The 2016 Olympics in Rio: An Interview with Jules Boykoff

Logos of previous Olympics gamesEvery four years we tune in to the excitement, passion, and drama of the Olympic Games. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in all the the anticipation and celebration, for one of the most widely watched events in the world. Each successive Olympics seem to be a bigger spectacle than the last, with dramatic and expensive changes to the city itself. What are some of the ways the Olympics transform the physical structure and form of the host city, and who pays for the hefty price tag?

Jules Boykoff profile photoJules Boykoff is a former professional soccer player, and represented the men’s US Olympic soccer team in international play. Jules has extensively researched the politics and activism in the Olympic Games, including the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver Canada, the 2012 Summer Games in London, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi Russia, and the upcoming Summer Games in Rio De Janeiro Brazil. His writings on the Olympics include Activism and the Olympics: Dissent at the Games in Vancouver, Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games, and the recently published Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics.

Photo credit: Luke & Jules

Israel Bayer and Jes Larson: Getting Real About Housing and Homelessness

Picture of Monopoly housesWhere did our housing and homelessness crisis come from, and how do we create solutions as a city and country? How are people talking about housing and homelessness, and how should that narrative change?

Join Street Roots Executive Director, Israel Bayer; Welcome Home Coalition Executive Director, Jes Larson; and “Why Isn’t Anyone…?” co-hosts Justin Buri and Steph Routh for a history lesson and a conversation about housing, homelessness, and the future.

Photo credit: Woodley Wonderworks

On Rebuilding New Orleans and Jacmel, Haiti: A Chat With Diane Jones Allen

profile photo: Diane Jones AllenDiane Jones of DesignJones, LLC has engaged in planning and design efforts related to the rebuild and recovery of the Lower Ninth Ward, the cypress forest restoration in the Bayou Bienvenue Wetlands Triangle, the dismantling of the I-10 freeway and regeneration of Treme within the Claiborne Avenue Corridor, and rebuilding and restoring the Historic District, post-earthquake Jacmel, Haiti — a district that heavily influenced the architecture and urban design of the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Join Diane and “Why Isn’t Anyone…?” host Alexis Gabriel as they explore community planning, post-disaster rebuilding, and what race has to do with it.

What Happened in Salem This Year: EP 008

What Happened in Salem This Year: EP 008

Salem Capitol buildingEvery other year, the Oregon Legislature meets for a short session—35 days—to discuss budgets and other timely issues. This year was a whirlwind for housing advocates and others looking to squeak through some laws.

For this episode of “Why Isn’t Anyone…?” Team members Justin Buri and Vivian Satterfield are joined by Kristina Narayan from the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon to discuss what went down in Salem during February and what that means for inclusionary zoning and other hoped-for changes.

Correction to the audio: HB 4071, the COFA Premium Assistance Program, was amended and passed with continuous funding.

Roll credits:

Today’s show was produced by Justin Buri and Vivian Satterfield, and edited by Eric Klein. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture.

Q&A with Peter Koonce, Portland’s Signals Guy

Why are there so many different types of audible signals?” The person in charge of Portland’s traffic signals answers questions from an advocate for the blind. Peter Koonce, Portland’s Signals and Street Lighting Division Manager responds to 3 specific questions from Jim Jackson, a member of the local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.

Q: Why are there so many different types of audible signals?

A: There are different types because the people writing the standards (public officials and industry vendors) are doing this sometimes on a volunteer basis with some modest support from the Federal Highway Administration and the National Cooperative Research Program. It is done with support from State DOTs that approve the research agenda. This takes time. Tests are done and studies conducted through students and research teams that are not processed quickly by practitioners. Vendors also invest in new technology but these are not large companies for the most part that can retool their systems easily.

The research concepts have changed as technology has over the past 15-20 years. The latest thinking is how to incorporate Smart phones that are very usable and conceivable, whereas 10 years ago that future wasn’t so clear. Traffic signal technology often lasts 30 years so the evolution is very slow and products as installed remain on street for a long time if it isn’t damaged.

Researchers like Janet Barlow (http://accessforblind.org) have done some work over time informed by tests. The City has been a long time supporter of Janet’s work nationally with in kind support.

Q:  Does it cost more to add the name of the street to an audible signal? (like “Cross Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd”)

A: Yes, there is effort in maintaining that equipment, but that is the City’s standard. Some agencies go for cheaper devices. Some practitioners argue against the audible because of the difficulty in maintaining those types of buttons. You have to have staff learn how to program them.

Q: Some signals are both audible and vibrate, which works for both deaf and blind road users. Why is this not the universal standard?

