Splendid Cycles

How can our community support the fight against white supremacy?

Posted by on August 16th, 2017 at 11:29 am

PDX Bike Swarm - ALEC F29 protests-8

A sign from a protest in February 2012.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Like many of you, I’m struggling to focus on anything but the sorry state of our nation.

The events in Charlottesville and their aftermath have made it clear that the white supremacy movement is alive and growing in America. And now that Donald Trump has cleared a space for hate to flourish, we’ve reached a new and dangerous place in the fight against it.

Why am I bringing this up on a bike blog?

BikePortland plays an important role in our community. As an independent media outlet, our relatively large audience is one of the smartest, most engaged, and most civically active groups of people in Portland. Because of that — and because of the privileges and safety I personally enjoy as a comfortable, independent, middle-class, business-owning white male — I have a responsibility to listen to the community and do what I can to help fight this cancer of hate and prevent it from metastizing.

I have some sense about what to do as an individual. What I need your help with is what to do as publisher and owner of this platform we’ve all created together here at BikePortland.


These are the questions I need help with:

    ➤ Should BikePortland do anything to help or take part in the local effort to fight white supremacists and resist the Trump administration’s enabling of it?
    ➤ If not, why not?
    ➤ If so, how best can we use the tools we have to assist in these efforts?

What exactly are the tools we have?

At its core, BikePortland is a community media outlet that connects people with each other and with information. We are also a resource provider, helping people find events to participate in, jobs to apply for, groups to join, and so on. Because of your participation here on the blog and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, BikePortland is also a place where important conversations happen everyday.

Should we put those tools to use in a different way to help with this fight? Or is it better to stay out of it?

I had this exchange on Twitter late last night:

Please understand it’s not my intention with this post to force biking into these very serious and sensitive issues. There are many very capable groups and activists already working hard in this space and I don’t want to get in their way. However, I feel it’s necessary to directly acknowledge that this hate is happening in our city, in our state, and in our country. What we do here on BikePortland should not happen in a vacuum; but I’m also wary of losing the clarity of focus that I feel has made this site so valuable over the years.

That being said, I don’t want to regret not using the tools we have as the march down this dark path we’re on grows larger.

Bicycling is a powerful thing. It can transcend mere sport or transportation and connect people to each other and their community in profound ways. If there’s a way to harness that power via the platform we have here and use it in the fight against white supremacy, I want to consider all our options.

At a minimum, I’ll do what we’ve always done: promote local protest events like the one coming this Friday and report on any bike-related actions (like PDX Bike Swarm and so on) that take place around them.

But should we do more? Or should we just stick to bike news? Please share your thoughts, and remember all commenters deserve respect. I appreciate your support and understanding as we work through these issues together.

— 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

  • 9watts August 16, 2017 at 11:51 am

    A bold and timely set of questions. Thanks for framing it so well.

    The way I see our present moment, extreme inequality in this country has generated conditions that have produced the audience our president has found for his nastiness. And according to Catherine Lutz, whose work I’ve shared here in the past, inequality is (also) exacerbated by our society’s over-reliance on the automobile. This is not a direct response to your request for tools, but indirectly I think it bears on the relationship between transportation and inequality and our drift toward autocratic rule and spiteful rhetoric.

    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.”

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 11:58 am

      thanks 9watts. I’m a fan of her work too and wasn’t aware of that paper.

      You’ve laid out the problem. That’s important. But what I’m looking for is solutions — How can we use what we have to help make progress on this inequality that is directly feeding this atmosphere of hate?

      I take it you think we should discourage auto use and fight for less car-centric policies. I agree w/ you 100% on that. But that’s a long play. Shit is real right now. out in the streets. I’ll try and put your insights into action in a more immediate sense. thanks!

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      • 9watts August 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        “I take it you think we should discourage auto use and fight for less car-centric policies”

        Yes, though my reason for bringing up Lutz’s argument is that by casting automobility as actively producing inequality it sheds a different light on the more familiar efforts which problematize cars (environmental, public safety, or health)—ne more angle—and one that I think bears on the questions you pose, even if, as you and I agree, this is more philosophical than immediate.

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  • Eric Leifsdad August 16, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Cities depend on cooperation and trust. People on bikes are more vulnerable than people in cars, but more agile and open to interactions with others, yet still able to cross the great empty distances we’ve made for ourselves with parking lots. Cities need bikes to bridge that parking gap to be able to build affordable housing at the necessary density. If everyone with privilege rides, it’s that much easier for everyone else to join in. For all those people choosing to drive because they are scared about riding in traffic, what do you expect people who don’t have that choice to do? Everyone has the right to ride a bike and not have their safety put at risk while traveling. Many people don’t feel like they are able to exercise that right.

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  • 9watts August 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    And one more.
    For better or worse, this blog has tended to focus more on wealthier, whiter people’s relationship to bikes than, say poorer, less white people. This article, which I”ve linked to here in the past, is a fascinating look at the face of biking we don’t tend to look at here much. If we did, I guarantee we’d learn a lot, and perhaps in so doing we could become better, more empathetic advocates.


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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      9watts wrote:

      For better or worse, this blog has tended to focus more on wealthier, whiter people’s relationship to bikes than, say poorer, less white people.

      thanks for pointing that out. Yes statistically this is true… although we’ve tried to shine a light on poorer, people of color whenever the opportunity arises because I agree with you that by doing so we help create more empathy for all types of riders in the community. What happens is the vast majority of the stories I do are reactive. they are about breaking news or big decisions/policies/projects in the local bike world — and our local bike world is still relatively rich and white so that’s what the coverage looks like.

      What I’m hearing from you is that we should be more proactive about covering this demographic. I agree. Thanks.

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      • 9watts August 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm


        that article in Bicycling magazine, which is very long, wrestles with the fact that we (most of us – I, you, probably most bikeportland readers, Bicycling magazine editors, the Bike Gallery, Cycle Oregon, The Street Trust, etc.) don’t as readily think of the people described in that article when we think of people-who-bike. There are many reasons for that, but it is just one of hundreds of examples of the degree to which our society is divided, insular, mistrusting, even classist. Breaking down these preconceptions, getting to know each other across the divides, having a regular feature or series of guest articles written by or in conjunction with someone from, e.g., Sisters of the Road, or Causa or APANO to name a few might be a start. If we/you did that, my hunch would be that we’d all come out the other end as different people.

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        • Adam
          Adam August 16, 2017 at 12:29 pm

          Yeah, Ive read that article a few times. It’s a good one. The only way we can truly fight back is to work together with all marginalized groups towards the single goal of stopping hate. They want to divide an conquer us – separating us by race, class, ethnicity, physical and mental abilities, etc. so that it creates more division and makes it easer to accomplish their heinous goal. Hate groups and the governments who support them fear a united people fighting back.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm

          those are great suggestions 9watts. I’m always wanting more guest articles from new voices. I just haven’t taken the time to make it happen. I will renew my efforts on that front. If anyone is reading this and wants to write a column for BP, get in touch!

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      • Adam
        Adam August 16, 2017 at 12:25 pm

        Jonathan, why not get more people writing here who come from different backgrounds as you to talk about their perspectives? It feels less sincere coming from an able-bodied member of the gentry.

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  • Mike Gilliland
    Mike Gilliland August 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    As you said, this is a complicated issue. We as a nation have a responsibility to fight this way of thinking.

    Most of the violence occurs in public transportation corridors, rights-of-ways, transit, bikeways, pedestrian thoroughfares of which we as bicyclist play an active part. Much of what we support here is a forum to address safety, user integration, right-of-way usage, and the public’s right to move about urban areas. Even private property protests seem to spill into the public spaces.

    I avoided riding downtown recently when these protests appeared to be induce violence. At that point, my right to safely use public facilities was taken.

    When any violent group takes it upon themselves to threaten the balance of urban fabric for their own voice, all users are impeded, or at worst, killed. There is a right to free speech, but that right becomes abridged when public safety is threatened for one group’s own means. The rights of free speech provides that we can ride, or walk to hear their voice. Violence abridges the public’s right.

    We have a definite voice in representing our rights to use public spaces in a safe, legal, and constitutional manner.

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  • Middle of the Road Guy August 16, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I would say “no”, don’t go there. You’ve stated the very reasons I was going to mention.

    There are plenty of other sites and places to focus on political advocacy. Most people who visit this site are pretty liberal and most likely involved on some level already or at least savvy enough to know how to get involved.

    I understand the concept of intersectionalism and that some things are linked, but that does not mean everything needs to gravitate towards that end or that everything needs to be about something else. Remaining focused in your domain and having boundaries is a good thing. Are you an “independent media outlet” or an political advocacy group?

    I like coming here because it is usually more journalistic and non-political. If I want to hear political diatribes and opinions I can go to Fox News, Breitbart or Huffington Post.

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    • 9watts August 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      This is curious to me.

      You see journalism as separate and incommensurable with the political, perhaps because in the very next sentence you equate political with diatribes.

      I see good journalism as engaging with the issues of the day, with justice, with equality, with finding ways to make the world a better place for everyone. Pretending that those are separate and that we’re just reporting the facts is in my view (and not just in my view) a fool’s errand.

      Journalism has a politics, whether you like it or not. If you don’t think so I invite you to point me to a news outlet or journalist who you feel has no politics.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy August 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm

        Good journalism doesn’t have a bias and reports facts and observation in such a manner to allow for someone to make an informed opinion. Otherwise, it is just an opinion piece.

