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The Monday Roundup: End traffic stops, racist urban planning, free bike share, and more

Posted by on June 15th, 2020 at 10:55 am

Here are the most notable items our community came across in the past seven days…

Police and traffic laws: Traffic stops are the most common way Americans interact with law enforcement, that’s why we must question the role armed police officers play in them.

End traffic stops: Jalopnik outlines a compelling argument for why we should just end traffic stops altogether.

Racism and urban planning: Streetsblog Chicago shared a recap of a roundtable of leading Black voices who shared personal and professional insights into how to make urban planning less racist.

Violence with vehicles: As protests continue to take over streets nationwide, Slate addresses the very important topic of people who are ramming their cars into protestors.

Arrested for walking: Two Black teenagers were arrested and forced to the ground because they they were walking in the street. The officers were White.

Bicycles and the protests: “Transportation issues are social-justice issues,” says this essay in The New Yorker that surveys how bicycles are being used in Black Lives Matter protests around the country (and links to a BikePortland story!).

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Vehicular violence in the ‘Couv: A 28-year-old woman was standing in her driveway on Saturday when a driver failed to control their SUV and ran over her. The woman died and the incident is under investigation.

Trek Bikes speaks: Under fire for selling bikes to police agencies that use them as weapons against Black Lives Matter protesters, Trek called the practice “abhorrent” and vowed to create 1,000 jobs for people of color (among other things).

Transit truths: Two highly noted urban transportation advocates say fears of catching Covid-19 on transit aren’t backed up by research.

Free bike share: A Canadian news outlet ponders whether a free public bike share system similar to one in a major Chinese city would work in North America.

Video of the Week: Organizers say it might be the largest mass skate event in Portland history. Over 1,000 people took part in an even to support the Black Lives Matter movement

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

The idea of ending traffic stops has to be literally the dumbest idea I have ever heard. Traffic stops have made us immeasurably safer. If drunk driving is a problem now, how much bigger of a problem would it be if drunk drivers knew that there is zero chance of getting caught? If speeding is a major issue, can you imagine the absolute insanity that would prevail on our roads if we didn’t have at least the limited enforcement that we have currently?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

It’s the second dumbest idea. Putting rice in burritos is #1.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Thank you for not saying putting pineapple on a pizza. I like Hawaiian pizza no matter what the NYC purists say. I do properly eat the slice, folded, with my hand, however. There are still some rules.

Middle of the Road Guy
Subscriber
Middle of the Road Guy

With a fork, right?

I honestly consider myself a bit of a pizza purist…and even though I am from Chicago, Deep Dish isn’t pizza.

I don’t want to like pineapple on a pizza, but it does taste good. You could even find it in Italy…so obviously they don’t care that much about it.

David Hampsten
Guest

Spaghetti sandwiches.

Reece
Guest
Reece

Out of the dumbest ideas you could propose, you pick a not dumb idea.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

As a cyclist, parent, and community member, I hope for better traffic safety. Are police with guns part of that? Maybe? Seems like there are just better, safer options.

Like the article pointed out, a nice first step here might be making traffic-stop data publicly available to help make better decisions.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

A nice first step here might be making traffic-stop data publicly available

Make a records request from the police.

How do you know?
Guest

A record request for ALL stops? Is that possible? Can one simply ask the police to show data to the % of folks who Black that are stopped by the police? Is this public information in Portland? And if not, why not? If Black folks are stopped more often than White folks (And they are- by a lot) what are the polices leaders doing to stop this racist practice?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

The Oregonian published that data a few years back (for the traffic division, 2012, if I recall correctly) and showed numbers that were very close to the racial breakdown of Portland at the time. I would be very surprised if other divisions showed such parity, but their missions often involve making pretext stops, which are much more susceptible to bias than general traffic enforcement.

You could google it to find the details, but perhaps the more important point is that such data is (or at least was) available.

David Hampsten
Guest

The chances of anyone being stopped for either speeding or driving drunk in most of the USA is already nearly zero and has been for quite some time (long before Covid-19 anyway) – and most drivers are quite aware of that. On the other hand, the chances of being pulled over for driving while black are pretty high, apparently.

