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The Monday Roundup: Biking as wonder drug, driving privilege in Charlottesville, bike tax metastasis, and more

Posted by on August 14th, 2017 at 9:33 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by Chrome Industries, who recently moved their headquarters to Portland and they’ll celebrate by having a Warehouse Sale with deep discounts on last season/sample bags, apparel and footwear. Sales runs 8/18 – 8/20 at old Shleifer builder at 224 SE 2nd Ave.

Welcome to Monday. Before we start another big week, let’s not forget the most interesting stories from the past seven days…

Driving privilege and racism in America: Transportation reformers and racial justice advocates see disturbing parallels between our overly permissive car culture and the accused murderer who intentionally drove his car into a crowd of people protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville over the weekend.

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Rapha and Walmart: High-end apparel brand Rapha (whose U.S. headquarters are based in Portland) was bought by an investment firm owned by Walmart heirs. Expect big growth from Rapha, don’t expect them to go downmarket.

Cycling is a wonder drug: A UK study found “staggering” health benefits from people who biked to work — as much as a 41 percent lower risk of death compared to people who drove or took public transit to work.

Best bikepacking: The newly minted Oregon Timber Trail made Travel Channel’s list of “10 Best” bikepacking routes in the U.S.

ODOT’s propoganda machine: Joe Cortright over at City Observatory has dismantled the latest ODOT freeway expansion propoganda.

Little thing, big consequence: A jury ordered a Portland business to pay $291,000 because they let a tree grow over a stop sign. A judge ruled their trimming negligence contributed to a traffic fatality.

Velotopia: Our friend and author Steven Fleming imagines what a city would be like if it was built for bicycles from the group up.

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Outside perspective: A British bike blogger spent her holiday biking in Portland with young children and found our bikeway network to be relatively relaxing and low-stress (even after being dinged with $20 fines for locking Biketown out of the service area).

Welcome e-bikes on multi-use paths: WashCycle has a solid defense of electric bikes on non-motorized paths.

Models shmodels: Another reason why Portland’s recent backpedal of its bike commute mode share is wrong-headed: Research showing that “positive utility” of modes — like health for bicycling — isn’t captured in travel demand models.

Bike tax metastasis: That Colorado politician inspired by Oregon’s ill-advised bike tax now sees a similar measure as a way to fund a pre-existing pledge by that state’s governor to raise $100 million for bikeways.

Kabul’s bicycling postman: The NY Times shared a wonderful video-laden story about a man who uses a bicycle to deliver letters on the roads of Kabul, Afghanistan.

More affordable tri-bikes: Tualatin-based A-Squared is a new company that offers a more affordable triathlon bike in an effort to increase participation in that discipline.

Thanks to everyone who sent us recommendations. Don’t forget you can now sign up to receive this Monday Roundup in your inbox.

— 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

104 Comments
  • Avatar
    Bjorn August 14, 2017 at 9:52 am

    I have never tried to park a biketown outside the service area, is there any kind of warning on the display that you are about to get hit with a 20 dollar fine and an option to not end the trip? Car2go definately makes it clear if you are outside the zone that you are outside the zone and can not end the trip where you are. Biketown should try to do something similar as it would have been cheaper to pay for the bike to be rented through the visit at velocult rather than ending the trip for that hour.

    Bjorn

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    • John Liu
      John Liu August 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      The app clearly shows the limits of the service area and when you are outside it. I don’t think the bike’s little display shows it, but have never had the opportunity to check.

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    Middle of the Road Guy August 14, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Do the transportation reformers and racial justice advocates see any parallels between terrorists who use cars to kill people? I mean, like in France?

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 14, 2017 at 10:05 am

      I do. The mere fact that city governments are so deluded into thinking that they need large roads full of toxic-emission spewing, multi-ton vehicles next to areas where many humans like to be is symbolic of this overly permissive — and often deadly — car culture that they are afraid to acknowledge and address with any real strength.

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        wsbob August 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm

        “… The mere fact that city governments are so deluded into thinking that they need large roads full of toxic-emission spewing, multi-ton vehicles next to areas where many humans like to be …” maus/bikeportland

        You think city government believing it must allow use of motor vehicles on roads to where people want to go and want to be, is delusion? You must think so, because you said you do. People as the public, tell government: Here are places we need to go. Create the roads that allow us to get there with motor vehicles, because it’s by motor vehicles that most of us travel. City government, or county, state, and federal governments, are not deluded in thinking this is what the public is asking of those governments.

        What the public, and government, eventually will figure out for how to prevent lunatics from deciding to use as weapons, motor vehicles on public streets on public streets, likely won’t be so simple as eliminating the use of motor vehicles on roads near to where people need and want to be. It doesn’t take a motor vehicle for someone to be a terrorist and decide to hurt and kill a lot of people…it’s been shown repeatedly that walking works very effectively to that end.

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          Spiffy August 14, 2017 at 5:24 pm

          giving people what they ask for is a horrible idea… it’s why I’m glad we don’t live in a democracy…

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        Middle of the Road Guy August 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm

        Jonathan, you are commenting like someone who has the privilege of having most of his needs met by where he lives. We live in the same neighborhood. Everything here is very convenient – even highway access. I admire how you have managed to do most of your travel by bike. However, not everyone is able to afford the luxury of proximity to the services we enjoy. Not every product that we buy, so conveniently close, can be biked in.

