Hmm, what do folks think about this?
If there is a parking requirement, it should be followed. I live on a street with lots of infill. There is literally no place to park on the street. A car can’t even fit in the little spaces between driveways. I can’t even put out my three garbage cans unless I block my driveway. There are plenty green spaces in Portland already.
I think it's also a question of how they are built and if "car culture" is a necessary feature of the planning stage.
How do you feel about use of public transit options (like a neighborhood shuttle?), seems to have good effects in some use cases, especially for neighbors with disabilities.
I’m almost 70 years old. I go shopping, take my dog to Normandale Park, I drive my grandson to and from Sunnyside school, go to doctor appointments and am not able to walk to where the bus is. Can I take my dog on the bus? Can I arrange for a ride at a moments notice for an emergency? I think not. I will never give up my car until I’m unable to drive. By that time, my grandson will be old enough to drive me. It’s really not up to other people to decide if I’ll take a bus or a cab or drive somewhere myself. Don’t think you’ll be getting rid of cars anytime soon. And don’t make it impossible to park that damned car!
Fair enough, I think it's also a question of how we meet our needs together. I often feel like there should be a delivery service for older neighbors so they don't have to spend that time doing things that are more menial/risky, i.e. having a neighborhood delivery for groceries or other services that those folks could determine.
I think the question is how to move past the logistics of needing cars, since they're not a particularly sustainable technology (the raw materials simply won't last another 50-100 years by most calculations). In many cases the context isn't just about individual choice and its limitations, but how certain choices or limits open up the opportunity for more experiences (i.e. you can eat from a tended garden, but without patience and know-how a plot may just sit).
Thanks for engaging on this though!
Hey Paula, do you think this kind of service would be something that folks would benefit from if it were coordinated by the NA?
Something like providing a certain number of vouchers might be possible, what do you think?
But people also need to get out and be active. It promotes memory and brain health.
This is true, but there's also a lot of evidence to say that the sedentary nature of driving is not good for the health. Also risk of accident does go up with age.
What's a reasonable ideal scenario?
A reasonable scenario is to allow people to make their own choices.
I think a reasonable scenario would involve taking more into account than the desire to maintain our car culture simply because it benefits some of us. Though I would argue that it is actually detrimental to populations (traffic deaths, pollution, unequal access, highway hellscapes in once vibrant neighborhoods), clearly no one is coming to take your car away from you. The reality is, people need their cars-to get to work, to get to the grocery store, to get to the park on the weekend. I drive almost everyday, due to the nature of my work, as well as the fact that no reasonable alternative exists on a mass scale. A reasonable scenario, it seems, would be to take into account the fact that Portland's population is booming, and look to other cities that have been there before us-do we want to continue proliferation of single occupancy commuter vehicles, and end up like LA, where you can never add enough lanes to alleviate traffic? Or do we want to look to cities that have more successfully dealt with a developing culture and urban environment and look at publicly funded transportation options so all of Portland's residents (old hat and newcomers alike) can continue to grow with the city? A reasonable scenario, to me, would include taking into account the fact that the earth's temperature is rising, extinction rates are through the roof, the global south and coastal cities everywhere are already in imminent danger of being totally wiped out by a combination of natural disasters and economic warfare via disaster capitalism. A reasonable scenario, if nothing else, would admit the obvious reality that generationally, we will be FORCED to change. Would it not be reasonable to take the time, now, to put forth a thoughtful plan that considers more than just what we've become comfortable with? If we're talking ideal scenarios, this of course would include elder care, and new ways to access transportation that would maintain peoples independence and self determination. Again, no one is coming to take away your car, no one wants to shove grandma aside for the sake of some ill conceived pet project. These are real issues. If we choose to engage them as such we can, collectively, find solutions. If we choose not to participate, who can be blamed for the outcome?
Really good, dense, point. From that, it sounds like there's a need to first have a way to collectively understand the need of the community. So somewhere that information and concerns can be publicized in an accessible format?
To me that's the intention and goal of the the neighborhood association, but if there are existing methods or resources in Portland, maybe that's worth talking about first (i.e something not necessarily dependent on the city).
On a somewhat related topic, I reached out to OPAL. They do great work surrounding environmental justice, specifically focusing on transit issues. They offer trainings like Environmental Justice 101 and Transportation Justice 101. Not sure what the cost would be but if folks are interested in something like that through the NA I could get more info. OPAL also has lots of volunteer opportunities and is in general a great resource.
Hmm, do you have a link to look into pricing?