Monday Roundup: Guerrilla bike marathon, RTOR, bike lane removal, and more

Welcome to the week.

Here are the best stories we’ve come across in the past seven days — from sources you can trust.

The e-car future: The experience of Norway should be seen as a cautionary tale for what happens when a government leans too far into electric car enthusiasm. (Vox)

Biking in Memphis: Always fun to see profiles of cities where cycling is just about to pop. This time, it’s Memphis, Tennessee’s turn. (Commercial Appeal)

What Earl has meant: I was interviewed for this AP story on Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s retirement after 27 years on Capitol Hill. (AP)

NYC’s best unsanctioned ride: Traffic-free streets are so rare and sought after in New York City that the pre-NYC Marathon ride has become something of a cult classic. (NY Times)

RTOR debate: Good summary of the growing national momentum — and debate — around banning right turns on red. (Associated Press)

Disappearing bike lanes: Since removing bike lanes has become a thing in Portland, it’s time to stay up on how it’s happening in other cities. First example: Los Angeles. (Streetsblog LA)

The walking decline: Cell phone data from major cities across America shows there’s been a 36% decline in people walking since the pandemic hit. (Bloomberg)


Thanks to everyone who sent in links this week. The Monday Roundup is a community effort, so please feel free to send us any great stories you come across.

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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David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago

Disappearing Bike Lanes: Sometime if you get a chance, go to a history museum or look up old photos of downtown Anywhere USA and you’ll see much wider sidewalks up until the 30s or 40s when many sidewalks were narrowed to accommodate motor vehicles, particularly in photos from before 1910. Equally interesting are maps from the 70s and 80s showing how much space is devoted to cars, not just streets, but also driveways, parking lots, and so on.

Todd/ Boulanger
Todd/ Boulanger
3 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Per the 1910s…even if the sidewalks were of an average size then (5 to 6 feet) the planter strips were often 10 to 12 feet wide.

This physical space in the public right of way between the back of the curb and sidewalk used to be called a “planter strip” versus the now more common a “parking strip”…a very strategic turn of a phrase.

Many of our communities would have much larger trees AND less sidewalk damage if we as planners (and engineers) gave trees “living space” versus a substandard “potted” space. And thus less conflict with the ADA.

Pkjb
Pkjb
3 months ago

Supposedly, the term ‘parking’ used to refer to the vegetated strip along the edge of the roadway. Like the name suggested that people thought of the side of the road as being a public park. It had nothing to do with vehicle storage. But boorish car owners would leave their cars in that space because it was the easiest thing to do prior to the advent of on street parking. Once cars became ubiquitous in American cities, people just started referring to all car storage areas as parking, totally forgetting the connection to roadside vegetation.

Champs
Champs
3 months ago

Nice take on electric cars. You can take away the emissions but not the impact of autodom.

When I have to make an emergency trip to the store for milk or coffee in the morning, the adventure takes nearly half an hour on foot. My bike gets that down to 20 minutes.

Given the way most Americans live, they’re not going to walk or bike, even with a motor that would save them an extra minute, maybe.

quicklywilliam
3 months ago
Reply to  Champs

I agree with the sentiment, but I think the article is a really bad take on Norway’s actual policy and results. If you look at their plans from when they first began encouraging EVs, they fully understood that this needed to be done in parallel with encouraging other modes of transportation. They also are not “rolling back” policies as the article suggests – the goal from the beginning was a series of temporary programs (which they are now phasing out) to accelerate the transition to EVs. Given that EVs now make up over 80% of new vehicle sales AND car sales are down 25% YoY*, Norway is probably much more of a model for policy than a cautionary tale.

This stand in stark contrast to the US, whose EV subsidies (which have no limit or phase out until at least 2032) now far exceed those of Norway with very little done in parallel to encourage other modes. We would do well for our policy to look more like Norways.

*Source: https://insideevs.com/news/694257/norway-plugin-car-sales-october2023/#:~:text=In%20October%2C%20the%20Norwegian%20car,percent%20year%2Dover%2Dyear.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  quicklywilliam

I disagree with your take and am more keen on the article.

Norway summary:
They have done the easy bit well, of channeling money to often wealthy people to buy new things that they enjoy.
They have not succeeded (attempted?) the hard bit of changing peoples’ habits that are convenient for them but destructive for the world.

