Monday Roundup: Star Wars urbanism, illegal kiss, school streets, and more

Welcome to the week.

Today’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by The eBike Store, Portland’s original all-electric bike shop. Stop in for great service and a selection of quality e-bike brands.

Here are the most notable items we came across in the past seven days…

Different coast, same battle: This disagreement over free, on-street car parking in a neighborhood in Queens, New York made me think of what PBOT is about to do on North Willamette. Gird yourself for petitions and read this one to ready your responses. (NY Times)

Star Wars urbanism: This is a fun and bitingly funny sendup of the battle that exploded the Death Star, “the first-ever pedestrian-only planet.” (McSweeney’s)

E-bike lessons from Europe: With e-bikes models now the majority in many of European’s cycling capitals, it’s well worth your time to read this interview with two experts on the topic. They cover some very important questions that U.S. policymakers need to keep top-of-mind, like the vital importance of subsidies, the need to focus on safe infrastructure, problems with speedy bikes, and more. (Bloomberg)

Long distance emissions: New research from the UK reveals the massive emissions reductions that can be gained from focusing on ways to encourage people to take fewer long-distance flights and car trips and the analysis is yet another vote for a more complete rail network. (Science Daily)

Corking consequences: Chicago’s vibrant Critical Mass ride has been met with violent rage by some drivers who have acted out against people corking traffic along the route. (Streetsblog Chicago)

School streets: This video of how school streets work in Ghent, shot during the recent Velo-city Conference, gives us a great primer on how easy and impactful temporary carfree streets near schools can be. (Streetsblog)

Post-freeway era: A project in Detroit is eerily similar to the I-5 Rose Quarter project where you’ve got a DOT trying to restore a thriving Black community it nearly destroyed with a freeway project and now wants to “reconnect” and restore the neighborhood with a less intrusive surface street. (NPR)

Another rebate frenzy: Minnesotans were so eager for e-bike rebates they became the latest in a long line of city residents to crash a website set up to hand out the subsidy vouchers. (Star Tribune)

Gamer urbanism: A game designer from the Netherlands is creating, “Car Park Capital,” a satirical, Sim City-like quest where gamers have to build a pro-car city despite how terrible the outcomes are, and use in-game propaganda to keep people convinced it makes sense. (PC Gamer)

‘Hill bomb’ enforcement: Looks like San Francisco has their own version of Portland’s ‘Zoobomb’ but in that city the cops and participants have clashed and a showdown seems imminent. (SF Gate)

Illegal kiss: During a recent time trial stage of the Tour de France, one of the riders (who happens to live just off the course) stopped to hug and kiss his wife. It was a beautiful moment, but earned the rider a fine from race organizers for, “unseemly or inappropriate behaviour.” (BBC)


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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John V
John V
14 days ago

On the topic of the long distance emissions article – I went to the beach for a few days this weekend and returned on Saturday. The whole trip made me just so bummed out that we don’t have any way to do that trip by train.

Some will point out there is a bus or two that will go, but this just isn’t a substitute for real infrastructure. On the way back, since it was Saturday morning, there was a miles long “train” of cars stuck in traffic doing ~30mph going towards the coast. It was absurd and depressing to look at. Not only is it a waste but it sucks, it’s relatively dangerous, it’s expensive, and the throughput is abysmal! The experience itself is terrible in a car.

This kind of all at once and predictable traffic with a shared destination is the *exact* kind of thing a rail line would address. Imagine being able to walk onto a train and show up at the beach (or stop at one of a handful of stops in the coast range!). They already have rail lines going North/South along the coast, they would need to really get those working better (I think they’re just for pretend amusement rides now). And then bam, one of the main destinations for vacation and recreation is open to easy access without a car, one of the main blockers to living without one.

My family all brought bikes. We stayed at a place in a small town and for our whole stay never used the car. The bikes got us all over town wherever we wanted to go. If we just had real transit options, it wouldn’t feel like some wasteful extravagant ordeal to head to the coast for the weekend.

Will
Will
14 days ago

Bring back the Daddy Train to Astoria

Micah Prange
Micah Prange
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

Totally agree! John V’s comment applies very aptly to skiing also — just reverse the season and the direction of travel on 26. But the same sense of despondence as you sit with your corecreationists surviving “predictable traffic with a shared destination”.

John V
John V
14 days ago
Reply to  Micah Prange

Oh yeah, I feel like (unscientifically) this has gotten worse since I was younger. I’ve given up and gone home on days I was trying to go up to the mountain. Most likely the resorts themselves will be / are at capacity anyway but imagine taking an hour to get there instead of sitting in dangerous traffic for three hours or whatever. This seems like another no brainer, and it would open up the whole area to bikes without cars too, all year. I went on an OMTM ride in Mt. Hood a few weeks ago (first time in a while, I prefer to ride from home). The traffic was light, but I was just reminded of how long a drive it really is. It’s really not that close!

jakeco969
jakeco969
14 days ago
Reply to  Micah Prange

Seems like car centric thinking has brainwashed a lot of people into thinking it’s their right and privilege to drive wherever they want whenever they want for personal benefit. Maybe there would be less congestion/pollution if urbanists embraced urban living and found things to do in the immediate environs?

John V
John V
14 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Except we have solutions that allow people to access places without driving a car, in a very efficient way. We just haven’t built it. So people use the only way we support, which is driving. And we spend a lot of money supporting that! And we offload a lot of that expense onto individuals too. Both a future where everyone drives everywhere, and a future where people don’t ever visit a place more than 30 or so miles away, are both dystopian. I believe politics is about making a future that is not dystopian.

jakeco969
jakeco969
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

Nuclear power plants are a solution to our energy needs and yet there are not any planned to be built in the foreseeable future. The same holds true for any increase in substantial rail lines. They are not coming anytime soon. I understand that you would rather pine for a potential future rather than face the present that we have now since the present is one long traffic jam of urbanites clogging up roads making life miserable for themselves, the locals and the planet as a whole.
Don’t get me wrong, I would rather there have been a grid of local trolley zones throughout the Willamette valley being linked to coastal and and eastern grids via more rail lines which would have enhanced self productivity of food stuffs, kept more people working the land and given more time for artistic pursuits by keeping consumerism down. Unfortunately, that did not happen and here we are.
The climate crisis is here, needing to flee the city during the heat is evidence (as if any more evidence is needed) of that. It is unfortunate that the previous presidential administration discounted the crisis, it is even more unfortunate that the current administration decided to triple down on electric cars, solar panels and platitudes (as well as legislatively blocking a railroad strike proving he is no friend of rail) rather than try to develop any real form of mass transportation for the urban and rural dweller both. Again though, it is where we are right now. Having been failed by two previous administrations and with the promise of one of the administrations being continued I ask you where you think any resources for the extensive investment of trolley or railroad lines, cars, infrastructure and people to crew and run them is going to come from? I am not sure what you mean by saying you believe in politics. It seems that constantly playing politics has gotten us where we drowning in the refuse of a car centric mess.

