation needs to be made in the same way that power output designations need to be made for using e-bikes on MUP’s.

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      • Chris I November 28, 2016 at 3:08 pm

        It’s a slippery slope… ADA abuses are rampant. I really feel for this lady’s condition, but it would set a dangerous precedent.

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        • BradWagon November 28, 2016 at 3:24 pm

          Trying to keep that in mind. Wish we could all just agree that a bike is a bike… until it isn’t anymore of course.

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      • Eric Leifsdad November 28, 2016 at 9:28 pm

        You mean speed limit, right? Or is there some rule about big people in lycra too?

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        • BradWagon November 29, 2016 at 8:56 am


          But in seriousness… not sure speed limit is a realistic way to go about it. Maybe just limits on the assist power outputs allowed for different bike sizes (which could include some rules about how fast the bike can go before assist cuts out if power output is higher than X watts… 20mph seems reasonable for something giving more than 100-200w of assist).

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          • Kyle Banerjee November 29, 2016 at 10:27 am

            The issue she brings up is an interesting one. But there are a number of issues at play. In terms of impact, she’s not going to have more impact than other users of the trail.

            But she is a special case (a skilled MTBer who lacks the physical capabilities she once did) and creating a general except that would allow the very few people like her to continue to go out there could have significant consequences.

            This is not just about MTB trails. There are many backcountry areas as well as marine preserves which do not allow motors. One of the major reasons motors are not allowed is because they disturb nesting birds and other wildlife. Motors allow more people into an area which amplifies the effect considerably.

            While I sympathize with her specific case, I am strongly against motors in any of these places. For starters, the vast majority of people who would use power assist lack the judgment/skills to avoid wrecking the environment, keeping themselves out of trouble, and getting out of trouble if it happens.

            An accessible area really is a resort in my mind, and I am all in favor of designating areas and properly supporting them so however many people of whatever skills can enjoy the outdoors. Not everyone belongs everywhere, and where you belong changes with time.

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            • BradWagon November 29, 2016 at 1:04 pm

              Agree with just about everything here. A point maybe we’re looking at it differently from is your concerned over the precedent it may set for widespread motor use… I’m only supporting her use of an assist bike in the way that it allows someone with a disability access to an activity that they would be doing with the same frequency and same impact were they not disabled.

              Agree that non motorized use areas and more heavily restricted wilderness areas should be kept restricted both to protect the environment and prohibit unskilled users. BUT I don’t think that the number of users that would be accessing dangerous terrain (in any sport) with limited assist devices due to disabilities would be that significant. I just don’t see waves of “ADA eligible” individuals flocking to activities they had no previous experience in… This isn’t like we’re giving the ok for less skilled individuals to hop on an eBike to keep up with their buddies or let them get further into remote areas quicker.

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            • lop November 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm

              >Motors allow more people into an area which amplifies the effect considerably.

              Bicycles increase access too. Should trails be hiking only to reduce the number of people and so the impact they have? Should people be banned from them to reduce the impact further?

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              • Kyle Banerjee November 29, 2016 at 5:06 pm

                Actually, I would be fine with this — for a variety of reasons, I don’t believe MTBs belong on trails with foot traffic. Rather, I favor designating trails for them that are optimized for their needs. I don’t know that bicycles increase access as much as they bring a specific type of recreation (and possibly more people) to very specific areas. The gnarliest MTB trails are truly nothing for people on foot. A fairly modest food trail would be totally impassible to any kind of bike, motorized or not.

                Likewise, I strongly favor permit limitations and regulations to ensure impact is inconsequential. If permitting and regulation can’t keep things under control, I have no issue with banning people outright. Happily, the people willing to take the steps necessary to enter the more restricted areas seem to get the importance of being good stewards and preserving these places.

                Trails are often quite modest — figuring out where they even are can sometimes be tricky (even when you’re standing on them), let alone following them. Routefinding is an necessary skill for many backcountry activities.

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              • Eric Leifsdad November 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm

                It sounds like most of your objections to motors (e.g. limiting number of users) could be addressed through permitting (other than noise, which probably isn’t a problem with electric motors compared to whooping mountain bros burning their toilet paper or just sparking a pedal on a rock.)