A: It is currently for the City of Portland. The Federal Highway Administration actually doesn’t require pedestrian signals at every crossing still. This was a debate in this past years meeting and several progressive engineers could not believe this was still possible.

We do then have to install poles for the buttons which is something the engineers get criticized about because the poles are in the sidewalk.

Episode 7: Blindness in the Built Environment

 

Jim Jackson getting on a busIn 2012, members of Portland’s local National Federation of the Blind Chapter organized an event called, “It’s Not Scary to Be Blind: Walk With Me!” as part of Walktober. Folks during this event talked about aspects of our transportation environment that are both helpful and possibly not so helpful for the blind and low vision.

For this episode of “Why Isn’t Anyone…?” we were lucky to have a few active members of the Portland Central Chapter of National Federation of the Blind to talk about blindness in the built environment: Jim Jackson is Co-founder of the Portland Central Chapter of National Federation of the Blind; Trevor Attenberg is the chapter’s Treasurer; and Nik Petersson is Senior Accessibility Consultant with Miles Access Skills Training, LLC. TheNational Federation of the Blind is the organization that believes in the full capacity of blind people, and has the power, influence, diversity, and determination to help transform their dreams into reality.

Roll credits:

Today’s show was produced by Steph Routh, and edited by Eric Klein. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture.

Episode 6: What Is Equity Pt. 2

 

Photo credit: Simon Cunningham

Photo credit: Simon Cunningham

“What Is Equity?” Everyone uses this word. What does it mean, how is it used, and where should we be going with it? This is such a big word that we will be exploring this as a special two-parter series. Here we have Part 2.

In the studio for this episode, we have four of the 10-person team at Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This—Adonia Lugo, Alexis Gabriel, Joy Davis and Steph Routh.

Roll credits:

Today’s show was produced by the whole Team; edited by Eric Klein, and hosted by Adonia, Alexis, Joy, and Steph. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture.

Episode 5: Vision Zero

Vision Zero logoVision Zero is a street safety campaign that seeks to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in a local jurisdiction to zero by a set time period. The idea that people shouldn’t die when occupying the right of way isn’t a new one—in fact, it is nearly as old in the United States as cars themselves.

But does street safety only refer to traffic safety? How does Vision Zero intersect with a broader call to street safety? Where can we go together?

Naomi Doerner is a transportation planner and mobility advocate. Over the last decade, she has developed and implemented effective community participation strategies that have led to more equitable transportation planning outcomes in the public and private sectors.

Tamika Butler joined the LA County Bicycle Coalition staff as the Executive Director in December 2014. Prior to leading LACBC Tamika was the Director of Social Change Strategies at Liberty Hill Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s boys and men of color program and the foundation’s LGBTQ grant strategy.

Keith Benjamin currently serves as the Community Partnership Manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and has worked in 8 states and 40 cities on offering placemaking as a solution to better physical activity, safety, mobility and opportunity.

 

Roll Credits:

Today’s show was produced by Mychal Tetteh; and edited by Eric Klein. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture.

Episode 4: What Is Equity?

Equity v. Equality“What Is Equity?” Everyone uses this word. What does it mean, how is it used, and where should we be going with it? This is such a big word that we will be exploring this as a special two-parter series.

In the studio for this episode, we have four of the 10-person team at Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This—Vivian Satterfield, Mychal Tetteh, Leslie Lum, and Steph Routh.

Roll Credits:

Today’s show was produced by the whole Team; edited by Steph Routh, and hosted by Vivian, Mychal, Leslie, and Steph. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter @whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture.

Episode 3: What Is Creative Placemaking?

The methods of placemaking aren’t new, but its popularity with non-profit funders is. What is the goal of placemaking? As neighborhoods at risk of gentrification and displacement become home to placemaking projects, will they be around long enough to reap the benefits?

Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This?  hosts Alexis Gabriel and Heidi Guenin spoke with Luann Algoso, a Portland, Oregon-based writer, blogger, activist, and strategic communications specialist, and Jamaal Green, PhD student in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. You can find Luann (and her corgi, Atticus) on Twitter @Luann_Algoso and on her blog, Brown Girl: Decolonized; and Jamaal Green on Twitter @surlyurbanist and on his blog, Surly Urbanism.

Roll Credits:

Today’s show was produced by Alexis Gabriel and Heidi Guenin; edited by Eric Klein, and hosted by Alexis and Heidi. Music is by Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet. You can find us on our Facebook page and on Twitter@whyisntanyone.

If you liked this show, help us keep it going by donating via our website, whyisntanyone.com, where you can also leave us comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. Check out the people who have supported us on Crowdrise!

We are a project of Umbrella, a Portland-based nonprofit that encourages community-based street culture.