This was shared on a friend’s Facebook page in response to a film showing at downtown Phoenix’s FilmBar about bicycling in Portland:
I realize that this will sound contradictory but these are two important points:
Phoenix and her urban advocates have a terrible habit of just copying-and-pasting things that work in other cities to Phoenix without fully considering why they work there and how that translates to the unique context of here. “If it worked in Portland, it must work here!” That is not always the case and we need to understand our urban context and place so thoroughly both on the macro and micro levels before taking cues from other places.
I realize that several on this thread have ties to Portland but we need to stop thinking that Portland is the benchmark for everything. There are dozens of cities in the U.S. alone that do the progressive urban thing — some of them better than Portland — and urban advocates should take smart practices from all of them when evaluating what might work in our unique urban context.