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              • bottom bracket November 29, 2016 at 7:33 pm

                Bicycles are not allowed in designated wilderness areas. That is appropriate. If electric assist vehicles of any kind were allowed, you’d have hundreds of electric wheel chairs with fat knobby tires all over the wilderness – many would be used by able-bodied people.

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              • Dan A November 30, 2016 at 7:55 am

                “Bicycles are not allowed in designated wilderness areas. That is appropriate.”


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              • bottom bracket November 30, 2016 at 1:54 pm


                No reply button for your comment, but wilderness is not an amusement park or bike park. It is meant to be a place of solitude that gives us a glimpse into what the earth was like before civilization and all that comes with that. People who ride snowmobiles, ATVs, and dirt bikes have been asking the same question “Why?” for decades especially in the Rocky mountain states. Bicycles are machines that do not fit in with the character of wilderness. I used to ask “Why?” also. Finally I decided I wanted to see wilderness so I started back-packing regularly in wilderness. Now I know the answer to the why question. I like to ride also – bicycles, motorcycles, etc. It’s all fun. There is room and a place for everyone, but wilderness is not a place for machines.

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              • Dan A November 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm

                Why are skis, rafts and canoes allowed? Pacemakers? Fishing reels? 20 horses in a single group? In Alaska they even allow snowmachines, planes, and motor boats.

                And why are modern trail maintenance tools NOT allowed? When I worked trail crew in the mid 90s, we had to carry 2-man crosscut saw strapped over the top of a backpack, which is rather nutty. You can drag a canoe along a trail in the wilderness, but as soon as you lift it up onto a wheel you’re breaking the law.

                The line for wilderness was drawn arbitrarily, and not in the most logical way. Allowing a person to ride a bicycle on a trail does not suddenly turn that trail into an ‘amusement park’ or a ‘bike park’. Many people want to go bikepacking on these trails, which would be nearly identical to people backpacking on them. They are not asking to build freeride parks in the wilderness. The line for wilderness needs to be re-examined and established a bit more thoughtfully.

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              • wsbob November 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm

                “…It is meant to be a place of solitude that gives us a glimpse into what the earth was like before civilization and all that comes with that. People who ride snowmobiles, ATVs, and dirt bikes have been asking the same question “Why?” for decades especially in the Rocky mountain states. Bicycles are machines that do not fit in with the character of wilderness. I used to ask “Why?” also. Finally I decided I wanted to see wilderness so I started back-packing regularly in wilderness. Now I know the answer to the why question. …” bottom bracket

                bb…I think you’ve summarized some of the reasoning behind exclusion of use of bikes from federally designated wilderness areas, as well as some other natural land areas. I do think though, that for people with disabilities that would prevent them from first hand experience in wilderness any other way, some exception for use of e-vehicles in wilderness areas could be made, without opening up a slippery slope that would result in an uncontrolled proliferation of such vehicles in those areas.

                Everyone else that can walk, can set their mind to walking, if they truly desire to experience first hand, these remaining magnificent natural lands on the continent that we as a nation, have somewhat miraculously managed to restrain ourselves from savaging in one form or another to convert to a product for profit.

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              • bottom bracket November 30, 2016 at 5:54 pm

                Dan, again no reply button.

                20 horses in a group are not allowed. Can’t remember the number but it’s not nearly 20 – might be 12, but it may be less, and may depend also on the number of humans in the group – it’s not hard to find I suspect.

                Wilderness trails are not suitable for bikes – there isn’t room to pass horses or hikers. And if bikes were allowed, people would be blasting across wilderness for the fun of the ride, not really paying any attention to the wilderness. Motors in Alaska may be allowed because they were traditionally used there since in many locations that’s about the only option – when the lake you’re going to is 200 miles from a road, you need a machine. And, I’ve seen helicopters land in wilderness when doing search and rescue. Plenty of places legal to ride bikes on trails – no need to allow bikes in designated wilderness. The area taken up by designated wilderness is a very small percentage of our country.

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              • Kyle Banerjee November 30, 2016 at 8:13 pm


                Since you’ve done this sort of work, you should be well aware that skis, rafts, and canoes have practically no impact unless you’re doing something you shouldn’t. As far as lugging a canoe out that far, I’d love to see someone try.

                Except for the busiest and best maintained trails that are wide enough, wheels just don’t belong and I’d argue bikes never belong with foot traffic out there. It would take an awfully smooth, flat, and hard trail for bikepacking to be viable. No trail I can remember taking for awhile is even rideable, let along bike packable.

