Comment of the Week: ‘When I was broke, I barely rode my bike’

Posted on January 29th, 2016 at 4:47 pm.

I often wonder how many activists have ever really struggled with poverty or even personally know anyone who has.

We talk a lot about infrastructure at BikePortland, because it matters to people who bike. But it’s very far from the only thing that matters.

In a comment beneath Monday’s post about the driving habits of rich and poor people, BikePortland reader Ellie wrote about a time in her life when she was too poor to drive but when her life was too fragmented and unpredictable for her to bike.

Both the argument against gas taxes and increased parking fees use the added burden on poor people as a reason not to increase associated costs, but it is mostly a red herring, an excuse to avoid extra taxes and fees for higher income earners. However, bike activist and urban planning activists due similar things. I often wonder how many activists have ever really struggled with poverty or even personally know anyone who has. One of my biggest frustrations with a certain sort of bicyclist is that they seem to think that since they do not find public transit useful, it isn’t important.

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PBOT looks to hire ‘high profile’ Equity and Inclusion Manager

Posted on February 24th, 2015 at 2:10 pm.

Bike to School Day in NoPo-13

Making sure school investments are fairly
distributed is a big part of PBOT’s equity strategy.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has taken a major step toward being a more inclusive agency with the announcement today that they’re recruiting for a new position: Equity and Inclusion Manager.

The agency will pay over $107,000 for the right “change agent” they hope will fill a “high profile within the Bureau,” and, “make decisions impacting all areas and functions” of the 750 person bureau.

Equity is a major initiative not just within PBOT but across city bureaus. The Portland Police Bureau hired their first-ever equity and diversity manager just last month. City initiative or not, PBOT has focused on equity for many years now and the effort has found new life as a priority for Director Leah Treat.
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