Monday Roundup: Cotton, car drivers, Jamaica, and more

Happy Monday everyone. Jonathan has been away from Portland attending to a family medical emergency since Wednesday, so things might look a bit different around here until he gets back.

Don’t dis cotton: A breezy piece about the pleasure of wearing cotton when riding. (Outside)

E-bike infrastructure: Manhattan is poised to convert an iconic newsstand into an e-bike charging station, but first it has to jump through a few hoops (like the Landmark Preservation Commission). (Gothamist)

VanMoof is back!: Under new ownership, the company is relaunching with a new line of e-bikes. They recognize that they have a big job getting “angry customers back on track” who were left in the lurch after bankruptcy with no place to go for service or upgrades. The new owners, LaVoie, have revamped the company’s business model and seek to offer “better customer experience, after-sales servicing, and reliability.” (The Next Web)

Cotton mouth: Republican Senator of Arkansas Tom Cotton escalated the tension over pro-Palestinian demonstrators who block traffic by calling for inconvenienced drivers to “take matters into their own hands.” (NBC News)

Too much pavement: Turns out that San Diego shares one of Portland’s problems, a backlog of needed street repair, and no funds to pay for it. A group of advocates, led by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, is asking whether the city just has too much pavement. Discussion of San Diego’s first-of-its-kind Pavement Management Plan. (KPBS)

Jamaican racing: Better known for success in Track and Field, Jamaica hopes to develop cycling as a sport too. Nice discussion of the differences between the two sports, and the different pathways to success. (Cycling News)

Expired tags: This article reveals the breadth of the Fake Tags crisis which has exploded in U.S. cities since the pandemic. Portland gets mentioned because “even motorists with legitimate plates have become routinely late in registering their cars.” (NY Times)

Bad drivers and death: A must-read analysis of road fatalities reveals that the reason the U.S. is an outlier is not just because of our affinity for obscenely large trucks and SUVs; but also because maybe our drivers are just more inconsiderate and recklessly distracted. (Financial Times)

Biking through grief: A moving and insightful piece about how a jerry-rigged e-bike helped the author grieve the death of a newborn daughter, and how biking has moved in and out of her life. (NY Times)

Vision Zero at City Hall: Taylor Griggs writes about how susceptible Portland’s houseless population is to traffic violence, and how some city officials seem to be shifting the conversation away from traffic safety, infrastructure and design and instead toward the fentanyl crisis. (Portland Mercury)

Cars are the problem: A thorough opinion piece about the problems of car-dependence from the editors of this popular science magazine. Leads with the Dutch Stop de Kindermoord, talks about the epidemic of U.S. traffic fatalities, street redesign, density. A good introduction for the person in your life who is new to transportation issues. (Scientific American)


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.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero is on the board of SWTrails PDX, and was the chair of her neighborhood association's transportation committee. A proud graduate of the PBOT/PSU transportation class, she got interested in local transportation issues because of service cuts to her bus, the 51. Lisa has lived in Portland for 23 years and can be reached at lisacaballero853@gmail.com.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

98 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John V
John V
27 days ago

I don’t understand how expired or fake tags are actually a problem. Is there some reason it’s a bottleneck to just check the registration? This all hinges on something or someone with enforcement powers looking at a plate and being tricked by the fake tags. Are they really just looking and going “yep, looks good”? It just seems, similar to the usual “proof of insurance and registration” you’re always supposed to have, it’s a pointless extra step and just an opportunity to catch people who mistakenly lost paperwork or whatever.

What I’m saying is, the DMV has all that information. Why can’t cops or traffic cameras just look up your plate and see who it’s registered to, if it’s up to date, if you’re insured, etc? It seems like the solution to this “problem” is not that hard to come up with.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
27 days ago
Reply to  John V

That would require our milk-toast politicians to want to enforce our laws. That has been sorely lacking these past 4 years.
Also, making it easier for folks to get their tags might help. Once upon a time DEQ said that less than 5% of the vehicles being tested were failing. Why not dump the whole DEQ requirement, let folks renew their tags online? Seems like a win win for all.

