Support BikePortland

The Monday Roundup: Speed-limiters in EU, ‘Porn Pedallers’, progress in Seattle, and more

Posted by on March 11th, 2019 at 1:27 pm

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Ride Like A Girl Cycling, now offering a range of training rides and coaching services to get you ready for the season. Find them on Facebook too!

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

New policy crush: New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson wants to “break the car culture” and move on from the Robert Moses era once and for all.

Peddling porn: After first stripping the club of its standing, British Cycling has now entered into talks with Porn Pedallers Cycling Club, which is sponsored by an adult entertainment firm.

$15 Billion for what?: There’s forward movement for a $15 billion transportation funding package in the Washington legislature (three times what Oregon passed in 2017) that uses a gas tax increase and new fees on carbon and developers to fund infrastructure. Unfortunately only 8 percent would be spent on multimodal projects while 41 percent would go to expanding and maintaining existing roads.

Tesla mess piles up: After two fatal crashes in Florida in a week, the federal government is taking a closer look Tesla’s “auto-pilot” feature.

Time to end the car pilot: An essay in The Guardian makes the case that our over-reliance on cars has been a “disastrous experiment” and calls on governments worldwide to phase them out in ten years.

Advertisement

Awkwardly symbolic: A pro woman racer who was on a solo breakaway in a race in Belgium got too close to the back of the men’s field and was stopped by race organizers. It killed her momentum and she ended up finishing 74th.

Europe knows: A European Union consumer protection committee voted to support a new rule that would require carmakers to install speed-limiting devices in all new cars starting in 2022.

Women supporting each other: Looks like the proliferation of women-only cycling clubs is happening all over the country, including a “Women Bike” group in Philadelphia.

Hardesty opposes I-5 project: In an interview with the Portland Tribune, Portland City Councilor Jo Ann Hardesty says ODOT and PBOT’s Rose Quarter freeway expansion project is a loser and that we’d be better off spending the money on transit, walking, and biking infrastructure.

Dooring death: A woman was killed by a truck driver while bicycling in downtown San Francisco after she swerved to avoid someone who opened a car door in her path.

Progress in Seattle: Seattle had 14 fatalities in traffic last year, that’s less than half the amount they had in 2006. It’s also less than half of Portland’s 34 fatalities. What is SDOT doing that PBOT isn’t?

Telecommute over transit: Census figures show that for the first time ever the number of people who work from home is now larger than those who take public transit.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

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

105 Comments
  • Avatar
    todd boulanger March 11, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Best of luck to New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in wrenching control of MTA from Albany (State Capital)…operationally it makes great sense but can the City afford to take it over with all of the historically recent deferred maintenance..assuming the State does not share toll revenue to do so.

    Sadly the 1970 intent of creating the MTA never truly came true: “At the heart of the scheme proposed by Rockefeller and Ronan was a bold idea: Because the state controlled the tolls on the city’s bridges and tunnels, it could subsidize the subway and keep fares [20 cent ride] in check [and maintain it].” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/nyregion/mta-subway-cuomo.html

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Avatar
      Chris I March 11, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      The city could then implement congestion pricing and (gasp) paid street parking everywhere in the city to fund the MTA. NYC has made improvements, but they give away an insane amount of real estate as free parking. Allowing unrestricted car access on the island is insane.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    bikeninja March 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I agree with George Monbiot 100% . Lets end this horrible experiment before it ends us. My only quibble is with his timeline. The effects of cars are so bad that phasing them out over 10 years is a lot like Crack Junkie phasing out narcotics over a 10 year period. To the crack junkie or the auto addict doing it quicker seems impossible, but reality demands a different timeline.

    Recommended Thumb up 11

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty March 11, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      It’s one thing to say this, and quite another to map out a feasible plan to make it so. You can count me among those who want to move beyond cars, but who have no idea how.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • Avatar
        9watts March 11, 2019 at 5:47 pm

        “You can count me among those who want to move beyond cars, but who have no idea how.”

        To do anything difficult it would be good to chart a course, make a plan.

        (1) interview those who currently live without a car. I guarantee we’d learn tons.
        (2) stop spending a dime on autos only infrastructure, on subsidizing motor fuel, etc.
        (3) concede defeat; accept that the Auto Century is over. This may be the most important and most difficult step.
        (4) figure out how to spend the money we have and that is no longer going toward cars. We could start with incentivizing alternatives to the auto.
        (5) come up with a time table for phaseout of cars and phase in of everything the almighty car displaced.

        Recommended Thumb up 9

        • Avatar
          world's slowest mamil March 11, 2019 at 5:58 pm

          I look forward to experiencing city streets filled with horse poo from the phasing-back-in of horse-drawn carriages and carts. Maybe I’ll even go all-in on this retrogression and catch a lovely TB infection. It will be delightful!

          Recommended Thumb up 4

          • Avatar
            9watts March 11, 2019 at 7:40 pm

            That is the constructive attitude that is going to make this work. Nicely done!

            Perhaps you have heard about the anticipated rise in (new) infectious diseases from taking your approach (playing ostrich) when it comes to climate threats?

            Recommended Thumb up 8

            • Avatar
              world's slowest mamil March 11, 2019 at 9:47 pm

              The point of my last post went entirely over your head. What we need is progress. We need a solution that is more convenient, more cost-effective, more enjoyable, and less polluting than the personal automobile. That’s the only way that people are going to want to move away from having their own car, in the US or anywhere in the world. It’s already been done elsewhere. I think that it requires a level of commitment and cooperation that the US’s government and culture isn’t capable of at present, but that’s an entirely different tangent to wander down.

              Your proposal is regressive and frankly bloody silly. Bring back everything that the car replaced? Horses and oxen clogging up city streets, sending tons of methane upwards and poop downwards? That’s what you’re seriously suggesting here? Because that’s the millennia-old problem that the almighty car solved in an incredibly disruptive fashion, the aftereffects of which we as a society are now trying to mitigate. But the idea of throwing that progress out and bringing back the good ol’ days of pedestrians walking in shit and getting run over by delivery carts is even more absurd than the autocratic fantasies of seizing and crushing every car that some transportation advocates have. That’s a great one too. Paris has seen 17 weeks of protests and riots because of fuel prices rising, so let’s see what happens when we turn the screws even more!

