Harvest Century September 22nd

Journalist Angie Schmitt, critic of ‘hyper-macho trucks’ and defender of walkers, to speak in Portland

Posted by on August 30th, 2019 at 6:53 am

(Photos courtesy Portland State University)

One of America’s leading voices in the War on Cars is coming to Portland.

Angie Schmitt is the editor of Streetsblog USA, author of a prolific and popular Twitter account, and author of a forthcoming book (due out next year from Island Press) that will cover the ‘pedestrian safety crisis’ nationwide.

Schmitt has been invited to speak at Portland State University on October 15th as part of the Transportation Research and Education Center’s (TREC) Ann Niles Transportation Lecture series which TREC describes as, “a unique opportunity to bring world-class thinkers on pedestrian and bicycle issues to Portland State University (PSU) and the active transportation community in the Portland metro region.”

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Big sale at Community Cycling Center

(A sampling of Schmitt’s recent headlines.)

Tickets ($10-$20 sliding scale) go on sale next month and they’re sure to be a hot item. Schmitt has gained a strong following among activists, planners, and fans of cities in recent years for her clear and powerful reporting and opinions on America’s dysfunctional traffic culture.

Among the topics she regularly covers are the acute threat to road users posed by oversized SUVs and “hyper-macho trucks”, the “environmental justice disaster” of major highway projects, how the transportation system is biased against women, the pitfalls of electric scooters, and the negative impacts of Uber and Lyft. Read more of her work at Streetsblog.org.

If you’re interested in attending the lecture, you can sign up here to be notified when tickets go on sale.

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

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32 Comments
  • Avatar
    grannygear August 30, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Gonna be a long walk to get here

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      Cory P August 30, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      That’s why I’ll skate there.

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    dan August 30, 2019 at 11:01 am

    “hyper macho”? More like “hyper insecure”. We won’t even get into truck nuts.

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      Dan A August 30, 2019 at 11:09 am

      I know a guy with a huge quad cab truck on a lift kit with big offroad tires and dark black windows. Super tuff. The irony is that guy is afraid to go camping. Buying a truck like that seems like a strange way of compensating.

      Recommended Thumb up 13

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    bikeninja August 30, 2019 at 11:34 am

    When I was in engineering school I had a crusty thermodynamics professor who refused to own or ride in cars, because they were too thermodynamically inefficient. He old walked, cycled or rode the bus ( this was in a small town in the middle of no-where, not a city) . He referred to big cars and oversized 4-wheel drive pickups ( they were much smaller back then too) as Entropy Buggies because they were driving the earth from a low to high entropy state for no good reason.

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      Ken S August 30, 2019 at 6:35 pm

      I’m going to start using that phrase ALL THE TIME.

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      Middle of the Road Guy September 2, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Did you stay off his lawn?

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    Brian August 30, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I’m seeing more and more women driving big-ass trucks these days, too. Mini-van moms are becoming Monster-truck moms.

    Recommended Thumb up 17

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      Dan A August 30, 2019 at 1:01 pm

      It’s a ‘crush others before they crush you’ mentality.

      My neighbor next door has two quad cab trucks, and no other vehicles. I’ve never seen anything in the bed of the trucks. He doesn’t even do his own yardwork. And boy does he love to let his trucks idle in the mornings….

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        Phil August 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm

        Idling trucks are the worst!

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      SS August 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm

      Large trucks are a reliable indicator of how scared someone is.

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    maxD August 30, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    yesterday’s view outside my office window was a a new Subaru Outback parked on the street in front was I think was a late early 2000’s Jeep Cherokee. The Subaru was bigger in every way, taller, longer and much larger tires. Cars have gotten enormous, and styling is very “bro-dozer”. I would love to see Oregon base registration fees on length, height, weight and miles driven since the last registration.

    Recommended Thumb up 24

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    Mick O August 30, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Can we buy tickets to the talk as gifts for others? Certain state and city officials, perhaps? I wonder if any sort of coordinated social media pressure on certain officials to attend would be effective? I’m too pessimistic to think so…

    Recommended Thumb up 7

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    Liz August 30, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    ***heart eyes***

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    Brendan August 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Funny enough, I once did a post on how cars, trucks, SUVs are all weighty enough to be equally deadly to a walker or a biker at speed. Doesn’t matter the make or model, from the Prius to the F-250, vehicles can easily destroy a person.

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      Matt September 1, 2019 at 8:36 am

      Sure, just like being shot by a .22 or being shot by a high powered rifle can both be deadly. But one of them is a hell of a lot more likely to inflict a fatal injury.

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        9watts September 2, 2019 at 8:01 am

        I agree with Brendan. Focusing on the egregious oversized version allows the rest of us to feel better about our sedans. In this era the problem is not fuel economy or size but automobility, carbon emissions.

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        9watts September 2, 2019 at 8:03 am

        “the pitfalls of electric scooters…”

        Interesting. Can you say more? Link to her arguments?

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    Mike Quigley August 31, 2019 at 5:38 am

    Texas is the latest state to ban red light cameras. One wag’s excuse was, “people should have a right to speed through red lights if they think they can make it.”

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      Middle of the Road Guy September 2, 2019 at 10:27 pm

      And Progressives don’t like them because they sometimes capture minorities or less well off folks breaking laws.

