Opinion: Let’s focus on the system, not on “them”

Posted on October 5th, 2018 at 2:54 pm.

Blatant attempt to inject something beautiful into the news cycle.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

After what transpired in Washington DC this week I’m feeling a horrible mix of emotions: Sadness, disgust, frustration, paralysis, hatred, and anger.
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Better Naito is Portland’s future. It’s time to embrace it

Posted on September 18th, 2018 at 10:21 am.

*Video montage of Better Naito in action this summer courtesy of Streetfilms.

Today is an opportunity to demand better biking in Portland.
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Guest post: Time to design streets with the ‘Worst Portlander’ in mind

Posted on September 7th, 2018 at 10:40 am.

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We received this open letter to Mayor Ted Wheeler via email yesterday. The source is a longtime Portlander and former land-use planner who requested to remain anonymous.
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Opinion: Helmets, sidewalks, Segways, other thoughts on e-scooters

Posted on August 3rd, 2018 at 12:43 pm.

They’re already proving popular.
(Click to enlarge and read captions)
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

I was out of town when e-scooters launched in Portland last week, so yesterday was my first chance to observe them.
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It’s silly season in Portland’s bike lanes: Please try to be nice about it

Posted on May 2nd, 2018 at 12:18 pm.

North Williams Avenue, May 3rd 2016.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

I received a disturbing text from a reader this morning (trigger warning: language might be upsetting to some readers):

“Got yelled at by a guy on a bike on Better Naito today. He stopped in front of me to yell at me for being selfish. Apparently I was riding too slowly because I was unsure how to cross the lane to turn left onto Oak. Two blocks later I was called a faggot and spit on. It’s chaos out there and commuter race season has begun.”

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Editorial: Freeways, the future, and Mayor Ted Wheeler

Posted on April 27th, 2018 at 12:25 pm.

Mayor Ted Wheeler supports an ODOT megaproject that invests hundreds of million of dollars in more of this.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

When it comes to transportation, recent statements from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler paint a confusing picture of the future.

On one hand, Wheeler seems to understand the urgency of climate change. On the other hand, he supports the I-5 Rose Quarter project that adds lanes to a freeway to improve driving conditions in our central city.

On one hand, he understands that the future of transportation is in flux. On the other hand, he supports single-occupancy vehicle use — a form of urban transportation whose time has long since passed.

Confused or simply wrong, Wheeler — someone who is ostensibly a progressive — is on the wrong side of this issue.
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Vera got stuff done: Lessons in leadership for a changing Portland

Posted on December 19th, 2017 at 7:54 am.

1972 campaign flyer for State Representative District 8, Vera Katz’s first elected position.
(Portland State University Library Special Collections)

Sarah Iannarone is the associate director of First Stop Portland and a former candidate for Portland Mayor. She lives in east Portland.

Former Portland Mayor Vera Katz died last week at age 84. Three time Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives who went on to serve three terms as Portland Mayor, Katz’s reach was extensive. Part legacy leaver, part urban legend, Katz’s persona looms as large in Portland’s civic imagination as her accomplishments.

As someone born the year Katz was first elected and somewhat removed from state and local politics during her tenure, I’m not suited to eulogize her. Rather, I offer a few lessons gleaned from her leadership and thoughts how we might apply them today.

When I arrived in Portland in 1998 — one of those twenty-somethings allegedly looking to retire — Katz was just beginning her second term as Portland mayor. I’d rented a one-bedroom basement apartment in the Historic Alphabet District for $500 (remember those?) and my living room windows looked directly onto the front stoop of Katz’s 1890 Victorian. At the crack of dawn on workdays (which included many Saturdays and even some Sundays), her distinctive voice would ring across the yard with a warm greeting to her driver followed by a quickly barked roadmap of the morning’s activities. She wouldn’t get home until usually well after dark. I didn’t know then why my neighbor with the New York accent had no time for small talk on that stoop; I knew only that she seemed important and powerful, a bit of workaholic even, and that she never drove herself anywhere.
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Opinion: Willamette’s new bike lanes are already outdated

Posted on December 8th, 2017 at 11:08 am.

Despite the fact that Portland has fallen way off the pace when it comes to building physically protected bike lanes, we continue to build “new” bikeways with nothing more than paint and hope.

That’s why I’m so ambivalent about the new striping on North Willamette Blvd.
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Opinion: We failed Tamar Monhait

Posted on November 17th, 2017 at 1:39 pm.

Memorial for Tamar at Water and Taylor.
(Photos: Patrick Rafferty)

I can’t stop thinking that we’ve failed Tamar Monhait.

Monhait is the woman who was killed while bicycling northbound on SE Water Avenue back in August. On that fateful night, a professional driver named Paul Thompson was operating a commercial garbage truck in the opposite direction. As Monhait crossed Taylor Street, Thompson made a sudden left turn in front of her. She died from the impact and took her last breath in the middle of that intersection.

The intersection isn’t as well-lit as it should be and Monhait did not appear to have a legally required front light. Thompson claimed he never saw her. The police say Monhait’s impairment from alcohol was a factor in the collision; but there’s no evidence she could have done anything differently to avoid the truck — especially since Thompson, according to the police, admitted he was trying to outrun an approaching train and gave no warning before making his turn.

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Opinion: I am deeply concerned about dangerous commercial trucks on Portland’s streets

Posted on September 5th, 2017 at 11:23 am.

Brett, Mark, Tamar, Kathryn, Tracey and Alan.

What do Tracey Sparling, Brett Jarolimek, Alan Marsan, Kathryn Rickson, Mark Angeles and Tamar Monhait have in common? All were killed in collisions with commercial trucks on Portland’s streets.

As a mother, daily bicycle commuter and lawyer for two of these families, this deeply concerns me.
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