Tour de Lab September 1st

The Monday Roundup: Representation matters, road diet deniers, Green New Deal, and more

Posted by on February 11th, 2019 at 10:25 am

Welcome to the week.

Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

Bicycle riders are dangerous in Japan: This Japan News article says bicycle riders need more insurance because there are 2,500 collisions between bicycle riders and walkers each year and in 2017 there were 299 bicycle collisions where walkers were killed or severely wounded.

Tandems and true love: Just in time for Valentine’s Day CBS News has a story about a couple that says their happy marriage of 45 years is due in large part to the 197,000 miles they’ve logged on a tandem.

Representation matters: A cycling journalist noticed something rare during a major SRAM product launch: A black woman as the lead image. Turns out SRAM is doing much-needed work to make the cycling industry less white and less male.

Micromobility conference recap: A measured and informed account of what happened at the first-ever micromobility conference where the focus was on the 90 percent of U.S. auto trips that have the potential to be made by much smaller vehicles — a move that could, “reshape American cities around vehicles that are far more suited to them.”

War on cars, sport-radio style: The latest episode of the excellent War on Cars pod imagines what streets activism would sound like on sports talk radio.

Salem’s “third bridge” debate: A big meeting in Salem today will decide the fate of a major bridge project. Officials have spent 10 years and $9 million talking and planning for the project with the debate falling on familiar lines: Supporters say it’s needed for growth and traffic relief while detractors worry about environmental harm and other impacts. The Salem Breakfast on Bikes blog has done amazing reporting on the issue.

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Green New Deal: Oregon’s House Rep. Earl Blumenauer is one of the early and ardent supporters of this high-profile initiative. So far he hasn’t said he’ll use it as a vehicle to push for bicycling infrastructure (perhaps he’s saving that announcement for the National Bike Summit in March?) and overall, transportation planning wonks say it “fails” to address land-use and sprawl (see next item).

Land use is everything: Reuters reports on the vast challenge of reducing tailpipe emissions in California (and Texas) because the impacts of car-centric, sprawling urban design far outweigh current mitigation efforts. They should look to Seattle and Minneapolis for inspiration.

Road diet deniers: A group of L.A.-based road diet haters has launched a national movement dubbed “Keep the U.S. Moving,” a name that’s very close to ODOT’s Keep Oregon Moving (the name for the current transportation funding package). Hmmmm.

Planning for who?: Noted bicycle researcher Anne Lusk makes the case that cities rely too much on feedback from wealthy white people when making decisions about where to put high quality cycling facilities.

Thanks to everyone who shared submissions this week!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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65 Comments
  • Avatar
    9watts February 11, 2019 at 10:53 am

    The Slate piece criticizing the Green New Deal is a perfect example of blind spots. The critique starts off well: electrifying transport is no solution, but then quickly goes off the rails:

    “…we can fix this. We build more than 1 million new homes a year—we just need to put them in the right places.*

    Sorry, but no.

    Growth is the problem, has always been the problem. Just as electrifying transport is no solution, density in land use is no solution. Both make us feel good but skirt the underlying problem which is growth, too much stuff, too many people, and a merry denial of hard limits.

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      PS February 11, 2019 at 11:28 am

      I mean, in a way, you’re right, growth has always been a problem. A problem we have developed solutions for across the world. Some places are more adept at solving these problems than others of course. I am intrigued though, how should we go about limiting/eliminating growth?

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        9watts February 11, 2019 at 1:05 pm

        “how should we go about limiting/eliminating growth?”

        Thanks for asking.

        First we need to acknowledge that growth is a key problem, that underlies and exacerbates most of our most pressing threats.
        Next we should put our heads together about which aspects of growth we may agree are detrimental, and how, collectively, to tackle them.
        Some obvious high level strategies:
        removing subsidies to growth (growth in material throughput, consumption, population, fossil fuels, etc.)
        Ecological tax reform, not a new proposal, would shift taxes from the stuff we like (labor, property) onto the stuff we need to stop burning or buying (fossil fuels, etc.).