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              • Dan A December 1, 2016 at 7:03 am

                20 horses in a group are not allowed. Can’t remember the number but it’s not nearly 20

                Where I worked, in the Bridger Wilderness, the maximum number in a party is 15 people and 25 stock:


                Wilderness trails are not suitable for bikes – there isn’t room to pass horses or hikers.

                Many of the current wilderness trails were formerly built or used by mountain bikers before their newfound wildnerness designation made them off limits. The trails themselves haven’t changed. And a trail doesn’t need to have ‘passing room’ to be suitable for bikes, or hikers or horses. Many wilderness trails don’t have room for horses to pass hikers, or hikers to pass hikers. One user moves to the side while the other goes by.

                And if bikes were allowed, people would be blasting across wilderness for the fun of the ride not really paying any attention to the wilderness.

                First, how do you know how every user is going to behave, and second, ‘paying any attention to the wilderness’? You don’t get to require people to pay attention to the wilderness. Maybe we should ban MP3 players and make people listen to the woods?

                Motors in Alaska may be allowed because they were traditionally used there…

                This is a good point, and applies to bikes in many places as well.

                since in many locations that’s about the only option – when the lake you’re going to is 200 miles from a road, you need a machine.

                Wilderness is hard. That’s not justification for a motorized machine for travel. It doesn’t work that way in Wyoming.

                The area taken up by designated wilderness is a very small percentage of our country.

                It’s growing all the time. Montana alone has lost 700 miles of existing singletrack to the wilderness designation in the last decade.

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              • bottom bracket December 1, 2016 at 9:36 pm


                15 and 25 is too many. Guess it depends on the wilderness area as to their limits. I’ve been many times to the Winds and there are horses, lots of guide and pack services, but fortunately I’ve never seen any where near 25 horses in a group. Although I have seen 4 or 5 standing in a stagnant lake for a drink and relieving themselves. Ooooooh! ;(

                You will not be 200 miles from a road anywhere in the lower 48. 10 miles isn’t common down here.

                I love wilderness but I am reluctant to keep adding and adding and adding until people revolt against it. Got to have other, less regulated, places too.

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      • wsbob November 29, 2016 at 6:13 pm

        A bunch of different types of riding, exist within general definition of ‘mountain biking’. If the different types were set up on a continuum, on one end might be riding that’s slow and easy, for taking in the scenery…the other end might be various kinds of fast riding. What type mountain bike riding might a person like 30 year veteran mountain biker Bella Berlly be interested in continuing with her e-mountain bike, since having been beset by a a muscle degenerative disease?

        A couple not directly related examples for comparison, involving people with disabilities and access to sports to which they’ve used adaptive measures; their names don’t spring to my memory, but I recall a pro golfer with a prosthetic leg. Sought to qualify for a major tournament. Couldn’t walk the course, but could otherwise play very competitively. Also, an Olympic runner double leg amputee, just below the knee, I think. With carbon fiber prosthetic legs, he was able to run again, and very fast.

        I’d like to think that Bella Berlly would be delighted and content with a ruling that allowed use of her e-mountain bike, simply to get out for easy going riding on trail in natural land areas; rather than fast and aggressive riding. Wouldn’t be a surprise to me at all though, if allowed use of e-bikes on natural land trail would have some of the people with disabilities, savoring opportunities to push the boundary of what they might be able to do.

        It would be interesting for someone to propose some parameters…type of trail, top mph…for authorized use of e-mountain bikes exclusively by people with documented disabilities that prevent them from mountain biking on a non-motorized mountain bike.

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      • Dave December 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

        I’m in the bike industry and was having a discussion with a friend about t his issue. His idea is that a throttle–a direct way to apply motor power regardless of pedalling input–should be the dividing line between an e-assist bicycle and a motorized bike. Makes sense to me.

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    • wsbob November 29, 2016 at 10:40 am

      “…Berlly wants the U.S. Forest Service to allow disabled people to use e-bikes on non-motorized trails in the same way they’re allowed to use motorized wheelchairs. …”

      The request Berly is making, is partly reasonable, I think. It’s a request with limited objectives, to the extent that the desired function of use of an e-bike by someone with a disability, would be similar to their need to use a wheel chair.