        Now, comparing this to racism? If the majority of drivers were of a single *race*, you might have an issue, but there are drivers of every ilk. Even people that are historically discriminated against drive like jerks on the road. You can argue that cyclists are treated like a minority due to institutional structure that does not serve the disadvantaged, but I think trying to make a link via race is one stretch too many in that analogy.

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          B. Carfree August 14, 2017 at 3:41 pm

          I’ll buy that not everyone can meet all/most of their transportation desires without using a motor vehicle. However, that does not justify setting up our transportation system so that almost no one can do so, imo.

          What percentage of people really need to drive every single day, often multiple times? What would that percentage be if we actually built our public space to encourage active transportation? (The flip-side of the health benefits of active transportation are the crippling damage done by years of sedentary lifestyles.) What other choices would people make if they had to actually consider the driving/not driving aspect in a differently-built environment? I know I have refused jobs that involved commutes beyond my range (and my range is well beyond what is considered normal).

          Sure, let’s make it possible to drive. But in doing so, let’s not make it a death-defying action to choose to not drive. While we’re at it, let’s not make it take unnecessarily long to get from A to B by bicycle or foot just so people sitting in their cars don’t have to wait a bit.

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            wsbob August 15, 2017 at 12:08 am

            “…While we’re at it, let’s not make it take unnecessarily long to get from A to B by bicycle or foot just so people sitting in their cars don’t have to wait a bit.” b carfree

            You say “…unnecessarily long…? What period of time might you have in mind that wouldn’t be unnecessarily long? Bearing in mind that many people traveling by motor vehicle today, already spend a lot of time in their motor vehicles, waiting for traffic congestion to ease, that has little to nothing to do with use of bikes on the road. Much more time than many people biking want to spend stuck in stop and go traffic…which is one reason many people bike, taking advantage of congestion free bike lanes next to such traffic.

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              El Biciclero August 15, 2017 at 7:31 am

              “What period of time might you have in mind that wouldn’t be unnecessarily long? Bearing in mind that many people traveling by motor vehicle today, already spend a lot of time in their motor vehicles, waiting for traffic congestion to ease, that has little to nothing to do with use of bikes on the road.”

              From my perspective, “long” is a measure of distance/detour, not necessarily time. Most of those drivers choose to sit in traffic for a “long” time rather than take a “long” detour that might get them around the traffic. Bicyclists, on the other hand often have to take longer routes due to safety concerns or prohibitions, not because the short, convenient route is clogged with too many bikes. My round trip to/from work is about 4 miles longer when I ride than when I drive because the most direct (and flattest) route is reserved for auto use only. Well, technically, I think the OAR would allow me to ride it, but crossing the Cedar Hills and 217 interchanges would really blow, I think, and the slog up from Jefferson to the zoo outbound would not be pleasant, either.

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                Dan A August 15, 2017 at 7:59 am

                My bike commute has ~10x as many stops and ~10x as many turns as my car commute (no exaggeration — I’ve counted them both). It’s also 2 miles longer and has nearly twice as much climbing (1500ft vs 880ft).

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          9watts August 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm

          Catherine Lutz has some thoughts on this matter (if I understand what you are saying):

          9watts
          Catherine Lutz has written eloquently about the ways automobility hurts the poor disproportionately. Carjacked is her book; she also has articles about this, including this one which I’ve mentioned here before:
          Catherine Lutz. 2014. “The U.S. car colossus and the production of inequality.” AMERICAN ETHNOLOGIST, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 232–245.
          from the abstract:
          “I ask how the car-dependent mobility system of the United States not only reflects but also intensively generates the inequalities that characterize U.S. society. I propose that “compulsory consumption” and the automobile’s centrality to the current regime of accumulation can help account for this.”
          and from the article itself:
          “This material allows insight into the several significant pathways by which the car produces or amplifies inequality in the United States and, potentially, elsewhere. I argue that the car system not only reflects inequality but also actively produces it, massively redistributing wealth, status, well-being, and the means to mobility and its power. While declining wages, rising corporate control of the state, and rising costs of higher education and health care are also crucial to these redistributions, understanding the car system’s special and deeply consequential inequality-producing processes is key to any attempt to solve a number of problems. Prominent among the problems that the U.S. car system exacerbates are inequality of job access, rising wealth inequality, and environmental degradation and its unequal health effects.”
          Recommended 10

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            Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 6:37 pm

            Catherine did not say anything there that appears to make sense, but, just for argument, let’s say she did. OK, let’s shut down the US car system. POOF! Millions of people who have a job due to cars suddenly don’t have a job. That’s better, right?

            🙂

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              Chris I August 14, 2017 at 6:53 pm

              No one is advocating that. It took decades to create this mess. It will take decades to fix it.

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                Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 7:27 pm

                I’ll bet 9watts could do it faster than “decades”.

