The rapidly growth of Portland, Oregon has led to the sort of serious congestion and brutal rush hours typically associated with larger West Coast cities.
To fix the problem, the city council is eyeing an expansion of the city’s main interstate, the 5, in the area around city’s sports stadiums.
Urban planners who study traffic tell you this is a bad idea because of “induced demand,” which causes building more freeways to make traffic worse. But try explaining that to traffic-bound rush-hour commuters.
Portland resident Paul Rippey tried to break through by explaining this very dry concept to his city council Wednesday, telling the story of the city’s interstate system from the 60s on to today.
“We all like to drive around town, but you can’t help but noticing how much it’s slowed down,” he sang. “And adding more lanes is never done, because if we build them they will come—that’s the thing we need to understand, it’s induced demand.”
“It should be clear the system is broken and adding more lanes is just a futile token,” he sings. “Because the thing we need to understand is induced demand.”
Despite Portland’s reputation as a laid-back hippie haven, city council meetings have been tense during the reign of Mayor Ted Wheeler, with activists shutting down several meetings after police killed an unarmed black teen and again after the police violently suppressed an anti-Trump march down city sidewalks using techniques that spurred an ACLU lawsuit.
Rippey’s song is very catchy and he received a warm reception, with council member Amanda Fritz even asking the mayor to suspend the rules so that she could clap. (Her request was ignored—Mayor Wheeler is a very serious man.)
However, Rippey did receive a smile from Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who once viciously lashed out at woman that read poetry to the council, so Rippey can count himself lucky.
Following Rippey’s testimony two other men testified against the freeway expansion using the sort of dense, wonky language that you’d expect.
Watch his performance below, or skip to the second video for the studio version of “Induced Demand.”
‘You need to go’: White woman screaming about abortion gets pulled away by cops for heckling black speaker
Conservative activist Kaitlin Bennett was escorted away by police after she tried to interrupt a liberal speaker.
The incident, which was caught on video, appeared to take place in Houston prior to last week's Democratic presidential debate. The video was later posted online by The Blaze's Elijah Schaffer, who was sympathetic to the right-wing heckler.
The video shows a speaker, who is black, talking about systemic racism.
"They have found ways to cage our babies, separate families, mistreat and abuse us," the woman says before she was interrupted by Bennett.
"What about abortion?" Bennett exclaims.
‘He didn’t do nothing’: Black kids confront white Philly cops as they terrorize innocent student at bus stop
A group of children called out Philadelphia police officers who said that they wanted the kids to be "shaking" from the confrontation.
Video posted on social media over the weekend shows a white officer telling a shirtless African-American boy to get in his police cruiser.
The video was posted by Twitter by a user named Asia who claimed to be a student waiting for her bus.
Instagram is helping this get out, but it needs more attraction. This Happened in Philadelphia,Pa on Thursday. A group of school kids and I were waiting for the bus at the bus stop when a cop car came to us, slowed down and stared at us then kept going down the street. pic.twitter.com/OrvOvWf3Oh
Kellyanne Conway: It’s unconstitutional for Democrats to ’embarrass this president’ with impeachment
White House aide Kellyanne Conway on Sunday insisted that Democrats do not have a "constitutional basis" to embarrass President Donald Trump by conducting an impeachment inquiry.
Conway made the remarks while speaking to FOX News Sunday guest host Bill Hemmer.
"Complete nonsense," she said when asked about the impeachment proceedings. "They need to get a messaging meeting and they need to read the constitution of the Democratic Party."
"Americans, the Congress, they work for you," Conway continued, talking over the FOX host. "And they're wasting your money and your time trying to impeach a president where there are no high crimes and misdemeanors."