The cat is officially out of the bag.
In a story posted this morning, the Willamette Week reported that PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly wants to go big for bus only lanes.
In 18 months, Portland streets could see the most dramatic change in public transit since the arrival of the streetcar. All it will take is gallons of red paint.
Deep in the bowels of city bureaucracy, Portland transportation officials under the direction of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly are preparing to debut what they’re calling the “Red Lane Project”: removing miles of roadside parking and traffic lanes from Portland streets to make room for uninterrupted routes for buses.
While this is the first major report of the plan, Eudaly’s office has been working on it behind the scenes since last year. Eudaly’s Director of Policy Jamey Duhamel shared details of it with me back in December. At that stage she wanted help connecting to various community leaders and groups that might be impacted and/or might want to get involved in organizing support for the plan.
The plan also builds on a foundation already built by PBOT that includes the Enhanced Transit Corridors and Central City in Motion plans.
As Portland’s population has exploded, so has the amount of traffic and congestion. Eudaly has decided that faster bus service is the best tool to make streets more efficient. The plan is just the latest manifestation of TriMet and the City of Portland’s growing effort to speed up bus service. Back in November, PBOT’s Central City in Motion Plan was adopted by City Council with several transit-centric projects on its high priority implementation list. Back in May, PBOT worked with TriMet to give bus operators more space at an intersection on NE Fremont and created a bus/bike only lane on SW Madison.
For Eudaly — who’s built a reputation for her work on tenant protection — bus users are the transportation equivalent of low-income renters. And to take that analogy a bit further, drivers would be landlords. Eudaly sees bus users as needing help in a system that is stacked against them. Here’s more from the Willamette Week’s story:
“Transportation intersects very dramatically with all the things we really care about,” says Eudaly’s policy director, Jamey Duhamel, adding that the commissioner and her aides asked themselves: “What can we do within transportation to really affect people’s lives, the most vulnerable in our community? What we heard over and over was: ‘How are you going to get buses out of traffic?'”
In that story, Eudaly said another reason she’s decided to act is that the “clock is ticking on climate catastrophe.”
As for voices that might oppose the plan, it’s worth noting Eudaly’s office has already lined up support for the plan — both on City Council and among myriad community groups (who will no doubt be asked to turn out their members/supporters once the plan is officially launched). Our transportation commissioner has also shown signs that she’s not afraid to start a debate about transportation policy.
Details on the plan are still to come, but Eudaly’s office is likely to choose a list of a dozen or so routes that will be sped up and then implement the changes on a pilot project basis.
Read more in the Willamette Week and stayed tuned for more details, opportunities to give feedback, and how bicycling will be impacted.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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I see we’ve moved on to day 2.
Today: push for density
Tomorrow: complain about congestion
Next day: complain about cost of living
Tax and Repeat
Honestly, I don’t have a major problem with bus lanes. What I find unfortunate is that we have removed so many travel lanes around town that this option is only available in a limited area.
Then again, this entire process is suspect because we’re starting out with this arbitrary global warming plan. Did the residents of town realize that that one plan was going to be used to mandate any number of future changes? “The plan says we had to get to 25% ridership, so X, then Y, now Z”.
The CO2 reduction argument is dishonest. We bring it out to justify a bus lane. We bring it out to justify a green tax (and associated discrimination). We do not bring it out when proposing to add thousands of houses to town. We have to live by it, except when we don’t.
Think how much easier this would have been to implement if every road in town still had two travel lanes in each direction.
Considering that most of those streets had lanes that were 9 or 10ft wide in the 4-lane configuration, no, it would not be easy. For a proper BRT-type lane, you need 11ft minimum, with 12ft being preferred.
There are plenty of places we can do this, we just need to remove free private property storage spaces.
Once again, and this goes for anyone who posts here: if you are going to post about transit and/or Trimet, you had better get your info correct or “Chris I” is going to show up and set you straight.
Interesting. So does that mean all of the road’s Eudaly is proposing for this have the 11ft minimum? Thanks.
Not necessarily. My point was that you can’t just take a 4-lane road and designate two of the lanes for BRT. Two good examples would be NE Halsey (39th to 82nd) and E Burnside (39th to 70-ish). If you follow a bus on either of these streets, you will see that they basically need both lanes.
On the contrary, adding thousands of houses to town is absolutely critical for combatting climate change. Accelerating and supporting the gradual move of the population from rural areas to far-more-efficient urban areas has a huge benefit to the environment. Every new housing unit we build in Portland helps speed up that process.
This isn’t 1970 anymore. Building anything works against climate goals. We’ve blithely wasted decades, and now we no longer have the luxury of pretending that density will solve this problem or even ameliorate it. We now need to talk about caps – on everything: people, gas and oil, asphalt, construction, concrete, steel, oh and lithium.
I’m not making any claims about how easy this would be. I am suggesting that it will be necessary, and the longer we wait the more painful and difficult it will be to contemplate necer mind implement. And ecventusll,y it will be too late, and we will experience the inevitable *correction* which will be even more painful, by orders of magnitude.