BB
BB
14 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The infrastructure bill passed last year includes 66 BILLION for passenger Rail.
The largest investment since the creation of Amtrak.
Not exactly platitudes.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

a future where everyone drives everywhere [is] dystopian

This pretty much describes the present, and most people don’t seem to think it’s dystopian at all.

Damien
Damien
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I don’t know about “most”, but I’d bet it’s a lot more than you suspect.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Damien

Outside of progressive transportation circles, I never, ever hear that opinion expressed. Is it something you hear much of outside the bubble?

Damien
Damien
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Yes.

It does not surprise me at all that you don’t hear much how ill-suited the status quo is to many.

BB
BB
13 days ago
Reply to  Damien

LOL,
It is called the status quo because that is what we have and the vast majority of people in this country apparently are OK with status quo or it would not BE the status quo.
So you are in a bubble.

Damien
Damien
13 days ago
Reply to  BB

So you are in a bubble.

The sheer, incredulous irony.

It is called the status quo because that is what we have and the vast majority of people in this country apparently are OK with status quo or it would not BE the status quo.

This sounds nice and democratic, but that’s not how the world works.

BB
BB
13 days ago
Reply to  Damien

How does the world work?
Did the present system (status quo) come about in some nefarious way?
Who did that? The Rothchilds? The Illuminati?
150 million people vote in the country but you and your “many” friends are just being stopped from trying to change the status quo?
Is that about right?

John V
John V
13 days ago
Reply to  BB

I feel like by your interpretation, bad things that people don’t like just can’t happen. By definition.

BB
BB
13 days ago
Reply to  John V

Bad Things certainly happen, People vote for dumb things, dumb policies and awful people all the time.
You just need more votes for your policies to change that.
You have a. Better plan to make that happen?

Damien
Damien
13 days ago
Reply to  BB

These clownish, bad-faith strawmen make BP worse for them, BB. You’d be better suited internet warrioring elsewhere.

Ciao for now.

BB
BB
13 days ago
Reply to  Damien

Anytime one of your views is challenged in anyway, you call it bad faith or whatever, never actually respond except to self moderate this forum.
Sulk away……

Damien
Damien
11 days ago
Reply to  BB

That’s the thing, BB – bad faith strawmen aren’t a challenge. They’re a joke, deserving only derision and scorn. So that’s what they get.

Take a page from Watts’ book. Nobody stans the status quo harder, but they do so in good faith and with thoughtfulness. Be more like Watts.

Watts
Watts
11 days ago
Reply to  Damien

in good faith and with thoughtfulness

And stunning good looks!

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  Damien

I’ve heard that; but what I don’t hear outside the bubble — ever — is that people think that getting around in cars is dystopian.

Rob Galanakis
Rob Galanakis
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Maybe you’re not listening, but a huge proportion- often the majority!- of complaints I hear people in real life outside of Portland complain about are 1) traffic, 2) parking, 3) crashes, 4) cost of gas/tolls. And those are just direct impacts, to say nothing of all the “complaining” about climate change, cost of housing, etc., which are intimately associated with driving.

People aren’t trained to see any of this as problems with automobile-centric design (quite the opposite, they’re trained to ask for more driving and parking capacity), so of course you aren’t going to hear them describe driving itself in terms of a dystopia.

And of course there are all the people complaining about how it’s “impossible to drive in Portland” (which to be fair are a small minority despite the coverage they get).

I really wonder if maybe I misunderstood your comment, it seems bizarre- if you talk to someone who drives often you’ll almost definitely hear them complain about driving!

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  Rob Galanakis

complaints I hear people in real life

I hear these too (well, actually I don’t, but I know they’re common complaints).

Griping is very different from thinking you live in a dystopia.

But don’t take my word for it… let’s see what people think (or at least what they say on surveys):

59% of all Americans think they drive a car about the right amount; 17% think they do not drive a car often enough, and slightly fewer (15%) think they drive too often.

It doesn’t sound like people think driving is dystopic.

https://today.yougov.com/travel/articles/48782-how-americans-feel-about-walking-driving-and-other-transit

Rob Galanakis
Rob Galanakis
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

This is a fascinating perspective. Something can only be dystopian, if the people currently living in the dystopia, describe it that way.

Let me tell you about Long Island, New York, which is absolutely a place “where everyone drives everywhere.”

I grew up on Long Island, New York. I drove to college in Brooklyn every day. There were times it could take 3 hours, for a trip that was under 40 minutes without traffic. It was so bad that it was a major factor leading to me almost dropping out. It would have been about an hour on LIRR, but at no point was that even presented as an option. I didn’t have the perspective or vocabulary at the time, but the idea of spending 3 hours on a commute and almost dropping out of school due to traffic, I would definitely describe as dystopian.

When I visit my family on Long Island, stopped taking trips into the city because of the traffic and parking. Eventually I insisted we take the train and subway. My mom lives a 6 minute walk from an LIRR station! Missing out on the culture of NYC, a few dozen miles away, because of traffic and a cultural lack of awareness of alternatives, I would definitely describe as dystopian.

It took my brother’s family 3+ hours to get from Long Island to Nyack on Easter this year. I don’t know if I’ll have Easter with my nieces and nephews this year. Not spending holidays with family a few dozen miles away because of traffic, I would definitely describe as dystopian.

My older brother (who drives everywhere) just finished The Power Broker, the Robert Moses biography. I can speak for him when I say that seeing what Moses built is dystopian, though most people at the time and later were deceived (the public works were popular because they were knowingly misrepresented). Is a 4 hour commute (each way!) from Suffolk County along the Long Island Expressway dystopian? Maybe not, until you learn that Moses intentionally built it without the ability to later add a train to the median, which planners at the time were begging for.

I think few people describe Long Island or the NYC suburbs as a dystopia, or even driving there as dystopian. I certainly didn’t. But if you take people out of that context, and give them an alternative, maybe they’ll describe it as such.