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        • rainbike August 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm

          I usually agree with you, but here we have different opinions. BP is a blog. In my opinion, journalism requires an editorial board and that board usually has a bias. They present the news in a way that keeps a subset of the public paying the subscription fees. Left-leaning examples include The Washington Post and The New York Times. Right leaning examples include The Wall Street Journal and the National Review. These are among the best examples of American journalism, but each has an obvious bias. The trick is to recognize that bias and think critically about the arguments they make. It isn’t a sin to read an opposing view. It’s an intellectual imperative.

          My “vote” is for BP to stick to issues around local access, infrastructure and (dare I say it) bike lifestyle. Leave the national politics and commentary to organizations with the national perspective. Be bike-centric. Be local.

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        • resopmok August 16, 2017 at 6:15 pm

          Frankly there’s no such thing as non-bias, and attempts to label any human narrative as completely objective are in reality dishonest. The truly best we can do is to really listen to multiple sides of an issue and make decisions with the information we have; “good” ethics typically lean in the direction that decisions should be beneficial for more people overall than less, especially in regards to the future.

          That said, racism and fascism are not sociopolitical issues on which a “meh” position will generally serve to advance a narrative. Journalism, as 9watts points out, is not only inherently political but necessarily so, in order to advance the public narrative about social issues which affect our nation. This is why freedom of the press is (supposedly) guaranteed by the Constitution; without it, there is no real public dialogue. For such a contentious and important issue, this journalistic endeavor truly cannot afford to remain silent, and should not.

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        • TonyT
          TonyT August 17, 2017 at 9:27 am

          Journalism ALWAYS has a bias. Unless someone writes stories about everything in the world happening everywhere, they are making subjective decisions regarding what to cover. This is not a small point. Journalism that is perceived as unbiased may in fact be HUGELY biased just because of the stories that they choose not to cover – the dog that did not bark, so to speak.

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        • 9watts August 25, 2017 at 2:13 pm

          “Good journalism doesn’t have a bias and reports facts and observation”

          I’ll invite you, again, to show me an example of this.

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  • Oy August 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Ban Big Knobbies, for one.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy August 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      How would you feel if someone said “Ban Oy”?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      I hear you Oy. I’ll take that into consideration.

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    • resopmok August 16, 2017 at 6:20 pm

      As much as I generally disagree (vehemently) with that commenter, their voice is an important counterpoint that prevents this comment section from becoming too much of an echo chamber. Embracing debate is crucial to understanding and refining one’s own arguments, as frustrating as it might be at times (you win some, you lose some). When you can start to understand their perspective, you can mold your language and metaphor thusly; this is where real communication begins.

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  • Chris I August 16, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Spend more time in east Portland. I liked your pieces where you follow someone on their ride to work, and I would love to see more from this side of town.

    That said, Twitterer Quinn stated that developers are “selling white supremacy in Portland”. I’m not sure I understand this perspective. It seems to me that the value of closer-in neighborhoods has increased, and developers take advantage of that to make a profit on property redevelopment. The new residents tend to be more white and affluent. Does this person have any evidence that developers are intentionally targeting and/or excluding people based on race? Please don’t include marketing materials in your response, as examples of all races can be found in promotional materials around Portland.

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    • Oy August 16, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Oregon was literally founded on white supremacy and we are still feeling it’s effects today. Housing has always been closely tied to race – whether through redlining, building highways to separate communities, or literally tearing out entire communities as Kaiser Permanente did along the once thriving Williams corridor. By building housing that is unaffordable to minority groups of color, we are fueling the whitewashing of out communities. By not investing money in affordable housing, the city is complacent as well.

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      • mh August 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

        Not Kaiser, Legacy.

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        • Oy August 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

          You’re right. Apologies to Kaiser.

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      • Chris I August 17, 2017 at 11:26 am

        As a native Portlander, I am well aware of the history, including that of my current neighborhood, and I am aware that these policies have lasting effects. That doesn’t explain the comment, though, as it pertains to existing policies. That is what I’m trying to understand.

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    • 9watts August 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      “It seems to me that the value of closer-in neighborhoods has increased, and developers take advantage of that to make a profit on property redevelopment. The new residents tend to be more white and affluent.”

      This is a bit more nuanced than your framing allows. And causality runs in all directions. More people moving here drives prices up and in so doing those who can and wish to afford to live in the ‘more desirable’ areas displace relatively poorer people. This is an enormous and pervasive problem with far reaching social and economic consequences. Not being able to pin it on one demographic (in this case developers) doesn’t make the problem any less real, any less deserving of attention and ideally policies that reduce or eliminate it.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Chris I.

      I definitely need to get out more.. and by “out” I mean further afield from my inner north portland n’hood (I live and work about 4 miles north of downtown near Peninsula Park).

      I like the “Ride Along” series too. I’ve been hoping to find a financial sponsor for that series because it requires a lot of work to make happen.

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    • Alex Reedin August 16, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      I have an idea for how to get started on East Portland coverage. You know how you have held an occasional “Bike Portland Meet-Up” from time to time? What if it were a “BikePortland Write & Meet-Up” instead? I bet that people who have an article in their heads could meet some other people and also get a rough version of the article up on the Subscriber Articles section within two hours (personally I would be in favor of a workaround to get non-subscribers’ articles posted if they write them at a BikePortland Write & Meet-Up).

      If you held them in East Portland it might get a more diverse set of voices on the blog, and also get you some articles with less than average hours per article? Just thinking out loud here. I think your Subscriber Articles change is awesome, and also think it’s currently not quite achieving its potential.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        I like this Alex. I really miss doing more BP meet-ups. I had to scale back because being solo I just don’t have the capacity to plan, promote, attend, then recap events right now. I really want to do more of them and I’m hoping to be able to soon.

        I also agree that our Subscriber Posts are not reaching full potential. The more I think about it the more feels like we should allow everyone to post there. I don’t see why not. I will add that to my list of things to do/change.

        This thread has been so helpful already. Thank you Alex and everyone else for these great suggestions and insights. Please keep them coming.

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        • Annag August 18, 2017 at 9:51 am

          just fyi the subscriber label only seems to apply to those who make a monthly contribution, those of use that make one time donations even if its above the annual $120 “dues” don’t get any recognition when we post as in my case, and we therefore cannot contribute any articles either. Perhaps opening up the qualifications to those who contribute say $50 or more would help things.

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          • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 18, 2017 at 10:23 am

            yes Annag. Thank you. That’s a mistake on our end that we need to streamline and fix ASAP. I’ll do some auditing and add you and other names to the right list. Thanks.

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  • Kittens August 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I think it’s sad we live in a time when someone in a position of unique power and wants to help, has to couch their offer of assistance in an apology, can’t have any ideas of their own and the only ideas which are valid must be generated by the aggrieved.

    We, as human beings, are ALL aggrieved by and have a duty to right the wrongs of Charlottesville.

    Johnathan/BP, like it or not you ARE a leader and we need more of those in the fight to save our country’s soul! You have good ideas and do good work.

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  • Mike Sanders August 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    And it’s not limited to public transit vehicles in Portland. In SF, there’s been a noticeable increase in incidents aboard BART trains, notably in the East Bay. A couple of stabbing incidents, an attempt to steal someone’s cellphone, all within the last few days. And the same group that set off the violence in VA is planning a similar march at Crissey Field in the next few days, thanks to a permit from the federal government. (Crissey Field is federal property inside the city.) The city’s trying to have the permit revoked, but no luck so far.

    As most Portlanders know, I-5 across the city’s north end was built right thru a historically black area in the 1960’s, also taking out some nightclubs. So was the Rose Quarter. The alignment was designed to redline the city between black neighborhoods to the west of the highway and white ones to the east. And for a few years, it worked. The Mt. Hood freeway project succeeded in getting many homes in Lents removed before the project was stopped. (The Springwater Trail generally follows the Mt. Hood Freeway’s once-proposed alignment.) Then I-205 split the neighborhood in half. The SWT and I-205 trails are helping to sew that area back together. Now Trump is calling for new highway construction projects with shortened timelines for approval, including nullifying requirements for environmental impact documents in the name of getting projects off the ground ASAP. His press conference on the subject yesterday didn’t mention one word about transportation options like light rail, streetcars and ped/bike paths. Theoretically, he could order widening projects on Portland area freeways with little or no notice, which means that homes and businesses could be razed to make room for widening projects. That would also mean reroutes for the SWT and I-205 paths. We to be ready to protect those options in order to keep this town moving. We must also be more aggressive in getting crosstown ped/bike paths built, not just in Portland but region wide and statewide. Cars-only projects should be looked at closely to ensure that they don’t create a new policy of redlining neighborhoods again in the name of rebuilding infrastructure across the nation.

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    • J_R August 16, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      The Springwater Corridor is an old rail and trolley track. I don’t think it’s fair to blame a planned highway for creating that corridor.

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    • Chris I August 17, 2017 at 11:31 am

      The Mt. Hood freeway was going to follow Division and Powell. You can still see this east of 52nd on Powell: notice the strange small parking lots on the south side of the road. There is also a remnant interchange on HWY 26 just south of the Powell intersection. If the Springwater was going to be used, it would have only been the section east of Powell Butte.

