Podcast: Transportation Commissioner Mingus Mapps

For our latest episode, I rode down to City Hall and recorded an interview with Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps (luckily I only got rained on during my way home). Mapps has served as one of Portland’s five council members since 2020, and was recently named the commissioner-in-charge of the transportation bureau.

Mapps is a graduate of Reed College, he has a PhD in government from Cornell and is a former political science professor. Prior to ousting former Commissioner Chloe Eudaly from her seat in 2019, Mapps worked for the City of Portland’s Office of Civic Life.

Commissioner Mapps and I covered a lot of ground in this interview. We talked about the type of person he’s looking to hire as the next director of PBOT, how he thinks transportation policy and projects can help revitalize Portland, why he thinks the 2030 bike plan is outdated, his rationale for wanting more police officers on Portland streets, his position on automated enforcement cameras, the I-5 Rose Quarter project, and much more.

Listen to the full episode in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts. An edited version of our conversation is below…

Mingus Mapps in his City Hall office, Friday March 3rd. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

What’s it been like being thrust into being the leader of the transportation bureau over the last three months?

Oh, my gosh, I don’t even think it’s been three months. I think it’s been two months and three days. And I’ll tell you in that time. The director of the Bureau who was very much looking forward to working with, resigned. We had a strike. And we had the second largest snowstorm, I think of the past 50 years. So it has been and an enormously hectic but exciting time. I’ve seen the bureau step up to a number of different challenges in a way that really makes me proud to be part of this team. And in addition to those sort of day-to-day operational things, Portland and Oregon is going through some really fascinating and important conversations about what the future of transportation infrastructure looks like. So it’s an incredibly exciting time to be here.

Portland has been through a lot in the past few years, and we are often lauded for our legacy of smart transportation and urban planning decisions — yet at at time we need those type of decisions most, it seems to me like those issues are on the backburner in City Hall. Do you think transportation infrastructure and urban planning policies should play a big role in Portland’s revitalization?

I don’t know if I can comment on the importance of transportation receding from City Hall in recent years, but it’s incredibly important to me. And I can tell you, I get to sit on a lot of planning tables and a lot of budget tables and moving forward, transportation is going to be core to the city’s revitalization, and the state’s revitalization and what the future of our community looks like. It’s not just about moving vehicles back and forth. It’s about how we live. I think we’re at the precipice of a new and exciting chapter in transportation, where infrastructure is going to emphasize cars less emphasize public transportation, biking and walking. I’ll also tell you, a lot of the old models for funding transportation infrastructure have become obsolete, which is both a crisis but it also is an opportunity to reimagine how we go about supporting infrastructure. And frankly, that’s kind of a good thing, because our old systems for funding infrastructure in the transportation realm have not served us well. So I’m very psyched about the 21st century.

When it comes to transportation, what is something we are not doing well in Portland?

As the guy where the buck stops on our transportation infrastructure, I’m horrified and upset about the number of traffic deaths we see out there. You know, literally driving a vehicle is a scary experience. And I think driving a bicycle in Portland is often a scary experience. And I will tell you, we need to manage this better as we head into what I expect to be a couple of decades of growth, where we have more people, you know, in a confined space. This won’t work unless we reimagine how we help people get to where they want to go.

What qualities are you looking for in the next leader of PBOT?

We need both a visionary leader who can help reinvent our our transportation infrastructure for the 21st century, and at the same time, this person needs to be able to help PBOT navigate the transition to a new form of government. My bureau directors — from water, environmental services and PBOT — literally sit around the same table that you and I are sitting at and we talk about how we can work together better, where we want the at these bureaus to look like as we move to a new form of government. You know, questions as radical is, you know, ‘Are these going to be separate bureaus three years from now? Five years from now? So you need someone who can navigate all of those changes. At the same time at PBOT, you know, over the next five years, we have a structural $60 billion deficit. Our next PBOT director needs to imagine and build the roads and sidewalks and bike lanes of the future, maintain the 1000s of miles of infrastructure — and you need to do it as your budgets are at least for the short term, shrinking.

Has anyone at PBOT briefed you about bicycling or the 2030 Bike Plan?

