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Big transportation ideas highlight Portland mayoral candidate’s ‘Green New Deal’ plan

Posted by on October 2nd, 2019 at 10:46 am

Iannarone campaigned on the Hawthorne Bridge during the recent Climate Strike march.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone is no stranger to bold ideas. She spent years working at Portland State University leading educational tours for visiting leaders that focused on our city’s legacy of transformative urban planning decisions.

Now, as Iannarone campaigns to unseat Mayor Ted Wheeler, she’s unveiled a “Climate Justice” policy plan that would be transformative in its own right. Iannarone’s “Green New Deal” plan (PDF) comes out just two weeks after a City of Portland report found that carbon emissions from the transportation sector are “increasing dramatically.”

To turn things around, Iannarone says, “Acting with urgency and partnering with our frontline communities is the only ethical and practical response to the climate crisis unfolding around us.”

Blasting “tepid leadership and centrist incrementalism”, Iannarone says if she was mayor she’d shift priorities away from economic growth and expansion and toward, “maximizing human and environmental health and justice.” A major part of how she’d do that relates to how we move around.

“Intensify investments in transit-only lanes (bus and rail), bicycle and LIT [low impact transportation] lanes, and low-income LIT subsidies (e-scooter, e-bike, cargobike and bikeshare programs) across the city.”
— Sarah Iannarone

Here’s are some ways Iannarone’s plan aims to change our transportation system:

– The plan would align citywide policy goals with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

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– It would measure progress not by miles of roads paved or hours of congestion reduced, but by “alternative measures” such as a “Happiness Index” that “reflect our values and goals as a community”.

– It would “shift power from city government and mainstream organizations to frontline communities” and convene an Intergenerational Climate Summit. Her plan would also “value local knowledge” by sending some funds directly to community organizations to create plans and projects.

– It would prohibit “all new fossil fuel infrastructure” including the I-5 Rose Quarter project.

– Her plan would expand transit and “Low Impact Transportation” (LIT) access by establishing a municipal ID card that would come with fareless transit. Iannarone would also invest in increased bus service, create an e-bike subsidy program for low-income households, expand investments in bus, bike, and LIT lanes.

– It would “streamline development” of “low-carbon neighborhoods” where people could more easily walk, bike and take transit wherever they need to go.

– It would create “zero emissions zones” (carfree plazas and corridors) throughout the city.

Proposals like these make Iannarone very popular with transportation reformers and other people who want to shake up the status quo on our streets (she earned the endorsement of Bike Walk Vote PAC when she ran for mayor in 2016). Her challenge in running far to the idealogical left of Wheeler will be to convince people that these ideas are not just reasonable, but feasible.

Iannarone is currently on a study tour in London. Yesterday she rode a few of their physically protected “cycling superhighways” and said via Twitter that “Portland should be ashamed of itself.”

In related news, Iannarone isn’t alone in hoping for dramatic changes in how we get around. Oregon House Representative Karin Power tweeted this morning that, “It’s hard not to cross the Willamette on a lovely fall day and wonder what downtown Portland would look like without a freeway obscuring most of the riverfront airspace… cleaner air, more trees, revitalized contiguous access.”

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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

34 Comments
  • Avatar
    J.E. October 2, 2019 at 11:11 am

    When Sarah ran in 2016, BP commenters were quick to pick apart her campaign and focus on its smallest flaws, then march over to the next BP article’s comment section and complain about how Portland isn’t moving the needle on transportation, climate change, housing, whatever. Maybe rather than playing the “I can spot the bad even in something good” game, you all can figure out how to improve her campaign in a constructive way instead?

    Seriously, I would be so happy to have an e-bike riding, Green New Deal supporting, traffic violence protest attending, anti-freeway expansion candidate in my town this election cycle.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 2, 2019 at 11:14 am

      I recall that differently than you do J.E. I really don’t think you should lump “BP commenters” together… especially when it comes to Ms. Iannarone. I know several people who read and comment here who volunteer for her campaign!

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        J.E. October 2, 2019 at 12:04 pm

        Jonathan, I agree that this time around the conversation has definitely been more positive! It helps that folks have gotten to know her better, and that many respected individuals in the advocacy world can vouch for her personally. Plus she’s had four years to get more involved and hone her stances. However you have to admit, the comments from the 2016 BP interview with her were generally negative, many bordering on brutal: https://bikeportland.org/2016/04/01/mayoral-candidate-sarah-iannarone-the-bikeportland-interview-179632

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          Meh October 2, 2019 at 2:08 pm

          I reread those comments. The negatives ones are mostly from a reader called David who seemed to not be reading the articles very well.

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    Middle of The Road Guy October 2, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Anyone who is a supporter of ANTIFA will not get my vote. End of story.

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      9watts October 2, 2019 at 11:44 am

      Interesting. I suspect you wouldn’t vote for me either.
      I hope she gets elected without your vote.

      What is your approach to the groups and individuals to which Antifa draws our attention?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 2, 2019 at 7:47 pm

        I’m guessing he wouldn’t vote for anyone who supported them, either.