BikeRound
Guest
BikeRound

For drunk driving, it is definitely not near zero. I personally know several people who have gotten into trouble for drunk driving. In any event, the number of tickets that the police hand out is public information, and it is significant. Let’s look at the data first, and then draw conclusions. That is the scientific process.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I agree with BikeRound. Over the years I have been personally responsible for getting a number of apparent drunk drivers pulled over.

one
Guest

I don’t want to see #s of tickets given. I too want to see # of STOPS (And % of BIPOC stopped vs % of White people stopped) https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741

Middle of the Road Guy
Subscriber
Middle of the Road Guy

That begs a question – what percentages *should* it be? Exactly equal to the population?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It should be roughly equal to the rates at which various populations commit traffic infractions.

Middle of the Road Guy
Subscriber
Middle of the Road Guy

Which means there will be variation. Some populations will commit more and some less.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

The generally accepted statistic is that the ratio of drunk drivers to arrests is 400:1. Another way to say that is that the average DUI bust involves someone with 400 successful times driving under the influece.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

The chances of anyone being stopped for either speeding or driving drunk in most of the USA is already nearly zero and has been for quite some time (long before Covid-19 anyway)

The cops give some people more attention.

I have no idea how many times I’ve been pulled over. It was easily at least once a year for many years, and it was most recently only two weeks ago.

Despite all those stops, I’ve only gotten two tickets in 38 years of driving.

Have also been questioned on the street many times while doing nothing. Having said all that, none of this happens nearly as much as it used to.

At the same time, trying to eliminate officer discretion is a rotten idea. Rather, fix where it is being misused. My personal experience is cops are way more professional than they used to be. In any case, you can’t automate safety. There are a lot of things that are super unsafe that won’t trigger a camera, and there are things that will trigger one that aren’t necessarily unsafe.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Did you read the article before commenting, because your concerns are addressed in the, ya know, article.

BikeRound
Guest
BikeRound

Yes, I did, but my concerns were not addressed. Once we have a speed camera that calculates average speed on every street in the United States, we can get rid of police pulling over motorists.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Yeah, this “Traffic stops have made us immeasurably safer.”, is not true. Police don’t reduce speeding. Look at the Mad Max set-up we got when COVID reduced congestion.

If you want to get rid of road deaths, police are probably the least effective option, followed by ticket cameras. The only real solution is to engineer roads so motorist are unable to speed.

BikeRound
Guest
BikeRound

Have you driven around in DC lately on a road with speed cameras? Speed cameras are definitely extremely effective in reducing speeding. I agree that the police are less effective because the chance of getting caught is less.

Last year, the police wrote 176,000 speeding tickets in the state of New Jersey. While that certainly does not mean that most speeders did not get away with their crime, that number is large enough where most people do keep it in the back of their minds that if they speed excessively they could be busted.

In New York City, the figure is 700,000 speeding tickets annually. That is significant and important.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

We actually don’t know if police have an effect or not, because no community has completely eliminated traffic policing. Portland police have actually issued more tickets for excessive speeding and reckless driving during the pandemic. What would these drivers do once they know that there is literally no one who will stop them?

We can’t totally eliminate traffic policing until we have a functional network of speed and red-light cameras, with new laws on the books to eliminate loopholes.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I see your point, but don’t entirely agree. When police start enforcing traffic laws in a particular area, word gets around and the behavior drops. You could argue that it’s a game of Whac-a-Mole and the behavior just moves to somewhere else, and there might be some truth to that, but I can’t agree that police don’t reduce speeding.

It’s easy to argue that police don’t do much to reduce speeding in Oregon. That’s because Oregon has one of the lowest patrol densities in the country. Arguably, however, this proves the opposite: in states with more enforcement, speeding drivers know they will eventually get ticketed. Sure, I have driven across Oregon on numerous occasions without seeing a single police car, but outside a few western states that’s just not possible.

Yesterday I drove halfway across Wisconsin (which is notorious, especially towards out-of-state drivers). We saw dozens of cops. Even in low-density areas that are mostly state and national forests and towns are 20 miles apart, we regularly saw enforcement vehicles clocking drivers. It is simply mathematically impossible to drive across that state at, say, 15 mph over the limit without getting pulled over. So the vast majority of people don’t drive that fast. Full stop.