PTB
PTB
27 days ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Counterpoint; At the DEQ, in addition to emissions testing, they also check all your lights to make sure they work, make sure windows aren’t cracked, check your goddamn defrost setting blows warm air so you can see out of your windshield when its cold/wet, make sure bumpers aren’t held to the vehicle with zip-ties and hope, you have side and rear view mirrors, etc. All these are necessary to safe travel. If your vehicle is failing at these very basic but very essential tasks, it’s not street legal until repaired.

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  PTB

DEQ also checks…

Can you point me to a list of things the DEQ checks beyond emissions? I am 100% sure they’ve never checked my defrost, and I’ve never heard of the other stuff either.

PTB
PTB
26 days ago
Reply to  Watts

SolarEclipse said, “bah, the DEQ is a waste and we shouldn’t even bother”, then I’m saying, no, lets do it PLUS check these other things. Sorry I wasn’t clear. I’m very aware Oregon does not check this stuff. I just got new tags for my little truck last summer (like a goddamn sucker).

qqq
qqq
26 days ago
Reply to  PTB

Solar Eclipse had a point. DEQ inspections’ costs and bother may outweigh the benefits. Eliminating them would also eliminate one reason people don’t renew their tags–they can’t pass DEQ because their car has mechanical problems that add one more cost (possibly much more than the cost of a renewal) to fix. And those include problems like (as I’ve heard) a check engine light that’s on, that may have nothing to do with polluting.

Adding to what gets inspected could make sense. On the other hand, it would just make that many more reasons why someone can’t pass inspection, and therefore won’t renew their registration. I guess the question is if the safety benefits of inspecting those items outweigh the costs (public and private) of inspections and causing fewer people to renew.

Phil
Phil
26 days ago
Reply to  qqq

Making decisions that lower the individual costs of driving for some and likely increase the societal costs of driving (crashes and pollution) for all, seems like a step in the wrong direction. If we are concerned that driving is too expense I’d rather see that addressed by making the alternatives, such as transit and biking, safer, faster & more accessible.

qqq
qqq
26 days ago
Reply to  Phil

Yes, I agree. I was only saying that one reason some people don’t renew their registrations is that they face repair costs needed to pass testing (or even to be tested) and that lowering those costs might increase registration compliance, and raising them might lower it.

John V
John V
26 days ago
Reply to  qqq

I can sympathize with this point, but we shouldn’t be talking about making people want to cooperate with a law, nor should people be effectively exempted from safety and emission standards because it would be too expensive to fix. At some point, not being able to pass a DEQ check should effectively mean your car is broken. It doesn’t work, you can’t use it. It sucks that that would be a financial burden for some people, and we need to give them alternatives to driving or financial assistance, but they cannot be allowed to drive their broken ass car just because it would be hard for them to fix it. The same way they should not be allowed to drive without a license or insurance or even gasoline, even though that might be a financial burden. It’s the cost of having a car (and the cost of car dependence).

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
27 days ago
Reply to  PTB

They don’t check anything except the emissions. This isn’t one of those states where you have to have a vehicle inspection.

Jim Calhoon
Jim Calhoon
27 days ago
Reply to  PTB

I just went through DEQ on one of my vehicles. The only thing they did was plug into the OBD-II port and let the ECU tell their system all my sensors were good, so my emissions pass. They don’t even measure anything at the tailpipe. There is no safety check in Oregon so nothing else gets checked.

Matt
Matt
25 days ago
Reply to  PTB

Yeah but how would you do all this without offending the “this is racist” folks?

John V
John V
27 days ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

I have never in my life had to take my vehicle to DEQ to renew tags, it’s probably only for pretty old vehicles.

As to the enforcement – that is my point. The article headline was about a “crisis” of fake tags and expired tags. It’s only a crisis if it somehow makes enforcement harder. If enforcement isn’t happening, it’s just clickbait. There is no crisis because the problem (expired tags) isn’t doing anything.

I’m just saying, if anyone wanted to enforce it, it would be trivial to do it.