Tailpipe emissions are down. Whole system emissions are uncertain. Car use is up.

Their policy sounds better then the U.S.’s. but it is not something to aspire to.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

If an e-car is “destructive to the world” but an e-bike is not, where do you draw the line? How about an e-motorcycle? Or an Arcimoto? Or a golf cart?

My point is that these are all points along the vehicle spectrum, and denouncing one while embracing another seems to demand some sort of meaningful distinction between them.

It is a lot easier (for me) when one runs on petroleum and another on electricity, but that distinction is disappearing.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

This isn’t red team vs blue team.

I do not draw a line. I have never said that e-bikes are not destructive. They obviously are, in a lesser way. I’m not very keen on them, though they have their benefits and drawbacks. Even traditional bikes have their material impacts. As you write, all these things exist on a continuum or spectrum, though they can be at different enough points to make particular choices obviously preferential.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I have never said that e-bikes are not destructive.

Not you, perhaps, but that is the general sentiment among the anti-car folks. But the question boils down to “what principle do you use to distinguish one from the other?”

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

It is a lot easier (for me) when one runs on petroleum and another on electricity”
A common misconception. Electricity is not a fuel like petroleum is. Electricity is merely a very convenient and portable form into which we package fuels such as NG or oil or nuclear or wind power. Although it is fun to imagine fluffy clouds or the sun powering our EVs the truth for most of us is quite a bit dirtier, and more complicated.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

and more complicated

It is definitely more complicated, but becoming less so.

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

poppycock.

the share of new cars sold that are EVs is (we may agree) increasing, but that does not mean the kWh used to power them are also increasingly supplied by renewables. If you know that to be so you should show your work.
https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/14/5/1487

The paltry share of our grid power that is currently supplied by renewables is claimed by everyone and their virtue signaling auntie. Most of those claims are absurd and not supported by careful study.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

The paltry share of our grid power that is currently supplied by renewables 

‘Murrica:
comment image

Europe:
comment image

Will
Will
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Not to detract from your broader point, but those graphs don’t have the same y-axis. And if you convert them to the same axis (in this case I went to the weird kg CO2/ 1MM BTU, because I love a strange unit), you’d see that the carbon intensity of Europe over the time period shown went from ~146 kg CO2/ 1MM BTU in 1990 to ~73 kg CO2/ 1MM BTU today. The US OTOH went from ~60 kg CO2/ 1MM BTU in 1975 to ~48 kg CO2/ 1MM BTU in 2016. But do please double check my arithmetic.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Will

the two units have a linear relationship so I could not be bothered to compare them — and especially so since I wanted to link to original data sources. The 50% drop in the EU was my main point.

Will
Will
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

You might make your point better by using data from the same source and shown for the same time-scale.

Screenshot 2023-11-07 143508.png
pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Will

1. The “our world in data” EU data does not match up with the EU data at all:

https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/daviz/co2-emission-intensity-14#tab-chart_7

2. Your data has a shorter time scale.

I don’t trust data aggregator blogs at all which is why I always link to original statistical data.

Will
Will
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

1) I plotted carbon intensity for Europe, and you’ve plotted it for EU27. OWID for the EU27 matches to within 10g/kWH, and matches within 18g/kWH for the US as compared to the EIA. +/- 5%

2) My data has a shorter time scale so that Europe and the US can be compared on the same time scale. Stopping the US scale at 2016 hides the ~15% drop in carbon intensity in the US since then.

Your initial post didn’t link to original statistical data, it linked to badly compressed images. That said, do feel free to putz around in Ember’s methodology, since that’s where OWID pulls from (https://ember-climate.org/app/uploads/2022/03/GER22-Methodology.pdf)

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Will

OWID for the EU27 matches to within 10g/kWH,

EU 2021 data: 238 g/kwh

2021 data from some random blog where you selected an entirely different category: 288 g/kwh

My entire point was that the EU has halved g CO2e/kwh since 1990. The US only started to see a significant reduction in g CO2e/kwh once renewables became close to parity (and US states started to push utilities without any real urgency to increase renewables in the 2010s and 2020s).

Social democracy* > YIMBY capitalism

* democratic socialism is much, much better and more likely to persist over time.