      Berly quoted later in the columbian story, claiming simply that e-bikes are no different than mountain bikes, doesn’t seem reasonable to me:

      “…“I’m asking the Forest Service to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and if they’re not then I don’t think they should be allowing mountain bikes at all, frankly, because mine is no different, …” Bella Berlly/

      I don’t feel that an e-bike specifically used for the function of enabling a person with a disability, to access natural land trail, is the same as an e-bike used by just anyone able bodied person that would like a little help on the trail, or just doesn’t want to work very hard to see the sights. Additionally, I don’t think it’s reasonable to consider a bike without a motor, to be the same as one without a motor.

      Story says Berlly was a mountain biker for 30 years. Had to stop riding on her own muscle power as she once did, because of a muscle degenerative disease. Doubtful that she’s expecting the forest service to open up all non-motorized trail to e-bike use. She seems to seek exclusively to have such trail…hopefully, just certain sections of it…opened to use with e-bikes, by people with disabilities.

      There are slippery slopes though, to be dealt with in making this kind of concession. No joke intended. Some people, particularly some non-disabled people, tend to abuse opportunities opened up by provisions made for people with disabilities.

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  • Todd Boulanger November 28, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    “Readers Digest” from an article by CityLab interview of Mr. Belin:
    “I would say that the main problems that we had in the beginning were not really political, they were more on the expert side. The largest resistance we got to the idea about Vision Zero was from those political economists that have built their whole career on cost-benefit analysis. For them it is very difficult to buy into “zero.”

    “Because in their economic models, you have costs and benefits, and although they might not say it explicitly, the idea is that there is an optimum number of fatalities. A price that you have to pay for transport.”

    “The problem is the whole transport sector is quite influenced by the whole utilitarianist mindset. Now we’re bringing in the idea that it’s not acceptable to be killed or seriously injured when you’re transporting.”

    “It’s more a civil-rights thing that you bring into the policy.”

    “The other group that had trouble with Vision Zero was our friends, our expert friends. Because most of the people in the safety community had invested in the idea that safety work is about changing human behavior. Vision Zero says instead that people make mistakes, they have a certain tolerance for external violence, let’s create a system for the humans instead of trying to adjust the humans to the system.”

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    • Todd Boulanger November 28, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Following up on the Vision Zero fatality rates per 100k pop by state (2013):
      NW 2013:
      – WA: 6.5
      – OR: 9.0 [much higher than I expected!]
      – CA: 7.9
      – ID: 11.4

      OTHER 2013:
      MA: 4.9
      RI: 4.9 [urban centric]
      DC: 3.5 [good model for transit centric / urban dense road network with sidewalks]
      WY: 25.7 [rural – high speed]

      These rates may increase for 2016…once the more recent trends are published and reflect the recent increases in fatalities and crashes nationwide…

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      • highrider November 28, 2016 at 2:33 pm

        When I lived in Massachusetts I noticed the people in pedestrian mode acted like they owned the road. Loved the attitude! Also, there are tacit understandings between drivers like when you’re stopped at a red and the person driving towards you is also stopped and signalling to make a left. When it turns green you let them go, sometimes you’re so magnanimous you let two or three turn in front of you. I never heard people complain so much about ‘getting cut off’ until I moved to the west.

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        • Pete November 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm

          “When it turns green you let them go”

          Growing up as a Boston driver, thanks for the chuckle! (I’ll never forget the scream my first west coast girlfriend let out from the passenger seat as my Dad stomped on the gas to turn left racing oncoming traffic).

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          • highrider November 29, 2016 at 7:42 am

            See, it keeps everyone alert!

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  • Dick Button November 28, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    “..a signal.. would have caused delays and backups during rush hour that would have been “unacceptable” to motorists, Mucsi said.”

    Well, I’m unable to accept that. So where does that leave us?

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  • Spiffy November 28, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    “People respect airline safety enough to use ‘Airplane mode’ while flying — so why don’t phone makers have a ‘driving mode’?”

    I don’t use Airplane Mode because I think it’s safer, I use it so my battery isn’t drained so fast looking for a signal that’s not there…

    cell phone signals aren’t messing with plane instruments… maybe a blip of static on the radio… no effect on newer planes made in the last few decades…

    if stray signals could bring a plane down then terrorists would already be doing it…

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    • Buzz November 28, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      No problem getting a signal almost anywhere on our highways, they are the main corridors for cell phone towers; seems almost like they were specifically installed there for the motorists….


