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progress in Portland

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  • Craig Bollen
    Karen Sandness wrote Ted Piccolo ran for city council on an anti-rail platform and lost. Thank god he lost. Can you image what kind of damage he would have
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 31, 2000
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      Karen Sandness wrote "Ted Piccolo ran for city council on an
      anti-rail platform and lost."
      Thank god he lost. Can you image what kind of damage he would have done
      to Portland. It seems most of our city commissioners actually "get it"
      here in Portland. Charlie Hales has been aggressively pushing for
      expanding the streetcar lines and limiting car access to neighborhoods.
      I had the opportunity to do a question and answer with him for a
      transportation class I was taking. A few things he mentioned Could push
      any progress Portland makes backward and they all have to do with the
      direction people outside Portland are going. He pretty much stated that
      Portland will probably end up an island of sanity surrounded by a sea of
      suburban auto-insanity.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: carfree_cities@egroups.com [mailto:carfree_cities@egroups.com]
      Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 6:27 AM
      To: carfree_cities@egroups.com
      Subject: [carfree_cities] Digest Number 116


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      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      There are 7 messages in this issue.

      Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: Re: Seaside and Design Conformity
      From: "Simon Baddeley" <s.j.baddeley@...>
      2. Re: Individual pedestrian activism
      From: Martha Torell <eyrehead@...>
      3. RE: Individual pedestrian activism
      From: "Louis-Luc Le Guerrier" <exqmtl@...>
      4. Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
      From: Martha Torell <eyrehead@...>
      5. Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
      From: Doug Salzmann <doug@...>
      6. Anti-Rail Lobbyists
      From: Karen Sandness <ksand@...>
      7. RE: Individual pedestrian activism
      From: "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@...>


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      Message: 1
      Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 14:42:03 +0100
      From: "Simon Baddeley" <s.j.baddeley@...>
      Subject: Re: Re: Seaside and Design Conformity

      Birmingham City Council's Department of Planning & Architecture have
      produced a most pleasing "Revised Residential Design Guide for
      Birmingham".
      A draft of this 42 page document has been circulating for discussion
      among
      politicians, officers and the general public since April. It is titled
      "Places for Living" and the contact name at the end of the document is
      Kenny
      brown (email kenny.brown@...) 00 44 121 303 3223 fax 00 44
      121
      303 3193 (My excuses to those I've posted this to who are familiar with
      this exciting document.)

      While being professional it is also accessible and readable and its
      points
      are illustrated by examples using text, small line drawings and black
      and
      white photographs - making it relatively inexpensive for the city to
      copy.

      Some quotes:
      "Where previously we created places ... we now build housing estates."
      "Housing lay-outs need to use land efficiently, encouraging walking,
      cycling
      and the use of public transport, and avoid discriminating against those
      who
      do not own a car."
      "Places should be linked up with short, direct public routes that are
      overlooked by frontages. the segregation of pedestrians and vehicle
      routes
      should generally be avoided."
      "We should avoid building housing estates that have few nearby
      facilities
      and a limited form of built form and tenure. This is socially divisive
      and
      can encourage reliance on the car, putting the less mobile at a
      disadvantage."
      "... the opportunity to walk rather than drive ..."
      "The city centre, local centres and areas that are well served by
      public
      transport have the potential to accommodate more people. However it is
      important that a range of dwelling types are provided to cater for
      different
      needs. ... Compact places can reduce walking distances to facilities and
      public transport. More local facilities can reduce the need to travel
      and
      offer an increased local choice to the less mobile."
      " ... although traffic volume may be less in a cul-de-sac, walking
      distances
      can be much greater, encouraging people to use their cars rather than
      walking. This just pushes the problem elsewhere."
      "A fundamental principle of this design guide is the creation of linked
      up
      places."
      "Gated developments should generally be avoided."
      "Streets that offer a sense of containment can also appear more intimate
      and
      friendly and can reduce vehicle speeds."
      "Well designed streets can be used in a variety of ways, encouraging
      walking
      and cycling and making going outside a safe and pleasant experience."
      "Car parking should not dominate developments."
      "Initiatives such as local car pools, car free tenures and selling
      parking
      spaces separately from the dwelling will be encouraged."
      "Secure cycle parking should be incorporated ..."
      "In recent years, many developments have ignored the local context.
      examples
      where the road is designed first with standard housing types laid out to
      fit
      around it can be seen all over the country. Similarly, street patterns
      can
      be confusing with pedestrian and vehicular routes often separated. This
      undermines local character and the legibility of places ..."