Steve C
Steve C
27 days ago
Reply to  John V

“Vehicles registered in the Portland Metro and Medford/Ashland area are required to pass an emissions test in order to register a vehicle. Then, the vehicle must be tested again every two years before the registration can be renewed.”

https://www.oregon.gov/deq/vehicle-inspection/pages/new-to-the-deq.aspx

You must on live in the Portland Metro or Medford/Ashland

John V
John V
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve C

Wow, I somehow managed to skate around this for various reasons. I’ve had motorcycles (exempt), leases an electric car, currently my only vehicle is new, and my last two vehicles I only had for a couple years. I just assumed the reason I never had to do it was that they only required it for vehicles likely to have problems, yet ironically vehicles older than 1975 are also exempt (nonsense).

Home
Home
26 days ago
Reply to  John V

I can see why you would think that, but it’s actually the opposite. Old vehicles are EXEMPT from vehicle “emissions testing” in Oregon. I use quotes because as others have noted, the emissions testing in the Portland metro region is completely useless. But you can operate and register a 1975 era vehicle that is spewing lead-laden chemicals, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and all kinds of other nasty emissions without any limitations. Only newer vehicles are required to be tested. It’s a massive loophole. You can also run nasty leaded fuel on newer race track vehicles without violating any rules. Don’t raiser your kids downwind of PIR!

Watts
Watts
26 days ago
Reply to  Home

A vehicle without a catalytic converter (i.e. pre 1975) will never pass emissions testing. They either need to be exempted our outlawed. Old vehicles do not emit lead.

Fortunately, there aren’t that many pre 1975 vehicles out there, so the pollution problem they create is limited.

Home
Home
26 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Considering the number of vehicles that are rolling around with modified or deleted exhaust and emissions control systems these days, I’d say it’s a near certainty that your will encounter someone running leaded race fuel on the road in Portland if you spend much time out and about. There are specialty gas stations that sell it, and you can order lead containing racing fuel additives online. Does that mean all old cars are using lead, probably not. It’s easier to obtain lead replacement additive. But considering the lack of registration enforcement, it’s logical to assume that there are people driving around using leaded fuel.

Watts
Watts
26 days ago
Reply to  Home

“Deleted” exhausts are a completely different issue from pre 1975 engines. While I don’t have strong feelings about old cars, I do think those who modify their exhaust systems to evade the law are scumbags. I also think PPR should ban leaded fuel. Lead is bad news.

Phil
Phil
26 days ago
Reply to  Home

Leaded racing fuel costs about $20/gallon. Any vehicle that uses leaded racing fuel probably gets less than 10 miles to the gallon. I don’t think that the number of vehicles using leaded fuel on public streets is high enough to worry about.

Ray
Ray
27 days ago
Reply to  John V

I bought my 2013 Audi in Feb. 2021. Tags were good until August and I then had to take it to DEQ before renewing. Also, when I renewed in 2023, I had to take it to DEQ.

Just saying that it’s not “only for pretty old vehicles.”

Steve C
Steve C
27 days ago
Reply to  John V

I spoke to a PBOT enforcement person the other day. Apparently they will be ticketing people for expired tags soon. Not sure if it’s only in addition to other parking tickets or if it’s just a warning at first, as they called it an “insert” included in the ticket envelope.

In NYC, “the vast majority” of the fake or purposefully obscured plate violators are cops and firefighters, per this one guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1J5nuA1QNs

John V
John V
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve C

All parts of that make perfect sense.

On the topic of PBOT issuing tickets, I wonder if they are able to run plates. If they don’t, that would mean the fake tags would still be a problem.

I guess maybe the idea is they just want to drive around and look really quick at every tag to search for expired ones. It just seems, as evidence proves, so trivial to get around that they should be doing something smarter.

Maybe fake tags need to be a very serious crime (not sure what it is now). Serious like revoke license and impound car serious. Then “spot check”. I dunno. It does seem to me like anything that gets in the way of automated enforcement needs to be taken very seriously, and missing plates or fake tags or whatever do that.

Matt
Matt
27 days ago
Reply to  John V

Automatic license plate readers have been available for years now. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and so all license plates should be scanned and verified as often as possible while on public streets. No human action required, either–the camera captures a plate number, feeds it into the DMV database, and verifies it’s not expired or reported stolen. If it is, it pings somebody (the parking enforcement officer or police officer driving the car with the system) with an alert.