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          wsbob August 14, 2017 at 6:10 pm

          It doesn’t take much money at all to legally get a car and drive. Say 500 bucks for a car with a clean title, which I’ve no doubt many people have done, and do, unlicensed, uninsured. Lots of old heaps out there that will run for thousands of miles yet. Figuring in insurance, licensing, and…what else?…it takes quite a bit of money to legally drive a car. Easily close to 1K or more.

          Who do you think is gonna go the route of driving an old heap, unlicensed and uninsured? Quite possibly, I’d imagine, many of the people most incapable and unqualified to safely drive a motor vehicle. That’s a problem, it seems to me. Many people don’t even seem to consider that certain human qualities like mental stability and disposition factor into how safe and responsible people as drivers can be on the road. Basically, if a person can pass the fairly simple written test, and keep their cool for the short ten or fifteen minute on the road driving test, and a doctor hasn’t said they can’t drive…they’re good to go. With that in mind, think about what might be the dangerous mental state of some of the people driving.

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          Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 15, 2017 at 7:14 am

          Hi Middle of the Road Guy,

          I didn’t realize we were neighbors. Stop by my place anytime to say hi.

          You wrote:

          Jonathan, you are commenting like someone who has the privilege of having most of his needs met by where he lives. We live in the same neighborhood. Everything here is very convenient – even highway access. I admire how you have managed to do most of your travel by bike. However, not everyone is able to afford the luxury of proximity to the services we enjoy. Not every product that we buy, so conveniently close, can be biked in.

          I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. Yes I have a lot of privileges and I have a very comfortable life. I agree with you! But I have never said biking is something everyone must do or that our entire city could rely solely on biking.

          You also wrote:

          Now, comparing this to racism? If the majority of drivers were of a single *race*, you might have an issue, but there are drivers of every ilk. Even people that are historically discriminated against drive like jerks on the road. You can argue that cyclists are treated like a minority due to institutional structure that does not serve the disadvantaged, but I think trying to make a link via race is one stretch too many in that analogy.

          I am not and I have not directly compared biking or bike advocacy or my negative feelings about cars and driving — to racism. You are making that leap, not me. I am shining a light on an event and stating that racism exists in the same social context that car-culture and driving privilege exists. Please be careful to not speculate about the intentions of what I’m doing — especially with such sensitive and important topics. Thanks.

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    Buzz August 14, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Gordon Price from Vancouver BC has given several excellent presentations over the years in Portland explaining why you can’t build your way out of congestion, and lane miles added can never keep up with growth in motor vehicle ownership. These presentations have been sponsored by both PBOT and the PSU School of Urban Affairs; therefore PBOT should know better than to just go along with whatever ODOT wants, even if it is conjured up with smoke and mirrors.

    https://pricetags.wordpress.com/

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    Oy August 14, 2017 at 10:30 am

    “driving privilege in Charlottesville”

    Jonathan, your desire to conflate the issue of a f@scist rally and a n@zi terrorist murder to a “car culture” bike issue is frankly disgusting and insulting. Please stop trying to make this a bike thing.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 14, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Hi Oy,

      I’m sorry my comments have insulted you. That’s not my intention, although I know this is a complex and sensitive issue and I need to be very careful.

      It’s not that direct and simple in my opinion. I am not comparing these issues directly. However, there are important parallels and I’m far from the only one who sees them. Put another way — I think the parallels that exist are important enough for us to keep in mind here on BikePortland, but we should not overreach and draw direct lines when those lines don’t exist. I appreciate you sharing how this makes you feel. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how transportation issues and civil rights intersect and it’s not a topic I share lightly or without full awareness of perils therein.

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        SE Rider August 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        Yet your link/reference is a tweet thread that you’re participating in.

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          Kyle Banerjee August 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

          Implying a few tweets between 4 people constitutes consensus among “transportation reformers and racial justice advocates” is a bit inflated.

          I wonder how well the idea of making roads in communities of color and other marginalized groups would respond to the idea of making their roads super unfriendly to cars would be. Somehow, I doubt such a move would be perceived as a blow against racism.

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            SE Rider August 14, 2017 at 3:31 pm

            It’s the equivalent of “people are talking about it”. Sad.

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          Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 15, 2017 at 7:19 am

          SE Rider,

          Are you trying to say I am alone in thinking about car culture in relation to the events in Charlottesville? Hardly.

          Articles have been posted in Citylab and Streetsblog on the topic.

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            SE Rider August 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

            I would use those as references rather than a twitter discussion.

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              Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 15, 2017 at 8:18 am

              news moves fast SE Rider. Those articles were still being written when I first wrote this post. I don’t just make statements willy-nilly in a vacuum. I make them based on years of experience following this beat and being open to many views and perspectives from hundreds of people every day. sometimes i make the decision to have an opinion and say it’s shared by others when those others haven’t formally shared their opinions yet.

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        Pete August 14, 2017 at 9:37 pm

        Interesting. I made a comment once on here about how bicyclists are the only remaining ‘minority’ in America that are still allowed to be bashed in the press, and I was labeled a racist (and I still fail to see the logic). If the search feature worked for comments (it only works for article content) I’d point it out.