              Then again, I’ve been attacked on this very site for daring to suggest that drivers are human, so maybe a disclaimer is in order: my suggestion of turning the screws on the populace is entirely ironic. We really shouldn’t do that because it effects the middle and lower classes disproportionately, and because riots and insurgencies suck.

              Recommended Thumb up 10

              • Avatar
                9watts March 11, 2019 at 11:38 pm

                “The point of my last post went entirely over your head.”

                Well, excuse me.

                “What we need is progress. We need a solution that is more convenient, more cost-effective, more enjoyable, and less polluting than the personal automobile.”

                Sure, if consumer preferences are your focus, and there are no limits, by all means. But that is not the world we live in. The Idea of Progress developed in tandem with our successive energy revolutions, to increasingly more energy dense fuels: muscle, draft animal, wood, coal, oil, gas. The problem is that even though we’ve scoured the earth thermodynamics has caught up with us: all the alternatives to hydrocarbons are much less energy dense, which is a fancy way of saying we’re out of luck w/r/t your wishful trajectory.

                “That’s the only way that people are going to want to move away from having their own car, in the US or anywhere in the world.”

                Who is talking about ‘wanting’. This isn’t about what people will settle for, but the scraps that are left after our two-century orgy.
                Constraints, man.

                “It’s already been done elsewhere.”

                What has been done elsewhere? The Second Law of Thermodynamics operates everywhere as far as I know.

                “I think that it requires a level of commitment and cooperation that the US’s government and culture isn’t capable of at present, but that’s an entirely different tangent to wander down.”

                Well when you figure it out be sure to check in here and tell us about it.

                Recommended Thumb up 6

          • Avatar
            turnips March 12, 2019 at 10:30 am

            it’s my understanding that French Intensive Gardening was developed in reaction to an ample supply of horse manure from city streets.

            you’re right, of course, that wading through horse shit wouldn’t be a whole lot of fun. it would seem that you’re suggesting that cars are the only solution to such a problem, though, which I can’t say makes a whole lot of sense to me. I don’t know that a return to draft animals in the city is a good idea (maybe it is), but the problem of manure disposal is a rather more tractable one than climate change.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Avatar
              9watts March 12, 2019 at 11:13 am

              “but the problem of manure disposal is a rather more tractable one than climate change”

              Quote of the week!

              Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty March 11, 2019 at 9:24 pm

          In order to do steps 2 and 3 you need to convince a lot of people that this would be prudent that currently are not convinced. This is where our arguments always spiral out of control. You can either convince people, or force them, or wait for the world to get so messed up that it doesn’t matter anymore (“constraints”).

          Force seems risky because you basically need a benign dictator (the only one I’d trust is myself, and you’ be a fool to trust me), and it’s unclear how that would play out (hard to imagine a scenario where we’d be better off). The alternative is to convince people; given how much we have invested in our current infrastructure, that seems a hard sell.

          The only other possibility I see is to change the game with technological advancement, which you tend to dismiss, but it really seems the only thing that could work.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • Avatar
            Matt S. March 11, 2019 at 9:30 pm

            Ebikes!!!!!!

            Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Avatar
            9watts March 11, 2019 at 9:41 pm

            “In order to do steps 2 and 3 you need to convince a lot of people that this would be prudent that currently are not convinced.”

            I see this as dynamic, evolving. Today, you’re right, this wouldn’t fly, the sun has already set; but tomorrow, who knows, and in a year or three… The sooner we start getting used to thinking and talking like this the easier it will be to generate the critical mass when that day arrives. And even this is clumsily phrased: the talking is an essential step in the cultural shift we’re talking about, that we need.

            “You can either convince people, or force them,”

            Impatience won’t cut it. This kind of a shift takes time.

            “…or wait for the world to get so messed up that it doesn’t matter anymore (“constraints”).”

            This is of course the default position, always.

            “Force seems risky…
            The alternative is to convince people… hard sell.”

            Like I said above, impatience isn’t a recipe for success. What you call spiraling out of control may be the necessary work of talking ourselves out of our current hopeless habits and into the necessity of new, better ones.

            “The only other possibility I see is to change the game with technological advancement, which you tend to dismiss, but it really seems the only thing that could work”

            That thinking got us into this mess, and presents today one of the most formidable obstacles to, especially, (3) above.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty March 12, 2019 at 10:44 am

              I’m not sure how we as a species could abandon technology, or somehow freeze things as they are not, or were at some golden age in the past (when America was great?). People will continue to innovate, and technology will continue to move forward. There is no central committee to decide these things. It just happens. Even if technology created our current problems (a highly questionable assertion), it is not going away, and there is no going back. The only way is forward.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Avatar
                9watts March 12, 2019 at 11:04 am

                “how we as a species could abandon technology,”

                Did I write that?

                I was objecting to your habit of putting all our salvific eggs in the technology basket.

                Technology includes many things, not just whiz bang stuff like fusion energy. Bicycles are technology as are shoes and wood stoves. The point here surely is that technology operates, evolves, is subsidized within the actual constraints of our planet. Technology can’t create high energy density fuels in quantities that we’ve become used to relying on. That was a one-time inheritance we may soon come to regret burning.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 12, 2019 at 11:20 am

                >>> Technology can’t create high energy density fuels in quantities that we’ve become used to relying on. <<<

                You can't know that. And it may turn out to be irrelevant. The point is you don't know.

                I want us to pursue all options.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                9watts March 12, 2019 at 12:03 pm

                Thermodynamics, especially the Second Law.

                I do know that. And I’m not the only one.

                The trouble is we are reluctant to admit this because at that point we will have to accept that the Idea of Progress isn’t a law. Like the Second Law just mentioned.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Avatar
                9watts March 12, 2019 at 12:21 pm

                “I want us to pursue all options.”

