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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on February 21st, 2011 at 9:15 am

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

- New York City is spending more to fill the pot holes left by the rough winter weather of the past few months than it has spent on bicycles in the last three extremely eventful years.

- When it comes to everyday bicycling, how important are friendly media and public perception, really? As the coverage of a minor crash in the Netherlands shows, it makes a world of difference.

- The latest life claimed on Florida’s highways is that of the nephew of the Dalai Lama as he set off on a long distance walk to promote peace.

- Cycling sports legend and sometimes cycling transportation advocate Lance Armstrong has announced his retirement for the second time.

- Could Dover be the next Boulder? Maybe, if advocates can successfully make the case for bicycle infrastructure investment to the Delaware legislature.

- An interesting transportation and public space angle on recent events in Egypt.

- A few graphs that reveal data on gender differences in transportation. For instance, men drive more, but women make more trips.

- Scientists are finally taking seriously one of the key transportation issues of our time: sidewalk rage.

- Another entry in the annals of innovative bicycle design is a bike that serves double duty as a traveling water filtration device.

- It isn’t yet possible to link to a print article, but this photo essay about a “quixotic” suburban commute sounds like it might be worth buying the magazine for.

- If you like sharrows, you’ll like this little homage to them, which also provides a clear description for the uninitiated.

- Video of the week: Do you live in a city, say, a giant one like New York, that doesn’t have bike racks on the buses? This video makes the case for investing in them.

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  • Brent February 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I believe Vanderbilt’s article for Outside, “Rage Against Your Machine,” is online here:

    http://outsideonline.com/adventure/travel-ga-201103-new-york-bike-commuting-sidwcmdev_154507.html

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    • Brad February 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

      Thanks for the link. That article was very balanced, enlightening, and should be required reading for all that ride.

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    • Kt February 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

      Thanks for the link– that was a good story, well written and researched. I’m glad I took the time to read it.

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  • Nick V February 21, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I’d be curious to know how people here will remember Lance Armstrong. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding doping but I thought he was REEEEALLY pushing his luck by coming back. Now I think his legacy is extraordinary but also very shady. Time for the sport to try and move on.

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  • Eric on Blue Island February 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    “New York City is spending more to fill the pot holes caused by excessive driving, usually by single-occupancy vehicles driving blithely past the homes of their co-workers and the offices of their neighbors as they rush to enjoy their self-inflicted congestion and potholes before rushing home to complain to their elected officials and newspaper editors about congestion and potholes.”

    Fixt.

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  • Michael M. February 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    The “sidewalk rage” story reminds me of something I saw late last week. I was waiting on my bike at the stop sign on NW Couch to cross NW 4th southbound. A woman driving was approaching on NW 4th, slowly, preparing to turn left (northbound) onto Couch. A guy on bike (on the sidewalk, where he shouldn’t have been riding) was also waiting, frustrated, and sarcastically yelled at the woman “Drive slower!” then sped off the curb across the intersection after she passed. She yelled back “What did you say?,” but he was already gone. I told her “Don’t worry about it.”

    Granted, the woman was driving a bit slower than she needed to, but c’mon, you’re going to yell at someone in a car because she’s being too careful?

    Motorists just can’t win with the biking populace in this town — they get hated on for being reckless, speedy, aggressive, and now cautious. Maybe a little patience is in order? I was probably delayed all of three or four seconds by her driving, the impatient guy no more than that. How self-important do you have to be to get so worked up over something so minor?

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  • malka February 22, 2011 at 8:06 am

    “Sidewalk rage”? Does it really take a scientific study to illuminate how our entire culture is affected by this pathological obsession with speed? Whether you’re walking, cycling, driving, or standing in a checkout lane, let’s just call it what it is: gross impatience.

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  • Taxpayer February 22, 2011 at 9:59 am

    As usual, nothing but bias here. New York taffic is crazy high with cars in Manhatten. Bicyclists? Mmmm, not so much.

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  • chris February 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    What makes you think that fixing pot holes isn’t helpful to bicyclists? Quite the contrary, I’d say fixing pot holes is far more beneficial to cyclists that building bicycle specific infrastructure. They wear down the suspension of automobiles, but are a positive danger to cyclists. I was just up in Vancouver, and was impressed at how smooth and well-kept their streets are, in addition to having bicycle infrastructure. Portland is a third-world country in comparison, at least as far as its road network goes.

    With every blog post of yours that I read, it becomes increasingly obvious that you don’t speak for cyclists. You only speak for an activisty core that doesn’t represent the rest of us in any respect.

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    • Elly February 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Chris,
      The article I linked to puts NYC’s bicycle program, which many have criticized for its heavy investments in bike infrastructure in the last couple of years, in perspective. I don’t see an implication that fixing pot holes isn’t good for cycling. I mean, having a paved road in the first place is good for cycling, even if it’s mainly used (and worn down) by heavier vehicles.

      I suppose my paraphrasing sentence could be misconstrued that way. But to say what you suggest would be pretty over the top even for someone as unabashedly activisty as me. Just like anyone else (except maybe mountain bikers?) I like my roads smooth.
      Best,
      Elly

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  • chris February 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Vancouver, BC, I mean, not Vancouver, Wash.

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  • Elly February 25, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Also, my understanding of being an activist is it’s about speaking to people rather than for people. Representing people is advocacy or government. Boring.

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