June 17th, 2008 | by COREY PEIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Politics, CLEAN UP

NYC One-Ups Portland As Place Where No Cars Go

no-cars-190_1Somehow, we missed this news yesterday, but it fits right in with our ongoing series on why Portland isn't as green or ambitious as it thinks it is:
Which municipal decision is more bravely anti-automobile?
Closing six miles of low-traffic streets in North Portland for six hours on one day this month (June 22)?
pdx route
Or,
Closing seven miles of streets in Manhattan, including Park Avenue, for six hours over three days in August?
nyc route
So Portland gets shown up by one of the most traffic-choked cities in America—one with a mayor elected as a Republican, no less—just in time to host an international car-free cities conference. Perfect.
From The New York Times:
Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg said that he does not plan to ride his bike along Park Avenue, “but I'll certainly walk.” “I just think it would be a media circus and I'd pretty likely run down somebody, so I'd better not.”
“Look, there will be minor inconveniences,” the mayor said about potential disruptions for business owners and residents along Park Avenue. “There's minor inconveniences when it rains, when you have snow; inconveniences when it's hot, when it's cold; inconveniences when there are people on the streets, when they're not.” ...
“You've got to try new things,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “It's three Saturdays. If it does hurt and it doesn't provide any benefits, we won't do it anymore. If it turns out that it's great, we'll do it a lot more, I hope.”

Meanwhile, Portland's car-free activists tell The O:
"We were really concerned that people would be very scared off by this idea, that it was too radical a concept," [conference organizer Elly] Blue said. "We said, 'It's a carfree conference, but you don't have to give up your cars.'"

That's it, don't rock the boat. Or if you do, rock it very, very gently.
At least Arcade Fire rocks it hard. "No Cars Go":
[youtube rJDsm1Y4kUk]
 
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