Welcome to the week.
Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past eight days.
Dijon Kizzee: Los Angeles police said a bicycle code violation is what prompted an altercation that ended up with them shooting and killing a Black man named Dijon Kizzee. It’s just the latest tragic example of how police enforcement of traffic laws is highly biased against Black people and it has renewed calls for taking traffic enforcement responsibilities out of police hands.
Neighbors against freeways: The Eliot Neighborhood has published strong opposition to the I-5 Rose Quarter project based on historical research that lays bare the evil of 1950s freeway builders and implores current leaders from doubling down on their mistakes.
Redlined and deadly: A community in Philadelphia is speaking out about the racist transportation planning that contributed to the death of 25-year-old Avante Reynolds.
Bike to school: New York City’s chief financial officer has proposed a cycling plan for high school students that calls for free bike share membership, and implementation of protected bike lanes to make up for a lack of public transit ridership amid the pandemic.
Tour de Finance: As you enjoy the daily battles of le Tour, learn more about the economics behind the event in this article from The Hustle.
That’ll cost you: Local bike shop owner Erik Tonkin has made waves in the bike industry for his proposal that new bikes should come with an added assembly fee that ranges from $40 to $300 per bike.
E-bike boom is national: The story is the same in every corner of the country: Electric bikes are absolutely flying off shelves — especially when customers want to carry cargo without all the extra exertion.
Infrastructure and race: It’s not just racist police officers that make cycling scarier for Black, Indigenous and people of color — the neighborhoods where they live often have few bike lanes and bike shops.
“Pedestrian infrastructure” myth: Portland-based City Observatory contributor Joe Cortright says much of what transportation agencies label as “pedestrian infrastructure” is often just a way to maintain and expand access for car and truck drivers.
ODOT is terrible, part 3,657: An audit by the Oregon Secretary of State found that ODOT stacked a powerful committee with freight interests and failed to get input from cycling, walking, and disability rights advocates.
Anti-car PR: A UK-based group called Brandalism is running an ad campaign that exposes the climate change, congestion, cultural and safety impacts of car abuse.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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Those building the highway system in the 1950s were “evil”? While it may be true that, 65 years later, some of us may wish they had made different decisions, evil is a pretty strong characterization, and I don’t think it is defensible.
Actually, “evil” fits — at least from the context of Oakland, California. The construction of multiple elevated freeways, and the routing of the BART (rapid transit) lines was done in a manner that deliberately pushed them through majority minority neighborhoods. That pattern has been documented in many other communities as well (Minneapolis, for instance). In Oakland, thousands of moderately priced minority homes were seized through eminent domain and the displaced residents found themselves unable to afford homes in the unaffected parts of the city.
Okay, so were all of them evil?
Were all of what evil? The racist policies and interests that unfairly and disproportionately impacted people of color? If you consider racism an evil force in our society, then I’d say yeah. Evil is as evil does.
“White man’s road through the Black man’s home.” Segregation. Redlining. Bulldozing housing stock (Churches, schools, parks, markets) in black neighborhoods to make it faster to drive to the unbuilt suburbs for white folks. These happed to BLACK neighborhoods by racist white decision makers. Racism is evil. I just defended the use of the word “Evil” in the article.
Not standing up against racism is indefensible.
But not everything is racist, either.
Ok, so not everything is racist (although I don’t think it’d be so over the top to debate that premise), but routing I-5 through the middle of Albina was, however, the result of racist policies. Ergo, racist.
Was it racist or the most direct path between the east side of the Willamette and the bridge across the Columbia River. I don’t think any middle-class neighborhood would have survived that location at that time.
It seems to me unimaginable that when we were building out our interstate system that Portland would not be linked to Seattle, and we already had a bridge across the Columbia (built in 1917). I’m not sure where else the highway might have gone.
When I-5 was located, was there some other more obvious route that planners overlooked in their evil zeal to destroy Albina?
Yes. They should have followed the current route of I-405 and then continued up Hwy 30 and crossed the Columbia near Scappoose, thereby avoiding the PDX airport approach and allowing a very tall bridge so river traffic can pass underneath with no lift.
In fact, this is the only solution to the current Columbia Crossing problem. You read it here first.