I also want to say that maybe you’re shifting the goal posts: “people think that getting around in cars is dystopian.” No one has said that. Driving is pretty awesome! The dystopia arrives when everyone (has to) drive everywhere.

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  Rob Galanakis

Something can only be dystopian, if the people currently living in the dystopia, describe it that way.

Whatever problems that perspective may have, it’s better than “we’re in a dystopia because John V and Rob Galanakis said we are”.

I’m not sure what to make of your story. It is interesting from a general standpoint, but if living too far from the city to make the trip worthwhile is dystopian, then you’ve set the bar pretty low.

Wikipedia says a dystopia is “a community or society that is extremely bad or frightening.” What you’ve described seems more like bad planning (both personal and by Moses-era engineers). Even relying on cars for transportation (as a great many Americans do) is a pretty far cry from anything remotely dystopian.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dystopia

PS Many here want someone to exhibit leadership and remake our transportation system. This is exactly what Robert Moses did, much to our great sorrow.

Rob Galanakis
Rob Galanakis
12 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I guess young kids in the oldest democracy in the world now having active shooter drills, bullet proof bookbags, and armed teachers, is also not dystopian, because they aren’t calling it dystopian, it’s just, you know, 3rd graders having to worry about gun violence, totally normal and fine, let’s not overreact and call such a thing “dystopian.”

Skyrocketing costs of housing, homelessness, civil infrastructure breakdown, pending municipal financial crises, pedestrian deaths, and climate change, primarily due to the way we’ve designed our urban environments, is also not dystopian, because my mom says she doesn’t mind driving 1.5 hours to visit her sister 20 miles away (as if she had another choice). Sure!

I walked home from school with a 3rd grader this year who had never crossed a major street on foot. Yup, totally fine!

Your dystopian goalposts don’t exist, I won’t attempt to find them.

> if living too far from the city to make the trip worthwhile is dystopian, then you’ve set the bar pretty low.

Nassau County, Long Island, has the effective population density of Portland. Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

> PS Many here want someone to exhibit leadership and remake our transportation system. This is exactly what Robert Moses did, much to our great sorrow.

This is between ahistorical and historically juvenile. I’m assuming you haven’t read about his life or experienced his legacy, but if so, I’d encourage you to look a little deeper than this.

In any case, you’ve thoroughly moved the debate from what the commenter originally said, to the general idea of driving cars being dystopian, which is obviously not what the original commenter meant or what you engaged with. You’re also obviously conflating something being dystopian, with living in a dystopia (which pretty obviously cannot exist objectively), so I think this has about run its course.

Watts
Watts
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob Galanakis

you’ve thoroughly moved the debate…

I don’t think so… though an earlier post did use the shorthand of “driving”, my last post said “relying on cars for transportation”. That’s a fair characterization of the original argument.

But regardless, the basic point still stands that most Americans seem happy enough with their relationship with driving, and I posted data to support that. It could still seem dystopic to some people, but I contend that’s an “inside the bubble” belief.

Andrew S
Andrew S
14 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Like mountain bike trails in Portland that you don’t have to drive to?

*defeated sigh

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Micah Prange

There’s a ski bus!

Home
Home
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

There’s public transit to timberline, but it’s around 3 hours from Portland with multiple transfers and multiple different transit agencies if you’re lucky enough to actually make all the connections. The bus does not continue on to meadows.

There’s a bus from hood river to mount hood meadows, but you have to drive an hour from Portland each way to catch the bus. There’s no winter bus that gets you from Portland to hood river in time to catch the bus to meadows.

There’s a motor coach bus that goes from downtown Portland to meadows, but it is very expensive. Something like fifty dollars per person, per day. Even in a gas guzzling truck containing only one person, gas or diesel will be much less than the cost of a single bus ticket, and will offer much more schedule flexibility.

The winter transit options to mount hood are not a reasonable alternative to driving for Portland based winter recreation enthusiasts. Expense, duration, and hassle make all of the options unpalatable.

Micah Prange
Micah Prange
14 days ago
Reply to  Home

Amen. It’s criminal that Meadows is being allowed to expand/renegotiate their SUP without providing even a ski bus.

John V
John V
14 days ago
Reply to  Home

And crucially, the bus gets stuck in the same traffic as the cars that make it a three hour trip!

jakeco969
jakeco969
14 days ago
Reply to  Home

The winter transit options to mount hood are not a reasonable alternative to driving for Portland based winter recreation enthusiasts.

So why contribute so much to the ongoing climate crisis and consumerism? Is getting a few trips down the slope worth it? Not a gotcha question, if you are a climate denier I’m truly curious what your thought process is and what your argument to keep driving to ski would be.

Home
Home
14 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

I’m definitely not a climate denier. I definitely am concerned about the impacts of transportation, and I have spent a lot of time and money searching for more sustainable transport options. I currently use an electric vehicle to get to the mountain. If there was a bus or a train from Portland with reasonable cost and frequency,I would definitely use it. I’ve tried the existing transit options and found them lacking.

Sure, not going to the mountain at all would be the more climate friendly option. But the Mount hood resorts would hardly miss my presence if I decided not to go. There are ten thousand people in the greater Portland metro region that will be making the trip on most winter weekends anyway. On peak days, Meadows and timberline both completely fill their parking lots, and excess vehicles spill out into surrounding parking areas and road sides. The people are going to go to the mountain. Better to figure out how to move all those people more efficiently than to chastise those that are going to the mountain.

jakeco969
jakeco969
14 days ago
Reply to  Home

I appreciate the thoughtful reply, I’m not trying to pick an argument . I agree the mass transit options are limited, I just disagree with all the 10 thousand people going out there in ones and two’s (maybe three’s and four’s) per vehicle for something that’s not very essential. We greatly curtailed smoking through knowledge of what it does to the smoker and everyone around that person through public service announcements and an extensive series of commercials over many years as well an increase in sin taxes. I truly believe party trips can be curtailed the same way if people actually wanted to do it. As you say, no one actually wants to do it yet.
I don’t really have a point to this I guess, Its just hard seeing all those people thumb their noses at the crisis in liberal Portland of all places and wonder how they will react when its to late to mitigate the problems that are coming.

Home
Home
14 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

I wish there was a way to price in the externalities. I’m sure that people would be a lot more judicious in their transportation decisions if the price fully encompassed the cost of mitigating the travel impacts. ODOT makes some gestures in that direction by requiring the purchase of snow park permits. But the cost of permits is probably heavily subsidized, and it doesn’t reflect the impact of vehicle type, fuel consumption, frequency of use, or distance traveled. Parking at the mountain should be priced on a per use basis (with fees scaled by vehicle occupancy and vehicle type). But implementation of parking fees elsewhere has led to major backlash, even in locations that are better served by transit than mount hood.