      I apologise to the authors for my selective quotes which I do not
      pretend
      convey an accurate picture of the full quality and rich scope of this
      piece
      of work and I apologise to "Carfree" because the design still allows for
      the
      presence of cars but for Birmingham - UK's car city - this piece of work
      is
      pretty impressive and all that will make me despondent is if it fails to
      capture the imagination of enough of our political leaders, although it
      would not have appeared without the support of s significant grouping of
      them.

      Simon



      ________________________________________________________________________
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      Message: 2
      Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 16:51:50 -0400
      From: Martha Torell <eyrehead@...>
      Subject: Re: Individual pedestrian activism


      > For many years I've tried to think of actions individual
      > pedestrians could take against a motorist behaving
      > dangerously.
      >
      > I've disucssed this issue with many people, and we've yet
      > to think of any effective action that a pedestrian could
      > take that did not endanger somebody.
      >
      > Anybody have any thoughts about this?

      License number, cell phone and immediate reporting. I know that
      reference to universal camming is now verboten, so how about personal
      camming? Nearly 30 years ago I saw a woman repel a carful of jerks as
      they slowed down to her pace as she walked on a sidewalk. They were
      loud and specific about what they wanted to do to her and what they
      wanted her to do to them. The more they said, the worse it got. She
      raised her camera, got all their leering faces, and as they gunned off,
      the license plate. Beautiful. She saved herself and she may have saved
      them from doing something stupid.

      Anyway, reporting and getting proof of dangerous driving will help. It
      seems impossible, but MADD changed driving habits.
      I think a big part of it will be raising consciousness, so that people
      know it is NOT alright to nudge pedestrians, or bully them into crossing
      the street faster than they can.

      Martha


      ________________________________________________________________________
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      Message: 3
      Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 16:25:03 -0400
      From: "Louis-Luc Le Guerrier" <exqmtl@...>
      Subject: RE: Individual pedestrian activism

      > >For many years I've tried to think of actions individual
      > >pedestrians could take against a motorist behaving
      > >dangerously.
      > >I've disucssed this issue with many people, and we've yet
      > >to think of any effective action that a pedestrian could
      > >take that did not endanger somebody.
      > >Anybody have any thoughts about this?
      >
      > How about surreptitiously videotaping the dangerous behavior and
      > fowarding it to the police?
      >
      >
      That's a good idea. It's even better than the stick because the police
      can
      identify the faulty driver. When technology will allow it, every
      pedestrian
      should bear one or many mini cameras pinned to a waist pocket or a back
      belt. That cameras would record in real time what happens around you. No
      other than you would know you have captured the dangerous driver, at
      least
      not before everyone wears such a camera.

      Louis-Luc



      ________________________________________________________________________
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      Message: 4
      Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 17:34:02 -0400
      From: Martha Torell <eyrehead@...>
      Subject: Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)



      > I discovered this interesting article presenting arguments on the
      > "non-efficacy" of light rail in urban centers such as Dallas. Specious
      > reasoning abounds, especially in the last two paragraphs. I can hardly
      > stand reading the argument that more highway construction is occuring
      > to offset population growth--hurts my head. DART is failing simply
      > because it is drowning in an insidious, ever-evolving automobile
      > quagmire, continually feeding a chaotic, shotgun-developed urbanized
      > sprawl.

      ###DART's rail system has failed to reduce traffic congestion for two
      reasons. First; it is simply
      too slow. DART data indicates that the light rail
      system operates at an average of 14 miles
      per hour, less than a half the average peak hour
      automobile commuting speed in Dallas.
      Second; the rail system provides access to only a
      small part of the Dallas area. It is focused
      on downtown, which contains just 10 percent of
      DART area employment, on its way to seven
      percent in 2020.###

      Inside the pound signs is a quotation from the article. Note that the
      average speed of 14 mph is less than half the average peak hour
      automobile commuting speed in Dallas. That is an astounding
      statement. Taken with the admission the the piece that there will be
      more cars on the road, it renders the article nonsensical. So let's be
      generous and say the peak hour commuting auto commuting speed is 35
      mph. That is pretty pathetic. If the speed is that low it is a slow
      down and speed up cadence, not a steady velocity. It must be a hellish
      commute.

