Monday, October 8, 2012

Meetings, Talks, and Reports - Monday Grab Bag

Even Center Street has some lovely fall color
This looks like an interesting lecture down in Eugene. On Thursday, City of Portland Traffic Engineer Peter Koonce will talk about "The Misuse of Traffic Engineering and its Impact on Active Transportation." Click through the link for details.

(One question, hopefully not too snarky, but it is a little I suppose, is whether the title is something of a misnomer - it seems more than a little possible that traffic engineering is mostly working as designed, and that the problem is not an existing conceptual and analytical scheme that just needs to be used better.  Instead, the problem may be that the conceptual and analytical scheme needs a thorough rethinking and reframing: The scheme may need more than tweaks around the edges, and instead require a full-on Kuhnian paradigm shift.  Over at Strong Towns, Charles Marohn has 13 questions for the engineering profession and more on engineering. Internal critiques like this, and the conversations that follow, are important!) 

Koonce also blogs and tweets, and it's great to see a practicing traffic engineering engaged and writing about things like this! 

The Community Health Improvement Partnership meets in Salem also on Thursday. The group meets on the 11th from 10:00 - 11:30am at Salem Hospital's CHEC Center (Building D) in Room 1.

The whole CHIP thing isn't clear to me, and the agenda looks more like information-sharing and networking than reporting on tasks and formulating new actions.  It also looks like the project may be constituted as too much of a discretionary option for individuals to have a meaningful aggregate impact on the county population.  That is to say, it may not really be looking at the ways existing systems make it difficult to make good choices for health, but instead is looking mostly at ways to encourage autonomous individuals to make good choices despite those systems.  Hopefully the project will grow to include a more critical look at the systems - like our road system! - that work against individual choices for health. 

If the link between health and active transportation is a special interest for you, this is an opportunity to plug in and develop projects!

Marion County has issued more draft chapters of the update to the county Transportation System Plan. They are soliciting comment on chapters 3, 4, and 7 through Halloween.  (Note on previous round of draft chapters here.)

Folks who ride regularly on county roads may find this of interest.

Coal:  Oregon Sierra Club and Paul K. Anderson
On Wednesday, the Salem Coal Hard Truth Forum offers an evening of panelists and Q & A, with experts talking about the health, economic, and environmental impacts of coal export projects in Oregon and Washington. The prospect of coal dust on bike routes and near schools is of great interest to people who bike. 

It is Wednesday October 10th, 7:00-8:30pm at Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201), 245 Winter Street SE.

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