ROH
ROH
13 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

“…for something that’s not very essential.”

Skiing is as essential as any other activity humans do. Once we start deciding which activities are essential and which are not, we are lost as a culture and perhaps as a species. What is more essential than physical activity, pleasure, fun, socializing?

jakeco969
jakeco969
13 days ago
Reply to  ROH

Not all human activities are essential. Driving is mostly not, drunk driving definitely not. Hunting (for food) is strictly regulated and many are against the practice, etc and etc. We have many behaviors that are regulated or not allowed that some enjoy and others find abhorrent
We are lost as a culture when we are so rich and arrogant that we elevate pleasures over responsibilities and in doing so we somehow come to believe we deserve these things regardless of their consequences . I have been to too many places around the world where pleasure, fun and socializing were distant second or third to getting food and protecting one’s family or clan. I think fun is important, but nowhere near anything like essential.

qqq
qqq
13 days ago
Reply to  ROH

The same can be said for helicopter skiing, big game hunting (or even big game hunting from helicopters) and space ship trips to outer space or submarine trips to the Titanic.

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  ROH

Skiing is as essential as any other activity humans do.

Surely not as essential as posting on BikePortland!

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Home

There are resorts in Europe (and elsewhere) that are well equipped for arriving by bus or train. And even there, a huge number of people choose to drive.

Traveling from your home to the mountain is clumsy enough when you can load your gear into a car; doing so on a combination of ski bus and TriMet while carrying everything you need is not really a good option.

I can see why most people drive.

John V
John V
13 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Just laying down and dying is the climate friendly option. The goal (for me, for leftists in general) isn’t to reduce climate impacts to zero (or we wouldn’t suggest building railroads). It’s to live a fulfilling life with the most freedom to choose how we want to live possible, for the most people possible. In a sustainable way. I believe humans have a tendency to want to experience nature. It’s part of living a fulfilling life. Asking people not to go to Mt. Hood or go to the beach is too much.
What I’m saying is we need to build infrastructure that lets people do the things that make life worth living in a sustainable way, that future people will also have the opportunity to do. If right now our best way to get to the mountain is driving, that’s what people will do. It’s what they SHOULD do. We need to give them better ways, but our society (mostly neoliberalism) has forgotten how to build infrastructure.

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  John V

lets people do the things that make life worth living in a sustainable way

Can you clarify why EVs that use existing infrastructure are less sustainable than building new rail infrastructure to the major mountain trailheads without starting from the premise that cars are somehow inherently bad?

Keep in mind that trains don’t do well on hills and so could not just run along existing roads.

John V
John V
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I think you know. EVs don’t handle the throughput, they are very inefficient (mostly sit unused, require more materials per person, expendable batteries). Most importantly, they commit us to having everyone have one, meaning we use them because they’re there. People think “why invest in better options, I’m already paying for a car”.

Self driving EVs, if they ever materialize, could solve the problem of everyone having to own their own personal vehicle. That wouldn’t solve the problem that they’re extremely wasteful in space and you’ll always be stuck in gridlock at busy times.

Vehicles themselves have no inherent moral character. But in the context they actually exist in, they do. In this context, they’re driven by people (or even robots!) that put others in danger. They are resource intensive and not sustainable for everyone to have and use all the time. That’s all I can think of now. If we were in some post scarcity world and the environment and people were protected, I wouldn’t say cars are that bad (other than the possibly very real atomizing effect they have on people isolated from other humans but I don’t know how to quantify that).

Damien
Damien
13 days ago
Reply to  John V

(other than the possibly very real atomizing effect they have on people isolated from other humans but I don’t know how to quantify that)

“Induced sociopathy”, I call it. “Motonormativity” this paper calls it: https://osf.io/preprints/psyarxiv/egnmj

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  John V

EVs don’t handle the throughput, mostly sit unused, etc.

Travel time is orthogonal to sustainability, at least environmentally. If it weren’t, transit would be utterly non-viable. And since most people already have a vehicle for other purposes, taking it to the mountain would only incur marginal costs, financially and environmentally. EVs on existing roads is far, far more sustainable and practical than building rail to even the more popular mountain destinations.

That wouldn’t solve the problem that autonomous vehicles are extremely wasteful in space and you’ll always be stuck in gridlock at busy times.

AVs aren’t relevant to the sustainability of building a rail system through the mountains vs. using existing infrastructure, but your extrapolation is limited. If I own a fleet of AVs that are primarily used to transport one or two people, why wouldn’t I develop smaller vehicles? Size reduction seems inevitable absent the social forces pushing vehicles larger.

But I agree — congestion does seem inevitable during peak times if everyone is using the same infrastructure (trains also get crowded). Do autonomous vehicles need to solve every single problem to be a big advance over the status quo?

Your list of objections are all legitimate considerations, but the proper comparison is not against some imaginary ideal but impossible solution, but against the various plausible alternatives. Trains to Mt Hood are not on the table. Trains around Portland are not on the table. EVs absolutely are (they’re widely available now), and AVs are most likely coming, unless you think the technology is just too fundamentally difficult.

jakeco969
jakeco969
12 days ago
Reply to  John V

Asking people not to go to Mt. Hood or go to the beach is too much.

This right here tells me all I need to hear on the seriousness that many self described leftists have on the climate crisis. Not even cutting back on trips or having a discussion on the value of what they are doing. No, it is more important that they can go wherever and whenever they want. What at this point is the difference between a leftist as you describe them and some knuckle dragging goof in a lifted and widened truck? They like doing whatever, whenever they want too. Is it that you imagine a better future? Regardless of how obtainable it is? Does living in a fantasy world make one more of a good leftist?

 I believe humans have a tendency to want to experience nature. It’s part of living a fulfilling life.

A lot of the people in the world live in nature or a quasi urban environment as part of the food chain where they are being preyed upon by their fellow humans and struggling to simply survive. And when I say survive I don’t mean making that rent payment on time, I mean physically getting enough food/clean water for themselves and family to make it far enough to do the same thing over and over. They are not having the luxury of wondering how in the world they are going to fill all the time that life provides for them with something fulfilling.
I can’t help but despair when I realize that folks can’t understand the coming crisis as they can’t even imagine the current situation the world is experiencing.