      And it is only going to get worse. The population is growing. The
      driving population is growing.

      If someone could commute home at an average of 14 mph , sipping a soft
      drink, mind on email or a downloaded novel or a DVD laptop movie, that
      would more closely fit a definition of quality time than making an
      average 35 mph in heavy traffic.

      That article is only a part of the PR campaign we know will counter
      efforts at carfree. It's infuriating but don't lose sleep over it.
      Remember the cigarette companies had a lot of people writing that there
      was no definite proof linking cigarettes with cancer or emphysema and
      that smoking helped keep weight off, so a moderate cigarette habit was
      proably healthful.

      Martha


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      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 5
      Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 15:03:34 -0700
      From: Doug Salzmann <doug@...>
      Subject: Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

      Referring to Dallas (and DART operations), Martha said:

      > So let's be
      >generous and say the peak hour commuting auto commuting speed is 35
      >mph. That is pretty pathetic. If the speed is that low it is a slow
      >down and speed up cadence, not a steady velocity. It must be a
      hellish
      >commute.

      For a little perspective, it's worth noting that 35 mph is pretty close
      to
      the speed of maximum capacity for controlled access highways. Much
      faster
      than that and throughput is reduced because of wider spacing between
      vehicles (or reduced because of collisions blocking lanes when wider
      spacing isn't observed).

      And, as Martha predicts, it can only get worse. There are no solutions
      that include continuing dominance of personal autos. They just don't
      work
      in urban areas.

      On the other hand, *really* hellish auto commutes are *much* slower than
      35
      mph. (Here come the horror stories.)

      BTW, I received a warning, the other day, from an officer of some
      corporation or other (I deleted the message) announcing that
      "automobility"
      is a registered trademark of (some corporation or other) and that I must

      cease using said word in my writing. I guess he has been searching
      newspapers, Usenet and mailing list archives for instances of "his"
      word. I told him to call his trademark attorneys for a briefing on the
      limits of protection. The following is for his future amusement:

      automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility
      -
      automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility
      -
      automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility
      -
      automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility
      -
      automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility - automobility
      -
      automobility - automobility - automobility

      Be sure that you, too, use this silly fellow's favorite word as often as
      it
      fits.

      -Doug
      ------------------------------------------------------------
      "Not everything that can be counted counts,
      and not everything that counts can be counted."

      -Albert Einstein
      -------------------------------------------------------------

      Douglas A. Salzmann
      Post Office Box 2215
      Santa Rosa, CA 95405-0215



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      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 6
      Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 18:41:41 -0700
      From: Karen Sandness <ksand@...>
      Subject: Anti-Rail Lobbyists


      >
      > Message: 8
      > Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 19:06:27 -0000
      > From: "Michael Schramm" <mschramm@...>
      > Subject: Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

      >
      > I had never even heard of Wendell Cox, but he seems to be an outspoken
      > automobile advocate for the state of Texas.

      These types pop up every time the automobile faces some competition.

      In Portland, we have Mel Zucker, Randal O'Toole, and Ted Piccolo, as
      well as the Cascade Policy Institute, a libertarian think tank. They can
      be counted on to naysay anything that doesn't favor cars, misquoting
      statistics and studies right and left.

      When our west side light rail line first opened in a suburban area, some
      of the residents had trouble catching on to the idea that you shouldn't
      cross a train track without looking any more than you should cross a
      street without looking. Five people were killed within a period of a few
      months.

      Mel Zucker immediately fed this story to the Wall Street Journal, which
      placed it on the front page. An anti-rail type who lives in my apartment
      building began crowing about the "killer trolley."

      Of course, we all know that streets and highways are perfectly safe,
      right?

      But there are bright spots. Ridership on the west side line is five
      years ahead of projections. Ted Piccolo ran for city council on an
      anti-rail platform and lost. The Metro councilor who salvaged the
      proposed northside line after suburban voters defeated the north-south
      line lost his position--but was replaced by one of the founders of our
      local Bicycle Transportation Alliance in a campaign supported almost
      entirely by small donations.

      Now if only the most of the rest of the state weren't populated by the
      "what we need are less [sic] taxes and better highways" crowd.

