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The Monday Roundup: Black urbanism, Baltimore’s vision, what biking looks like, and more

Welcome to the week.

Here are the most notable stories we came across in the past seven days…

Big Biden energy: Transportation reform advocates seem cautiously optimistic about Presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s $2 trillion energy plan that would create a new Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the Department of Justice (among other things).

What biking looks like: The pandemic-fueled bike boom and fight for racial justice have helped break many molds, one of which is the idea that riding is only the domain of the “stale, pale and male”. When Conde Nast Traveler does a piece about “the women finding joy in cycling this summer,” you know we’re having a moment.

Re-imagining traffic enforcement: A Seattle nonprofit that advocates for “safe and healthy streets” is forming a task force to imagine policing streets without armed officers. Is there any similar group in Portland doing this? If not, why not?

More electric car caution: There are many reasons to be skeptical of politicians and programs that herald the “electrification of the fleet”, including new research that shows harmful pollution caused from the erosion of car tires.

The Berkeley experiment: This California Bay Area city took a big step forward in their plans to create a new type of traffic enforcement model by passing an “omnibus” police reform ordinance that includes a new transportation division that will take over traffic stops.


Fall dominoes, fall: City Observatory has a recap of all the recent bad news for ODOT’s I-5 Rose Quarter project.

Black versus white urbanism: Alissa Walker uses a rail-trail project in Atlanta to illustrate how white urban planners often make “improvements” that, “have almost universally failed to consider one thing: the effect they will have on the Black people who already live in those cities.”

E-bike for kids: Now that so many parents have bikes with motors, the little ones can get an extra boost to keep up with them!

New normal: Baltimore city planners have a new design guidebook and say the coronavirus crisis and urgency for racial justice have given them, “A tremendous opportunity to center equity and public health in how we rethink public spaces.”

Go for a ride: A woman who worked on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis in New York City needed a break so she flew to Portland, grabbed a bike off Craiglist and rode 3,500 miles across the country.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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