I do agree with you that we should make greater efforts at engineering roads so motorists are either unable to speed, or at least a lot less likely to speed.

Phil
Guest
Phil

We could also engineer cars so they can’t drive faster than the speed limit. It wouldn’t help with older cars, but it would significantly reduce speeding.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Engineering alone will not make roads safe enough. We need better laws, correct/better enforcement, better adjudication, safer vehicles, better trauma care, and much better trained drivers. The Safe Systems approach to road design discusses such things.
Not yet part of the equation is the social issues the above items cannot address. As has been stated, perfectly safe roads (if possible) are useless if any person does not feel safe leaving their home and traveling amongst the rest of the population.

one
Guest

BikeRound. But that will never happen.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Yeah, I understand the enormous epidemic of inappropriate traffic stops, but I have a hard time processing the idea of getting rid of traffic enforcement altogether. Arguably, since cars kill more people than criminals, that should be the one kind of police activity that might justify itself. Shouldn’t police be stopping someone who’s blasting down Hawthorne at 50? Or an obvious drunk driver weaving across multiple lanes on Chavez?

Claiming, as in this article, that traffic enforcement doesn’t work because people still drive irresponsibly a lot of the time, is a little like saying I should stop cleaning my house because I can’t keep it perfectly clean 100% of the time. Obviously, cleaning doesn’t work!

I do get the point. We need to figure out how to make traffic stops more fair, and eliminate pretext stops completely. Not to mention stop the harassment of low-speed, low-mass cyclists committing minor infractions. Drop the war on drugs too, which fuels a lot of that activity. Only big violations should provoke a stop. I get that. But sometimes the solution to a problem is not to go to the opposite extreme.

Dan
Guest
Dan

We don’t need an armed police officer to write traffic tickets though. Even if we don’t move more to speed cameras, we could save substantial money by having someone other than a sworn, armed officer enforcing traffic regulations.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Yes. I would love to see traffic stops performed by unarmed officers who enforce traffic laws only and aren’t allowed to do any searching, checking for arrest warrants, or anything else unrelated. That would pretty much remove the risk of violence on both sides, and traffic rules could still be enforced.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

and their total salary package would be about half that of an armed officer.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Checking for arrest warrants and whatnot is extremely valuable — they catch a lot of people that way.

The vast majority of times I’ve been stopped, that’s what the cops were really doing — sometimes they even say so. I don’t have an inherent problem with that. There’s a useful distinction between keeping tabs on people and harassment and correcting things when that line is crossed.

For everyone who thinks cameras will make everyone safe, how do you think those will detect drunk/high drivers? Only some of them are driving excessive speeds.

It is simply mathematically impossible to drive across that state at, say, 15 mph over the limit without getting pulled over.

One of my friends used to be a state cop. He said what they really care about is patterns of behavior — they have no real interest in catching occasional speeders. If you regularly speed, the match catches up with you. Aside from the tickets, your insurance will go through the roof.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I fear that the most dangerous types of drivers (drunk, street-racing, etc) would know that they don’t have to stop for these traffic officers. What are they going to do if you don’t stop?

Phil
Guest
Phil

Record your license plate, and fine the vehicle owner, or possibly suspend their license or vehicle registration. If the behavior is bad enough radio for backup from an armed police officer to take more immediate action.

Even without issuing immediate consequences, if we took actions like this seriously, we could remove drivers like this from the road pretty aggressively over time..

PS
Guest
PS

If a blog posts clickbait, then that is reposted as clickbait in another blog, does it still make it clickbait?

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it thousands of times more, but it is truly crazy that you can completely lose control of your vehicle and walk away without a citation. People flip their cars on urban streets and still don’t get a citation.

How do you commit vehicular manslaughter and walk away completely fine.

