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The Monday Roundup: Urban trails, SUVs suck, go big or go home, and more

Posted by on October 28th, 2019 at 11:13 am

Welcome to the week. Hope your weekend was everything you wanted it to be.

Now let’s refasten our thinking caps and make this another great week of information and inspiration. Below you’ll find the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

Let’s copy Knoxville: The dream of off-road riding in Portland is to improve/expand trails in existing parks and preserves and connect them all with paths and trails. Knoxville gives us a template to follow.

Go big or go home: I love the way this CityLab piece urges bicycle advocates to stop being so damn shy and start asking for big, marquee projects that will not only signal a level of political confidence and seriousness that’s sorely lacking now but — if built — would actually move the needle in terms of ridership.

Vulnerable users dying more: NHTSA released 2018 fatality stats and the numbers are not good — unless you’re in a car. The number of people killed while walking and pedaling went up 3.4% and 6.3% respectively. It’s disappointing (and related?) that NHTSA points out that a significant number of those deaths happened in the dark and among people who had been using alcohol.

Weekly SUV bashing: They kill the air and they kill people, which is why Fast Company asks: “Should we ban SUVs?”

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Regulating car abuse works: Oh look, people changed their driving habits after London established new rules and a pricing mechanism on car emissions.

Bikes for all: Great to see another seeing following Portland’s lead with an adaptive bike share program.

NYC signals: The Big Apple is taking the big plunge into something Portland has done for a long time: Use signal timing to control drivers and make cycling more efficient.

Oh, TriMet: Did you hear what happened when TriMet announced nine new fare enforcement officers on Twitter last week?

More rail please: There are rumblings about re-instating Amtrak service to eastern Oregon.

Tweet of the Week: (IMO Burnside is arguably the most important street in Portland. We have a chance to re-imagine it. We should dramatically reduce driving capacity.)

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

It is ridiculous to say that not enforcing Tri-Met fares is preferable to enforcement. If we think that free passes should be more available, then let’s make them more available. We don’t argue for less enforcement of unjust laws, we change the laws. Same thing here.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Oregon has great vehicle pollution standards for passenger vehicles within the Portland metro area but sadly there is a giant loophole that that vehicles registered outside the Portland area and Medford DON’T have to be tested for emissions. Many addresses as near as Newberg are exempt from testing. I wish that the Portland area would do what London does and make all the drivers from outside the emissions test area pay a fee if they don’t pass the stringent emission standards. It does not take too many “super emitters” to pollute the air that we all breath.

mh
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Does Fast Company have a paywall of some kind? I can’t open that article, or even their home page.

bikeninja
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bikeninja

A simple way to get SUV’s off the street is to change traffic accident liability laws so that when a pedestrian is hit and injured by an SUV it would be the equivalent of being attacked by someone with a deadly weapon. In addition much higher liability limits would be required to insure an SUV to reflect the greater danger they pose to pedestrians. So to legally operate a Car with a pedestrian safe design it might require $100,000 of liability insurance while to operate an SUV it might require $500,000 of liability insurance and to operate a “lifted” pickup it would require a million dollars of liability insurance. Then let the market take care of things.

Al
Guest
Al

The link under “Use signal timing to control drivers ” actually leads to the “Advocates for resuming Amtrak service to Eastern Oregon” article.

Al
Guest
Al

OK, now that I ready the article, if I get to La Grand on a train, what am I going to do there without a car?

The main problem with The Empire Builder train is that Amtrak lost right of way from Montana to the coast. This constantly delays the trains as they have to wait for freight to clear the line. You can’t plan a train trip and be a day or two late. No kidding. Being just hours behind schedule is a GOOD DAY. This needs to change for east-west passenger train service to be viable again.

bikeninja
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bikeninja

Restoring Amtrak’s pioneer train is a great idea, not only is it a beautiful route but Boise is now a significant enough city that it deserves passenger rail service. As we have seen by the collapse of Thomas Cook Tours, many recent airline bankruptcies, and the penny pinching safety debacle at Boeing, air travel for the masses is out over the Wiley Coyote Cliff and waiting for it’s drop to the canyon floor economically. A sensible country would have a backup plan in place.

eawriste
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eawriste
Lenny Anderson
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Lenny Anderson

SUVs? oh you mean UAVs…Urban Assault Vehicles! Yes, vehicles should be have registration fees based on weight and emissions. Too bad GM didn’t go bankrupt. They build monsters.
Amtrak Pioneer had an AM departure from Portland with stops at The Dalles, Pendelton, La Grande, etc.; the return trip was in the PM. Give it a stop at Hood River, maybe even Cascade Locks and you have a great way to access the Gorge for day trips, etc. Bring it back ODOT!!

EP
Guest
EP

That Knoxville article/video is great. I just was imagining something like that in PDX this weekend. I rode to Gateway Green from the 82nd transit center through my neighborhood mix of Hancock park, Dharma rain center trail, bible college clifftop trail, back of Rocky Butte downhill trail, then north on the path through the woods to Prescott and south to GG through Maywood on the 205 trail. So many of those pieces of the puzzle could have fun flow and technical features added. All of Maywood should be a pump track on the hillside… But then I thought of all the tents and campers I’d passed and realized it’d be a harder feat to pull off here.

David Hampsten
Guest

Burnside: How about a series of speed pillows high and wide enough that buses, semis, and fire engines can easily pass, but cars and SUVs/UAVs would need to slow or dodge to avoid, as well as red lanes and street markings saying “Bus & Freight Only”?

Asher Atkinson
Guest
Asher Atkinson

Re: Weekly SUV bashing

And missing weekly is an actual definition of an SUV. I’ve followed the links over the past few weeks and find muddled discussions around improving safety and reducing emissions by banning ‘SUVs’, yet only discussed are various characteristics shared by many cars. Weight, dimensions, hood height, center of gravity, visibility, drive train, horsepower, torque, acceleration, emissions (particulate and greenhouse gas), fuel efficiency, on-board safety, vehicle age, driver demographics, etc. What actual combination of characteristics do the anointed feel should be banned and to what end?

With a lot of actuary data from insurance companies, detailed accident reports, and a rich dataset of driver profiles and vehicle characteristics, it may be possible to construct a model predicting increased risk of specific classes of cars in a constantly evolving fleet, and it would be worthwhile to discuss the methodology, outcomes, and implications. That would be thought provoking journalism, and not the recent click bait targeted at those with good intentions, yet little interest in what it takes to construct an argument and enact law. Do I want safer, cleaner cars? Absolutely, but vague rants against ‘SUVs’ lead to neither.

adventure!
Guest

Sole purpose? Well, when the bus simply went to Multnomah Falls, you might be able to say that. Then again, the whole point was to give folks another option than driving to the falls and choking up the roads and parking areas, and being a danger for those of us who do cycle out there. One bus can carry several car loads of folks.

But now the bus goes to Cascade Locks and Hood River, which are towns where people live. So people do use the bus as a form of…transportation.