I am not running for office. My purpose is to raise the issue, prepare the way for whenever the time comes when enough people are ready to take this seriously.
it’s not human nature to plan well for the long term which is why I have little faith the whole planet is going to somehow come together around a single issue that has gradually increasing severity.
Humans react to more immediate events with immediate reactions.
I’ve never been inspired by the average human. Your inference would seem to be that there is no point to anything we might wish to do, because someone, some collective, will surely trample it. I don’t subscribe to that worldview, would rather keep the best ideas firmly in view, keep striving. Isn’t that precisely how we got here?
What people thought were the best ideas are what got us here.
Big families, multiple vehicles, crass consumption.
I guess I was thinking about the Bill of Rights, the 8-hr work day, the Clean Air Act, etc.
Our Better Selves…
9Watts – I appreciate your thoughtful comments but I’m wondering if you might consider “stepping back” occasionally from frequent commenting. Excessive comments from one person on nearly every article tend to drown out other voices and make people like myself feel less inclined to participate in the conversation. Thanks.
I’m going to second this comment. It’s not very friendly to post more than two or three comments a day. Have your say, then move along.
If anyone finds themselves tempted to post more than two or three times a day, I’d recommend you go outside and talk to your neighbors. Or go join a Meetup. That will do far more to build community and support for our movement than getting into arguments online.
I think that’s comment two or three for me, so I’ll shut up now. 🙂
are 9watts comments particularly abusive or wildly off topic?
Personally think I have enough bandwidth to process multiple input from one or multiple commenters…and always appreciate the engagement.
would also shy away from chastising someone for being too responsive or mock them by suggesting they should “go outside” (JonK)…people that i’ve worked with who are hyper responsive and focused tend toward OCD constructs and i’m not really in the business of mocking people for their mental make ups….
If we’re not going to stop vocal people with good arguments from speaking up at neighborhood outreach events then I don’t think we should stop them here.
Disagree– this website becomes an echo chamber of people reinforcing their own opinions and beliefs enough as it is. I appreciate reading other people’s points of view, it leads to learning and expanding my own knowledge base so I can have a more rounded, even viewpoint. Most especially when I don’t entirely agree with them.
If you don’t want to see 9watts’ comments, don’t read them– it’s as easy as that. But stifling other people because you’re tired of reading their comments is a huge step backwards.
Eastsider, I agree with your comments about posters that comment too frequently. The top three commenters in the 99W bike fatality article accounted for 42% of all comments. The top commenter posted 12 times. In the Eudaly article the top three commenters accounted for 37% of all comments, with the top commenter (9watts) posting 17 times. “Loud” voices are sucking all the air out of the room. Let others speak! Listen! You may learn something.
Agreed. It’s one thing to be interested in a topic that’s close to home, but we all know a bit too well what 9watts (and a few others) thinks about everything, even when it comes to topics that have nothing to do with the posted story. It’s exhausting. I stopped reading Oregonian comments long ago. Looks like I’m headed that way with the BP comment section too. Just a reminder, this story was about bus priority lanes, but it devolved into 9watts views on climate change and population control. How does that happen?
9watts only has posted a quarter of the comments in this thread of 141 comments! I’ve seen him do worse! But yes some posters here have become very obnoxious.
I appreciate your pragmatism!
I can see the yard signs now. “Don’t remove lanes. Remove people!”
Childless families should be subsidized 🙂
I never made a child and have had a vasectomy. If someone will cut me a check I’ll take it.
childless single people (not just families) should also be subsidized.
the economic prospects of childless people are higher than those of women with children — and especially single parent women. if we want to create a more just society then parents need higher subsidy (e.g. access to healthcare, publicly-funded childcare, publicly-funded higher-education/education) than childless people.
If you think tweaking the subsidies is going to significantly alter people’s parenthood decisions, you’re wrong. Despite the fact that we do subsidize families with kids (tax credits, etc), it is staggeringly expensive to raise children. Childcare is expensive (and Oregon has the most expensive in the country, averaging $1600/mo). Food is incredibly expensive these days, and if you think kids over about the age of six cost any less to feed than adults, you’re wrong again. And while it is often pointed out on this site that having kids creates a big carbon footprint, in terms of bigger houses, bigger cars, more driving, more consumption — all that is costing parents a lot of money. If money were the main driver of the decision, no one would have kids.
“Building anything works against climate goals.”
advocating for “caps” as a major policy approach is a form of climate science denial. our current economic system is so dependent on greenhouse gas production that caps, or even, de-growth will not address the ongoing climate crisis (see: https://ar5-syr.ipcc.ch/topic_pathways.php). if we do not re-purpose our wealth/capital to *build* the mitigation and adaptation pathways needed to decarbonize our way of life, we will experience an ever worsening future.
and because the puritanism of “car free” folk is one of the things that gets on my nerves, i would like to, once again, point out that cycling (in the context of our current system) is hardly an environmental panacea:
Did you even read your link? It clearly points out that cycling is significantly less harmful than driving an automobile. Which is obvious unless you’re trying to make up “facts” that help make your point. Why are you lying?