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  • Spiffy November 28, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    seems that as they were investigating the 37th road fatality a teenage drunk driver crashed into one of the cop cars that had its emergency lights going… that takes some serious lack of skill…

    in that same story a teenager with her driver’s permit crashed into a gym in Beaverton…

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    • B. Carfree November 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Good grief! The second line in that article says, “37-year-old William Rugg’s pickup ran into Tony Joy at Southeast 160th Avenue and Stark Street.”

      It’s as thought the pickup couldn’t control itself and the driver can’t possibly be at fault.

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    • Chris I November 29, 2016 at 6:56 am

      We’re all doomed.

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      • Eric November 29, 2016 at 11:53 am

        I use to live in a duplex on SE Holgate. Meth head ran his Geo Metro into the side of the house at 2AM one night. Scared the living crap out of my wife and I. Going outside to investigate revealed this weirdo rummaging through his car, trying to fit a full size car battery (30+ pounds!) into a kids back pack. The cops showed up after the dude walked away and I am not sure if he ever got cited for anything.
        Currently I live in a area with 90 degree bend in the road. About 2 or 3 times a year there is a car in the ditch.
        Point is, drivers pilot their cars off the roadways ALL THE TIME! This is nothing new and wont change until we get said people replaced by autonomous cars.

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  • Jonathan Gordon November 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    The comments on the Seattle Bike Blog piece about the failure of Pronto are the most civil and thought provoking general public contributions I’ve ever read. Some really interesting responses, worth a read.

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    • Tacoma November 28, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      That is indeed a good piece. Thanks.

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    • Al Dimond November 29, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Heh, Pronto has been failing for so long we’re all out of yelling rudely about it.

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  • Champs November 28, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    When there’s a wolf at the door, most people’s instinct is not to let him in, but here we are. It takes a special kind of fool to think a 70 year old alpha will learn new tricks if you “just give him a chance.”

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  • Billy November 28, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    McKenney recognizes that in this city, traffic flow and parking often trumps “pedestrian and cycling optimal safety.”

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  • soren November 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Eliminating parking never an option

    The idea of accepting reduced traffic flow for safer bike lanes might fly in Holland, he said, but not in Ottawa

    McKenney recognizes that in this city, traffic flow and parking often trumps “pedestrian and cycling optimal safety.”

    The above quotes apply equally well to Portland.

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    • bottom bracket November 29, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      You won the election. Dems control everything in the PDX city limits. Hold recall elections to oust every city council person who would oppose banning cars in the city limits. Nothing to stop you.

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  • paikiala November 28, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    This week’s VZ must read,
    is from 2014.

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    • Eric Leifsdad November 28, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      I thought 11 per 100k sounded low for this year. Maybe this is the week we’re going to decide to lower the speed limit to 19mph and put some stuff in the street. Or move to Sweden?

      I’m wondering about more surveillance cameras in the hands of fascists and all of these license plate covers I’m seeing. QR code stickers?

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  • Kyle Banerjee November 30, 2016 at 10:00 am

    One of the amusing things about this thread is that we have a number of die hard BP regulars forcefully arguing we should encourage people to take motorized transport so they can enjoy motorized recreation activities.

    If that ain’t car culture, I don’t know what is.

    But the Cubs won the World Series and Trump will be President. I hear the skiing is outstanding in Hades this year….

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    • wsbob November 30, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      “One of the amusing things about this thread is that we have a number of die hard BP regulars forcefully arguing we should encourage people to take motorized transport so they can enjoy motorized recreation activities. …” banerjee

      So we reading here, are supposed to guess what it is you’re referring to? Just come out and say what it is you have on your mind.

      Two examples of interest to me personally, come to mind, related to use of motor vehicles for going where some people need to go for the kind of motorized recreation they enjoy. That would be atv’ing, and MUP’s in natural land areas, usable by people with disabilities. There are plenty more examples of interest to many people.

      Lots of people ride atv’s not for hot roddin’, but simply for cruising out in the backcountry, because the nature of their disability means atv’s are one of the few ways they get out there. On a different scale, same with electric wheelchairs designed for use on terrain rougher than asphalt and concrete, I suppose. The use of e-bikes by people with disabilities is some extension of this idea, but not by much I don’t think.