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  Matt

the camera captures a plate number, feeds it into the DMV database, and verifies it’s not expired or reported stolen

You forgot a very important step; after the vehicle is determined to have legal plates, all relevant data collected should be immediately and permanently deleted.

John V
John V
27 days ago
Reply to  Matt

This is exactly what I’m talking about. It shouldn’t be something you can get away with. And unreadable plates should automatically have drivers fined (or more serious consequences).

The lack of enforcement and the “fake tag crisis” seems entirely manufactured.

blumdrew
27 days ago

Dan Ryan’s comments in Taylor Griggs’ piece for the Mercury are utterly banal. He should never see elected office in this city ever again.

“Yes, they were hit by a car,” Ryan said. “But we can assume with some of the data it’s because they are impaired while walking.”

Do people deserve to be killed by cars because they are impaired? The fentanyl crisis is a national crisis – other cities haven’t seen traffic fatalities double in the same period we have! There’s clearly an utter lack of institutional weight behind any measure that would make our streets safer for anyone. Vision Zero has been a failure, and Dan Ryan would rather point a finger at the most destitute and disadvantaged in the city than consider things the city council has done to create this crisis.

qqq
qqq
27 days ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Wow, that’s quite a move over the years, switching from going after impaired drivers, to blaming impaired victims. Impaired pedestrians don’t kill other people. They’re a danger (outside rare cases) only to themselves.

What also struck me in Ryan’s comments is that he brings up that we didn’t used to have fentanyl or other “poisonous drugs” but doesn’t seem to consider that those same drugs could be impairing drivers. He also doesn’t bring up that years ago, we didn’t have large numbers of drivers impaired by phones.

But your focus is the big one–that impaired pedestrians need safety as much or more than anyone. Gerry Spence, a famous trial lawyer years ago, who won many huge cases, was especially proud of a case he won representing a “town drunk” who was killed crossing the street. He turned the opinion around from the victim being responsible for his own death, and not really anyone important anyway, to showing the jury that impaired people are who society has a special obligation to protect, because they’re the most in need of protecting.

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  qqq

The most effective (and probably cheapest) way to protect the town drunk is by providing them a safe place to sleep it off. I would say the same holds true for the town fentanyl junkie. Leaving them on the street and vulnerable is the real sin here.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I guess making the streets safer for vulnerable people is not an option, right?

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

It would probably not be as effective to try to regulate the rest of the world for the sake of the town drunk, but it’s always an option to try.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

How about just making streets safer for vulnerable people such as children, the elderly, the blind and otherwise disabled, which would incidentally benefit the town drunk as well?

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

How about just making streets safer for vulnerable people

Sounds great!

John V
John V
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

The irony is, instead we regulate the rest of the world for the sake of drivers and motor vehicle transportation. Anything to take the blame off of the actual cause of the problem.

Don’t drive drunk. Don’t bike drunk. Don’t even walk drunk! You need to hire someone to drive you home. Complete nonsense.

qqq
qqq
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

There’s some truth to that. In the town drunk case, as I recall he was on his way home (not homeless) to sleep it off, but got run over on the way.

But also, lots of pedestrians killed weren’t homeless or impaired, and I’m guessing of those that were, being homeless or impaired wasn’t a main factor in why they were killed.

You could also say similar things about other people who were killed–“The real sin is that this single mother wouldn’t have been killed if she hadn’t been walking at midnight because she had to work a second job because child care is unaffordable”, “the real sin is that those kids wouldn’t have been out on the street at night to be hit if they hadn’t dropped out of school”, etc.

Those could all be true, and solving the underlying problems could prevent deaths. But the transportation system should still be protecting those people in the meantime. If Ryan had said something like that (maybe he did?) I’d view his comments in a Vision Zero meeting more favorably.

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  qqq

the transportation system should still be protecting those people in the meantime.

That’s a very passive-voice statement. Who ultimately bears responsibility for the outcomes of systems we’ve collectively built over a century?