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      • mh August 17, 2017 at 8:54 pm

        You can see it west of 82nd on SE Ivon, even though you may not realize that’s what you’re seeing. I’m thinking both east and west of 43rd.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      Not only Lents. The Mt Hood Freeway Project also demolished houses in inner SE and led to a significant underinvestment in the Clinton neighborhood that we’ve finally climbed out of.

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  • Go By Bike
    Go By Bike August 16, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I would love to see a bicycle group help assist in marches. Over the past many years we have learned more then most how to navigate large groups of people around the city. We also have the sound systems to make them heard, and the bicycles to coordinate them. What if there was a way for march organizers to contact pedalpalooza and ride leader veterans to help make marches more successful? The resistance will not be won by violence right now. If we can resist hate by showing what unity and love look like we will win but it is going to take a lot of people getting in the street.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 16, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      I always bring my bike to protests. It’s the best way to get out fast if things go south, since the buses typically shut down.

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    • Esther August 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      We also have privilege that has for the last 10 years allowed us to take over the streets of portland with little to no resistance from Portland police and often support from them. During the crackdown on Critical Mass and other rides in the 00s, white people got a taste of the capricious enforcement of traffic violations that is ususlly only enacted on people of color and disabled folks (yes, I was here, yes, I participated, yes, I was ticketed on a technicality that at literally any other time would have been ignored because I’m a white woman). Now the PPB (who have recently killed unarmed people of color and disabled people) turn a blind eye to blatant traffic violations during thousand+ people Pedalpalooze rides and actually help us put on WNBR. We need to show up and use the privilege of our bodies to supprt the work of POC and antifascists who are doing the woek every day.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm

        Good points esther.

        I like your line of thinking here. I think that’s what Bike Swarm has tapped into to some degree.

        I have had a good relationship (personally) with the police over the years. In fact at one of the Occupy protests years ago I was riding in, I had one of my friends on the force who was in an unmarked vehicle call me over to chat and he said, “What are YOU doing here?!” as if because he liked me as a reasonable person he couldn’t fathom why I’d be associated with activist protestors. It was an interesting exchange.

        But I digress. I agree that Pedalpalooza Privilege is a thing and it’s worth thinking more about.

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  • jami August 16, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Digging into the concept that bike infrastructure looks like gentrification could be a start. I can hear that criticism, and I sure don’t have an answer. I want roads safe for bikes, but I also want everyone to be able to afford their home. It’s really complicated, but as a fan of this site for 15 years or so (bike commute “traffic” wasn’t even a thing — there’s a whole new bridge for it!), I know you’ve taken on complexity and fans of the status quo and succeeded before.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Right, I don’t like the fact that many neighborhoods are cheap because the streets there are dangerous (due to motor traffic) and in order to keep the neighborhood affordable we can’t make safety improvements to the roads. I honestly don’t blame organizations for fighting bike infrastructure for this reason. There has to be a better way.

      It also doesn’t help that PBOT only starts talking about bike infrastructure when the neighborhood starts becoming gentrified, and never before. Is it any wonder why people think bike lanes are only for white people?

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    • Annag August 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      I don’t have a solution per say but as for the gentrification along the Williams corridor, it certainly feels like a takeover by rich white folks even though its unintentional. It would help if bike commuters would stop for pedestrians waiting to cross, many of whom are people of color. It also feels like most of my fellow commuters are in their own world, only concerned about racing to the next stoplight, many still pass too close or on the wrong side, all this feels a little unfriendly. How can we present a united front when we are still so oblivious to each other ? I also notice what seems to be a bit of passive/aggressive resentment in the way the bike lane always seemed to be partially blocked by cars in the area by Dawson Park. Not sure what to do about any of this, just an observation.

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  • Taz Loomans August 16, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Jonathan, I definitely think you should do more and can do more to dismantle white supremacy. Biking is RIDDLED with issues of white supremacy and BikePortland, instead of avoiding social justice issues surrounding biking as it historically has tended to do, could actually make that a focus and be an agent of change in that regard. Like really look into how bike lanes contribute to gentrification, how bike culture in Portland is predominantly white, and how biking is a completely different thing for privileged white people than it is for people of color. Maybe get a person of color contributor on this blog?? A regular one. Maybe have have a regular weekly section on what’s happening in communities of color around bicycling. Maybe get together with organizations like OPAL and CCC and collaborate with them on what BikePortland can do. Also monitor how much of this blog speaks to only white cyclists and how much of it speaks to a more diverse audience. Like take a look at this factor and make a commitment to make BikePortland read by a wider audience. Jonathan there is SOOOOO much more you could be doing with this blog to fight white supremacy. Please please get on it. And thank you for asking. And please don’t cow tow to the racist commentors on this blog with whom I’m very familiar after writing my pieces about race on this forum. Those commentors SHOULD NOT steer the content of this blog.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Hi taz,

      Thank you! I hear you and will take your advice. Those are great suggestions.

      If you have any time or the inclination, I’d love to publish your work again. Or if you know anyone else, pass their name along.

      Keep in touch and thanks again for taking time to share your thoughts.

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  • Greg Cox August 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I would prefer this blog be focused on bike events, infrastructure, and safety. Reading the comments, I seem to be in the distinct minority, so it’s entirely possible this isn’t the place for me.

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    • Lester Burnham August 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      It does sound like Maus wants to turn BP into a never ending bang the drum of “blame the white guy for everything”.

      I don’t think anybody here is down with “white supremacy” so how does preaching to the choir (or speaking into the echo chamber) really accomplish anything?

      Why doesn’t Maus go down to one of the fine alt-right/antifa gatherings and face off with those guys if he believes in it so strongly? Walk the walk Maus. It’s more than what you post on a blog.

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      • Spiffy August 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm

        what makes you think he’s not already there in the crowds facing down the haters? what he wants to know is how he can help harness the power of the people that bicycle in Portland to support those fighting the hate…

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2017 at 9:43 am

        Hi Lester,

        I appreciate your comments – even though as you know I delete a fair amount of them because I feel like you just don’t like me and your comments are needlessly mean. I don’t think we’ve ever met (unless you’re using a fake name), so I’m not sure why you think I’m such a bad dude.

        you wrote:

        I don’t want to do that. I think you might be assuming that based on your personal perception of my work.

        I don’t think anybody here is down with “white supremacy” so how does preaching to the choir (or speaking into the echo chamber) really accomplish anything?

        I’m talking about helping our community build up the strength and resources to fight white supremacy where it does exist — I’m not talking about fighting it directly here on BP.

        Why doesn’t Maus go down to one of the fine alt-right/antifa gatherings and face off with those guys if he believes in it so strongly? Walk the walk Maus. It’s more than what you post on a blog.

        I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to criticize how other people do their activism. Activism is a personal thing and we should give people space to express it however they choose. There are many ways to be involved. It’s very possible to feel strongly about an issue and not choose to be on the front lines.

        That being said, as this issue in particular becomes more real as it has in recent weeks with Trump’s actions and the actions of Americans who sympathize with Nazism, you just might see me out there.


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  • mw August 16, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Stick to bike news. Don’t add to the hysteria; the MSM is already doing a good job at that. In my view, Julian Assange recently said it best: “US neo-(iberal/cons) and their MSM press pets are in overdrive conflating the massive anti-DC left+right with the tiny alt-Reich+Antifa.”

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      I hear you mw, and I’ve thought about the “don’t add to the hysteria” theory. I’ve debated that concept a lot re: Trump.

      But the signs are all there. At some point we have to assume hysteria is what’s needed. If we don’t than it could be too late. It’s a minefield of a decision but I would rather err on the side of hysteria than ignorance that leads to.. well.. something horrible.

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  • Patrick August 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I would bewae of mission creep. Free speech First Amendment–OK. Violence–not OK.

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    • Patrick August 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      The loudest voices on the Internet are almost always wrong.

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  • CaptainKarma August 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Far more attention needs to be paid here to all areas east. I feel ignored already at NE 57th. The real Portland is diverse and healthy, but it is no longer represented by inner N, NE, SE, and def not points west. This alone would help knit our community together and organically help the forces of ignorance and bigotry to die on the vine. No one would even know you are working on that! We need a Bureau Chief Of The East. It is no longer the hinterlands.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks CaptainKarma,

      If I could find the money and the talent I would hire an east Portland editor right away. Know anybody that can write and has the deep pockets to fund the position?

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      • Alex Reedin August 16, 2017 at 6:13 pm

        This may come out wrong… But I see room for editorial choices about what to focus on and what not to that could give greater weight to East Portland without hiring staff or even schlepping over here very often. I know the Lincoln-Harrison article was easy to write because of the BikeLoudPDX Google group content, but I am still wondering what the status of the East Portland Greenway projects is. Maybe that could come before any updates on Lincoln-Harrison?

        Also, I think BikeLoudPDX is planning to table at the Powellhurst-Gilbert NA open house. Maybe ask for a report from that?

        I feel like there has to be a way to crowdsource this to a greater extent than it is now. There are people passionate about this stuff who may not need to be paid, just reminded every once in a while. I’m thinking Terry D-M, Cora Potter, Jim Chasse, myself, heck even David Hampsted (sp?) about history even though he doesn’t live here anymore, the Rosewood Bikes guy (and maybe he knows some more locals, maybe some people of color). Although you are a for-profit, we know you’re not getting rich off this, and are doing it for the right reasons so I don’t think any tiny profit off of unpaid work should be a moral concern.