Will
Will
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Or, on a percent change scale

Screenshot 2023-11-07 143555.png
Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

that does not mean the kWh used to power them are also increasingly supplied by renewables. 

Our power increasingly does come from renewable sources, but a bigger factor in the immediate term is it takes a lot fewer kWh to propel an electric vehicle than a gasoline powered one.

EVs make sense even with dirty power sources, and will only improve as we clean up power generation.

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

EVs make sense even with dirty power sources”
I understand where you are coming from but disagree with your framing of our predicament.

You and our so-called leaders love product substitutions: EVs for cars, Hybrids for conventional autos, Ebikes for bean-powered bikes, a fleet of recycling trucks in addition to a fleet of garbage trucks, paper straws instead of plastic straws, battery electric buses instead of diesel buses, etc. This is all fun and games until we realize we are in overshoot, have no spare planet to mine to crank out all these new, ostensibly better, versions of everything (which require mines and globe spanning transport infrastructure, and fossil fuels at every turn).

EVs + dirty power plants, even EVs + oversubscribed renewables, are moving us toward climate catastrophe, maybe a tiny bit slower than the versions that came before, but still the signal is unmistakeable; the CO2 emissions are (with a brief covid exception) ever greater most years.
What we need are not incremental changes, product substitutions, obsolescence thinking, but end runs around all of this:
bikes—the bean powered kind—are something everyone (yes the old & infirm too, see Denmark) could use to get around. Bikes are a solution that works for the climate, is not dependent on global supply chains, on rare metals from the Congo, on ever wider asphalt and concrete highways, on smart phone apps, on racist police, etc.
We don’t need to wait for experts to invent this climate solution, the bike was always already here.
We just need to understand the urgency with which cycling-for-transport advances climate goals without any need for fussy calculations and massaging the data to make our preferred solution look good. It is orders of magnitude better, without any need for a spreadsheet.

If we could ALL have our EV in the garage, and a stable climate, sure, why not? But that is a pipe dream and we are a few generations too late.

Damien
Damien
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

In short (and in agreement): No technological advancement will save us from our maximum consumption behavioral problem (it will, at best, simply delay the inevitable).

We have to consume less. Else, to paraphrase Watts, the only other options are catastrophe or totalitarianism.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Damien

We have to consume less.

This is disastrous imperialist framing and factually wrong.

We in the predatory capitalist west have to consume differently but not less in terms of quality of life. People who live in the global south unambiguously have to consume more (e.g. a massive increase in quality of life consistent with IPCC SSPs).

PS: If people posting here had even a cursory understanting of the IPCC climate science consensus they would be familiar with the SSP1 scenarios and understand that more consumption in poorer regions is an imperative.

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

must not consume less, must consume more!
It seems you are under the impression that material consumption and quality of life track each other. I’m not so sure about that. In certain cases sure. But your comment brushes all those circumstances aside. #nothelpful

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

material consumption

but not less in terms of quality of life” allows for a reduction in “material” consumption in rich ecocidal nations.

Damien
Damien
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

This is disastrous imperialist framing and factually wrong.

It’s really not, nor is it imperialist framing – it’s simple physics.

We in the predatory capitalist west have to consume differently but not less in terms of quality of life.

I mostly agree with this, but understand you and I are probably using “quality of life” very differently than most, which in a capitalist framing, almost always means “consuming more“.

Case in point: Using a bicycle for transportation over a single-occupancy SUV is much less consumptive, and better for quality of life (more exercise, more connection to your neighbors/surroundings/and on and on). Most people don’t really recognize that until they’re doing it, though. Until then, that’s lesser.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Damien

it’s simple physics.

the physical chemistry of energy generation and storage is not static.

is much less consumptive

it’s a more sustainable hedonic adjustment — so a roughly equivalent form of consumption. the fixation of degrowth on material stuff creates a negative framing that ignores the socioeconomic reality that consumption does not necessarily have to correlate with resource use.

GDP* compared to fossil fuel use and energy consumption in Denmark:

comment image

* GDP is a crappy measure of quality of life but it’s what we have

Damien
Damien
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

the physical chemistry of energy generation and storage is not static.