It’s not an easy question, but the answer is probably not “Dan Ryan”.

qqq
qqq
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

That’s not what “passive voice” means.

I know Dan Ryan isn’t the person who ultimately bears that responsibility. I think most other people also realize that.

I agree the transportation system has been built collectively over a century (actually even longer). That’s why I think it was perfectly logical for me to say it should be protecting people, versus trying to name the people who ultimately bear responsibility for its outcomes. So it’s weird to me that you seem to be questioning that wording.

I have no idea what your point is.

Watts
Watts
26 days ago
Reply to  qqq

I have no idea what your point is.

My point is “the system” has no agency. Here people are lamenting the failure of Dan Ryan to do… something. What should he be doing? Why Dan Ryan?

Everyone wants “more safety”. The question is how?

John V
John V
26 days ago
Reply to  Watts

“the system” is something Dan Ryan has some of the most direct access to the control levers of.

This energy

only_elected
Watts
Watts
26 days ago
Reply to  John V

Your solution is for Dan Ryan to make more safety by “pulling the levers of power”?

Is there a specific policy you want him to advocate for, and have you communicated that to his office?

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
26 days ago
Reply to  John V

They say we live in a democracy, and I can’t really dispute that, but in reality our government is run by bureaucrats who are more worried about job security and paying their mortgage, funded by taxpayers who don’t want to pay any more than they do now, and preferably a lot less. Politicians are elected to take the credit, but more often to take the blame, while most people fail to even vote.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
25 days ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

They say we live in a democracy, and I can’t really dispute that,

I can dispute this:

A political system where one corporate fascist party and another now overtly-fascist party has co-opted the electoral process so that meaningful participation by another party is essentially impossible.

A political system where the blue and red fascist parties have used gerrymandering and barriers to voting to create elections without even a semblance of democratic choice in large swathes of the USA.

A political system where corporate influence of elected officials and the corporate-fascist duopoly has been enshrined by the Supreme court.

A political system where the “president” is not elected by a direct vote or even by a majority vote.

A political system where the judicial arm of government is highly politicized/corporatized and where many important judicial officials either have a lifetime appointment or de facto lifetime appointments.

A political system where the dominant chamber of government (the senate) is elected in a grossly undemocratic fashion (e.g. a citizen of Wyoming has ~80 votes for senate compared to the voting power of a single Californian).

By any objective standard the USA is not a democracy (and never has been).

Watts
Watts
25 days ago

There are no true democracies.

That’s an accurate statement, and a generally unhelpful one.

qqq
qqq
26 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Why Dan Ryan? I mentioned Ryan because I was responding to a comment about what Ryan said. That commenter was responding to some quotes by Ryan in the article. If the quotes had come from someone else, we’d be mentioning someone else.

Yes, everyone wants more safety. I don’t think focusing on the impairment or homelessness status of some victims, which may have been unrelated to why many of them were hit, is the best answer to “how”.

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Any suggestion that anyone other than an active driver or PBOT engineer can have any role in preventing traffic murder is simply victim blaming.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Dan Ryan is a member of city council, and has the ability to directly change policies to better prevent traffic violence. Do you think his comments about impaired pedestrians are helping or hurting that effort?

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Do you think his comments about impaired pedestrians are helping or hurting that effort?

In my opinion, neither.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Doesn’t it take time and focus away from, you know, solving the problem at hand when sitting council members use their taxpayer-funded time to air petty grievances like Ryan did?

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

In an absurdly reductivist world, yes. Imagine what could have been accomplished had those 90 seconds not been wasted!

Luckily, Ryan gets a salary, so he was not paid extra for the time he spent making his statement.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

This was not just an off-the-cuff remark. Ryan said he wants to “dig deeper” into the issue of impaired pedestrians somehow causing their own deaths instead of what he sees as PBOT’s “car-shaming” approach. This despite the abundant data linking pedestrian fatalities to car dependency and the growing size and weight of passenger vehicles. Personally I would like my elected officials to follow the advice of actual experts instead of pushing moral panics about drug use among the poor, but that’s just me.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Other nations have seen increased adoption of heavy vehicles but have not seen the massive increase in traffic violence. Perhaps the increased CARnage has more to do with the pathological behavior and narcissism of ‘murrican drivers than the type of vehicle they drive.

https://ibb.co/Vw0sd7s

https://www.ft.com/content/9c936d97-5088-4edd-a8bd-628f7c7bba31

Steven
Steven
24 days ago

Even if that’s true, what are we supposed to do with that information? Unless someone has a plan to make Americans less narcissistic (unlikely), limiting the size and weight of vehicles and providing safe and viable alternatives to driving seems like a reasonable option.