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  • bikeninja August 16, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    In the very largest of frames Bike Portland is already doing very important work in fighting white supremacy. Whether we like to admit it or not the U.S since world war II has been a kind of economic empire. We utilize an imperial wealth pump involving money, the military, corporations, trade deals etc to funnel a disproportionate portion of the world resources from the third world to the U.S. The truth of this is obvious in the fact that we have 5% of the worlds population yet consume 30% of its resources. The historical end result of an empire that maintains an network of colonies is that eventually the policies, that grown and maintain such an empire come home to roost in the core of the empire. We can not enjoy cell phones made from cobalt mined by hand by virtual slaves in the Congo without some of that inequality and violence rubbing off on us. This does not let each one of us off the hook to treat our fellow citizens with care, respect and equity but it ultimately creates a situation that overwhelms the efforts and goodwill of individuals. By promoting the tiny energy footprint of cycling, as opposed to the massive energy and resource demand of autos, bike portland is helping to deal with the intrinsic core of our current problems. We will never be able to live in peace, equity and justice as long as our resource demand, economic policies and statecraft plunge others in to violence and economic misery.

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    • SilkySlim August 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      This is one of the first places I went in my head as well, that BP is already fighting a very worthy fight, not to mention one that is symptomatic of the big problems at large.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2017 at 9:36 am

      thanks bikeninja. that’s is some good perspective to keep in mind.

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  • Kyle Banerjee August 16, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    As a bike blog, I think k the topic should be about bikes even if everyone agrees on some other issue.

    But if we go that way, I believe the resistance to changing neighborhoods, housing, etc. that consistently appears in this forum specifically perpetrates a messed up status quo that overwhelmingly benefits whites.

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  • Maddy August 16, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I completely agree with CaptainKarma
    In the last few years the inner Portland demographic has become even whiter and so so wealthy. The projects the bike community focuses on tend to be close-in, which does nothing to make cycling accessible to people of modest, or even middle class means.

    Housing close-in is not, and will not be, accessible to any but the wealthy and privileged going forward. We need to link up the city with safe routes for all. That should be priority number one.

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    • mh August 17, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Some of us live close in because we bought before real estate prices became unimaginable, because we didn’t have kids and so need to expand our footprint, and because we didn’t buy so much stuff over the years that we would need more house to hold it.

      Luck in our timing had a lot to do with it, buying a wreck of a house and doing most of the work ourselves helped, so some of us still live on very modest incomes in very expensive neighborhoods. We also love our elderly bikes, qualify for Honored Citizen bus fare, and don’t spend too much on transportation.

      Don’t generalize based on assumptions.

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  • One August 16, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    With your privileges comes responsibility. You, me, and everyone else with privileges should use our inherited powers to dismantle white supremist systems. I agree with Taz, and Ester, and others. I’m grateful for the good work that you do. And I’m grateful that you are asking your readers for their opinions. We need you to step up your game, Jonathan. You are a local leader. You do have more say than most.it’s beyond time for us to have difficult conversations. Resist!

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  • Mike Reams August 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I would say no*. The reason why is, non-liberal/Democrat/progressive/SJWs also bike. There are independents, Republicans, libertarians and others who bike and are nice and decent people. Can you delve into these topics and keep this a welcoming space for them? Both in your articles and in the comments section? Can you be judicious with your comment-deletion? (BTW, I appreciate the work you do and, the line you tread in these decisions).

    The way I see it there are a few ways this can go (actually, there are a thousand shades of gray in between these scenarios but, I love bullet points and lists so, here goes)
    Best case scenario: You go ahead and open this up to wider social/racial/gender/etc… issues and manage to keep it fair, civil and, non-partisan enough that you don’t alienate a chunk of your readers.
    How it goes wrong: You alienate a big chunk of your readers and lose credibility because bikeportland gets a reputation as just another Republican-bashing lefty website.
    If you don’t do it: Do you also lose credibility and readership because a bunch of your readers view you as too timid or narrow in your focus and they don’t want to waste their time on something that doesn’t address the bigger issues?

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    • Maddy August 16, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Racism really isn’t a partisan issue. Neither party endorses racism. There are some moral issues that have no grey area. I have been pleasantly surprised by my Republican acquaintances (avid cyclists) contempt for the racist lean of the current administration. Hopefully the end result of this time in our history will be to unite under some universal moral absolutes.

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      • B. Carfree August 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm

        I agree that neither party endorses racism and that almost all Americans would decline to call themselves racists. However, there is a noticeable difference in the levels of tolerance for racist behavior, policies and outcomes across our political spectrum, with higher tolerance being exhibited on the right wing side. Further, there’s a lot less tolerance for taking remedial actions from those same folks.

        That tolerance for racism and racist outcomes is what creates this inter-party tension, imo. The left sees this as racist, the right is upset at being called racist because they don’t see tolerance of racism as enough to earn them that label.

        Unfortunately, I don’t have any advice for Jonathan. This is going to be a tough nut. Whichever way he goes, I know I’ll support his honest efforts to make our little part of the world a better place.

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      • fat spandex dude August 16, 2017 at 8:24 pm

        That you were pleasantly surprised by that speaks volumes to your biases. Remember, up until very recently, the Democrats were the party of anti-immigration, racial exclusion, and all of the other things that are now anathema to Democrats.

        If BP wants to become fully part of that progressive movement, I suspect that the time and energy required (which isn’t to be underestimated; I learned from personal experience that jumping headfirst into the political shitfest that’s engulfed the West requires an enormous commitment to keeping apace with the constantly shifting state of acceptable theory and discourse for whatever side you take, while also making yourself a target for flames, doxing, death threats, struggle sessions on Twitter, swatting, etc.) will wind up creating a juicy spot for a new site that retains BP’s current focus. Either way, Jonathan, don’t half-ass it, or you’ll be called out and put to The Question. 😉

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Hi Mike Reams,
      I appreciate your input and want to share a few thoughts in response:

      I would say no*. The reason why is, non-liberal/Democrat/progressive/SJWs also bike. There are independents, Republicans, libertarians and others who bike and are nice and decent people. Can you delve into these topics and keep this a welcoming space for them? Both in your articles and in the comments section? Can you be judicious with your comment-deletion?

      Yes. I think I can do this. As I’ve shared w/ another commenter on this thread, I don’t write or think in terms of partisan labels. In my mind biking doesn’t “belong” to any one demographic group. And as you probably noticed, I go to great lengths to try and let people with different views (like the commenter named “I voted for Trump”) post here.

      How it goes wrong: You alienate a big chunk of your readers and lose credibility because bikeportland gets a reputation as just another Republican-bashing lefty website.

      Well I would never be so short-sighted as to bash any political party or cheerlead for one either. and the funny thing is, for many people simply because this site is about bikes and portland they assume it’s a “lefty website”. not much i can do abt that except to encourage them to actually come here and see/read what we do.

      If you don’t do it: Do you also lose credibility and readership because a bunch of your readers view you as too timid or narrow in your focus and they don’t want to waste their time on something that doesn’t address the bigger issues?

      ha! you’ve definitely captured the conundrum i think about a lot. I know now that trying to please everyone simultaneously isn’t possible — and it actually makes for a lower-quality product in my opinion. that’s why you might have noticed I’ve been taking clear sides on issues and I’m not afraid to call something/someone out when I feel it/they deserve. I don’t do that lightly, and I’m aware about the credibility issue — but I also know that staying silent and safe on big issues loses more credibility in the long run than being honest about your beliefs and maybe making people mad in the short run.

      Also keep in mind I don’t approach my job thinking about the size of my audience. Clicks and traffic have never been my top priority. I want to create the best product possible and work with people who value that enough to pay me for it. That’s it. hopefully readership grows of course… and it has for 12 years now so I feel good about that. thanks again.

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  • Steph Routh August 16, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Taz +1 on guest contributor(s) with diverse perspectives to be respectfully listened to on this blog (related: thank you for your work in developing code of conduct on this site).

    And taking more moments to step back and take stock of who is impacted v. who is offering solutions is important. This morning’s article in Curbed by Alissa Walker (with thoughts from the brilliant Kristen Jeffers and Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman) is an example of that: https://www.curbed.com/2017/8/16/16151000/mansplain-gentrification-define-richard-florida-saskia-sassen

    As a white person, I know I have a lot of work to do in terms of understanding structural racism as well as my own racism, of listening and supporting the efforts of those most impacted (e.g., people of color). Fellow white people–and there are a lot of us who read this blog–we have work to do on ourselves and with each other to dismantle this white supremacy we are all steeped in. It’s a tough truth. If you’re angry with me for saying it, happy to chat.

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    • Big Knobbies August 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      *** Hi Big Knobbies. I have deleted this comment and another one of yours because I don’t think they’re appropriate in the context of this thread. If you and I were speaking in person I would be happy to listen and talk with you about your ideas, but I think your comments on this particular thread do more harm than good. Thanks for reading and commenting. — Jonathan ***

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  • Kyle Banerjee August 16, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Actually, more diversity of opinion here might help fight white supremacy. I know BK is one of the least popular people here, but his engagement here is a positive thing for everyone here and everyone he engages with.

    We need more of that and more of everything else not or poorly represented here.

    That is how you achieve dialog and progress.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Kyle,

      I agree with you that more “diversity of opinion” on BP is a good thing. But it’s a fine line and commenters like Big Knobbies really walk that line. I have to balance my desire to be welcoming to all viewpoints with my desire to foster a converstaion that is welcoming and productive to as many people as possible.