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      • Kyle Banerjee November 30, 2016 at 4:46 pm

        Two widely supported ideas on BP are that car culture is bad and people shouldn’t take cars to get around. There’s also a strong environmental vibe here.

        Recreation in the outdoors pretty much requires cars — particularly when it comes to getting to some of these more out of the way places.

        All I’m saying is that if it’s so bad for people to use cars to get to a job to put food on the table, you wouldn’t think it would be good when the purpose is to go out for amusement (particularly when that requires other motorized implements).

        I personally have no issue with either scenario. However, if one use is supported and the other isn’t, recreation is not what I’d think would get the nod.

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        • Dan A November 30, 2016 at 5:51 pm

          I think you’re misinterpreting. That black & white viewpoint is not as ‘widely supported’ as you perceive.

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        • wsbob December 1, 2016 at 9:57 am

          There are people commenting to this site, and elsewhere too, most likely, that use that casually use that phrase ‘car culture’. I’m never sure exactly what they mean when they use the phrase, partly because they don’t say, and I think partly because the words don’t have a definite meaning, limited to just one thing or activity.

          Here on bikeportland, the phrase tends to come into play as an expression of general contempt for anything and anyone car related. On a car enthusiast weblog or website…car and driver, hotrod…the phrase is almost certainly to be used in positive light.

          People, today’s society and motor vehicles together form a far more complex interdependent relationship than some people would like to think. Motor vehicles today, for many people, really aren’t an ‘either, or’ choice. Lots of people are ambivalent about motor vehicles, but they still have to use them. Motor vehicles and their varied uses, aren’t all good, but they’re not all bad either.

          So…a little moderation in perspective, when the subject of motor vehicles and the different ways people use them, should be in order, it seems to me.

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          • Pete December 3, 2016 at 9:45 am

            “today’s society and motor vehicles together form a far more complex interdependent relationship”

            I think this is exactly the point of the term “car culture.” You’re dead on that it’s a term that lacks proper definition and seen in positive light by many; here in Silicon Valley I get to watch my neighbors treat their Porches and Teslas – Tesla is the new Porsche here – with extreme care (washing them regularly throughout the drought), and others complain about rent costs while dropping $85K to add a Tesla to their corral of one or two other cars (usually an SUV and a Corolla or convertible). My wife thinks one of the funniest things is the number of times she’s heard “my wife is pregnant; we had to buy a minivan.” True story: my neighbor Dewey (who hasn’t worked in 17 years) said that his Dad made him pick out a different color Toyota Sienna than the other two on our cul-de-sac (after he announced his girlfriend is pregnant so he has to marry her and buy a minivan; not sure which order). My other neighbor Naban traded their two-year-old Corolla for a high-end BMW SUV when their second child arrived, because it’s “safer.”

            These are everyday occurrences and conversations. As Mazda says, “Driving Matters”!

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            • El Biciclero December 3, 2016 at 11:06 am

              “As Mazda says, ‘Driving Matters’!”

              …and BMW has installed driving now as a Holiday Tradition, like having turkey or a tree. Can’t touch that; giving up my car would be like giving up Christmas!

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        • bottom bracket December 3, 2016 at 8:56 pm

          My belief in radical environmentalism was reduced considerably over the years as I drove to hundreds of trailheads and noticed my fellow enviros were driving big gashog trucks and SUVs. And of course, driving down the road you will notice that 1/2 the people are driving monster rigs. This is a free country and that’s what they want. They ARE safer driving those big rigs; so in that respect it’s a wise choice. Eventually, gasoline will become more expensive and that will reduce the number of gas hogs, but for now it isn’t a problem. Maybe by then a system will be in place so you can drive across the country in an electric vehicle like you an in a gasoline powered vehicle today; and at a reasonable price; can’t do it yet but progress is being made – it will happen.

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          • Pete December 4, 2016 at 12:53 pm

            “They ARE safer driving those big rigs”

            Not according to the IIHS:

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            • bottom bracket December 4, 2016 at 5:58 pm

              Good article which agrees with my previous statement. From the article:

              “Historically, the rates of driver deaths per million registered vehicles have been higher for the smaller and lighter vehicles. This was true again in 2014, but the differences were less extreme than they used to be.”

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    • bottom bracket November 30, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      You hear correctly. Skiing is excellent in hades this year:×241.jpg

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  • John Lascurettes December 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    “So why not require seat belts in school buses?”


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