Gravel - Cycle Oregon

Oregon has a driving problem and we all need protection

Posted by on March 27th, 2017 at 11:12 am

In just six hours on Sunday morning three separate incidents showed just one aspect of the vast negative impacts driving has on our state.

Traffic safety issues are often framed in a way that makes them seem like it’s all about “bicyclists and pedestrians”. But the reality is that dangerous driving (and driving itself, but that’s another conversation) is a menace to everyone and no person — or thing — is safe as long as our roads and culture normalize this behavior.

Over the course of less than five hours Sunday morning (between 2:30 and 8:30 am) here’s what my inbox looked like (emphases mine):

From Albany:

Linn County Undersheriff Jim Yon reports on March 26, 2017, at 02:49 a.m. Deputies responded to 3725 SE Spicer Road, Albany, for a reported crash of a vehicle into a house.

The investigation revealed a white 2015 Subaru WRX 4-door sedan, was northbound on Three Lakes Road when it failed to negotiate a curve in the road where it intersects with Spicer Road. The vehicle left the roadway, crashing through a yard, into a power pole and then struck the front of a house before coming to a stop.

The operator, Joshua Pairan 33-yrs-old of Albany, told deputies he was out for a drive to show his friends his new car.

The passengers were identified as Noah Padilla, 33-yrs-old, and his wife Danielle Padilla, 31-yrs-old both from Albany. Danielle Padilla was sitting in the rear seat of the car and had to be rescued by the Albany Fire Department using the jaws-of-life to extricate her from the crushed vehicle. Danielle Padilla was transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis for non-life threatening injures.

Joshua Pairan was arrested and charged with DUII, Reckless Endangering, Reckless Driving, Criminal Mischief II and Assault III. He was lodged at the Linn County Jail. Alcohol and excessive speed appear to be contributing factors to the crash.

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From Salem:

On March 26th, 2017 at about 3:00 am, a black Ford F150 intentionally crashes into the side of the building of the Star Market at 9005 River Rd NE and steals the ATM. The vehicle is described as a 2004-2006 year and having a leveling kit, running boards, black fender flares and black rims. The rear of the vehicle now has damage from ramming the building, twice.

After the described suspect vehicle crashed into the building and left another subject entered into the business and stole several packs of cigarettes. His photo’s are attached. It is unknown if they two incidents are connected with each other.

And from northwest Portland via KATU News

A car landed on top of a boat Sunday morning after a driver crashed in a Northwest Portland neighborhood, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue said.

Fire crews rushed to stabilize the car so paramedics could start treating the injured driver. No word on that person’s current condition.

The boat’s owner, Tim Brown, was home doing the dishes when he saw the car coming towards his house.

“Catapulted across the street, landed on our driveway and bounced up on the vehicles,” Brown said.

Brown says he’s had a car totalled before, after a previous incident where a car crashed in to his driveway. He didn’t have much time to be surprised by what happened Sunday morning. After seeing what had happened, he had his wife call 911, then Brown jumped in to action.

“I had just taken an EMR class. Fortunately it was still fresh in my mind,” Brown said. “I grabbed my bag, I jumped on top and tried to make contact with the person in the vehicle.” Witnesses said the driver lost control, drove up a berm and traveled through some trees before landing on the boat.

Emergency responders at the scene said it’s possible the driver suffered some sort of medical issue before the crash.

People failing to control their cars and/or purposefully using them to create havoc are more common than you think — and this goes far beyond simply a “bike and pedestrian safety” issue.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and 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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

197 Comments
  • rick March 27, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I take medication for seizures and I’m comfortable with more strict state and federal laws for medical conditions. Remember that fatal soda pop sidewalk crash on the Burnside bridge? Obtaining and keeping a driver’s license needs to become much more difficult.

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  • John Lascurettes March 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    “was northbound on Three Lakes Road when it failed to negotiate a curve in the road”

    Not “it” — “he”. The DRIVER failed to negotiate the curve and lost control of the vehicle. We need to stop letting police reports get away with this overly forgiving language.

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    • El Biciclero March 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      I guess negotiations must have broken down.

      – “Hey, Curve, could you bump up your radius a bit?”
      – “No.”
      – “Well, then maybe consider adjusting your apex a little?”
      – “No.”
      – “Steeper banking?”
      – “No.”
      – “Ok, well, since you are stubbornly unwilling to alter your geometry, and I can’t see how compromising on speed is in any way fair, it appears we are at an impasse.”

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      • bendite March 27, 2017 at 1:24 pm

        Looks like a couple people forgot about Knight Rider.

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    • q March 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Exactly, but good luck. These are the people who brought you “an officer-involved shooting”, or even “the officer was involved in an officer-involved shooting” (i.e. the officer shot somebody) and “at that point in time, the firearm discharged” (i.e. the officer fired his gun). It almost makes you wonder whether any people were around while all these things were taking place.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty March 28, 2017 at 8:48 am

        Passive voice must die.

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        • q March 28, 2017 at 9:29 am

          Yes, an end to it really needs to be put.

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        • Matthew in Portsmouth March 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm

          Passive voice is particularly inappropriate when a human being is engaged in an action. In those cases the active voice is most appropriate. It is possible to construct active voice sentences without implying that the actor is guilty of an offense.

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        • GlowBoy March 30, 2017 at 11:57 am

          Must be killed.

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  • jonno March 27, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    One thing I’ve started looking for on my rides around town are the telltale signs of drivers failing to control their cars. Bent street signs are good one – also damaged parking strips, deep scratches and rubbed-off paint on retaining walls, broken plastic car bits in intersections. The marks are everywhere! At 38th and Tillamook in Hollywood, both the stop sign pole and the street sign pole are bent over – and that’s only occurred in the past few weeks. How does someone lose control on what should be 25mph neighborhood streets??

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    • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Someone ran over the 25mph sign on the way up to the Sunset Transit Center a year ago. It has yet to be replaced. Does that mean the road no longer has a speed limit?

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      • rick March 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        The road from SW Barnes Road?

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        • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 2:03 pm

          Yep, this guy here: https://goo.gl/maps/8uhZtT1nj212

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          • El Biciclero March 27, 2017 at 5:50 pm

            Huh. That sign used to be my “starting line” for a mini hill sprint. I hadn’t even noticed it was gone.

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            • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 8:05 pm

              You can still sprint off the stump. The sign was laying there flattened down for quite a while, and they then cut it off and left the stump.

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              • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 12:30 am

                …”you can still sprint off the stump…” 🙂 Glass is half full! Still giggling…

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              • El Biciclero March 28, 2017 at 3:35 pm

                Today it was back! I haven’t been paying attention, so I don’t know how long it has been there. I could see the bent-over stump still in the ground next to the new post as I rode by this morning.

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              • Dan A March 28, 2017 at 5:16 pm

                Sweet, somebody else noticed!

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      • paikiala March 28, 2017 at 9:05 am

        Dan,
        Did you call it in to the local maintenance jurisdiction?

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        • Dan A March 28, 2017 at 11:23 am

          Not this issue, though I have reported this road for cleaning multiple times (it’s Trimet’s responsibility). Since the flattened sign was cut off and removed, I assumed they were aware of the issue, though I suppose the sign could have been stolen….

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    • John Lascurettes March 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      The candle wands on the NE 21st Ave overpass over I-84 are all almost gone despite being in a buffer zone. Even few of the turtle humps remain. https://bikeportland.org/2016/11/03/first-look-portlands-new-bike-roundabout-and-two-way-cycling-lane-on-ne-21st-avenue-194661

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      • paikiala March 28, 2017 at 9:06 am

        John,
        Have you reported it to maintenance, 823-1700?

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    • Todd Boulanger March 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Too bad these items (sign poles, jersey barriers etc) could not self report [unreported] collision contacts to the cloud for analysis…then this big data could be used for premonitoring / targeted enforcement [aka as part of a “pre-traffic crime” branch of the traffic division].