      As you notice (and much to some readers’ chagrin), I have allowed many of Big Knobbies’ comments to be published. But I have added him to the automatic moderation list so I can read and take time to consider all his comments before allowing them through. And on a sensitive thread like this, I have an even higher threshold for what I’ll allow through.

      All commenters are important to me so I appreciate your care and feedback about the issue.

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 16, 2017 at 5:07 pm

        I have no objection to moderation, including of my own comments judged counterproductive — the Internet is already enough of a cesspool.

        I also understand and support that BP has objectives that go beyond providing an outlet for productive discussion. But I think those objectives become more within reach when we engage with those who see things very differently whether that be on our ground, their ground, or neutral territory.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 5:11 pm

          Kyle. You said,

          I think those objectives become more within reach when we engage with those who see things very differently whether that be on our ground, their ground, or neutral territory.

          I agree with you on this. My point was that it’s not always that simple. Often what happens is that the commenters who have very different views on sensitive topics share those views in a way that I feel tips too far toward being mean to others. Like I’ve always said, I welcome different viewpoints and disagreements — but they must be shared with tact and respect.

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  • Evan August 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Writing about transportation is inherently political. Bikes are interesting because they are a topic that intersects housing, environmental justice, civil rights, neighborhood change and a host of other critical urban issues, none of which can be understood separately from grim history of white supremacy in this city, state and country.

    I think that if you believe that bicycles have an important role in a future urban transportation context that has the potential to be more inclusionary, safer, healthier and better for the climate, you have to work to understand how the mode of transportation intersects the social forces that work to shape the city across which that mode is deployed.

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  • joan August 16, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Jonathan, I was thrilled to see your tweet last night, and even happier to see this post today. I think it’s the job of all good people to stand up to white supremacy. If we don’t discuss it, we can’t dismantle it. We also have to acknowledge how we’ve benefited from it — and of course the easiest example of that is that we white folks tend to live in neighborhoods with better infrastructure. It’s not an accident; none of this is an accident. Active transportation is certainly a social justice issue.

    Thanks for your thoughtfulness on this, and I look forward to more.

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  • Sukho Goff August 16, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Jonathan I just wanted to say thanks for asking this question, and for the courage it takes to ask it. I always felt this blog was more than just about cycling/bikes. It’s your baby, and it’s easy to see where your heart is. I don’t have any answers for you, but as the rare non-white person on a bike in this town (and bona fide bike geek) who doesn’t always feel welcome at bike events/shops/shows/gatherings, I appreciate this conversation and the thought behind it.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 16, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Sukho,

      It’s great to read your comment. I don’t think you’ve commented before have you? Either way, I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. I hear where you are coming from and I want you to feel more welcome — not just here on the blog but at events around town as well. On that note, one of the things I’m feeling/learning from all these comments today is that I should partner with another group in town (Friends on Bikes? Black Parent Initiative? Community Alliance of Tenants? Black Lives Matter? APANO?) for an event that brings together people of color who don’t feel welcome. Do you think that would be a good idea? Would you come to an event like that or is there a better way to be proactive about that?

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 16, 2017 at 8:43 pm

        I wonder if social rather than activist outreach might be a better area of focus.

        I believe the desire to be inclusive is real, but too often it feels like tokenism and the few nonwhites present tend to be especially comfortable in very specific white subcultures that are well represented within the cycling community.

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      • Sukho Viboolsittiseri August 18, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        I think an event like you mentioned would be a great place to start. Bike Portland is the face of bike-media in PDX. Having the resources and influence to get a gathering of various communities together could be a great grass roots way to get more people of color on bikes and exposed to the kind of change you’re maybe thinking about. If anything it would show that there are folks in the bike community care about trying to include others who are on the outside looking in. There are definitely people out there who would be interested, believe me. Again, it’s really heartening to see a prominent community member like you trying to think through such a difficult and complex issue. Much appreciated.

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      • Many people have so eloquently covered many of the things I would say, so for now I will simply add my thanks to them & to Jonathan, for writing this post & hosting this discussion.

        I did spot one thing that could maybe become an action item, Jonathan: your idea of partnering with the Community Alliance of Tenants. I think a renter-themed bike ride would be a really great thing. I’d go on that ride.

        A ride or partnership with CAT might be a way for tenants to learn & draw awareness to the fact that even when they don’t own cars, they may still be paying for parking of those who do. Biking-as-transportation sometimes begins as a way to make it easier to afford rent. Being without a car, but still having to pay for a parking spot (sometimes they’re required) or for someone else’s spot (bundled in rent) during a time of financial hardship is rough. Maybe a ride & conversation around the issue could lead to finding solutions with landlords, so at least a bit of systemically imposed financial burden could be eased. I’d also be really curious to get a sense of how many tenants out there who bike are also “car-free” and would opt out of parking spaces if they could.

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        • 9watts August 31, 2017 at 11:33 pm

          The share of renters who are carefree is a fascinating topic. The ACS asks about that. In some census tracts the share is surprisingly high. I think in inner SE it is in the 20%+ range, but I’d have to look at my notes.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty August 31, 2017 at 11:49 pm

            I’m all for more car free tenants; however as long as parking on the street is free, the marginal cost (to the tenant) of providing that parking is low. Units with and without parking will rent for much the same rate, because that price is not determined by the development cost, but by what the market will bear. If tenants in a building with no parking can park on the street, the market value of on-site parking is low, and rents will be similar.

            If on-street parking is unavailable, or expensive, then availability of parking on-site is much more valuable, and you’ll start to see differences in rents between buildings with it and without it. It is only when that happens that tenants will start to get cheaper rent by renting in car-free buildings, and living a car-free lifestyle.

            The notion that, in the current arrangement, tenants with no cars are subsidizing those with cars, is for the most part mistaken.

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            • 9watts September 1, 2017 at 6:37 am

              “It is only when that happens that tenants will start to get cheaper rent by renting in car-free buildings, and living a car-free lifestyle.”
              Except that a substantial portion of renters now don’t own cars…

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 1, 2017 at 10:11 am

                Those that do get no discount on their rent since the market value of on-site parking is low.

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              • 9watts September 1, 2017 at 10:45 am

                I was responding to the implication of what you were saying that pricing would need to change before renters would jettison/not acquire autos. Clearly that is not the case since a substantial share of renters in Multnomah Co currently don’t own cars.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

                I wasn’t saying that at all; only that parking regimes would need to change before car-free renters could get lower rents than those who have cars.

                Where do you get your data that a “substantial share” of Mult. Co. renters are car free?

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              • 9watts September 1, 2017 at 11:14 am

                ACS. It varies a lot by census tract, from memory (teens to 70% carfree, with avg in the mid-high twenties).

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            • Alex Reedin September 1, 2017 at 8:53 am

              Well… more exactly, the wealth transfer is from tenants/owners who don’t use the off-street parking (whether they have cars or not) to those who do, because those who do are not paying for the full cost of providing that off-street parking (they are paying something generally, just not enough to cover the cost of building the parking).

              In parts of Portland with free on-street parking, there’s an ADDITIONAL wealth transfer – not just concerning new-multifamily residents, but everyone – it’s from PEOPLE don’t park on the street (who still pay for the maintenance, tax-free land, etc. associated with on-street parking) to PEOPLE who do.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 1, 2017 at 10:18 am

                You are still making the false assumption that rents are related to development costs. They are not. They are determined by what the market will pay, and more than one developer has been forced to rent units for less than their development cost. If people are willing to pay more, rents go up. If they are not, rents will fall. If parking has no market value, presence or absence will not affect rents. No one is subsidizing anyone; if my rent rises, it is not because someone else gets parking, it’s because my fellow tenants are willing and able to pay more to live where I do.

                You can see what the market value of parking is by comparing nearby buildings with comparable units, one building with parking, and one without.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 1, 2017 at 10:44 am

                Also, I should ask, since this comes up again and again in these forums… given where we are today, how much do you think it actually costs to maintain on-street parking? Any fair analysis would have to consider the cost of doing something different; anything that changes the drainage would be immediately expensive, for example.

                I believe that maintaining the parking as-is is by far the cheapest thing PBOT can do. I would be open to realistic alternatives, but without further analysis, I cannot accept the premise that existing on-street parking represents a wealth transfer from those without cars to those with.

                Or even the premise that the parking area is only useful to people who own cars; it is often used for service vehicles, people store wood chips and other things there, and it provides room for vehicles to pass one another on narrow streets.

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        • Naomi Fast (Washington County Correspondent) September 1, 2017 at 11:42 am

          Interesting discussion going on here. I quickly want to note: I live in Washington County, where, to my understanding, massive apartment complexes are required by city or county code to bundle a parking space in for every tenant, whether they own a car or not. There is no on-street parking on suburban arterials like Cornell or Jenkins or Millikan where these apartment complexes are built.

          For more reference, here’s a recent article on Los Angeles parking policy & regional housing shortages. And the Community Housing Fund tweeted that Washington County has built 8 on and off-street parking spaces for each car in the county, adding that “cars can more easily find a home than people.”

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 1, 2017 at 12:27 pm

            If every building has parking (presumably one spot per unit), and there is no on-street parking available, can tenants rent an unneeded spot to a neighbor who might want two?

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            • Naomi Fast (Washington County Correspondent) September 1, 2017 at 4:15 pm

              You mean legally? Good question. It probably varies by locale. That’s the sort of thing I was imagining an event in partnership with CAT might be able to help answer. If it is legal, the next question is, how do people find out how much their parking space is actually worth? Should a person charge more or less than what apartments charge for extra parking spaces? (Assuming demand is high.)

