Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

The Monday Roundup: Racist Strava segments, racist event name, racist cities, and more

Posted by on June 22nd, 2020 at 10:26 am

Center graphic from BlackSpace.org.

As we continue to evolve our thinking around racial justice, policing, and the built environment, it’s vital to know what new and leading voices are saying about these topics.

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

Black urbanists unite: A broad movement of Black, Indigenous and people of color from across the professional urban planning industry have come to the forefront to change the way American cities are designed and built. Their goal according to this article in Curbed, is to “end anti-Blackness in cities.”

“When a Black person loses their life in a hit-and-run crash, it doesn’t become the highlighted media story.”
— Tiffanie Stanfield in a Q & A with Streetsblog

Racist segment names: San Francisco resident Nehemiah Brown called out Strava for offensive segment names and the company responded quickly by deleting them.

Spatial anti-Blackness: Amina Yasmin issued a clarion call to everyone who designs and plans cities to acknowledge the anti-Black racism endemic in the field and work to eradicate it.

Race promoter fired: Jim Cummins, promoter of the massive “Dirty Kanza” race, was fired after posting to his personal Facebook page that the shooting of Rayshard Brooks was justified. The episode has renewed calls for the event to change its name as advocates have pointed out for months now that “Dirty Kanza” is a racial slur against the indigenous Kaw people.

Bike sales skyrocket: This bike boom is very real (and it’s all about the family/newbie bikers) with new data that shows April sales went over the $1 billion mark for the first time.

Activist to watch: “The truth is, when a Black person loses their life in a hit-and-run crash, it doesn’t become the highlighted media story. You barely hear our stories.” Tiffanie Stanfield is leading a charge to raise awareness of hit-and-runs through her nonprofit Fighting Hit and Run Driving (H.A.R.D.),

Advertisement

New biker guide: You know we’re in the midst of a bike boom when the venerable New York Times publishes a guide on how to become a “cyclist”.

Design justice: Among the many movements that have emerged after the murder of George Floyd is a push to end CPTED (“sep-ted”), or crime prevention through environmental design, because it can lead to more police interactions. Some equate it to stop-and-frisk or a “broken windows” style of enforcement.

Bye, “jaywalking”: A columnist for the Guardian says it’s time to abolish “jaywalking” laws in America.

Ireland gets it: It took a former bike shop owner being elected to a major political office for Ireland to create an “astonishing” transport budget that will include 53% of funding for transit and 20% for biking/walking.

Time for HSR?: To boost the economy and stave off carmaggedon, some experts think it’s time to get serious about high-speed rail. The money ODOT wants to waste widening I-5 in the Rose Quarter could provide a nice kickstart for a Portland to Vancouver BC line!

Micromobility’s moment: Streetsblog points out some very positive signs that point to the resurrection of shared bikes and scooters in cities.

Access and car culture: Hate to say we told you so, but as this article in E&E News points out, “Car ownership has emerged as critical in determining the ease of getting tested” at drive-thru sites across the country.

Are we ready?: As people emerge from lockdown, driving traffic and the harmful emissions that come with it are surging. Has Portland done enough to prepare for this?

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.

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

50
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
41 Thread replies
3 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
Roberta Robles9wattsJonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)Toby KeithChris I Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Charley
Guest
Charley

I’m interested in this CPTED. I’m curious if anyone can provide evidence (anecdotal or scientific) as to the racist effects of design features such as lighting around building entrances and pathways, lots of windows, planting trees and shrubs on private property, or locating car parking behind buildings as opposed to in front of buildings. Honestly, having windows is . . . nice? Windows reduce need for daytime artificial illumination (and the carbon footprint that comes with that electricity), right? Illuminating the entrances to buildings at night makes it easier for people with vision troubles, right? Trees and shrubs sequester carbon, create habitat for wild animals, and provide shade for pedestrians, right?

I’ll admit to a bias here- that it seems like some of these features are just nice to have, affect people regardless of color, and are not an affront to a racially egalitarian society. If we put parking garages and parking lots in front of every building, build offices with no windows, fail to illuminate entrances to the building, and refuse to plant trees and shrubs, aren’t we kind of making our cities full of hard-to-access bunkers?

I’m open to changing my mind, but I’d like to see some evidence. The alternative world of concrete from center-of-road to second-floor sounds unwelcoming.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

The idea of removing “jaywalking” laws is interesting. Would that change who has the ROW when someone is crossing mid-block? Would it effectively make the entire street a crosswalk?