                I do too.
                Just not fanciful ones that reveal more about our desperate hunger for free lunches, our hope that, somehow, we’ll find the magic elixir that will allow us to keep this up.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm

                The second law of thermodynamics does not mean we can’t develop forms of energy that are currently impractical or unknown (and in fact nuclear energy can do exactly what you say is impossible, even using old technology).

                When the folks at universities and startups stop investing their time and money looking for new ways to produce energy, maybe I’ll agree with you. Until then, I’m signing off of this thread.

                [See https://www.nrl.navy.mil/news/releases/scale-model-wwii-craft-takes-flight-fuel-sea-concept — for an older but practical demonstration of how to make liquid fuels from seawater ane electricity.]

                Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Avatar
            X March 12, 2019 at 10:35 am

            Force? How about a trillion dollars worth of U.S. real estate with salt water on it? Or two trillion?

            I say U.S. because it’s pretty clear we don’t care a whole lot about anything, um, offshore.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    Dave March 11, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    In 40 years in the Northwest and having driven, walked, and cycled in both the PDX/Vancouver area and on many visits to Seattle, the behavior of the Emerald City’s drivers has always impressed me as being saner and more humane. Not saying that it’s that great but better than in my own neighborhood.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      David Hampsten March 11, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      I agree, Seattle drivers (and pedestrians) are much more patient than in Portland and nearly everywhere else. The “leading pedestrian intervals” mentioned are also heavily used in DC, sometimes with a lead of up to 30 seconds crossing majorly wide streets like Penn Ave. East Portland badly needs them as does my community here in NC.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty March 11, 2019 at 5:39 pm

        This wasn’t always the case; Seattle used to be where the bad drivers were (at least by PNW standards). Seems, as with other things, we’ve made up for lost time.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    John Lascurettes March 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Oh my gosh. Why did I wade into the comments on the Hardesty piece?

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      Dave March 11, 2019 at 3:46 pm

      Hey, we’ve all steered our bikes up that pretty little road that turned off of our regular route and didn’t realize the 12″ potholes, 15 degree sloped switchbacks, and icy wind across the summit that was just out of view………………………………….

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Avatar
      Chris I March 11, 2019 at 4:13 pm

      I’m no fan of her, but yikes, that was upsetting. These people live among us.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    Champs March 11, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Women’s cycling should be respected in its own right, but boy is that story overblown. The real questions of justice are simpler and objective: what was the women’s share of coverage and PRIZE MONEY?

    The rest is just hypotheticals and creating even more unfairness by forcing the women’s peloton to chase the “solo breakaway” riding in another group up the road.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      jered March 11, 2019 at 5:25 pm

      I agree the big issue is share of coverage and PRIZE MONEY. (As an aside I watch UCI CX races while on the trainer. I’ve given up on watching mens CX races because it is always a blow out, the women’s races are way more competitive and thus far better to watch.)

      I suppose the fairest way to do this would have been to neutralize the leader and the peloton with the noted time gaps, giving the leader and the contenders trainers to ride while the break occurs and then when the men are far enough ahead again they can restart with the same gap from the same speed differentials, and everybody on warm legs. I would have been super angry if this happened to me.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        John Lascurettes March 11, 2019 at 6:23 pm

        They should have just checker flagged the men at the back of the men’s pack and taken them out of the race. That would have been more fair.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty March 11, 2019 at 9:11 pm

          “You’re so slow you let a girl catch up with you… you’re disqualified!” I’m not sure I’d be on board with that.

          Maybe better to let the cyclist pass the race-support vehicles to ride with the men.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • Avatar
            Dan A March 12, 2019 at 6:33 am

            Except that it would provide an unfair drafting advantage, granting the breakaway rider a nearly-automatic win.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Avatar
              Dan A March 12, 2019 at 10:06 am

              Incidentally, I did a stand up paddle race last summer where the organizer had all of the men and women start at once, and told us that we could draft off of whoever we wanted to (no gender rules). I ended up drafting off a woman who was a much stronger paddler than me and had a great race.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty March 12, 2019 at 10:08 am

              It would not be unfair… The ability to catch up and draft would be equally available to all.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Avatar
            John Lascurettes March 12, 2019 at 8:58 am

            Except that’s exactly what some multi-heat races do. The only difference here is that the “girl” wasn’t allowed to interfere with the “boys'” race.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    David Hampsten March 11, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Telecommute over transit: I find it interesting that the article writer plays up “occasional” work-from-home data, but not “occasional transit use”. In my community, the census says that 1.3% of our workers commute by transit, but if you include everyone who rides the bus at least once per year, especially during the fall folk festival, it rises to 25%. I’ll bet it’s even higher in Portland during Trailblazer games. I’d even go so far as to say that in Portland, over 95% of workers occasionally drive to work, over 50% ride a bike occasionally to work, and even a few sometimes walk.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Avatar
    9watts March 11, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    On the Washington transportation budget proposal – I was disappointed to read not a word in that piece on the large and rising share of WA transportation $ which are spent not on anything useful to transport but on interest, on debt service because the same WA legislature foolishly voted not so long ago to let WashDoT debt finance its projects . OR is following suit.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    Toby Keith March 11, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    I’ve got a coworker with one of those new Tesla Model 3 “jalopies” and think it’s pretty cool, but I’m not down with any of the “automated” stuff.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      Matt S. March 11, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      Neighbor across the street works for Subaru. He has two WRXs. He’s not allowed to drive his Tesla that he just inherited to work.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Avatar
    mike March 11, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Wondering what you propose to do with the millions of auto realated jobs when you phase out the car. Since you have an answer for everything else I’m sure you have some brilliant ideas

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Avatar
      9watts March 11, 2019 at 9:01 pm

      Personalizing this “when you phase out cars” is beyond silly.

      We did this to ourselves. Svante Arrhenius identified the greenhouse effect in 1896.

