Saturday, May 26, 2018

Not Erasing the Driver, Public Bike Success - In the News

After more investigation and the results are made public, there may be more to say later about the shocking hit-and-run crash on a sidewalk in Portland near PSU.

It's certainly not "an accident." It takes too much intent and multiple decisions to drive fast and up on the sidewalk in that urban area, and then to compound things with the choice to drive off.

The rhetoric itself in the news stories, especially in the headlines, reflects this:

"Driver rams 3 women"

"Driver plows into people"

AP story on page A6 of the SJ

Front page of the Oregonian
Contrast this with the rhetoric in stories from just last month, which all erased the driver and the driver's agency and responsibility for the safe operation of a motor vehicle:

"Van jumps curb"
At least one Portland broadcast journalist even talked about the matter of language.

via Twitter
Maybe there is a shift underway.

Separately, and much more happily, Eugene reports great success on the first month of their new public bike program.

Front page of the Register Guard
From the piece:
When the city of Eugene and Lane Transit District commissioned a 2014 study to look at demand for a bike rental program, officials predicted that each rented bicycle would make less than one daily trip on average.

Instead, each of the 300 blue PeaceHealth Rides bikes that popped up around town last month have averaged about three trips per day, blowing past officials’ early expectations.
I recently read that Portland's system is at 0.9 trips per day, right in line with that "one daily trip on average."

So for Eugene's system to have 3 trips is great news. It will be interesting to see how it changes over the summer and then into fall and winter. Apparently use is split nearly in half between UO students and non-students. It's good that it's not completely dependent on the students.

All in all it sounds like a very promising start.

Salem's upcoming system looks to be more like Corvallis', and those numbers haven't been anywhere close to Eugene's. Partly that is a matter of scale: Eugene has many more bikes and stations. Other differences could be important, too, and maybe there will be more opportunity for comparison later in the summer.

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