We haven’t had a formal briefing on it yet. It is definitely coming up. PBOT is an enormously large and complex organization. We haven’t gotten to the bike plan yet, but it’s literally on our list. And I will tell you, I’m a reader and fan of BikePortland, so I’m aware of the history here. I’m aware that we are not achieving our goals. And I’m committed to actually making Portland a better and safer place for people to bike.

The decline in bike ridership started in 2014 and it’s been flat or going down since then. From your perspective, do you think that’s a problem? And what what should we be doing about it?

I certainly want to diversify the way the ways in which people get to where they want to go… we definitely want to increase the amount of miles that people commute in Portland on bike, I think part of that means infrastructure, for sure. I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done here. And frankly, one of the things I hope I can at least launch in the two years I have left on this council is to revisit the bike plan to see where we could do better. That bike plan was put together under Mayor Sam Adams at a time when Portland was very different and I think a lot of those assumptions that we had then are just different.

Do you think it’s time to invest more public funds into our bike share system?

We’re in conversations around how to get more bikes and better bikes out there. I’m hopeful that those conversations will bear fruit.

How would you respond to someone who is irate about a traffic diverter near their home or a business owner mad about parking removal?

Over my time at as Commissioner of PBOT I fully expect to piss off people who wish that there were no bikes on their streets. And I fully expect that the bike community will hold me accountable for not building enough bike lanes — it just has to be a balance. And what we’re trying to do is optimize the infrastructure we build and the culture that we build. We’re trying to optimize the trade-offs that we have to confront.

Should there be space for cycling on 82nd Avenue?

I’d have to take a look at what the plans there are. I think that we’re definitely looking at bike lanes in that space, or at least I believe we’re looking at bike lanes in that space. And, you know, we’ll be in conversation with the community about figuring out what the right solutions for the folks who live along that street.

How would you characterize PBOT’s relationship to the Rose Quarter freeway expansion project?

I think it’s a really exciting project. You know, it’s represents an opportunity to reimagine that neighborhood to a large degree. So this is not just about roads, it’s not just about moving cars, it’s about moving people and an opportunity to do a lot of — I hope — equitable economic development… This is a real opportunity to lay the infrastructure that we need to make this a vibrant neighborhood. So we’re very excited about the concept of it.

But do you have trust that ODOT can actually pull that off?

I would I would reframe the way this discussion is playing out. There is a robust discussion happening right now, between stakeholders about what this infrastructure looks like. ODOT because of their mission, has a particular perspective. But ODOT is not the only player at the table. The City of Portland cares about this a lot. Local businesses care about this a lot. Albina Vision cares about it a lot. The Trail Blazers care about it a lot. We’re all in conversation trying to figure out how to make this project work. And frankly, this is a top priority to figure out how to make this space work for everybody.

What is your assessment is of where PBOT is right now in their relationship to the Portland Police Bureau and enforcement of traffic laws?

I believe it’s time… I think the city needs to step up its traffic enforcement work. In the last five years, traffic deaths in Portland have roughly doubled. It’s not like our infrastructure has gotten dramatically worse during that time. Frankly, it’s not really even like, you know, the amount of car traffic on the roads has dramatically increased. What has increased or changed during this time is the fact that we got out of the business of traffic enforcement.

So you want more police on the street enforcing traffic laws?

Yeah. I think I can say that. Traffic deaths have increased dramatically. I think it also contributes to a broad sense of Portland being a lawless place. You know, every day I see someone run a red light in Portland, which is kind of remarkable. And I don’t think I’d seen that before.

Are you a fan of automated cameras? And can you help us understand why there aren’t more of them?

Oh, absolutely. I am a fan. You will see more of them in the next two years. Frankly, I believe in the next year, I will double the number of traffic cameras and speed cams that we have out there right now. And frankly, you would see more, but the bottleneck here has to do with the supplier of the cameras, we are not able to find a contractor who could consistently provide the service at the volume that we need it.

When it comes to transportation in Portland, what policy or project do you want your tenure to be remembered?

I’m working towards building greener transportation infrastructure. I’m working towards building a more equitable transportation infrastructure. And I’m working on providing and establishing a stable and sustainable financial model for funding.


Listen to the full episode in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can see past episodes at BikePortland.org/podcast.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago

I strongly dislike Mapps and this interview is really a good view of why. He manages to avoid saying anything of substance but somehow still sounding like he is answering the question.

When asked about what we aren’t doing well, Mapps goes on about how scary the roads and how high the traffic deaths are. That’s a non-answer but it sounds good. I don’t think Mapps has much domain knowledge about transportation to say what parts of the system aren’t working well.

When asked about whether more public funds should be invested in biking, he responded he’s looking at “how to get more bikes and better bikes out there.”. It’s pure political gobbedlygook.

Of course, he is a good politician, so I reckon he’s going to fail upward. I’m not sure if he still wants to be mayor because he wont has much power after his failure to obstruct changing our governmental structure. Mapps is probably eying a Senate or House seat I bet.

And Mingus, I guess you’ll see this as you are a reader, this:

“My bureau directors — from water, environmental services and PBOT — literally sit around the same table that you and I are sitting at and we talk about how we can work together better, where we want the at these bureaus to look like as we move to a new form of government.”

is the wrong way. Asking executives who spend all their time getting face time with other executives, who in turn spend all their time getting face time with other executives, is not going to provide any insight into how to improve PBOT or the city generally. You worked there, you know how bad the leadership is. If you want to get insight, talk to people who actually provide value to the taxpayers, not someone who spends eight hours in meetings a day.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Mapps is really good at doing nothing and acting like he’s onto something.
His term so far is to be so bland that he stands out because epic failures like Dan Ryan and Ted Wheeler are so terrible at their jobs that just showing up and not doing anything appears to be a Huge improvement…..so props to him for recognizing that at least.
He may go far in Oregon politics as name recognition seems to be about 90% of the qualification if he just sticks around and manages to keep doing nothing as well as he does nothing now.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

I’m absolutely fine with Mapps being a skilled politician. But unfortunately he is also the operational director of PBOT. He is not a transportation professional and knows as much about transportation as you or I (maybe a lot less), and he wasn’t thinking about transportation three months ago. Yet here he is – in charge of a multi-million-dollar budget and hundreds of employees. Soon he’ll pick the PBOT director based on criteria he doesn’t really understand.

It’s not his fault – it’s the fault of Portland’s crazy commission-form of gov’t. 2025 can’t come soon enough, but even then it will take many years to undo the damage caused by pre-2025 dysfunction.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

Mapps is not operational director of PBOT: Tara Wasiak is.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Watts, you continue to impress me with your lack of nuance. Mapps is the ACTUAL person in charge of PBOT. He is the *elected* leader of a bureau who provides day-to-day direction to people in the bureau. No elected leader should ever have such direct control.

Have you forgotten how Chloe Eudaly and Jo Ann Hardesty had their hands in actual operational decisions? So does Mapps. Good thing this arrangement will end in 2025.

soren
soren
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

No elected leader should ever have such direct control.

Goddess forbid that an “unvarnished” left-leaning elected councillor start directing unelected bureaucrats to stop being regressive roadblocks to less racism, less inequality, less GHG emissions in our community.

As someone who is not a fan of USAnian electoralism it’s fascinating how many Portland liberals/libertarians now want to replace electoralism with something that resembles an authoritarian technocracy.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

“provides day-to-day direction to people in the bureau.”

Mapps doesn’t have time to provide day to day direction at any bureau. He sets general policy within the budgetary and policy limits set by council, and the bureau leadership figures it out. He also works with leadership to deal with political issues.

Eudaly was a problem at OCCL not because she messed with operational details, but because she hired venal leadership. Her problem at PBOT was mostly that she did too little. Hardesty too.

I don’t know where you think our politicians get the time to manage daily operations at numerous complex bureaus while also conducting council business and doing the normal stuff politicians do.

A city manager is going to have even less time to devote to each bureau, which will give leaders more autonomy and less supervision.

Adam
Adam
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Kotek’s interview with Dave Miller is also a study in the vanilla-sounding non-answer answer. This skill is called “placation,” and its political art craft 101. Politicians placate to avoid boxing themselves into potentially unpopular policy commitments or even just conveying the wrong vibe around a contentious issue, like transportation, especially if they do not know the lay of the land yet.