John V
John V
12 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Not even cutting back on trips or having a discussion on the value of what they are doing. No, it is more important that they can go wherever and whenever they want.

This is an obvious straw man of what I said and an honest reading would make that clear. I literally am talking about train routes and public transit, they hardly go wherever and whenever you want.
Saying people shouldn’t live their lives and do things that make life fulfilling is not serious. Or it’s serious in a pretty bad direction. That way leads to telling people they shouldn’t have children, can’t do anything not strictly necessary for (something, what exactly?).

Living life produces emissions. Unless you’re one of the fringe that literally thinks the human race should go extinct, you’re going to produce emissions. What are they for? Lines have to be drawn somewhere. We need to do whatever we can to allow people to sustainably do things that make life worth while.
Given our inept government and leadership that shows no signs of ever doing that, I don’t expect people to give up things like visiting the outdoors in the one life they have to live when their action will have no meaningful impact.

Obviously we have to decide what is reasonable and what isn’t, and I think we’ve very clearly drawn the line in the wrong place in what passes for our democracy. But it’s not a binary “you never go snowboarding or you always go snowboarding every day”.

Actual leftism is about making our lives better, not whatever you’re talking about. I think it is attainable, no magical scientific advancements necessary.

jakeco969
jakeco969
12 days ago
Reply to  John V

I quoted directly from your statement. You are the strawman you are saying I am using. In your statement you comment that if only trains were going out of Portland to provide a release from the urban life than people should do that. If only public transit existed all of a sudden to allow all of that. I agree with that desire. However….
there are not now and will not be trains going to the mountains or the beaches anytime soon. Wishing won’t make it so. I’m not the only person to point this out to you.
Therefore it is completely legitimate to discuss the problem of so many people using single use vehicles (even if they cram a family into one) for recreation and whether it doesn’t bother them, if they just don’t care or if there are steps to take to lessen the impact.
Please don’t suggest I wrote anything about an either/or situation.

Given our inept government and leadership that shows no signs of ever doing that, I don’t expect people to give up things like visiting the outdoors in the one life they have to live when their action will have no meaningful impact.

I did not think you thought your fellow citizens were so powerless to do anything without government doing it for them.
Are you refuting the “Think Globally, Act Locally” ideals?

John V
John V
12 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

You clearly didn’t just quote me, why would you lie like that? You quoted me then made a strawman. Be honest, please.

there are not now and will not be trains going to the mountains or the beaches anytime soon.

There could be. There definitely won’t be if nobody demands it, if everyone says we should all just deal with climate change and transportation on an individual, atomized level. If you do that, there definitely won’t be any action on climate change or big infrastructure projects.

Please don’t suggest I wrote anything about an either/or situation.

What you said up above was to criticize someone for going skiing. You don’t know how much they do it, you don’t know if it’s once a year, once every other year, if they carpool, you don’t know. You just said

So why contribute so much to the ongoing climate crisis and consumerism? Is getting a few trips down the slope worth it? Not a gotcha question, if you are a climate denier I’m truly curious what your thought process is and what your argument to keep driving to ski would be.

without any context. That to me is saying you don’t think people should go skiing. And that is ludicrous and frankly a pointless thing to say. Instead of this nonsense, we should be talking about ways to make the trip up the mountain less impactful. Better transit options (they don’t have to be trains), for example. Possibly restricting the amount of snow park passes that can be given out (in some equitable way). Just off the top of my head.

What is not reasonable is saying “why don’t you stop visiting the outdoors around you”. We’re going to have to address climate change in a way that doesn’t have you living your entire life within a 20 mile radius of your home, don’t have kids, don’t do this or that. We have to come up with ways to restrict some wasteful activities without cutting off everything.

I did not think you thought your fellow citizens were so powerless to do anything without government doing it for them.

If you think any meaningful climate change mitigation is going to happen without major government action, you’ve simply got your head in the clouds.

jakeco969
jakeco969
12 days ago
Reply to  John V

We have to come up with ways to restrict some wasteful activities without cutting off everything.

Exactly! I completely agree with you on this. Your discussions jump around a lot, but this is a great statement. We have to deal with reality as it is now rather than making assumptions on how things might be in some nebulous future time. Having the discussion right now on what is wasteful AND how much of an activity is wasteful is crucial to getting to the future that you are relying on existing.

You clearly didn’t just quote me, why would you lie like that? You quoted me then made a strawman. Be honest, please.

I quoted your words directly and based my statement on what I could make sense of in your own statements. No lie needed and none intended.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Home

In short: there’s bus service that technically works, but it is slow, runs infrequently, offers low flexibility, costs more than driving, and doesn’t really get you where you want to go.

This is exactly my criticism of Portland’s general transit strategy.

Home
Home
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Yes, I suppose the Mount hood transit is a microcosm of the Portland metro transit paradigm. it works well for those that are situated in an advantageous location. For everyone else, driving is a more favorable option.

John V
John V
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

This is exactly my criticism of Portland’s general transit strategy.

Mine too, but all of those are solvable problems except the flexibility, and you only want “flexibility” if it doesn’t get you where you want to go (which is solvable). There will always be edge cases easily solved by a bike, or hell, robo e-taxis or just rentals for those.

We don’t actually have to accept the way things are now as the way they have to be.

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  John V

We don’t actually have to accept the way things are now as the way they have to be.

We do, however, have to accept that it’s the way things are now, and that any future developments have to derive from the current situation through a plausible set of incremental steps.

Micah Prange
Micah Prange
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I know. I regularly ride it.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Micah Prange

Just curious: which service do you use, where do you catch it, and what’s the experience like?

Micah Prange
Micah Prange
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Hi Watts, I catch the regular trimet (4, 44, or yellow line plus connections to blue line or the weird green busses on Division) and ride it to gresham central transit center. From there there is a bus to Sandy (SAM?? or something like that — catch what looks like the short bus on the street just N of the max tracks). Ride that to Sandy and from there catch the Mount Hood Express. If you show up on the SAM with skis (or ask), the operator will know what’s up and arrange your pickup with the MHX via radio. $5 for a day pass to get you from Gresham to your destination (with the trimet day pas it’s ~$11/day round trip for me). The service is great throughout. If you catch the first MHX bus, you can get to Govy around 8:40 and Tline by just after 9. As stated above, there is no service on 26/35 beyond the Timberline road, severely limiting the usefulness of the service. There are a few trips during the day, but you need to plan your itinerary with the bus in mind. It’s pretty nice, except, as pointed out above, it is excruciatingly slow (I typically need to wait for 3 connections each way and have to leave before 6 to make it to Tline before 10:30). Not a bad way to go if you have all day and want to ski something west of the White River (i.e. accessed from Tline parking lot or Skibowl West/Mirror Lk snopark).

