Fixing Bicycle Access in Downtown Portland : Time to Get Real

I recently sat reading a Bike Portland blog entry, as I do so often. This one is about a project manage position with the city to work on downtown bike infrastructure. Something that this city, especially with the volume of cycling traffic we have, sorely needs. I started to write a comment, but it got so long I realized I needed to write a blog entry, so here it is… Continue reading →


Let’s Have Hunger Games for Cars!

…and a few more, for those that don’t understand biking.

Jonathan Maus states it really well,

“Hi. I fully support your request for people to have bicycle licenses and take tests. If we could find the funding and the if we could develop a program that would be able to test people about bicycle laws and best riding practices, that’d be great. That being said, I’d fully support a bicycle licensing program only if it meant that our roads and laws would be significantly upgraded in order to treat bicycle traffic with the same level of infrastructural and institutional respect that we currently offer trucks and other motor vehicles. Also, please keep in mind that the reason we must have a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle is due in large part because those vehicles can very easily kill, maim and injure innocent bystanders with even the slightest lapse in judgment or operational error. The same simply cannot be said for bicycles.

The vast majority of people who ride bikes in Oregon also have a driver’s license. And I’d be willing to bet that they know the rules of the road more keenly and more accurately than people who don’t bike at all. Why? Because their life depends on it.

To add to his quote. Keep in mind that EVERY day someone is killed by someone else’s inattention at the wheel. For every person killed 2-3 are maimed and permanently debilitated, often damned to disability for the rest of their lives. Almost always these people are innocent until this happens, then they are innocents that are permanently scarred.

Next blog entry, I promise transit + a more positive note. The people I know that have been killed or maimed by inattentive drivers lately has me on a tear. We need to design better roads, keep drivers under control, and stop giving them a “get out of jail” free card at every turn. The double standard with cars and other dangerous things is ridiculous. If people treated cars like guns, we’d have mass banning campaigns nationwide with millions of people marching against them. But instead the population is generally oblivious and care-less about this fact. Not that I’m saying ban either of these things, but we should work toward a safer and better infrastructure system that isn’t so damnably dependent on automobiles.

In the end, it would be better for ALL of us. It would especially have been better for all those dead. The 19 year old girl that was an art student. The 29 year old girl that was merely riding home from work. The expectant mother who was broadsided by an errant driver. The now dismembered young ladies that were waiting for the walk sign to change on the corner. The young brothers riding together, 9 and 13 respectively.

Let it hit home. Pay attention. Remember what you yield when you’re driving. At least try a little harder everyday to pay attention and not become the next killer.

What I Posit About Cars…

All I summise is this:
1. Cars are vastly more expensive than most US Citizens Realize & they pay for it.
2. Cars are one of the main costs to US Society, and one of the largest expenditures by Federal, State, and Local Governments for roadways, maintenance, and related costs.
3. Cars are one of the main societal elements that incur greater distances, push neighborhoods apart, and decrease the size of neighborhoods & by action community.

Our asses are leased out to China & other countries, and one of the main reasons is because of our dependence on the automobile and consumption lifestyle. If we learn to live and to experience life, grow communities closer and live healthier, we can get ourselves out of hock, otherwise Americans might as well get used to being owned by a foreign entity.

Think about that everytime you get in your car.

Here’s some costs and stats for ya too…

The Cold Harsh Truth of Reality

Notes of reality for those that are avoiding it. Also just a few simple observations I’ve made. I’m not trying to convince anyone this, just making the observation that these are truisms of reality. If you disagree, please feel free to form some argument. I may have to re-word a few to be more accurate or even write additional content on the matter.  Cheers!

  1. Transit is not that much more efficient that automobiles for energy utilization or the environment. Almost no transit is as efficient as a mid-size or smaller car with two people in it.
  2. Automobiles consume about 200 sq feet, remember you aren’t entitled to the space your car consumes. You’re borrowing someone else’s property when you’re parked, traveling or otherwise putting your car somewhere. The only place were you’re entitled that that 200 square feet is your driveway/parkway.
  3. If you see a cyclist riding to work or otherwise maybe slowing you down, realize they’re probably going to make better time to where they are going and you OWE it to them that they’re using vastly less tax money and resources than you are. Matter of fact, considering the income range of most cyclists they’re paying vastly more in taxes than you AND using vastly less. So keep mooching and shut the f@#$ up. Learn the stats and know what you’re yelping about.
  4. If you point a car at someone and try to hit them, that’s the equivalent of pointing a gun at someone. Don’t be surprised if someone takes offense to that and decides to mess you up.
  5. The reality of the matter is, if everyone on Earth lived like Americans we’d either be dead or have gas that would be priced 10x what it is. So be happy we have it as easy as we do, because it WILL get harder – especially for automotive users and automotive dependent people. The sooner we decrease that noose around our necks the better for everybody – including the auto-dependent/users.
  6. If you drive a car you’re probably fat (which I have nothing against). Statistically speaking this is true in the United States, so don’t get high and mighty (this raised entitlement is what I have a problem with) and think you’re better off than those on transit, biking, or walking to work. Because the FACT is, you’re screwing yourself over.
  7. At least HALF of all auto users are NOT paying their fair share of taxes to road usage. Just remember, you’re using something that is just as subsidized – if not more so – than transit or bikeways. So you Libertarians (which want all the subsidies to go away), Republicans (which want to keep subsidizing/socialized auto usage), and Democrats (subsidize everything, including auto usage for some reason…) keep that straight in your heads. Just remember ALL modes in the US are subsidized heavily these days and socialized through public funds.