Soren isn’t lying– he’s saying that bicycles are hardly carbon-neutral or 100% environmentally friendly.
Bicycles are certainly more enviro-friendly than cars, but there’s still an environmental cost to new bikes that can’t be ignored. Used bikes would be a better answer than new bikes, as the environmental cost is spread out over more users over time.
So what is he advocating? Suicide?
I think that is the only solution that would satisfy Soren. Anything else would be sub-optimal for one reason or another.
The piece suggests that a person who cycles and eats a meat-centric diet (e.g. many car-free bike riders in Portland) emits a significant fraction of the GHG pollution of a prius driver.
Virtue signaling-aside that’s no panacea.
What if the Prius driver also eats a meat-centric diet?
The article doesn’t seem to take into account that the commuter on a bicycle vs one in a Prius might be able to forgo additional exercise during the day. So you could reasonably remove the food from the equation since they driver will burn those calories too later exercising. Most of us should be exercising more anyway additional healthcare and other ill effects from lack of exercise presumably add to your carbon footprint.
The way this is broken down seems a little misleading.
The vast majority of people in US society have excess calories to burn, so I find any energy analysis that assumes increased consumption based on caloric burning from active transportation to be specious. Heavier people likely burn more CO2 as it is. Every mode of transportation has to burn more fuel to carry the increased weight. And what is the carbon footprint of the increased medical visits and medical procedures? I suppose that could be counteracted by the reduced life expectancy, though…
I think of you every time someone celebrates battery powered transportation. Horseless carriages DID solve the problem of horseshit in the streets. Now we apparently want to solve the unintended consequences of mass production and use of cars running on petroleum, with little or no consideration of the consequences if this endeavor succeeds. Lithium batteries can’t effectively be recycled yet; as with anything that’s not a renewable resource, there is a limited supply of lithium. If I limit my addiction to only the cell phone… oh, and the laptop… I guess my lithium demand is already substantial. I’ll have to keep in good enough shape to continue to get around under my own power.
I think of you every time someone celebrates battery powered transportation.
“You” being 9watts.
“How are you going to get buses out of traffic?”
Isn’t that backwards? Wouldn’t it be
‘How are you going to get the traffic out of the way of buses?’
This growth for growth sake argument is why cancer cells are successful…
Why do the citizens of Portland Oregon feel obligated to house anyone who comes or down I-5.
Enough already… We constantly zone and plan for growth, why can’t we zone and plan for no or slow growth.
The last 10 years of growth has already lowered the quality of life here, why is the cycling
public here so gung ho to ruin what remains of livability.
If you don’t plan for growth, you think that people won’t move here? People will still move here, you will just end up pricing out existing residents as the demand for finite houses increases prices. Sounds like a great plan.
Things change. You need to adapt.
You said it yourself
“Things change. You need to adapt.”
Exactly. A smart city adapts by changing zoning to allow for new residents with minimal displacement. That is what city leaders do if they care about their citizens.
I wish I could reply to you in real time…
Give me one example of a large city that planned well for rapid growth…
Building housing doesn’t create people any more than buying a crib makes a baby. The people who would live in these places have to live somewhere. What’s going to create a bigger carbon footprint, people living in duplexes in Portland or ranchers in Beaverton (or wherever the heck else the end up because the demand for dense living is unmet)?
It isn’t so simple.
Cribs may not cause population growth, but child tax credits exacerbate it.
Widening roads induces more people to use the auto, and
Our housing polcieis are a supply side strategy without any symmetrical attention to the demand side of the equation. This is a lose-lose proposition in a Full World(TM, Herman Daly).
I don’t appreciate any suggestion that people can’t choose to live where they want to, or that they can’t have children if they want to. Curtailing other people’s freedoms because someone doesn’t want additional neighbors is not the answer. Suppose one grew up in Guatamala surrounded by deadly gang violence or in China where one can go to jail for saying the wrong things. Or perhaps someone grew up in Phoenix, but prefers the PNW climate. Or maybe someone left somewhere he/she likes because he/she got a better job offer here in Portland. It doesn’t matter. Government can work to make traffic better in places by prioritizing more efficient travel modes (the point of this story). It should not do so by preventing people from choosing to live in one region over another or making choices about their family size/reproductive ability.
It just so happens that when given the choice, most educated folks choose to delay having children and having fewer of them. A growing number of highly developed countries are experiencing zero or negative population growth. It’s a trend seen around the world. Helping to spread individual freedoms, particularly for women, and increasing literacy and education are proven tools with so many direct and indirect benefits. So how is suggesting a cap on people helpful and does it really generate more good than harm compared to other methods with proven results? Why would someone even bring up a cap on people or limiting where people can live? It screams of privilege and NIMBYism.
“So how is suggesting a cap on people helpful and does it really generate more good than harm compared to other methods with proven results? Why would someone even bring up a cap on people or limiting where people can live? It screams of privilege and NIMBYism.”
