Comment of the Week: stopping the death spiral

This isn’t the comment I initially chose for this week. But when you find that a comment you didn’t choose keeps distracting you, it tells you it’s time to reassess before you get any more committed.

What kept pulling me to eawriste’s comment was that it was forward-looking, action-oriented, hopeful—and it linked to a great video. Watch the video about Telegraph Ave in Oakland from StreetsblogSF’s Roger Rudick. It lifted my spirits.

The message to get inspired and do something seemed like a nice lead-in to today’s press conference at City Hall addressing our deadliest traffic month in thirty years.

Here’s what eawriste wrote:

Here’s Telegraph Ave in Oakland after many years of debate, hiccups, confusion, complaining business owners, advocacy (by business owners), and many interim designs. Sure, the last part is the part that gets the news/attention (capital project that costs a lot), but the project started with planters and the decision to make the street safe. If you want this death spiral to change, shoe gazing/bellyaching is not the answer: email BikeLoud, ask Mapps, the mayor and our new PBOT director to redesign a specific street with planters and whatever they can. We have the means, we just don’t have the will yet.


Thank you eawriste! You can read this comment and all the others under the original post.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero has lived in SW Portland for over 20 years. She is on the board of SWTrails PDX and can be reached at lisacaballero853@gmail.com.

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9watts
9watts
3 months ago

Ask – or demand.

I think the time has come (thank you Lois, et al.,today at City Hall) for demands. Vision Zero in this town was adopted, how many years ago?! The Swedes who invented the concept didn’t dink around for however many years, hemming and hawing; they got to work, kicked up dust, ruffled feathers, put their muscle behind it and got things done. The City That Talks surely can do better.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago

Redo Broadway from SW Caruthers to NE Wheeler like Telegraph Ave.

eawriste
eawriste
3 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Yeah, not that I disagree, but SW Broadway already has a lot of work done. I was thinking more NE Bway/Weidler since it ticks a lot of the boxes for me:

1) The city already has a plan for it from 1996, and the 2040 Main st plan, but it’s been postponed indefinitely. Likely due to the IRQ plan?
2) Better Block already did a demo in 2016. What happened to BB? Were they eaten by PSU? Did they take data?
3) It would expand the central city separated bike network on a commercial corridor, which currently ends at the Broadway bridge.
4) It would generate data on economic and safety benefits along the corridor.
6) It would get buy-in for further pilots.

IMO the best thing to counter the shrug, milquetoast, I’m-just-here-to-get-reelected reaction Mapps and the city presented at their press conference would be to present a picture of where someone died, and a plan to prevent a similar death such as the above. It’s easy to read a list of names and say we’re trying. It’s a lot harder to say one person’s name and say we will not change that one place.

That is how you get in the TV news and how you get a politician to do something.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago
Reply to  eawriste

What I learned from the posted video that it is far easier, politically, especially with area business owners, to upgrade an existing facility that has already been incrementally upgraded before, than it is to upgrade a primitive painted bike lane that would have a bigger impact for users. Basically, to get momentum, you don’t upgrade a street that badly needs it, but rather a high-profile street that everyone will see. The section of Broadway I indicated is mostly 2-way, so it will get a lot more publicity and likely a lot more use and be seen as a much less huge waste of public resources by car drivers.