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      bikeninja August 14, 2017 at 11:15 am

      RE: Oy,

      While this was a tragic and barbaric event I think Jonathan is correct in analyzing the part played by the deadly use of a motor vehicle. When mass shootings take place, many well meaning people question the part played by the easy availability of firearms. When innocent people are killed by the criminal use of a motorcar it is equally reasonable to examine the role played by the weapon of choice. It does not diminish the role played by the hate-filled groups involved nor equate automobile culture with violent far-right groups. But any time there exists in society the opportunity for deranged, or manipulated individuals to cause great harm to others. that is well beyond that which they could cause with their hands or a kitchen knife, we owe it to future innocent victims to examine ways to minimize such mayhem.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 14, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Hi again Oy,

      Streetsblog has just published a piece that draws a line from Charlottesville to politicians who have pushed for laws that would make it legal for people to run over other people who use streets for protest http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/08/14/these-state-lawmakers-tried-to-make-it-legal-to-run-over-protesters-with-a-car/.

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        Oy August 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        You’re still looking at this in a vacuum. N@zi’s will use whatever tools at their disposal to exterminate those they see as a threat. Guns, cars, torches, smashing windows of Jewish businesses, it doesn’t matter. The issue here is that we need to stop the spread of their hate and violence. Stop focusing on the methods of hate and focus on stopping the hate itself. Rather than arguing about allowing unfettered motor vehicle access to our public spaces (a point which I happen to agree on), we should be organizing and fighting back. If we sit here and argue the finer points while n@zi’s continue to kill and terrorize, then we’ve already lost.

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          Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm

          you make a good point about focusing on the larger context of the problem. I completely agree with you. Keep in mind that just because I point out a particular piece of an issue, doesn’t mean it’s the only aspect of that issue I care about or know about. Also keep in mind that I am doing what I can in my sphere – which deals in transportation specifically — to fight against this problem. BP is about transportation… I am not going to use this platform to discuss/debate the much larger points of this issue.

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            Oy August 14, 2017 at 1:42 pm

            You’re not wrong, however the way you frame it implies that the main issue is our permissive car culture. Yes, that is indeed a problem, but is frankly quite irrelevant in the broader context of combating fascism and white supremacy.

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              bikeninja August 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm

              Oy,

              Even focusing on fascism, white supremacy and hate is still looking at the problem in a vacuum. These are both symptoms of a greater problem. These horrible pathologies spring up in societies that have manifested profound inequality, unfairness, and economic destitution. These things are created because in dealing with the social and economic problems in a country we ignore them and instead evil and opportinustic individuals or groups redirect blame towards innocent groups of minorities or “others”. If we focus on just N@zi’s or hate we will miss the true devils rising from the swamp because they may have no historical baggage to warn us.

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                Oy August 14, 2017 at 2:09 pm

                Fair point. We clearly need to properly address the vast inequities that our neoliberal-capitalistic society has caused, and which our Capitalist-in-Chief is the extreme embodiment of.

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                Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm

                Oy said: “We clearly need to properly address the vast inequities that our neoliberal-capitalistic society has caused, and which our Capitalist-in-Chief is the extreme embodiment of.”

                Yes, we should aspire to being more like Africa or Venezuela, or the Middle East, or some of the other 3rd world nations, right? Those fine examples of a better system than ours. Uh huh. Got it. Mind boggling.

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        Middle of the Road Guy August 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm

        And we know that is wrong and unacceptable.

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        Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm

        ***comment deleted because it was insensitive given the context of what happened in Charlottesville.***

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          wsbob August 14, 2017 at 11:51 pm

          “It is legal to run over people IF you are in a car which is being attacked by, for example, ANTIFA fascists and you fear for your life. It’s called self defense. …” knobbies

          Oh good grief!! Do you still think it’s legal, and self defense, if the people that get run over, weren’t the people that were doing the attacking? Is it your thinking that in civilian society, there is some degree of collateral damage that’s legally self defense? In rules of war, maybe…that’s something I’m hardly familiar with.

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          Chris I August 15, 2017 at 5:57 am

          **comment deleted**

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      Joe Hand August 14, 2017 at 11:40 am

      It is a car culture issue. Look how dodge advertises their cars:

      “Roadkill nights, powered by Dodge”, happening at same time of Charlottesville: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHEWPVQVwAAnO7Z.jpg:large

      Full thread of aggressive ads: https://twitter.com/DrivinHere/status/896853173524197376. “keep the streets mean”, “ultimate aggression”, “street menace”, etc.

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        Kate August 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm

        While I understand and see the connections between racism and tribalism that we experience on the streets, talking about this incident in through the lens of car culture violence feels a bit like responding to “Black Lives Matter” by saying “All Lives Matter”. And hopefully we can see why that’s a problematic response…

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          Mossby Pomegranate August 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm

          But all lives DO matter. Don’t they?

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        Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 6:28 pm

        Wrong.

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    Edward August 14, 2017 at 10:38 am

    The blurb on the $291,000 is factually wrong. You should consider changing it.

    It was a civil jury that ruled that the business was responsible for causing a death. This is a jury verdict — not what we usually refer to as a “fine”. Also, the judge did not make the ruling. The jury did.

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      John Lascurettes August 14, 2017 at 11:19 am

      That makes a lot more sense than a fine. While I think homeowners and businesses should get nasty-grams and/or fines from the city for obstructing signs (I got a “trim your tree or we’ll do it and fine you” letter from the city once), that seemed extra excessive as a fine. That said, even in the O’s pictures, you can clearly see the limit line at the corner, indicating it is controlled. And let’s say if even it was an uncontrolled intersection, one should approach all uncontrolled neighborhood intersections with alertness and caution. The driver is far more culpable than the business (unless the business refused to prune the tree after repeated warnings). Gotta say, under any circumstances, it sounds like excessive speed for the condition was the real issue.

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        Dan A August 15, 2017 at 4:53 am

        “it sounds like excessive speed for the condition was the real issue”

        Ah….someone should tell the police about this law.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

      thanks edward. i edited that item and will be more careful about reporting on these type of stories in the future. i appreciate your comment.

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    bikeninja August 14, 2017 at 10:40 am

    It is amazing that city governments are willing to spend so much to fix a traffic congestion problem via road widening when there is no good evidence that such a scheme will even work. It is like modern transportation planning has fallen in to its medieval phase where black magic and incantations are used in place of logic, research and foresight. Perhaps automobiles are civilizations version of a monkey trap. In a monkey trap a banana is placed in an earthen jar with holes only big enough for the monkeys bar hands to enter. When they grab the banana, they can’t get their hand out, and only letting go of the banana will allow them to go free. But in most cases the monkey keeps ahold of the banana until he is captured and loses his freedom or worse. Private automobiles are our version of the banana in a jar. We can only solve our real problems by letting go of the banana.

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      wsbob August 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Highway re-configuring on a very short section of highway for improved traffic flow…limited to that specific of the highway, such as in the Rose Quarter project, exchange, or whatever it’s called, is not really ‘road widening’, highway or freeway widening, though some people try to persuade others that’s what it is.

      Generally, I think it’s inescapably obvious that the travel needs of an increasing population such as urban areas in the Willamette and Tualitan area continue to experience, can’t be satisfactorily met by corresponding increases in road, highway and freeway width and motor vehicle carrying capacity. Increased emphasis on infrastructure supportive of modes of active travel will have to be made in co-ordination with community design to support it.

      Still, I think the public will expect that some of their money continue to be spent to clean up road configuration congestion points that don’t allow relatively easy flow through those points…even if such improvements don’t reduce travel time over an entire adjoining highway or freeway commute route.

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        bikeninja August 14, 2017 at 1:41 pm

        So, your saying that useless but symbolic acts are needed to appease the auto driving mob. Sounds a little like ancient Mayan civilization. Not sure that ended well.

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          Middle of the Road Guy August 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

          It’s almost like funding a light rail system that very few people use.

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          • Adam
            Adam August 14, 2017 at 2:39 pm

            Have you ever ridden the Blue Line during rush hour? Please tell me again how no one uses MAX.

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            bikeninja August 14, 2017 at 3:03 pm

            Do you even live in Portland M.O.R.G? The lines I ride daily ( yellow, red, blue) are all packed for several hours each morning and night. Tri-met claims that the blue line carries a third of all rush hour traffic on hwy 26. But I have done my own calculations using train frequency and passenger counts and during the peak of rush hour the red and blue on the hwy 26 corridor carry as many commuters as all the personal motorcars on the hwy. Solid historical experience and logic have shown that light ( and heavy) rail are the best ways to carry large volumes of passengers in a dense urban environment. In the 90’s when the blue line was first built it may have been marginal as to usefulness, but it shaped Portlands growth and only gets more and more useful and relevant as Portlands urban density increases, as opposed to the private automobile which only gets more irrelavent as density, and congestion increase. Lets make choices for the future and not just to appease the automobile cavemen ( and women) jumping up and down waving clubs and demanding more dinosaurs.

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            9watts August 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm

            “light rail system that very few people use.”

            ?

            widening highways and buiding light rail equivalent? Please explain.

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          wsbob August 14, 2017 at 5:49 pm

          “So, your saying that…” bikeninja

          I’m not sure that what you’re saying, has anything to do with what I wrote in my comment. Maybe you can explain what’s on your mind.

          Portland’s gradually expanding light rail system is fine for what it does. True, during rush hour, the trains are often packed…conditions that have me not want to ride the train during those hours. In terms of the system’s ability to meet the travel needs of people in Portland and surrounding towns and cities? Far from being able to meet those needs.

          Compare Portland’s system to NYC’s, the latter of which to say the least, represents a far greater and longer term investment than Portland’s. Many more trains run per hour, in and out of NYC during commute hours. I’ve been reading bits of a continuing NYtimes series published I think over the last couple weeks. Excellent series. A very sobering reality, is, extensive as it is, NYC’s system, according to that reporting, is in trouble in terms of being able to meet needs being placed upon its system.

          With such a circumstance happening, how can there be a workable plan involving elimination of motor vehicle use on roads to and from and near where people need to go?

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    JJJ August 14, 2017 at 10:56 am

    RE: Oy

    We have seen terrorists again and again use cars and trucks to create mass casualties.

    The fact that in the US, the authorities will allow vehicles unrestricted access to areas with large gatherings of people, especially political gatherings, is a sign of car culture run amok.

    IE: Boston Marathon, which was a terrorist target. Any bicycle locked to a public space within 2 blocks of the route gets (illegally) cut and hauled to a central area in the name of safety. And yet any terrorist could ignore the “do not enter” sign and plow into the spectators if they wanted to, because nearby roads are kept open since car travel is “essential”.

    Or look at what NYC does. On the Brooklyn Bridge, they place 3,4, 5 officers on the pedestrian path because of “terrorism”.

    10 feet away there are 6 lanes of traffic where 18-wheel trucks that could be loaded with bombs have unrestricted access because heavens forbid we inconvenience drivers.

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      JeffS August 14, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Are you proposing that we close the roads any time a group illegally takes to the streets?

      If we have already chosen not to enforce rules, I don’t think more rules is going to accomplish anything.

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      Middle of the Road Guy August 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      We’ve seen terrorists use whatever is handy to kill people.

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        9watts August 14, 2017 at 5:50 pm

        Sure.
        But this opportunism doesn’t negate what JJJ and others have pointed out here, which strikes me as rather sobering.
        Again, I’ll not that I have trouble following your point. I’ve learned from probing that you do have a point, perhaps even an interesting one, but you manage to bury it with your terse style to the point that it ends up sounding to me like jeering.

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      Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Believe it or not, 99.99999% of Americans have access to crowds of people in their cars; and could, if desired, run over a whole bunch of them; yet only a very small number choose to do it deliberately in the USA. In Europe it is becoming more common, but that’s for different reasons.

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        9watts August 14, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        Lots of residents of the US have access to guns (more than in any other nation I think), and while the vast majority of them don’t use them to kill others, thankfully, many still do.
        Guns and cars are unlike guitars and clocks when it comes to misfortune & the statistics which describe it. Haven’t we had this discussion before?

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    Champs August 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

    The $291k is not a fine, it’s a civil judgment. That’s the tree’s share of a settlement that has more to do with someone blindly crossing SE Madison at 10th doing 35 miles per hour.

    The city couldn’t get them to fix it after two notices and even doing the work themselves. Gotta wonder when people will seriously take the liability of obnoxious landscaping on sidepaths and in front of traffic signs.

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    Mike Sanders August 14, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Seems like ODOT has adopted the outdated mindset that widening freeways with little or no active transit options (ped/bike paths, etc.) must be considered to be the solution that gets considered first – while alternates to car travel get shoved way down the list. They tried widening I-405 in the LA area last year and it failed spectacularly. Don’t they get it? The developers, I think, are putting huge pressure on ODOT to ignore the ped/bike option (and the MAX/streetcar option, too) and force them to obsess on freeways, freeways, freeways. How do we counteract that? That’s the $64,000 question.

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      B. Carfree August 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Let’s pause to remember that CalTrans, at least, appears to be taking baby steps towards understanding induced demand, unlike ODOT which refuses to acknowledge that we can’t just build our way out of congestion. I’d say we should be ashamed for being behind CA, but that is where bike lanes started and it still has the best bike lane and bike path standards in the west (though CA still allows door-zone bike lanes, ugh).

      https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2015/11/californias-dot-admits-that-more-roads-mean-more-traffic/415245/

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      • Adam
        Adam August 14, 2017 at 4:01 pm

        though CA still allows door-zone bike lanes, ugh

        Honestly better than most Portland commercial streets though, which don’t even have bike lanes at all.

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          B. Carfree August 14, 2017 at 8:03 pm

          We’ll probably just have to agree to disagree, but I’d rather have no bike lane at all than have a dzbl, especially if the local traffic folks have put up a few “bikes may use full lane” signs and sharrow markings (in the right places).

          When there’s a dzbl, I won’t ride in it because it is a hazardous condition. State laws in both CA and OR allow me to ride outside a bike lane that has a hazardous condition, but not one motorist in 10,000 is aware of this. Thus, a dzbl gives me the unpleasant choice of having many very hostile encounters with motorists who think I should be in the defective bike lane or riding in the door zone, which is a recipe for eventually winning the door prize (perhaps lethally). Even my 57-year-old wife, not exactly a fast, aggressive rider, prefers sharrows in commercial districts to dzbls.

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            wsbob August 14, 2017 at 11:41 pm

            “…State laws in both CA and OR allow me to ride outside a bike lane that has a hazardous condition, but not one motorist in 10,000 is aware of this. …” b carfree

            Out of ten thousand people that drive, you don’t think even one of them is aware that people biking have the right, acknowledged by law, to avoid hazards in bike lanes or anywhere on the road? Interesting idea to speculate on, though I doubt its true.

            Could more road users, those that only drive, those that only bike, those that do both, and those that only ride in motor vehicles, or walk, be better familiar with the range of rights to use the road, of people that bike? I would say ‘yes’. If other people agree similarly, why is there not more of a concerted effort to better acquaint everyone with these rights?

            Despite how much it is that some people feel they need to object to the existence of ‘door zone bike lanes’, or ‘dzbl’s’, as you’ve simplified the name, dzbl’s can actually do a fair job of providing a little more safe margin of use of the road, than if there was no bike lane at all. If…people riding understand how to use this type of bike lane, and the rest of road as well, according basic road use principles, and the law. Their manner of riding demonstrates that far too many people biking, don’t know or don’t care about either of those three things.

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    Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I have not seen even one video on the Charlottesville incident yet, but I did hear that the driver may have been surrounded by ANTIFA fascists who were attacking his car and thus he may have been in fear of his life; so the actions he took could be defensible. That’s not the general consensus I know, but, he’s innocent until proven guilty.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Just please go away already.

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        Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        Tell that to the jury.

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          9watts August 14, 2017 at 5:52 pm

          oh, I didn’t realize you were standing trial already.

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            Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 6:07 pm

            Oh yes, Adam is ready to lock me up and throw away the key.

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      Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Here is one video. I would have been in fear for my life. ANTIFA surrounding the car at low speed, start to hit car, so he floors it……..might be reasonable per this video:

      https://streamable.com/21gc9

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      Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm
      • Adam
        Adam August 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm

        I’m sure “Department of Memes” is a totally reputable source…

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      Spiffy August 14, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      this video clearly shows the crowd moving around and past the car before it plows into the crowd… driver is not in any danger… crowd is not focusing on them…

      http://www.tmz.com/2017/08/14/charlottesville-car-attack-drone-video/

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        Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 6:16 pm

        Neither of the 2 videos in that link show what was happening to the car of the accused before he plowed into the burgundy vehicle. The second video (not the drone video) did show that his vehicle was being attacked at least after it appears he hit some people – his car was being destroyed by ANTIFA, so he put ‘er in reverse and hit the gas taking out a few in reverse. Can’t make any conclusion of guilt from your link.

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        Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 6:23 pm

        This one clearly shows at least one person hit the rear of the car with a bat-like object. Driver may have thought it sounded like a firearm, who knows. Can’t tell if others were hitting the car, but if they thought he was the enemy, they probably were. If I were him, I’d say my car was being pummelled and I was in fear for my life. Very well could be true. He walks.

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          Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 6:24 pm

          forgot the video link: https://streamable.com/21gc9

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            Alan 1.0 August 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm

            This source may be too liberal for you, but it shows Fields’ Challenger exiting an empty intersection, heading for the crowded intersection, chirping its tires as it accelerates through the crosswalk. I wonder why your source edited out that first part of the video?

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              Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 9:47 pm

              Yes, I saw that video on youtube. The camera does not show much at the beginning – can’t tell what is really happening, but my pure speculation is: the car was being hit by protesters so the car was stopping/starting unsure what to do, sped up to get away, slowed as it approached the big crowd, then was attacked by the bat from behind, and it sounds like maybe rocks are hitting the front of the car, and I’m assuming that’s when the driver decided his life was in danger so floored it to get away; and based on another video, rear-ended another vehicle, and then backed up as the crowd was destroying his car as warm-up for destroying him. That’s what it looks like to me.

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                Alan 1.0 August 14, 2017 at 10:14 pm

                In the Fox version, 0:13 to 0:16, it is clear that no one is behind the car, a few people on the sidewalk are in no way threatening the driver who accelerates down the unoccupied part of the street toward the crowded intersection. The people with bats (clubs of some sort) appear after ran into the crowd and the vehicle in front of him. The sidewalk where he spun his tires is part of a pedestrian street which was not involved in the protest (4th & Main, https://goo.gl/maps/mex6Sp2h1mn).

                Would you be defending similar action if the perp was not of your political persuasion?

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                Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 11:24 pm

                A1.0,

                We have no idea what is occurring before the chirp of the tires. And I don’t know what made the tires chirp – it may be that he ran over the bump so fast that the car was airborne – kind of makes a similar sound as he is backing up over that bump near the end. That might indicate he was going fast to hit people and did not expect the bump to be there. So, perhaps he did do it on purpose. Here you can watch it on youtube without the fox commercials and can start/stop it when you want. You may be right – I assume a jury will decide:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn5f5qyf7io

                My guess is that if the accused did it on purpose, he will probably admit it.
                I have no idea what his politics are – I’ve read nothing about him; so no, his politics don’t affect my opinion of this incident. My guess is that even if he did act justifiably in self-defense, he will be convicted due to our PC justice system, just like this guy was who, clearly, drew a gun legally in self defense to keep a threatening crowd away but was convicted and put in jail for 40 days and had his right to own firearms illegally taken away:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_0MQdpBIF0

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                Alan 1.0 August 15, 2017 at 12:30 am

                We know protesters were not at the Main and 4th intersection. We know the Challenger was not moving fast when the video started. We know there was no one in the area immediately behind the Challenger, and the only people on the sidewalks were not threatening it or the driver in any way. That’s all shown. We know that the protesters were down the block at 4th and Water, and we know that the Fields accelerated the car in that direction, ramming into the crowd very hard. There was no one in pursuit of him anywhere in that block, at least not until after he plowed into the crowd. The video shows that.