How is it helpful? Imwould submit that the Demographic Transition trope which you invoked hasn’t actually yielded anything we can take to the Climate Bank. It sounds nice, but at the end of the day it is the rich people (and there are more of us every day) who are leading the destructive climate-forcing charge. People would ofmcourse pounce on the cap on people, but my list included lots of other caps too. Your vision is mellifluous but I am afraid for it to work we would have had to start fifty years ago. Now oir options are fewer and less fun to contemplate. But don’t kill the messenger, the Cassandra.
You can throw oit privilege and NIMBYism, but at the end of the day we are in overshoot, and if we do nothing we will all perish together.
People pounce on the suggestion of a cap on people because it’s absurd. There are lots of things we can cap, like carbon emissions, that can work well within a free market society and have a serious impact. As you admitted yourself, it’s not the number of people causing climate change necessarily (though it contributes, no doubt) – it’s people expending vast quantities of resources (which is often rich people in developed nations such as ours). So before you send the police to arrest the immigrant who just had their fourth child and forcibly remove some eggs from a body, why not focus on policies that aren’t quite so Handmaid’s Tale’esque. I know some people like to throw out absurd ideas for shock value or to make less ridiculous ideas sound more credible, but it’s quite offensive to tell someone that they can’t move to some place or can’t have a child – basically saying that as someone with a birth privilege, the borders around my place are closed – because a cap has been met. You can call it mellifluous, but it’s simply respect for the rest of humanity.
“So before you send the police to arrest the immigrant who just had their fourth child and forcibly remove some eggs from a body, why not focus on policies that aren’t quite so Handmaid’s Tale’esque.”
You’re the one here with the grotesque policy imagination.
We can approach this as a serious matter deserving our thoughtful attention, or we can, as you seem to prefer, toss outlandish scenarios into the ether to scare people from even daring to contribute to this tooic which is both difficult and pressing. Just because it is difficult, may have been handled poorly in the past, doesn’t or shouldn’t prevent us from trying in good faith to discuss this now.
The prescient and overlooked 1972 Rockefeller Commission report which I’ve linked to here in the past came to conclusions that have informed my thinking about population. It is worth a read.
WUT? Advocating for less children for future generations? How does that work? Regardless, I think it is great for people fearful of the future to not have kids, that is the last trait the rest of us need in the gene pool.
Not being fearful of the future is why we’re in such a mess. We need a lot more people fearing the future.
If we’re just going to solve all our problems by not reproducing (our strongest drive), then who cares about anything else? Let’s beat the earth like a piñata!
Of course, as a humanist, I view such thing as a non-starter, and I think those positing this probably know it is as well. It’s easy to defeat easy pragmatic wins (housing which reduces carbon footprints) with easy abstract wins (the human race withdrawing from the earth). But all it’s going to lead to is a reality worse than either.
Actually, someone above has repeatedly called for less neighbors and suggested that building more housing will bring in too many neighbors. I think some folks refer to that as NIMBYism. Also, I admit the term “freedom” has been overused in recent times, but reproductive rights and the right to move from one place to another seem pretty significant and nothing to be dismissed or compared with the “freedom” to burn coal or other ludicrous use of the word freedom. This conversation really isn’t relevant to this story about bus lanes, so it’s unfortunate that anyone’s wasting time on this suggestion.
Where do you draw the line between “the right to move from one place to another” and “the right to live anywhere at a cost I want to pay”. You have the undisputed right to move to Santa Barbara, for example, but you might not be able to afford it. Has your right to move there been violated?
As a side note, if you really listen to why (most) people object to wholesale rezoning, it has nothing to do with “too many neighbors”. That’s just a straw man argument.
I challenge you to find anyone who is motivated to have a child because of tax credits.
Here I’m going to repeat what I said on the Monday roundup that induced demand for road space is not analogous to the housing market.
People do limit driving in the short term, and in the longer term make decisions to live closer to work (or work closer to home), if they know roads are congested and it takes longer to get from A to B.
People do not stop moving to Portland because housing is hard to find. They just don’t. They will keep coming anyway. As I’ve said before, the Trader Joe’s worker or freelancer or tech worker or drywaller who is attracted to what Portland has to offer simply isn’t looking at the cost of housing or competition for rentals. It’s an afterthought, if even that.
Induced demand works for housing as well as travel.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to work for cycling very well.
Where have we pursued induced demand for bikes?
How so? When Portland got serious about bike lanes at the turn of the century and laid out several hundred miles over the next decade we saw the bicycle mode share quadruple. That’s a clear induced-demand situation. We also know from many studies that physically separated bike lanes can bring out even more new riders through the “interested but concerned” crowd.
On balance I favor bike lanes and I do believe there’s an induced demand effect. But: running up the numbers w/ miles of bike lanes isn’t going to get us over 10% mode share if they are rubble-strewn, not maintained year round, disappear at big intersections and pinch points, threatened by car doors, etc. Three miles miles of *continuous* high quality bike route located almost anywhere are a bigger attractor than a bunch of randomly distributed sections of paint stripe. People will go blocks out of their way to use a route that offers a refuge from motor vehicle conflicts and speeds their travel. Think about the intersections where you sit through long light cycles. Now think about the Eastside Esplanade.