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    • El Biciclero March 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Of all these things that have been run over, I wonder how many were making full use of lights, bright colors and/or reflective treatments? Are buildings legally required to keep a light on at night so as to “be seen” by motorists? I know street signs are only legally required to use reflective backgrounds, but I wonder if the retro-reflective backgrounds on street signs that have been run over had been compromised in any way. I’ve seen signs that were supposed to be reflective, but had been splotched with dust or egg (thanks to neighborhood ne’er-do-wells) and had significant portions of their surface rendered non-reflective. I don’t think signs know how invisible they can be when it’s dark and rainy and all they have is a [possibly compromised] reflective background. I know everybody here wants to blame the motorist 100% of the time, and you all think buildings and signs can do no wrong, but unless buildings and street features take some responsibility for themselves, they’re going to keep getting hit.

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      • Chris I March 27, 2017 at 2:52 pm

        Can’t tell if joking or not.

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        • El Biciclero March 27, 2017 at 5:41 pm

          I thought buildings and signs taking responsibility for themselves put it over the top, but maybe not…

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        • q March 27, 2017 at 6:35 pm

          First I thought so, but then I noticed all three buildings that were hit were beige.

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      • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm

        Sometimes buildings just dart out in front of you, nowhere near a crosswalk. Frankly, you have to wonder what the buildings were doing out there so late at night. This just points to the need to better educate buildings on ways they can start taking responsibility for their own safety.

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        • Betty Boop March 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm

          Dan A & El Biciclero, excellent work here. The followup point to mention is of course cost. I for one feel compelled to bring that up. While I have no problem with those buildings being there, they should pay their fair share. Have we not heard that loud and clear? Signs & buildings are freeloading off of Americans who don’t pedal pedal, but who press the gas pedal, which is pretty hard work too, albeit easy. Meanwhile, “freeway” also has the word “free” in it, but unlike these buildings blocking cars “en route,” as in the examples above, wide roads should NOT have to pay because… sorry, I lost my train of thought. Trying to think outside one’s typical box is confusing. Anyway. How about a bill creating a Building & Driveway Safety Tax along with a Street Sign Registry? If buildings & signs want to take up space that could’ve been wider roads for cars, make them pay! Make them really pay. I can’t believe none of our legislators ever tried this. I thought they loved cars in Salem?

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        • GlowBoy March 30, 2017 at 11:59 am

          I know, and then there are all those buildings that cross the street while staring at their cellphone. Pay attention!

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      • dwk March 27, 2017 at 3:30 pm

        Well done….

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      • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 12:32 am

        Stupid, eggy signs. Careless! They’re just asking for it… 🙂

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  • bikeninja March 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    If one had just arrived here from another planet and looked at the way humans use motor cars you would assume that we were insane.

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  • Stephen Keller March 27, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Agreed, in the current world cars don’t lose control, drivers do (assuming they ever had it in the first place).

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  • 9watts March 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    “Alcohol and excessive speed appear to be contributing factors to the crash. ”

    Let’s be careful not to double barrel him, the police offer said.

    PS Jonathan, I want to applaud your use of the word menace.

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  • B. Carfree March 27, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Another aspect of the misframing of road safety as pedestrians and cyclists versus motorists is that the vast majority of our roadway injuries and deaths are to motorists. As much as ODOT and other road owners fail to adequately design and maintain the roads for cyclists and pedestrians, they are also failing motorists in a big way by always prioritizing maximum speeds over all other issues.

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    • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      You can thank the National Motorists Association too. https://www.motorists.org/

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      • Pete March 27, 2017 at 1:56 pm

        Someone has to protect an individual’s rights

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        • Chris I March 27, 2017 at 2:57 pm

          We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all motor vehicle drivers are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are free parking, socialized infrastructure, and a general societal disregard towards sociopathic, deadly behavior.

          -Thomas Jefferson

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      • B. Carfree March 27, 2017 at 8:40 pm

        Good grief. And here I thought those silly talking points were being independently, er, thought up by strange people who write in newspaper comment sections. They actually have an organization to disseminate them.

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        • Dan A March 28, 2017 at 6:40 am

          For those that are interested, they have lots of advice on ways to drum up opposition to traffic calming features. Neat!

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    • Stephen Keller March 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      The problem is far more complex than just road design. Automobile design is often fueled by racing initiatives. Consequently cars are ofter far more performance capabilities than roads or good judgment allow. New roads are rarely ever designed from whole cloth. We build upon existing and inadequate infrastructure with insufficient budgets and conflicting goals. Into this we throw inadequately qualified drivers fed on media reprentations that frame exteme driving as normal. It’s a wonder more people don’t die from it. As an earlier reader put it: insane.

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      • Pete March 27, 2017 at 1:59 pm

        Which easily explains why my 4-cylinder station wagon has a speedometer that goes up to 160 MPH… because it’s a sports wagon.

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        • Todd Boulanger March 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

          Yes it hard to remember that up until the mid 1960s most consumer sports cars (from the UK etc.) could barely do 100 MPH and had challenging brakes and required manual shifting…nowadays any driver buying even a new entry-level car has access to a “sports car” that only requires that one press a button…and aim…

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          • mh March 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

            Who said aiming is necessary?

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      • q March 27, 2017 at 6:36 pm

        I knew someone would pull out the race card with this.

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        • Dave March 31, 2017 at 7:58 am

          Well, it is a racial issue–Pedestrians, cyclists, and law-abiding drivers belong to the human race. Many other drivers; chronic drunks and cell phone users, for instance, do not. Drivers who can’t let go of a cell phone are members of a separate, lower, subhuman race. No humor or irony intended.

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      • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 12:37 am

        There’s a brand spankin’ new Fast ‘n’ Furious movie coming out! What is it, #10? And what shitey havoc it has wrought, that idiot modified car-worshipping franchise. Louder! Pollutier! Faster! Better!

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        • Pete March 28, 2017 at 8:27 am

          Two drivers racing on public expressway hit speeds over 100 MPH on 45 MPH road. They came upon stopped traffic at construction zone with 35 MPH speed limit. One crashes and dies, fortunately not killing anyone else with him. Newspaper preaches to readership about terrible comments on original article.

          Have you ever seen an article like this on the vitriol directed towards bicyclists killed by traffic violence?
          http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/07/the-san-tomas-crash-hold-the-invective/

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          • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm

            Bleaggh. It’s a sickness. A very very weird sickness. C’mon, folks! Have a heart for the reckless narcissists whose carelessness threatens the lives of you and your loved ones! Not to mention your property… And no–no such care for cyclists or pedestrians. They’re asking for it.

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        • Dan A March 28, 2017 at 7:42 pm

          Fast & Furious? Is that a typo? I haven’t seen those movies but I thought most drivers were Fat & Furious. Har har har. Forgive my lame sense of humor.

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          • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 11:43 pm

            Har! I har! 🙂

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      • Tim April 3, 2017 at 9:44 am

        Most roads were never “designed”. They just happened or followed the common law right of way between properties. This was fine, the horses never had a problem. Now we pave over these paths and call them “designed” roads suitable for drunk drivers to negotiate at high speeds.

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  • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Someone ran over the 25mph sign on the way up to the Sunset Transit Center a year ago. It has yet to be replaced. Does that mean the road no longer has a speed limit?

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    • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Sorry for the double post. BP seems to have developed a lag in posting my comments…

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      • Todd Boulanger March 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm

        Its a bot conspiracy!

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  • SilkySlim March 27, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    A car landed on a boat in 2 Fast 2 Furious but that was a movie. No – a film.

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    • SilkySlim March 27, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Also, and I think it is important to follow up on this: in that scenario they were pursuing a criminal on behalf of the FBI, and the boat they landed on was supposedly funded through drug smuggling profits.

      I didn’t see any mention of a similar situation in this police report though, so probably a moot point.

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  • rick March 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    The road from SW Barnes Road?

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    • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Ah ha! Another double post.

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  • Stephen Keller March 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    The problem is far more complex than just road design. Automobile design is often fueled by racing initiatives. Consequently cars are ofter far more performance capabilities than roads or good judgment allow. New roads are rarely ever designed from whole cloth. We build upon existing and inadequate infrastructure with insufficient budgets and conflicting goals. Into this we throw inadequately qualified drivers fed on media reprentations that frame exteme driving as normal. It’s a wonder more people don’t die from it. As an earlier reader put it: insane.