Good god

Bikeninja
Guest
Bikeninja

I am so tired of this “lost control of the vehicle” canard as an excuse for vehicular mayhem. Unless the steering system broke, a vehicle careening in to someones driveway at speed is always caused by some action taken by the driver. They could have been driving too fast for conditions, distracted by a phone, driving recklessly etc. This is an “out” we give to operating a motor vehicle that we give to almost no other dangerous activity. Imagine, “Bob was practicing with his sword in the back yard and he lost control of it and it cut off the neighbors head.”

Middle of the Road Guy
Subscriber
Middle of the Road Guy

There can be only one.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

In America, we generally don’t criminalize unintentional behavior.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

What are you talking about. There’s tons of laws on the books that criminalize unintentional behavior.

Reckless endangerment: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/163.195
Assault in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree all have an unintentional reckless component in their definitions:
https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/163.175
https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/163.165
https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/163.160

Assault in the 4th degree could easily apply in the situation described:
With criminal negligence causes serious physical injury to another who is a vulnerable user of a public way, as defined in ORS 801.608 (“Vulnerable user of a public way”), by means of a motor vehicle.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Most of the clauses in those laws require intentionality, “extreme indifference to the value of human life”, or criminal negligence, though I will concede that 163.195(1) (text below) does not explicitly require intentionality (but I’d defer to a lawyer on whether there is an implicit underlying requirement, or whether “recklessness” can be completely inadvertent).

Regardless, I doubt driving in and of itself constitutes “reckless” conduct, and am unsure if the risk posed by driving constitutes a “substantial risk”. If it did, everyone who drives would be guilty of this law, regardless of whether they injured someone or not.

163.195(1) A person commits the crime of recklessly endangering another person if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

Regardless, I doubt driving in and of itself constitutes “reckless” conduct, and am unsure if the risk posed by driving constitutes a “substantial risk”. If it did, everyone who drives would be guilty of this law, regardless of whether they injured someone or not.

I didn’t say that. Nice straw man though. In this situation the reckless conduct is driving in a manner that caused them to lose control of their vehicle. Whether that be too fast for the conditions, distraction, or just an inability to maintain control of their vehicle. Unless they can provide some explanation why they lost control of their vehicle that was entirely out of their control their actions led to this crime.

None of that of course has anything to do with your original claim I responded to. There are lots of unintentional behaviors that have been criminalized these are just a handful. If you read these laws they are written in such a way that very clearly indicates you can unintentionally and unknowingly commit reckless acts. That’s literally what the word or means in:
(a) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another;

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If you read these laws they are written in such a way that very clearly indicates you can unintentionally and unknowingly commit reckless acts. That’s literally what the word or means in: (a) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another

I suppose that depends on how “reckless” is defined. I’m not sure about Oregon law, but here’s one reasonable definition:

In criminal law and in the law of tort, recklessness may be defined as the state of mind where a person deliberately and unjustifiably pursues a course of action while consciously disregarding any risks flowing from such action. Recklessness is less culpable than intentional wickedness, but is more blameworthy than careless behaviour.

[emphasis mine]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recklessness_(law)

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

Seriously Wikipedia? How is this not trolling? You always just shift goal posts, build straw men and never acknowledge when you’re wrong. How about referencing the ORS definition of reckless or criminal negligence instead of just googling anything that backs up your opinion? Wikipedia’s definition is not law.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

As a general survey of a general legal concept, Wikipedia is a reasonable source.

But fine:

ORS 161.085: “Recklessly,” when used with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, means that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

[emphasis mine]

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/161.085#:~:text=(9)%20%E2%80%9CRecklessly%2C%E2%80%9D,or%20that%20the%20circumstance%20exists.

For our purposes basically the same thing.

Please skip the personal attacks next time.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

A description of your behavior is not a personal attack. You did make a straw man argument in your first response to me. You have also now shifted the goal post from being whether or not we criminalize unintentional behavior in America to the nuance of what HK thinks is unintentional under the law and finally you haven’t acknowledged you were wrong.

As for your response you’ve ignored the point GlowBoy already made that the reckless behavior is intentional but the outcome isn’t. So yes in America we do criminalize unintentional behavior. A drunk driver doesn’t intend or knowingly choose to wreck their car they do because they are choosing to drive recklessly. The person who hit this woman didn’t intend to do that but they did drive recklessly and that resulted in this unintended consequence.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Again, we do not (usually) criminalize unintentional behavior.