        There are tons more ideas, but first we need to unlearn the growth is good, or necessary, or unavoidable and recognize that it is killing us.

        lots more to learn right here from (a now defunct group) Alternatives to Growth Oregon: agoregon.org

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        David Hampsten February 11, 2019 at 5:44 pm

        Here are some solutions I’ve seen here in the southeastern US:

        1. Impose a sales tax on every consumable, but most especially food including milk and staple foods. Use the resulting revenue to build more freeways and freeway bypasses.

        2. Dis-invest in transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Build roadways that are just wide enough for cars but not wide enough to include bike lanes. For state highways, require that local jurisdictions must pay 100% for sidewalks.

        3. Ban mixes of land uses. Only the most profitable uses should be allowed.

        4. Eliminate urban growth boundaries – they are un-American.

        5. Push public housing to rural areas with no transit or walking connections.

        6. Dis-invest in areas that have lots of poor people and people who are not rich/white/work for Intel/Amazon/Nike.

        7. Gerry-mander city council districts so that each district has a majority of one race versus all others.

        8. Offer to subsidize smelly/dangerous/toxic/low-pay industries in poor districts, preferably without transit connections. Ban transit connections to all high-pay industries & jobs, including and especially downtown.

        9. Support low-status communities and businesses such as pawn shops, drug stores, dollar stores, community centers, check-cashing businesses, & bars.

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          Jon February 12, 2019 at 7:07 am

          I didn’t know Nike, Intel and Amazon were located in the southeastern US. I thought most of the jobs that require a lot of advanced technical education were located in the NE or west coast.

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          PS February 12, 2019 at 10:25 am

          Lol, that’s a lot of work when they could just have one generation of public employees have pensions so generous that the fiscal future of the state and the ability of the state to provide basic services is completely jeopardized. Especially, when all you need is a lunatic in the white house to remove any ability for the residents to write off the insanely high income taxes and property taxes all while the populace who has gone through the underfunded education system chant, “bUt, tHIs iS OryGUn, wE DoNt dO SAleS tAX!”.

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      Michael Ingrassia February 11, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      How many people can the earth sustain in your calculations? Its a technological challenge to rise to in my way of thinking. The idea that creatures who need to have 2 kids in order to simply replace themselves, who are currently on average having 1 in the latest generation, need to stop breeding completely in order to save the world seems like folly to me.

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        9watts February 11, 2019 at 1:12 pm

        “How many people can the earth sustain in your calculations?”

        “…to save the world seems like folly to me.”

        Don’t take my word for it. Carrying capacity is a thing. Every system has one. And exponential growth will reveal what it was when it is too late. Pretty basic math.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrying_capacity

        According to the Ecological Footprint calculations, if the average US household consumption were the standard for the rest of the world we’d need three-five planets (last time I checked).

        Whether it seems like folly to you, isn’t, in the final analysis, all that important. Trying to negotiate with physics, meteorology, carrying capacity has notoriously bad odds.

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      soren February 11, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      Our homes are burning far too much carbon and will need to be replaced or remodeled if we are going to begin to mitigate climate change. This process requires enormous capital and labor expenditures which also know as “growth” in capitalist economies.

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        X February 12, 2019 at 7:17 am

        Or, more people will have to live in each existing structure. I presently live in a 1300 sf space with one other person. That’s luxurious by some historical standards. Retrofits can be labor intensive instead of material intensive. Right now we replace things like old sash windows instead of fixing them (or walling them off-it’s a really inefficient design).

        My opinion–a residence built to have 1000+ square feet per person should carry a whomping tax.

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          PS February 12, 2019 at 10:34 am

          This is already what happens. An evil developer tears down a terribly inefficient old home, builds a new home or two that is very efficient and the county gets to reset the taxes. I live in a house on a split lot, the county went from getting $2,300 per year in property taxes to getting $18,500 between the two new houses on the same lot.

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      Chris I February 11, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      How do you stop “growth” on a national level? Build a wall? Forced sterilization?

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        Jim February 11, 2019 at 1:06 pm

        Almost nobody is in favor of forced sterilization, and a wall is not popular either. Why do people always present authoritarian means as the only means? The way to stop growth is for the choices and actions of the population as a whole to add up to no growth. I don’t know how to persuade people. If I did I’d be doing it. Maybe there is no way. In which case we are all in deep trouble. But talk of mass sterilization is just sensationalism and pointless.

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          9watts February 11, 2019 at 1:18 pm

          Thank you, Jim.