Just an historical note: the current Portland International Airport was not constructed until the late ’30s/early ’40s. Previous to that, what commercial air traffic there was operated out of Swan Island Municipal, which was only built in the mid-’20s, and mostly served as a USPS Air Mail facility. Commercial air travel wasn’t even a consideration when the Columbia River bridge was constructed, and I-5 mostly follows the route of US 99. Now, why I-5 was routed along 99E and not 99W is another questions.
The story of Maywood Park may be instructive here; they were able to secure a significant deviation in the alignment of I-205 (as was Lake Oswego), a deviation away from the most obvious, straight-line route. There may have been similar less-disruptive deviations available in the I-5 corridor. I could imagine a straight up conversion of 99W/N Interstate Ave (that already had a wide footprint) to Interstate Highway standards -or- the new I-5 following 99W/N Interstate Ave north and then turning up Greeley (whose lower third has nothing to displace) that would have been nearly as direct as the Minnesota Freeway and would not have required clearing dozens of blocks of lower Albina. But freeway construction projects were often used as an excuse for slum clearance (in this neighborhood and non-black neighborhoods like the South Auditorium URA) in the misbegotten belief that removing the visual signs of blight addresses their underlying causes.
Maywood Park was not ultimately successful in their efforts. I-205 in general cut a pretty wide swath through a well populated part of Portland where the residents were primarily white.
Mmm I think that depends on how we define success here. The section of I-205 between the Banfield and Glenn Jackson was the last to be planned and built. If we take as a given that a freeway was going to happen between those two points, what Maywood Park achieved was about as good as could be hoped: the original alignment would have gone through the middle of the neighborhood (between 99th and 102nd streets) instead of skirting its edge as it does today, only removing houses on one side of one street (Maywood Pl). I highlighted Maywood Park as an example of the state seeking out less-impactful ways to build things (when pressed).
And you’re right about 205’s broad swath. To the credit of the I-5 designers, north of Fremont St, I-5 fits within the envelope of one Portland block. I-205 pretty consistently takes 2-3 blocks of space through east Portland.
And Portland has never had many black people to chase with highway construction or urban renewal. Even so, we got pretty good at targeting those there were with Memorial Coliseum, I-5, Interstate Ave, and Emanuel. But there are enough examples in town of Urban Renewal and highway construction destroying and displacing white communities that saying the primary driver of it all was racism or “white men’s roads through black men’s homes” is far too simple.
Thanks for the link to the article!
I agree with your quote and commentary but I don’t agree with the essay’s ridiculous conclusion that “government” was the sole cause of redlining and mass-displacement. This piece is from a libertarian rag with ties to the extreme right-wing so it’s no surprise that it sought to exclusively blame “government” rather than USAnian settler-colonialism for redlining and mass-eviction. For example, Lisa Rice of the National Fair Housing Alliance discusses how ubiquitous racist housing discrimination has always been a foundational part of American society here:
Racial redlining and mass eviction/deportation are as USAninan as apple pie.
I would also add that free-market libertarians, such as the editors and authors of catalyst, have been thoroughly opposed to policies intended to fight redlining:
PS: I don’t think policies like the CRA go far enough but they do attempt to reduce the harm of the racist status quo.
Ask Jane Jacobs and others who fought Robert Moses’ plan in New York if what he was doing was evil. Ask those who fought the Mount Hood Freeway.
Where I live, ask Black people in Minneapolis, where over 10% of the population – mostly the poorest 10% – were displaced for freeway development. Next door, ask people in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, whose vibrant, main commercial district of mostly Black-owned businesses was bulldozed (completely – Rondo Avenue no longer exists) to build I-94, and whose former residents still hold annual barbecues to celebrate what was lost. Was it completely evil? No. Was there evil in it? You’d better believe it.
Rober Moses was a racist POS who destroyed countless communities but the “sidewlk ballet” of gentrification that Jacobs championed also decimated minority and working class urban communities. The freeway that cut through Albina was very Robert Moses but the decades of brutal gentrification that decimated black communities in N and NE Portland and created the “Alberta Arts District” (and the Williams/Mississippi Hipster districts) was straight out of Jane Jacobs’ playbook.
To be clear, I was not defending Jane Jacobs. Maybe shouldn’t have raised her hame in this context.