      You are welcome to put your creative mind to the task as much as the next person. Killing the messenger, disbelieving Cassandra, blowing smoke all won’t get us anywhere.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Avatar
      q March 11, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Good point. Was the switch to computers really worth creating a permanently unemployed group of employees in the typewriter industry? Or the switch to digital photography worth the destruction of the one-hour photo processing industry? Or refrigeration worth killing the home ice-delivery trade? If only people had heeded the warnings…

      Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Avatar
      Chris I March 12, 2019 at 8:23 am

      What happened to the 20% of the US population that used to work in agriculture and now does not?

      We would still need people to build bikes, high speed trains, aircraft, etc. Oh, and when you eliminate transportation spending, people have more money to spend locally, on healthy food, recreation, etc.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Avatar
        Matt S. March 12, 2019 at 9:49 am

        You have to shift transportation to a source that doesn’t consume income for a person to see real benefits. As of now, a Trimet pass costs more than insurance and gas for my car. Sure maintenance spikes the monthly cost from time to time but I plan on my maintenance. I don’t think I can ride my bike full time considering the type of work I do (construction).

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Avatar
          Chris I March 12, 2019 at 6:17 pm

          Right. If you use selective calculations for driving expenses, it can be cheaper than any other option. Good luck with that cut-rate insurance.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 12, 2019 at 6:38 pm

            Insurance is not a variable cost; whether you include it or not depends on the nature of the comparison you are making, not whether you are being “selective” in your analysis.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Avatar
            Matt S. March 13, 2019 at 9:42 am

            I have liability. I focus on bodily harm and property damage. My maintenance is probably $1200 a year, insurance is $450, gas $720. Totaling $2,370 or just under $200 month. A Trimet pass is $91 a month. I spend approx $106 more a month to drive. It’s a convenience fee for the ability to drive to Oak Ridge, Bend, Hood River when ever I want. I can take my dogs, sleep in my car, travel across the state. I can work a 50 mile radius from my home in a single day. I love bicycling , but I also enjoy the flexibility that only a car can deliver. I wish driving wasn’t so harmful on the environment, but I usually always have my partner with me so at least we’re carpooling.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Avatar
          Dan A March 12, 2019 at 8:02 pm

          You can thank subsidized roads, parking, gasoline, environmental cleanup, healthcare, and deferred costs of climate change for the lost costs of driving. You’re welcome!

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty March 12, 2019 at 8:40 pm

            Buses enjoy all those same “subsidies”. The difference is TriMet has to pay a driver and has a bunch of additional overhead.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Avatar
            Dan A March 13, 2019 at 6:58 am

            Sorry, meant “low costs”.

            Buses get the same amount of subsidy per person?

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 9:22 am

              Since buses do considerably more damage to roads and emit more dangerous pollution than cars, they probably get more. If, that is, calculating these items on a per person basis even made sense. TriMet gets far more in terms of actual subsidies from business taxes. When I drive I pay gas tax for fixing the roads; I don’t know that TriMet does the same.

              In the end, for a great many trips, it still costs far more to take the bus then to drive, especially if you are traveling with friends or family. No creative accounting required.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                Jim March 13, 2019 at 11:04 am

                Your gas tax isn’t even close to paying to maintain the infrastructure that your vehicle uses. Buses create fewer emissions per traveler than cars do, so include a big chunk of medicare and medicaid taxes as the subsidies we pay for car driver externalities. Plus buses don’t tend to crash, so factor in the chunk of police and fire dept budgets that deal with all the auto wrecks. You choose to go a certain distance with “creative accounting” but you do not follow through. The accounting is really endless.

                As a much broader, more general point, do any of us ever change our minds on any of this? Isn’t it just the same people arguing from the same perspective year after year?

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Avatar
                9watts March 13, 2019 at 11:24 am

                “As a much broader, more general point, do any of us ever change our minds on any of this? Isn’t it just the same people arguing from the same perspective year after year?”

                Thank you for making that point in the form of a question, Jim.
                I certainly hope so. That is why I come here. I’ve learned so much from folks here, who have changed my perspective on many a subject. The lamentably absent wspob with his querulous style very often got me to articulate what I hadn’t ever found myself putting into words. Although we rarely agreed, his posts certainly got me to realize errors in my own thinking, refine my arguments, learn new things.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 11:55 am

                >>> Your gas tax isn’t even close to paying to maintain the infrastructure that your vehicle uses. Buses create fewer emissions per traveler than cars do, so include a big chunk of medicare and medicaid taxes as the subsidies we pay for car driver externalities. <<<

                I'm not sure either of these statements is true. I've shown data here on several occasions showing that ODOT's budget is mostly vehicle derived (true, not all from the gas tax), and doing the calculation of what infrastructure my vehicle "uses" would be an interesting challenge.

                If by "emissions" you mean pollutants in general, diesels lose against gas engines on most counts. If you mean CO2 (which does not take a toll on medicare/medicaid ), you might be right, or not; I've seen an analysis for Portland's light rail system that shows energy consumed per passenger is comparable to a person driving alone in a small car. The bus analysis would certainly be different, and it would be interesting to look at the energy use of the entire system, including the externalities of the biodiesel that TriMet buses use, and the lower carbon electricity that the trains use.

                My original point, which I should have stuck with before clouding it with other issues was that calculating these things on a per-rider/per-driver basis is very difficult, and the question itself doesn't really make sense. The fact remains that TriMet enjoys almost all the same "subsidies" private auto users do.

                For the record, I am a strong supporter of transit, and often use it over my car despite it's higher cost and lower convenience for most trips I make.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts March 13, 2019 at 12:10 pm

                “TriMet gets far more in terms of actual subsidies …”

                Public transit, like schools, sewers, telecommunications, etc. is considered a public good. As such tarring it with receiving subsidies seems questionable.
                I thought we were comparing the externalities from private and public modes in response to Matt S.’ claim that: “a Trimet pass costs more than insurance and gas for my car.”
                which surely benefited from some interrogation.