          Chris I does this often: throws out outlandish, hyperbolic notions to suggest the entire subject is absurd, not worth even considering. It is transparently not a good faith effort to engage but denial.

          Just because it is hard (to imagine, wrap one’s head around, put in place) doesn’t mean it isn’t deserving of our attention, our intelligence. One could argue that because defeatist attitudes such as this comment exhibits carried the day we have wasted precious decades since we first realized that growth was accelerating our doom fooling ourselves.

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            Chris I February 11, 2019 at 1:35 pm

            I’d be a strong supporter of federal policies that make birth control, abortion, and elective sterilization free for all citizens and residents. I just think that your frequent vague statements about “dealing with growth” are just a distraction when we are talking about real transportation issues. It’s off-topic.

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              soren February 12, 2019 at 1:13 pm

              Helping provide healthcare, support, and education to women and children who do not live in the USA is more effective, IMO. I donate to Population Services International every month. They do amazing work:

              https://www.psi.org/work-impact/health-areas/

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                Dave February 12, 2019 at 1:23 pm

                Yes–how much immigration to the USA is related to foreign policy that makes other peoples’ countries impossible to live in? The decades-long collective mental illness called the “Cold War” that led us to support any criminal/scumbag/psychopath who would call him or herself “anti-Communist” while making life miserable for their own people.

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            Squeaky Wheel February 11, 2019 at 1:36 pm

            9watts, one could also argue that you distract from every sustainability topic on bp by steering the conversation towards an extreme, daunting, practically unattainable futurism.

            Scooters more sustainable than cars? Let’s talk instead about the merits of large-scale lithium mining.

            E-vehicles a step in the right direction? Let’s talk instead about carrying capacity of the planet.

            I believe your form of hyperbole, based in academic truth as it is, is just as unproductive as that of Chris I. Consider letting commenters spend time talking about near-future mitigation of very complex long-term problems before chiming in to remind us that these issues are so intractably massive that there aren’t enough blog commenters in the world to solve them.

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              9watts February 11, 2019 at 1:43 pm

              “…distract …”

              Except that the small bore ‘solution’ is bound up with, intersects, may work against, the long term concern. Scaling up can, as you suggest, be unhelpful, except I would argue when our hope that deploying scooters, or increasing density, are on balance a good thing may turn out not to have been good at all, may give false hope, make things worse. The only way I see to determine if the local advances or is at least consonant with the global is to have the conversation, probe the tradeoffs.

              How do you suggest we reconcile the two? I’m always open to suggestions.

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          soren February 12, 2019 at 1:06 pm

          No “growth” is an argument for failure, for the status quo, for ever worsening ecocide. Failing to transform — “grow” out of — our destructive economic system will lead to enormous suffering. Growth is the only moral choice.

          David Wallace puts it well in his recent book “Uninhabitable Earth”:

          But this is what it would take to stay under two [degress]: a comprehensively decarbonized economy, a perfectly renewable energy system, a reimagined system of agriculture, perhaps even a planet without meat-eaters. We also need overhauls of the world’s transportation systems and infrastructure…
          If the task of reversing all that seems incomprehensibly big, it is. The scale of the technological transformation required dwarfs every technological revolution ever engineered in human history, including electricity and telecommunications and even the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. By definition, it dwarfs them, because it contains all of them — every single sector needs to be rebuilt from the foundation, since every single one breathes on carbon like it’s a ventilator.

          http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/02/book-excerpt-the-uninhabitable-earth-david-wallace-wells.html

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty February 12, 2019 at 1:25 pm

            And, on a practical level, it’s going to happen even if we decide it shouldn’t. We’ve moved well beyond the point we could all adopt a low impact agrarian lifestyle (if such a thing ever existed), even if people knew how and wanted to (most don’t).

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    Jason Skelton February 11, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Love the links as usual. This may make me a pedant but I think the Green New Deal is a set of ideas and goals, not legislation.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 11, 2019 at 11:53 am

      Agree with you Jason. It was a mistake on my part to refer to it as legislation. Have edited it and changed it to “initiative”. Thanks for catching that.

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    Champs February 11, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Tandems are much faster in the downhill direction, and so too are most relationships of their riders. That couple is truly amazing.

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      bikeninja February 11, 2019 at 11:33 am

      My favorite bit of wisdom on Tandems, ” A Tandem will not take your relationship anywhere it was not headed already, but it will take you there a lot faster.”

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        Pete February 11, 2019 at 3:09 pm

        Is that you, Fred?? This bit of advice from my Portland friend tipped the scale on our purchase of a Santana Sovereign several years back, and now we’re saving up for a Calfee custom.

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      B. Carfree February 11, 2019 at 11:40 am

      An adage among tandem couples: Tandems take your relationship where you’re going, only faster.”

      I’m about to head out on the tandem my wife and I purchased thirty years ago to pick up my granddaughter-stoker. My wife will be riding wing to fend off hostiles (sad truth). This weekend will be the first time my wife and I venture out on our newer tandem in a couple months; this rare absence of riding twogether was caused by a wee knee surgery and recovery time. I can’t wait.

      The comment about equilizing reminded me of our first long tour on a tandem. On singles, we would get to the end of the day and I would feel like I hadn’t gotten any exercise while my wife was exhausted. On that first tandem trip, I remember being on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere (southern Oregon). We stopped at a sign that said there was a cave a tenth of a mile away. I laid down to rest my exhausted body while my wife explored the cave. Perfection!

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    PS February 11, 2019 at 11:36 am

    This should have made the cut as well…

    https://www.bicycling.com/news/a26251942/bike-friendly-cities-usa/

    TLDR; There is nowhere else in the country where you can commute by bike and have less of a chance of dying, than right here. Hopefully, this motivates some of the fearful who think they need cameras, hi-viz, reflection everything, latest greatest lights, horns, etc. Just ride and be happy you don’t live in Mississippi.

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      Middle of the Road Guy February 11, 2019 at 11:51 am

      People have a tendency to think that wherever they are, they have it the worst.

      Weather, taxes, traffic, employment, etc.

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      CaptainKarma February 11, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      I can attest to that. When I lived in MS, then AL, I gave up biking altogether, a sad day. But now living here to make up for lost time.

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        David Hampsten February 11, 2019 at 5:53 pm

        I spent a 3-day vacation biking in and around Tuscaloosa Alabama. I rather enjoyed it. Mind you, I came from Greensboro NC, so everything is relative…

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    B. Carfree February 11, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Hmm, look to Minneapolis? Are you sure? It has seen a substantial drop in cycling over the past few years and those commuters are showing up in cabs/Uber. That’s not my idea of progress.

    Seattle has done better. While Seattle has also seen a decline, the former cyclists seem to be moving to public transit. That’s better than cars, but I wish for more butts in saddles.

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      Cyclekrieg February 11, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Can you explain where you got that metric? The overall City of Minneapolis traffic counts don’t agree with that. http://www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles/res/WCMS1P-135614 For certain areas (mostly the south side), that is true.

      Minneapolis is building 129 miles of protected bike lanes currently and that has changed the patterns of bike use. The Midtown Greenway has seen a drop in numbers as other east/west routes have come online. Additionally, there have been some hella awful construction in and around Minneapolis the last 2 years that has disrupted things.

      This summer take the Empire Builder to St. Paul and then the light rail back to Minneapolis to check it out. Bring your MTB bike too, we have a ton of great in-town riding.

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        B. Carfree February 12, 2019 at 12:26 pm

        Sure. According to the US Census American Community Survey, in 2012 Minneapolis had 4.5% of its commuters using bicycles and 0.7% using “taxicab, motorcycle and other means” (I assume any significant growth in this mode is due to Uber/Lyft.) In 2017 cycling had fallen to 3.9% and Uber/Lyft had risen to 2.1%.

        It looks even worse if you look more recently. 2015 had cycling at 5% and Uber/Lyft at 0.6%. Transit is also down slightly as Uber/Lyft rise, as has been found pretty much everywhere.

        I’m always skeptical of bike counters and their placement. I have watched Eugene place its counters in such a way as to be incredibly unrepresentative of what’s happening. People are driving their bikes to parking lots that are adjacent to the newly-placed counters to ride recreationally because they fear conditions on the road, which is far from success, imo. They even “adjust” the count based on a one-time observation that showed the counters undercount cyclists. It’s bad sampling and biased work at its worst.