Neither is consumption. Get 50% more efficient batteries, people use them 200% as much. Like I keep telling Watts: Our consumption issue is a behavioral problem, not a technological one. And I don’t dismiss the challenge there: Biology at a basic level is driven to consume as much as possible. Most organisms are checked by competition from other organisms or immediate resource constraints. We’ve broken free of those but without any wisdom to check that biological urge.

it’s a more sustainable hedonic adjustment — so a roughly equivalent form of consumption.

…are you saying saying an single-occupancy SUV trip is roughly equivalent consumption as a bicycle trip? Because tracks as true as 2+2=13.

To make sure I’m clear, I’m using “consumption” in the most holistic sense, in that that SUV consumes more: energy, materials, physical space, cognitive load, money, common resources like clean air (emissions) and clean water (tire particulates in storm drains/etc), and so on, than that bicycle.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Damien

Our consumption issue is a behavioral problem

It’s a behavioral problem and a Fordist capitalist problem — the two are inextricably intertwined in wealthy nations.

I’m using “consumption” in the most holistic sense

I’m using consumption in the socioeconomic sense that actually matters to human beings. The degrowth definition of “consumption” is absolutely nonsensical, IMO.

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Damien- We have to consume less.
Pierre Delecto- This is disastrous imperialist framing and factually wrong.

Pierre Delecto is 100% correct on this!!!!
“We in the predatory capitalist west have to consume differently but not less in terms of quality of life. People who live in the global south unambiguously have to consume more…”

Yes!!!!!!

Damien
Damien
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

shrug

Well, I’ll enjoy the ride while it lasts, at least.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

EVs + dirty power plants, even EVs + oversubscribed renewables, are moving us toward climate catastrophe

Compared to what feasible, short to medium term alternative (i.e. the only timeframe that matters for this stuff)?

It’s all good to say that EVs aren’t good enough, but if the only alternative is that everyone bikes (or some other politically and socially impossible solution) then what point is served by decrying the improvements we actually can make?

Too slow! Better to spend our time arguing over angels on a pin and do nothing!

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Too slow! Better to spend our time arguing over angels on a pin and do nothing!”

But what if (thought experiment)
-> an ICE fleet dooms our planetary prospects in 10 years, and
-> an EV fleet dooms our planetary prospects in 18 years?
Why then should we blow our remaining endowment on something that has such a poor chance of success? Better to take a step back and ask whether there might not be other, better pathways.
You ask: “if the only alternative is that everyone bikes (or some other politically and socially impossible solution) then what point is served by decrying the improvements we actually can make?”

Your determination to have us only consider the easy, the pragmatic, the capitalist-flattering strategies is familiar but risky. No that isn’t quite right. Risky was fifty years ago, now it is fatal. We have been essentially taking your advice all this time. And where has it gotten us? How much better off are we having only ever done the politically possible, the unremarkable?

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

Your determination to have us only consider the easy, the pragmatic, the capitalist-flattering strategies

I am only willing to consider the possible. If you can convince me that your ideas are possible, I’ll consider them as well. But it seems pointless to consider ideas that rely on unicorns and fairies.

take a step back and ask whether there might not be other, better pathways.

I totally support this. Impossible pathways are not better, whatever their other merits.

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

You’re possible:impossible binary isn’t helpful here. There is no binary.
Remember when Novick quashed a local gas tax idea because it was ‘impossible,’ no one would vote for it? And then after his Street Fee dumpster fire it was the only thing left and – it passed!?
Remember all the truisms we thought we knew about transportation, about ramp metering, about VMT, about commutes, about public transit that all went out the window with COVID?
And the lessons of the Civil Rights movement – none of the demands were considered ‘possible’ to use your word, and then a few years on they were federal policy. As I said above, no magic, but lots of passion and principles and hard work.

I already know from years of engaging with you that you don’t find any of this interesting or persuasive. But that doesn’t change my opinion about the necessity or feasibility of bold (impossible in your parlance) approaches.

What seems possible/impossible can change overnight. The challenge I see is to articulate urgent, meaningful, sincere responses to our predicament and then put all the political capital we have toward realizing that vision. I have no political capital and you can whizz in my cheerios until the chickens come home to roost, but in the end vision and passion are not just possible, they are in my view essential.