                “I’ve shown data here on several occasions showing that ODOT’s budget is mostly vehicle derived (true, not all from the gas tax)…”

                ODOT Likes to blow a lot of smoke in the faces of people who assert that what you said above isn’t true, that they should show us the numbers. My recollection, from digging into this back when the BTA put together their ill-considered but potentially important info graphic on the subject, is that the big chunk ODOT inexplicably lumped in with user fees were bonds.

                If you make the case for what you state above with numbers I’d be very interested.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                Jim March 13, 2019 at 12:16 pm

                I agree that it is very difficult to figure out the actual costs and effects of individual trips. But I think it is very important to try. This is not to find which mode has the moral high ground, but is because these things are having huge effects on a world that we are rapidly killing. Perhaps it does not make sense to assess our transportation impact on an individual basis, but otherwise people squirm out of being responsible for their own impact.

                I have seen other data that shows ODOT funding is from many other sources. Why is it so hard to show how our roads are paid for? Who benefits from that? My point was that tri-met receives some of the same subsidies as private vehicle users, but not others (along with its public funding).

                By “emissions” I was meaning tailpipe exhaust, but also embedded costs of materials and manufacture, and also something that has been in the news more recently – particulates from brake and tire wear. That may sound silly but there are studies finding huge health impacts. Again, why is this data so hard to quantify or find? Yes it is hard to analyze, but compared to the amount of time spent poring over sports stats, it seems like we’re not even trying to assess the ill-health and death and destruction that we’re causing. It makes my blood boil (and makes me a combative and not-very-good commenter and debater).

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                9watts March 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm

                Yes, yes, and yes.

                “Again, why is this data so hard to quantify or find?”

                Probably a rhetorical question, but vested interests, Car Head, cronyism, corporate shills, etc. could all be fingered. ODOT has never believed in or exhibited transparency.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 12:25 pm

                ODOT’s funding sources are published on their website. It’s public data, and it’s freely available.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                Jim March 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm

                Yes, ODOT’s budget is freely available, and is very difficult to parse.

                From ’15-’17, ODOT’s income from fuel tax and licenses is under $2B of their $4.5B income. Another $2B is federal funding and bond sales, and it is not at all clear that these are driver-financed. Meanwhile on expenses, $2B is highways and another $1B is debt servicing. Public transport and rail costs are under $150M. Maybe I’m misreading or in the wrong place? I’m not seeing at all how any of this proves either of our cases. It does illustrate my point about confusion and obfuscation.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm

                The inclusion of debt service suggests ODOT pays its own bonds; I looked up the federal stuff another time, and found that is also mostly transportation funded. The main thing it proves, however, is that the numbers are available, and are not hidden because of a car-head, which was the suggestion I was responding to.

                If the question you really want to discuss is how do we change the status quo, I see two threads. At a policy level, impose a carbon tax to help offset the known costs of emitting CO2. Do so now, increase it gradually but predictably, and many things will change. Don’t worry about micromanaging the process; transition will happen, probably quickly.

                The other is technological change, which is coming. Driverless cars are going to disrupt everything about the way we live and get around cities (and will probably kill transit as well). It may even make the inner neighborhoods less trendy again.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                9watts March 13, 2019 at 1:11 pm

                “ODOT’s funding sources are published on their website. It’s public data, and it’s freely available.”

                Supremely unhelpful comment. You and I have both been there, and presumable the folks at the BTA had as well. I know folks on the inside of ODOT and they’ve sent me additional documents on the question of financing and it is still far from clear what is going on.

                “ODOT pays its own bonds”

                ?!
                Oh, you mean, like they pass the hat at the water cooler?

                ODOT is nothing without our taxes.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                idlebytes March 13, 2019 at 1:48 pm

                “ODOT’s budget is mostly vehicle derived ”

                Right but framing it like that makes it seem like people who choose to commute in cars are mostly contributing to ODOTs budget with direct user fees but that’s not the case. A little less then half of their budget comes from commuter user fees. Meaning if everyone who drives just to get around town stopped tomorrow they would still get half of their budget. Federal transportation funds are also only partially paid for by gas taxes about half again. The rest comes from other fuel taxes and Congress voting to fill their budget gaps.

                The point being is how much of ODOTs budget do you think is spent providing infrastructure and maintenance for driving commuters? Half? More than half? 50% of the budget is just the highway fund. I think it’s more than half so if those people stopped driving tomorrow ODOT would still get half of its budget and have significantly less expenses.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 3:08 pm

                The framing of this whole discussion is suspect. You may need fewer lanes, but you still need roads everywhere, and bridges, and traffic signals, and swing gates, and all the other big ticket items. And most everything else. And new stuff to handle whatever method people use instead. So, take away half the funding, and there would not be nearly enough left. But this question is purely academic.

                One of the things I’ve been saying since day 1: Internalize the external costs. Perhaps we can agree on that?

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                idlebytes March 13, 2019 at 3:33 pm

                “The framing of this whole discussion is suspect.”
                I disagree with that. The point of framing it like that is because you’re trying to count all those budget items not relating to drive commuting in with the choice to drive a car and that hides the real expense in that choice versus what’s being paid in direct user fees. The roads wouldn’t need to be as big, there wouldn’t need to be as many roads, traffic controls, even sidewalks to keep people safe because trucks don’t need to drive everywhere and there’s so many less. Even garbage trucks and buses. 93% of ODOTs total budget is arguably spent on infrastructure and support for driving. Most of the vehicles on the road are driving commuters. It makes sense that most of ODOTs budget is spent servicing those road users and costs would go down significantly if they weren’t there. It’s not academic either. Cars damage the road, there’s lots of cars on the road if they weren’t there maintenance costs would be less it’s just basic logic.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 4:00 pm

                If 80% of the vehicles on the road are cars, that doesn’t mean you could cut your infrastructure spending 80% if they went away.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                idlebytes March 13, 2019 at 4:42 pm

                “If 80% of the vehicles on the road are cars, that doesn’t mean you could cut your infrastructure spending 80% if they went away.”