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    • Fat Spandex Dude March 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Passenger cars that share much DNA with racing cars are rare. In series such as WRC/NASCAR/BTCC/SuperGT, the cars will share names and some bodywork with passenger cars, but share very little underneath. The WRX that the fella plowed into a house isn’t much like the WRX that Subaru raced in WRC over a decade ago.

      I think that modern automobile design is fueled by benchracing initiatives. People want a car that does 0-60 in under 5 seconds with a top speed exceeding 200mph, even though they will never go to a track to explore that potential. And if they do, they’ll often find that the chassis or the oiling system or some other thing will not be able to handle that power. There’s a class-action brewing against Ford because their GT350 Mustang overheats and goes into limp mode as soon as you try to push its performance envelope.

      Meanwhile, cars like the Toyobaru GT86 twins and the Fiata are derided for being slow, even though they’re still very quick, and have more performance capability than most drivers have driving ability. But instead of upgrading themselves, drivers cry for more power, and the companies give it to them, along with a ton of assists to help the drivers wrangle that power, with disastrous consequences when the drivers exceed the system’s ability to help. And it’s infected every corner of the market, from CUVs and minivans to compact sedans to massive trucks.

      And don’t even get me started on what’s gone wrong with truck design over the past two decades.

      The problem with drivers isn’t just a problem with their lack of ability, or even their lack of interest in acquiring ability (I feel like everyone should have to go through something like Prodrive’s car control and performance driving courses before they’re licensed, and we should have different licensing classes for different performance levels of vehicle, but that’s never going to happen). It goes deeper to consumer habits, where everyone has been trained to desire excess even when it’s a danger to themselves and others. Or, in some cases, especially when it’s a danger to themselves and others.

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  • Stephen Keller March 27, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    The problem is far more complex than just road design. Automobile design is often fueled by racing initiatives. Consequently cars are ofter far more performance capabilities than roads or good judgment allow. New roads are rarely ever designed from whole cloth. We build upon existing and inadequate infrastructure with insufficient budgets and conflicting goals. Into this we throw inadequately qualified drivers fed on media reprentations that frame exteme driving as normal. It’s a wonder more people don’t die from it in traffic. As an earlier reader put it: insane.

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    • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3zzYxEKMc4

      Why build a car with 640 horsepower?
      Why give it brakes that belong on a race track?
      Why on earth build a sedan that goes 200 miles per hour?”

      Exactly.

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      • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 10:56 pm

        Because it’s a babe magnet.
        🙂

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        • Betty B April 3, 2017 at 11:42 am

          If the cars in car calenders have hired models sitting on the hoods in bathing suits, it must be true.

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        • q April 3, 2017 at 2:42 pm

          Actually, it’s not because they’re babe magnets. It’s because the newly-divorced, middle-aged-plus CPAs and dentists who buy them think they’re babe magnets.

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  • bendite March 27, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Good drivers are able to manage sub par design and conditions. We need to get the bad ones off the road with more enforcement and higher thresholds to earn and keep a license.

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    • Stephen Keller March 27, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      That is a start. We also need to heavily in cent drivers to leave the race horses in the stable. We need to hire leaders who are willing to buck the current var-is-king model transportation model. We need to penalize who put too much emphasis on high-performance. We need to develop and deploy lower-cost and faster alternatives.

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      • Stephen Keller March 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm

        Sigh… stupid phone keyboard. I mean to penalize manufacturers.

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  • Dave March 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    A small help would be for media to talk about bad drivers in a less mild and neutral way. Instead of “alleged speeders,” say “street racers” or “speed maniacs.” Instead of “suspected intoxicated driver” say “booze fiend.” Stuff like that.

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  • Lester Burnham March 27, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Mandatory licensing for bicycles NOW!

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    • Todd Boulanger March 27, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Do you mean…license plates (registration) for bicycles or operators licenses for cyclists?

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      • El Biciclero March 27, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        Whatever it takes for bicyclists to stop killing people and destroying property. Oh, wait—

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    • Pete March 27, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      YES! Because it works so well for taxpayers and motorists…

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  • bikeninja March 27, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    And I thought “Death Race 2000” was just a movie from the 70’s. Now it’s real life thanks to happy motoring.

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  • bikeninja March 27, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    All this carnage is like the death spasm of a dying monster. As unlikely as it may seem to many, both the auto industry and and domestic petroleum industry are in a financial death spiral due to costs well above what the customer can afford. A bursting subprime auto loan bubble, and lease return avalanche are causing double digit sales declines ( or massively increased incentives) in auto sales since the begining of the year. The tight oil business has racked up over 2 trillion dollars in debt drilling and pumping oil below cost while even the majors ( exxon, etc) have seen their profits drop to near zero while having to borrow to pay dividends. Most of us thought happy motoring would end when the oil ran out, but it looks like it will end when everything from new cars, to insurance, to auto caused health care to petroleum to road maintenance will just cost more than consumers or society can afford.

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    • SE Rider March 28, 2017 at 8:11 am

      http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/04/news/companies/car-sales-2016/

      I feel like your use of “death spiral” is similar to Republicans use of it referring to Obamacare.

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      • bikeninja March 28, 2017 at 8:52 am

        Sorry for sharing a term with the republicans, this term was common in financial and engineering circles long before it was misused by the republicans. It refers to a system with positive feedback loops ( as opposed to negative feedback loops like a thermostat on your wall). In a positive feedback loop most of the things that are done to correct a situation only lead to it getting worse, thus leading to an increasing spiral towards failure. Many smart analysts in the late 2000’s before the ACA ( obamacare) refered to the situation the healthcare insurance industry had gotten itself into as a death spiral. This was because the more expensive insurance got, the more young healthy people did without, removing themselves from the “pool”. This caused rates to go even higher as driving even more of the “low cost” customers out and driving rates even higher. The ACA was put in place primarily ( from the industries perspective) to arrest this death spiral by creating a system with incentives to have everyone in the “pool”. So the republicans use of the term “Death Spiral” to refer to the ACA is especially misguided and wrong.

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        • soren March 28, 2017 at 9:53 am

          to arrest this death spiral by creating a system with incentives to have everyone in the “pool

          and the republicans eliminated billions in funding for “risk pools” to intentionally sabotage ACA.

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        • SE Rider March 28, 2017 at 10:04 am

          Point being 6 straight years of increasing US auto sales (even if there has been a blip the last couple of months) would be a hard sell as even trending towards the extinction of the auto.

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          • Pete March 29, 2017 at 3:42 pm

            True – it’s more an indicator of the subsidization of the automobile.

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        • Smokey Bear March 28, 2017 at 6:39 pm

          Nope. Mr. Gruber finally told the truth when he said the ACA was designed intentionally with a death spiral so it would fail; thus presenting the opportunity to pass single payer – the holy grail. In the mean time, insurers got the subsidy welfare – Ryan care just carried on the subsidy welfare to insurers with the tax credits – that’s why it didn’t even get a vote – it was a bad plan.

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        • wsbob March 30, 2017 at 9:30 am

          “…The ACA was put in place primarily ( from the industries perspective) to arrest this death spiral by creating a system with incentives to have everyone in the “pool”. …” bikeninja

          That’s an interesting perspective on the reason for making efforts to have health care available that would be affordable to all U.S. citizens. Though obviously, it is important too, to take steps to make sure health care professionals will be there to provide the care people needed by people with medical conditions. Poor people that never could afford health care, knew about this ‘death spiral’, long before the health care industry ever did. Thanks to the bumbling attempts by the current administration to ‘remove and replace’ the aca, it looks like the ‘death spiral’ is going to continue to be around for poor people for awhile.

          Always interesting to hear people lament about the use of motor vehicles on the road being ‘subsidized’. Keeping in mind that the U.S. economy is supported fundamentally by people being able to use motor vehicles to get to work, pay taxes, bills, and maybe…health care, if they’re lucky. Ok….theoretically, say strip away that investment in travel infrastructure enabling many, many people in the U.S, to get to work using motor vehicles. Will they be able to get to work, etc, by walking, biking, mass transit instead? Obviously, ‘no, they won’t be able to do that.’. And that they wont be able to, is a serious threat to the stability of the economy.

          Not so, if health care in the U.S.isn’t universally accessible. Or at least, that’s the ways it’s been for many years until more recently, when societal costs arising from health care needs of people not having health care, began to spiral…upwards. People, especially poor people were used to having something go wrong with them medically, and not being able to have health care to get well again, just continued to be disabled, or died. Oh well. For a long while despite that type of consequence, the economy went on with nary a blip.