      Karen Sandness


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      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 7
      Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 11:06:22 +0100
      From: "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@...>
      Subject: RE: Individual pedestrian activism


      Louis-Luc said:

      >Maybe a "springy" stick with aluminum sharp tip?
      >The ideal one would lengthen like retractable umbrella and have some
      kind of
      >springs linking the part you hold and the part that touches the danger.
      You
      >ajust the spring tension to be comfortable with your arm strength.
      Colour
      >could be flashy red and white like railway crossing arm.
      >
      >The user would hold it retracted, and the user pushes the button and
      holds
      >it in the potential conflict or danger area before passing. The driver
      must
      >choose between respecting the pedestrian's right (and above all LIFE)
      or
      >getting his car scratched.

      I'm afraid that any action that damages a car is very likely
      to result in violence. Many people will react to damage to
      their cars in the same way that they would to any threat to
      their person.

      T.J. said:

      >How about surreptitiously videotaping the dangerous behavior and
      >fowarding it to the police?

      This might work, although it requires an organized effort.
      The police are doing similar things, with decoy plain-clothes
      policemen. It requires a prety intense, organized effort, though.



      ###

      On sabbatical until September. Please expect slow responses to e-mail.

      J.H. Crawford _Carfree Cities_ ISBN 9057270374
      postmaster@... http://www.carfree.com



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      ________________________________________________________________________
    • Michael Schramm
      ... done ... it ... neighborhoods. ... push ... the ... that ... sea of ... I admire the people of Portland, generally they are comprised of progressive,
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 31, 2000
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        --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, Craig Bollen <craigb@d...> wrote:
        > Karen Sandness wrote "Ted Piccolo ran for city council on an
        > anti-rail platform and lost."
        > Thank god he lost. Can you image what kind of damage he would have
        done
        > to Portland. It seems most of our city commissioners actually "get
        it"
        > here in Portland. Charlie Hales has been aggressively pushing for
        > expanding the streetcar lines and limiting car access to
        neighborhoods.
        > I had the opportunity to do a question and answer with him for a
        > transportation class I was taking. A few things he mentioned Could
        push
        > any progress Portland makes backward and they all have to do with
        the
        > direction people outside Portland are going. He pretty much stated
        that
        > Portland will probably end up an island of sanity surrounded by a
        sea of
        > suburban auto-insanity.
        >

        I admire the people of Portland, generally they are comprised of
        progressive, forward looking citizens with a "green" philosophy far
        exceeding the national average. Bicyling in downtown was recently
        made easier through the efforts of the city--a pedestrian can rent a
        bike, commute and drop it off at their destination. A grass roots
        movement blocked the construction of a highway and was instrumental in
        bringing in light rail shortly thereafter. As a former Oregonian now
        living in Texas, the antithesis of environmentalism, I don't have to
        tell you how much I yearn to return.

        michael
      • Ronald Dawson
        ... Your right that Portland has made progress, but there is still room for improvement. I would like to see the return of Interurban type service. For
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 31, 2000
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          Craig Bollen wrote:
          >Karen Sandness wrote "Ted Piccolo ran for city council on an
          >anti-rail platform and lost."
          >Thank God he lost. Can you image what kind of damage he would have done
          >to Portland. It seems most of our city commissioners actually "get it"
          >here in Portland. Charlie Hales has been aggressively pushing for
          >expanding the streetcar lines and limiting car access to neighborhoods.
          >I had the opportunity to do a question and answer with him for a
          >transportation class I was taking. A few things he mentioned Could push
          >any progress Portland makes backward and they all have to do with the
          >direction people outside Portland are going. He pretty much stated that
          >Portland will probably end up an island of sanity surrounded by a sea of
          >suburban auto-insanity.

          Your right that Portland has made progress, but there is still room for
          improvement. I would like to see the return of "Interurban" type service.
          For example part Portland's Westside MAX line is on a former "Interurban"
          ROW.
          Extra revenue could be generated by pulling the occasional freight car.
          http://trams.bc.ca/1207.html
          http://www.kcpl.lib.mo.us/sc/post/transportation/20000120.htm
          http://www.trainweb.org/oerhs/history/oerwy.htm
          To me an interurban lies some where between a tram and a train, and a LRV
          lies some where between an tram and a interurban. Dawson
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