Posted by Will Vanlue (Contributor) on September 24th, 2012 at 9:12 am
"...although traffic accidents remain a major public safety problem, the biggest killer of people ages 5 to 34, vehicle travel is far safer than it was a few decades ago."
— The New York Times
Here's the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week...
- The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how "Bicyclists of a Feather Flock Together" in their article based on a new book about the subject of "bike tribes."
- It's been a few months since the reauthorization of MAP-21, the national transportation legislation, but our story on the implications of giving local roads over to federal control is creating national concern about the impact of federal road design standards, and some people are asking whether or not it makes sense to have federally controlled transportation projects at all.
- An analysis by the New York Daily News says the delay to New York City's bike share system is a "blessing in disguise" that will give the city time to further build its network of bicycle infrastructure but also suggests the city should cancel the current contract with Alta Bike Share and restart the search for a bike share provider.
- Excitement (and sponsor support) is already building for the 2012 cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. It will be the first time the event is held outside of Europe. The US 'cross season got underway last week with Cross Vegas, where Jeremy Powers of the Portland-based Rapha/Focus squad took home top honors.
- Brussels, the capital of the European Union, recently banned cars from most city streets for one whole day as part of their celebration of European Mobility Week.
- Brussels isn't the only major European city looking to curtail automobile traffic. Aljazeera takes a look at the effort by the Mayor of Paris who is working to ban motorized traffic on major roads to try and make the city more livable.
- One bicycle helmet supplier is on the defensive after a lawyer claimed they misrepresented the dangers of riding a bicycle in order to help retailers sell more helmets.
- An open letter to Interbike criticizing the convention's outreach to women who ride bikes includes a nod to Elly Blue's Bike Test.
- Data from the Los Altos Bicycle Transportation Plan (created by Portland-based Alta Planning) shows a bias in the Police definition of "fault" in collisions involving bicycles.
- The Wall Street Journal looks at new types of traffic signals including a number pioneered here in Portland.
- And while new traffic signals are introduced, there are some old, redundant traffic signs that could use some standardization.
- The story of a reformed "scofflaw" explains why some people get so worked up when they see people break the law on bicycles when they shouldn't.
- Also from Slate, an excellent explanation of why people have a (misplaced) "hatred of cyclists."
- A man has been ticketed after being accused of harassing two men on bicycles by excessively blaring a car's horn at them, an act which was caught on video by one of the men riding a bike.
- There's a new smartphone app that automatically replies to text messages and mutes the distracting sounds of a phone while a person is driving.
- A new online service wants to make peer-to-peer bike rentals easier.
- The New York Times has an interesting graph plotting trends in vehicle miles driven versus auto fatalities from 1950 through last year.
- Graem Obree is hoping to set a record by traveling at 100mph on a pedal-powered bicycle and the physics of the stunt stack up in his favor.
- Washington DC's bike share system celebrated its second anniversary recently as membership and number of trips taken on Capital Bikeshare continue to grow.
- A driver in a hit-and-run collision in the UK was more concerned about dents in their car than about a schoolboy's safety according to witnesses.
- Check out the concept for this elevated "veloway" superhighway in Melbourne, Australia:
- Again from Brussels, there's a great documentary on bicycle messengers in the Belgian city:
- Say what you want about Mitt Romney's politics, his new plan features bike manufacturers as an example of small business in America: