In this episode, I sat down for a video phone call with Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Mingus Mapps.
His office set up this 30-minute interview to respond to our stories this week about Mapps’ involvement in a push from his PBOT Director Millicent Williams to make significant changes to the protected bike lane on NW/SW Broadway. Williams’ email to PBOT staff on September 14th made it clear she was ready to move forward — with what she claims was Mapps’ approval — on reversing the current Broadway bike lane design and replacing with a configuration that would be less safe for cycling.
In the interview, Mapps repeatedly denies that he had any knowledge of a clear plan to move forward. He also characterizes Williams’ email as a message that was meant to start a conversation about possible design changes and that a public process would have always been part of the plan. That contention directly contradicts not only the words Williams uses in her email, it also makes it odd that Williams would make a full apology for her actions — which she just did at the PBOT Bureau Budget Advisory Committee.
Full transcript below: