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The Monday Roundup

Posted by Will Vanlue (Contributor) on August 27th, 2012 at 9:24 am

This week's Monday Roundup is brought to you by the 10th annual Harvest Century, a benefit for Community Vision, coming September 30th.

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

- A surgeon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana got caught in gridlock while driving into work. Being late wasn't an option, so she called a friend a few blocks away and borrowed a bike to pedal the rest of the way. A kids bike. Check out this awesome story.

- Leaked communications from the New Orleans Police Department show that officers were ordered to meet quotas for the number of people on bikes they stopped while on duty.

- NPR's All Things Considered discusses the practice of setting up ghost bike memorials, speaking with Ryan Nuckle who helped found New York City's Ghost Bike Project in 2005.

- The 7th Annual Brompton World Championships was held this past week in the UK and a new record was set in the event's main competition.

- When it comes traffic control devices, using a bicycle can be used to build a car barrier on the cheap.

- And if you're looking for an inexpensive and simple way to increase the perception of safety in bike lanes, look no further than those ubiquitous red "party cups."

- It sure is great to know that the new head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, Terry Stotts, loves to ride bikes. Check out this article from The Oregonian sports pages about a bike tour he took with his mom this summer.

- There's a new book celebrating the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass and Portland's own Elly Blue is among the esteemed contributors.

- More and more parents are using cargobikes to get their families around in San Francisco, and it's caught the eye of The Bay Citizen.

- Cargobike-riding families in San Francisco will soon be able to ride along the city's first protected two-way bikeway, appropriately named Cargo Way.

- The New York Times released the results of a recent poll showing strong support for bike lanes but also a lack of knowledge about the city's upcoming bike share program.

- If that's not enough evidence to show New Yorkers support active modes of transportation, there's also the news that traffic remained flat while walking, transit, and bicycling went up in 2011 in NYC.

- Smithsonian Magazine asks "Is Portland, Oregon the best city for bikes in the country?"

- Long Beach, California has announced it will begin making plans for a bike share system that could include up to 2,500 bicycles.

- People might be riding bicycles more in Seattle, but it's a little tough to tell for sure due to changes in surveying techniques over the last year or so.

- Tragically, traffic fatalities in Illinois are up this year.

- People in Philadelphia will be able to ride a little easier after the city opens its first left hand buffered bike lane.

- 35 years ago the pedal-powered Gossamer Condor set records for human-powered flight.

- There's a new circular bridge over a busy intersection in the Netherlands that's just incredible. Take a look:

- Bikestorming, originally announced at Rio+20, is a new "collaborative platform to make bicycles the most popular form of urban transportation on the planet:"

- Acknowledging the danger of distracted driving, AT&T released a sobering documentary urging people not to text while driving:

- Charge Bikes is partnering with the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company to produce 50 limited edition printed titanium cyclocross frames:

- Last week we mentioned some changes could be coming to Cornell Road. If you haven't seen how crazy that road is now, have a look at the video below:

- And finally, check out this tiny but functional bicycle:


— 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
  • spencer August 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Perhaps guerrilla signage on Cornell would explain the problem with driving too fast down the hill. The face to face encounters have NEVER gotten my point across in a civil manner

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    • 9watts August 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

      excellent video of 50+ cars backed up on Cornell. Thanks for posting.
      Unfortunately in plenty of areas this level of car traffic would be taken as evidence that we need to build an overpass/cloverleaf at the bottom....

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Terry D August 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

    We need that round-a-bout floating above the Rose quarter....

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Allan August 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I've had this experience on Cornell as well, it happens in the afternoon as well. On the west side of the hills, more and more houses keep going up feeding traffic into the area

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    • 9watts August 27, 2012 at 11:29 am

      It occurs to me that it might be useful to play that video at a neighborhood meeting (Hillside, Forest Park, Northwest Heights, etc.) or circulate it to members of those NAs via their email lists. See what kind of a discussion it might generate.
      http://www.nwnw.org/

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • NW Biker August 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

        I'd put money on there being at least one person who says that bikes shouldn't be flying by slowed/stopped cars like that. I doubt that many motorists are willing to acknowledge that it's the great number of cars/trucks/SUVs/"mini"vans on the road that causes congestion.

        Having said that, I do drive over the hill on Cornell once in a while, and I think slowing traffic there would be a great benefit to everyone, not just cyclists and pedestrians.

