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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on November 30th, 2009 at 8:47 am

Hit and run on a bike; bike laws (pro- and anti-); how to save the bus system; high speed rail; seat belts on the motorcoach; Rosa Parks revisited; the art of bike safety

Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:

- Prominent medical journal The Lancet has published a study that includes a strong recommendation of funding biking and walking infrastructure over roads.

- In the past 25 years, the amount of highway funding that comes from sources not related to highway use has doubled.

- NPR has done a series of stories on the topic of “How Safe are Our Roads?”

- The Mercury reports on how Seattle has managed to avoid the transit service cuts that are plaguing Portland, among many other US cities.

- A Seattle TV station reports on a hit-and-run incident involving someone on a bike who fled after a collision with a young boy.

- Hungarian traffic laws have been changed with the aim of improving bicycling safety. Amendments include allowing people on bicycles to ride either way down one-way streets, treat red lights with discretion, and take the lane.

- In Philadelphia, bicycle messengers are protesting proposed new laws that would require bike registration and raise the cost of traffic fines for bikes.

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- US transpo sec’y Ray LaHood has proposed that all buses be equipped with passenger seatbelts and that bus operators be banned from cell phone use while driving. LaHood is also looking at ways to reduce transit crashes.

- An in-depth look at the emergence of bicycle infrastructure and culture in Dallas, Texas.

- Residents of Minneapolis have apparently been slow to take to the city’s new cycle track.

- A high speed rail line linking London and Madrid is slated to open in 2012.

- Media speculation about the mysterious circumstances of the Tiger Woods car crash is rampant today. Fans also wonder if he will be a no-show for the upcoming golf tournament that’s title sponsored by a major gas company.

- Who makes up the real “transportation majority?” It might not be people who drive, contends one blogger.

- In that same vein, we don’t normally include decade-old articles in the news roundup, but this disheartening story about the failures of Montgomery, Alabama’s transit system since it played a defining role in the civil rights movement recently came across our desk and is as good a summing up as we’ve ever seen of the failure of auto-centric transportation to serve the majority of the population.

- Finally, a sobering piece of art titled “Share the Road”

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Comments
  • spare_wheel November 30, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Hilarious parody of bike haters (via copenhagenize):

    http://bamboobadger.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-i-hate-pedestrians.html

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  • Kt November 30, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Spare_wheel, that blog post was HILARIOUS!!!! Thanks for the laugh this morning!

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  • MCSqueak November 30, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Regarding biking in Hungary: I don’t know if anything has changed since 2003, but when I was in Budapest NOTHING would make me want to bike on the streets there, unless I was in a physically separated bike path.

    The drivers were crazy. The city is old (read: very, very pretty) but has a lot of weird small streets, alleys, etc, then HUGE 5-lane through-fares. The lines painted on the streets were well-worn.

    Everyone drove like mad. It was kind of scary. I rented a car in Germany and drove there through Austria, and it was easily the worst driving I witnessed on my trip. I had to drive very aggressively there in order to not become a “danger” to other drivers, it felt very dangerous to my usual standards of American drivers.

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  • Tacoma November 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    In regards to Montgomery, Alabama’s transit system, it makes one want to weep. Not because it’s Montgomery but for the lack of funding for all transit systems.

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  • encephalopath November 30, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    The Dallas Observer article is fantastic.

    Good summary of the “vehicular cycling” vs “infrastructre” debate.

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  • BicycleDave November 30, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I rode Spain’s high speed rail from Madrid to Seville over ten years ago. What a great way to travel. Fast, convenient and comfortable. Imagine first class air travel, but less cramped and without the security hassles. We are so far behind Spain!

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  • KruckyBoy November 30, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Re: the boy who was hit in by a cyclist in Seattle- I don’t understand. According to many riders on this board bikes are magical vehicles that can cause no harm to others. How could a collision possibly have hurt another human?!

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  • BicycleDave November 30, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Oh, come on KruckyBoy. Same story, but with a car instead of a bike and you’d have to replace talk of a “full recovery” with a date for the funeral. And no bystanders run down the car driver to insure justice.

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  • spare_wheel November 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    KruckyBoy,
    “According to many riders on this board bikes are magical vehicles that can cause no harm to others.”

    Provide one quote please, let along “many”.

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  • chris November 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    That Minneapolis cycle track is complete crap. Gee, we get to ride in the door zone or the gutter!

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  • BURR November 30, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    That Minneapolis cycle track is complete crap. Gee, we get to ride in the door zone or the gutter!

    you got that right!

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  • John Reinhold November 30, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Well, the Montgomery article is 9 years old, but still a good read.

    I lived in Montgomery for four years, mid 90s. It is as bad, if not worse, than that article implies.

    I started riding a bike for transportation there. There is nowhere in the Northwest as scary to ride a bike as it was in Montgomery, Alabama.

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  • wsbob November 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    One of the pictures accompanying the Minneapolis cycle track story showed a patch of seriously broken pavement on the right edge of the track…kind of like a long pothole; great fun for anyone that hits it…no doubt, it will soon be fixed. Oh…another thing…isn’t the Minneapolis cycle track similar in arrangement to the Broadway cycle track up by PSU?

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  • robert December 2, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Re: highway funding

    Maybe we should email Webtrends and ask them to run an ad campaign on portland´s Max asking if drivers pay their fair share.

    http://www.webtrends.com/

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