The Sellwood Bridge has lots more bicycle and pedestrian traffic with it’s new configuration than it did when it had a 30-inch sidewalk. Same with the Hawthorne Bridge, but you have to go back about 30 years to know how much change was made to the sidewalks.
A clear link can be made between the increased bike use and improved facilities on the four bridges discussed. On the Hawthorne, Burnside, and Broadway bridges alone, bike use went up 78 percent in the 1990s, compared with a 14 percent increase in the population and an 8 percent increase in motor vehicle use on these bridges.
Seemed to work in the 90s. Perhaps we’re not doing good enough providing the infrastructure desired by people currently choosing not to ride. It’s easy to induce demand with a heavily subsidized, safe (for the user) form of transportation, with a low bar for entry and that doesn’t require physical effort.
Does it? My city won’t support low-income housing and I’m surrounded by people who are involuntarily homeless (15-30% of my neighborhood, depending on how you want to do the arithmetic). Somehow, a lack of housing didn’t make people disappear, which would be the way induced demand works on the back side.
Or maybe you just mean that if we build housing it will fill with someone from somewhere. That may be the case; it’s too far from my bailiwick for me to have any confidence one way or the other.
How many of those people are homeless because the zoning code is preventing developers from building more multiplex units in the inner neighborhoods? And how many due to lack of low-income housing, healthcare (mental, chronic, and other), drug treatment, and other services that they need to maintain stability in their life?
And yes, induced demand does work in housing. I know quite a few people who moved here because they could afford a much nicer house than they could where they lived previously (often California). Some are even working remotely, still drawing their Bay Area salaries.
While I would still say that induced demand is still not very much of a thing with regard to housing – most people looking at moving to Portland for the lifestyle aren’t thinking enough about housing costs – good point about Californians cashing in their expensive real estate and moving to Portland because it’s cheaper. Of course that’s not a new thing, but I also don’t think those folks represent the lion’s share of in-migration.
So how are you going to stop Californians with big home equity from “downsizing” to Portland? Let prices rise to Hellifornia levels so as to deter them? I don’t think that’s a recipe for a good quality of life.
No matter what we do, it’s bound to happen. We can’t remain the anomalously cheap west-coast city forever, and if we can’t, we won’t. The question is how do we manage the to make life bearable for the most vulnerable. That probably does not mean doubling down on building market rate housing, because redevelopment disproportionately consumes housing at the least expensive end of the market, converting it to housing at the top end, and no one is building more of the cheap stuff.
It’s not just gerrymandering. It’s not always paying for things that causes people to pull back from voting for what they really want. It’s that the status quo interests that are threatened by change spend billions of dollars running ads to scare people and spread misinformation. Private health insurers are an enormous sector of the economy. They don’t want the government taking over that role, and they have lots of incentive to spend money to keep it from happening.
Well, that comment sure nested in the wrong place.
To an extent, but we can actually outbuild the induced demand in the case of housing.
I am very skeptical of that assertion. Portland has a limited capacity for construction, and there are a finite number of parcels available for redevelopment at any given moment.
You yourself pointed out in another recent thread that housing is cyclical. At some point we will have caught up with the latent demand for housing. Unfortunately it still won’t be cheap because it’s new housing. Affordable housing is housing that’s had a few years to depreciate, and Portland doesn’t have enough of that in particular right now. To some degree it is a wound that only time will heal, but you’ve still got to treat it.
I see no evidence that rents/sales prices fall as buildings age. The reason it might seem that way in Portland is that we had an era when we built lots of cheap housing, and it has stayed cheap because it was so crappy. It was never shiny, even when new.
That said, maybe this time it’s different. I’m seeing some fairly new buildings that do not seem to be aging well.
This is Portland government policy we’re discussion.
People living in Beaverton is irrelevant to PORTLAND. If we were discussing metro, state, or national law, you would have a point. We are not.
This step is long overdue, so big “Thank you” to Edualy! We need safer streets for pedestrians and bicyclists and more efficient transit service.
Now let’s do something about the Broadway/Weidler couplet where there is plenty of excess roadway capacity and incredibly high speed motor vehicle traffic. Sitting outside at Costello’s for lunch yesterday, it was a “race track!” All couplets are deadly, but this one especially so with 3 fast lanes. Get out the paint!
Remember that whole “Better Broadway” thing…? I do, & it was great!
I didn’t vote for Eudaly and I don’t like her rent proposals but this is a very good step for non-automobile transport in the city. Good work!
She’s starting to surprise me.
Maybe she can dedicate a bit more effort to fixing the pavement on streets all over the city which are in very bad shape and continuing to deteriorate?
Might as well get used to it. One of these days asphalt will be too dear ; we won’t be able to afford it.
Maybe because it impacts a majority of the population and it is what they want.