Believe it or not, your average Bike Portland nerd, including myself, probably has items on their policy wishlist that, while well-grounded, would probably prove unpopular with the masses. *Cough – congestion pricing!* Better to have politicians that know they at least have to give voters like us lip-service than ones who feel they benefit from openly siding against bikes and pedestrians in the War on Cars.

The 2030 Bike Plan is a good example of a niche policy proposal beloved by some, but off the radar for most. Advocates, like BPA, er the Street Trust, should have done more to make the Bike Plan something any dunce politician would want to embrace, but if there was a solid and sustained effort made by advocates to expand the popularity and political attractiveness of the plan, I missed it. Just a lot of sitting on laurels.

And expecting any given commissioner to have “domain knowledge” over their assigned bureaus is just one way to set yourself up for disappointment time and again. Who was the last PBOT commissioner with strong “domain knowledge” of transportation? Charlie Hales? Does anyone think his mayoralty has aged well? This circus of bureau assignments is one of the good reasons Portland is reforming away from the commission form of governance.

Mapps will probably be about as successful as Eudaly and Hardesty in the meantime.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam

Comment of the week. Excellent point about placation. Politicians who make unvarnished statements (think Eudaly and Hardesty) are never successful, but I still hope for some level of substance and less placation. I agree that Kotek is a master of placation and Mapps isn’t far behind.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor

That was a wonderful interview, thank you so much to both Jonathan and Commissioner Mapps.

I have a glimmer of optimism, see a tiny light at the end of a decades-long tunnel. A lot of very capable people at the city are working their tails off, and I think that we are going to be in a better place in four years than we are right now.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

That’s not the impression I left with. Did you not hear the part about funding for PBOT falling off a cliff? We complain now about PBOT not maintaining cycling infrastructure – can’t even sweep the damn bike lanes! Mapps said PBOT will cut staff next year, so how will that situation improve cycling in Portland?

Steven Smith
Steven Smith
1 year ago

Redoing the bike plan is an interesting idea. But, re-doing it just because this is a “different city” than when the plan was created / adopted is a meaningless reason. It’s a good thing to say when you want to do something but don’t know what to do, but it doesn’t really make sense. This is why I dislike our Commission government system. We put a person in charge of an agency and they are expected to / think they should/do know everything when in reality they know very little. Then they come up with nonsensical statements like: “it’s different now than it was ten years ago so we have to re-do our plan”.

It’s not really that difficult. Look at what cycling cities around the world are doing: building high quality, connected networks; doing what they can to discourage and restrict car use (by removing parking and otherwise making it more expensive and less convenient to drive), providing lots of bike parking. All those things are permitted and encouraged in the current plan.

Sure, maybe develop a strategic plan to emphasize some elements over others, but there doesn’t really seem to be anything missing from the plan. What is missing, overall? Political will.

That he’s two months into the job and hasn’t been briefed on bicycling says a lot about where the city is in regard to transportation.

X
X
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Smith

The primary value of a new bike plan would be to put with the 2030 plan if the leg of your desk happened to be broken.

Josh G
Josh G
1 year ago

The Marine Dr. speed camera at NE 33rd has been missing since around New Years when a car took out the giant utility pole it was on. Multiple street lights are out in the area as well.

maxD
maxD
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh G

I first reported the complete lack of street lights (7 or 8 cobra-head lights are out) along Better Naito and under the Steel Bridge. I have reported at 3 times, the last I time I reached out Mapps’ office. Still no lights- it is VERY dark

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  maxD

People are stealing the copper, right? I’ve noticed lights out in areas that seem to have a lot of illegal activities going on. Can’t be a coincidence.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

How about repealing Measure 110 so that Oregon is no longer a destination for addicts? It would be a start.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

How about repealing Measure 110 so that Oregon is no longer a destination for addicts? It would be a star

Oregon has been a destination for addicts for 40 years. Things are getting better in literally every city in the Willamette Valley besides Portland. Eugene is doing well, Lake Oswego is doing well.

What makes Portland a destination specifically is that we allow a total free for all. Why wouldn’t you come here if you’re an addict? We’ll let you camp wherever, steal whatever, and will make sure you have camping supplies and food.