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        • wsbob August 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

          I was encouraged to read in the Oregonian of certain Cornell Rd area residents seeking to remedy excessive, arguably inappropriate motor vehicle use of Cornell for am/pm commuting.

          http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/08/northwest_portland_residents_w.html

          Very possibly, pressure has been coming to bear on transportation officials to somehow expand and widen Cornell Rd to handle a greater numbers of motor vehicles per hour. With the number of residences and other properties along the road, whether that could or would be eventually done, is interesting to consider.

          Cornell is a tough climb, but if there's any road widening made to the road, it should be for bike and pedestrian use. Providing for a greater number of motor vehicles to travel the road, if officials have such an idea in mind, would have some very negative consequences.

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          • Chris I August 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm

            And would do absolutely nothing to improve vehicle throughput. The bottleneck is the intersection, not the road itself. If they want to improve traffic, they should add bike lanes, to encourage a shift from cars to bikes.

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  • Andyc August 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

    From the Smithsonian article:
    " I saw a few other urban cyclists and enjoyed several red-carpet rides along the city’s acclaimed bicycle boulevards—entire roads essentially reserved for bikes."

    Where, oh where are these magical roadways?

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • BellaBici August 27, 2012 at 11:39 am

    What happened to the ghost bike at Interstate and Greeley? I think that I saw it there just last week.

    That bike is a stark reminder. Causes me to be more adamant about efforts at Broadway and Wheeler, and other dangerous infrastructure.

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    • Spiffy August 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      I saw it there last week as well... is it gone again?

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    • jim August 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Those ghost bikes should go away after a while. They are really tacky looking and are not a proper memorial for remembering someone passed away, just like those plastic flowers that get all faded out and ugly looking. If you really want to put a memorial there, at least make something nice, a piece of marble engraved or something. I remember that one had a sign saying "a cyclist died here", that is just saying something for cyclists, it's not paying tribute to the person.

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  • q`Tzal August 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Can we do the plastic cups bike lane idea with fluorescent colored pine tar?
    That way anyone that hits the cups if a sticky idiot tag.

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    • q`Tzal August 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Delete

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  • q`Tzal August 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Can we do the plastic cups bike lane idea with fluorescent colored pine tar in the cups?
    That way anyone that hits the cups gets a bright sticky indicator of their inattention.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • 9watts August 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    One wonders how much less the Gibbs Street pedestrian bridge across I-5 might have cost if constructed in the fashion of the Eindhoven roundabout?

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • drew August 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    The author of the Cornell video was not passing the stopped cars very safely. Should a car door open or a car turn right while he is squeezing thru the jam, an injury could occur, most likely to him. In the case of a right hook the fault would not lie with the motorist.

    Taking the lane on a fast downhill on a narrow road is considered prudent. But as the video shows, some motorists will still try to pass. A collision between 2 oncoming cars may involve the bike as well.

    I would stay more to the right, unless the uphill stretch was packed with traffic and passing was not an option. Then a risky pass would have less chance in resulting in a tragedy. Yes I suppose that may result in more cars trying to pass, but I find it doesn't seem to make much difference when I fly down Boone Ferry towards the sellwood bridge on that narrow chute.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • John Lascurettes August 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      A car door opening on a cyclist is (near) always the fault of the motorist. One must always check traffic before opening the door. This situation would be no different.

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      • John Lascurettes August 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

        Damn. Meant to reply here with the actual Oregon Revised Statue on this, but here it is, lower in the comments: ORS 811.490

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    • John Lascurettes August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Drew. Or were you saying specifically that in the case of a right hook, the cyclist would be at fault? Not necessarily. If the car operator did not signal before turning, the driver would be at fault. If the driver signals in the proper way, the cyclist would likely be at fault.

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    • spencer August 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      @ Drew-
      its rare for passenger car doors to open while stopped in traffic. You're far more likely to get doored by a driver downtown immediately after parking their car.
      Also, If you take the lane, especially going downhill and at 40 mph, it forces passing traffic to go into oncoming traffic to pass, rather than wiping you into the gutter if you're glued to the white line. I do a lot of training for road racing and I commute daily, and I'm convinced via 1000's of passes that cars pass more safely when I take the lane. Try it. It makes people really find a safe place to pass (unless they are idiots but we cant control that). They even "feel" less aggressive if I give them a friendly wave. If they are aggressive, my friendly wave takes on a different context while still being friendly.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • drew August 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm

        I think it is safest to assume any car can door you. His video gave me the willies.
        Riding the fogline fast downhill is risky and I never do that. I just suggested a bit more to the right in case some nut tries to pass. It makes a potential collision less likely. You can get buzzed either way.
        I know that getting doored is always the fault of the person in the car.
        Passing someone on the right when not in a bike lane is risky and if there is a crash it is likely to be the fault of the person who passed on the right. Or am I wrong about this?

