Cars are expensive, complicated objects that require a lot of attention and financial sacrifice. Meanwhile, cars make it physically easier to do things that might not actually be that important.
This is something I’ve only gradually come to understand as I’ve been reporting on the lifestyle over the last two years. But it’s wisdom Brock and Brandon, the co-hosts and creators of the amazing Sprocket Podcast, keep in their bones. In their weekly one-hour podcast about “simplifying the good life,” these two Lents residents – by day, they’re a school bus driver, an indie pastor, and fast friends – talk about bike news and living light (no cell phone! no microwave!) while interviewing a smart person about these topics every single Sunday night.
That’s why Lily and I were overjoyed to tape a crossover podcast with the Sprocket a few weeks back. And if you enjoy the Sprocket, that’s why I hope you’ll join us and chip in a few bucks to be part of their 2013 season. The Sprocket’s Indiegogo campaign, which finishes this very evening, has already met its $500 goal, but that’s no reason not to nab one of their awesome, amazingly inexpensive rewards and support another great piece of the local low-car media machine.
What we talked about
Oh, you want to know about the joint podcast episode itself? I’m late to this summary, but Lily and I joined Brock and Brandon to discuss:
- A hot local trend: apartments without on-site auto parking. Watch Portland Afoot’s monthly newsmagazine for a big cover story about this, arriving next week.
- Another hot local trend: telecommuting among young adults. Working at home is the fastest-growing way for Portlanders under 25 to get to work. Or as Brock calls it, to “get” to “work.”
- Our transit tip of the month, our favorite TriMet tweets, and a funny story from the bus.
Then, after the Portland Afoot format was complete, we moved over to the Sprocket format, which is always a delight in itself.
And you won’t want to miss the amazing musical intro Brock assembled to celebrate our long-awaited joint performance.
You can hear both segments as a single episode of our monthly commuting podcast, which you can follow on iTunes here, by RSS here, by downloading the audio file here or even by getting an email notification each time we upload a new episode.
As for all things Sprocket, you can find all their work here.
Note! After we taped this, listener (and city planning commissioner, Northwest Portland resident and Portland Afoot board member) Chris Smith added the following wealth of information to our discussion:
- Northwest Portland still does not have either meters or permits other than event-day permits for soccer games.
- Open Plans is doing a mobile app for a trip planner. That would probably be the place to get an option put in for whether or not to include the 4-minute buffer into trip plans.
- Smith tried to make a big push for telecommuting part of the Portland Plan, but didn’t get a lot of enthusiasm. The key policy piece, however, is probably the City’s broadband plan, which actually got done a few months before the Portland Plan. The other piece would be a "lead by example" effort by the City and other governments.
- With regard to Brandon’s question, Smith’s website that displays imminent arrival times for a given transit stop is called Transit Surfer – though he notes you can also bookmark pages on the mobile version of Transit Tracker.