Editorial Section Archives

Opinion: Police bureau isn’t our only tool to fix hate-filled streets

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 25th, 2021 at 11:36 am

Willamette Week coverage of August 22nd events.

The events of this past weekend require me to make a point I’ve long understood about streets: safety is as much about culture as it is about concrete. If Portland truly stands for streets where everyone can feel safe and welcome, we must do more to defend them against dangerous people — whether the weapon is a multi-ton steel vehicle or a fist, or a gun.

Allowing violent extremists hell-bent on fighting and hurting others to roam our streets without any resistance is no different than allowing an 80 mph speed limit on a wide arterial adjacent to homes, parks and schools. Armed individuals who use neighborhood streets as a backdrop for their pointless violent games are the human equivalent of huge SUVs and trucks driven by distracted drivers or illegal street racers that pose an imminent threat to our city.[Read more…]

Opinion: 16 years after Portland’s ‘urgent’ Freeway Loop study, where has our boldness gone?

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent) by on July 22nd, 2021 at 7:27 am

Map of Portland’s inner-city freeway loop. The 2005 Freeway Loop Advisory Group study proposed relocating the dashed segments into tunnels. (Source: the 2005 Freeway Loop Study.)

The year was 2005, and the tone was urgent.

“Clearly, the I-5/405 Freeway Loop needs immediate attention.”

“To keep the I-5/405 Freeway Loop viable, planning and design for improvements must begin now.”

“We are at a very critical juncture. It’s time to move forward.”

The blue ribbon Freeway Loop Advisory Group (FLAG), appointed by former Portland Mayor Vera Katz and Oregon Department of Transportation Director Bruce Warner, was tasked with finding strategies to surmount the increasingly apparent flaws of the inner-city’s post-World-War II freeway plan. The FLAG included representatives from ODOT, the Portland Business Alliance, the Oregon Trucking Association, TriMet, the Oregon Transportation Commission, and Metro.

This group—hardly a bunch of radicals— noted that “freeway construction, combined with urban renewal projects, divided and destroyed neighborhoods in the name of a modern transportation system.” To begin to remedy this, and to insure a prosperous future for our region, they proposed the very bold plan of removing the Marquam Bridge and relocating the southern and eastern portions of the Freeway Loop into tunnels. “Complex transportation projects can take at least 15 years from initiation to completion,” which is why they urged the planning to begin “now” (the study tends to bold the twelve occurrences of the word “now”).

Sixteen years later, where has our boldness gone?
[Read more…]

Opinion: Tell Metro Council we must denormalize freeway widening

Avatar by on July 21st, 2021 at 6:56 am

Image of family and kids on bikes and sidewalk on overpass with Interstate 5 freeway in the background.

(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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On cognitive dissonance and climate change in Cascadia

Ryan Packer (Contributor) by on July 3rd, 2021 at 6:04 am

Wildfire smoke in Portland on September 10th, 2020.
(Photo: BikePortland)

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Opinion: Post-pandemic traffic is weighing on me

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 11th, 2021 at 1:22 pm

North Rosa Parks Way near Albina this morning.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Opinion: We want more progress on road safety, not more excuses

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 15th, 2021 at 3:40 pm

Southeast Division near 130th.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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A critique of a police statement that blames victim of serious collision

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 2nd, 2020 at 2:25 pm

Scene of the collision on NE 78th and 13th in Vancouver.
(Photo: Clark County Sheriff’s Office)

A man is in the hospital with serious injuries following a collision Tuesday night in Clark County. It happened while he was bicycling on a major street in Vancouver about six miles north of Portland.

Only 12 hours after it happened the Clark County Sheriff’s Office released a statement that is very troubling. Laced with unnecessary details and biased language based on premature analysis not rooted in law or relevant facts, the statement lays all the blame on the bicycle rider and exonerates the car driver. It’s not clear what exactly happened because the bicycle rider is likely still unable to act as a witness on his own behalf, but that didn’t stop the Sheriff’s Office from spreading a version of events that will set the public and media narrative in stone. [Read more…]

Opinion: Making space for the protests and the issues behind them

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 23rd, 2020 at 6:33 pm

At last night’s protest this man shared his story about his grandparents living in Vanport (which he said was “just like Katrina”), growing up in now-gentrified northeast Portland, and how apartments near his old home rent for $2,000 a month.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Opinion: The wall around our City Hall is a symbol of weak leadership

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 10th, 2020 at 11:19 am

Not accessible — and a big middle-finger to all Portlanders.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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San Francisco bans cars on major downtown street: Now it’s Portland’s turn

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 17th, 2019 at 8:14 am

(Story in San Francisco Chronicle.)

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