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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 9, 2006 6:33 AM. The previous post in this blog was Keep an eye on the Blazers. The next post in this blog is Winning another close one. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, November 9, 2006

Hoofin' it

A while back, I blogged about the City of Portland's efforts to get me and other residents of the inner northeast section of town out of our cars. They sent me a free kit with a pedometer, a bike odometer, a book of discount coupons for local businesses, maps, and brochures galore. I wondered how much it all cost me as a taxpayer, but it was fun to get.

I now see that this program has its own newsletter, and the latest edition has just come out. In it, the city transport bureau is claiming some pretty impressive results:

Transportation Options 2006 NE Hub target area program reached a whopping 13 percent relative reduction in drive alone trips. The largest decrease yet in the four years of Transportation Options targeted programs shifted from drive alone trips primarily to walk, carpool, transit, and bike trips....

With generous donations from Kaiser Permanente we are again able to offer 6000 Ten Toe Express Walking Kits, complete with pedometers to track those new walking trips. TriMet, our transit partner, provided all the bus and MAX schedules and a special Honored Citizen packet for seniors and disabled riders. Business community support helped us deliver Portland By Cycle kits, complete with reflective leg bands, bike maps and local business coupons, to 5000 households in the NE Hub.

The kits and information weren’t the only tools employed by Options. We also offered Ten Toe Express guided walks and Senior Strolls, Summer Cycle and Women on Bikes bike rides, clinics as well as many Smart Living Classes. All our clinics and activities give an added level of hands-on assistance to residents interested in choosing alternative transportation.

The combination of information, maps, events and activities produces results. At a cost of $10 per person – including staff, printing and expenses – NE Hub residents are experiencing fewer cars on their streets and rediscovering their neighborhoods by foot, bike and transit, while local businesses gain new customers who walk and bike to their store.

I'd love to see the data that underlies these claims; I suspect the numbers have been massaged harder than a Mark Foley intern. But if they're even close to accurate, the city's actually talking some people out of some of those bad, yea downright immoral, single-occupant car habits.

Of course, given the lousy job they've done keeping the sewers clear of fallen leaves lately, for now you may want to take your snorkel with you on your walk or bike ride to work.

Comments (12)

rediscovering their neighborhoods by foot, bike and transit

How do you "rediscover" your neighborhood by transit?
Wouldnt that be the least effective way to do it?

"massaged harder than a Mark Foley intern"

Zing! Nicely done.

The way my car's been hydroplaning the last few days, I'm thinking walking is the safer bet.

How about a Mark Foley metaphor contest?

...massaged harder than a Mark Foley intern

That's a story with no happy ending.

Jack: I suspect the numbers have been massaged harder than a Mark
Foley intern. But if they're even close to accurate, the city's actually
talking some people out of some of those bad, yea downright immoral,
single-occupant car habits.

JK: Of course, the reality is that few long trips are being replaced by walking. Sure, you might be persuaded to walk a 1/4 mile to the store instead of driving, but how much gas do you save - not much.

To the extent that they persuade you to take the bus over your late model small car, you are actually wasting energy because buses use more energy per passenger mile than late model small cars.

Further transit users only pay about 20% of their actual cost. Therefore they are effectively welfare users. The actual cost of tranist is right up there with low end cars. And even low end cars are a heck of a lot more comfortable and convenient. And faster.

Here is some data from the The transportation Energy Data Book: Edition
25 - 2006

Energy consumption of car-bus-air compared

Table 2.10 lists energy consumption of various modes of passenger travel. It shows that cars use less energy than rail, transit bus or commercial air.
Here are the numbers that I took from table 2.10:

btu/passenger mile

Van Pool


Commerical air

TriMet bus
3792 (data directly from TriMet)

Transit bus

The car number is an average based on the current fleet and an average number
of passengers. More efficient cars are readily available, for instance the
$10,770, 2006 KIA Rio is listed at 32 MPG city. This is 3906 btu/mile. With
an average of 1.2 passengers, it becomes 3255 btu. At 1.9 passengers it uses
less than the energy of transit busses per passenger mile. The Honda Insight at 60 MPG city is 2083 btu per passenger mile, about one-half that of a transit bus. At two passengers it consumes only 1042 btu per passenger mile.

Why do people think that transit buses save energy?

Because they did in 1970, but over the years, buses became less efficient and cars more efficient. See table 2.11


The most practical way to reduce transport energy consumption is to encourage people to switch to small cars. It will save more energy than transit and is more likely to succeed.


It will save more energy than transit and is more likely to succeed.

It'll be interesting to see if this policy prevails in Washington over the next few years. Now that the "Jesus wants you to drive an SUV" crowd has been swept from power, we might see some change. But with DeFazio and Earl the Pearl potentially chairing transportation sub-committees, I won't hold my breath.

"Now that the Jesus wants you to drive an SUV" crowd has been swept from power

What about the "my three teenagers wont fit in the back of a Camry" crowd? ;-)

Those three teenagers ought to get bus passes or learn how to ride a bike around Portland.

"It will save more energy than transit and is more likely to succeed."

Of course, "succeed" is a relative term. If BTU's are directly convertible into union Tri-Met jobs, then the more the merrier.

"Those three teenagers ought to get bus passes or learn how to ride a bike around Portland."

Just don't have Randy Albright counsel them on "how to ride a bike" or the bus passes won't do them any good.

Jon: What about the "my three teenagers wont fit in the back of a Camry" crowd? ;-)
JK: Then get a bit bigger car/SUV. If you fill a 10mpg SUV with 8 people you are getting 80 passenger-miles/gal, over twice what a Trimet bus gets.

Probably pollutes less too:
The truth is that Metro buses pour out much more air pollution than your average car and much, much more than new cars. According to numbers from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Union of Concerned Scientists (an environmental advocacy group based in Cambridge, Mass.), a modern diesel transit bus puts out over half a ton of smog-creating chemicals every year. Mile for mile, the bus pollutes nearly 60 times more than a new passenger car like a Ford Taurus or a Nissan Sentra.

(From: )

Would TriMet like to supply their pollution numbers, including the older buses that are still (or were last year) on the streets?


few long trips are being replaced by walking...but how much gas do you save - not much.

From what I understand, vehicles run worse when first started. If true, a short walking/bike/transit trip can actually save a decent amount of pollution and possibly gas. Also, as they say, "every little bit helps".

"Now that the Jesus wants you to drive an SUV"

I believe if you read your Bible, the Disciples were all in one Accord. God wants us to buy Honda Accords and carpool.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
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Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
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G3, Cabernet 2013
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Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
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Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
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Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
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Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
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Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
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Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
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Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
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Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
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David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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