Thursday, January 24, 2019

Electric Avenue Charging Station Concept for State Street Bears Watching

In Salem Reporter's piece on the State of the City address, there was a bit of techno-hype for electric cars:
[Mayor] Bennett also revealed the city is talking with Portland General Electric to add a so-called "Electric Avenue," a bank of electric car chargers. He said the bank could serve four vehicles and that PGE would pay to build it and run it for 10 years.

The hub would be located on State Street near the Capitol building, said Kristin Retherford, director of the city's Urban Development department. Retherford said PGE approached the city last fall. The two sides are near an agreement, she said, but are still figuring out how paid parking will factor in to the electric vehicle stations.

"I think from the city's perspective there is strong interest in the community in curbing greenhouse gas emissions," Retherford said.
There's not enough detail here to be sure of anything, but it bears watching.

You might remember that the Downtown Mobility Study was working on making State and Court streets two-way and including bike lanes.

State Street

Court Street
Back on November of 2016, the Mayor seemed interested in all this. But making a big display of car charging stations may make it more difficult to reconfigure State and Court for bikes and scooters as well as for two-way travel.

Making State and Court Two-way is a goal
As we make things easier for electric cars, as we have for ride-booking companies, we have to remember that they're still cars. It's still autoism.

If we are really concerned for greenhouse gas emissions and for urban street safety, we'll focus more on human-powered transport and on transit.

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