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The Monday Roundup

Posted by Will Vanlue (Contributor) on July 9th, 2012 at 9:41 am

"Once the province of aggro bike messengers and pressed-for-time deliverymen, cycling has gone mainstream in much of New York City. "
— TIME Magazine

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

- Scientific American asks, "Has the U.S. reached 'Peak Car'?"

- The auto industry has finally come up with an environmentally friendly car. The Onion has the scoop on the new Prius "Solution" model.

- There's another example, this time from Berkley, CA, of a hit-and-run driver being brought to justice because of the footage from a bicycle-mounted camera.

- The City of Los Angeles has announced it will install 43 miles of new bike lanes over the next year, building on a network of 71 miles of bicycle facilities they've already installed.

- If you missed it back in June, here are five surprising lessons the Velo-City conference.

- Over on Kickstarter, that leather bicycle frame handle made by Portlander Geoff Franklin has far surpassed its funding goal, raising nearly $20,000. And remember the M.O.M. cargo trailer? After a failed Kickstarter campaign last year, its developers — Sellwood resident Len Rubin — is trying again.

- Flashing yellow left-turn arrows around Washington County are worrying some residents because they do not protect people using crosswalks, on foot or on bikes, from people turning in motor vehicles.

- The City of Ellensburg is getting attention for possibly being Washington State's best city for biking and walking.

- The Eugene Bicyclist penned a great tongue-and-cheek Declaration of Bicycle Independence to celebrate the Fourth of July.

- Despite July 4th being one of the worst days for instances of DUII, police officers in Lake Forest Park, Washington reportedly executed an enforcement action against people on bikes entering a crosswalk on a flashing signal.

- The New York Times has taken note of Portland photographer Tim LeBarge's excellent cyclocross photographs.

- Portland citizen activist Greg Raisman released a short film about intersection painting projects in Portland that shows the powerful community-building potential of the commons.

- Portland-based author April Streeter, author of Women on Wheels, discusses her favorite parts of riding around Portland and other topics in a profile on VeloVogue.

- Chicago's 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas says he's in favor of Chicago starting up an open streets event, similar to Portland's Sunday Parkways.

- TIME discusses bicycling in New York City and the potential consequences of bike share "unleash[ing] thousands of new cyclists loose on New York's streets."

- USA Today also says bike share systems in North America are fanning the flames of "the battle between car drivers and bicyclists".

- The Florida Department of Transportation took a look at sharrows in Miami Beach (here's a PDF of the study) and found the shared lane markings increased compliance with traffic laws.

- By now you've heard lots about young people driving less and biking more, and here's much of that information summed up in a helpful infographic.

- You have to take a look at this hilarious series of photos, showing motor vehicle lanes made to look like terribly designed bicycle facilities around the UK.

- One Danish travel agency has introduced a travel package for couples who want to explore Denmark by bicycle which they're calling the "Love on a Bike" Tour.

- Looking for a fun summer project? Here are instructions to build your own personal turn signals from a few simple electronic components.

- For another DIY challenge, check out this guide to building a kid's bike basket out of cloth.

- For those looking for a simpler hands-on project, here's a quick and easy "bicycle essentials kit" made from an Altoids tin.

- The LumaHelm, a multicolored brightly-lit bicycle helmet is receiving a lot of attention for being highly visible but it also looks like it'd fit in well on many of Portland's themed group rides.

- If you're looking for inspiration to ride, look no further than this interview with the "Unstoppables" as they train for the 2012 London Paralympic Games:

- And finally, check out this wind-powered water pump prototype, build from old bicycle components:


— 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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  • Carl July 9, 2012 at 10:09 am

    From the first paragraph of the USAToday bike share article, "The programs, in which people rent bicycles for short periods of time from self-service kiosks, have grown in Portland, Washington, D.C., Miami Beach and other metropolitan areas." Portland's on the list but not Denver or Boston? Top notch reporting!