Watts
Watts
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

This despite the abundant data linking pedestrian fatalities to car dependency and the growing size and weight of passenger vehicles.

What do you want Dan Ryan to do about this?

Steven
Steven
26 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I would like him to stop using his public mouthpiece to spread misinformation and obstruct progress. Seems like a reasonable request for an elected official.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Gotta love how Ryan thinks a sedative (like fentanyl) makes people jump in front of his car “doing a dance”, and how apparently ten years ago we didn’t have “poisonous drugs”. Meth? Crack cocaine? Nope, didn’t exist, I guess.

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Gotta love how Ryan thinks a sedative (like fentanyl) makes people jump in front of his car “doing a dance”

Ryan didn’t say this, and Griggs didn’t claim he did. Where did you get this idea from?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCDq6Pg8hRw

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Starting at around 1 hour and 32 minutes in, Ryan says, “we can assume with some of the data” that pedestrians who get hit by cars do so “because they are impaired while walking”. He describes seeing “people who are homeless that appear to be in their own world, jumping out in front while I’m driving…doing a dance”. He then asks, “are we getting that data on why people are dying…what their blood count is”, and says when Vision Zero was launched a decade ago, “we didn’t have fentanyl, we didn’t have the poisonous drugs that we have on our streets today”.

Ryan didn’t mention methamphetamine or untreated mental illness, which one might charitably assume he was thinking with that little anecdote. Victim-blaming aside, he either forgot what his own story was about or he is equating fentanyl use with a person having a psychotic episode and stepping in front of a car. That’s dumb.

PS
PS
27 days ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Other cities/states didn’t pass Measure 110. Look at us all surprised there were negative consequences to being stupid.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  PS

There are definitely no negative consequences to jailing people for drug possession, amirite?

PS
PS
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Of course, that’s literally the point of incarceration, it is supposed to be a negative consequence particularly to those who were incarcerated.

What’s the angle of this article though, that if it weren’t for being in prison these people who get out and immediately overdose were going to do what exactly, what was the massive opportunity cost to society that we missed out on?

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  PS

That increased overdose risk is an unintentional negative consequence of putting someone in jail for drug possession. If that doesn’t bother you, then why do you care about drug users getting hit by a car?

PS
PS
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

The argument that it should be an obligation of everyone else to deal with not incarcerating drug users/dealers because the prospect of sobriety when released is such an undue burden on them is not remotely compelling and doesn’t trigger what remains of my empathy bank.

Steven
Steven
26 days ago
Reply to  PS

That’s a lot of ten-dollar-words to say that you think people choose to be addicts. Experts say that’s not true. Frankly it doesn’t require empathy to not want to waste trillions more dollars on a failed drug war, just some rational self-interest.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

No one wants to be an addict, but they are the ones that took the first drink or smoked that first drug.
So, yes, addicts choose that path themselves, even if they think they are too smart or too strong and will never get addicted. Famous last words. Sadly, they are proven wrong all the time by their own actions.

Steven
Steven
26 days ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

I suppose no one ever got tricked or coerced into taking drugs, or were exposed before they were mature enough to weigh the risks, or even got hooked on legal prescription opioids. I guess cancer patients just need to exercise a little more personal responsibility and not become dependent on their pain meds.

Steven
Steven
26 days ago
Reply to  PS

Stating that you’d rather see drug users dead than decriminalize possession is a little extreme IMO. Still not seeing why drug users getting hit by a car is a “negative consequence” but people dying of an overdose is not.

Watts
Watts
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Stating that you’d rather see drug users dead than decriminalize possession… 

PS didn’t state that. Nor did anyone else.