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        9watts September 2, 2019 at 10:56 pm

        This is the quintessential MotRG jeer.
        You (presumably) know that this is not a fair statement, not accurate, not helpful. I try to read the comments here pretty carefully, and my impression is that the kind of cameras some of us occasionally raise concerns about are not red light cameras (discussed above) but speed cameras, as those have in some cases been found to be spatially deployed in ways that suggest bias.
        Your glib comment:

        “because they sometimes capture minorities or less well off folks breaking laws.”

        I think reveals you to be a troll, someone who makes outlandish claims, whose objective is to polarize the conversation. I think we know that rich folks and poor folks generally have similar rates of engaging in proscribed behaviours, but that it is always the poor who disproportionately end up paying fines, doing time, getting mistreated by our ‘justice’ system. I invite you to find and show us a comment here that demonstrates what you are referring to.

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    Jim Lee August 31, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Angie’s apodictic statements about “hyper macho trucks” and “bias against women” perhaps could be quantified by the concept of entropy, thoughtfully introduced by “bikeninja” and amplified by others.

    This is not simple.

    Women “consume” several times the “goods and services” men do, and and overconsumption is the greatest generator of artificial entropy. On the other hand, never have I seen a woman “rolling coal” on the way to Nordstrom.

    As a physics-person dedicated to the enhanced concept of entropy anchored in the omnipresent Gibbs free energy, it is my duty to formulate a method of solution to this conundrum. When I have done that I shall unsheathe my log-log duplex decitrig slide rule, the lowest entropy-generating calculating device ever, and calculate.

    Stay tuned.

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      Liz August 31, 2019 at 4:38 pm

      Jim Lee
      Angie’s apodictic statements about “hyper macho trucks” and “bias against women” perhaps could be quantified by the concept of entropy, thoughtfully introduced by “bikeninja” and amplified by others.This is not simple.Women “consume” several times the “goods and services” men do, and and overconsumption is the greatest generator of artificial entropy. On the other hand, never have I seen a woman “rolling coal” on the way to Nordstrom.As a physics-person dedicated to the enhanced concept of entropy anchored in the omnipresent Gibbs free energy, it is my duty to formulate a method of solution to this conundrum. When I have done that I shall unsheathe my log-log duplex decitrig slide rule, the lowest entropy-generating calculating device ever, and calculate.Stay tuned.Recommended 1

      Are you trying to be absurdly misogynist on purpose or……?

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        Middle of the Road Guy September 2, 2019 at 10:28 pm

        It’s not possible one gender consumes more than the other?

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          Alex Reedin September 3, 2019 at 8:58 am

          It’s totally possible, but the way Jim went about it raising that possibility (with a rather extreme claim, no citation, and alignment with stereotypes of women “shopping too much”) gave the appearance of sexism. From the quick Google search that I did, I couldn’t easily separate out “goods and services” from “transport, etc” nor could I find a US-specific paper. But, it looks like once you add everything up, an average Western man causes more carbon emissions than the average Western woman, so I expect that extends to the US.

          Various European countries:
          http://www.wecf.eu/english/articles/2011/02/gender-climateimpact.php

          Canada:
          http://www.alternateroutes.ca/index.php/ar/article/viewFile/20595/16990

          The UK:
          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800912003709

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            Alex Reedin September 3, 2019 at 10:12 am

            Reading more into it, it seems like parsing out emissions by gender is pretty inherently flawed.

            From the Canada article:
            -Men work in industries that produce more emissions (but everyone uses the products of those industries).
            -Women with male partners buy more emissions’ worth of products than their partners (but many of those products are used throughout the household, including by the male partner and the kids).
            -Men drive more miles to work and use bigger vehicles (but some need bigger vehicles for their jobs/some other purpose. Note, I am skeptical that any sizeable percentage of bigger vehicles is actually needed but research on this is thin.)

            So anyway, I think the best evidence that emissions are gendered is psychological rather than based on a carbon balance sheet. There are numerous studies out there showing that people, and especially men, feel that “green” behaviors are feminine. I’m aware of studies on reusable shopping bags and vehicle type but I’m not gonna dig them up.

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      Toby Keith August 31, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      I have never been aggressively tailgated, passed, or cut off by a woman in an oversized SUV…ever! ; )

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        dan September 3, 2019 at 1:53 pm

        I experienced some intentional malicious driving from a woman this summer, but I will say that she was not in an SUV.

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    BikeRound August 31, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    I think when we use expressions like the “War on Cars,” then we are feeding right into the car lobby’s insinuation that those who advocate for better conditions for walking and cycling are unreasonable radicals disjointed from the concerns of everyday Americans. While nothing could be further from the truth, why play into their hand?

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      Dave September 5, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      “War on cars” is catchy; every song needs a hook. Sometimes you have to take the chance of offending some people so that you’ll inspire more new people in your movement.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

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    Bike Guy September 3, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Brendan
    Funny enough, I once did a post on how cars, trucks, SUVs are all weighty enough to be equally deadly to a walker or a biker at speed. Doesn’t matter the make or model, from the Prius to the F-250, vehicles can easily destroy a person.Recommended 3

    Um, this isn’t the only relevant consideration, even if true. So nice false equivalency.

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