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    • A.K. July 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Yeah - sort of throws out trust in the rest of the article if they can't get those basic facts right, what else will be wrong?

      "And in each of those places, city officials say the influx of new bikers — including many tourists and first-time riders unaccustomed to local traffic patterns — can lead to safety problems that are hard to blame on just bicyclists, pedestrians or motorists."

      Yes, each of those places! Including PORTLAND!! All those non-existent rental bikers causing problems...

      Jeeze...

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Champs July 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

      You forgot Minneapolis. I'd be on Nice Ride while visiting this week if I wasn't already drowning in offers.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • biertodd July 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

    That "Washington DC" hit-and-run video is actually a story on an incident in Berkeley, CA. An interesting report either way, thanks for posting it.

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  • Zaphod July 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

    That Onion Prius story is kind of dark.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Dave July 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Yeah, and I'm not sure it's a very helpful message: the only solution is suicide? I know it's satire, but satire is a pretty effective way of conveying ideas, and the idea here seems to be that anything short of killing yourself is pointless. It's a pretty short leap from there to saying "why bother trying to change anything if we're all doomed anyway". I guess I'll just go buy a Suburban and enjoy the AC and leather till the clock runs out.

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      • HAL9000 July 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

        It seemed more like a jab at Prius (aka the environmentally "Pious" car) owners.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

    The drop in licensing (unless they are driving without) and total miles driven... continues to be great news for our urban communities,'except' that for many US citizens Drivers Ed at the high school level continues to be the ONLY traffic safety and transportation mobility training most adults would have access to...even if it is often incomplete as it relates to sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists.

    So what is needed is a city by city 'diversion' programme for this emerging group of adults that provides the same traffic safely training with mobility training (bike repair, cargo carrying, transit map reading, etc.) for those choosing to not drive a motorized vehicle. Contract your local school district (if it still has a publicly funded course - less seem to have it these days) to set one up.

    Sounds like a great grant proposal to the state DOTs by the BTA, Bike Alliance, SF Bikes, TA, etc.

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    • Kristen July 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Todd, some high schools don't even offer Driver's Ed. For instance, I had to take the course through my local community college because my school didn't offer it. As far as I know, they still don't. However, there are a lot of private driver's ed schools one could attend-- Sears has one, for instance. So it's not that people don't have access to them-- it's just that they don't have "easy" access to them. Also, I'm not sure how much it costs these days to go through the course. So that could also be a barrier.

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  • John Lascurettes July 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Love that british photo campaign. That might help some car-heads understand the ubiquitous frustration of half-assed bike facilities that we experience.

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    • Pete July 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Funny indeed! Somehow I think the folks who yell "get in the bike lane!" when there isn't one will never end up seeing it.

      Some of those photos remind me of a short time ago when I had the audacity to move a propped "yard sale" sign out of the middle of the bike lane into the first travel lane. A guy came over yelling "what the hell are you doing??" to me. I told him if he was going to break the law by blocking a travel lane he shouldn't discriminate which one.

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    • John Lascurettes July 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      And this is how that conversation went with someone that owns nothing but SUVs: http://cl.ly/1f263J2G1y200R0Y1104

      Face in palm.

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    • John Beaston July 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      There's a long running "Cycle Facility of the Month" at

      http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.uk/facility-of-the-month/

      that cracks me up monthly.

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  • Spiffy July 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    yellow left turn arrows: love them! I will run the light if it's red and all forward lanes have a green...

    crosswalk count-down timers: the reason the timer is there is so that people can start to cross while it's counting down... there's no other reason for it at all...

    car drivers and bicyclists: why not motorists and cyclists? first they say "drivers, cyclists", then "car drivers and bicyclists"...

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • eric July 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    The city of Lake Forest Park HATES bikes, and has for a long time. They are also notorious for putting stop signs every 30 feet along the MUP for driveways, so that bikes/peds/etc. need to stop in case someone is using their driveway.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Andrew K July 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I love the paint the intersection project. I think the end result is incredibly beautiful.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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