It’s hard for me to see what the traffic ramifications of such a change would be, and the article made no attempt to explore it. Would safety go up or down with more people crossing mid-block?

Bikeninja
Guest
Bikeninja

I think it would be wiser to push for efficient , double track, electric rail with good frequency and speeds equivalent to Amtrak’s Acela service. This type of rail is cheaper to build, requires less real estate and could be put in place in much shorter time. Much of the perceived ” need for speed” is to compete with airlines. But in the Covid and Post-Covid world that will be less of an issue. If we had frequent, efficient, 100 mph rail service to the Bay Area with HVAC isolated 1 and 2 person compartments compete with work desks and high speed internet it would be a total winner right now. Covid marks the begining of the end for cheap air travel for the masses. The structural damage to the industry caused by the pandemic will cause it to become much smaller and more expensive to survive. To maintain a part of the long distance mobility we enjoyed before the pandemic, modern but practical rail service is essential.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Per the Access and car culture: yes, this has been pretty common here in Honolulu too…with both COVID19 testing and food pantry handouts generally being very car centric…few walk up sites are announced and those that exist generally do not have sun/ rain protection while one waits in a parking lot pop-up site. BUT Hawaii Pacific Health / Straub does have at least one pedestrian walk up testing option that I have seen in town.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Per the “High-Speed Rail” (HSR): investment and upgrades to the Portland to Vancouver BC rail route would be a great outcome from COVID19, and WSDoT rail has made a lot of these investments already through Vancouver and other segments one the last 10 years. The investments in OR and BC have lagged.

THOUGH one of the critical regional bottlenecks is the Portland segment…there most likely needs to be a new “Central Station” location in Portland that does not require it to do the slow backtrack twice across the Willamette to the existing station AND there is the 1910 rail bridge across the Columbia River.

Furthermore, I would not classify the proposed work as true HSR (220 to 250 mph)…given the global best practices it would be more like ‘medium speed rail’ due to the Amtrak Talgo (Pendular & Tango 8) train’s performance speed limit of 125 mph. The Cascade route has even lower operational speeds (30 mph to 79 mph). Once the region’s proposed Ultra High Speed Rail work proposed is completed the Amtrak Cascades would become the “milk run” connecting the smaller stations bypassed by the UHSR service. https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/planning/studies/ultra-high-speed-travel/ground-transportation-study

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

The national discussion of ending the use of the term “jaywalking” is long overdue.

It was a loaded term when the highway/ engineering industry started using it institutionally in the 1920s to push for street designs that pushed non motorized customers off most new streets. I always find it interesting that those that complain about “jaywalkers” or push for enforcement almost never focus on the most frequent “mid block” street crosser – the driver of a car that has just parked at curbside or they are returning to their parked car. (TNC ride pick up and drop off has made this a bigger problem recently.)

And it is interesting that the earlier form of the term – Jay Driver – has fallen from wide use and favour…even though the effect of jay-drivers is greater on traffic safety of all road users.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/why-is-it-called-jaywalking

Eric in Seattle
Guest
Eric in Seattle

High speed rail might be nice, but we could get way more bang for the buck with a more incremental approach. We already have the Talgo trains being (under)used on the Amtrak Cascades. If we had a dedicated (that is, not shared with freight) right of way and the design allowed the current rolling stock to run as fast as it is designed it would be a great improvement. For corridors like Portland, OR to Vancouver, BC this would make air travel unnecessary. Something like this could be replicated in other corridors (San Francisco to San Diego, Dallas/San Antonio/Houston, etc) could be done at a much lower cost (or possibly the same cost but covering more riders) than full-on HSR. Corridors that prove very popular might be upgraded later, but in the mean time we could have regional rail travel in lots more places for a much lower cost.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

CPTED? Really? Instead why don’t we focus on holding fathers responsible. Maintaining the family unit. Stressing education. Read a book. I don’t care what color you are those things will generally keep you out of life and death situations with the police. CPTED is just code for “we don’t really want to address the real problems in our communities”.

Roberta Robles
Guest
Roberta Robles

You guys are awesome sauce! Thanks for the staying in the fire. Theres only one way through. The new birth of a new city will be on two wheels. Or some other gadget go wheels for the oddly abled.