Editorial Section Archives

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

Posted 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.

Before I offer my critiques of the statement, keep in mind I don’t care who was to blame for this collision. That’s not my concern. What troubles me is when police communications staff introduce a driver-centric bias that poisons public dialogue and further marginalizes vulnerable road users.

The statement and my critiques are below:[Read more…]

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

Posted 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)

[Read more…]

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

Posted on June 10th, 2020 at 11:19 am.

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

[Read more…]

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

Posted on October 17th, 2019 at 8:14 am.

Jealous.
(Story in San Francisco Chronicle.)

[Read more…]

If only we regulated parking everyday like Parking Day

Posted on October 3rd, 2019 at 11:38 am.

A parking spot that was into the Climate Strike spirit.
(Photos: Catie Gould)

Catie Gould is volunteer activist with Bike Loud PDX and a member of the City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee.[Read more…]

Friday Opinion: Too many cars, not enough leadership

Posted on August 23rd, 2019 at 12:00 pm.

Downtown needs more freedom to move, not more free parking for cars.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As this week’s cover story in the Willamette Week makes clear, we aren’t doing enough to make our streets safe for everyone. On Wednesday we had the 36th fatality on Portland roads, two more than all of 2018.

While those who work at PBOT and City Hall struggle to make progress on Vision Zero goals, they might want to take a look out their office windows. There are simply too many cars and too many people who use them irresponsibly. [Read more…]

Opinion: Our candid commissioner

Posted on May 31st, 2019 at 3:25 pm.

Pretty safe to say the commissioner won’t be at the World Naked Bike Ride.

It’s been many years since we’ve had a transportation commissioner as willing to voice progressive ideas and positions as Chloe Eudaly.

I’m not sure if it’s because Commissioner Eudaly is simply more comfortable on social media than any other council member, or because she sees the communication channel as a strategic tool to shift the conversation her way. Whatever the reason(s), I like it. And if you care about smashing the transportation status quo, you should too.

Two recent Facebook comments from the Commissioner stand out. One was lighthearted, the other more meaty.
[Read more…]

Editorial: The tragedy of North Greeley Avenue

Posted on May 23rd, 2019 at 11:33 am.

The Greeley Freeway. Yesterday’s collision occurred near the rear of that white truck on the left.
(Note: Red line is where concrete jersey-barrier protected lane is slated to be built.)
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yesterday morning around 9:00 am two people died in a collision on North Greeley Avenue. Police say one of the victims, the driver of a sedan, crossed the centerline. That person’s car was hit by another driver and both people in the sedan died as a result of the impact.

While no bicycle user was involved in this crash, I can’t stop thinking about what happened (see aftermath below).
[Read more…]

Friday opinion: Tough love on a tough subject

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 at 11:18 am.

Charles Brown speaking at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit held at the Oregon Zoo last week.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“How can you call yourself a bike-friendly town if you have people of color who are afraid to leave their house? How do you even accept these awards? It’s a moral question.”

Those comments are why Charles Brown (@CTBrown1911) is a name that won’t soon be forgotten by the hundreds of people in attendance at his keynote speech during the Oregon Active Transportation Conference last week.

Brown, a researcher and transportation justice activist, delivered some very real talk to the policymakers, advocates, and agency staffers in the room — several of whom audibly gasped when he questioned our bike-friendly status viewed through a lens of racial justice.[Read more…]

Guest Opinion: Job description for new PBOT leader isn’t bold enough

Posted on April 4th, 2019 at 11:14 am.

Jillian Detweiler is the executive director of The Street Trust.

“The successful candidate should value all modes of transportation.”

So reads the disappointing job description for the next leader of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The Street Trust hoped the recruitment would elevate the exciting and pressing challenge that awaits the new PBOT Director: leading and accelerating significant improvements in alternatives to driving alone. That certainly was the consensus of transportation activists invited to meet with a City Human Resources representative who gathered stakeholder input prior to producing the job description.[Read more…]