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 1, 2017 at 6:09 pm

                I don’t know that “legally” has much to do with it. Those who would be interested would be those in the same building (most likely). Therefore, if it were me, I’d start with a poster, or by talking to my neighbors. I have no idea what a parking spot would be worth. I did this once a few years ago, and got about $80 for it. It was probably underpriced. In that case, the renter found me (by parking in my spot for a few weeks before I figured out who it was).

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  • Ryan August 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    From reading articles and comments here on BP, it seems like a good bicycle-related way to help would be to try to get more minorities on bikes. If car culture is reinforcing a white/wealthy supremacy, then helping less affluent people find ways of getting on the road more could help turn the tide somewhat. Easier said then done, of course.

    Here’s just a few ideas that I think could be helpful. Could be things people have already done/are already doing. And I wouldn’t expect you personally to head these up Jonathan, but I know you have a lot of connections within the community that could help. I know all this stuff costs money, but hopefully with enough outreach we can show how much lower the costs are compared to car ownership.

    – bike quality matters (to a point): the difference between a $200 department-store bike and a $350 bike bought from an actual bike store can be huge. That $150 difference can easily be made up in repairs/service over the first year. But that same $150 could be a deal-breaker for a low-income individual/family. I see a lot of events aimed at getting kids decent bikes, which is really great, but it seems like there could be a benefit to having more events that get working-age people bikes as well. Along with helping more people get a viable commuting alternative, it enforces the idea that bikes aren’t just toys for kids (which is a big problem in the perception a lot of non-cyclists still have).

    – speaking of repairs: worrying about paying for repairs and/or not knowing how to do basic bike repairs could scare off a lot of lower-income folks. Getting some programs in place to help cover repair costs for those below a certain income level, and getting more events that offer free maintenance workshops into certain neighborhoods could be a good idea.

    – teach bike security: what good is helping someone get a bike and teaching them how to maintain it if it’s just going to get stolen in a few days? Any/all of said programs/events should include free/discounted u-locks and lessons on the most effective way to secure your bike, along with practical ways to remove wheels, seat posts, etc… to make it easier to store a bike indoors if space is limited.

    – help make them easier to buy: along with free bike events, getting sponsors and/or partnerships to give scholarships/subsidies/other bike-buying assistance. Many companies in the UK have a cycle-to-work program where your work basically pays for the bike, and then they take out enough from your paycheck each month to pay off the bike within a year. From what I understand, as long as you stay under the limit ($1,000) you can use the funds to also get cycle clothes, helmet, LOCK, etc. Also, some banks already offer bike loans. If people are willing to get a $4k loan for a used car that may or may not need the engine rebuilt, it should be easy to pitch the benefits of getting a $600 loan for a solid bike, lock, and some gear (especially cold weather or rain) instead. A lot of people may not be aware this is an option, though, and I’m guessing the credit requirements for a loan that small would be much more flexible as well.

    – show people how/where to ride: as has been mentioned above, lower-cost housing can often be closer to roads that aren’t as bike-friendly. Organizing neighborhood group rides specifically in those areas could boost the confidence of those that are wary of venturing out, and also give them ideas of safer routes to get to bike-friendly areas. It would be cool to organize a group ride-to-work, where commuting veterans could coordinate with people in neighborhoods where they ride together to the beginners’ work/school.

    Sorry for the novel 🙂

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  • Mossby Pomegranate August 16, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Meh…stick with bike news. This forum is political enough as it is.

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  • JeffS August 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I tend to think the site should stay in its lane.

    If you set out on a mission to fight racism and/or white supremacy, I for one would like to hear a very clear description of what you’re referring to. The redefinition and overuse of the terms have left them largely meaningless.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Hi JeffS, you wrote:

      If you set out on a mission to fight racism and/or white supremacy, I for one would like to hear a very clear description of what you’re referring to. The redefinition and overuse of the terms have left them largely meaningless.

      Thanks for the input. I didn’t want to constrain responses to my post by making it seem as though I had a clearly defined plan. I’m asking the community to help with that definition.

      That being said, you’re right. I could have put some bumpers on it. For instance, I think the word “mission” is too strong. I’m merely saying: BP has a responsibility to do something; BP has tools that could be used to help; How should we/shouldn’t we use those tools.

      I will continue to do the reporting and work I’ve always done in the same way — but I want to be open to how I can adapt and add to my approach in order to help with this broader fight that’s so important to me.

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  • peejay August 16, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Some issues are bigger than bikes. The struggle to pull our country back from the precipice is going to be difficult and require all of our resources. If a bike blog has to divert some of its column space to that effort—and contribute something useful to that effort—then we should be able to deal with that. A number of readers have shown an interest in using bikes to further their activist goals, and it’s entirely appropriate that BikePortland serve that readership. If Jonathan loses a couple of racist readers, I bet he can live with that.

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    • Steph Routh August 16, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      I love you very much, PJ! Have I mentioned this lately?

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  • Grant August 16, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    This blog is effective because it shows how bicycling and access to good transportation options as issues are important for everyone no matter where you live nor what your political perspective is. For instance, the liberal case could be made that public investing in bicycling and mass transit reduces inequality on its own and gets people of different social classes on the same bike path and rubbing elbows on the train and bus. The conservative case could be made for self-sufficiency in being able to get to work and recreate under your own power etc. I propose that this blog continue its focus on transportation infrastructure advocacy and supporting a healthy lifestyle through bicycling. I feel that starting articles from a political left vs right viewpoint on articles first will serve to signal that bicycling is only a thing that liberals do, which is not true and may turn people away who may be reached to change politically simply by riding a bicycle. I used to vote squarely republican and listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Fox News and I was a bicyclist. Then I started to wonder why many more people did not ride bicycles and why living in Red states in the midwest that the cycling infrastructure was horrible and I felt my life was at stake just for choosing how to get to work and recreate. My path as a cyclist first has helped to change the way I see other issues on race, gender, poverty, and how to invest in public infrastructure has been largely informed by how I saw the world from a bike. This blog has also played a major role in helping me learn how vibrant cities and states that invest in good transportation are better for the health of their people and provide a place that I want to invest my life and work into to contribute to that place as well.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Hi Grant,
      you wrote:

      I feel that starting articles from a political left vs right viewpoint on articles first will serve to signal that bicycling is only a thing that liberals do, which is not true and may turn people away who may be reached to change politically simply by riding a bicycle.

      Thanks for sharing this. I don’t write or see the world in terms of “left vs. right”.. I actually abhor labels and false dichotomies like this — even more now because of how I feel this type of framing has contributing greatly to our broken culture and politics of the day.

      I try to write and take positions from a values standpoint — one that hopefully transcends any political biases I have inside. I’m aware that bicycling is often labeled as a lefty thing, so I try to fight that by create content and a space to read it in that is devoid of those trappings.

      believe it or not, when i write posts here i have people like you in the back of my mind. I’m asking myself as I choose words and framing, “Will this make a reader who is republican/conservative/democrat/liberal/black/white/latino/disabled/trans/etc.. uncomfortable?” After doing that for thousands of posts over many years i still find it a fun challenge every day and i’m still sharpening my tools to get the job done well.

      thanks for the feedback grant. Hope you continue to read and comment.

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    • Eric Leifsdad August 17, 2017 at 11:57 am

      I think this illustrates why we can’t have a left-vs-right political debate where one side has chosen white supremacy as part of their platform. We can’t have a polite conversation when one side wants to own other people. Voter suppression and manipulation is not “politics”. Anyone who thinks this is a partisan issue is being manipulated. Hitler was in it for the money and power. We all learned that, right?

      I could make a conservative or liberal argument on how we design or spend on bike lanes, but neither should question one person’s right over another to pass safely through a public space.

      It’s unfortunate that “conservative” gets used interchangeably for “bigot” because I believe in liberty and justice for all (meaning “all people”) but I think we spend way too much money on many things that could be better solved by an open market or simpler solutions that didn’t involve elected politicians influencing very large contracts with the sort of companies that make a lot of large campaign donations. What are “conservatives” conserving? What’s the matter with Kansas?

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  • jody August 16, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    You have asked some great questions and I’m encouraged to see this conversation happening here. In my experience, the primarily white bike community in Portland doesn’t want to talk about it or admit there are issues with racism and white supremacy. It’s amazing the ways white people will try to shut down this conversation. Here are some ways you could make a big difference-

    Stop centering white voices and focus more on the voices and perspectives of People of Color- on this blog, in organizing bike events, in everything you do. Build relationships with other organizations led by people of color (many are mentioned in previous comments) and listen to them and support them. Don’t create events “for them” and don’t assume what people know or don’t know.

    If Bike Portland were more focused on social justice, it would certainly be more interesting to me.

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  • J_R August 16, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Stick to issues that are closely related to bicycling, please.

    From reading the comments it appears there are not even common definitions of white privilege and white supremacy.

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    • 9watts August 16, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      “Stick to issues that are closely related to bicycling”

      I’m not sure Jonathan was suggesting—or those of us assenting were agreeing to him—doing anything else. I understood the challenge to be finding ways to link bikes and these larger social issues, or examining them in relation to each other.