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Micah Prange

Great report! How many folks doing something similar do you usually see?

Micah
Micah
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Glad you liked my post! You are correct that most of the ridership are going to work and do not take skis or a snowboard (truly sad). Some are going to work and take some sliding tools. On a typical trip I see 1-2 other people I think are primarily going for recreation. There’s the ski rack on the back of the bus for a reason…. I think with a few improvements a lot of people would utilize bus service to the ski area. I learned about the possibility of riding the bus to ski from the dude behind me in the line for the resort shuttle from Govy to Timberline who was regretting his decision to drive up instead of taking the bus. You say you understand why people drive to ski. I do, too, and I bet I drive to the ski resort more frequently than you. You ski? If so, I’m sure you understand the angst around the drive that John V evokes eloquently above.

Regarding cost, there is no way you can round trip from Portland to Timberline for $11 in a private vehicle. Fuel costs for ICE car is already more than that before you account for the cost of the vehicle. Obviously the transit is heavily subsidized.

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  Micah

You are correct that most of the ridership are going to work and do not take skis or a snowboard (truly sad).

I was mostly just curious about how many people use this. I imagine it’s easier if you snowboard because your gear is smaller and you don’t need to carry your boots.

I bet I drive to the ski resort more frequently than you.

I’ll bet you do. I do ski, though I’ve cut my trips back to once or twice per season in part because of the hassle, part because of the guilt, part because of the cost, crowds, and resortiness of it all, and part because I don’t find the resort skiing at Hood to be particularly interesting except on the rare days when the snow is great.

Regarding cost, there is no way you can round trip from Portland to Timberline for $11 in a private vehicle.

That depends on how many people are in your vehicle.

Micah
Micah
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I imagine it’s easier if you snowboard because your gear is smaller and you don’t need to carry your boots.

I have found it pretty easy to tote my ski setup on the bus — voile strap the skis and poles together, boots around the neck, and normal ski pack.

I hear you on all the reasons you don’t ski.

Micah
Micah
14 days ago
Reply to  Micah Prange
mark
mark
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I’ll chime in. Our family has done this for years, just like Micah. Trimet to Gresham, SAM to Sandy Transit Center, and MHX to Timberline. Yeah, it’s about 3 hours, but you’re free to relax and read a book and not worry about road conditions or parking. I think the one-way cost was $5-6 total for all three legs of the trip.

Watts
Watts
13 days ago
Reply to  mark

Compared to the $5 for a SnoPark permit, that’s practically free (if you’re flying solo).

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

I too have taken numerous trains to the beach In Europe, including Oostende in Belgium and Portrush in Northern Ireland, and yes, the trains were full of tourists.

Which is part of the problem in the USA. Most of our rail systems are run by freight railroads who see no value whatsoever in moving people, so they serve port facilities but not tourist destinations; only Amtrak and regional passenger rail state and city agencies do that, so our access to parks and beaches is pretty much limited to ones that just happen to be along a major freight rail line, like Glacier NP, Puget Sound, and Big Sur, but very few of the top tourist destinations.

For a couple years there was a short line Amtrak service between Portland and Astoria.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Amtrak still runs twice daily bus service from Portland to Astoria. It only takes 3 hours.

Micah
Micah
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I did not know about this — will have to check it out. Thanks.

maxD
maxD
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

I love tis observations! I rode a train in Ecuador a couple of decades ago that that first, second and third class tickets. The third class accommodations were a box car with no doors and a couple of benches bolted to the floor. People brought all kinds of stuff with them including bikes and chickens. People also sat on the roof which was amazing! I realize that there is an extremely different liability culture here, but I love the option of informality- buy a cheap ticket and get a basic accommodation, but feel free to through your bike in, or your dog- whatever!

I strongly second the idea of train to coast and mountain destinations, but I would also love to see some more casual accommodations that just make it easier to bring a bike or a backpack, or a pet or a kite surfing rig along.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

There are a limited number of viable train routes through the mountains. There is one along the Columbia to Astoria that (I think) is still mostly functional, and another through the mountains along the Nehalem River, which is totally defunct and will never be rebuilt.

It would be a lot less (environmentally) wasteful if everyone were in an electric vehicle, though making the trip at the beginning of a long weekend during a heatwave would still be wasteful of time.

John V
John V
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

, which is totally defunct and will never be rebuilt.

Yes I know, this is what I’m saying needs to change. “Will never be rebuilt” is simply a political decision to prefer driving. It could change.

Nothing is going to make driving work save widening the highway to a massive freeway. The worse possible option. Electric cars are still traffic and can’t drive in it. Trains are the answer.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

“Will never be rebuilt” is simply a political decision to prefer driving. It could change.

It is being (slowly) converted to a bike path (Salmonberry), which probably makes a lot more sense than rebuilding the line (destroyed in 1996, rebuilt, then destroyed again in 2007) for rail service.

Trains are great; if someone can figure out how to make one to the coast work, I’d ride it.

Andrew S
Andrew S
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Watts, I was skeptical of your comment until I looked it up. The Coast Range is really tricky for trains. Especially for connecting Portland to popular destinations. That Nehalem River grade is about as doable as it gets, but is in really bad shape. It’s also so twisty that it could limit train speeds so much as to make it probably slower than driving 30mph in the car parade. Let’s see the Salmonberry Trail through here instead.

Hwy 26 actually takes a remarkably efficient route through the coast range. Any railroad grade parallel to this would have to deal with the 35 mile problem between Buxton and Necanicum. The two summits on the route are around 5-6%, which is fine for a semi truck, but would require some creative engineering (or a lot of TNT) to get a train through. For reference the steepest standard-gauge railway in the US was the Saluda Grade in NC, which averaged 4.24% for 2.6 miles.

I also looked up the Daddy Train to Astoria and Seaside. According to the Mcmenamins history dept, it cost $5 and took 5 hours. In today’s dollars that’s somewhere between $111-151 per person. Not saying we couldn’t do better today, but I can’t see a family shelling out $600 to spend 5 hours on the train each way.

