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The Monday Roundup

Posted by Will Vanlue (Contributor) on June 25th, 2012 at 9:35 am

The pedal-powered Gamera II helicopter
is close to hovering for a full minute.
(Screenshot of video by Team Gamera)

Here's the news and other cool stuff that caught our eyes this past week...

- Portland's own Elly Blue discusses a study from an Oregon-based research group that shows automobile use and economic growth don't correlate like many have previously assumed.

- There's a detailed proposal gaining attention to transform abandoned logging roads into a mountain bike and backpacking trail system in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness on the northern side of Mt. Hood.

- Two companies, one in Portland and one in Laguna Beach, are introducing bicycle-specific insurance plans.

- Trek is ceasing production of its Portland commuter bicycle due to slow sales and a focus by company on other bicycles in its growing commuter line.

- Oregon City's new marketing campaign calls The Pearl "old news" and makes similar remarks about other, bicycle- and walking-friendly Portland neighborhoods while promoting the "attractions" of downtown Oregon City such as its proximity to freeways and ample free parking for cars.

- Residents in Seattle are celebrating after the grand opening of their first greenway, located in the Wallingford Neighborhood.

- Hillsboro's police department is targeting distracted driving this summer in an effort to reduce one of the leading causes of automobile collisions.

- A long-overdue update to the 13-year-old AASHTO bikeway design guide still doesn't include protected on-street bike lanes, leaving the NACTO Design Guide as the most robust resource for planners

- The Bay Area's BART train is starting a pilot program to allow bicycles on all trains, at all hours on Fridays in August.

- A woman who parked her car on a sidewalk is demanding the family of an 8-year-old girl pay for damages after the girl come around a corner on her bicycle and crashed into the illegally parked car.

- Police in Tennessee have released a graphic surveillance video of a hit-and-run collision in hopes that it will lead to the identification of the person driving vehicle that ran down a 22-year-old man and then fled without stopping.

- Local planners and advocates in Philadelphia, PA are getting help from three Dutch transportation planners who traveled to the city for to help with surveys and a few "problem-solving sessions".

- Most people using Washington DC's bike share system are less affluent than the average Washingtonian but the system is still facing criticism for serving a mostly-white segment of DC's population, although there's a good argument to be made that the survey of bike share riders was limited and doesn't represent the total population of the system's users.

- Regardless of who's using DC's bike share system, customers of Capital Bike Share have eliminated over 5 million car-miles since the system began operation.

- Gary Randeau has built an elegant and practical way to ride side-by-side with your date: the DateTrike, a beautiful, custom-build side-by-side tandem tricycle.

- Two men have been arrested on suspicion of intentionally using their pickup truck to try and run over two boys riding bicycles.

- An opinion piece out of Anchorage, Alaska says their mandatory helmet law reduces the number of people who ride bikes, prevents local police from addressing other pressing safety issues, and distracts local officials who should instead be focusing on building safe routes to schools.

- Part of the plan by City of San Francisco to "re-establish [Market Street] as the premier cultural, civic, transportation and economic center of San Francisco and the Bay Area" includes eliminating private automobiles from sections of the street to turn it into a public gathering place.

- MSNBC's new ad for their show "Up" features host Chris Hayes riding a bicycle in New York City while he talks about addressing climate change.

- Citing increases in bicycle and pedestrian traffic, one community in Key West, FL is pushing to set the residential speed limit at 20mph.

- A new breed of entrepreneur has cropped up in Long Beach, CA and they're repurposing parking spaces to expand the size and interest in their businesses (can someone remind us again why Portland isn't doing more of this?).

- A new type of review mirror for cars, which is slightly curved and has no blind spot, has received a U.S. patent and is receiving a lot of attention but will likely not be installed on any new cars as regulations require a flat mirror on the driver's side of new cars.

- New York City is preparing for its launch of bike share and some fear the 10,000 new bicycles on the street will cause a "bikelash."

- The Second City is also getting ready for a launch of a complete bike share system and Grid Chicago gives a detailed preview of what Chicago's bike share system could look like by visiting Toronto's Bixi bike share.

- Canada's lead transportation regulator has rejected a call for life-saving side guards on large freight trucks despite their proven safety record and wide-spread use in European countries.

- The report by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario that recommends side guards on large trucks also has plenty of data supporting other safety measures, like building complete streets.

- Earlier this month Helsinki finished construction of a new thoroughfare for people walking and riding bicycles built on an abandoned freight rail line and the results are impressive.

- Kenya is known more for its runners than for its competitive cyclists but a Kenyan racing team formed in 2007 has set its sights on being the first black African team to compete in the Tour de France.