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          GlowBoy February 13, 2019 at 8:15 am

          A lot of cities are making infrastructure progress, but fighting the over all trends of cheap gas and the rise of Uber/Lyft. Seattle is making huge investments in transit – both the light/rail subway downtown and the now-extensive Rapid Bus network – and those are starting to reap dividends in terms of downtown commuters. This trend will continue when the Northgate and Bellevue lines open. Seattle has made some progress on biking, mostly due to dockless flooding the streets with sharebikes, but while some new protected lanes like 2nd Ave are nice to see, the bike infrastructure is still very patchworky.

          For Minneapolis ridership, it’s hard for me to see statistical significance in the annual trends cited either by CK or B.C above, frankly. Either way, any change is incremental at most. Cycling rates are flat everywhere due to the external factors I mentioned above.

          Also, many other cities besides Minneapolis are making big infrastructure improvements, in anticipation of the day when more people care to commute by bike. Here’s what I can tell you about Minneapolis:

          – As cited in the article, Minneapolis is adding quite a bit of on-street protected infrastructure, definitely more than either Portland or Seattle. Importantly, we’ve built and are building protected lanes in areas with equity challenges (N Lowry and N 26th fully spanning the impoverished North End already, soon to intersect with the Fremont/Emerson protected bikeway connecting these with downtown), and in denser areas where their presence takes away car capacity and might even increase congestion (26th/28th street connecting Uptown and Midtown, soon to intersect with the Hennepin Avenue lanes downtown). Imagine, if you will, removing two car lanes from West Burnside and building protected bike lanes from the Burnside Bridge to NW 25th. That is what Minneapolis is about to do.

          – Although our on-street network of unprotected bike lanes isn’t quite as dense as Portland’s, our off-street network is multiple times better, and for many decades it has extended into many of our suburbs, making them at least physically bikeable – even if the density pattern of our suburbs definitely doesn’t support much biking. This means we have a lot more recreational riders than Portland, especially in the suburbs, a fact that isn’t reflected in ridership statistics. Remember that Minnesota, not Oregon, is the #1 state for bike ownership, and probably also why we’re a major bike-industry hub, and probably also why drivers are less hostile to cyclists (even though that courtesy emphatically does not extend to pedestrians).

          – Obviously, due to our climate the number of people biking takes a big hit in winter. That said, I do see people on bikes in my Montavilla-esque neighborhood every day, including during the -28F/-50F air temp/wind chill we had a couple weeks ago, and just the other day a guy rode by with his kids in a Bakfiets while I was shoveling 10″ of snow off my sidewalk. The number of bike commuters here in winter is around 1%. Still a number many American cities would be proud of as a year-round figure, but for us winter drags down the year-round figure more than it does in Portland. Conversely, in the warmer months,Minneapolis has at least as many cyclists and bike commuters as Portland. I easily see as many people on bikes in Minneapolis in the summer as I do in Portland. Don’t forget that the busiest bike bridge in America is not the Hawthorne, but Minneapolis’ Washington Avenue bridge.

          If for no other reason than climate, Portland is not likely to get eclipsed by Minneapolis in terms of annual ridership – we are in more or less a six-way tie for the #2 spot. But don’t be so quick to dismiss the infrastructure progress being made by Minneapolis and many of the other cities vying for the podium. This is the mistake Portland has been making the last decade: resting on its laurels, making slow progress on protected bikeways. Yes, your ridership has been flat (as everywhere), but keep pushing forward, and wait. The time when more people decide to saddle up will come.

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    soren February 11, 2019 at 11:56 am

    IMO, the Slate piece on the Ocasio-Cortez-Markey Green New Deal (GND) resolution is very disingenuous.

    First of all, much of the recent sharp increase in US transportation-associated emissions comes from trucking (e.g. buying bike bling online) or flying (e.g. burning jet fuel in order bike somewhere else).

    https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13682181/Screen_Shot_2019_01_07_at_12.54.08_PM.png

    Secondly, the GND resolution emphasized a shift from combustion vehicles towards low-carbon public transit and replacement of air travel with high-speed trains.

    Thirdly, the GND resolution emphasized electrification of transportation in general, not only cars.

    Fourthly, the GND resolution called for major investments in residential energy reduction. The assumption that Ocasio-Cortez does not understand that de-sprawlification is an essential part of this is absurd.