Impact = minor inconvenience.
What they want = never a good much less sufficient reaaon to make policy.
People like to gamble, smoke, eat unhealthy foods, drive too fast, blame others who don’t look like them for what is wrong…. Should we be making policy based on all of those proclivities as well?
Uhh… delivering the services people want is exactly what government is for.
“delivering the services people want is exactly what government is for”
Not where I live. 70% of our fellow Americans want single payer healthcare. Have for ages. I don’t see government setting that up; similar majorities will one day realize that food and water and air are also nice to have but that our shortsighted policies ruined the continued availability of those things. Your flat interpretation of preferences and their relation to government is not very interesting or useful here.
If 70% of the people voted for people who supported single payer healthcare, we might well have it. There seems to be a disconnect between what people say they want and the leaders they vote for, if they vote at all.
This is obviously a much more complex topic, so rather than get into an extended debate, I’m willing to agree to disagree on this point.
“70% of the people voted for people who supported single payer healthcare…”
You’ve heard of Gerrymandering, yes?
“70% of our fellow Americans want single payer healthcare.”
clarification…a clear majority of americans are for single payer healthcare….but that majority crumbles once you start factoring in potential ways of paying for it and/or limiting services to cut costs.
its the same for pre-existing conditions, climate impact, etc…a majority of americans are for “good things” until personal costs are factored in…then its the fault of gerrymandering.
But my point was that simplistic claims equating voter priorities and government priorities were hardly accurate. I stand by that, and also by the explanations of that discrepancy which includes not just gerrymandering but campaign finance and a general lack of meaningful experience with what a thoroughly generous relationship between a government and its publics
Not my government. My government is here to supply the people with what they need.
Isn’t it amazing how we all know exactly what other people should be doing?
As a boss of mine used to say, it’s nice to want things.
Meanwhile the Commissioner is outlining a thoughtful plan which is consistent with our modal hierarchy goals and also happens to be cheaper (basically, just paint) than trying to maintain the supremacy of the SOV status quo indefinitely.
It would seem to be completely outside the remit handed our elected officials to argue against bus only lanes so that scarce city resources could be spent re-paving our overbuilt roadway network.
Busses, cyclists and pedestrians also need good pavement, it’s not just for motorists.
Sidewalk infill and repair projects can and should be prioritized over just about any other city transportation spending plan, agreed. Otherwise? Nah. Transit spending should be next in the pyramid, even over bike infrastructure (and that’s coming from somebody who bike commutes 99% of the time)
I’d happily get rid of my skinny-tire bikes and get a lighter, nicer fat tire to ride the potholes if they make beautiful road surfaces for buses only. Let the rest of it degrade, and maybe everyone will go at the rate of bikes.
Bad roads slow people down. There was a huge pothole in the middle of a frequently-sped-through intersection by my house and I was sad when the city filled it in! Easy to dodge those at casual bike speeds.
Motorists are the last people that need good pavement. They have huge pneumatic tires and advanced suspension.
How much more?
Great news! And though Eudaly seems to think of it first as a social justice issue, faster bus service could be a boon for all commuters, rich or poor.
Would love to see buses get out of traffic. Of course they get stuck in backups but they also cause backups bigly, and entice motor vehicle operators to make dangerous passes. I hate getting stuck behind, and on, a bus.
Those are better than being stuck under a bus!
“Would love to see buses get out of traffic. Of course they get stuck in backups but they also cause backups bigly, and entice motor vehicle operators to make dangerous passes. I hate getting stuck behind, and on, a bus.”
I think there is a misunderstanding here. Traffic does not come, is not created by, people in buses or on foot or bike. Buses don’t entice dangerous passing anymore than bikes do…
Traffic, so called, is created by single-occupant vehicles. Ivan Illich explained this almost fifty years ago. The fact that the bus up ahead of you *appears* to be slowing you down is a misunderstanding of how this works, who is causing what.
Traffic is the combined effect of all vehicles, including buses.
You must have had your eyes closed the last time a bus pulled over to pick-up passengers on a narrow 2 way street with double yellows… Don’t misunderstand me, they cause traffic to backup big time, among many other things…
I can pretty much guarantee that that two lane road is actually a four lane road with half of its width reserved for storing personal property – motor vehicles.
Motor vehicles is actually where the biggest investment in our transportation system is…that being said, my car parked in the ROW is actually the most effective traffic calming device there is.
…at least on neighborhood streets, on arterials, MV storage is another matter entirely; and the city has preserved MV parking on the arterials by installing all the so-called ‘curb extensions’.
Buses ARE traffic. They don’t cause backups. Too many single-occupancy-vehicles jamming the roads cause backups. The only time you’re “stuck” on a bus is when there are too many single-occupancy-vehicles jamming up the roads in front of it. These single-occupancy-vehicles drivers are not enticed into illegal action by buses operating normally. They’re enticed by their own greed with lack of consequence. Legal behavior by one road user never “entices” another road user to act illegally or unsafely.