          I don’t think that kind of indifference is going to work to address the means by which people get to work each day. So far, there doesn’t seem to be a solid ‘remove and replace’ plan to eliminate the need for so many people to use motor vehicles everyday.

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          • Naomi Fast March 30, 2017 at 5:27 pm

            Nice to see you branching out to these broader biking issues, wsbob! I recall in a thread with me recently you expressed a desire to “stick to biking issues.” I personally find it hard to separate bicycle transportation from other impactful issues in our culture. I’ve tried to define “biking issues” without seeing all the tangential connections but find it harder & harder to do. Car-centrism seems to affect everything we are and do.

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            • wsbob March 30, 2017 at 6:44 pm

              I did suggest mainly sticking to biking issues, and it would be easier to do that if U.S. citizens’ health didn’t factor some, into means of travel people are able to use to get where they need to go.

              Sickness and other medical conditions that leave people unable to walk or bike to work, or even ride public transportation, are one of the things that has made private motor vehicles such an extraordinarily appealing modern innovation. Personal motor vehicles can go a long way towards overcoming that obstacle. People can be sick as a dog have the flue, have sprained limbs, etc, and still drive their motor vehicle to the doctor, to work, the store. Much harder under those conditions, walking, biking. Oh, if the person is lucky, a family member, friend, or compassionate neighbor will help them out, but that kind of flies against the spirit of independent movement that our modern society more or less seems to demand.

              The U.S. modern society is one of torn priorities. We let the general public’s health hit the skids, out of placing a higher priority on building a booming economy, and trying to be one of the world’s key political and human rights referees. What one thing do I vaguely remember about some war mongering nation’s administration (not the U.S.) of past, I can’t remember the name of? That one of the first things it did upon taking control, was to make health care universally available and affordable, because it’s belief was that the fundamental key to success in international conflict, was a population with optimal health.

              Here in the U.S., health care of our citizens is ‘catch as can’. If you get sick, be dead broke, and go to the emergency room, or just die. Or as some would have us modest income people believe: ‘healthy market competition in health care will lower health care costs, making it affordable to all Americans.’. Someday. Meanwhile, most Americans having to do the daily commute on the freeways in their cars, get fatter and more stressed out with each and every day in the stop and go polluted traffic. Because that mode of travel used in that particular way, is a key component of the health of the U.S. economy, rather than…community design that allows people to affordably, enjoyably live near where they can walk or bike to where they need to go on most days.

              I’d rather just stick to figuring out how to persuade people to support building better bike route and walking infrastructure, but as long as there are people firmly believing that the nation is subsidizing travel with motor vehicles, rather than maintaining the roads used with them in order to sustain national economic health that depends on the viability of motor vehicle travel…other people need to speak up and clarify the distinction between the two.

              …naomi….thanks for the link to the past comment! …I used it to do a little review of what I’d written earlier. And by all means…keep riding around Beaverton. The more good riders seen on the street out here, the better the prospects for better riding conditions to come.

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              • 9watts March 30, 2017 at 7:47 pm

                “Sickness and other medical conditions that leave people unable to walk or bike to work, or even ride public transportation, are one of the things that has made private motor vehicles such an extraordinarily appealing modern innovation.”

                !?

                So are you suggesting that people in the US are sicker than in other countries? Because this sounds like a lot of ex post rationalization to me rather than an explanation of why we are hooked on the car here.

                Most people in all countries are physically perfectly capable of biking, though a lack of experience or social encouragement can go a long way toward eliminating it from the menu of options, not to mention the possibility that the related lack of physical exercise could lead to the kind of ailments you’re talking about.

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              • Dave March 31, 2017 at 8:00 am

                wsbob, you have laid out the reasons why an immediate, permanent increase to beyond-European level gas prices would be one of the greatest things that could ever happen to the USA. Junkies have to hit bottom before they’ll clean up.

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              • Naomi Fast March 31, 2017 at 7:45 pm

                Just wanted to add that sickness often precludes driving a car, too. It’s plain hard to be mobile with certain health conditions. Surgery can make driving or riding in a car physically painful, & it can be impossible to drive safely if medication’s prescribed. Even over-the-counter cold medicine has warnings not to drive or operate heavy machinery. Would be great it America came up with more humane & livable solutions for sick people to meet up with their doctors. How come there aren’t free hospital shuttles for outpatient surgery, for example? Would take some of patients’ stress away, cheaper than ambulances, reduces need for hospital parking, etc…

                When people who can’t safely drive (for whatever the reason) are “forced” by car-centrism to choose to drive anyway, that is a full on biking issue, because it endangers us who are biking, as well as all other humans & pets using the roads & sidewalks–including the person driving the car.

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              • wsbob April 1, 2017 at 10:48 pm

                naomi at: March 31, 2017 at 7:45 pm …

                …lots of things factor into why U.S. economy and culture is built around motor vehicle use the way it is. Listen to the old folks for reminders…as for example, they reminisce about the old days of doctor house calls. So many people having ready access to personal cars, helped put the kibosh on that. People began to be able to drive, or have someone drive them to the doc, even though they were sick.

                What I’ve heard, is that post WWII years, unlike for some European countries, were boom times for the U.S. Lots of vets with money for cars and houses in the burbs. Great Britain took a long time to recover, and Germany, of course.

                If the circumstances call for it, and U.S. citizens get behind it, they can do amazing things. During the war, driving was cut back a lot: gas rationing. That’s the past though. What’s the future have for incentive that U.S. citizens can get behind the way they did back then? With the person we’ve now got for a sitting president, and his ‘amazing’ administrative staff, something sufficiently unpleasant may turn up.

                For now, people don’t want to be restricted…they roads are there and they can drive, so they do. The type of collisions this story is based on, reflect the bad driving of a small percent of the people driving. Distressing, but not nearly the scale of circumstance that would have the entire U.S.population rally together to squelch that kind of driving, for good. As a nation, we could probably do it…we’ve done amazing things before…but for now, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen in the interest of roads safer to travel on, for anyone.

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              • Naomi Fast April 3, 2017 at 7:27 am

                I agree we should listen to our elders & it’s them I’m listening to, in large part. I don’t hear them talk so much about how it was in the past; they tell me how it is for them right now, & the struggles around having to give up driving for good (for many reasons: vision problems, physical weakness, fear of traffic congestion). I don’t have a percentage to offer, but many commiserate to me about their lack of mobility to restaurants, social services, etc. This is because back in the day they invested in the automobile rather than public transit. I should listen to my elders, but then it’s also an elder’s responsibility to provide guidance about what’s working about how they did things in the past, and what is not working. I feel I’m hearing that guidance loud & clear and I’m working to heed it.

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              • q April 3, 2017 at 9:43 am

                Remember the vets with “money for cars and houses in the burbs” were buying cars and moving to suburbs because government policies encouraged that. When people think of cities like Detroit “destroyed by riots in 60s”, they need to look back to the push to create suburbs ringing downtown, connected with new freeways that made it easy to commute, and almost dumb not to.

                People who could afford to move did, and downtowns suffered. That led to more people moving, and created a death spiral. Hence the term “donut cities”–poor, gutted downtowns surrounded by wealthy suburbs. And it’s tough to overcome, since a big part of what created the problems–the freeways–are literally cemented in place.

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              • wsbob April 3, 2017 at 10:14 pm

                “Remember the vets with “money for cars and houses in the burbs” were buying cars and moving to suburbs because government policies encouraged that. …” q

                I don’t know much about government policies that may have encouraged sprawl perpetuation, but I do remember vaguely, the excitement about Hwy 26 being built. Other things too, such as Beaverton, only 7 miles away from Portland, being the boonies, Hillsboro too, of course, poor hick farming towns…but set in beautiful, quiet countryside, which some years later, stressed out, priced out Californians began to flock to.

                We have a mess, and additions to the freeways, help to make it worse, it seems. I look upon the recurring westside bypass debate in the legislature, with dread. If we’re not careful, we could have doppelganger California sprawl duplicating itself in Oregon.

