Tuesday, August 21, 2007

....and then today .....

....the drumbeat continues.

On the editorial page of the Oregonian we are blessed with yet another exposition of "smart growth" philosophy, written by some woman named Constance E. Beuamont. (It isn't posted yet on their web site, so I can't link to it.)

Her very helpful column explains how we can minimize our reliance on the car if we plan our communities so that shopping and work is closer to home, so that people will walk rather than take the car for short trips. Wow, thanks! We have never heard anything about such a groundbreaking idea!

And then, over in the Living section, we get a breathless full page article with color pictures and charts touting Portland's preeminent position as a biking city, talking about how bikes are no longer just for recreation, but for transportation. A snippet:

"Moreover, many Portlanders now buy bikes to commute, run errands, and even move entire households pulling attached trailers full of belongings to new homes."

Right. I guess that's why there are ninety unused bike racks at IKEA.

"There's definitely a shift from recreation to transportation," said Mark Pickett, owner of Revolver Bikes. "Bikes used to be considered a toy, but now they are looked at as a way to get around."

So it is a good thing, in the church of Smart Growth, to encourage third world transportation methods. Hey, if nobody is engaged in productive activity in the first place, who cares if your transportation methods are inefficient?

How many of the bike commuters into downtown Portland work for government? I'll bet it is a high percentage. Just a wild guess.


Ken said...

many Portlanders now buy bikes to ...move entire households pulling attached trailers full of belongings to new homes.

I have no qualms about encouraging biking, and I'm not even necessarily opposed to spending some city funds to achieve safer biking options.

But it sounds like the O, in a search for tangible examples of increased bike use, is citing a couple of homeless folks who live out of a bike trailer! And, apparently when they move their earthly possessions to the next highway overpass, it's a sign that biking is catching on?!

That's rich.

rickyragg said...

How many of the bike commuters into downtown Portland work for government? I'll bet it is a high percentage. Just a wild guess.

No bet from me.

Like most of the planners' "great ideas", this one leaves out human nature. That's convenient if you're trying to make a point to true believers, but has no application in the real world.

Unless, of course, you bribe or coerce people's behavior; which probably applies to the group you mention - government employees.

MAX Redline said...

Ever tried riding a bike in the West Hills? There's a reason why all the bike nuts live in the flatlands and can't understand why everybody doesn't ride bikes.

Phil Jones said...

I am still waiting to see someone move their bedroom set on a bicycle on a rainy day in Portland.


Mick said...

I'm not sure how unused bike racks at IKEA are related to moving by bike. Moving by bike does and has occurred in Portland this year and it's not just "some homeless guy". Some people are committed to living a bicycle lifestyle and don't just talk the talk.

Third world transportation methods? Dude! They use cars and airplanes in the third world, too.

I have been neither coerced nor bribed into riding my bike, which I do daily into downtown Portland from outer NE. I'm quite certain that I am as productive as any other reader of this blog and I don't work for the government.

Frankly, I'm disappointed that you would stoop to this level, Rob. The number of informal fallacies found or implied in your last paragraph is staggering.

Anonymous said...

The only person I know who rides her bike to work works for government. The number of people who "commute" by bicycle in Portland is wildly exaggerated, as are MAX ridership numbers. The next time you see someone pulling a piano behind a bicycle as they move from one house to another in Portland, please let us know.

Mick said...

I'll keep an eye out for that for you, anonymous.

Until then, take a gander here: http://old.chicagocriticalmass.org/gallery/pianomove.html