Jonathan Maus: Post-pandemic traffic is weighing on me (BikePortland)
Could we have been more ambitious with temporary, pop-up road diets and bike lane networks? Did we miss a perfect political moment to fundamentally alter peoples’ perceptions of street potential? Did we fight off one virus, only to allow another — the congestion and catastrophic climate and community-destroying consequences of car abuse — to re-infect us?
Jonathan Maus: Four people dead in 3 days as Portland car violence continues (Bike Portland)
Joshua Stanley. Karen McClure. Douglas Rosling II.
All three died using Portland roads over the weekend.
Since Jean Gerich was hit and killed in an intentional act of car violence on January 25th, four people have died in what has already been a terrible year for road safety. So far in 2021 our Fatality Tracker shows 11 deaths, that’s nearly twice as many as this time last year and three times the amount in 2019.
The victims are new, but the circumstances are achingly familiar. Unfortunately it feels like Portland continues to lack the urgency and leadership to transform our approach to traffic safety and street management in a way that rises to the crisis in front of us.
I just feel so deflated and frustrated. I’ve written so many op-eds and have heard so many promises about safe streets for so many years. Yet here we are.
To all my friends at City Hall and the Portland Bureau of Transportation who are annoyed with my “bias and negativity” (the exact words used by former PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly who revealed her opinion of my work at the end of her tenure back in December): Where is the positive news here?
You can dismiss me and continue to act like everything you read here are just rantings from a biased blogger. But you cannot ignore the tragic truths our streets continue to tell day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
In the coming days and weeks PBOT plans to place signs and barricades at 100 locations citywide. Before we embark on this exciting traffic calming and open streets experiment, I want to share a few thoughts about what we can do to make sure it’s a success.
People who are discriminated against and who don’t have built-in social or economic privileges and who are struggling under the weight of a system that has always been tilted against them should have their needs and concerns elevated first and foremost. Leaders need to be clear about what that means and how it will influence plans and actions.
PBOT needs to clarify who they’ve talked to in deciding how and where to make these changes.
Everyone at PBOT and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s office needs to erase “close” from their vocabulary for the next few weeks. There are myriad ways to talk about this effort without using that word and setting people off who are afraid something is being taken away from them. Portland isn’t closing anything, we are simply reducing access for drivers and creating more space for all other road users. The streets are open to drivers who live on them, US Mail trucks, first-responders, and so on.
Because the initial batch of these temporary diverters are only going on streets in the existing neighborhood greenway network, people that live in places without them are mad. Most notably, there are no greenways in southwest Portland or in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood in southeast. It’s also clear that with only 100 locations announced, there’s no way to cover all the places that need traffic calming.
PBOT needs to make it clear that they’re aware of these gaps and share a method for closing them. They should be transparent with the criteria they’re using to choose locations and let the public know how to influence them and suggest more locations.
It’s time to tap into that asset and recruit neighborhood residents to become greenway superheroes who are trained and accountable for making sure barricades are where they should be.
The barricades and signs won’t work if they’re too far off to the side. It will be tempting for PBOT to place them in the shoulder and shadow of parked cars or too close to corners. That would be a big mistake. If people ignore these diverters, it will endanger street users and it will open PBOT up to criticism that the program isn’t working.
Let’s learn from Bend. They initially placed signage too far off the side. Advocates spoke up and got them to re-orient them into the middle of the roadway. Essential drivers and other road users can still go around them, but they have to slow down and take account.
Kiel Johnson: “We cannot afford to go back to the way things were”: An open letter to PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly (BikePortland)
Right now we need city leaders who can unite people around a vision of what the post-coronavirus city looks like. Listen to your most visionary planners at PBOT and ask advocates to help the city engage and build that vision. Could we roll out a temporary version of the complete 2030 Bike Plan this summer? Can we transform PBOT to do the work of Better Block on a citywide scale?
Right now we need government to work better than it ever has. We need to try big, bold, new ideas and not be afraid to adapt them as conditions change. We need to work closely with the most vulnerable people in our communities and make sure changes elevate and fulfill their needs. Most importantly, we need the government and our elected leaders to act.
Masks, more room, and passing etiquette: The new rules for riding (Bike Portland)
Many Portland bike riders are already wearing masks. (Photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland) The Age of Masks is upon us. The deeper we get into this pandemic, the more apparent it becomes that we need a much more radical approach to cycling outside than simply saying “ride alone”.
Jonathan Maus: Bike delivery pros prove their value and mettle during virus outbreak (BikePortland)
The answer is 'No.'
I might be wrong here, but I think it’s exactly the right time to put our needs and desires for fun and camaraderie aside and think of the big picture. We’re likely just a matter of days before we begin a more strict lockdown and “distancing” becomes “isolation.” As we try to flatten the infection curve, I think we should stay ahead of the curve and avoid any kind of group activity.
A site to promote the safer far-hand Dutch Reach habit to get out of your car. It prevents dooring 'accidents'/crashes that injure & kill bicyclists. You too are safer because you naturally turn & see on-coming traffic before and as you exit.
Central City in Motion is PBOT's effort to plan, prioritize, and implement transportation improvements in the city’s core. Eighteen projects are under consideration. They include new pedestrian crossings, bus lanes, and bikeways.
A “Bike Fun Library” is in the works, just in time for Pedalpalooza
This story was written by Portland bike fun enthusiast and Shift volunteer, One Hwang.
Members of the public could more easily organize their own Pedalpalooza ride if they had access to a bike ride equipment library, where they could borrow for free a flat bed trailer, sound system, disco ball, batteries, and radio transmitter. Furthermore, if they receive training on how to welcome women and other underrepresented groups, they could help create a more inclusive bike community and address factors that discourage these groups from participation.
Wired: The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic
Statistician has a fifty-worksheet Excel file filled with numbers and ideas, mostly based on 'congestion pricing', that could fix the traffic problems of NYC.
“Komanoff is a dyed-in-the-wool stats geek, and the BTA demonstrates his faith in data. By measuring the problem—the amount of time and money lost in traffic every year—we can begin to solve it, he says. We can turn the knobs on the entire transportation system to maximize efficiency. Komanoff’s model suggests a world in which everything from subway fares to bridge tolls can be precisely tuned throughout the day, allowing city planners to steer traffic flow as quickly and smoothly as a taxi driver tooling his cab down Broadway on a quiet Sunday morning.”