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The Monday Roundup: Drivers only please, mask advice, driving boom ahead and more

Posted by on April 13th, 2020 at 10:18 am

Here are the most notable items the BikePortland community came across in the past seven days.

Note: In light of our 15th anniversary, I want to point out that BikePortland has delivered this weekly roundup of important stories to you for the past 552 weeks. Since 2008! Thank you to our subscribers and supporters for making this possible.

Opportunity: Columnists and planners worldwide are urging cities to seize the day when it comes to changing our streets to reflect the new reality — or doing it because we can have a different reality when the virus recedes.

Racial disparities: There’s growing discussion about how calls for street changes ignore/exacerbate/impact existing racial discrimination. We cannot forget basic principles of mobility justice and the lived experiences of black, indigenous and people of color when we talk about how streets are planned and used.

Bias against people without cars: On March 13th we wondered when a city would discriminate against people for not being inside cars when it came to lining up for pandemic-related services. About three weeks later we got our answer: a city in Florida sternly advised people that not inside a car would not be served.

Bike-thrus in Seattle: An advocacy effort to ensure drive-thru access to people not using cars and partly inspired by Portland has sprung up in Seattle.

The next phase: “Our response [to transportation] requires both immediate solutions, and preparation for a long fight,” says this well-reasoned opinion piece from Canada that advises cities to lean on existing plans and reminds us bike infrastructure projects create more jobs than car/road projects.

Mask advice: Bicycling can help you understand the why and how of wearing a mask while riding.

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“Essential” bike shop? If a bike shop caters to high-end and competitive cycling enthusiasts they aren’t “essential” in the same way more service-oriented neighborhood-serving bike shops are.

Give us more lanes! Clark County drivers are eager for Oregon to widen freeways, environmental review be damned.

Cycling docs to watch: Need content for your indoor training rides? Here are 15 of the best cycling documentaries on YouTube according to CyclingTips.com.

Infrastructure stimulus: State DOTs are asking for $50 Billion in stimulus funding as part of an estimated $800 Billion infrastructure bill floating around Capitol Hill.

Reframing transit: The success of transit isn’t about ridership numbers, it’s about providing a basic and essential service argues Jarrett Walker.

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Budapest gets it: “The decrease in automobile traffic provides an opportunity to improve Budapest’s bicycle transport network with rapid intervention,” says an official statement from the capitol of Hungary.

Berlin gets it: This Amazing photo gallery shows how quickly the German city has changed streets to give bicycle users more space.

East London gets it: After crowd-sourcing ideas on social media, a neighborhood council will use simple diverters to block through driving access on some streets to increase safety and space for walkers and bicycle riders.

Boston, Minneapolis, Oakland, too: NY Times has a solid nationwide roundup of cities that have responded to the virus-outbreak with major street changes.

Car sales way up China: We can either seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to create healthy streets or we can wait until the impending driving boom makes it even harder.

Video of the Week: A brilliant way to explain the need for more street space in the time of social distancing:

— 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 welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

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Lenny Anderson
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Lenny Anderson

More “tail wagging the dog” from The Columbian. Nobody is forced to work here and live in SW WA; its a choice, and the consequences of that choice should not be foisted upon those who make what I consider a wiser choice, to live close to where they work. Without freeways people would do just that!

9watts
Subscriber

“If a bike shop caters to high-end and competitive cycling enthusiasts they aren’t ‘essential’ in the same way more service-oriented neighborhood-serving bike shops are.”

Sounds right to me.

Josh
Guest
Josh

The linked article under the “Racial disparities” item might not be the intended link — it doesn’t mention mobility justice.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

From the Columbian article:

“In the case of a freeway expansion, an increase in carbon emissions, air pollution and noise pollution can have deleterious effects. But such (Environmental Impact) reviews too frequently are used by opponents who are more interested in halting or delaying a project out of principal than they are in public health.”

This is a weirdly contradictory and disingenuous statement. First off, in this case, I think public health sort of IS the principal. Secondly, the list of deleterious effects that are rattled off and seemingly dismissed with a shrug are exactly what reviews are for. What’s at issue is we don’t all agree as to whether we ought to actually give a shit about things like that.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

My apologies, Jonathan!
I didn’t think I was being disparaging or personally mean to anyone in particular, but I guess I did sprinkle a little extra spice into my language.

howrad
Subscriber

Speaking of racial disparities, will there be any coverage of the casually racist/xenophobic Instagram post by Dirty Fingers bike shop in Hood River? Out in the community, it feels like we have a lot of folks rightfully offended, no mea culpas, strangely explained endorsement by FilmedByBike, affiliation with Sellwood Cycles, and yet it seems like all the people in power are just waiting for this to fade into the background so we can move past it. This is the moment to talk about it.

David Hampsten
Guest

Mask Advice: the only thing I can see from the report and from other sources is that everyone has very strong opinions about wearing masks, including advertisers. It reminds me of the whole debate regarding painted bike lanes: False sense of security if done poorly; social engineering; wide division of opinions by internationally-recognized authorities; loved by journalists; city governments are utterly clueless; poor enforcement by police; and reported in depth by Bike Portland.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

The Columbian article is pretty typical people outside Portland are happy to expand freeways here while dismissing concerns about cost, health, the environment and value to the actual neighborhood they want to drive through. And of course they suggest those concerns are made up anyway and are just being expressed to delay the project cause there’s no link to expanded freeways and any negative effects to the surrounding area.

q
Guest
q

I love the video of the guy with the hoop. Physical mock-ups keep people from deluding themselves. Anyone who thinks people are keeping 6′ apart on park trails should spend 5 minutes wearing one of those. (Then wear a 30′ wide hoop to show what a more effective distance would be.)

It’s easy to find infrastructure for biking and walking that doesn’t work because things simply don’t fit. In just about every case, that could have been uncovered before it was built by building a mock-up with a few cones and some tape, and riding a bike (or tandem, or bike with a trailer) through them. It’s almost free to do.

$10k
Guest
$10k

If the Columbian wants a $700 million project to benefit 70,000 commuters, they should support a tax of $10,000 per commuter to pay for it. If they also want a $4 billion new bridge for those commuters, tack on another $60,000 to the per car commuter bill. So $70,000, each. Pay up now and, to be generous, Oregon taxpayers may throw in the cost of all the other freeway, miles, clean air, parking, land, etc. they’ll consume.