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 17, 2017 at 6:26 am

        The trick is people need to find their own path there. I’ve encouraged people to cycle my entire life, and one of the challenges I encounter more in PDX than other areas I’ve lived is captured by this:

        … I feel that starting articles from a political left vs right viewpoint on articles first will serve to signal that bicycling is only a thing that liberals do, which is not true and may turn people away who may be reached to change politically simply by riding a bicycle…

        Just being on a bike in Portland is somehow a statement and draws associations a lot of people don’t want.

        Even a right wing rider can appreciate what being targeted for harassment or not having a safe place to ride can be like. Through their social connections this consciousness can reach people that otherwise might not be exposed to it.

        BTW, I’ve seen this happen many times. It doesn’t convert conservatives to liberals, but it reduces the “othering” effect and promotes understanding.

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        • El Biciclero August 17, 2017 at 7:41 am

          Something interesting is that the closest I can possibly come, as a person of certain privileges, to understanding what it’s like to be marginalized, disregarded and treated poorly simply for existing is to ride a bike among motor traffic. Now, I can “fit in” sometimes if I “act like a car” (i.e., ride really fast), and I can avoid a certain amount of discomfort if I scurry out of the way and “don’t cause trouble”, but there are always those who will try to let me know—to varying degrees of threat, both verbal and physical—if they think I’ve stepped out of my place. It doesn’t happen every day, but I’ve been yelled at, honked at, aggressively close-passed, swerved at to prevent me from passing, and treated differently by law enforcement (compared to when I’ve been in a car). Except for rare encounters with law enforcement, all the “abuse” I’ve experienced from drivers has been while doing things that are completely legal—and mostly not even disruptive.

          Of course none of this compares to the experience of others in different demographics in all areas of daily life. I can park my bike and start walking and presto—I get my privilege back! Now, the above is probably not the most convincing way to get someone to try biking for the first time, but it does provide that teeny, tiny bit of empathy for those that are treated poorly by people who just don’t have a clue.

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  • rachel b August 16, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    I’ve been so concerned about and alarmed by recent events, it’s really put me in a tailspin. I can only imagine how people more personally threatened feel.

    The parallels to 1930s Germany, that slippery slope of silence that paved the way for evil to enter in and take firm hold, are way too close for comfort. I’m appalled that the people surrounding our president are not stepping up, speaking up against his belligerent, unapologetic endorsement of Jew-hating, black-hating armed thugs. Apparently having a permit absolves one of marching with assault rifles and torches, terrifying a community and chanting “Jews! Will not! Replace us!” According to our president, that is. His willingness to fan those dangerous flames is what is terrifying me and reminding me of 1939 Germany.

    So. What would a bicycle blog in 1939 Germany do? Or a little before then? I’m not meaning to be silly–my point is that things are dire, and there are times to make exceptions to the norm. Just as it would be insane to continue blithely writing about only cycling-related things in that case, so (I feel) would it be weird and inappropriate now. Things are dire and good people need to speak up. Thanks, Jonathan. I’ll think on the solutions part.

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    • 9watts August 16, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      My thoughts exactly. Thanks for saying this, rachel.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2017 at 9:04 am

      thanks rachel b,

      i totally hear you and you’ve captured some of my emotions around this really well. in many ways you and I are on the same page. just trying to figure out how this perspective should manifest itself in the product BP creates. look forward to hearing more from you.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2017 at 9:07 am


    You have asked some great questions and I’m encouraged to see this conversation happening here. In my experience, the primarily white bike community in Portland doesn’t want to talk about it or admit there are issues with racism and white supremacy. It’s amazing the ways white people will try to shut down this conversation. Here are some ways you could make a big difference-

    Stop centering white voices and focus more on the voices and perspectives of People of Color- on this blog, in organizing bike events, in everything you do. Build relationships with other organizations led by people of color (many are mentioned in previous comments) and listen to them and support them. Don’t create events “for them” and don’t assume what people know or don’t know.

    If Bike Portland were more focused on social justice, it would certainly be more interesting to me.

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    I hear you loud and clear jody! Thank you for sharing this.

    I have started some of that already but I need to be prodded and reminded to keep at it and do it better.

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  • JJJ August 17, 2017 at 9:13 am

    I think it is important. Equity is a huge part of transportation. Black urban neighborhoods were destroyed to build highways for white suburbanites. Billions are spent to upgrade airports while urban bus lines don’t even get shelters.

    And the problem is that there are many people who not only don’t realize the link between equity and transportation, but fight against even talking about it.

    Look at the comments to this article:


    “Identity politics has achieved a new level of mischievous mediocrity with this crock”

    Talking about race is now “identity politics” and even bringing up demographics is racist.

    Bicycling fits in because walking and bicycling are the most equitable forms of transportation.

    And it is important to call out when those in power use the limited funding dedicated to walking and bicycling and spend it on projects that disproportionately benefit wealthier, whiter communities.

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  • Baby Jimmy August 17, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I think this is a good and important idea, thanks for reaching out to your readers. I have enjoyed reading all of the responses. My take is that this is not a new issue and has been a problem around the world for a very long time. I don’t have any solutions for you, but I would focus in on the education system. To me, the lack of access to a quality education is the biggest problem facing most of America. I don’t know what specifically you could do to help, but I feel that it is the most important issue facing Portland right now. In our great city, lower income and minority communities are getting left behind in the Portland Public School (PPS) system. I encourage you to read up on the school boundary issues that have been going on over the last 5-6 years. I have been aghast at the underlying racism in our community. For example, a wealthy, inner east side community has chosen to have their kids go to school at three separate campuses instead of mixing in with lower income and minority students. Phrases like, “what about my property values” and “we just want to keep our community intact” are routinely thrown around. Many families choose to leave their neighborhood school and transfer into more affluent schools, or go private, to avoid having to mix with lower income students. All of this leads to the have and have nots, right here in Portland.
    Again, I don’t know what you can do to help, but it is an important issue. I know there are groups that provide bikes to lower income schools and work hard so that kids have a safe way to bike and walk to schools in lower income areas, but I don’t think the city and PPS do enough.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Baby Jimmy,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I like your thoughts about PPS and school choice. And I agree there’s an intersection there with what we can cover here on BikePortland… more about how school choice impacts mode choice (longer distance = less likely to bike)… But yes also about why people are making those choices and not going to their n’hood schools. Thank you.

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  • Alex Cook August 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Yes, no question you should use your position to fight racism, hate, and white-supremacy. Your duty is even greater given that bicycling has become a symbol of privilege and gentrification. Additionally many of your readers (as evidenced by the above comments) are still resistant to including this kind of talk into their daily lives. I like a lot of these suggestions above. And I do think you do try to include different voices, but of course there is always room to improve. My suggestions include:

    -Lift up voices of women, PoC, queer people, refugees, and others affected by the rhetoric in this country in our community who bike – give them guest posts, promote their events, art, books, blogs, bike rides and whatever else
    -Promote organizations and their events that give low cost or free bikes to underprivileged children and adults (I know a few orgs have worked with IRCO to give bikes to refugees)
    -Support people experiencing houselessness!
    -Write a post or have someone write about about bystander intervention when you are on your bike
    -Feature a story from people who don’t ride bikes because they are too scared of being on display for violent white supremacists in the area
    -Feature a story from someone who became disillusioned with the bike movement and it’s upper class, white male domination
    -Share a time when you have recognized your privilege or changed your thinking about something in the bike world
    -You may want to ask a local organization involved in social justice how to include them (since I know many are heavily burdened now, you may want to ask a group like SURJ which is designed for white people just getting into racial justice).

    If you have done any of the above, keeping doing it and do it louder. I also think creating a more inclusive place in the biking world will encourage more people to bike, so added bonus!

    One of my friends is coming out with a book about this subject that I am really excited to read: https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/7833

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for putting so much thought into this. I appreciate this handy list of actions. I am going through this entire comment thread and pulling out action-items and will round them up in a separate post ASAP. Thanks again and keep in touch.

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  • chezztone August 17, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Driving a car, and giving in fully to car culture, is more than mere conformity. It is supporting the oil companies, who have gotten governments to be their henchmen in paving over large areas of wilderness and residential areas; destroying public transportation; foisting this dangerous, dirty and expensive means of getting around onto all of us. But now we know the oil companies have been doing much worse than that: they have been destroying the global human habitat. This battle between people and profit-seeking corporations is getting more explicit now, with a white supremacist using a car to attack and kill people protesting his vile message. And state legislatures trying to make it legal to run down protesters with cars.
    Bike Portland and other pro-bike groups have been on the right side of this struggle from the get-go. But now is the time to connect the dots, or at least to acknowledge that the other side is already connecting them. Yes Jonathan! Speak out boldly and frankly in favor of bicycles, human freedom. democracy and the earth, and encourage your readers to do the same in their thoughts, speech and actions. Thank you!

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  • Oy August 18, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Bike communities tend to exhibit quite a lot of ableism as well. Whether it be from more obvious sources like when “strong and fearless” types instruct others they just need to ride faster, to not-so-obvious tactics of discriminating against those with invisible disabilities such as mental illness. Part of designing a true “all ages and abilities” facility needs to include access for non-neurotypical individuals as well, as not everyone has the mental capacity or energy to share lanes with fast-moving and aggressive motor traffic.

    Jonathan, you should certainly use your platform as a bike blogger to advocate for the less able-bodied and able-minded. You’ve done a fairly good job at covering events for people with physical disabilities but invisible disabilities such as mental illness are just as important and often don’t get much coverage due to their social stigma.