- The Velo-Cities conference kicks off tomorrow in Vancouver, BC. If you'll be in town but aren't planning to attend the conference itself, there are still some free events around Vancouver you can check out including their own bike-fun festival, Velopelooza.

- Electric bike enthusiasts will enjoy this look at the feature's of Smart's award-winning ebike, which is on sale in Europe and will hit U.S. stores in a few months.

- Portland's Little Package has an entertaining breakdown of the ridiculous trends in women's racing apparel, most of which appears to have been designed by men with little thought to women's needs or preferences.

- Until people on foot and people on bikes each have their own separated spaces to travel, sharing the road will require a little patience and understanding.

- If you want to get a feel for what its like to move by bike, have a look at this short film from Austin, TX-based BikeBot who rolled through Portland and lent a hand at Jeff & Jodi's bike move:

- And finally, a group of Czech engineers has designed a flying bicycle designed to take off with a series of battery powered propellers while another team at the University of Maryland has successfully built an entirely human-powered helicopter and are close to winning a prize for a 60-second human-powered hover. Have a look at their 50-second flight in the video below:


— Did you find something interesting that should be in next week's Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @BikePortland.

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Comments
  • 9watts June 25, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I liked Elly's piece examining declining car use and its local economic consequences.
    I'd only add that economic growth itself bears a questionable relationship to the things we're really after: wellbeing, happiness, security, resilience, healthy food, etc. One day we may wake up and discover that we don't need cars or economic growth to be happy, secure, resilient. Or, put another way, to have a future worth living we'll need to eschew both cars and the compulsive pursuit of economic growth.

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  • oskarbaanks June 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

    The story of the 8 year old and the $200 damage to a car parked on a sidewalk is truly ridiculous. The comments on Huff post are surreal and almost like reading Oregon live!

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    • Chris I June 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      South Florida...

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  • Champs June 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Before a dime is spent on bikepacking trails (a great idea), Oregon should really figure out how to make them public *investments* and not just expenses.

    An out-of-state bikepacker wouldn't sales or lodging tax, or anything more than the trickle-down income, property, and fuel taxes. User fees might earn just enough to pay for collections.

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    • dude June 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      Can't you just go ride/ hike on those roads anyways?

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  • CaptainKarma June 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I'm not sure I'd be entirely comfortable dining in the street with cell-phone drivers texting and maybe even DUI at the same time. But it's a free country, esp when it comes to chasing a buck, eh.

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  • Jim Lee June 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I would hope that BART would allow bikes on its trains the 361.25 days of the year other than Fridays in August.

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  • Paul Johnson June 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Portland isn't repurposing parking spaces because that would actually mean doing something progressive. Portland prefers to only pretend it isn't a tea party stronghold.

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  • John Lascurettes June 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Jim, BART does allow bikes on trains the other days of the year. At issue is they don't allow bikes on trains during commute hours or when the trains are crowded. So, this is and experiment in loosening up some of those rules.

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  • oskarbaanks June 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Just saw the piece on the Kenyan cycling team! That is 'effin' awesome ! I cant wait to follow this. Thanks for that story. :)

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  • Kiel Johnson June 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    is it just me or is the round up getting longer each week? it is starting to feel like homework to get through it all

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    • Will Vanlue (Contributor) June 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Yeah, there was a lot to cover this week. For today's roundup I cut out a half-dozen articles which I had thought of including but they weren't directly bike-y enough to make it.

      I'll try to make it shorter next week, or at least provide a Cliff Notes version if it ends up long again. :)

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    • dude June 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      Will is doing a great job finding interesting news items.

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  • dwainedibbly June 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Roundup is getting longer because bikes are making the news more than ever!

    Key West is really pretty awesome. I hope they're successful in lowering the speed limit there.

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    • Will Vanlue (Contributor) June 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      You're so right! There are more and more stories from traditionally motor-vehicle-centric communities where they're finally taking big steps to keep people safe on the road, no matter their mode of travel.

      It's really cool to see, but it makes for a long roundup!

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  • Kevin Wagoner June 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Cool story about Key West. It would be great to see Portland reduce the speed limit in shared space areas.

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  • dude June 25, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    5 million car miles, 523 miles average not driven by cyclists, that meens there must be 95,602 bikes in the bike share system being used.

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  • Chris June 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    The story out of South Florida is in my parent's neighborhood in Pembroke Pines. I have visited there a few times, and have observed that a lot of people park their cars in a way that obstructs the sidewalk. Every time I go down there, and take a walk (or go running), I am annoyed by how many people block the sidewalks. I am glad to see that it's getting some attention, since (whether in a gated community or not) it is illegal to block a sidewalk.

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