Criminalizing a victimless crime is not a solution. Why don’t we focus on real crimes first.

maxD
maxD
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Maybe it is copper thieves. PBOT eventually claimed they couldn’t access the area to make the repair because people were camped there. A multi-block area is completely dark for nearly 6 months now, but there is no urgency to DO anything about it. Basic safety needs to be priority.

wallis
wallis
1 year ago

I found the interview interesting, particularly the comment about “expecting to see a couple of decades of growth” followed by a discussion of funding challenges. Growth has stopped in America, When the public, their elected officials, and their bureaucracies (PBOT) face up to the reality of no-growth, they will be forced to do what makes financial sense – restructure our antiquated transportation system to make walking and biking safer and more convenient than driving a car.

soren
soren
1 year ago
Reply to  wallis

face up to the reality of no-growth

Economic “growth” is a made up concept just like money or GDP. the idea that the climate crisis can only be address by negative “growth” (whatever that means) is just another form of doomerism.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 year ago

Go Mapps go! What breath of fresh air in such a dysfunctional city government. Pro-bikes, pro-traffic enforcement, pro-speed cameras. I love this guy!

X
X
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

Twice as many speed cameras? I don’t know, maybe if you moved them every night. Put them in bunches on one route, them scattered them all over town. Make people feel like they are everywhere.

I’d have the PPB in marked cars stroll through known dangerous areas* at 2 mph under the limit, at 2 block intervals, holding up for yellow lights. Make people sweat a little. Make them think. Some folks won’t pass a police car so you’ve got level three traffic calming right there.

Also, put GPS on all city vehicles. Audit their speed. If they’re accelerating fast or making hard stops, retrain them. The city has enough vehicles moving around to make a difference in traffic behavior.

*The places where people have been dieing, as opposed as to I-5 N.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  X

We need to have enough of them around the city that PBOT can start installing dummy camera boxes that look real but don’t actually function. Drivers need to fear that they could get a ticket at any moment for going 10+ over the limit.

Serenity
Serenity
1 year ago

“…any time we need to rip up a road to install new water infrastructure, or sewer infrastructure, we’re using that as an opportunity to, ah, look at whether or not we can afford actually to fix the road, too…”

Hm. OK, then….

Daniel Reimer
1 year ago

From this months SWNI newsletter:

On February 10 Hillsdale NA had a very successful walkabout with City Commissioner Mingus Mapps to recap the situation with the PBOT’s Rose Lane Bus initiative, which is apparently continuing to create the difficulties we said it would instead of helping our neighborhood. Commissioner Mapps has promised to help resolve this issue.

“Over my time at as Commissioner of PBOT I fully expect to piss off people who wish that there were no bikes on their streets.”

I wonder which it’ll be Mr Mapps.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

I hope Mapps is smart enough to see through the “difficulties” the Hillsdale NA is reporting. Yes, traffic backs up in the afternoon on the single lane of Capitol running up the hill from Barbur, but it lasts for only a short time, and instead of every bus being caught in the two-lane congestion with cars, transit users are now prioritized. The Rose lanes have been a HUGE win for the thousands of transit users who move to and through Hillsdale, and if we want people to use transit we need to prioritize it. That’s the difficult kind of decision that will piss off people who want to maintain the status quo.

Roberto Spain
Roberto Spain
1 year ago

Well this is breath of fresh air. Thank you Mr. Mapps!

So you want more police on the street enforcing traffic laws?

Yeah. I think I can say that. Traffic deaths have increased dramatically. I think it also contributes to a broad sense of Portland being a lawless place. You know, every day I see someone run a red light in Portland, which is kind of remarkable. And I don’t think I’d seen that before.

Mick O
Mick O
1 year ago

Thank you for providing the transcript in addition to the audio — much appreciated.

Frank Perillo
Frank Perillo
1 year ago

What good are cameras when you allow people to operate cars with no license plates?

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

At various times over the past couple of weeks, a lone motorcycle cop has been pulling over cars on SW Multnomah Blvd at various times of the day. I’ve seen him pull over several cars and trucks with no plates, so maybe he is prioritizing them. I have no idea where this lone cop comes from and why he’s just on Multnomah and nowhere else, but I’m glad he’s there and I want to see more like him.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

Send him out to Marine Drive.

Palma Rofino
Palma Rofino
1 year ago

Jonathan,
Don’t forget to include the local voters (like you and me) in this. At the end of the day our local government (City and Multnomah County) reflect the voter’s wills and desires. The decline of Portland is a reflection of OUR actions and choices , the politicians are just reflecting them.