Steven
Steven
26 days ago
Reply to  Watts

It’s the logical result of everything they said. If not, PS is welcome to clear up any misinterpretation on my part.

PS
PS
25 days ago
Reply to  Steven

There is nothing logical about distilling what I said to some hyperbolic zero sum position. My argument that the benefits to the majority from the incarceration of those with addiction issues, knowing that there may be cases where the required sobriety of parole is too difficult, is not a preference of them dying. It is just what societies have had to do forever, the will of, or the benefit to the majority supersedes the individual.

Steven
Steven
25 days ago
Reply to  PS

So we just keep addicts locked up forever? Seems pretty draconian. What are these supposed “benefits to the majority” anyway?

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  PS

Research has found no link between Measure 110 and drug overdose deaths. Not sure why it would increase traffic fatalities at the same time.

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Neither of these points really matter. The botched rollout of Measure 110 has set back the cause of drug legalization by decades; the actual cause and effect is much less important than the perception, which is that our legalization experiment was a disaster. Instead of Oregon being the vanguard of a national movement, we’ve effectively killed it.

It needn’t have been so, and if the state can get its act together and get the treatment options in place, we may still end up with many of the benefits promised by M110. But I’m not holding my breath.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Not seeing what the rollout of Measure 110 has to do with blaming unhoused people for their own deaths when they get hit by a car.

Watts
Watts
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Who said that?

PS
PS
27 days ago
Reply to  Steven

It’s survivorship bias, the people overdosing and dying in a tent can’t be hit by a car. The people regularly using because they can’t go to jail for it have lots of opportunities to get hit by a car. That study doesn’t say anything meaningful about increased levels of drug use and death by other means.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago
Reply to  PS

One would think that if Measure 110 led to increased rates of drug use, overdoses would go up as well. That evidently didn’t happen. It’s hard to find reliable data on rates of drug use since 2020, but just 1.5% of drug users in a survey by RTI International started using after Measure 110 went into effect; the overwhelming majority had already been using hard drugs for more than 10 years. Compared to one out of every three people who started gardening during more or less the same time period, a 1.5% increase is tiny.

jakeco969
jakeco969
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

One would think that if Measure 110 led to increased rates of drug use, overdoses would go up as well. That evidently didn’t happen.

Umm, overdoses did go up. One can try to argue that the increase in overdoses is somehow not tied to Measure 110, but to say that overdoses did not increase is simply not correct.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/SUBSTANCEUSE/OPIOIDS/Documents/quarterly_opioid_overdose_related_data_report.pdf

o 2021 unintentional opioid overdose deaths total 738.
o 2022 unintentional opioid overdose deaths total 956.
o 2023 unintentional opioid overdose deaths currently total 628.
• The number of opioid overdose visits to EDs and UCCs in 2023 are higher than previous years.

https://www.opb.org/article/2024/01/28/data-show-overdoses-deaths-rising-in-oregon/

Steven
Steven
26 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

I mis-typed that. Researchers found no increase in overdoses specifically attributable to Measure 110 in the first year of decriminalization.

Chris I
Chris I
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

But how many moved here or were sent here and stayed because of the lax drug laws?

Something must explain the massive increase in overdose deaths, well above the national average:
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/oregon-sees-highest-fentanyl-overdose-death-increase-in-u-s-since-2019/

PS
PS
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Overdoses wouldn’t go up if Narcan went from only available in a medical setting to widely available and recommended that the general population carry it. That has to have altered the statistics dramatically.

Steven
Steven
26 days ago
Reply to  PS

Narcan, i.e. naloxone, can be bought in any pharmacy. Do you mean overdoses wouldn’t have gone up if Narcan had not become widely available? That’s like saying there would be fewer burn victims if fire extinguishers weren’t so widely available.

Chris I
Chris I
26 days ago
Reply to  PS

Narcan is widely available and has absolutely skewed the data. We would have so many more deaths without Narcan.