I think RIP is “evil” for the same reasons Jane Jacobs might have used to decry the plans of Moses. Nonetheless, I also think that description would be a bit hyperbolic, so I wouldn’t use it. “Evil” does not mean “I believe this land use policy will be harmful to many.” That said, we are living in an era when some seriously claim that starting meetings on time is “white supremacy” so maybe I should be more accepting of using our strongest words to slur anything we don’t like.
Re: the Eric Tonkin article in which he promotes the idea of an assembly fee, he was quoted in the Oregonian just over a week ago saying that his shop makes money off bike sales, not service. https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2020/08/bike-sales-surge-but-portland-shops-arent-all-benefiting.html
Now he’s saying exactly the opposite, that service is the moneymaker, not bike sales (which is what I had assumed would be the case). Am I the only one who’s confused here?
Could be that sales=revenue, but isn’t as profitable as service.
“There’s more: Our mechanics could be working on profitable repairs instead of building bikes. If they optimized our $80 per hour service rate, that’d be $640 of earned labor dollars per day. I’d rather keep at least some of that, versus none.”
He seems to be saying that they aren’t getting paid at all for the bills, unless they specifically charge for it. However, I would think that was built into the margin on the new bikes.
Yes, that’s the part I don’t get. He spends a paragraph talking about how happy he is with his new bike margins (I’m guessing not to annoy the companies he works with), but then says he wants to make more money from selling a new bike to cover the cost of the build. So I don’t know how he can say the margins are great if they’re not doing a good job of also covering the costs of the build.
Build fees need to be built into the price of a bike. If the message out there is that you’re just buying a box of parts and that everything is an add on, it starts bringing into question what real advantages there are to going to a shop which is only going to push more action online — something that only makes the cycling more intimidating for people who don’t have much experience.
People who work on bikes need to earn a decent living just like everyone else. But people realistically will not ride bikes if it costs too much to do so or if the process seems intimidating — especially relative to the experience with cars.
Bikes need way more maintenance than cars do both in terms of frequency and cost per mile in my experience — things like chains, tires, and brake shoes only have a life expectancy of a few thousand miles or so and many other parts need regular replacement while most cars will run for years doing nothing but keeping the fluids and filters clean. My consistent experience is that even doing things myself, I’m out a few hundred per year.
The process is already intimidating enough for people. Making it more so will make cycling appeal that much less.
I commuted into downtown for 10+ years and was probably averaging not more than $150/year on bike parts and repairs over that time. If I had driven a car, it would have cost over $100/month just to park around my office, let alone gas, insurance and maintenance. Given that, I’ve always felt that paying for bike maintenance was a screaming good deal.
It depends on how far you have to ride and what conditions you’re in. Most people probably put only in the low thousands of miles per year and don’t ride in much slop. Your numbers are very achievable for them — but these numbers are low because both the mileage and conditions are modest.
As you add distance, hills, etc — particularly in slop which works like grinding paste on components — the numbers go up quickly because pretty much everything except everything except the frame, fork, seatpost, and handlebars are disposable. The most durable moveable components on a bike are probably the BB and headset, and those are good for maybe 25K. Most stuff is good for far less.
For people who don’t know how to recognize and resolve issues with their bikes, they feel like they’re constantly having hassles and getting hit up for repairs — and they are. Add in weather and a bunch of other stuff inherent to cycling, and it’s not an easy sell to someone who doesn’t find it enjoyable in its own right.
Dude you’re not factoring in cost of insurance and gas plus other fees like few dumb, parking etc. Average all of that plus maintenance and repairs plus cost of your mode of transport over the lifetime of the transport then get back to us.
I know it’s a vast price difference between automobile insurance and bicycle insurance, but are all y’all really riding around with no insurance at all?
Most cyclists don’t have insurance. Most don’t need it.
I’m never going to crash my car, so I don’t need insurance on it either, right?
The whole point of insurance is to cover rare catastrophic events, and there’s always someone out there who’s dumber, more oblivious, and more fragile than you. That annoying yapping Chihuahua doesn’t understand right of way or momentum, and you can bet if he finds his way under your tires that you’ll discover Mr Chonk S Yappy was a world-renowned prize-winning breed worth more than your monthly paycheck. Or if Granny Oblivious steps in front of you, you’ll find out just how high medical expenses have gotten. Don’t forget the possibility that you’re the victim and the other party is un/under-insured, too.