                I don’t see Oregonians, even those here in the valley, warming up yet to the kind of community design that doesn’t virtually require a motor vehicle for travel. Never actually studied it closely, but used to hear that King City, just west of Tigard, designed to be a senior community, was sort of such a place. Residents could use golf carts instead of cars to drive around the community. They’re basically slow vehicles, definitely compared to motor vehicles designed to travel with on highways and freeways..

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  • Andrew March 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Mandatory IQ tests and psychiatric evaluations should be a requirement for a drivers license. A drivers license does not imply proficiency or qualification to operate a multi ton vehicle moving at a high velocity in a reasonable or safe manner.
    It’s a shame that the built environment in the majority of North American cities virtually requires vehicle ownership, or at the very least strongly encourages it. A 6 lane suburban arterial fronted by vast parking lots and drive-through convenience services is urban design that is built for motor vehicles, not people. Walking through a parking lot to get to a store can be a harrowing experience.

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  • Stephen Keller March 27, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I apologize for my duplicate posts. I’m not sure what happened or how I managed to send the same message three times. It wasn’t anything I set out to do deliberately.

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    • bendite March 27, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      Oh, so you’re trying to tell us it was an accident and you just couldn’t see that ‘post your comment’ button?

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      • Pete March 27, 2017 at 7:27 pm

        Sun was in his eyes, but he’s cooperating with authorities.

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        • Dan A March 27, 2017 at 8:14 pm

          I guess maybe I did hit the Post Your Comment button, but I didn’t realize it at the time. So I backed up and hit it again.

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        • Middle of the Road Guy March 30, 2017 at 8:43 am

          He should have predicted that might happen.

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  • Todd Boulanger March 27, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    LOL – when reading this story on roadway safety…up popped a paid ad placement for a doggy bike seat on the top of BikePortland’s article page…

    https://ebikestore.com/shop/buddyrider-bicycle-pet-seat/

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  • Merlin March 27, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Look at how cars are marketed. Most TV spots have the caption “professional driver on a closed course”.
    We should have a law that says any vehicle advertised this way is only legal for a “professional driver on a closed course”.
    Doesn’t that seem logical?
    That’s just a small step in changing our culture – but it’s something!

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    • BB March 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Exactly. You can’t just go out and buy dynamite for example.

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      • Dan A March 28, 2017 at 5:18 pm

        What??? Even if I take a 30-question multiple choice quiz designed for teenagers?

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  • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 12:46 am

    I’d dearly love for the Nazgûl to swoop down and take away all the overcompensating-for-their shortcomings road rattling “car enthusiasts” in Portland now, starting with the unemployed and living with his parents engine tweaking exhaust-spewing neighbor brat boy across the street. And his friends. 🙂 Sigh. I dream about it… Come, oh Nazgûl! Come!

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    • Smokey Bear March 28, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      I hate those little cars with the loud exhausts. I’m sure it’s illegal, but apparently the cops don’t care.

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      • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 11:47 pm

        They don’t, Smokey. Many of them are loud vehicle aficionados themselves. And I think “fart can” is the term for those little modified cars. Apparently they’re just loud, too. Neither fast nor furious.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty March 28, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I really can’t tell if the Ford Escape ad at the top of this page is a prank!

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    • q March 29, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Several years ago a woman drove off a bridge downtown and was rescued from the water. I don’t remember any details, even what bridge (Hawthorne?) but I clearly remember she replaced her car with a Ford Escape.

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  • Steve Scarich March 28, 2017 at 9:53 am

    For years, I have lamented the lack of ped/bike law enforcement in Bend. Well, last week, for the first time, I witnessed a driver getting busted for ped law violation, and I triggered it! I was walking across a two way street in the crosswalk. The near car stopped to allow me to pass, and I warily watched the guy crossing the intersection from my right to see if he would yield to me. I always judge to see if it is safe to continue by driver’s eye contact and actions. He looked at me and accelerated as if I wasn’t even there. I stopped as he blew in front of me, and gave him the upturned palms WTF? gesture and not two seconds later a traffic moto jets out of nowhere and nails him. Wahoo!

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    • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Wow. That nearly made me cry. How satisfying that must’ve felt! It’s easy to feel worn down to a nubbin by the lack of enforcement and constant gritting of teeth you must do here in Portland. Like pecked to death by ducks.

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      • q March 28, 2017 at 12:55 pm

        I don’t know if this link will work–I watched it over and over: https://www.facebook.com/funnyhoodvideo/videos/425474731119332/

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        • Dan A March 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm

          Is that level of window tinting legal? Shouldn’t be.

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          • John Lascurettes March 28, 2017 at 6:19 pm

            Depends on the state.

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            • Dan A March 29, 2017 at 6:48 am

              Shouldn’t be legal in any state, is my point. You can’t see the driver’s face or what he’s doing inside the vehicle.

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        • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 11:49 pm

          Hah, q! I’ll bet the cops were arm wrestling to get that gig, driving around in the “sweet ride!” decoy noise car.

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      • Steve Scarich March 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        My own reaction kind of shocked me. First, I was glad that the cop busted him. Second, I felt bad for the driver, because he might be getting a $100+ ticket and that sucks for him. My takeaway was that I don’t want people to get tickets, I just want them to be more considerate. I was perplexed by my own reaction.

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        • 9watts March 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm

          ” I don’t want people to get tickets,”

          I don’t want people to get tickets for tiddlywinks ‘offenses’ like rolling stop signs on a bike or passing on the right, but I do very much want people to get tickets for doing scary, inconsiderate, unsafe things that endanger those around them.

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          • Dan A March 28, 2017 at 2:28 pm

            At Saltzman and Lovejoy in Washington County there is a T-intersection that is marked ‘right turn only’ with an arrow on the road and a sign next to it. https://goo.gl/maps/c1HcZaYCD8q

            I have nearly been hit there more than once, by drivers turning left without signaling their intention to make this illegal turn. I watched somebody do it one day and immediately get pulled over by a pair of motorcycle cops. I promptly rode over to them to loudly say “THANK YOU” to the backup cop while the other one was writing the driver a ticket. I smiled the whole way home.

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          • El Biciclero March 29, 2017 at 9:19 am

            Apparently, one of those “scary, inconsiderate, unsafe things that endanger those around them” is driving the speed limit in the left lane of the freeway. I suspect we’re about to get a law that would grant you a $110 ticket for “failure to keep a vehicle in the right lane” if you are driving in the left lane and not passing (with some exceptions for special conditions).

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            • SE Rider March 29, 2017 at 4:33 pm

              Colorado has had that law on the books for 13 years and honestly it does make most of the freeways flow better there.

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            • q March 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm

              There’s lots I don’t like about it in anything but light traffic.

              First is that jerks already feel like they have the right to ride your tail in the fast lane as long as they want to go faster than you, even if you’re speeding and passing cars yourself. This law will make them even more aggressive. And with heavy traffic (and aggressive drivers shooting by you on your right) it’s not always easy to move right, so they’re the jerks but you get the ticket.

              Main problem in Portland is that so many entrances and exits are on the left. To go from westside (Macadam) onto Marquam bridge, you enter Marquam in middle lane, not the slow right lane. Then continuing to I-84, you enter in the fast lanes again. If all entrances and exits were on right, it would be one thing. But around here, you can’t stay right, because you’re often either entering into a fast lane, and needing to merge out of it to the right, or you’re needing to merge left into the fast lane to exit. And now every aggressive driver will have free reign to feel justified in riding your tail every time.

              Plus aggressive drivers ignore “conditions”. So if they want to go 75 in the rain at night, they’ll ignore that the law says you can be in “their” lane going slower.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty March 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm

              “Keep to the right” is how they do it in Europe, and it makes driving much more orderly (and safe).

