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Michael Moore
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I believe it was Brownstein herself who quipped that it seems wrong to refer a band like Sleater-Kinney as "seminal," even though people frequently do so. Part of the point of Sleater-Kinney was it's pointed and aggressive avoidance of semen.
Sorry, but I'm with Eric (first comment) -- I don't think merely the experience of walking from the curbside parking spot or the parking garage down the block to your destination gives you anything but the barest inkling of what experiencing the built environment from a pedestrian's POV is like. In NYC I used to walk about 2 1/4 miles (sorry, I'm American, I use "miles") each way to & from work. At a good clip I could do this in roughly 35 minutes if I took the most direct route, though of course one of the delights of being a pedestrian is the ease with which one can vary one's routes. Here in Portland, I couldn't possibly cover the same distance in the same time -- the deck is stacked against pedestrians getting anywhere fast, except perhaps for Pearl residents heading south to downtown. Outside of the central city, pedestrians face nothing but delays, including the demand-actuated signals Eric mentions and other surprises like disappearing sidewalks or (one of my favorites) "Sidewalk closed -- Pedestrians must cross street" signs that pop up in the middle of the block! Here in Portland, vehicular (motorized and not) traffic is vastly over-prioritized at the expense of getting around on on foot, unless a goodly portion of your trip involves the streetcars the property developers love. You should see some of the byzantine intersections one has to negotiate to access the Hollywood MAX station. It amazes me they spent all this money on a light rail system it can be trying to access without a car. I would argue relatively few people in Portland really know what the pedestrian experience is like and I'm surprised you feel differently given that you're from here.
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Bill Reed seems to ignore that it is social welfare, if the city and the PDC are putting resources behind the eco-district initiative. The question is will it be more social welfare for the relatively affluent, like much of transit-oriented development has been, or will it benefit people more equitably?
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Oct 30, 2010