Conclusion: As much as I’d love car-free travel to the coast, maybe we focus on other regional destinations for rail travel, and chalk up the time lost on Hwy 26 as a sacrifice we may have to make to experience the amazing place that is the Oregon Coast.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Andrew S

This is a great comment. Thank you for 1) checking facts; 2) addressing reality realistically; and (perhaps most importantly) 3) putting it all together into a well written and genuinely interesting package.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Here’s a hand dandy pdf map from ODOT showing ALL of Oregon’s current railroads (as of 2022) and who owns them. https://www.oregon.gov/odot/Data/Documents/Railroads.pdf

Pockets
Pockets
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

To build off of where you end, trains and bikes are a wonderful pairing that Amtrak leaves woefully under served and utilized in their current state. Not allowing passengers to carry bikes on and off the train at any stop is baffling to me. As you said the car was meant to get you there, bikes enabled any transit you needed after arrival, I’d love to explore Eugene, Salem, Olympia, Tacoma, Bellingham, etc on a trip with little notice as I rarely have the luxury of being able to plan far enough ahead to reserve my bike a spot since they are so very limited, let alone all the smaller towns served with a relatively unattended stop. Furthermore imagine being able to ride along an Amtrak line for as far or as long as you’re able knowing that you can stop every few dozen miles and hop on the train home.

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

Has European adoption of e-bikes demonstrably reduced emissions from transportation?

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect it has not. Again, most e-bike buyers — not all, but most of them — are replacing a bicycle, so they were biking already.

Thus far, the e-bike revolution has not resulted in higher cycling mode share in Portland. Perhaps e-bikes are a revolutionary convenience for people who already bike but not something that gets people out of their caged and motorized couches.

John V
John V
14 days ago

Perhaps because – get this (and I know you already know this) – more than one thing can change at the same time! In fact it always does.

I know technically we don’t have incontrovertible scientific proof that e-bikes increase ridership, but I am not in any way convinced by the spurious arguments that they’re just replacing non-e-bike rides. This is nonsense. People bike by varying amounts through their life. They may bike more with an e-bike even if they technically already had a bicycle that sat unused in the garage. They also may have given up cycling because the hills in their area hurt their knees too much.

It’s going to be nearly impossible to come up with “proof” that will convince some people, but it’s just laughable that e-bikes for people who want them would not increase riding. Without running the experiments (i.e. large, wide spread rebates and incentives) and A/B testing lasting decades, you just won’t get that. We just need to continue getting people on whatever bike makes sense for them. Some will whine that “I pedal myself around on my own power” and I say boo-hoo. Other people are in a gas powered two ton vehicle. I don’t care if someone e-bikes because you think they’re lazy, I just want people biking. There is very little downside to incentivizing e-bike use.

BB
BB
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

There is proof that e-bikes are not increasing the number of people who ride, we have bike counts. They are not going up.
I agree with you that it’s great for people to ride e-bikes. They can purchase them at bike shops all over town.
I just don’t think that I or other people who are not high income need to help pay for them.
If you would like to, I am sure you know someone that you can help with the purchase.

Matt Villers
Matt Villers
14 days ago
Reply to  BB

I have feelings about the data collection methodology being hyper-focused on commuter mode share, but bike counts are, in fact, going up. The 2023 count showed a 5% increase over 2022:
https://www.portland.gov/transportation/walking-biking-transit-safety/bicycle-counts

The 2024 count is ongoing and it’d be great to see that trend continue.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

It’s going to be nearly impossible to come up with “proof” that will convince some people

Just some data would be a great start (travel diaries to rebate recipients, for example). E-bike use has spiked, but overall levels of biking haven’t followed suit, so the initial report suggests they do not do much to increase ridership overall.

The downside to incentivizing e-bikes is that we could spend a lot of money thinking we’re making change when we’re not. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it, but I’ll only support it if it reasonably reduces overall car use.

John V
John V
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

We’re spending less than it would cost to analyze the problem to death just trying it out. There is no risk except the risk that some people get e-bikes who didn’t need the assistance. No big deal. It’s a tiny pittance and we have good reason to expect that it will get people riding bikes more.
Perhaps someone can do a study after this has been going on for a while to bolster the argument. But this stupid analysis paralysis of just waiting for more data and spending money doing nothing is a bigger waste than spending this drop in the bucket just trying it out.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

just trying it out

I would absolutely support a pilot project to test the idea that e-bike rebates will reduce driving. I want my government to be accountable, and knowing whether a particular policy is effective or not is a key component of that.

I’m not sure how much a rebate program would cost (would it really be “a tiny pittance”?), nor how much we’re spending analyzing it, but I suspect it would not be cheaper to roll out a program without first giving it some thought. And no we don’t have good reason to expect it will be effective; indications are that it would not be (otherwise we’d see riding increasing proportional to ebike adoption, which we don’t).

So yes, let’s try it, and let’s set things up so we can learn from it.

Micah Prange
Micah Prange
14 days ago

So no point in trying. gotcha.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
14 days ago
Reply to  Micah Prange

We know that cash incentives are one of the best way to get people to choose something other than the ecocidal motorized couch, so how about we give this a try!

Matt Villers
Matt Villers
14 days ago

I think this overlooks the importance of range. Yes I had a bike before I had an e-bike. I also had a car before I had an e-bike. I still use both, but the e-bike now covers a lot of trips that would have previously been car trips.

Not everyone’s an athlete. My upper limit on my regular bike was about 5 or 6 miles (2.5-3mi radius). Just getting a lightweight e-bike exploded that range to 25-30 miles pretty much overnight.

Point being, people aren’t binary bits that either say “car” or “bike”. If you can get someone who drives to shift any % of their trips to another mode, that’s still a win and deserves to be counted as such.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
14 days ago
Reply to  Matt Villers

I think this overlooks the importance of range.

I think this is probably the best argument for how e-bikes could lead to trip replacement so thank you for pointing it out.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Matt Villers

If you can get someone who drives to shift any % of their trips to another mode, that’s still a win and deserves to be counted as such.

I totally agree. The question is what % and at what cost? That boils down to how much is an averted car trip worth in dollars, and do e-bike rebates deliver that benefit at the specified cost?

Pockets
Pockets
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Perhaps we should subsidize/rebate premium annual memberships for Strava/ridewithgps/komoot/etc to gather data, volunteer your full data for a month and get premium for free. More accurate and higher quantity data than what we would see from live people counting plus we could track not just differences in mode split but range expansion as well.