When insurance is all of $100/yr (what I just quoted for a $1500 bike in Portland), I just wouldn’t risk it. I am somewhat alarmed by how many people do seem to ignore or accept the risk.
Try to get a quote on “bike insurance”. If you find one, and it seems really high, try to find a second one. Good luck!
The simple way to be insured as a bike rider is to have basic coverage on your really cheap car.
In the US, pedestrians are killed in bike crashes so rarely that one incident can be national news. Cars? Based on 2019 statistics, eight or nine people have been killed by car drivers since you posted your comment.
I haven’t looked for bicycle-only insurance for years, but I was able to get not one, not two, but THREE quotes about 10 years ago, and none of them were what I considered unreasonably expensive.
The cost of insurance for a bike rider, in proportion to the possible havoc associated with riding a bike, is absurd. Cars have excessive power/weight ratios, huge mass (relative to bikes) and a perception of isolation and safety for the driver. Bikes are safe because the rider is, effectively, nude. On a bike your actual skin is in the game. Bike riders make decisions in a different way than car drivers.
Bicycle insurance is uneconomical because the cost of administration will always exceed the cost of the actual risk.
While insurance by itself changes the cost per mile as does depreciation, driving many trouble free miles for years on a vehicle is the norm rather than the exception. My car has 180K miles on it. It has never needed a repair — only filters and fluids. It still has the factory brake linings and factory clutch on it. I’m pretty sure I can bust 200K before replacing either of those, and that should be at least 5 years away.
On a bike, you need to carry tools if you actually ride much for the simple reason that you’ll need them regularly. And you need to have stuff at home for much more frequent maintenance since there’s always something that needs replacement or adjustment. Anyone who can’t do this is going to find themselves in inconvenient and costly situations on an unpredictable and regular basis.
One other thing to note is that vehicles give you completely different capabilities that change cost calculations dramatically. You either have to pay for other services or forego them entirely if you get around only by bike.
Few people believe more in cycle commuting than me. The shortest one way distance I’ve had in the last 30 years is 7 miles, and I rode 22 miles each way for 10 years where I once went 47 months without driving once. Avoiding over 10K miles of driving each year saves a lot of money. But only a tiny percentage of people can handle what that means in real life. Most people are only willing to ride a few miles in nice conditions. This means low mileage and low financial benefit even if the health benefits are considerable.
One general observation I have from reading this forum is that based on what people complain about here, few understand what most people have to deal with — namely much more distance, much more challenging conditions, and more responsibilities. This contributes to a situation where the appeal to get people cycling has little appeal to those who don’t already ride. The anti car thing is particularly unproductive — it just comes off like the religious nuts who hang outside bars and tell patrons to give up their evil ways.
If you are at 180k having only replaced filters and fluids, you are exceptionally lucky. Most cars will have needed at least suspension and brake work (uh, not to mention tires, which are pretty expensive) by that point. Even the most reliable Honda or Toyota usually will have something unexpected like a motor mount, a wheel bearing or a MAF sensor also replaced by that point.
I don’t disagree with your last paragraph, though. A few people here are a little too purist, if you ask me.
I assumed that service and merch were the profitable parts of a LBS as well so I agree with the build fee. I also believe that bicycles should be built by certified professionals and not someone who just started their first job ever at Target. You can just imagine the tantrum Walmart would throw over a requirement like that. Just look how they carved themselves a hole in the Oregon bike sales tax.
The motorcycle industry already charges destination and setup/prep fees so this isn’t that far fetched and there are bicycles which cost more than motorcycles. However, motorcycle dealers routinely pencil whip their prep work. I left the dealership with nearly flat tires on my last motorcycle purchase. They literally just wheeled the bike off the showroom floor where it sat for who knows how many months.
What an interesting time to be suggesting an assembly fee, as manufacturers (especially high end manufacturers like Canyon) are more than willing to sell d2c, and they’re making it easier and easier for the consumer to properly assemble and adjust the final product.
I didn’t say that. I wrote, “the evil of 1950s freeway builders”…. To say that the result of what they built is in some ways, evil.