Per Johansson
Per Johansson
1 year ago
Reply to  Palma Rofino

Now that is a “Comment of the week” if I ever saw one!

Paige
Paige
1 year ago

Thanks for this interview. It was interesting to find out what Mapps’ priorities are going to be in this role.

I wish you had pushed him on a few of his answers (but I do appreciate that these interviews can be time limited). For example, why is it scary to “drive a bicycle” (lol), and what would make the experience less scary? What assumptions have changed about the bicycle plan created under Adams? And for someone who ends with saying he wants a greener transportation landscape for Portland, he talked a lot about traffic enforcement vs. transit improvements and making the last mile of peoples’ trips more walkable/bikeable.

We’ll see how he does, I guess!

Paige
Paige
1 year ago

Sounds about right! I was a reporter in another life, and that all sounds very familiar, especially when you have one shot, lots of questions, and slim opportunity for follow-up. Doubly hard with a person taking a new role who might not have the most well-informed responses to detailed questions anyway. I wonder if a tighter focus on the Rose Quarter (for example) would’ve been more productive, but again, Mapps just might not be prepared to go deep on anything yet. Thanks again for your reporting! It’s important to keep people in power engaged. Cheers!

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

Now that I have finished listening to the entire interview, I have to say that I was struck by Mapps’s parting comment in which he praises PBOT employees for their all-hands-on-deck response to the recent snow emergency. Did he forget he was talking to Bike Portland? If he actually rode a bike, he would know that PBOT’s snow clearing made much of Portland unbikeable and unwalkable – and continues to make it so. I wish he would have said, “Sorry to all you cyclists and walkers for making your bike lanes and sidewalks unbikeable and unwalkable, but we’re now going to dedicate just as much effort to cleaning up the gravel as we devoted to putting it down.” His comment strikes me as completely motorist-centric.

The interview really made me question Mapps’s cycling bona fides. He said he drops his boys off at school in the morning and they cycle home in the afternoon. So how does that work, exactly? Wouldn’t he need to load bikes into his car (or onto a bike rack) every morning also? He didn’t mention that.

Looks like we have yet another PBOT commissioner with a motoring perspective. Hope the next PBOT *director* rides a bike. Mapps should be sure to hire one who does.

SD
SD
1 year ago

Mapps will do whatever his wealthy donors will tell him to do. I am surprised that we pretend that he is driven by anything else other than self preservation and ingratiating himself to people that are co-opting city hall to serve their narrow business interests.

joan
1 year ago

At the very least I’d encourage Mapps fans here to listen to the first few minutes of the interview, where he talks about how he drives his two kids separately to school and then drives downtown to City Hall from his home in inner SE. (His kids bike home from school, so apparently they aren’t super far.)

I’m not sure of Mapps’ parenting and home configuration, but it’s certainly notable that he’s doing all that driving given that few places are better served by bike and transit options than inner SE to downtown.

At the very least, I hope folks on here will stop talking about him as if he’s a regular family bike guy. His perspective is definitely behind the windshield, too.

(And seriously! He’s driving downtown! He’s not even eligible for the free Wednesday PBOT donuts!)

MelK
MelK
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

I was shocked by this as well… when Mapps said he lived near Lone Fir Cemetery, I plugged his route to City Hall into Google Maps and the commute by bike is 15 minutes, versus 9 by car. Yet he claims he doesn’t have the time to bike. What most of us wouldn’t give for a 15-minute commute, but for him, it’s just not good enough when the car could save him 6 whole minutes!

Not to mention, 6 extra minutes (probably less when you factor in parking, but I digress…) is a small price to pay to help the head of a major transportation department understand the needs of those he claims to represent. Even I, a lowly transportation advocate with no position of power, recently started riding public transit every once in a while to better understand the difficulties experienced by those who do it regularly.

People who value their own time and convenience over solutions that benefit their communities – especially when their personal gains are minuscule – have no place in leadership roles.

MarkM
1 year ago

Jonathan, thanks for this podcast. I’m not sure if this cross-posting is appropriate, but City Cast Portland ran this shorter podcast today: Commissioner Mapps on His Plan to Increase Traffic Stops