Just one example:
(1) Bully pulpit:
Mayor or council member articulates the actual, unvarnished (as opposed to feel good) implications of climate change on our lives, our city, our future prospects.

(2) Ecological, Safety, Livability Vision:
going forward public monies currently supporting autos and trucks only must be shifted toward everything else.

(3) Policy proposals:
2023 Transportation budget is X $B/yr, currently 97% autos; 3% everything else (or whatever the split is): going forward every year e.g., 3% of the total transportation budget will leave the autos column and be shifted to the everything else column. And we ramp up the taxes by Z%/yr on everything we want less of to keep funding this.
All that money will be spent on (a) rewarding, rendering visible what people who don’t have cars already do, and (b) incentivizing, building out those options so that ever more of us can also join those already doing this. Infrastructure, incentives, education, co-producing these bold new (to us) strategies.

None of this it must be emphasized is because the politician sticking their neck out wants to be mean, or punish folks, or likes to fight culture wars, but because our biophysical juggernaut compels us to strike out in this new direction.

Others can flesh out better ideas and strategies, and no doubt already have.

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Reproducing a comment from ages ago.
Imagine how Portland might be different if we had that sort of leadership, priorities, principled stand here?

9watts
 6 years ago

 Reply to  Free Market Economist 
Are you questioning the logic? I hope he produces the calculation too, but since you seem doubtful let me remind you of a project in Lillestrøm, Norway two years ago to *PAY* people who eschewed the car for their commutes:
The Norwegian town of Lillestrøm went even further. For a week last July they paid people walking and bicycling—for eschewing the car and choosing a more environmentally salutary way of getting around. People on bikes got 12 euros, people walking 11 euros. The Norwegian ministry of health had calculated that the state saves six euro for every km walked and three euros for every km biked. Multiplied by the average length of a bike trip (4km) and distance walked (1.7km) yielded those figures.
http://green.wiwo.de/alternatives-mautkonzept-stadt-zahlt-geld-wenn-man-sein-auto-stehen-laesst/
mentioned here: https://bikeportland.org/2015/01/09/guest-column-portland-pay-streets-130772#comment-6103626

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

For a week last July they paid people walking and bicycling

A similar week-long payment to cyclists and pedestrians certainly seems within the realm of the possible (but I’m not at all sure about how it would work logistically).

It would be nice to know if it changed behavior, and if so, why they stopped doing it given how much money they claimed it would save.

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

and another from ages ago here in the comments.
So many good ideas out there. And they work! Imagine if we copied all the good ideas!!

“British Columbia successfully rolled out a fee and dividendscheme in 2008. Per capita consumption of petroleum fuels in the province fell by 17.4 percent… while petroleum fuel use grew by 1.5 percent nationally over the same period.”

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

The capitalist scheme you praised has utterly failed to reduce BC green house gas emissions (which are still roughly at 2008 levels). As someone who constantly posts about Jevon’s paradox, you seem to fail to apply it to these capitalist “innovations”.
.
The only path to reducing the combined GHG emission (not just CO2) of fantastically-rich capitalist nations is via society-changing madates/regulations. The incrementalism that de-growthers and carbon free-marketeers cling to is incompatible with a sustainable future — and especially so for the poorer regions these western ideologues ignore.

comment image

Source: BC provincial greenhouse gas inventory; https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/data/provincial-inventory

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Perhaps the powers that be in BC forgot to keep raising the prices? Even the best schemes (and I haven’t kept up on this, perhaps it wasn’t that great?) need some vigilance and tweaking.

As for William Stanley Jevons, I’m not seeing this example as an obvious illustration. Maybe you know something about this case that I don’t?

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

Innovative carbon tax stimulates an increase indirect consumption of products and power (in part because everybody pats themselves on the bank on how green they are). A great example of this is how CA and OR where residents are seemingly proud of their low-carbon power sources* but seem not to give a @#$% about the really awful carbon intensity of power imports.

* hydro is not renewable energy (but still better than coal)

quicklywilliam
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Hi Jim,
Sounds like we agree on a lot more than we disagree on – that Norway (and basically every other wealthy country) hasn’t done enough to discourage driving, that it’s hard work changing habits, and that we can and must do better. If you are interested I’d be happy to discuss the finer points some time, maybe at the next Happy Hour =).