I read it that way also. But I wouldn’t have minded if your intent was to call some of those who built them (or at least pushed them through) evil.
The freeways were put in for the benefit of one group at the severe cost of another. I think we’re finding out every day that “evil” comes in all forms, and the people who are doing the most damage to others usually aren’t wild-eyed maniacs, but people quietly working behind the scenes or in the open who have no qualms about the impacts of what they do to others. They’re “doing their job” or “following orders”.
I’m also OK with calling behavior evil after the fact, even if it wasn’t generally viewed that way at the time it happened.
Next time use “building” instead of “builders” so it’s less personal.
The last few times that I had a repair done at a bike shop, I was amazed at what they charged. $40 to adjust a headset and torque the bolts on the stem? It took them maybe ten minutes. The only reason that I took it there was because another shop had improperly installed the headset (also $40), and I did not have headset tools or a torque wrench for the stem bolts. Similar experience when my steerer needed to be cut, and I did not have the right blade ($65 for 15 minutes and the headset came loose a week later). Both at the two top Pro shops in my town. I realized that at least Pro shops are gouging sheeple, who do not know how simple some procedures are. I used to be a saleman in a Pro shop, so have a pretty good idea of how long it takes to do most tasks. I see Basic Tuneups going for $80, which is stuff that would take me 30 minutes max at home (adjust brakes, shifters, lube chain, etc.) We never made lots of money on bike sales (except high end), but the profit was accessories and soft goods marked up 100% minimum and repairs later down the line.
Yeah…I paid for a new press-fit bottom bracket to be installed twice this summer, because apparently the first shop screwed it up and it sounded like a rock tumbler within 300 miles. I am more than happy to pay for something that works for 5+ years in between servicing, and I don’t care to buy the required tools and learn how to replace it when it only comes up infrequently, but with the current turnaround times, paying for work that is done poorly and then waiting a few weeks to get your bike back leaves a bad taste.
The kicker…the shop that did the second BB replacement is a well-known, well-respected shop in town, and I have more noise than I would expect even on the brand new, freshly replaced BB that they installed. 🙁
Press fit BB noise is often caused by poor frame tolerances – anything a mechanic does to try to cut down on the noise is a band-aid at best. Blame poor QA/QC at the factory.
press fit BB are crap, glad to finally see some of the bigger bike companies go back to threaded
dan, was it by any chance a BB30? I’ve got one of those in my road bike and I think they’re sort of famously noise-prone. Why couldn’t we just stick with threaded BB’s, am I right??
It is in fact a BB30, in a Cannondale Caad10. The thing is, the original BB when I bought the bike had no issues, but both replacements have been problematic. I bought it at Western Bike Works, and unfortunately they no longer offer service.
A mechanic told me there is a threaded converter but it would require new chainrings, so I didn’t get into the details, but maybe when it’s time for new chainrings, I’ll make that switch. Totally agree that threaded BBs were a “not broke, don’t fix” solution.
Caad10, same here!
Opposite experience here. I’ve had a few recent shop visits with zero charges, including a tricky disc brake adjustment.
I’ll admit a big part of that is having a relationship with your local bike shop, in my case Seven Corners Cycle. Buy some things here and there, drop in and say hi once in a while, get some free work done (and even route advice one time). The perks of any establishment recognizing your loyalty over time.
Thumbs up for Seven Corners, and I totally agree about the benefits – in terms of both perks and general pleasantness – of building up a rapport with the LBS of your choice.
Second pair of thumbs for Seven Corners. I go well out of my way these days to give them my business when my bike has needs I can’t easily resolve myself.
More and more people are buying those large margin items online. You can’t buy labor online.
Also, you are paying for overhead and experience.
I bought a beautiful DiNucci frame at Sellwood Cycle and had them assemble it with an old Campy grupo. Work took a while and I joked that Eric was funding a boat purchase from my spending. Of course he was not buying a boat. Their mechanics did excellent work and delivered a tight and right bike. Good bikes are expensive and mechanics skilled in their care should be paid for their expertise. Their time has value And we should not expect it for free.
Not quite sure how you think this works in a perfect world. What do you think those things should cost?
Direct labor isn’t the only cost. There’s payroll taxes, health insurance, rent, utilities, insurance, advertising, etc. Those costs need to be covered. They also have the tools you don’t have. And they have to pay people to be around for people to come into the shop, not just when they’re busy with repairs.