In the case of reckless driving, it is the intentional act of driving recklessly (or drunk) that is the illegal act, not the resulting (unintentional) death — you can be guilty of driving recklessly without injuring, even if no one else is around. It is the reckless conduct itself that is illegal, not its outcome.

You have repeatedly made a factual assertion that the driver in this story behaved recklessly, that is, they “disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk”. That they caused a death doing so makes the case more tragic, but it is not that unintentional outcome that makes their behavior criminal.

Since I didn’t see it in the story, what substantial and unjustifiable risk did the driver intentionally disregard? Or is this a case of “a tragic thing happened, so the driver must be guilty of something, we just need to figure out what?”

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

“n the case of reckless driving, it is the intentional act of driving recklessly (or drunk) that is the illegal act, not the resulting (unintentional) death — you can be guilty of driving recklessly without injuring, even if no one else is around. It is the reckless conduct itself that is illegal, not its outcome.”

That is not true in most states. Oregon is an outlier in lacking a vehicular homicide statute that escalate reckless driving behavior to homicide if it kills someone. The need for such a law has been much-discussed here on BP. Just like firing a gun down a crowded street would be reckless endangerment or menacing if you didn’t hit anyone, but would be second or third degree murder (depending on perceived intent) if you did … so in most states, if you kill someone with reckless driving behavior you are guilty of homicide. Because duh.

JRB
Guest
JRB

Speaking as a lawyer, basing criminal liability on recklessness or gross negligence is the exception and not the rule. The vast majority of criminal statutes require knowing conduct, also referred to as general or specific intent, as an element of the crime.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Yeah… sorry about that. As a lawyer, the above exchange must have been excruciating for you to read!

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

The fatality wasn’t intentional, but the driving – the behavior, as you put it – was. I have served on a Vehicular Homicide jury in Washington state. I can tell you that what matters is not whether you intended to kill someone, but whether you intended to perform the act that ended up killing someone. Whether you meant that to be the outcome in not makes the difference between that crime and murder, but it’s still a felony either way.

In the case I served on, we the jury found that the driver did willfully get into a vehicle after drinking heavily, and did willfully drive at high speed down a curving, low-speed residential street, crashing into someone’s front yard and causing an unintentional death. And we did convict him.

The construction of Washington’s VH statute makes it easier to convict if the driver has been drinking: it’s been over 20 years since my jury duty on this, but IIRC the elements of the law require a reckless disregard for people’s safety – which is automatically implied by intoxication. If the driver was sober and cooperative, it may be a more difficult case, and conviction may require independent witnesses to come forward to testify about irresponsible driving prior to the crash. Of course, as with everything in the legal system, it all depends on “what a jury would think.” Unfortunately juries are biased towards the driver’s perspective.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I think one of the points of the Abolition movement is to drive home that for certain communities, policing as it is currently conducted already seems to be of little if any value. A lot of people in minority communities certainly feel that way, with justification. To all the worriers who ask, “but if we ‘abolish’ the police, who do you call if someone is breaking into your house?” Well, for a lot of people there already is no one to call. I once lived in a minority-majority neighborhood in Seattle where the police never responded to 911 calls when gunfire was reported. Of course they would still pull over Black drivers with taillights out. It did make me wonder what good were the police there?

To a lesser but still-real degree, cyclists also have to wonder how much value we get from policing, given the mayhem motorists are able to get away with against us, with impunity, over and over again.

David Hampsten
Guest

Free Bike Share: We all know what happens when free bikes are offered to the community in Portland (Yellow Bike Program) – no one values it and the bikes get thrown into the Willamette River. There’s something in our American brains that we only value what we have to pay for, and the more we pay, the more we value it.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

When I went to Kansas they had free Green Apple Bike share in Manhattan. Green beach cruisers all over the main part of town, just sitting around waiting for people to use them. I’m sure it helped that it’s a small (53,000 people) college town in the midwest, so not a lot of people vandalizing public property.

https://greenapplebikes.com/

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

David, it is unfair to compare the 1990s Portland bike share to almost any current bike share service in the US, especially Biketown. I used the Yellow Bike service and it was a ‘hippy’ mess of a “product” (though the volunteers and their hearts were in the right place…vs the lack of City support)… if you were not around then, the tires were stuffed with compressor hoses etc. and the bikes were a hodgepodge of equipment that were left over from the 1970s bike boom. My memory, most Yellow bikes did not stay ridable for more than a day or two once released into the wild, if you could find one…thus a low value service.