    And, finally, the GND resolution called for a major jobs program that would build community resiliency. In the environmental justice movement “resiliency” is understood to mean neighborhoods with proximity to resources, amenities, and jobs.

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      Middle of the Road Guy February 11, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      I am very much looking forward to flying someplace else to bike this year. After I have updated most of my stuff with online orders.

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    bikeninja February 11, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    One of the reasons I have little interest in the latest wave of Comic/Superhero movies is that all the Villains seem so lame and unrealistic. But I could really get behind it if the Next Avengers movie or what have you took on these Road Diet Deniers as the main evil villain. It would be good to see the comic book screen hero’s deal some justice to this bunch of miscreants. They seem so rotten that they are almost like cartoon characters.

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    Michael Ingrassia February 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    9watts
    “how should we go about limiting/eliminating growth?”Thanks for asking.First we need to acknowledge that growth is a key problem, that underlies and exacerbates most of our most pressing threats. Next we should put our heads together about which aspects of growth we may agree are detrimental, and how, collectively, to tackle them. Some obvious high level strategies: removing subsidies to growth (growth in material throughput, consumption, population, fossil fuels, etc.) Ecological tax reform, not a new proposal, would shift taxes from the stuff we like (labor, property) onto the stuff we need to stop burning or buying (fossil fuels, etc.).There are tons more ideas, but first we need to unlearn the growth is good, or necessary, or unavoidable and recognize that it is killing us.lots more to learn right here from (a now defunct group) Alternatives to Growth Oregon: agoregon.orgRecommended 0

    That seems like an argument for what sort of technological advancements need to be made, and lifestyle changes that need to go into place to me. Not an edict to stop growing. Though I afford you the human dignity of your own opinion and always will. I firmly believe we can work toward a better world, and that the point of no return, is, while close, not yet arrived.

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      9watts February 11, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      “That seems like an argument for what sort of technological advancements need to be made, and lifestyle changes that need to go into place to me. Not an edict to stop growing. ”

      The hard/interesting part isn’t the edict but operationalizing the challenge.

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      soren February 11, 2019 at 4:37 pm

      anti-growthers tend to use a definition of growth that refuses to acknowledge the fictional nature of economic value. in our post-fordist economy many “products” are clearly intangible and not constrained by “limits” but even tangible widgets only have value because we convince ourselves that they have value. this is why the idea that “growth” has to disappear in order to address climate change is a terrible economic narrative.

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        9watts February 11, 2019 at 6:08 pm

        Maybe I didn’t understand what you just wrote, but it sounds like a whole bunch of smoke and mirrors to me.
        By any measure I’m familiar with our economic systems grind up more energy and materials every year, and spit out more stuff we buy and then mostly throw away. Growth in throughput seems a perfectly adequate way to capture this. I don’t know what post-Fordism has to do with this. Services of course represent a sizable share of our economic system, but just because services aren’t cars or machine tools doesn’t mean there are no resources and energy involved. Do you disagree that growth and throughput continue to rise every year, and that they are coupled?

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          soren February 11, 2019 at 8:29 pm

          “and that they are coupled”

          they are but they don’t have to be. we should be printing dollars (or cooperative labor credits) to decouple growth from CO2e.

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            9watts February 11, 2019 at 8:33 pm

            I’ve worked alongside folks who have championed, claimed, celebrated decoupling for decades. I am (still) not seeing it.

            But in my view we shouldn’t focus our energies on decoupling growth from CO2e because I have no interest in either. Why not accept that neither serve us, that we could live well—though very differently than we, most of us, do now—without either?

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty February 11, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    From Planning for Who?

    >>> our focus groups’ ideal bike system was a wide two-way cycle track with freshly painted lines and bike stencils plus arrows, free of oil or litter. Conditions around the route also mattered. Our groups perceived areas with clean signs, cafes with tables and flowers, balconies, streetlights and no alleyways or cuts between buildings as safest. They also wanted routes to avoid buildings that resembled housing projects, warehouses and abandoned buildings.