                Correct but lets do some math. Interstates and freeways in the metro area have 1 to 2 lanes more then outside metro areas. Business vehicles can operate on the interstates quite easily with no commuters and two lanes in each direction. That means infrastructure is reduced 33-50%. Arterials could provide access with a lane in each direction and a turn lane. That means roads like 122nd would lose 2 parking lanes and 2 travel lanes that is 57% less. 82nd could use some paving how much less do you think it would cost to pave it if it had 2 less lanes and didn’t require as many safety features because most vulnerable road users are killed by commuters. How many stop lights wouldn’t be needed because of the reduction in conflict? Half of neighborhood streets are regularly devoted to storage of commuter cars. A lot in SE more than half.

                So 30-60% less road infrastructure to maintain and it’s cheaper too because you don’t have as many conflicts with traffic or pedestrians. I don’t have much information about the amount of additional maintenance required because of commuters but I’m betting it’s not insignificant. We rack up a lot more miles on these roads then businesses and 4-6,000 lb vehicles with studs have got to be contributing to some of those potholes.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 6:30 pm

                Uh… building a 2 lane highway does not cost 66% of a 3 lane highway. Probably closer to 90%, maybe more. And we’re not building new roads like 122nd in any event, so there would be no savings there. And we would certainly not rebuild neighborhood streets to remove parking if no one had a car (many of those streets were platted and built before cars were common). In fact, if we had to rebuild them differently to accommodate people using whatever magical transportation system you have in mind, it would be more expensive than leaving them the way they are.

                Where you would get savings is in not doing projects like the Rose Quarter, not in anything already built. Even projects like the CRC would probably have to move forward, though they could be narrower. Other crumbling infrastructure would still need to be rebuilt.

                And, don’t forget, if that happened, there would need to be a lot more trucks and buses and taxis and other vehicles than there are now to support everyone’s travel/shopping needs. As Uber has shown us, some alternatives to driving can increase congestion and pollution. If the alternative to cars is more (many many more) taxis/ubers/vans/trucks/buses/jitneys/whatevers, things might even be worse than today.

                So… I’m just not seeing the huge savings we’d be enjoying if cars suddenly went away.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                idlebytes March 13, 2019 at 9:00 pm

                This is so tiring. You just want to win an argument. I understand reducing all of those lanes would not be cost effective and that there would need to be other transportation options that’s not my point. You’ve completely missed it. Our ODOT budget is as big as it is cause those lanes are so big so they can support driving commuters. Our Federal Government has spent half a trillion dollars building our interstates to support driving commuters and god knows how much States have spent maintaining them. This conversation started with your assertion that most of the ODOT budget comes from vehicle sources and I pointed out that most of those vehicle users aren’t directly paying for what they use. Will you at least acknowledge your claim obfuscates the fact that the direct fees payed by 80% (your number) of people using the roads didn’t pay for all that infrastructure or maintenance? That’s my point please stop going off on tangents.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Avatar
                idlebytes March 13, 2019 at 9:18 pm

                And I really just have to point out how dishonest this was
                “Uh… building a 2 lane highway does not cost 66% of a 3 lane highway. Probably closer to 90%, maybe more.”

                I didn’t say that I said it was 30-60% less infrastructure to maintain I didn’t mention the cost at all. Considering how much time you spend on here I would expect you to be a little more honest and fair. And then you went off on that rebuilding statement as if that was what I was asserting at all. Sad.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 10:27 pm

                I actually don’t care about ‘winning’ an argument with you; I do care about fixing our transportation system, and I think have baked conversations about making all cars disappear is not going to convince anyone that

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 10:30 pm

                we’re serious. That said, I did not try to distort what you were saying, and tried to respond as thoughtfully as I could in the context of a rather pointless conversation. I am sorry that I interpreted your numbers as being about cost. Given the context, I hope you could see how that might happen.

                I am sorry.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                idlebytes March 13, 2019 at 11:05 pm

                Wow thanks for apologizing while saying my ideas are half baked and pointless. Ya I’m not trying to convince anyone to make cars disappear. If you want to have a conversation about the future of our transportation options that’s great but your generalizations about “vehicle derived” funding are not helping.

                Please stop going off on tangents and generalizing. Respond to your claim about ODOTs budget being mostly “vehicle derived” and I how said that is a gross misrepresentation of the users of our roads including the space and maintenance they require.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 13, 2019 at 11:24 pm

                It sounds like we agree that most of ODOT’s budget is “vehicle derived”, but disagree what that means. You say this represents a subsidy on auto drivers. Is that a fair characterization? I say teasing out which users get which benefit is essentially impossible.

                I was not trying to distort your argument.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Avatar
                idlebytes March 14, 2019 at 12:32 am

                I’m saying the 2011-2017 ODOT budget says Motor Fuels Taxes, 50% of Federal Funds, and Driver and Vehicle Licenses equal 47.83% of ODOTs budget.

                I’m saying
                Highway Division, Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division, Central Services, Debt Service, Capital Improvement & Construction is 93.27% of ODOTs expenses.

                I’ve made numerous claims you haven’t even responded to. You just pick one or two things and pivot away from the discussion. You originally claimed and I quote
                – “I looked up the federal stuff another time, and found that is also mostly transportation funded.”
                and I stated that wasn’t true. We actually had this conversation in another thread. Here I re-explained that only 50% of those Federal Funds are from gas taxes (so not direct commuter fees), you ignored that.

                And when you say this:
                – “I say teasing out which users get which benefit is essentially impossible.”
                again you’re just trying to pivot away from your original assertion that as you say
                – “ODOT’s budget is mostly vehicle derived (true, not all from the gas tax)”.

                Circling back around to my point you’re claiming the budget is vehicle derived while ignoring the fact that it’s Not commuter derived, only 50% comes from commuters, and you ignore the fact that most of our infrastructure and maintenance expenses are commuter derived, 90% of ODOTs budget spent on roads while most of our roads are much larger than needed for commerce.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 14, 2019 at 12:06 pm

                For 2017-2019, ODOT is getting 23% of its money from federal sources; of that, $500M (or 10% of its overall budget) is from FHWA, the rest (13% of overall budget) appears to be grants from other agencies for safety, RR, transit, and other programs.