You are correct – that how locals “value” a service will reflect on how they they use or abuse a product…if left unenforced. I would hope most Portlanders would positively support a ‘free bike share system’ especially one they registered for…like a library card. Tourists or regional residents (like those ‘Evil Vancouverians’ – like me) would still have to pay for such a service.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Certainly my spouse…invariably bought the more expensive item because it surely must have been worth it simply because the price was higher.

jonno
Guest
jonno

On the idea of removing the traffic stop from enforcement – we have so many unexplored technology options to simply reduce the physical ability to operate vehicles lawlessly on the roads:

– When I have Waze up on my phone for navigation, it knows how fast I’m going and warns me when I go over the local limit. Why are new cars not being built with geofenced speed governors as standard equipment? If granular street-level accuracy is too much to ask, then why is any vehicle allowed to travel over, say, 55 mph within the city limits of Portland? 75mph anywhere in the state other than a racetrack?

– Auto theft, drunk driving, unlicensed operators – I have to log into my phone to use it, providing either a PIN, facial recognition, fingerprint…I can’t use it without proving that I have authorization to use it. If I leave a comment on a website, my IP is captured. Why can any fool with a key or knowledge of how to break an ignition, use any vehicle anonymously?? We need vehicle operator authentication. Suspended license? Not authorized to use the vehicle? Vehicle no start, vehicle calls home.

– Speed cameras, duh. And by authenticating the driver, nobody can argue that they weren’t driving the vehicle at the time the pic was taken.

– Registration, insurance, tags, that sort of thing. If I don’t pay my credit card bill the bank will shut it off. We can’t come up with something to make vehicles inoperable when owners don’t pay their fair share?

I practically have to show a freakin’ passport to get on an airplane, manage all host of passwords to access my online accounts, etc etc etc. Why can’t we apply the same authentication + security thinking to driving vehicles?

Freedom, liberty, gubmint overreach yadda yadda yadda.

Why is there such a different expectation of privacy and autonomy for our vehicles? None of the above would reduce anyone’s freedom to travel wherever they want, whenever they want. We’d just all be doing it more safely.

Bike Guy
Guest
Bike Guy

We have a Bike Tax; why not tax all sales? /s

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

From a technological standpoint, those are mostly interesting ideas (and maybe some could be made to be reliable enough to be practical on a widespread basis).

Some Americans, however, might be reluctant to have their movements traced and potentially available to the government (even more than they are now). Not all of us trust the current or next three Trump administrations to do the right thing.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

PS Voting you down for the gratuitous rural slur.

James Calhoon
Guest
James Calhoon

Anything that can be done in a autos computer system can be undone. Technology changes will never be 100% and take a long time to be mandated. Example, mandated backup cameras in vehicles were first proposed in 2008, it wasn’t until 2019 when all new vehicles sold included them. Since the average car is 12 years old the % of cars with them is still low.

David Hampsten
Guest

Question Jonathan: Where is the write up and link to the article on your headline image “What’s Needed to address anti-black racism in urban planning?”

Dave
Guest
Dave

The driveway murder north of Vancouver? Not surprising. In semi-rural areas it can safely and reasonably be assumed that anyone is driving at least 25% over posted speed limits. Clark County and the greater Vantucky area’s regional gov’t have no concern whatsoever for the life of anyone not inside of an automobile, absolutely none. I dare anyone from city or county government to prove otherwise.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I’m be eagerly following any developments in our understanding of how COVID is spread by mass transit. Early in the pandemic I accepted the common wisdom that of course packing people into transit vehicles would spread the virus, so it’s interesting to hear that it may not be as big a problem as I thought. Is this because we’re running vehicles below capacity and mandatorily wearing masks? Are the ventilation systems on buses and trains really good?

It will be good to know this because when people were dying in the hallways of overloaded New York hospitals, anti-urbanists really used mass transit as a blunt instrument to claim that everything we were doing to reduce fossil fuel use was dangerous and unhealthy. Nevermind that before the pandemic, suburbanites packed into restaurants, bars, stadiums, offices and schools at the same rate as urbanites. Nevermind that Brooklyn and Queens, less densely populated than Manhattan (but with more people per average housing unit, and overall poorer populations with worse healthcare access) had higher infection and death rates. Nevermind that San Francisco, with similar density to NYC, was not experiencing the same horrors. And nevermind that no one in places like Portland, Seattle or Minneapolis is proposing NYC levels of density.

The unrelenting message from the Right was that any attempt to incrementally increase density puts us all at risk; suburbs and cars will save us all, and living in apartments and riding mass transit is unhygienic. Even I bought into the latter part of that. So if transit isn’t that much of a risk, I’d like to understand why. If we can save most of our transit systems when six weeks ago they looked moribund, we should try.

David Hampsten
Guest

A few months before Covid-19 hit us, I heard an excellent lecture from a health official from the CDC concerning transit, walking, bicycling, and driving, at a bike/walk convention in NC. He pointed out to us that the CDC headquarters itself, built during the Clinton era, was located in a very suburban office area in the Atlanta metro that was effectively only safely accessible by driving. Yes, there are some nearby sidewalks and some transit service, but connections were poor, sidewalks were non-continuous and walkers required to pass through parking lots to get to office doors, and the bike lanes were the narrow painted sort on roadways were cars frequently went well over the 45 mph speed limit. In short, the CDC itself has a car-only bias on health issues, according to the embarrassed senior official who worked there. So when I see CDC advice on transit use, I take it with a grain of salt.

I blame Bill Clinton.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Meanwhile, our latest cluster outbreak (over 100 people) is in Union County, OR, population 26,000. Most outbreaks have been in food packing plants. I imagine it would be hard to contact trace and prove that transmission occurred on public transit, but the fact that we see so many large cities in the world with incredibly busy public transit systems that have little to no cases would seem to indicate that public transit CAN be safe.

oliver
Guest
oliver

I remember when we talked about traffic speed on our neighborhood streets as a quality of life issue. Wasn’t that quaint?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Reading the tea leaves here, it sounds like we need to:
1. Eliminate traffic enforcement
2. Round up a posse to enforce neighborhood speed limits

dwk
Guest
dwk

If you read the tea leaves here, black lives don’t matter, Trump fans get the most likes, progressives get the most dislikes.
JM has not been real effective with this audience. at least the ones he allows to comment.
It is his site. The comment section reflects the audience he wants to attract.
Trump fans.
We are in a mini revolution. The audience here is on the wrong side.
I always expected more from cyclists and this site does not reflect cyclists anymore.

X
Guest
X

There are very many everyday bike riders in Portland who know about Bike Portland, read it sometimes, and consider the comments section to be a dumpster salad at best. What you see here doesn’t necessarily reflect the BP audience.

Dave
Guest
Dave

It’s NOT an obsolete concern! You don’t have to go north of the Columbia to be walking or cycling in an area whose local gov’t cares nothing for your life if you’re not in a car.

qqq
Guest
qqq

The Jaywalking Arrest article is incredibly sad. Tulsa creates a neighborhood with patchy to nonexistent sidewalks, then arrests two teenagers for walking in the street.

qqq
Guest
qqq

I looked up the location where the two teens (really children–ages 13 and 15)were arrested. and one basically beaten–“in the area of N. Osage Dr. and Newton St. in Tulsa” from this article: https://www.gayly.com/oklahoma-naacp-calls-charges-tulsa-african-american-teen-be-dropped

You can see sidewalks are intermittent at best: https://www.google.com/maps/@36.1727063,-96.0019928,3a,60y,17.81h,78.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1saV2YOR-PmubQSYFiEQLV0Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The main focus of all the press is correctly on the police mistreatment of the two boys. The targeting of people for walking in the street when there’s no decent alternative is a secondary issue, but still really bad itself.