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          9watts October 2, 2019 at 7:49 pm

          By approach I wasn’t thinking of voting but how he proposes we as a society respond to them.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty October 2, 2019 at 7:57 pm

            Non-violently.

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        Middle of The Road Guy October 3, 2019 at 9:24 am

        It depends. I’d have to listen to your policies first, determine how far left or right your politics go, determine whether or not I was comfortable with the degree to which you lean and if you were dismissive to those with different political views to the point that you hassled them in the street or assaulted them.

        ANTIFA supporter is a disqualifying factor for me.

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        • Avatar
          X October 3, 2019 at 11:06 am

          See: premature anti-fascist

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      PDXCyclist October 2, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Sometimes I wonder if you’ve gotten lost on your way to the Oregonian’s comment section

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        Middle of The Road Guy October 3, 2019 at 9:26 am

        Sometimes you have to get out of the echo chamber and realize there are people with different views. It’s easy to come here for the confirmation bias but don’t think that means the rest of the population agrees with you. It’s good to hear how other people think (and why), even if you do not agree with them.

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      Jon October 2, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      It would be great to see the majority of PDOT funds going to no-carbon or low carbon transport. I’m not a fan of “alternative measures” for progress. How about simply tracking CO2 and pollution reduction?

      With the exception of one young very extreme left wing person I know there is no support for Antifa among the people I know that live Portland. Nobody I know supports fascists or the far right groups but much of the Antifa group appears only interested in breaking windows, fighting people and escalating any situation. Having them show up is a bit like burning your house down to get rid of termites in your house. The cure is really not going to do any good in the long term. If everyone just ignored the proud boys or other whacko right wing racist groups they would stop marching in the city but Antifa can’t seem to figure that out. At the moment I think both groups actually like the fights downtown because it gives them both press.

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        9watts October 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm

        “If everyone just ignored the proud boys or other whacko right wing racist groups they would stop marching in the city but Antifa can’t seem to figure that out.”

        Why don’t you tell Mulugeta Seraw’s family that. Or the families of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best. Just ignore them…

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          Chris I October 2, 2019 at 3:49 pm

          He can say that because he is a straight white male, and doesn’t have to worry about getting randomly assaulted in the street by right-wing thugs.

          I’m not a fan of the conflict on our streets, but once you do the research about these fringe groups, you realize that Antifa is the least of our worries. Right-wing extremism is an existential threat to our country.

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            Middle of The Road Guy October 3, 2019 at 9:18 am

            Extremism is. Doesn’t matter which side.

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              Alan Love October 3, 2019 at 10:07 am

              Absolutism is ALWAYS wrong…

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              X October 3, 2019 at 1:30 pm

              See: Brownshirts. You down with that?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 3, 2019 at 1:37 pm

                If someone says they oppose extremists, why do you need to ask how they feel about Brownshirts? Aren’t they pretty much textbook extremists?

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                X October 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

                I have it on good authority that “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 3, 2019 at 5:47 pm

                Ha! You know who said that, right? Besides, what about the far-left reminds you of “liberty”?

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                X October 3, 2019 at 5:55 pm

                Well derr… I’d say it was irony except my notion of that has been rusted shut ever since I first saw a POS car with a W sticker on it.

                The left and liberty? Try this: National health care would make it a lot easier to start and operate a small business.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 3, 2019 at 11:40 pm

                My apologies.

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              X October 3, 2019 at 1:38 pm

              In theory we live in a civil society with rule of law. Antifa is not exactly my style but when your police force starts to manifest a political preference what have you got left?

              How does it go, “First they came for…”

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      Toby Keith October 2, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Portland has a pretty good run of lousy single term mayors so far. Let’s give her a shot and keep with tradition.

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    Mark smith October 2, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    So would you vote for s proud boys type then?

    Middle of The Road Guy
    Anyone who is a supporter of ANTIFA will not get my vote. End of story.Recommended 7

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      Middle of The Road Guy October 3, 2019 at 9:16 am

      That’s some serious projection, Bro.

      No, I would not vote for a Proud Boy either.

      Let me ask you this: why do you seem to assume that if I do not support one side I therefore support the other? One can be against both at the same time.

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        9watts October 3, 2019 at 9:18 am

        You certainly can be against both. My question to you is, what are you for?

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          Middle of The Road Guy October 3, 2019 at 9:30 am

          I’m for cookies and coffee, right now at least. I’m also for Ti bikes, cycling in Europe and NY Style pizza.

          I am NOT for rice in burritos, non-service dogs in coffee shops, or street violence.

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            El Biciclero October 3, 2019 at 3:46 pm

            rice:burritos -> soda:cocktails

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            X October 3, 2019 at 4:32 pm

            I’m for having a glass of cider while there’s still time.

            Plenty of straws in the wind.

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    Sam Churchill October 2, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Let’s make mass transit, faster, cheaper and more compelling than driving. Last mile electric shuttles to mass transit would help. Austin is doing it.

    http://www.hayden-island.com/sustainabilitynet/

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    Matt S. October 7, 2019 at 6:25 am

    Curious how the candidate wants to pay for ebike subsidies and fair-less transit zones? Sounds great but will it come in the form of taxes, fees, or service reduction elsewhere?

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