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              • El Biciclero March 29, 2017 at 5:50 pm

                Not that so-called “lane courtesy” isn’t a good idea (as long as passing on the right gets just as much enforcement—oh, but that’s still legal, according to ORS 811.415, so it won’t get any enforcement), but this kind of law serves to further harden the notion that all others must stay out of the way of those drivers who don’t want to slow down–or worse, want to speed. Even though the law (SB-532) would only apply on roadways with a posted speed of 55 or greater, I would be bold enough to venture a guess that this subtlety will be lost on 97% of drivers, some of whom will attempt to “enforce” the rule against other drivers on any multi-lane street by aggressive tailgating or other measures. To say nothing of the effect on pedestrians or bicyclists who are already granted right-of-way in many situations by word (law), yet expected to always stay out of the way of “cars” in practice. As much as this law may serve to protect us from aggressive drivers on the freeway by enabling them to drive aggressively in a lane that we legally cede to them, and as much as it may protect aggressive drivers from consequences by putting the blame on “left lane hogs” (even if those lane-hogs are speeding), I still don’t like the “stay out of the way” message it projects. Plus, as I hinted at earlier, “enforcement” of this law will likely be carried out mostly by other drivers, in the form of aggressive tailgating, rather than by police. In the event that aggressive tailgating of a non-passing left-lane user is actually observed by the police, which is the greater offense? Would both parties be issued citations? Would/could an officer exercise as much discretion as to ticket the slower driver for “failure to keep right”, and let the tailgater go free? In the event two drivers were “caught” driving in the left lane, would only the first get cited, because anyone behind him/her must have wanted to go faster, they just couldn’t, ‘cuz lane-hog?

                Also, it just seemed like this might not have been the most pressing traffic safety issue for the legislature to address. That, and getting a ticket for going the speed limit because somebody else wants to speed just seems backwards.

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              • Dan A March 29, 2017 at 6:22 pm

                People aggressively tailgate other drivers all the time, currently, both on the freeway and on every multi-lane road. Changing the law won’t add to that behavior, but it will ‘legitimize’ it.

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              • q March 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm

                “Also, it just seemed like this might not have been the most pressing traffic safety issue for the legislature to address. That, and getting a ticket for going the speed limit because somebody else wants to speed just seems backwards.”

                Yes, maybe slow drivers in the fast lane are a problem in some areas, but around Portland that’s 1% of the problem on the freeway, with the other 99% being aggressive driving. Drive on I-84 and you’ll swear people learned that the proper way to pass is to ride up onto someone’s tail in the middle lane, then suddenly swerve right to pass them, then immediately swerve left, cut back in front of them and continue into the leftmost lane and ride right up to someone’s tail again, all without ever looking or signaling.

                It’s also interesting watching two doing it at once and both trying to fit into the same spot at the same time, oblivious to each other.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 29, 2017 at 10:28 pm

                I don’t see how this law would legitimize tailgating, though it is true that if you cruise in
                the left lane in Germany, drivers will flash their lights at you.

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              • q March 29, 2017 at 10:41 pm

                It doesn’t “legitimize tailgating” in the sense of making it legal to follow too closely. But it does in the sense that the aggressive speeders who already tailgate as a means of signaling drivers in front of them to get out of their way have just been given a way to feel justified for doing so. Now, the tailgaters aren’t just getting slower cars out of their way, they’re getting ILLEGAL slower cars out of their way. Where before they were acting in their own interest, now they can feel they’re doing a public service by bearing down on these illegal slow drivers.

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              • Dan A March 30, 2017 at 6:33 am

                Right, hence the quotes.

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              • Middle of the Road Guy March 30, 2017 at 8:44 am

                But wow, they sure do pass aggressively.

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              • SE Rider March 30, 2017 at 12:13 pm

                Ha Kitty. I say that they do it in Colorado and get one rec. You say they do it in Europe and get four.
                If that isn’t bikeportland comments in a nutshell I don’t know what is!

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              • q March 30, 2017 at 2:20 pm

                SE–I just gave you one.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm

                Pro-tip: always work in a reference to Europe, bonus points for mentioning Copenhagen or Amsterdam. Avoid references to car hed places like Colorado.

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            • GlowBoy March 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm

              “Slower traffic keep right” is a good idea. A lot of states have laws that mandate it, or even prohibit passing on the right (a law I would not support).

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              • El Biciclero March 31, 2017 at 9:28 pm

                Well, if passing on the right is allowed, why is there any need for a “keep out of the passing lane” rule? If somebody is going slow in the “fast” lane, just pass them on the right. Unless passing on the right is outlawed as well (i.e., changing lanes to pass someone on the right, not just driving along in the right lane and coming upon someone going slower in the left lane), then it’s really hard for someone to know what to do when they realize a speeding driver is closing on them quickly—are they going to expect me to move over, or are they going to just whip around on the right? You don’t want to guess wrong in that situation. Why would you be against banning passing on the right, with all the same exceptions given in this law for going “slow” on the left?

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            • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 10:18 pm

              EB,

              This will be a monumental failure if it passes. The right lane is damaged by trucks – if suddenly all the cars/pickups are also driving on it, it will crumble very quickly.
              .
              There is no problem in any way in driving in the right lane on a freeway if you are not slowing people down behind you. I do it all the time because my gas sipper with tiny tires does better on the smoother pavement and it probably reduces wear on my suspension. This law is just one more out of tens of thousands that isn’t needed.

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              • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 10:30 pm

                I mean no problem in driving in the left lane.
                🙂

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          • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 10:27 pm

            9,
            I think everyone wants people who drive unsafely to get tickets. You see them every day and there is rarely a cop around when it happens. Cops should be in unmarked cars and all drivers should call 911 when they are pulled over to ensure it is a legit cop.

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        • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 11:55 pm

          Steve–feel bad for crippled puppies and people who life punishes through no fault of their own, I beseech thee! But no, no, not for the little turd endangering one and all and obliterating the peace for his own personal “fun.” Spare your pity for people who deserve it. He deserves every cent of that fine! Drivers like this don’t need more compassion. What they get already is part of why they have such egregious entitlement issues.

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          • rachel b March 28, 2017 at 11:56 pm

            p.s.. I WANT PEOPLE TO GET TICKETS. !!! More, please.

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          • Steve Scarich March 29, 2017 at 7:51 am

            Not pity; he earned his ticket. I’m just not sure what is the best way to create better driver behavior.

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        • Phil March 30, 2017 at 11:06 am

          You’re on the right track — I don’t want somebody to suffer, be punished, or even apologize. I want them to successfully negotiate the day without breaking the law or screwing up in any way that would require any of that.

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      • X March 29, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Well, nibbled. Nibbled to death by ducks.

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        • q March 29, 2017 at 6:51 pm

          I saw a movie about that: Bill Kill.

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  • Matthew in Portsmouth March 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    How dumb were the Padillas for getting in a car with someone who was evidently impaired? Did they have a death wish? Or were they similarly impaired?

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  • Smokey Bear March 28, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    2 million Oregonians went to work today in cars and trucks without incident. They paid taxes that support schools, parks, roads, law enforcement, military protection, etc. They earned income, some of which they will use to buy products from many businesses in Oregon. They may have saved a little of their earnings so that some day when they are old and can’t work, perhaps the young people will not have to pay to support them.
    .
    Are those the “vast negative impacts” referred to in the article?

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    • q March 28, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      Of course those are not negative impacts. That doesn’t mean the negative impacts weren’t negative. Ted Bundy diligently paid his federal taxes, too.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy March 30, 2017 at 8:45 am

        And serial killers make up a tiny fraction of the population. So tiny that you can’t really do anything about them.

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        • q March 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm

          And your point is…?

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    • Dan A March 28, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Oh, we’re passing on lots of costs to the young people, and those that haven’t been born yet. Don’t kid yourself.

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    • El Biciclero March 29, 2017 at 10:26 am

      You seem to be offering a counterpoint to the negative impacts (noise, local pollution, climate-changing pollution, death, injury, disease, destruction of property, time lost in traffic, expense [both public and private], inequitable access to travel and roads, destruction of local environment, opportunity cost of investing in cars-only infrastructure, etc.) by implying that all the seemingly positive things you mention just wouldn’t be possible without the private-motor-vehicle-centric system we have today. Lots of Oregonians took transit and rode bikes to work today, too, without causing nearly the level of negative “externalities” of driving alone. Had the transportation system been designed around core principles other than “an individual in a private motorized vehicle shall be able to travel as fast as possible to any destination in the city”, we could have just as many people going to just as many jobs, and doing all the things you mention without such a vast array of negative “impacts”, which you are ignoring in your comment. One positive impact you left out is that of not having to save as much for retirement, because Americans aren’t living as long any more—partly due to pollution and climate impacts, and also partly due to obesity and its related ailments, which are exacerbated by the sedentary lifestyle promoted by the inability to imagine getting anywhere other than by driving a car.

