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Portland's So 'Woke' That Even the Snow Plows Bow to 'Equity'

(Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay)

I’d love to tell you that Portland, Ore., has a great explanation for why it factors the issue of “equity” into its decisions about which roads to plow during the city’s spate of snow and ice storms.

I’d love to, but I can’t. Not officially.

Here, while I conjure a way to explain why I can’t, please divert your attention to this beautifully done video by Brendan Gutenschwager. These are drone shots of snowy Portland roads and inner-city freeways.

It wasn’t for lack of trying.

KATU-TV reported that Portland’s snowplows were being sidelined, not because of safety issues or getting the city moving and the economy going, but because of issues of “equity.”

“We don’t plow the side streets for a couple of reasons. One is a capacity reason; we don’t have the number of plows that we would need to do that. And then many of those side streets are, are [sic] too narrow for our plows, those are big machines. Especially when cars a lined up on both sides of the street parking,” John Brady with PBOT said.

John Brady, the communications director at PBOT, says if they only plowed streets they could fit, there would be an equity issue.

Brady’s answer to KATU-TV suggests that if there were roads wide enough to accommodate a snowplow and if other roads were too narrow, it would be de facto inequitable and therefore preclude that wider road from being considered. That would be unfair or something.

I emailed John Brady, Berkeley grad, alum of the city of LA’s office under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and who’s now matriculated to the wokest of the woke cities this side of Berkeley, Portland, Oregon. He’s now the communications go-to for the City of Portland’s wokest office this side of the Office of Equity, the transportation bureau.

And here’s what I asked at 9:25 am.

Hi John, Victoria Taft with PJ Media. I’m touching base with you about a story I saw on KATU about snow plowing. Here’s the specific portion I was hoping to get more information about:

“’We don’t plow the side streets for a couple of reasons. One is a capacity reason; we don’t have the number of plows that we would need to do that. And then many of those side streets are, are too narrow for our plows, those are big machines. Especially when cars a lined up on both sides of the street parking,’” John Brady with PBOT said.
John Brady, the communications director at PBOT, says if they only plowed streets they could fit, there would be an equity issue.”

Could you please explain the “equity issue” and its relationship to clearing roads? How does equity change which roads are plowed? Or does it? What’s the net effect of plowing vis a vis equity in making decisions? Do some roads go unplowed?

Please explain.

Thanks.

Hours later I sent another reminder to him about being on a deadline, but it’s now nine hours later and, well, there are no answers.

While you’re pondering this non-answer, here’s another video from the aforementioned Brendan Gutenschwager.

See the snowplow on the bottom deck of the I-405 Fremont Bridge bridge that strides the Willamette from NW Portland to North Portland and joins with I-5.

Skiers are using some of the unplowed roads for recreation, but – what about driving on them to, you know, get to work …? That might be inequitable.

City crews use blow torches to warm up the streetcar tracks, but could we get some snowplows or blow torches for the rest of the transportation system, please?

To be fair, Portland does have a limited number of snowplows. It would seem that roads that can be plowed should be plowed. But that’s inequitable, apparently. Is he suggesting that widening all the roads is the answer? Doubtful.

In the past, the city also has been loathe to use salt or de-icing chemicals on the roads because they might, possibly, perhaps be bad for the salmon somewhere downstream. People have been told to stay home from work rather than treat the roads. You can look it up.

This is also the same city where an elected commissioner declared that “trees have rights.” Where antifa thugs are noblesse oblige.

Clearly, people with lives have been lost somewhere in the equation.

People are already hunkered down in their COVID hidey holes in the city that at one point was called “the city that works.” But that’s given way to the city that’s woke and lazy.

Officially, we don’t know why “equity” has anything to do with plowing the roads for safety and convenience.

But we can guess why for several days Portland’s roads were impassable, can’t we?

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Victoria Taft is the host of “The Adult in the Room Podcast With Victoria Taft” where you can hear her series on “Antifa Versus Mike Strickland.” Find it  here. Follow her on Facebook,  TwitterParlerMeWeMinds @VictoriaTaft 

 

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