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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on December 28th, 2009 at 10:35 am

Here’s the news that caught our eye this week. Lots of good stuff here:

- Officials in Amsterdam are promoting and building infrastructure for a boom in electric cars, and encountering difficulties matching that goal with the city’s extremely high bike ridership.

- Meanwhile, a look at how the energy and carbon numbers would work out if Seattle switched entirely to electric cars shows that it’s hardly the silver bullet solution many hope, and no alternative to finding ways to eliminate dependence on cars.

- Milwaukee, Wisconsin will soon allow people on bikes to ride two abreast and require people in cars to check before opening their doors, but will ban what the bill refers to as “fancy” or “acrobatic” riding on city streets. The city’s little-enforced mandatory bike registration law is also set to be repealed; registration will become a voluntary amenity.

- These reactions to new 20mph speed limits on the UK’s residential streets take the cake for car-headedness.

- Two men who were stopped by a police officer while enjoying an impromptu, nude midsummer night’s ride in New Zealand were not cited for their lack of clothing but did receive stern warnings for disobeying the country’s mandatory, all ages helmet law.

- A keen legal examination shows that the recent backlash against bicycling in Philadelphia may be motivated more by bias than facts or common sense.

- Chris Carlsson, one of the founders of Critical Mass, reflects on the movement’s history and future, and announces the launch of a new blog about San Francisco Critical Mass.

- A traveler’s account, with pictures, of the current state of (re-)emerging bicycle culture in Bangalore, India.

- Did you know that oil is currently being extracted from the ground below urban areas in the US? Here’s a look inside that process in an unlikely place — Beverly Hills.

- It’s not just when you’re riding your bike that cars are a problem, as this photo series (and cost analysis) of mangled bike parking staples shows.

- A cafe in Oakland has gone the extra mile for bike parking, giving up prime seating space for these sweet indoor racks.

- The mayor of San Francisco has announced that the city will have nine Sunday Streets ciclovia events in 2010. The mayor of LA is reportedly becoming more interested in bringing the event to his city.

- One avenue out of LA’s budget crisis has been proven: increasing red light camera fines has doubled revenue.

- Anyone who is involved in transportation and livability issues, from planners to activists, should be “culturally competent,” says this commentator.

- Have you ever wondered who or what is behind the ferocious anti-bicycling sentiments expressed out there on the anonymous internet? You’ll never read angry blog comments in the same way again after reading this jaw dropping account of the unmasking of an anti-livable streets blog.

- Videos of the week — a unicycle with two riders doesn’t quite make it across the parking lot; and in a more practical vein, check out this wheelchair bike spotted in the Netherlands.

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Comments
  • q`Tzal December 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

    The comments at the LA Times red light camera story sound like the comments on the attempt to get Idaho stops passed in Oregon this year.
    LA Times made a very good Flash interactive for the story. It makes a point of showing road debris and fluids leaked on to the road. I’ve always thought that when there is a crash the responsible party’s should either clean up the debris or be fined for the cost of the the city’s clean up efforts. Not just the glass that always ends up being bike lane land mines but all the hazardous chemicals that leak into the environment.
    Show true cost of travel.

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  • are December 28, 2009 at 11:02 am

    re cultural competency. i was at an event at in other words last year just after the alberta street last thursday went “carfree” (which if you look at the parking burden on the surrounding neighborhood is a complete misnomer) and heard several (black, female) people comment that the diversion of their bus route had (a) not been announced before it was implemented and (b) resulted in their having to walk several additional blocks to and from stops that were in unfamiliar places . . .
    the gentrification of these places should proceed (if at all) with some sensitivity to the people who already live there. and if “we” want to get “them” on bikes, it should happen through an organic process that begins with addressing their own perceived needs.
    or something like that.

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  • cold worker December 28, 2009 at 11:06 am

    the red reflector law from the milwaukee story really sucks. what if you build your bikes? i haven’t had reflectors on a bike since i’d bet, like third grade. weak.

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  • Steven Vance December 28, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    That’s dumb about Milwaukee not allowing a red light to substitute a red reflector. The Municipal Code of Chicago specifically states that a bicycle must be equipped with one *or* the other.

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  • are December 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    unless we want to be just like the motorists, we have to frame arguments against (say) rear reflectors in terms of how they do not contribute to safety.

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  • Paul Johnson December 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Could we get a less Calicentric round up next week, please? There gets to be a point where one just has to say “who gives a crap?” Sure, it’s surprising when they do get it right, but they get it wrong often enough that nothing they do is newsworthy anymore.

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  • Elly Blue (Editor) December 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Ain’t my fault California had a good news week. But I will do a final scan for geography next time around and see if that changes anything. Thanks for the feedback. :)

    And I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you all to send your notable and interesting transpo/livability news stories to elly at bikeportland dot oh are gee. About a fifth of the stories each week come from reader emails — the roundup is counting on you.

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  • la otra December 29, 2009 at 7:10 am

    More votes against the over-designed, under-thought, overpriced abomination that is the bus-mall bike staple. Could we just cover them with stickers until their edges are rounded off? Then they’ll just be too expensive.

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  • Paul Johnson December 29, 2009 at 10:46 am

    That’s not more votes against ‘em. More like proof that Illinois has a problem with people driving while Californian, too. The staple racks are the best thing to happen to bicycle parking since the lid, and a vast improvement over those retarded “MUNI” racks.

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