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    • 9watts March 29, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Smokey Bear: “2 million Oregonians went to work today in cars and trucks…”

      q: “Of course those are not negative impacts….”

      Actually I’d venture that in 2017 that much driving is itself a negative impact of climate altering proportion. I know Mr. Bear was talking about direct traffic injuries and deaths—the former of which surely did occur even if we didn’t read about it here—but I think it is important to keep updating our filters for what constitutes negative impacts, how to recognize them.

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      • q March 29, 2017 at 12:33 pm

        I agree with you completely. I was referring only to Bear’s silly list of people paying taxes, etc. Yes, there are huge negative impacts from driving, beyond injuries and deaths. He seemed to be trying to cast this in, “If you think driving has negative impacts, you must be against schools and parks” terms.

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        • 9watts March 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

          Yes.

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        • Middle of the Road Guy March 30, 2017 at 8:47 am

          There are also positive ones. Our economy operates on the ability to move large quantities of goods to other locations.

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          • q March 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm

            Yes there are. Saying there are negative impacts of something doesn’t mean there can’t be positive ones.

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    • Pete March 29, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      I went to work today without driving a car or truck, pay 70+% of my property taxes (in multiple states) to schools we never had children to put through, and frequently purchase goods and services tax-free in your state (which would likely benefit from a reasonable sales tax on non-essentials).

      That 2 million Oregonians chose to damage roadways and surrounding environment this morning speaks less to not having transit options as it does to their gas costs being limited to a measly $3/gallon through, among other ‘subsidies’, a highway trust fund debt that’s jumped to $70B. More debt for children means less educational funding.

      That Congress wants to do away with the federal gas tax, which isn’t even indexed to inflation and hasn’t been raised in over two decades, should give you some idea of whose interests are really being looked out for by our government. If you’re trying to prove that driving is a zero-sum game, your math skills are off.

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      • John Lascurettes March 30, 2017 at 11:58 am

        ^^ This!

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      • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        Not trying to prove anything Pete, except that although there are negative impacts from driving, the positive impacts of allowing our economy to thrive, far outweigh the negatives on a daily basis. Eventually, if CO2 theories are correct, we may live in a tropical paradise here, but I’m not taking that into account.
        .
        Could we cut vehicle use in the US? By 50% in one week if it was necessary – just by carpooling. Someday it could happen due to economic factors, oil embargo, war, etc.

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        • q March 31, 2017 at 10:05 pm

          I see your point. If you want to find a city with an unproductive economy, just look at the ones where they’ve taken steps to replace car driving with mass transit, dense mixed development that shortens commutes, or other such things. These cities, like Amsterdam or Copenhagen are sucking the life out of their countries’ economies.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 1, 2017 at 7:08 am

            That definitely does NOT apply to Colorado.

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            • q April 1, 2017 at 9:09 am

              Certainly not.

              But didn’t you forget something? I still see a zero under my comment.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 2, 2017 at 4:12 pm

                Oh crap. I apologize.

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        • Pete April 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm

          “…the positive impacts of allowing our economy to thrive, far outweigh the negatives on a daily basis.”

          No, they don’t. There are massive economic impacts we’ve only begun to understand, but we are the people responsible, and we continue to use justifications like this. If more people took mass transit, for instance, it would be less subsidized, there’d be less traffic congestion on the roads, and smog would be reduced. Would those same people still be going to the same jobs and paying the same taxes? Of course!

          People think the money comes from somewhere else, and they’re oblivious to the damage. Let’s see how well California’s $0.12/gal gas tax increase goes, only weeks after the same people were crying about storm-damaged road closures and potholes everywhere. “We have the worst roads around!”, cry the Californians, with some of the most temperate weather, highest discretionary spending, and most car-centric culture in the country (auto sales records are typically set in L.A. and S.F. areas).

          “Someday it could happen due to economic factors, oil embargo, war, etc.”

          It did happen, in the mid-1970s. Exactly the opposite happened as now (where oil has remained at near-record lows for a few years now). Instead of record auto sales we started mandating MPG improvements and begat smaller cars and eventually hybrid technology. People started taking mass transit again, and there was a bicycle boom.

          “Could we cut vehicle use in the US? By 50% in one week if it was necessary”

          How does one determine “necessary”? What if it’s already necessary and we just don’t know it (or care)? Societies don’t have a track record of exercising prudence in advance of necessity. We tend to overshoot.

          You couldn’t possibly switch half of all US drivers over to carpooling in a single week, but I like your optimism – keep it up. (It’s paying my retirement in the stock market due to these absurd valuations based on malformed assumptions about job creation).

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      • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 10:11 pm

        We pay quite high income and property tax rates to make up for the fact that we do not have a sales tax.

        If the gruberment gets rid of the gas tax I’m guessing that will help most Americans but it will help the po’ the most.

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        • Pete April 2, 2017 at 8:37 am

          “If the gruberment gets rid of the gas tax I’m guessing that will help most Americans but it will help the po’ the most.”

          That makes NO sense! For example, the same assembly members who are fighting the gas tax increase in CA are the same ones who’ve had transportation bond measures passed in their communities (by voters, no less). So the net result is that fuel taxes stay the same but sales taxes increase – how does that help anyone who’s already struggling?? And how is that fair to people who aren’t causing most of the roadway damage to begin with? And yes, I understand the ‘moving goods’ argument, that’s basic.

          I’m not joking about this: sales tax in my county (Santa Clara) just went from 8.75% back up to 9.25% due to a transportation measure that passed. Assemblywoman was just on TV arguing “They want to raise our taxes, without voter input, and then they want them to keep raising because they’re tying it to cost-of-living increases!” (i.e. inflation).

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          • 9watts April 2, 2017 at 8:39 am

            Mr. Bear is an idealogue which makes it hard to have a reasonable conversation that isn’t littered with right wing talking points.

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            • Dan A April 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm

              For all we know, he’s a Russian bot sent here to confuse and distract.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 2, 2017 at 4:15 pm

                It worked… I just voted for Trump.

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        • q April 2, 2017 at 10:45 am

          Actually if we really wanted to help the poor, wouldn’t it make more sense to keep the gas tax and use it to improve public transportation, so the poor people who currently drive would have cheaper options?

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          • soren April 2, 2017 at 5:02 pm

            i would have been an enthusiastic supporter of portland’s gas tax if it had been substantially allocated to mass transit.

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        • wsbob April 2, 2017 at 5:13 pm

          “We pay quite high income and property tax rates to make up for the fact that we do not have a sales tax.

          If the gruberment gets rid of the gas tax I’m guessing that will help most Americans but it will help the po’ the most.’ s bear

          When was the last session the Oregon Legislature seriously talked about a sales tax? Answer: so many years ago, I don’t remember.

          One of, I think, the biggest reasons Oregonians haven’t supported ideas from the legislature to have a sales tax in this state: …The legislature wasn’t willing to drop the state income tax in exchange, creating a plan like Washington State’s.

          Imagine that…in this largely conservative state (outside the major metropolitan areas in the Willamette Valley. Not sure without checking, but believe the majority of the state’s population lives in the valley cities.), property owners are willing to continue to pass up the a chance of having their property taxes and state income tax be, some would argue ‘lowered’ with the implementation of a sales tax. I suppose their confidence in the chances their existing taxes actually would be lowered, and stay that way, is not very strong.

          …s bear, what’s wrong with your spelling? Do you mean ‘government’, in using that hacked up, garbled baby talk word? Why would the government get rid of the gas tax? Why would taxpayers…(now you’re talking about taxpayers across the nation)…support getting rid of the gas tax? They’d just have to make up the money to help pay for roads and maintenance some other way, most likely even higher income and property taxes than they pay now.

          One of the inherently great things about the gas tax has always been, that if someone doesn’t want to pay it, they have by way of it, some motivation to use a form or travel whose fuel source isn’t directly taxed. The gas tax stands as a built in disincentive to not drive…if of course, on a person to person basis, it is possible for them to get around by other means. .

