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The Monday Roundup

Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on April 18th, 2011 at 9:00 am

A horrific road rage incident in Brazil
has spurred bicycle activism.
(Photo: BikersBrazil)

Here's the news that caught our eyes this week:

- You have to make transit cool, says the organizer of a program in an exurban office park in San Ramon, California where a third of 30,000 workers choose not to drive to work.

- A new study is the latest to raise serious concerns about the health effects of spending time near freeways — in this case, the resulting pollution may cause brain damage.

- An update on the case of the man who allegedly attacked a Critical Mass ride in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and a look at efforts to improve the town's bicycle infrastructure.

- One U.S. airline has announced that passengers with bicycles will pay only their standard $20 baggage fee rather than the hundreds of dollars in bike check fees charged by other airlines.

- Denton, Texas is the latest city in the U.S. to enact a law requiring that people on bikes be passed safely.

- In Maine, a proposed law would tax bicycles to pay for adding shoulders to roads.

- In Copenhagen, a whopping 35% of trips are taken by bike, but city officials won't be content until that number goes up substantially — to half..

- A Norwegian study has found that bicycle helmets offer less protection than experts have long believed.

- A commentator from the U.K. chimes in on the helmet issue — he's "pro-helmet, but anti-compulsion."

- A look at a new bamboo growing and bike building collective in Alabama.

- Why do bicycles stay upright? A team of scientists has tackled this long-unconsidered question and come up with a surprising answer.

- A look at the design and ecology of New York's famous street grid from the 1800s to today.

- Videos of the week: What happens when you give people in a small town 20,000 bikes? Also, is the real menace to society on two wheels...or one?

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Comments
  • matt picio April 18, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Love the car as gun poster on the Brazil update story - when can someone recreate those here in Portland?

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  • K'Tesh April 18, 2011 at 9:22 am

    That article about the 20,000 bikes was a very cool. Thanks for sharing that one.

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  • KJ April 18, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Wow San Ramon is about the last place I would expect to see in the Roundup for bike or transit news! Although the Iron Horse trail is pretty awesome. Good for them! Won't make me ever want to move back though. It could me a much less car centric city, lot of potential there.

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  • Alan April 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Am I the only person concerned about the ad for DUI Attorneys that appeared right below this article? Given the number of people - cyclists - regularly harmed by drunk drivers I would expect extreme sensitivity on this topic.

    Thanks for your usual timely and interesting news.

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    • April April 18, 2011 at 11:08 am

      I don't see an ad for DUI lawyers, I see an ad for Hopworks Urban Brewery...

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  • J.R. (Dir. Keeping Lights On) April 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Alan, Google Ads will display different adverts to different readers based, in part, on that individual's browsing habits. While I agree these ads can be inappropriate, I can't filter them until after they have been displayed. For better or worse, Google ads fill the gaps in our ad partners' campaign schedules and help fund this publication. If there is an advert you find offensive, please send me the URL and I can screen it for all readers. And when you get the chance, thank those businesses that support this site through their ad partnerships. They make BikePortland possible and keep us from resorting to Google adverts.

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  • David Proctor April 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

    The bike stability work is mostly duplicating work described in a paper by David EH Jones (who also wrote the long-running Daedalus plausible-invention column) which was originally published in Physics Today in 1970. A PDF of a recent reprint can be found here: http://www.phys.lsu.edu/faculty/gonzalez/Teaching/Phys7221/vol59no9p51_56.pdf

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    • q`Tzal April 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      As a scientifically minded person I am proud and amused at the effort Dr. Jones put in to making an "Unridable Bicycle" MKs I-IV.

      Prepare to have your preconceived notions shattered.

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