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    • Spiffy August 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      taking the lane on ANY narrow road is advised by the ORS...

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • spare_wheel August 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm

        when i am going near the speed **LIMIT** i always take the full lane. i take the lane a lot.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Bikesalot August 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    In the page linked last week, there was the comment:

    "The group also would like to see TriMet add bus service on Cornell. "

    When we bought our house on the west side 40 years ago, there was a bus stop on Cornell three blocks from our house. We thought "Great - one important resource off the check list". Six months later that line was discontinued, never to return. Every time we have mentioned it to TriMet, the answer has been along the lines of "give us more money, we will give you more service".

    Good luck getting that TriMet service. They will even give you a warning citation for taking a pair of large recumbents on Max late on Sunday evening to get a lift over the mountain.

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  • John Lascurettes August 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Here is the ORS 811.490:

    Improper opening or leaving open of vehicle door
    • penalty
    (1) A person commits the offense of improper opening or leaving open a vehicle door if the person does any of the following:
    (a) Opens any door of a vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and it can be done without interference with the movement of traffic, or with pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders.
    (b) Leaves a door open on the side of a vehicle available to traffic, or to pedestrians or bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
    (2) The offense described in this section, improper opening or leaving open a vehicle door, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §655; 1985 c.16 §320]

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  • John Lascurettes August 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Why did the police stop the surgeon on the bike? That little detail was kind of left out.

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    • John Lascurettes August 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      A: Roadblock. They didn't stop her. Then they escorted her. Awesome.

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    • Opus the Poet August 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      She was riding on the Interstate.

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    • jim August 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      and why was she allready wearing her scrubs? ussually you put those on right before surgery.

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      • Pete August 28, 2012 at 11:12 am

        Clearly you've never lived with someone who works in a hospital.

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        • Chris I August 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

          Which is something that I have never understood. I thought the point of wearing scrubs was so that you A) Wouldn't carry diseases and germs into the clean areas and/or B) Won't carry diseases or germs out of the hospital to spread to the public. I get a bit irritated when I see someone wearing scrubs on public transit, and try to avoid them, if possible.

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          • Pete August 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

            The germ transfer is no different wearing scrubs in and out of a hospital than hundreds of patients walking in and out of a hospital daily, and most germ transfer is airborne (sneezes, proximity breathing, etc). Scrubs in surgery is another matter entirely.

            My favorite is when a parent brings their child into the ER with the rest of the family in tow, often including infant children whose immune systems have barely started to develop. Believe me, the practices hospital staff has drilled into their heads pales in comparison to the majority of public behavior in and out of a hospital (for germ transfer).

            And no, experienced hospital people are rarely offended when nobody wants to go near them (while in uniform). :)

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            • Pete August 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

              By the way, the scrubs you saw that surgeon wearing would be almost entirely covered with a gown while in the OR, and she'd be in gloves, mask, and headcovering. All would be sanitized/discarded between patients. More and more for certain operations the doctor will be comfortably using a robot like the Intuitive Surgical DaVinci and not even touching the patient.

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  • Bike Bend August 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Lots of cars parked on Cornell causing many potentially unsafe "squeeze" maneuvers cyclists. Is there any possibility of putting in a bike lane instead of allowing parking?

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • John Lascurettes August 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Short answer: Probably not.

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      • Chris I August 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm

        Clearly, the parking is highly utilized. Part of the "traffic improvement" on Cornell should be to remove parking from the uphill side, and add two 4' bike lanes. This will make the road safer for cyclists, and drivers trying to park or get in/out of their cars.

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  • Atbman August 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    But on a more cheerful note, re the World Brompton championship, the winner, Michael Hutchinson (Dr. Hutch in his column in Cycling Weekly - UK) broke his own 10m TT record at the weekend by 12 secs with a time of 17m 45s

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Pete August 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

    RE: the surgeon on a bike... I think I'm in Love. :-)

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Alexis August 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I want to show that Cornell video to every driver who thinks they need to pass me while we're approaching a light or stop sign. Just wait a few seconds.

    Although I did have the same reaction as some others -- the squeezes the rider is doing look pretty scary. I have done some similar ones around town, though...getting through the backlog is very tempting.

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