Speaking of the common good, something I’ve heard from you and other people around the table is this idea of making streets work for all modes. Do you see a point in our future — given the environmental imperatives, the budgetary realities, and other factors — where sometimes we’re going to have to discourage certain modes in favor of others?
“One secret they would like to keep is that after 60 years of National being in in this district we still have the highest suicide rate in New Zealand, the highest unemployment and the highest teenage pregnancy rate. Another secret is that with its national standards, National wants all 5-year old children to be tested and that test result goes on the internet for everyone to see and judge?”
“I am. I’m concerned about our ability to sustain almost everything that we’re doing. I want us to build more transit projects, but TriMet’s ability to operate even one more rail line after Milwaukie is questionable with their current resources. I want us to build the 60 miles of unpaved streets in Portland and the sidewalks, so I think we have to do several things to respond to that economic reality.
I’d rather help the cause in ways that those folks say, ‘Damn there’s sure a lot of people coming to my store now on their bikes! I never thought they’d come to my hardware store on a bike!’
In the last several years we’ve put a lot of paint on the ground but we haven’t done much in terms of the major, iconic projects you mentioned. Do you agree? Is Portland still a leading light for bicycling in America?
“The city doesn’t get to decide. It won’t come to my desk, I’m not the governor… I’m not trying to dodge the questions… I believe I will have a role in redefining the CRC project because I don’t think the current version of the project is going to happen. So I’m looking forward to that role, the project that makes sense is one that is multi-modal, that is sized appropriately to both resources and reality — and I don’t think the current project is.