Part of my not doing advocacy anymore was a desire to understand why I didn’tÂ want to do it anymore, to understand how my relationship to riding had changed from a time when advocacy felt like an essential part of my choice to ride. I had a sudden flash of insight this week while I was […]
Category Archives: Transportation Alternatives
What comes out of the spaces
Sit quietly for now and cease your relentless participation. Watch what happens. The birds do not crash dead out of the sky in mid-flight, after all. The trees do not wither and die, the rivers do not run red with blood. â€”Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love Space. Quiet? Yesterday I wrote the first sentence from […]
What can I contribute?
Asked of oneself, in the context of being able to contribute one’s non-material resources to societal endeavors, the question What can I contribute?Â can be taken at least two ways. One is: what resources am I able to contribute, or capable of contributing? The other is: what resources can I offer that constitute a unique and […]
Vision Zero and enforcement?
When you’re walking and riding around and you see people in 2-ton vehicles doing things that are dangerous to you, I think it’s natural response (especially for rule-followers like me) to think “Someone should stop them from doing that.” Often what they’re doing is already illegal, so it’s natural to think that enforcement by the […]
Why I never want to hear “Sorry, I didn’t see you” again
Here’s what people usually say when they almost kill you in traffic: “Sorry, I didn’t see you.” Here’s why I never want to hear itÂ again: 1) I assume you didn’t see me, because I assume it wasn’t your goal to run into, hurt, or kill me. Most people don’t set out into traffic with […]
Mees 3: Have your cake and eat it too?
The quote that first caught my eye from this chapter was: However, the same citizens who are most concerned about sustainable transport are often the fiercest defenders of leafy, low-rise neighborhoods. This is a particularly pertinent note for Portland, especially right now in light of the discussion around the code allowing developers to build apartment […]
How ‘bus stigma’ can be contagious
I participated in an interesting conversation today that reminded me how ‘bus stigma’ is self-reinforcing. Scene: at work, in the lunchroom. Our company owner, a very smart guy based in Irvine, is visiting us this week. He asked where the nearest Red Line MAX station to the office was, to find out how to get […]
Mees 2: Was auto dominance inevitable?
One of the most interesting myths that Mees spends time debunking in this chapter is actually not that auto dominance was inevitable (since I didn’t believe that to begin with) but the idea that American public transit declined and died because of a conspiracy by the auto industry. His analysis is that the tram industry […]
Mees 1: “Density as destiny” is a convenient story
One of the most interesting points that Mees makesÂ early on is that the story of “density as destiny” where transit is concerned is convenient for a lot of people on both sides of the spectrum. Road-builders who’d like to keep building roads can say that they have to, because density is insufficient for effective […]
Car2Go: less horrible, possibly useful
Car2Go seems to have fixed most of the problems that I mentioned in my previous post about their website and I was actually able to successfully use it recently. I was going to pick up my bike from the shop, and I had a time crunch because I had to be home by six. At […]