Sounds like you’ve got a lot of knowledge. Most people don’t have that expertise, so are purchasing the expertise as well. Feel free to buy the tools and do it at home.
“Feel free to buy the tools and do it at home.”
I have. $3,000 in tools accumulated over 30 years plus $5,000 in spare parts, occupying half my tiny living room (I now refer to it as my “garage”.) I like working on my bikes, but I freely admit having taken 3 years once to fix a spoke on a wheel. The bikes, tools, and parts, while efficiently stored, occupy a significant portion of my living space space, dirtying my carpet and stinking my air, which I pay a monthly rent on x 30 years = a lot of money. Overall financially I’d have been better off paying a bike shop to do it. Then there’s security, dealing with the landlord, friends wanting to borrow tools and keeping them or wrecking them, tool maintenance, tools use once but never again, obsolescent parts, etc. On the other hand, there’s a certain satisfaction on working on my own machines.
I have come across good bike shops with great mechanics. But I’ve also come across reputable bike shops with deadly terrible mechanics that permanently ruined my bike frames or stole my rare parts. It’s a crap shoot, even in Portland, with the high turn-over in staff at some shops.
I do everything on my own bikes except wheelbuilding and headset installation (yes, I know I could do that easily, just haven’t) and the sum total of my bike tools fits in a SMALL toolbox. That’s excepting the tire pump, but of course you need one of those even if you have a shop do all of your work.
Tonkin and the mechanics at Sellwood are topnotch, truly. Their services are worth every penny.
That’ll cost you: Sellwood Cycle is setting themselves up for a bait-and-switch lawsuit. They can’t sell you a new Kona without assembly. They have to sell you the bike at their advertised cost. If you get to the register and now it’s $100 more for a service that you don’t want then you’ve got some explaining to do to the Oregon Department of Justice.
Include the assembly in the final cost just like everybody else does.
“Pedestrian infrastructure” myth: Exactly. We don’t need special places to walk or ride, we need motor vehicle drivers to stop killing us. The only way they want to manage that is by putting walkers and riders out of the way of the dangerous machines. They don’t vote to inconvenience themselves for the safety of others.
Joe Cortright makes a great point about how “pedestrian infrastructure” often works against the interests of actual pedestrians, specifically taking them well out of their way to get around roads filled with speeding cars.
But it’s worth noting that the pedestrian overpasses with their hundreds of yards of snaking approach ramps are a result of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. The bridges *can* be constructed with stairs but often aren’t, and of course no one would ever want to build infrastructure that disabled folks can’t access.
The root cause of the problem, of course, is having to retrofit the infrastructure and cram ped and bike facilities into spaces that weren’t designed for them. As Winston Churchill so memorably said:
“Never never NEVER should any road ever again be constructed without facilities for non-motorized travel!”
Agree. I’m a strong proponent of “pedestrian infrastructure” where it makes sense, but I do think Joe makes a compelling argument. It really is about place.
His closing comments, which follow, also give me reason to reconsider my support for Metro’s upcoming ballot measure: “And that, it a nutshell, is one of the big problems with Portland Metro’s proposed $5 billion transportation ballot measure. It proposes spending lots of money on “pedestrian” improvements to a series of highway corridors, the multi-lane, car-dominated arterials that slice through the region. They are undoubtedly a safety menace. But money for wider sidewalks, better illuminated crosswalks, and even grade separated crossings like those shown above won’t do much, if anything to make these areas or the region more walkable, because in the end, these corridors are still dedicated to moving lots of cars as fast as possible. If the region really wants to promote walkability, it needs to focus on building places, especially town centers and main streets, where car traffic is shunted or shunned, and people on foot or on bikes are the dominant and prioritized use. Its about place—not “infrastructure.”
I find it pretty sad that after everyone was posting their belief that #BlackLivesMatter not so long ago we are arguing about project details and putting so much weight to what Joe Cortright says. The Metro package was put together by perhaps the largest coalition of people of color and non-usual suspects ever for a transportation initiative. I think it’s (past) time for us to step back a bit and support the work of these coalition members and the people they represent. They are saying this package is what they want and that’s good enough for me. It’s not perfect…. but Black, Indigenous and people of color are saying they need this stuff ASAP to make their lives better and I we need to honor that.