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    • Phil March 30, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Look if you’re going to get picky about the benefits of 2 million Oregonians going to work today, paying taxes, earning income, buying products, saving money…

      All the benefits derive from working, not from driving there. In fact they would be able to buy MORE products, save MORE money, or even pay MORE taxes (since we’re assuming they proudly and enthusiastically volunteer for same), and furthermore keep all that money circulating here in the local Oregon economy where it would have the greatest benefit, if they could somehow arrange their lives to be able to bike to work like a sensible person instead of throwing money away and sending it to (years ago I would’ve said) Texas where they (used to) drill oil or (years ago I would’ve said) Detroit where they (used to) make cars.

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      • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 9:47 pm

        Each motor vehicle manufactured, maintained, insured, repaired, fueled, licensed, given tickets, etc, puts a pile of people to work. If we were all riding bikes, the economy would shrink a lot.

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        • 9watts March 31, 2017 at 9:53 pm

          the military’s foreign misadventures, traffic cops, hospital trauma centers, ambulances also employ lots of people.

          We’d still be much better off without those jobs (or the need for them, many of which just happen to be a function of automobility).

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        • q March 31, 2017 at 9:56 pm

          The economy is still reeling from the double whammy of people stopping renting movies at video stores at the same time they stopped bringing in their film for processing.

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    • GlowBoy March 30, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Let me fix that post for you, Smokey: 2 million Oregons went to work in cars and trucks today:
      – Clogging up roads across the state, slowing emergency-vehicle response times and the delivery of freight.
      – Killing 1.3 humans, most of them innocent.
      – Generating more than 20 million pounds of CO2.
      – Spewing out large amounts of toxic local pollution – including NOx, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, benzene and fine particulates – contributing to asthma, other respiratory diseases and cancer.
      – Making it so kids can’t walk to school in many rural and exurban districts – even when the school is close enough to walk.
      – Frightening people across the state from trying to walk or bike to their destination.
      – In most cases, breaking the law at some point and thinking nothing of it.
      – Sucking off the government teat. Although these drivers are paying property and income taxes, the paltry fuel tax doesn’t pay even half the cost of roads. Car driving costs governments far more than it gives back. It certainly does NOT help pay for schools, parks, police protection or the military, and in fact it competes (mercilessly) with these other needs.*

      I’m not anti-car, don’t think they’re going away, and recognize their appropriateness for many transportation uses. But as long as we give driving a massive advantage over other modes, I’m going to keep pointing out the downsides, which are huge.

      * Here in Minnesota, we have a $1.6 Billion dollar budget surplus. Guess what’s the biggest priority among our lawmakers? Reducing class sizes (averaging an absurd 35 students per class in practically every urban school because, as across the country, Millennials are coming back to the city to raise their kids)? Expanding HeadStart? Fixing the failing schools in poor neighborhoods, gutted by school-“choice” programs? Nope, BOTH parties are planning to take over a billion dollars of that surplus and spend it on transportation. Education’s not even on the table. To their credit, Dems are going to fund the state share of two long-planned new light rail lines, whereas Pubs want to nix not only that but a big share of existing transit funding. But both parties are going to spend huge quantities of money expanding the roads using the general fund.

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      • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 10:01 pm

        I checked that out; and it appears that Education in Minnesota receives 49.5% of the general fund budget and Transportation gets 0.7% of the budget. See page 4 of this pdf:
        https://mn.gov/mmb/assets/16-17-recs-pie_tcm1059-124196.pdf

        I know there are some exceptions, but in general, public schools produce poor results and non-public schools usually produce much better results with fewer dollars per student. I think some competition will increase quality. A non-unionized environment will help a lot. I know kids who were taught at home and ended up with degrees from Ivy League schools, and are doing well in industry.

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        • dwk March 31, 2017 at 10:13 pm

          Please provide any real studies to prove your point.
          More Fake news Drumpf BS.

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          • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 11:23 pm

            Here’s one example of failure in the teaching of math in public schools:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taaUfG5rsMI

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          • Smokey Bear March 31, 2017 at 11:35 pm

            This video covers some of the main differences.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEkwNI6J8W8

            That is an excerpt from a longer video.
            Many teachers unions, government groups, etc will come up with “studies” to refute the truth. Each parent has to research the facts and decide for themselves. In my travels, I’ve noticed many of the smartest folks went thru Catholic schools. I attended public schools and there was a lot of room for improvement in some of them; but I think many are far worse than the ones I attended.

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            • dwk April 1, 2017 at 7:19 am

              Drumpf is a great example of the private education you are speaking of.
              A complete know nothing, intellectually challenged, deranged, delusional, conspiracy theory obsessed nincompoop.

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              • wsbob April 2, 2017 at 5:11 pm

                …now, now…lets be nice…he is after all, our president. Even people that didn’t vote for him effectively allowed him to be elected.

                The donald, our sitting president at present…is actually very good in his area of expertise. Unfortunately for people of the U.S., that area of expertise for him, doesn’t seem to include skill with many of the abilities necessary for being a shrewd and strong president with a good sense of direction.

                That poor guy…opens his big mouth about being elected pres, and then, wonder of wonders…he actually gets elected. If he’d just kept a little quieter and continued being a bon vivant, sitting on his backside on some sunny tropical isle with his beautiful model wife right next to him, swigging margaritas, looking at the girls, playing with his expensive toys and building more ugly towers into the sky, instead of being trapped in the oval office with the constant presence of secret service guys around him. With this in mind, thinking about him shouting ‘You’re fired’, on his tv show…it occurs to me we may in the not too distant future, hear from him ‘I resign’, through one of his tweets.

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              • Dan A April 3, 2017 at 7:45 am

                He seems to be working out ways to make BILLIONS of dollars for himself. Offering him sympathy is laughable.

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        • q March 31, 2017 at 10:17 pm

          That’s amazing about those home-schooled kids. Everyone knows they have the double curse of having parents uninvolved with their education, along with enormous class sizes that make it virtually impossible for them to get any meaningful personalized attention from their teachers.

          And nice how you worked in that reference to Ivy League schools. They are wonderful examples of (as you said) “non-public schools (that) usually produce much better results with fewer dollars per student”.

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        • GlowBoy April 4, 2017 at 10:49 am

          Private schools and public schools have very different demographics. Comparing outcomes is like comparing apples and giraffes.

          Private school students primarily come from higher-income families who often have the ability to give them lots of advantages. There’s a lot less economic (and of course racial) diversity in private schools. And private schools get to be selective in whom they admit, so they get the cream of the crop. Also, private schools are rather notorious for paying their staff very poorly.

          Public school students run the range from well-off to extremely poor. Many, especially in better-off schools (and many magnet schools), still come from families who can give them advantages, but many don’t. And public schools, by definition, have to take everybody – including the most behaviorally troubled, learning-disabled and/or academically challenged kids. Public school systems also have to pay for services to private schools: in Minnesota, public districts must pay for special education services (which are extremely expensive) needed by private schools, and they must provide transportation to private schools for students who live in the same transportation district. Again about Special Education (which, again, is one of the biggest costs to public school districts, often approaching half the budget of urban districts): private schools take on few Special Ed kids, especially those with the most severe problems. Mostly these kids end up the responsibility of the public schools, not only pulling down outcomes but also driving up costs.

          You simply cannot compare public and private school outcomes on a cost-efficiency basis.

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  • GlowBoy April 4, 2017 at 10:34 am

    El Biciclero
    Well, if passing on the right is allowed, why is there any need for a “keep out of the passing lane” rule? If somebody is going slow in the “fast” lane, just pass them on the right. Unless passing on the right is outlawed as well (i.e., changing lanes to pass someone on the right, not just driving along in the right lane and coming upon someone going slower in the left lane), then it’s really hard for someone to know what to do when they realize a speeding driver is closing on them quickly—are they going to expect me to move over, or are they going to just whip around on the right? You don’t want to guess wrong in that situation. Why would you be against banning passing on the right, with all the same exceptions given in this law for going “slow” on the left?
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    Because even when the law mandates Slower Traffic Keep Right, they often don’t. If you don’t allow passing on the right, then the faster vehicles just get bunched up in the left lane behind the inevitable slower vehicle who doesn’t move right. Sometimes it still makes sense to allow people to pass on the right, even if ideally they wouldn’t have to.

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