Chris I
Chris I
26 days ago
Reply to  Steven

For that study, they were only working with one-year data after passage. More recent data showed extremely concerning increases in Oregon; and they are well above the national average:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/oregon-sees-highest-fentanyl-overdose-death-increase-in-u-s-since-2019/

Yearly fentanyl overdose deaths in Oregon grew by an estimated 1,500% since before the pandemic, by far the largest increase in the United States, federal data show.

blumdrew
26 days ago
Reply to  PS

If you have any compelling evidence other than base speculation and a distaste for M110 please provide them. I have yet to see any compelling evidence that anyone in power actually tried to make M110 work, or that it meaningfully affected drug use – much less caused pedestrian deaths to increase as a result of that.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
27 days ago

I’m so very tired of “progressives” erasing the anarchist and anti-capitalist groups that inspired and influenced the move away from a car-centrism in the Netherlands.

…The Provos were not fans of the new wave of modernist planners. They didn’t want their cities becoming car-centric machines. One of them denounced traffic as a pagan God that the Dutch sacrificed multiple people a day to. At first, the Provos were mostly protesting in the streets. But as they got more popular, they moved into politics, even winning a number of seats on the Amsterdam City Council….

The Provos eventually inspired other groups, like the Troublesome Amsterdammers and the Kabouters, who created something called “The Car Elimination Service.” They would ride their bikes through the city, blocking traffic and reclaiming the streets for bicycles…

…”Not long after he published the article, Vic traveled to Amsterdam. He met with Maartje and a number of other parents, and they decided to organize a protest using tactics similar to the Provos and the Kabouters. ….

https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/de-fiets-is-niets/transcript

Although the Stop de Kindermoord movement was influential, other influential groups with anti-capitalist/development leanings also participated in direct actions including Amsterdam Autovrij (Amsterdam Auto-Free”) and De Lastige Amsterdammer (“The troublesome Amsterdammer”). Amsterdam Autovrij was one of the founding organizations of the Dutch cycle union.

Ironically, some of the images/videos that show traffic protests are wrongly attributed to Stop de kindermoord.

For example:

comment image

Images of this protest are often attributed to Stop de kindermoord but took place before it was founded and contain a mix of anti-capitalist groups including Amsterdam Autovrij (whose slogan you can see painted on the upside down cars).

Likewise, the events depicted in the following youtube video took place many months before Stop de kindermoord was founded:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY6PQAI4TZE&t=12s
(Protest footage starts at 2:45

Source:

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/amsterdam-children-fighting-cars-in-1972/

Champs
Champs
27 days ago

Nice to see BSNYC talking sense again.

There was never anything wrong with cotton, and it sure beats animal fiber. I’m not morally opposed to it, I just can’t go a whole day of wearing even the finest stuff without feeling rubbed raw. Sorry wooly bullies.

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
27 days ago

Expired tags: The article is behind a paywall so I can’t easily read it.

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
27 days ago

Bad drivers and death: This article is also behind a paywall.

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
27 days ago

Biking through grief: Paywall again.

Chris I
Chris I
26 days ago

Imagine paying for information.

Home
Home
26 days ago

Vanmoof has always made slick hardware, but their reliance on proprietary components and non standardized software means that their bikes are nearly impossible to repair for home mechanics or normal bike shops. This didn’t seem to be a big deal when they were a rising star that was growing by leaps and bounds. But following a bankruptcy and reorganization, buying into that business model is a risky proposition for consumers. I’m glad to see they are trying to make a go of it again under new ownership, but I’m surprised that they continue to sell bikes with all-proprietary components. You could easily get off the shelf parts that do the same thing as their gear boxes and hub motors that are widely available and which conform to industry standards.

dw
dw
26 days ago
Reply to  Home

When I was shopping for an e-bike, it was really important to me that the bike components were standard. I can either repair it myself or get my local shop to do it for me, without having to go to a specific dealer.

I am pretty put off by the need for a smartphone connection though. Ebikes aren’t so complicated that I should need my phone to unlock my bike!

mcl pedaler
mcl pedaler
26 days ago
mcl pedaler
mcl pedaler
26 days ago

Re. cotton, I’ve long worn cotton while cycling. A water-soaked long-sleeve T does wonders in the summer, and many years ago before spandex (BS), bike racers wore Merino wool jerseys and shorts (and leggings).