The next time you feel the urge to pass across a double yellow line to go around a bus ask yourself why you’re so special that the law suddenly doesn’t apply to you.
I realize you are probably determined to keep insisting that buses cause delays, traffic jams, etc. but I invite you to look a bit further afield than your windshield for answers to your hypothesis. Here is one study that did this:
“Bus services can be seen as a way to reduce traffic congestion where they can encourage a mode shift from car. However, they can also generate negative effects on traffic flow due to stop-start operations at bus stops. This paper aims to assess the net impact of bus operations on traffic congestion in Melbourne. The methodology used to achieve this aim comprised of three main stages. First, a primary survey was conducted to determine the mode shift from bus to car when buses are unavailable. This figure was used to estimate the positive impact of buses on relieving congestion. Second, the negative impact of buses was investigated by considering the effect of bus stop operations on vehicle traffic flow using microsimulation. Finally, the net effect was estimated by contrasting congestion measures determined from a traditional four step model between two scenarios: ‘with bus’ and ‘without bus’. The results indicated that Melbourne’s bus network contributes to reduce the number of severely congested road links by approximately 10% and total delay on the road network by around 3%. The highest congestion relief impact was found in inner Melbourne with a 7% decrease in vehicle time travelled and total delay, and 16% decrease in the number of heavily congested road links. In inner areas, the level of congestion is relatively high so the mode shift from car to bus, even if not as high as middle and outer areas, have a significant effect on relieving traffic congestion. Areas for future research are suggested such as investigating the long-term effect of buses on traffic congestion.”
Moving people onto buses will create road capacity that will induce new demand, and now we’ve got the same number of cars and more buses and are we really better off?
Dedicated bus lanes would be great!!!
The incredible slowness of Trimet + the trouble keeping a schedule due to congestion has turned my very car fearing non city riding partner into a bike commuter because her 3 mile commute takes 50% less time on a bike.
Hmm, maybe we need to keep things the way they are for a while longer to generate a little bit more of this sort of behavior!
What is “our movement”?
If you’re using the term “our movement”, could it be that you’re also misinterpreting constructive discussion and debate as argument, because people are not automatically buying into whatever views you feel represent this approved “movement”?
SO excited to hear this news today. I hope this project is as ambitious in goal and scope as required by present conditions. We desperately need real solutions to the congestion choking the city; not platitudes and multi-billion-dollar capital projects (looking at you, gestating Purple Line).
I am a big believer that if someone aint pissed, you aren’t a leader. Yes people are going to be unhappy, but something has got to give. We can’t keep this up interminably.
I wrote a note of thanks to Chloe, and encouraged her to be tough because fury and pushback are not proportional to lane-miles. She’s going to get beat on regardless of whether she has PBOT do one or many, so get the greatest bang for your bruises and DO EVERY STREET THAT NEEDS IT. I hope others will suggest something similar.
I don’t live in Portland but often drive there and—I’m thrilled! It is about time that PDX walk it’s talk and actively pre-empt private vehicles in an overt way. I hope it is a tremendous success!
The irony of this post is too high to not be a troll.
“thank you Portland for restricting your own motorists so I can get around better when I personally drive into your town”.
If we want a more just society parents need a HIGHER subsidy!?
That is some curious logic, soren.
I am all for a just society, but pronatalism does not a more just society make. Justice operates on many levels, not the least of which is in the aggregate. Encouraging fecundity has no place in the twenty first century, and we wouldn’t be in this fix if we had acknowledged this back in the twentieth.
How do you “discourage fecundity” while also ensuring every child has good access to services and opportunity, even if they come from a poor family? That takes money (i.e. subsidy), which will be paid for in part by childless people.
Get rid of the tax credit for children entirely, and subsidize basic services like health care, transit, and education.
“Get rid of the tax credit for children entirely, and subsidize basic services like health care, transit, and education.”
let single parents struggling to afford childcare and feed their kids have free bus fares? really?
the primary care-giver of a child is its parent. institutionalizing children born to the “wrong parents” is unlikely to help future mothers plan their families.
“How do you ‘discourage fecundity’ while also ensuring every child has good access to services and opportunity, even if they come from a poor family”
To me this question , this framing of the situation parallels our frequent dead end discussions about homelessness.
If instead of breathlessly incentivizing, subsidizing, anticipating those millions not yet here but who are ‘sure to come’ we focused on who is already here, alive, in front of us, destitute, homeless, mentally ill, the victim of violence, and devoted resources tomtheir plight, prioritized their welfare (as is done in many countries around the world, some with excellent success), we could actually make inroads into these intractable-seeming problems.
But we don’t. Instead, as your question above reveals, our thinking is all muddled. In these miserly times in which we live, thanks in large part to the bloated military budget, fecundity (exponential growth in future births) comes at the expense of those already here who could use resources: money, a house, a job, etc. Why not accept that both locally and globally more future people (as opposed to fewer future people) are being traded off against the already vulnerable?