                Of the 10% FHWA money, I am not positive of the source, but I presume it is mostly highway trust fund money.

                “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Highway Trust Fund tax revenue will total $41 billion in fiscal year 2018 (figure 1). Revenue from the federal excise tax on gasoline ($25.7 billion) and diesel fuel ($9.9 billion) accounts for 87 percent of the total.”

                For 2018 HW Trust outlays were $45B, and receipts $37B, representing ~$8B shortfall (which I assume comes from non-vehicle sourced infill from the general budget). If Oregon gets $500M of that $45B, our share of the shortfall is $89M, or 18% of our 10%, or 1.8% of ODOT’s budget.

                So… ODOT’s state revenues are largely (but not solely) vehicle related, as are their federal funds. I stand by my statement that our roads are funded primarily from vehicular (i.e. user-derived) sources.

                https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/About/Pages/Transportation-Funding.aspx
                https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-highway-trust-fund-and-how-it-financed
                https://www.cbo.gov/system/files?file=115th-congress-2017-2018/dataandtechnicalinformation/52907-highway.pdf

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 14, 2019 at 12:09 pm

                I don’t know how much of those receipts, or that spending, is commuter derived/targeted, and am not intending to make any claims on that issue.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                idlebytes March 14, 2019 at 1:40 pm

                A few things
                – My percentages for ODOT were over 6 years. Yours were for 3 after a major transportation budget was just passed so obviously there’s going to be more federal money involved and increased costs to the vehicles. There’s also significantly more spending for those vehicles.

                – Commuters aren’t paying diesel fuel taxes to commute by car that cost is passed onto them through goods and services they purchase. So you pay just as much for a gallon of milk that is a penny more from the diesel tax if you drive or not. So for our one year data point 57% gasoline tax paid by commuting drivers minus whatever was paid for by businesses who knows what that is.

                – Instead of just using one year why didn’t you use several? Well I did. This site covers statistics back from 2007-2016

                Year Gas tax Spending Percent
                2007 21.4 B 34.3 B 62.51%
                2008 21.3 B 37.0 B 57.73%
                2009 20.7 B 37.5 B 55.30%
                2010 20.9 B 30.8 B 68.03%
                2011 21.0 B 37.3 B 56.48%
                2012 21.5 B 40.0 B 53.83%
                2013 19.7 B 41.7 B 47.42%
                2014 21.0 B 43.7 B 48.15%
                2015 21.4 B 42.9 B 49.84%
                2016 22.0 B 44.7 B 49.24%

                The decline since 2010 is why I use 50%

                – I’m still not getting why you’re counting other vehicle sources of revenue then what commuting drivers are paying. We’re talking about the choice to drive vs using other options and what that costs us.

                – It’s not too difficult to get a general idea about which how much of that 90+% of ODOTs budget is spent for commuters that drive when you take into account how much smaller our infrastructure would be if they commuted by other means and how much extra maintenance that costs from the increased size and their cumulative damage.

                https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2007/fe10.cfm

                Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      paikiala March 12, 2019 at 10:30 am

      I suppose we should bring back horse and buggy? Because, you know, those workers lost their jobs also. To just tangent off a little, displaced workers can be retrained. The previous President had an energy policy shift to move away from coal that included funding for retraining displaced coal industry workers. Of course the current occupant of the office eliminated that new law, and the retraining it provided…

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      GlowBoy March 15, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      As with previous economic revolutions, people will find something else to do. And if they don’t – if we really do get to that fabled point where machines do so much of our work that there isn’t much left for humans to do – then we can have a broader conversation about work and income.

      British weavers opposed, sometimes violently, the development of woolen mills that threatened their jobs. The label these people applied to themselves – Luddites – is still in common use nearly 200 years later.

      Businesses dependent on horse transportation opposed the automobile. And to this day the phrase “horse and buggy-whip makers”, often used similarly to “Luddites”, is still in common use 100 years later.

      So those millions of people whose livelihood is dependent on automobility (and I think it IS in the millions, partly why our efforts face so much opposition) will also find other things to do. What will we call them 100 years from now, I wonder?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Avatar
        9watts March 15, 2019 at 2:38 pm

        “As with previous economic revolutions, people will find something else to do.”

        You are glossing over two important matters.
        Your glib phrase ‘find[ing] something else to do’ hardly captures the hardships of economic sectors being obsoleted. The Luddites didn’t destroy looms because they were bored or liked to make trouble, or weren’t innovative enough.
        Secondly, most of the technological revolutions I can think of didn’t come about because of external constraints but because of internal dynamics, the logics that accompany concentration of economic power, technological discoveries, inventions, new fuels, promises of high(er) returns.
        The changes that are staring us in the face are variations on collapse, not shifts in productivity, efficiency, capital-labor substition, automation, outsourcing, etc.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    ChadwickF March 11, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Regarding the Seattle article: I’m in to the idea of leading pedestrian & bike signals. This, at least, should be implemented in Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Avatar
      paikiala March 13, 2019 at 9:19 am

      LPIs exist in Portland.
      NW Glisan at 15th.
      N Williams at Killingsworth.

      they are most often used where heavy turn movements exist that are not otherwise controlled by protected turn phases.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Matt S. March 11, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    They can design and build trolleys, trains, buses, monorails, hyperloops, trams, ebikes, boats, shoes…

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    Dan A March 12, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Telecommuting has become more popular at my work, with most people working 1-2 days a week from home, and the number of people doing it increasing every year. People would rather put in the time working than commuting.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Matt S. March 12, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Although, I bet most will admit (or not) they are more productive at work than at home, even if you subtract the commute time.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Dan A March 12, 2019 at 9:53 am

        Depends on the person and what they have going on at the time, as well as distractions at home vs at work, which can vary wildly. But there are studies in favor of doing it 2-3 days a week, like this one:

        https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/a-2-year-stanford-study-shows-astonishing-productivity-boost-of-working-from-home.html

