Don’t be ridiculous

Sorting through my files from Malmö I came across this gem.


About Denver Igarta

This blog was established to document my search for streets that my 5-year old can play near without my constant supervision. Where kids can live active lives and learn independence. My quest began when I was selected as an Urban and Regional Policy Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, for info: I am a multi-modal transportation planner for the City of Portland (OR), America's sustainable transportation capital. SHORT BIO/PROJECT DESCRIPTION Denver Igarta (October-November 2011), Urban Planner, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Project: Livable Streets Where People Live: Fostering People-Friendly Streets by De-emphasizing Automobile Traffic in Residential Areas Cities: Munich, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Malmö Denver Igarta is an urban planner with the Transportation Bureau of the City of Portland. He works on a broad range of transportation policy, street design initiatives and pedestrian, bicycle and freight planning efforts. He recently served as one of the principal authors of Portland's new bicycle plan. He is currently staffing two “active transportation” projects: a rails-with-trails project along the Banfield Freeway and a local street system plan for one of the state's most diverse neighborhoods. He performed his graduate studies at the University of Dortmund, Germany and the University of the Philippines and holds a Master of Science in Regional Development Planning. Portland is struggling to reverse generations of auto-oriented development patterns and make neighborhood streets more “livable” (people-friendly) by restoring their multimodal and placemaking functions. Mr. Igarta's research will evaluate how cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden have enacted policies to restore the multiple functions of public streets through traffic management, green infrastructure and giving priority to sustainable travel modes. He will meet with local practitioners, policymakers and civic leaders involved in transportation planning, traffic safety and neighborhood livability projects, street design, and implementation of multi-modal traffic policies. The ultimate aim of the study is to compile a set of best practices and policies implemented in European cities that have broadened the role of residential streets beyond automobile mobility. Additional focus will be given to understanding how acceptable policy tradeoffs are determined within city agencies and the level of public support for measures that restrict car movements, such as reduced speed zones, bicycle streets, shared spaces, residents-only streets and residential parking restrictions.
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2 Responses to Don’t be ridiculous

  1. Malmo seems to have left quite an impression on you! : ) However, I’m a bit annoyed by the ridiculous helmet promotion that has swept Malmo. The city is plenty safe to cycle without a helmet and I only see so many people wear helmets in the city’s promotional images– in reality the majority don’t wear helmets.

    • Thanks for the comment. Personally, I think wearing a helmet should be the individual’s choice. I liked the fact that in Malmo you can wear a helmet without feeling too out of place.

      My impression meeting with municipal staff was that they prefer to focus on efforts to prevent accidents (lights & reflective clothes) than the helmet issue. I didn’t wear a helmet in Malmo but I always wear one in PDX regardless if I’m on a trail or bike boulevard. Still, if I lived in Malmo I would probably choose to use a helmet. For me, it is a smart choice (plus I know my kids are watching). This is not because conditions are unsafe, but because, as a bike advocate in Munich put it… “if you ride a bike everyday, some day an accident will occur.” I have a close friend who lives in Groningen, NL – definitely one of the best cities I’ve ever cycled in. Earlier this year, he had a traumatic bike accident (swerved to avoid a turning cyclist who didn’t signal) that put him in the hospital for weeks and left a large scar on his forehead. He wasn’t wearing a helmet (it is the NL after all). I’m convinced there is no way he could have avoided that accident. I’m glad to report that he is back on his bicycle. I didn’t ask if he is wearing a helmet. I feel like it is his choice to make.

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