This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Portland Cycling Worlds, the exciting effort to bring the UCI World Championships to Portland! Wear their new jersey to support the bid.
Welcome to the week.
Here are the most notable items BikePortland readers and editors came across in the past seven days…
Paris plans for people, not petrol: The latest sign of transformation on the streets of Paris came via an announcement this week that Mayor Anne Hidalgo has a plan to reduce car traffic through the city center by as much as 55%.
Clarion call for Columbia crossing competence: Former Metro President David Bragdon makes the case that the “very same techniques of bamboozlement” by the very same actors are once again at play with the Interstate Bridge Replacement project (a.k.a. CRC 2.0).
If California can do it: In what’s being hailed as a major momentum boost for freeway fighters in Portland, California’s DOT leader has called for a pause on a $6 billion freeway expansion project.
As go women, so goes cycling: Streetsblog breaks down new research on how the share of women who cycle in a city is a key signifier of how many people cycle overall.
Down with coal rollers: The EPA has filed a 12-count criminal indictment against a car and truck customization shop in Ridgefield, Washington (about 17 miles north of Portland) that has allegedly made illegal changes to vehicle emissions systems to allow for exhaust to belch out of tailpipes in what’s known as “rolling coal.”
Zine library on wheels: Portland author and illustrator Sarah Mirk is building a book bike that she plans to lend out to zine makers to peddle their wares. Mirk will use one of the book bikes from Portland-based Icicle Tricycle that we profiled back in January.
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If we could convene a jury from a generation or so in the future, what kind of sentence would they hand down to the monster truck, coal rolling, polluter criminals in Clark County? I have a feeling it would be a lot more than the fines or 2-5 year jail term the EPA is considering now.
BikeNinja, yes that would be an interesting session…AND I hope you don’t think that “polluter criminals” only live (and device defeat) in Clark County.
Actually there may be many more south of the Columbia River just due to larger population (and vehicle) base there AND thus companies installing diesel defeat devices. Perhaps the bigger question is WHY HAS OREGON DEQ NOT FINED ANY similar businesses down in Oregon. (I could not find any listed on line.)
I hope perhaps its it that the DEQ system is still catching diesel defeat devices vs. Washington State that has closed all of its emissions check stations in 2020?!
The David Bragdon article should be required reading for everyone in Oregon – especially anyone in a leadership position. Bragdon makes ODOT’s incompetence and malfeasance clear for everyone to see.
BTW, this is my last post on BP – I’m stepping away for a while. It has become clear that the BP comments are being moderated in a way that creates a false and stilted conversation – like you have to get your comment past the censor and then if it meets JM’s vague “standards,” your thoughts will be represented. I’m somewhat conflicted about leaving for this reason, since I believe that online commenting must be moderated in some fashion. But there are other ways to moderate online discussion, which I and others have suggested, but JM clearly isn’t interested. Now he finds himself in a place where he’s not doing it well, in my view.
My other big reason for leaving is that I think I have mistaken commenting on BP with more substantive activism. It has also become clear to me – especially with comments published, or not, according to some whimsical, highly personal algorithm – that commenting on BP might put a few pennies in JM’s pocket but doesn’t do much else. Why should someone take the time to generate a thoughtful post, in hopes that it may move the needle to improve cycling in Portland, when the post goes in the trash can? Sorry, but there must be better ways to advocate for improvements in cycling in Portland and I will now seek them.
Fred, I think you are right that commenting on BP alone is not sufficient activism, I have been feeling the same lately too. I think BP is a wonderful way to be notified of when to send emails or call electeds, but I think there are plenty of people on here who are looking for other ways to make a bigger impact too. Anyone here have any suggestions? Has anyone ever written a guide to bike activism in Portland? Fred, report back everyone once in a while and let us know what you find!
In the past BP has had several useful discussions about activism methods and which groups are good at what. Everyone has their own comfort levels of what they are willing to do or have time to do it. If one method doesn’t work, it may simply be bad timing; try something different.