If we wanted to go a layer more anonymous, it could be reasonably easy to work with apple to mass register a pallet of airtags and have them mailed out to current riders and given with the purchase of a bike with a choice of mount for under the saddle or under the water bottle cage then track how they move for the duration of their battery life or across a given time period at which point they can be returned to participating shops.

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  Pockets

If I were to get an ebike, you’d see me using it a lot (actually, you wouldn’t but never mind that). But very little of that use would represent a reduction in car trips. Measuring my activity on Strava (or otherwise) doesn’t really answer the question.

I think travel diaries before and after might be the way to go. Fairly simple and well understood.

Pockets
Pockets
13 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Anecdotes aside, you’ve asked how can we collect the data, this one train of thought to answer to that question. I argue that Strava would act as a tool to collect said mass of travel diaries, live recording and manual input are currently supported and each record allows for the addition of user input data. There is a check box for commute, for race, and while it would likely be very simple for them to add one for “replaced car trip” or “wouldn’t have bothered” or similar, without code change you can ask participating users to input keywords into the text field of each submission for simplified/autonomous CSV cataloging after collection.

Many people already use and are familiar with these apps so adoption to gather data would not be much of a challenge, especially for a pilot program, outliers would include people who are completely new and have lower tech literacy and those might share your anecdotal experience, and while maybe we could have your ride journal mailed in and manually added to the data tables, you also wouldn’t need to participate because as you said, we wouldn’t see you riding an ebike.

1kWatt
1kWatt
14 days ago
Reply to  Matt Villers

Well said!

Rob Galanakis
Rob Galanakis
13 days ago

Do you have younger kids? I suspect not. Maybe hang out at an elementary school some morning (happy to host you at Glencoe). A large number of folks show up on e-bikes. If you think all of them were lugging kids with trailers or manual cargo bikes, I don’t know what to tell you. For my part, I cannot ride an acoustic bike due to asthma, and have 7300 miles on my GSD, but maybe you think I’m the exception that proves your rule (how many exceptions before it’s not the rule anymore, you can keep redefining though).

jakeco969
jakeco969
14 days ago

On the terrifying incident with the Chicago corkers, it seems that it was just a warm up for a long weekend in the city.

19 killed, 86 wounded in shootings during extended Fourth of July weekend in Chicago
https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2024/07/05/chicago-fourth-july-violence-12-dead-55-shot

Be safe out there when getting into confrontations with cagers and people who are just too angry!

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  jakeco969

There was a shooting this weekend at 9th and Ankeny; not bike related except that it was on a major bike route.

jakeco969
jakeco969
14 days ago
Reply to  Watts

‘You got to be careful out here:’ 3 people killed in Portland shootings over Fourth of July weekend

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/crime/portland-shootings-july-fourth-weekend-three-people-dead/283-2ff32096-a805-4caa-8208-abe3b01ae2d0

Terrible!! Be safe everyone.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
14 days ago

Who knew that Darth Vader was a planning visionary?

Watts
Watts
14 days ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

“I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further.”

Definitely a planner!

BB
BB
14 days ago

I am probably alone on this but since I follow Cycle racing year around and watch Le Tour every morning, I would have thrown that clown out of the race.
It diminishes cycling which is a serious sport.
Imagine Steph Curry taking a break to kiss his wife during an NBA finals game.
The guy did it for some instagram post in the middle of a time trial.
What a dick.
Rant over.

lvc
lvc
13 days ago
Reply to  BB

Somewhere right now in France, Plugge is nodding his head in approval. Don’t be like Plugge.

lvc
lvc
13 days ago
Reply to  BB

Anyway, I’m not seeing the Steph analogy. He did it cuz:

1. He’s a domestique whose only bike racing job was to make the time cut and not impede or endanger the next guy.

2. His real job of course is to hock bikes and groceries which he did better than anyone else on his team. Hell, he probably did as well for his sponsors as Remco did for his. Plus, the whole point of the tour is to market France as a tourist destination through the romance of excessive exercise. Mission accomplished there.

3. I don’t think it was some dumb social media stunt. They were riding through his home. I think all those people were genuinely cheering for him personally. His wife and kid were right there. It was awesome.

Jim Calhoon
Jim Calhoon
14 days ago

At one time in Oregon history the train was the only way to get from Portland to Seaside. Then the highways were built.

https://www.seasideor.com/seaside-history/the-daddy-train/

The train tracks from Portland to Astoria are in constant use. I live in Scappoose and I hear the train whistle all hours (day and night). So adding more passenger service is probably not in the cards.

blumdrew
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim Calhoon

While the tracks still exist to Astoria, the line has been mothballed west of the port facility at Wauna (just west of Westport). It would be a fairly inexpensive project by highway standards to rehab the line for passenger rail, but it would be a project nonetheless. The route along the Columbia is basically the only practical passenger route to the Oregon Coast, really wish the state would invest in it

John V
John V
13 days ago
Reply to  blumdrew

This exactly.
I mean, if a line roughly along the old line through the coast range is infeasible (I have my doubts, people just think too small), at least rebuilding the easy line along the Columbia should be considered.

People paint caricatures like we would need a “grid” of lines connecting every point A to every point B, but this is not the case. A train to the coast here is actually a pretty low hanging fruit in terms of bang for buck. It’s one of the easier problems of transportation! One line from Portland to anywhere on the coast (ideally in the middle, but sure, Astoria). Then a working line up and down the coast. Bam. You’ve connected the entire Portland Metro area with easy access to the Oregon coast.

With the way people talk about this, if we didn’t already have things like the interstate freeway or railroads across the country, people would say it couldn’t be done. Too hard.

Will
Will
13 days ago
Reply to  John V

We pretty much need one intercity line along the Columbia from Astoria to the Dalles, a Willamette (and Rogue) Valley line from Portland to Ashland, and a East Cascades line from the Dalles to Klamath Falls. Maybe a connecting route from Ashland to Klamath Falls as well. That’d pretty much cover a huge percent of the state’s population and a lot of the long distance intercity driving that people do.

Jim Calhoon
Jim Calhoon
13 days ago
Reply to  blumdrew

I just learned that ODOT and WSDOT pay Amtrak to run the Amtrak Cascades Service. So one might assume ODOT would do the same for passenger service to Astoria. Of course the hard part would be making a deal with Portland & Western Railroad who own the tracks. I am not sure the money that ODOT would have to spend could be justified by number of passengers. Of course most of the people along that route would like ODOT to fulfill their promise to make HW30 4 lanes from Portland to Astoria.

chris
chris
13 days ago

Just a simple question, is corking legal?