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Avatar
          Matt S. March 12, 2019 at 2:43 pm

          My friends that report less productivity when staying home to telecommute are woman, have children, and live in the US. Not male, no kids, and live in China. I’m sure the TED Talk goes into more detail, but on the surface it appears to be a luxury. Honey, I’m off to the study, please don’t bother me for eight hours.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Dan A March 12, 2019 at 5:10 pm

            Weird, my kids are in school when I’m working from home.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • Avatar
              Matt S. March 12, 2019 at 9:46 pm

              I guess your kids went straight from the womb to school.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                Dan A March 13, 2019 at 6:55 am

                This argument is like “not everybody can ride a bike”. It’s true, but it misses the point. Many people can work from home, and it reduces the strain on our transportation systems, even if they just do it from time to time. Our people skip driving in when the roads are icy, but are able to continue working at home, which aids our productivity and helps keep the roads open. They postpone driving in when traffic is heavy, coming in at 10 instead of at 8. They combine working from home with doctor appointments, to combine their trips and save time. Our kids went to daycare before they ever went to school, and we worked from home around their daycare schedules.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                John Lascurettes March 13, 2019 at 10:10 am

                Dan gets it. Matt doesn’t.

                Personally, I rarely work at home even though it’s readily available to me. For me, I need that physical activity of riding to work to start my day. I do tend to get distracted too easily at home. And I like the ritual of being at a work place to work and then leave it all behind when I leave. But I have plenty of colleagues that prefer to work at home when they have to be nose-to-grindstone and would rather not be distracted by the activity within the office. Just because some people don’t work well at home doesn’t mean others can’t.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                Jim March 13, 2019 at 11:10 am

                I think that working from home becomes a sensitive topic because it can break down quite starkly along class and economic lines. A lot of higher paid jobs are working with more abstract information and communication, and can be performed remotely. A lot of lower paid jobs are more about physical objects and spaces and cannot be performed remotely.

                (Cue people pointing out all the exceptions and faults. And for the record, my job cannot be done remotely and doesn’t pay that well.)

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                Matt S. March 13, 2019 at 3:09 pm

                I do get it. I was just stating that telecommuting doesn’t work for everyone.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Avatar
                John Lascurettes March 13, 2019 at 3:38 pm

                Water is wet.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Avatar
              GlowBoy March 15, 2019 at 2:25 pm

              Until 5:00?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Lazy Spinner March 14, 2019 at 2:56 pm

            If 20-30% of white collar office workers in this nation telecommuted full time, the positive effects on the environment, transportation infrastructure, productivity, etc. would dwarf what could be achieved by any collection of localized mass transit or bike schemes. The future for such jobs is remote work and the utilization of technology. Going to an office to do work that can also be accomplished from a desk at home is overrated and the associated pollution, stress, and time waste caused by commuting is killing us.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    Andrew Kreps March 12, 2019 at 11:39 am

    If you want to know what Seattle is doing better than, well, every other city in the states: Go ride 2nd ave downtown. That’s how you build multimodal architecture.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty March 12, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      I don’t like that street — it is very slow going, with stop lights timed such that you hit a large number of them. It does feel safe; it just feels unproductive.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        GlowBoy March 15, 2019 at 2:33 pm

        2nd Avenue may feel slower than we’d all like, and I share your annoyance with the light timing. If you had to go a significant distance at that speed it would be extremely frustrating. Partly this is inherent in having a two-way cycle track: makes it difficult to time the lights to make it work well in both directions. I still wish they’d done one-way cycletracks with northbound traffic on 1st or 3rd (or both), and light timing changed to match cyclists’ progression (which Portland isn’t too far off from, but Seattle has the problem of 30 mph speed limits downtown IIRC).

        That said, downtown Seattle is not very far across and is much more dense than Portland. So you’re actually covering a lot on that ride from Pike to Jackson.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Andrew Kreps March 12, 2019 at 11:50 am

    I wish we investigated every automobile collision with the fervor that we do for every Tesla crash. That potential multi-million dollar fine must be a bit carrot to chase.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    q March 12, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Working at home has an environmental benefit beyond reducing commuting. It makes cities more environmentally efficient. As it is, much of any city is substantially empty half the day. Residential neighborhoods empty out in the morning and workplaces neighborhoods fill up, then it’s reversed at night. Cities have whole blocks at night of nearly-empty buildings, streets, parking garages….

    Mixed zoning helps counter this. So does working at home. And it doesn’t have to be full-time. Some people working at home some of the time makes some difference.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Avatar
    q March 13, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Related to telecommuting is having a home occupation–actually running a business at home. There are no special requirements in Portland if you work at home by yourself. Beyond that, the zoning code is quite restrictive, especially in comparison to other types of uses of residences.

    This is from memory, so not guaranteed to be accurate, but….you can have customers, or one employee (in addition to the business owner/dwelling occupant) but you can’t have both, even if they’re not on site at the same time. So, for instance, it’s not legal to see a couple customers per week (and when you do, only one at a time is allowed) and also have a part-time employee who comes in for say, a half day each week.

    Meanwhile, you can do short-term rentals, with several constantly-changing guests partying all day every day inside and outside, bringing in unlimited guests all day, with unlimited vehicles, as long as they don’t all stay overnight. Or, you can have 6 unrelated adult roommates with 6 or 10 (unlimited) vehicles, but a home business can only have one customer and vehicle at a time.

    Easing up on the home occupation restrictions could also reduce commuting and some related inefficiencies.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Dan A March 14, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Why are people still saying “gas tax” with a straight face? I realize it’s the common terminology, but I thought we were more evolved here. If you buy something that’s a $5 product and only pay $2 because the government is subsidizing that expense, and then you pay 50 cents ‘tax’ on that product, is it really a tax? Are you contributing to anything?

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    GlowBoy March 15, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    John Lascurettes
    As long as I can have Horse2GoRecommended 3

    “As long as I can have Horse2Go”

    Or at least hUber.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar