Response to article was quieter than I expected – my concern is that optics might be compromising safety.
I know there are people who rely on their bikes for transport – in the 8 years I’ve lived in PDX, it’s the only way I’ve ever gotten to work, except I skied in a couple times when snow shut everything down.
All essential things still are no matter what the weather or whatever else is going on. I’ve never known someone who truly depends on their bike that can’t fix it (or that has only one). You simply can’t drop something that’s essential off for days, might need parts ordered, etc.
With workplaces and businesses closed as well as the stay at home order, the already low level of utility cycling is even lower. I’m seeing people on bikes, but it’s overwhelmingly recreational – and is mostly done unsafely in a few crowded areas despite there being plenty of empty and quiet places to ride.
People are riding way too close to each other as well as other people, the Esplanade being a poster child of what not to do, but I’m also seeing poor judgment around parks. Definitely not good for anyone.
Ideally, I think if a business type is deemed “essential” and/or is allowed to be open during a pandemic, the business needs to have passed some sort of certification or exam that shows they are taking adequate precautions. As in, you can’t stay open unless you’ve been checked-out by health authorities. I think some shops are still open but they shouldn’t be because they just aren’t taking this seriously enough.
I like your approach. You would like Germany. That is how they approach everything.
But here? Not so much. Lots of flying by seat of our pants, making stuff up as we go, muddling through. All very unsystematic, and unsatisfying if you ask me.
There are so many businesses and so little time that I’m not sure there would be a way to get the inspections done in a timely fashion. Since it looks like there’s a decent chance we may see another COVID-19 bump in the fall, it does seem like there’s time to plan a more deliberate response that is safer but allows more activity.
I am also hoping the pandemic helps build a greater culture of responsibility. Many things probably wouldn’t have needed to be closed if people took precautions seriously.
This is a very new thing that’s been highly disruptive and despite obvious lapses, most people seem to be doing a pretty good job overall of taking it seriously and being cooperative. I suspect the PDX response has been better than most cities and we’ll come out better because of that.
Today I had to drive to SW Hall in Tigard for an essential doctor’s appointment; but where I saw people on bikes riding, I saw them keeping their distance, including one person riding waiting about 10 feet behind the guy in front of him at the red light. I miss my bike. I’m still not allowed to ride until a suture site on my leg heals up.
Where I was more disappointed was passing by Wilshire park later on my way home to pick up groceries a friend left for us on their porch. Wilshire park was packed with users, including joggers on the running path in close proximity not even wearing masks.
No argument there – making the easiest thing to do when locked in is to be buzzed/high is questionable to put it charitably. If we have to do this much longer or again in future, I’m hoping what’s allowed to be open is dialed in better