BikePortland

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


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.),

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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
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