My criteria for supporting this (and most transportation projects going forward) is how it impacts the climate. That is far more important to me that whether a non-profit that claims to represent a certain demographic group supports it (or not).
Since there are no non-profits that represent me, I’m skeptical about claims that they somehow represent other people who may have had no say in staking out their policy positions.
If this project is a clear win for the climate, I’m voting aye.
I was peripherally involved in some T2020 discussions several months ago and was an enthusiastic supporter. However, I’ve been out of the loop recently (my mother died) so I’m now striving to catch up.
Fair points. Please see my comments to Kitty below. It’s likely I’ll vote yes.
I’m reading this article now.
The idea that a vote against this proposal indicates a lack of support for the resources and funding that PAALF, Verde, APANO, NAYA and others fought for is a false binary. I vehemently support increasing the small amount of spending this bond allocates to transportation equity and non-market housing while also vehemently opposing a 20 year regional committment to a transportation bond that, by Metro’s own admission, does almost nothing to reduce transportation-associated GHG emissions.
–Hilda Nakabuye, Ugandan Youth Climate Activist
More excerpts from her speach at the failed COP25 climate conference:
A few bits and pieces to add to Alan’s piece on I-5.
Portland’s first urban renewal project, South Auditorium, was in close in South Portland, demolishing a largely Italian, Jewish and Gipsy neighborhood, though I recall playing with a African-American boy in Lair Hill park when I was about 8 years old. So it was a mixed, but poor neighborhood.
City Council voted to build the Memorial Coliseum there in the early 50’s; this was challenged by eastsiders and referred to voters. The current site was selected by that vote, and that became the first assault on the Afican-American community. Parking lots at the east end of the Broadway Bridge replaced A-A homes on a residential street grid.
I-5 came next. Its route, as well as I-405’s through Goose Hollow, was based on the work of Robert Moses (yes, the same one who pushed the Cross Bronx Expressway through that Borough!) who was hired around 1940 to “solve Portland’s transportation problems.” The ramps on the west end of the Ross Island bridge, which trashed what was left of South Portland, were also Moses inspired. Ironically, the head of the OR Highway Commission, Glenn Jackson, recognized right away that the Marquam Bridge and East Bank Freeway were the wrong design in the wrong place. Goose Hollow was the “PSU student ghetto” before it was obliterated for I-405. South Portland, Goose Hollow and Albina had one thing in common…these were homes to poor folks of all kinds.
The third chapter was the Emmanuel Hospital expansion, a CoP urban renewal project based on the promise (or prospect? I am not sure) of an expanded Veterans Hospital being located there. Pill Hill won that prize, so blocks are still empty today, but Abina would have been a much better, more accessible location for the Vet’s Hospital! Something can be said for Emmanuel’s staying in N. Portland…some good jobs for local folks, etc. St. Vincent’s moved from NW in the 60’s to Beaverton…a part of the flight to the suburbs of those days.
No question freeways were and continue to be an assault on city residents, especially on those living within a quarter mile or so who are subjected to breathing these “toxic rivers” that save suburban drivers five minutes or so. They should all be de-commissioned.
That’s great info to have. Also, in regard to Albina, and Eliot, Emmanuel wiped out several blocks of Eliot that ended up being vacant land and parking lots for years. It was a much larger impact than it had to be.
MLK Jr. Boulevard’s medians from the 70s were similarly horrible to Eliot and northward. Businesses there that served the neighborhood were already having some problems, and the medians killed them off by eliminating parking, speeding up traffic, removing turns…It was purely a project to move commuters and trucks through the area at the expense of people who lived there. When the push started several years ago to remove some medians and add some parking, ODOT and PBOT were vehemently opposed.
Eliot also was the first choice for locating every sort of half-way house, etc. that wealthier neighborhoods didn’t want. The Eliot article is excellent but could have gone even further in regard to what Eliot has been through.
I was trying to do a limited article about I-5 specifically. Yes, the saga of Eliot has been well-documented in many places, but for this article I was trying to look at I-5 specifically. Thanks for adding this context for bikeportlanders who may not have heard all of this before.
Since you posted here yourself, then I can say directly–great job.