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  • SD August 18, 2017 at 11:42 am

    This blog, your journalism, already fights white supremacy in important areas that other news orgs don’t touch. Inequity was engineered into the bones of American cities, including Portland (obviously,) and continues to be perpetuated by electeds and moneyed interests. Portland’s infrastructure was planned and built by racists or by people who feel that using city resources and laws to reinforce class divisions is part of the natural order, economic or otherwise.

    Over the years, you have become more adept at understanding and identifying some of the drivers of this inequity. You have done a great job of calling out the PBA, who wish that Portland was more convenient for their commute at the expense of the people who actually live where they drive. You have better defined ODOT, and its willful neglect of high crash corridors that isolate non- white neighborhoods from the rest of Portland and stifle the quality of life of the people that live there. And, there is an evolving narrative of this that is archived on BP. You have brought to light the failures of an on-again off-again city hall that holds onto political capital as if they will be in office for eternity and a drop of that capital spent on bikes will result in curses on their children’s children. And, of course, the circus in Salem, where suburban white privileged men use bikes and pedestrians in Portland as their punching bag to score points with their ill-informed base.

    These groups and the damage that they do may be old news to people who work in these areas. And, this damage maybe dismissed by insiders or sausage/gristle apologists who believe that governance is too complicated to be ethical. But, for many highly motivated caring Portlanders this is a black box. The conversation on BP over the past decade has been a tremendous source of information for people who care about the built environment that surrounds them and how to make it better for everyone.

    How does BP go forward in fighting white supremacists? Well, whether the aforementioned groups are aware of it or not, they are often working to maintain or worsen the inequity that disproportionately affects people of color. Many of the players that profit off of this system, like freight companies, are unknown to the general public. I know you have touched on a lot of these topics, but why are the lives of residents of St. John’s or people who live near Columbia or 82nd less important than the unfettered speed and access of trucks? What really motivates ODOT to look at cities through a lens from the fifties, a time when the idea of social and ethnic equity was a pipe dream? What are the names of the people whose greed comes before the safety of disadvantaged or vulnerable populations in Portland, or other cities?

    I am going to be optimistic and say that people who feel compelled to put their idiocy and hatred on public display, i.e. Nazis, will come and go. It is important to take a stand when it happens, but it is also important to define an arc that will chip away at the white supremacy that has become normalized and nearly invisible. The racism that is ingrained in our institutions and that has been carved into the concrete and asphalt that surrounds us isn’t going anywhere unless there are advocates and investigative journalists like yourself who can shed light on it and identify it as systemic oppression.

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  • pruss August 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    there are some intricate arguments presented that fighting car culture IS fighting white supremacy….i suspect there may be quite a few who believe that bike culture (and coffee shops) are the vanguard of gentrification who are shaking their heads.

    Humble opinion is that we spend too much time in our virtual world that we lose sight of our physical world where we can have immediate impact for change. Let people rage about wrong on Fbook and condemn Trump in their social media….I think BP does a solid job of actually trying to fix what we can fix right here and now. Not downplaying the bad in the world…just think we have a tendency to look at the entirety of Mt Everest as an impossible task and freak while outlets like BP are trying to coax us to focus on and actually complete some of the necessary steps.

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  • Carrie August 28, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Two years ago I attended the National Bike Summit in DC and went to two sessions that reframed how I view transportation policy and public infrastructure. The most powerful one addressed, head on, the topic of equity and bicycling and infrastructure and funding. Did you know that the City of Portland was sued under a Civil Rights Statute (and lost) for inequitable funding distribution that was shown to be directly correlated to the racial and economic make-up of a given community? I didn’t, but it was quite amazing to hear stories of the law being used in that fashion.

    So what can BikePortland do? PBOT just spent $4.5 million to build the 20s bikeway in a) a way that most cyclists DO NOT LIKE and b) when the people of this city who need transportation infrastructure the most (in the form of SIDEWALKS and signaled intersections and covered bus stops and frequent bus service) still don’t have those things. THIS is an equity issue. Even the death of the young woman on Water St — I’m glad, I guess, that PBOT has plans to make that intersection safer. But what about the kids who have to get to school and cross 82nd Ave and have NO SIDEWALKS and their family doesn’t have a car to get them across that road safely? This is where non-car new coverage and equity intersect, IMO.

    I also have a plea for the BP commentors. The next time someone writes something here and your first instinct is to jump on and tell them how they could have done X better or if they only tried riding this way then Y would never happen — just don’t do it! Instead take the time you would have spent writing the comment to mull over what the person wrote and BELIEVE THEM. Stop second guessing. Stop mansplaining. BELIEVE people’s experiences, especially if you’ve never experienced that yourself.

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    • 9watts August 28, 2017 at 8:57 am


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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 28, 2017 at 11:30 am

      I liked your comment, but your use of “mansplaining” ruined it for me. You make some good points; please don’t taint them with overtly sexist language.

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      • Adam
        Adam August 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        Nothing about that comment was sexist. I suppose you also believe in “reverse racism”?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm

          Is “mansplaining” “reverse sexism”?

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          • Adam
            Adam August 28, 2017 at 1:11 pm

            It’s not sexist to point out patriarchal behavior.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty August 28, 2017 at 1:12 pm

              Then point it out using non-sexist language. It’s really not that hard.

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              • Alex Cook August 28, 2017 at 1:16 pm

                I would recommend reading more about mansplaining and why we call it such before continuing this line of thought. This is just ones article, but there are many more to google: https://thinkprogress.org/viewpoint-why-we-need-to-stop-mansplaining-773e26d533a0/

                “Falling right in line with the anti-feminist idea that “reverse sexism” is rampant in our society, I’ve heard men throw around the word ‘womansplain’ to point to the fact that if a man can explain something condescendingly, then a woman can as well. And that’s true. But that argument totally ignores the fact that mansplaining was invented to uncover privilege -– specifically, the privilege men have to assume that they are right, that women are wrong, and that their responsibility is to explain something to the poor woman who just can’t understand it.

                Ultimately, that’s the core of the term: Privilege. But by calling out men in the term mansplaining, feminists bring up a gender divide when condescension actually plays an integral role in privilege more broadly.”

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              • Adam
                Adam August 28, 2017 at 1:22 pm

                It’s easier to type “mainsplaining” than it is to type “someone of privilege, usually a man, giving advice to someone they see as weaker or less intelligent than them, usually a woman or person of lesser privilege”. Is it sexist to say that men often give unsolicited advice to those they assume are weaker or less “skilled”?

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              • Alex Cook August 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm
              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm

                From the last paragraph of that article:

                It’s a fine line, but seeing mansplaining everywhere—especially once you know it’s been around so long—is perhaps as dangerous as allowing it to go unnoticed.

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              • Adam
                Adam August 28, 2017 at 1:39 pm

                Fine, then come up with a term for “people on Bike Portland lecturing me about how I need to gain proper cycling skills, as if I didn’t learn cycling techniques from riding year-round in Chicago winters though snow and wind; and that I need to simply ride faster even though that’s not how legs work; and assuming that I totally don’t take any precautions on the road to keep myself safe, even though I totally do and you don’t know me”. 😉

                Maybe it’s not mansplaining, but it’s still annoying as hell.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 28, 2017 at 1:39 pm

                >>> Is it sexist to say that men often give unsolicited advice to those they assume are weaker or less “skilled”? <<<

                Not inherently. But saying that is much different than using a dismissive and sexist term as way of shutting down others, which is how you use the term, and what I object to. Since those you seek to shut down (in this forum, at least) mean well, perhaps you can find a more artful and constructive way to express yourself?

                In the context above, it adds exactly nothing to Carrie's good points. Reread her last paragraph, and see if has any less impact without that word. It probably has more.

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              • Adam
                Adam August 28, 2017 at 1:45 pm

                See, you just hit on the crux of the issue. Mansplainers think they mean well, and getting defensive and critiquing word choice because someone is calling out your behavior is just a way of shutting down the conversation and effectively putting the blame on the person calling out the behavior in the first place. What you are doing is effectively tone policing.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 28, 2017 at 1:48 pm

                They don’t *think* they mean well, they *do* mean well. Isn’t it better to help them understand how to not alienate those they wish to help rather than tell them to f-off?

                I’m not policing your tone, I’m asking you to refrain from using overtly sexist language.

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              • Adam
                Adam August 28, 2017 at 1:51 pm

                No, you said the OP’s comments would have more impact if she had used different words. That is literally tone policing.

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              • Adam
                Adam August 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

                Plus, I disagree that the word “mansplaining” is even sexist as all, let alone considered “overtly sexist language”. Maybe if a woman accuses someone of mansplaining, you should listen to her and try to understand why she feels that way, rather than just shutting down the conversation by accusing her of being dismissive and sexist.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

                Actually it’s not. Did you even read the content you linked to?

                >>> Tone policing focuses on the emotion behind a message rather than the message itself <<<

                Objecting to sexist tropes is not tone policing.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 28, 2017 at 2:02 pm

                This conversation is ridiculous. I give up.

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              • Adam
                Adam August 28, 2017 at 2:16 pm

                I have been accused of mansplaining before. What I did is think about what I said and how I said it, and try to understand how it could have come off as condescending. What I did not do, is accuse the other person of being sexist – that would be ridiculous.

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  • SE August 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    >> just stick to bike news?

    YES ,
    and take the social justice crusading elsewhere.

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