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Monday, July 12, 2010

Gotta love a good joke

One of the great joys in life is having friends with a sense of humor. Look at what one of our zany buddies left on our front door over the weekend -- a positive howler that on first glance looks real, but on closer inspection couldn't be.

It starts off innocently enough -- a come-on from one of the neighborhood wreckers in the "urban studies" tank at Portland State:

This study "will help Portland and other cities create better neighborhoods"? That must be code for "make your life miserable if you drive a car, and knock down older single-family homes and replace them with condo bunkers." Plus, can you imagine the enormous self-selection bias that such a study would suffer from? It would be so huge as to make the results meaningless. Witness the mom in the photo accompanying her kids to school on her scooter -- we rest our case.

So it's already looking a little hokey. But then you turn it over, and see that it's all just an insane prank:

Ha! Ha! Whoever you are who left this on our door, you had us going there for a while. Good one!

You crack me up.

Comments (19)

The phone number connects you to the Center for Transportation Studies @ PSU and the web page also takes you there. It is all very bike centric.
I wonder??? How many folks will clog the phone lines today want ing that $15 a day for a year?
Maybe the Welches Con Man can sign up and quit scamming on folks.

Can we assume the direction of the next set of trolley tracks will be determined by the results of this faultless study?

Their site even leaves fastudy.pdx,edu "cookies" behind in your browser! Gotta get all that data any way you can.

Self-selection bias is right.

When your stock photos come from CarFreeDays.com, you are sending a pretty strong signal who you want in your study. I'm saving this page for the peer review process.

In other news: My kids would be pretty mad once they found out that accelerometer didn't make them go any faster.

Good grief. Who really wants to spend his time thinking about such things? This town needs some real jobs...

My urologist wants the data to know where(GPS) and how fast(Accelerometer) my hips are moving....

These people deserve to be shackled and paraded in wooden cages for a few days so they can see how people get around.

See, we live in the age of Kyron Horman and traumatic brain injuries. I would only MAYBE feel safe riding my bike with kids in a fleet of fifty bicycles the way people do in Amsterdam to stay safe, or on bike paths (read, in woods, not next to light rail, buses, trucks, or SUVs.)

Only single people in excellent physical shape, who have never had to take care of drooling human remnants of MVA's, want all this insane focus on bikes. THEY ARE IN THE MINORITY.

The majority, for better or worse, consists of aging people with physical limitations who need to pop a vicodin to go take the dog for a walk. And yes, there are families, and many of them are not going to scooter to the grocery store with their small children. What idiots.

Why don't these people focus on something like alternatives and efficiency innovations for motor-powered transit? Like buses that run really frequently and are smaller and electric, and "fill up" electronically over the telephone/internet. You need your ride to the grocery store or farmers' market at a certain time, driver will come, and know your name too, and help avoid empty huge buses that take up all the room on the road.

Special cars on the max for families, so the kids don't have to listen to the schizophrenic/alcoholic dementia/ bipolar riders swearing and talking about whatever they feel like talking about, usually not copasetic subjects for children.

How does your family get around? We want to know? We only want to know however, if you ride a bicycle, skateboard, scooter, roller blades etc. We only want to know if your choices fit our preconceived notions of how we should all think and behave. Take a hike! er Get Lost!

Shoot me and put me out of my misery... or deport all of them to Holland(kiddie hall and its stupid development and transportation wonks)


Sadly, it looks real to me.

Announcement of selection process for design of Soviet style ghettos for people with mobility limitations in ...five...four...three...two...

While waiting to catch my bus home today I observed two occasions where a TriMet bus blew the horn trying to warn/chase off a bicyclist traveling along 6th and blocking the bus. Why bikes (and cars) are allowed on 5th and 6th are still a mystery to me. Ah, for the good ol' days when my bus line intersected with MAX, and didn't run parallel to it...six blocks away. Go By Foot!

Even knowing your current frustration with Portland's livable streets movement, I'm somewhat disappointed to see you bad mouth the work at PSU. Jennifer Dill is actually a pretty well-respected academic nation-wide, and the work that she and PSU's Urban Planning program do are pretty cutting edge and are being emulated across the country. She conducted a report using similar technologies to show how men and women bicyclists use different routes depending on the facilities available, and it really helps show that the unfortunately real gender-gap that exists among cyclists could be mitigated with more bike lanes and cycle paths and the like. I know it's not necessarily your cup of tea, but to denounce the scientific, academic report out of hand seems overtly populist, even for you. In fact, by mocking the study and not actually taking part, you only propogate the "CLEARLY PORTLANDERS ONLY WANT BIKES" message by refusing to get your data into their results.

Whaddya bet they don't send any to households east of I-205?

In fact, by mocking the study and not actually taking part, you only propogate the "CLEARLY PORTLANDERS ONLY WANT BIKES" message by refusing to get your data into their results.

As if the results aren't pre-ordained. "We need more bike lanes! Cars are evil! Children are obese because their parents are driving cars! Save the children -- make driving a miserable experience!"

I stand by my post ridiculing this, because the whole thing is, indeed, quite ridiculous. On self-selection bias alone, if not on many other grounds.

In general, Portland State urban planning is a blight on Portland.

ambrown: Dill's work may be "cutting edge." Nevertheless it seems to pointed to the same solutions that Mr. BoJack disdains.

These are just the bike publications on Professor Dill's website:

Infrastructure, Programs and Policies to Increase Cycling: An International Review

Bicycling for Transportation and Health: The Role of Infrastructure

Factors affecting bicycling demand: Initial survey findings from the Portland region.

Bicycle Commuting and Facilities in Major U.S. Cities: If You Build Them, Commuters Will Use Them

"In general, Portland State urban planning is a blight on Portland."

Step right up, Jack, the prize is 100 virtual kewpie dolls for that prize quote. (Menaing I love it).

For the lovers of PSU planning, how much Kool-Aid did you drink and when did you drink it?

My nephew just completed his first year at PSU. It will be his last.

He is an open-minded individual who was inundated with most classes being agenda oriented. He politely questioned some of his profs about this, and they were astonished, but actually responded favorably to the inquiring mind. But they kept to their agenda. It was "green" throughout without knowing much about it.

His one class in the urban planning department was even more one-sided. And he couldn't believe the "no grade" philosophy of several classes. Just attend, write a few one page papers, and nod. He thought his community college classes he took while in high school were better. Why waist $20,000 to attend PSU, and keep their green myth alive?

I wonder too about a possible unhealthy relationship between PSU and the city. I am concerned that the city's agenda is being driven at PSU.

Did not Katz and Kafoury teach there after they left Council?
Will Sam and Randy be next?

Feel sorry for your nephew with the inquiring mind to be surrounded by this. Good for him to leave.

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