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  quicklywilliam

Sure, I’d be happy to talk about it more at the happy hour. I’ve been meaning to go to one.

Do you plan to attend?

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Whole system emissions are uncertain.

Yeah…like…EVs are worse than doing nothing.

Mark Remy
Mark Remy
3 months ago
Reply to  Champs

* You can take away the TAILPIPE emissions …

quicklywilliam
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Remy

Norway generates almost all of its energy via renewables. Of course you still have the embodied emissions in producing the steel, batteries, etc – but just to be clear (because there is a lot of misinformation shared on this point), the result is still a very large net reduction in emissions.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  quicklywilliam

the result is still a very large net reduction in emissions.

You are definitely posting on the wrong blog, quicklywilliam. The average BP commentator fanatically believes that EVs are worse than ICE vehicles.

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

The average BP commentator fanatically believes that EVs are worse than ICE vehicles.”

Absurd hyperbole. But writing what you just did removed all doubt in my mind as to which commenter of yore is behind this Mitt Romney nom de plume.

EVs aren’t worse than ICEs, but they are hardly a solution either. A hundred years ago we had many options our collective choices and decisions have since foreclosed, and this means that some solutions now preferred are too little too late.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

But remember, we can only choose from the options that are actually possible.

I have lots of great solutions that are, unfortunately, impossible. I don’t see much value in promoting those.

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

“The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.”

What you say is impossible only seems so because of the timidity with which we individually and collectively approach all of these matters. I am under no illusion that we can snap our fingers and everything will be so. But what we are doing now is, to borrow a phrase, fiddling while Rome burns.
Starting with honest accounting of where things stand, and what strategies won’t move the needle could begin a reorientation. We as a society (or as a city) lack urgency, leadership, a roadmap, and in many cases the necessary will.
Not hopeless. Just a lot of hard work.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  9watts

Ok, what’s a plausible plan?

Steve C
Steve C
3 months ago
Reply to  quicklywilliam

That’s right, they sell and export all the oil and gas (and it’s attendant CO2) to fund their social and environmental projects through the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve C

they sell and export all the oil and gas

Person living in the biggest glass house casts stones at other people who live in much smaller glass houses.

comment image

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2021/ph240/donovan2/images/f1big.png

Steve C
Steve C
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

lol, never said anything more or less than the fact that Norway’s wealth and ability to spend comes from vast oil and gas exports.

And specifically, I was responding to the assertion that “Norway generates almost all of its energy via renewables.”

Maybe all of it’s domestically consumed energy, but certainly not total energy production. It might be the best use of that oil money, to fund transition off CO2. But let’s not kid ourselves, Norway is only able to be as clean and rich as they are with that sweet North Sea bank account.

Per capita, Norway produces much more oil than the US. 2M barrels a day with a population less than 6M vs 13M barrels for 330M.

To keep your analogy, each Norwegian’s oil funded glass house is much more spacious and well appointed than ours.

Chris I
Chris I
3 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

now do per capita production.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

The entire premise was that oil wealth allowed Norway to decarbonize electricity and promote EVs. Please explain why the USA sucks so very much at decarbonization despite it’s hundreds of billions in oil wealth.

Sweden’s grid is 68% renewables and 63% of vehicle bought in Sept were EVs. Sweden produces 320,000 oil bpd.

blumdrew
3 months ago
Reply to  quicklywilliam

Norway also generates a huge swath of its wealth via oil extraction in the North Sea – approximately 17% of its GDP is derived from fossil fuel extraction. Is extracting a bunch of oil and selling it elsewhere to finance EV subsidies a reasonable way to fight climate change?

9watts
9watts
3 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Obviously not. But mining lithium to build batteries for electric gizmos of all sorts, from phones to cars is no better. What it seems worth distinguishing here and always is
(a) the value however measured at the micro level of e.g., jettisoning the gas powered device for something ‘less awful’, and
(b) the policy implications of everyone then pursuing the switch described in (a).