                I find it difficult to believe that you are unaware of the politics of either the victims or the perpetrator in that crime. It’s disingenuous to say otherwise. I hope you’re right that he admits it.

                If you were Judge Ryan, your opinion on Strickland’s gun use would be relevant.

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                Big Knobbies August 15, 2017 at 2:21 am

                A1.0,

                We do not know what, if anything, occurred in the ped crossing before the start of the video. We cannot say there were no people there – it isn’t shown in the video.

                I think the legal protesters (with a permit) were protesting for free speech – they wanted a Civil War statue to remain is what I heard. I think they were some kind of white nationalists. The ANTIFA protesters, from what I hear, did not have a permit. They have been causing a lot of problems for quite a while, threatening people, assaulting people, rioting….. so the result this time was predictable. I’d expect to see more of the same unless they wise up.

                The Portland judge obviously used poor judgment. Hopefully the verdict will be appealed and overturned.

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          Chris I August 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm

          Just stop. You are really going to side with this white nationalist? ***portion of comment deleted because it was mean***

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            Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 7:17 pm

            By the way, I’d looooooove to live in Idaho. Up around Stanley or Sun Valley would be nice. Idaho is a very beautiful place.

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            Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 7:37 pm

            OK, if you want me to move to Idaho, why don’t y’all set me up with a go-fund-me account so I can buy a nice little place over there. I found this one – looks about right for me and you’ll be happy to know you cannot access it by automobile in the winter. Click on the picture of the house and view the photos:
            https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Stanley-ID/land_type/2106765484_zpid/36215_rid/globalrelevanceex_sort/44.587533,-113.913116,43.609234,-116.044464_rect/8_zm/?

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            • Adam
              Adam August 14, 2017 at 8:41 pm

              I’d be happy to invent you a time machine so you can travel back to 1940’s Europe…

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                Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 9:51 pm

                ***comment deleted – Big Knobbies, if you’d like to continue commenting here you need to be more tolerant and nicer to others. — Jonathan***

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              • Adam
                Adam August 14, 2017 at 11:32 pm

                Yeah, good thing America allowed those “conquering hordes” in back in the 1930’s or I wouldn’t be here today.

                Your thinly-veiled racism is getting tiring. Why did Jonathan turn off automod for you?

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    Steven Fleming August 14, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks Jonathan for mentioning my new book Velotopia! I appreciate you helping get the word out about my previous book, Cycle Space, back in 2011 as well. Velotopia won’t be in the US until October, I think, but can be bought as an eBook. https://www.nai010.com/en/publicaties/velotopia-e-book/130530

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    Pete August 14, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    JM, the snarky personal attacks have gotten out of hand on your blog. It’s become ridiculous. Alternate opinions and ideas and observations exist, and people should deal with that as adults.

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      Chris I August 15, 2017 at 6:06 am

      It’s hard to avoid insults and snark when faced with a commenter who spits out dozens of comments defending a racist monster who used a car to murder an innocent person. If he won’t moderate this offensive propaganda, people will respond in negative ways.

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        JJJ August 15, 2017 at 7:13 am

        He’s “just asking questions”

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 15, 2017 at 7:17 am

        Hi Chris I,

        Big knobbies definitely has a different view of the events, but I’ve reviewed his comments and I think he has managed to share them in a way that doesn’t rise to the level of being purposefully inciteful or mean toward others. If there’s a particular comment of his/hers you want me to review, please send me the link. Thanks.

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        • Adam
          Adam August 15, 2017 at 7:59 am

          Also note that in a comment above, he’s referred to immigrants and refugees as “conquering hordes”, a term that has airs if islamaphoboa and racism.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 15, 2017 at 7:16 am

      Hi Pete,

      I’ve reviewed all of the comments and am considering how best to moderate/delete inappropriate ones. Thanks.

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        JJJ August 15, 2017 at 7:54 am

        Jonathan, there is no place for his garbage here. The standard of moderation shouldn’t be “did he avoid using cuss words.” He is tripping over himself to justify terrorism, and he is spamming a bicycle blog to do so. That doesn’t create discussion. That just makes your readers avoid the comment section in the future. We don’t come here to trudge through garbage. If that was the goal, we’d go to reddit.

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          Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 15, 2017 at 8:20 am

          Thanks for that JJJ.

          “avoid using cuss words” is not my standard for moderation. I moderate based on many intangible factors. I don’t label comments as “garbage” lightly and I don’t want BP to be an echo chamber that can’t withstand alternative viewpoints — no matter how far they might be from the majority views held here. Thanks again for understanding and I will continue to review those comments and consider holding them back.

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    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 15, 2017 at 8:28 am

    After deleting and moderating many of the comments in this thread, I am closing it down. Thanks everyone for participating in this discussion. I appreciate the feedback about the comments and I learned more about how best to moderate them. We all need to work harder when sensitive topics are on the table to make sure we can have a productive conversation. The goal is to move forward, not get mired down in personal attacks and insensitive/mean comments. Let’s do better next time.

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