Thursday, September 3, 2020

Minto Bridge Art and Secretary of State ODOT Audit - Bits

One of the small and chronic disappointments about the Pandemic is the curtailed travel and walking and biking in the city. In this contraction, trips are more on an "as-needed" basis. So it is less likely to come upon something like this, an art installation using the Minto Bridge for protest and justice.

BLM Protest and Art on Minto Bridge
via Twitter

Because of grief and loss, it's not right to say this is "wonderful" art. That's not it at all, though it has a kind of beauty. As a civic place in Salem, it is good that the bridge is available for multiple kinds of activity and creation of meaning, and can be repurposed for mourning and protest. You might remember also "Twilight on the Bridge," a memorial with luminaria created by Willamette Valley Hospice. This multi-valency is a sign of a good place.

Front page today
On the front page today, there was a story about the way freight interests have captured an ODOT advisory board on workzone safety and detour planning. The Oregonian focused on impacts to those who might employ non-auto travel, which the SJ did not much discuss.
Oregonian stressed walking and biking
via Twitter

But overall, the problem is still less that freight and autoist interests guide any mitigation work, but that the original projects themselves are in thrall to freight and autoist interests.

Previously and elsewhere see:


Quotes on the Advisory Committee

I don't know if I will circle back to this, but the bits on the Mobility Advisory Committee talk more specifically about the way freight interests have captured the committee and shaped project detail and even project selection. In a response, ODOT pledges "a membership reset." Maybe this will make a difference, but it might still just be fiddling on the margins, with the autoist bias and structure still wholly intact.

But zooming out a little, both the audit and the press about it may miss the forest as they pick out individual trees. The problem is ODOT's autoism and the ways freight interests can leverage that with ODOT's tacit approval. But because our autoism remains largely invisible, and outside of niche analysis in the wider culture there is no name for it, we end up talking about work zone safety instead of autoism.

Addendum 2, September 4th

Here's more on what might be the core concern.
ORS 366.215 barring capacity reductions
See this 2012 post at BikePortland, "Advocates help push back alarming freight power grab in Salem" and this for the associated administrative rules implementing it, 731-012-0010 and following.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added addendum with a little more on the audit itself and a comment on general autoism.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added more on the relevant ORS.