I may feel good about getting rid of my car and using an E-something instead, but is that a viable and sustainable switch that everyone in Portland, or Oregon, or the US, or the planet can make? Usually the answer to that is a resounding no.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago
Reply to  Champs

There’s a very real possibility for many Americans that they’ll never have a legal or physical opportunity to walk or bike – likely the store will be located on a street without sidewalks, with a super busy 35 mph connecting stroad that has narrow traffic lanes nearly up to the curb (or no curb in many cases) and where a sidewalk might be, the property is private (rights-of-way that end at the curb are remarkably common), so they’ll be trespassing as they follow the dirt critter path. Likely most of their route from their home will be very similar. Naturally everyone will be driving at least 20 mph over the limit. At some point our erstwhile pedestrian will have to cross a 7-lane “street” without a pedestrian signal nor crosswalks.

I’ve bicycled in such areas – they are all too common – I don’t recommend it.

John V
John V
3 months ago
Reply to  Champs

I agree with your take, but how on this green Earth is walking taking nearly a half hour, and biking only gets it down to 20 minutes (which, for what it’s worth, I would call nearly a half hour)? A 30 minute walk should take 5 minutes in the worst case. Unless we’re talking like, taking a bike down a 10 story flight of stairs or something. I don’t get it.

The thing about biking that is really powerful is that it is MUCH faster than walking, and in the case of Portland’s bad public transit, usually almost as fast or faster than that.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
3 months ago
Reply to  John V

Because we’ve been carfree for our entire life together (35 years on Jan 1) my GF and I plan where we live based on walking to the store/transit.

As a result we are about 1/2 mile away from Freddies and Trader Joes (between Bvtn Hillsdale Hwy and Canyon Road just west of 217)

To go to Freddies (about 1/2 mile with crossing Canyon Rd at 117th and then riding the length of the store through the parking lot), lock up, buy some milk, ride back out (waiting to cross Canyon) and home in 20 min sounds about right – and I ride the upright at 15mph+

It also would only be about 30 walking because the actual distance covered isn’t the primary factor in speed of the round trip.

Of course, my neighbor in their car is about the same speed as I am – something we’ve remarked on when she leaves at the same time I do, we see each other in line and I’m walking up the stairs at the same time as she is.

John V
John V
3 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

Yeah exactly. With a bike (ok, this is Portland, I realize not everyone has bike parking), you park right by the door of the place.

I just realized re-reading your comment, Champs and you included the whole trip in the time cited. In that case, sure, any way you get there, the time spent moving is going to be really small. And I’m also thinking I don’t understand what point Champs was trying to make exactly. So I guess all I’m saying is bikes are really fast and convenient for a great many trips (for people who don’t live in a food desert, etc).

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  John V

A 30 minute walk should take 5 minutes in the worst case.

A moderately brisk walking pace is about 4 MPH. If that took 30 mins, you’ve gone 2 miles. To ride that same distance in 5 mins would require you to go 24 MPH. That’s a pretty optimistic case.

2 miles at a more typical 12 MPH would 10 mins, plus a minute or two on either end to park and depark your bike.

Still much faster than walking, but not by as much. But faster than TriMet on flat terrain (and you get to go where and you you want to go, not where and when TriMet wants to take you). And free!

dw
dw
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

You mean you don’t suit up in lycra and toe clips to pound out a 24mph grocery run??

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  dw

Well, I do, of course, always topped off with a bright ad-festooned jersey, but I didn’t want to make assumptions.

Todd/ Boulanger
Todd/ Boulanger
3 months ago

I guess its time to buy old commercial space along the old streetcar lines in Memphis TN. Go east young cyclists!

Quint
Quint
3 months ago

Please stop saying “right turns on red” or RTOR, and instead use the more accurate “no turn on red” or NTOR for this movement to prohibit turns on red. There are plenty of left turn on red issues at intersections involving one-way streets, and any changes to the regulations should make sure to prohibit or regulate “turns on red” rather than just right turns. A recent law (can’t remember if it passed or not) in Washington State specifically only banned “right turn on red” and I couldn’t believe they would make such a dumb mistake. Do people not know that you can also turn left on red in a lot of situations? In Oregon you can always turn onto any one-way street (even if turning from a two-way street, which is very weird but true) on a red light or even a red arrow unless it is specifically prohibited, and you can do this while turning left or right. You can also do this when turning onto a two-way street if is access-controlled with a median, since functionally that makes it more like a pair of one-way streets.