    For crash safety, participants preferred cycle tracks separated from cars by physical dividers; wide cycle track surfaces, colored red to designate them as space for bicyclists; and bike stencils and directional arrows on the tracks. In their view, the safest locations for bike facilities had traffic signals for bikers, clearly painted lines, low levels of traffic, and did not run near bus stops or intersections where many streets converged.<<<

    Is this actually different from what white people want?

    The only difference I saw was a preference for riding on main streets vs. potentially less safe (from a crime standpoint) residential side streets. Yet advocates in Portland, of all colors, want facilities on main streets, too. It's where the destinations are, after all.

    I'm not so sure I'm buying the "we want different things" narrative. I think everyone wants good, safe facilities.

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      David Hampsten February 11, 2019 at 10:18 pm

      Here in Greensboro, according to the census, 55% of our cyclists are black, who are 43% of the population.

      When our city first introduced LimeBike in June 2017, some of their greatest usage was in traditionally black neighborhoods near our two public universities, for precisely some of the security issues cited, namely theft and car drivers being able to see the bright green (and well-lit) rented bikes. However, the greatest push-back came from our black councilors who represented those same neighborhoods, who are some of the most ardent car-centric politicians you are ever likely to come across, very anti-change, very anti-bike, totally opposed to any street design that will slow their driving down to the posted speed limit. A total disconnect between residential desires and their elected officials. Councilors saw LimeBike as a “white” business (it’s actually California Asian, or at least the founders are) invading their “black” space. LimeBike then got smart and hired a black Duke University grad to represent them as a public face with politicians before finding a local white boy full of tattoos to do it better.

      The upshot is that thanks to LimeBike and later Bird, the poorer black parts of town now are firm supporters of new bike infrastructure of all types. They no longer view it as “white-lining” or a precursor of gentrification, but rather as a livability improvement much as white areas do.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 11, 2019 at 10:37 pm

        So… it sounds like we all want the same things.

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          Middle of the Road Guy February 12, 2019 at 10:00 am

          Green bikes?

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          David Hampsten February 12, 2019 at 11:24 am

          Yes, pretty much the same thing. Honest politicians, good government, police who don’t pull you over and treat you differently because of the color of your skin, well-maintained city parks, easy public transit access to the good-paying jobs near the airport, Trader Joes, Publix, Starbucks, Chick-a-file, Sheetz, well-built homes. What everyone wants.

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    Pete February 11, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Those interested in black female road cyclists should follow Ayesha McGowan, aka http://aquickbrownfox.com. Not sure if that’s her, but she is sponsored by SRAM.

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    Jason H February 11, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Pete
    Those interested in black female road cyclists should follow Ayesha McGowan, aka http://aquickbrownfox.com. Not sure if that’s her, but she is sponsored by SRAM.Recommended 1

    TLDR?

    “25-year-old Yewande Adesida is a self-described “up-and-coming amateur” track racer who hails from London. A former competitive rower, she graduated from university two years ago, and is currently seeking her PhD, studying wearable technology related to the biomechanics of rowing. Despite only switching to cycling a handful of years ago, she’s quickly moved up in the British amateur category system and has racked up some solid results, including a top-ten in the keirin at the national championships a couple of weeks ago to go along with her bronze medal at the collegiate national championships in the individual sprint this past December.”…

    …”And so people started to take notice, including SRAM road brand manager Kate Powlison. Powlison says she was looking for people of color who would be a good fit for the project, and prominent cycling activist Ayesha McGowan put her in touch with Adesida, as well as Marty Merritt, whose images will appear at a future date in the marketing campaign.”

    FWIW, I’m happy to see a woman behind the campaign and is SRAM road brand manager too. Also I hope this was a good reaction, but I saw the spots last week and my takeaway was just that all the riders looked like real-life athletes and the only color that stood out to me was the bright teal camo Specialized Tarmac.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwb7EBNOTo4

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      Pete February 13, 2019 at 10:41 am

      Thanks for the text; I had tried to hit the link but we use zscaler and it’s picky about where I can navigate to. By the way, maybe to your point Ayesha seems a bit agitated people have mistaken her for Yewande: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvkRtOXk030.

      I’m usually flattered when people mistake me for Peter Sagan…

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    9watts February 11, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Salem’s City Council today finally voted 6:3 to kill the Third Bridge…. after 13 years of courageous and tireless opposition by some great folks down here.

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      soren February 14, 2019 at 8:44 am

      Very good news. Repurposing or removing our existing fossil fuel infrastructure (e.g. roads and bridges) in a low or zero-carbon manner will take immense economic effort — also known as growth.

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        9watts February 14, 2019 at 8:50 am

        You are confusing economic activity with growth.
        Those are not, must not be, the same. Growth is not required to build or maintain roads, and neither is capitalism. The fact that we have and desperately cling to both says more about us than about what could be.

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          soren February 14, 2019 at 1:03 pm

          elsewhere you were claiming skepticism about our ability to decouple “growth” from economic activity. have you changed your mind? i hope you have!

          ( i’m trying to communicate my contention that a positive message sells the transformational changes needed better than a negative one.)

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            9watts February 14, 2019 at 5:27 pm

            This is getting hopelessly muddled.

            * Maintaining roads uses energy, but not necessarily growth in the amount of energy burned;
            * Building new roads that we may or may not be able to maintain promises to use far more energy, locks us into pouring ever greater quantities of money and energy down this rathole = growth;
            * Borrowing money, as ODOT now does to finance its projects, requires not just energy but also economic growth to service the interest payments on the debt incurred.

            There are many ways to go about this, plan for this, make sense of our situation, but your collapsing them all under the growth heading is foolish, and at this particular juncture deceptive.

            Why are you – who is otherwise so critical of capitalism – so hung up on growth-as-savior, when our growth obsession is what got us into this mess?

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    Mike Quigley February 12, 2019 at 6:11 am

    This human overpopulation thing appears to be self correcting. Millennials aren’t breeding. China is worried about its low birth rate. New and deadly diseases are on the rise thanks to the anti-vaccination movement and overuse of antibiotics. Poor health and lack of health care has reduced America’s life span to lowest in the industrialized world. Then there’s worldwide climate change and insect die off. Mother Nature knows how to handle overpopulations. let her do her job.

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      Jon February 12, 2019 at 7:13 am

      I believe the reduction in lifespan in the US has been traced back directly to the opioid epidemic and overdose deaths. It has nothing to do with the idiotic anti-vax folks or lack of health care. Education of women has historically decreased the birth rate worldwide.

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        David Hampsten February 12, 2019 at 11:48 am

        Education and empowerment of women tend to always lead to lower birth rates, and have done so historically in all cultures. In several but not all Muslim countries (notably so in Saudi Arabia), women are well-educated but not emancipated (have all freedoms), and birth rates are still high. They rightly assume control over their own bodies.

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          GlowBoy February 12, 2019 at 6:45 pm

          Exactly this. Empower women economically and over their own reproductive decisions, and population will stabilize and even fall globally. This is the most important thing we can do to achieve 9watts’ vision of negative growth.

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    Pete February 12, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Wow, 616 YouTube comments, almost all of them utterly bashing Portland, but only *one* hating on bicycles… progress(?)! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZTcpIVxuHg

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      David Hampsten February 12, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      Quite a few cities (and lots of counties) still have commissioner forms of government, but Columbus Ohio is the only city larger than Portland with it. My city has 5 councilors elected by districts, a voting mayor elected at large, and a 3 voting councilors elected at large (the 3 highest percentages out of the top 6 candidates from the primaries.) They in turn hire the city manger and city attorney. They then hire (or manage) all the city staff and departments.

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        David Hampsten February 12, 2019 at 11:10 pm

        … and everybody is still unhappy, they still hate the city, police still kill innocent people, corruption still happens, bike infrastructure still fails to get implemented, only the rich get elected (but by district rather than at-large), and nothing really changes.

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    X February 12, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Michael Ingrassia:

    “. . .the point of no return, is. . .not yet arrived”

    This feels like a mistake. Every additional ton of carbon or methane put in the atmosphere will be there for a long time, frustrating some future path to a more stable climate. Every car purchased or lane mile of pavement built is a sunk cost that folks will fall in love with,digging in their heels against change while options evaporate. Today we have a set of choices about what to do to reach a feasible set of outcomes. It’s not a path that we can turn around and walk back on. It’s a multidimensional space and every hour, every day, every election cycle, more of that space becomes unavailable. Point of no return? Would that be when Oregon tries to wall off California? Or maybe when I look outside and see Don Johnson with a big dog?

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