Portland’s Climate-Denying Freeway Plans and ODOT’s Public Deception

Portland has been a national leader in transportation, and now it is about to become a national failure at a time of crisis. Portland will go backward, when it has the funds, the knowledge, and the wherewithal to move forward.

Portland’s Planning

For a city known for its environmentalism, urban planning, public transportation, public involvement, and progressive politicians, Portland is about to blasphemize the Sunrise Movement, the Albina Vision Plan, Portland Public Schools, and its national environmental reputation. ODOT, in cooperation with “Climate” Governor Kate Brown, Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Metro President Lynn Peterson are about to step aside and watch ODOT jam billions of dollars of freeway-widening projects down our proverbial throats with the claim that it’s good for the climate and has no effect on equity.  ODOT has produced a deceitful Rose Quarter Environmental Assessment (EA) that claims this, and has a new Director willing to propagate this fully-debunked myth.

These projects will result —  as all highway expansions do — in more VMT, more GHG emissions, more deaths, and less walking, biking, and transit use, while worsening social equity; exactly the opposite of what we need in this time of crisis.

Old-School ODOT

Continue reading “Portland’s Climate-Denying Freeway Plans and ODOT’s Public Deception”

Bad Transportation Planning in a Time of Crisis – Bloomington, IN.

“I want you to panic… I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” Greta Thunberg, Jan 24, 2019

I have been watching the leaders of my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana claim a concern for climate and equity, create GHG inventories, action plans, and transportation plans, and then go on with business-as-usual, or worse, as if just writing the documents was enough. I’m frightened to find that some of the most progressive cities in the U.S. are behaving similarly, like Portland, Eugene, and Los Angeles.

Let’s be honest, our transportation system in the US is an unjust, unsustainable, inequitable system that must change. It is car-centric, it kills 40,000 people annually, it is most cities’ largest GHG producer, it is a massive burden on the poor, and it wrongly prioritizes cars over transit because the ruling class prefers them. Continue reading “Bad Transportation Planning in a Time of Crisis – Bloomington, IN.”

Midblock Pedestrian Crosswalks – It’s Time for a Sign

It is time.  It is time for pedestrians to have a real, regulatory, and instructive sign of their own at midblock crosswalks that drivers recognize and heed.   A Yield-to-Pedestrians sign.

Midblock crosswalks are often just markings on the pavement, and drivers don’t see them until they are on top of them.

Crosswalk

Of course, there are plenty of drivers that are unaware they are required to yield to pedestrians, and some that are simply uninterested in yielding.  Compliance is abysmal, and that is why pedestrians get hit — and both compliance and injuries get worse with higher-speed roads.  Continue reading “Midblock Pedestrian Crosswalks – It’s Time for a Sign”