I did bike activism for years on my own, but I got far better results working with other activists as a team or in unholy alliances. I learned a lot from both bike and non-bike activists too. Learning from failure is important, both your own and of others. The rare successes can be really satisfying.
You’re right, comments are not activism.
Now that you’ve made a speech you’ll need a new name…
You can always just shout at people from a street corner. That seems to work for some people.
Sorry if it’s not clear what BP is. This is a news site. We are not a nonprofit (we are actively dropping “.org” from all our materials and trying to get the domain name changed) and our focus has always been on covering the bike scene. Sometimes we will directly join calls to action and urge people to do activism-related things… But ultimately this site is here to be a neutral observer of all things bicycle and transportation in Portland.
And just to clarify: Comments on BP are absolutely activism in some respects: They are read by influential people who make decisions and they are a source of education sort of like tiny digital leaflets at a rally or protest.
Perhaps I should do a post about this because I think you are not the only one who has a mistaken understanding of what the hell this site is all about.
I have thought long and hard about this and my view is that our community needs an independent source of news and information… One that has a wide purview that can amplify everything from cool bike rides and social trends, to more serious things like tragedy and politics.
“We don’t make the activism, we make the activism better” — that’s a saying I like because it gets to what we do: We amplify existing activism efforts and our coverage creates opportunities for activism.
All this being said, I struggle with the fact that Portland has not had the type of activism around bicycling/transportation that I feel we need and we haven’t had it for many years and it’s having a negative impact on progress. It is easy to criticize this stuff.. Much harder to actually do it! I have chosen to focus on what I do best and that I believe is special and unique and very valuable: Being that independent news source that is open to all and here to uplift important voices and act as something of a guide to the community and issues.
As for moderation… Sorry you don’t approve of the methods. Perhaps you will reconsider leaving. I value your inputs. Thanks.
You are not a neutral observer: 1) You have a very clear point of view about the role of bikes in Portland’s transportation system (which I think is appropriate given the nature of the site); and 2) You have a less clear but pretty obvious set of political views that you bring to regulating what other people say on this platform. It’s your right, of course, but it is frustrating to have comments withheld for reasons that have no apparent connection to your stated policies (civil tone, mutual respect, etc.)
You could address this problem by having written standards so everyone knew what is acceptable and what isn’t, and could adjust their behavior and expectations accordingly.
Regulating the speech of others may placate folks on Twitter, but I think it could also undermine the overall credibility of this site in the eyes of decision makers looking here for input/reaction to some policy or proposal.
I am neutral and independent, according to my definition. What I mean in this context is that I am not beholden to any board of directors, or grants or advertisers or contracts or managers or whatever. I can look out at the entire scene and see things for what they are and I can speak and write accordingly.
The only thing I am accountable to is the community. I think that’s a good thing.
Obviously I have biases and run this site with bias. That’s because I’m human. And yea I have political beliefs. And yes those influence how I make every decision. But I’m well aware of my biases and work hard to make sure different perspectives can be heard and respected.
This makes you an independent observer, not a neutral one. I think you’ll keep getting confusion if you continue to use the former word.
ok ok… independent. Not neutral.
In my view, “neutral” isn’t meaningful in describing media, but “independent” definitely is. And your independence is what separates Bikeportland from everyone else.
Per the Diesel Defeat Device Fines:
US EPA reminds us: “If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or is tampering with emissions controls, tell EPA by writing to email@example.com.”
Nice tip, thanks. My coal rolling neighbor just got a new tail pipe that is aimed upwards and out to the right, which he uses to blast cyclists and people on sidewalks, right in the face. It also makes a lot of noise. Are these things illegal in Oregon? Truck is also extra wide, so wide he cant fit through the drive through at McDonalds without riding the curb, which is amusing but not illegal if it is registered as a commercial vehicle and does not cause property damage. His truck definetely violates federal law in a couple of ways, which I might ignore if he didnt intentionally assault people every time he drives.
Anybody else notice that motorcycle lane-splitting slipped through session and is sitting on Kate Brown’s desk? Totally took me by surprise.
Good long overdue, Hope she signs it.