Educational and economic opportunities are essential to giving women reproductive choices. When women have those choices they tend to “plan their families” in ways that benefit themselves and humanity as a whole. These choices are also strongly associated with a decrease in birthrates. Essentially, one of the most effective family planning policies is increased socioeconomic opportunity for women. I’ve been a supporter of population services international for many years because I believe empowering women to make their own reproductive choices is an essential human right:
I also find your fixation on “parents” troubling. Do children not also deserve economic and educational opportunities? Should we blame children for being born to the wrong parents in the wrong nation/city/neighborhood? Do female children (some of whom will become mothers) in less-wealthy nations not deserve similar opportunities to childless folk in Portland?
“Justice operates on many levels, not the least of which is in the aggregate”
Subsidizing childless people in the USA does little to decrease unplanned births in “aggregate”.
I agree with you, 9watts, that it would be beneficial to reduce birth rates worldwide, including here. But aside from being morally suspect as Soren points out, reducing services/subsidies to families with kids is a huge political loser.
It’s more reasonable to push for universal access to free contraception & abortion, quality sex education (which should include education about decision-making, emotions, and communication around sex in addition to the raw hard scientific facts – e.g. the Our Whole Lives curriculum from the UCC/UU denominations), and even societal changes addressing some of the reasons why people WANT to have kids (fear of loneliness at any adult age but especially loneliness and care needs in old age, desire to interact with kids more than our society typically affords the childless, etc. – these things could be better addressed for the childless in our society.) Also, encouraging foster care & adoption – making these much more mainstream options for having kids.
Only after all of that is done, would I even *think* about some sort of economic change/subsidy reduction. Honestly, at that point, I don’t think it would be necessary, at least not in the U.S.
“reducing services/subsidies to families with kids”
Perhaps I expressed myself clumsily. I wasnt suggesting this. My comment was about fecundity, future births, that we consider the impact our policies have w/r/t incentivizing people to have *future offspring*. I am advocating we stop this, not that we penalize those who already have children. And in any case I don’t see how such an absurd policy would reduce population GROWTH.
I appreciate the feedback. But do want to ask about one point you and a few others are making. Your exhortation isn’t just to stop posting so much, but you are asserting that my/our frequency interferes with others’ posting. You may be right about that or you may not. To my knowledge there is no cap on comments. Some discussions here go on and on, into the hundreds. I think there have been times when wspob, or hello kitty or motrg, or q, or John Lascurettes, or Adam Herstein, or are, or I have through our comments expanded the discussion, motivated others to join, increased through the back-and-forth the quantity and maybe even the quality. I’d like to think so, but will leave that for others to decide.
As a white male I am (should be more) sensitive to taking up space, but I will just say that we seem to hold different views of what a discussion is for, how it works, what makes it/prevents it from being great. I’d love to—and have thought about—writing an article for bikeportland on that subject. Maybe I will some day.
As for listening, I try to listen here and elsewhere, but your comment makes me wonder if in your mind posting frequently interferes with listening, because I don’t think that is necessarily the case. I learn here every day, both by listening and by engaging with others in the comments.
To test your hypothesis ask yourself what is happening with those dwellings in those rural areas? Are they empty? Of course not. People are living in or moving into them as well, paying rent, using heat and water and electricity. Many people seem to be under the misconception that our population is stable. Nothing could be further from the truth. We here are still living under exponential population growth. Oregon’s population has doubled in my lifetime, and is set to double again in fifty years.
Exactly right. It’s not like rural houses are going to magically disappear (or become vacant) if their current occupants move closer to the city. Who can afford to just abandon their house (except in the most extreme circumstances)?
In the not so distant future, Portland metro will area will hold 10 million people. No liberal plan will work for that kind of population growth.
Conservative plans are likely to fare even worse.
Liberal == Conservative
No, they didn’t remove travel lanes. They removed passing lanes so that cars can’t speed and are limited to the fastest car on the road. And…all lanes are bike Lanes…so really there are plenty of lanes.get out of your car or travel at night.
There will always be those that choose to live out there. Guess what, the rest of us shouldn’t subsidize it.
Was someone suggesting that?
Exclusive bus lanes by themselves are not going to induce SOV users to change to their commutes (or other trips ) to the bus or other non-SOV modes. Transit ridership is heavily influenced by travel time, frequency of service, and other costs (both monetary and total travel time).
How much travel time advantage would be gained by having exclusive bus lanes? Will that cause a significant increase in ridership?
Will Trimet be able to operate additional buses to increase the frequency of service? Will that significantly increase ridership in combination with faster service? Will that help provide the mobility people think they need?
If motorists stick with their cars, what choices will they make with regard to timing of their trips and their route? I predict lots of diversion to neighborhood streets and neighborhood greenways.
As an advocate for the freedom that a car brings, I still see the NEED for public transportation. Having a public transportation system that runs on time is a priority for me.
So how to make this work???
Answer: at the same time, build more freeways and expand existing ones.
Get cars meant for long trips off the surface streets and use those surface streets for ‘many uses’.
Everybody wins, but the crazy car haters would never sign on to this approach.