Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on October 15th, 2012 at 9:29 am
“I have news for you. We will build no more superhighways in this state. There is no room.”
— Massachusetts Department of Transportation Chief Richard Davey
Welcome to Monday! Check out all the news and other links of note we came across last week…
— With rainy season upon us once again, check out what engineers in the very bike-friendly city of Groningen, the Netherlands are doing: They’ve installed a new bike traffic signal that turns green more quickly when wet so people on bicycles can get rolling — and out of the rain — more quickly.
— As “green” cities fall over themselves to promote and encourage electric cars, they might want to keep in mind that according to a new study from Norway, they, “might pollute much more than petrol or diesel-powered cars.”
— A new FHWA report on bike share systems in the U.S. found that they are not serving low-income and minority communities as well as they could.
— Speaking of our bike share system. Have you wondered what type of bikes we’ll be using? Wonder no more. Bloomberg Businessweek has a profile of the “two-wheeled tank” that will be used in New York City’s forthcoming system — which is the same bike we’ll get here in Portland.
— Money Magazine had a great profile of Pedal Chic, a bike shop in Greenville South Carolina that has taken the hot topic of female-friendly shops to a whole new level.
— If you love to wonk, this piece from KCET (public television in Los Angeles) is right of your alley. The author takes a close look at the Collier-Burns Act, a 1947 law that, “wound up sparking a local, regional, and nationwide road-building frenzy that began in the 1940s and `50s and hasn’t yet come to a full and complete stop.” Eek.
— On the other hand, Streetsblog DC says we should all pack our bags and move to Massachusetts, where the head of the State’s Department of Transportation recently said at a press conference, “We will build no more superhighways in this state. There is no room.”
— Detroit’s resurgence isn’t a new topic for cycling and urban planning fans; but did you know that, “the two-wheel economy has reached its own critical mass in Detroit“?
— The bike economy is surging from coast-to-coast as it follows the general biking renaissance in cities throughout North America. A local newspaper in Ogden, Utah broke the news this week that component maker ENVE Composites is expanding its operations and is set to bring 324 jobs to town.
— Speaking of bike jobs, Carlton Reid of Bike Biz UK flagged a story in Business Week that, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor, bicycle mechanic is the 22nd fastest growing job in America.
— And there’s even more good bikeonomics news this week: A report from Transportation Alternatives revealed that 73% shoppers in the East Village neighborhood of New York City said the new protected bike lanes on First Avenue and Second Avenue “had a positive or very positive impact on the community.”
— Bike comic journalist Bikeyface had a great post about the “Myth of the Open Road” and how driving isn’t nearly as fun and carefree as the billions in marketing from the auto industry wants you to believe.
— A heart-warming story about bike theft and redemption that began in North Portland has gone viral. ABCNews has picked up on the story about a thief who stole a bike from the racks at Portland Community College’s Cascade campus and then returned it with a nice note and $10 cash for a new lock.
— Gas prices are spiking all over California these days, and so are the news stories about how people are coping with it. Even The Weather Channel is noticing that for some folks — including those with families — using bicycles is a very affordable and feasible option to driving in the city.
— And on the helmet technology front, new this week is a little gadget that will automatically notify the personal contacts on your smartphone in the event of a serious impact. The ICEdot crash sensor, which is in the crowdfunding stage right now, attaches to your helmet and then syncs with your phone.
— We loved this essay from Biking Seattle on how bike maps are the best kind of maps.
— If you missed the story about Ernest Gagnon when it first hit the web back in June, you’ve got to read his story as it appeared on NPR this past week. Gagnon is a guy who used to weigh 570 pounds and opted for cyclocross instead of surgery to slim down. Inspiring. Awesome. Three cheers for Mr. Gagnon! (And to Portland-based writer David Boerner for first writing about it in VeloNews.)
— Spacing Toronto writer Brent Toderian wrote about an argument I can definitely get behind: “We need a more sophisticated discussion about how we get around in cities, and it starts with this — it’s not about loving your bike. It’s about loving what biking does for cities.”
— Speaking of that larger question of cities, I’m headed to New York City later this month for the NACTO Designing Cities Conference. Stay tuned for more about that on the Front Page, and of course get ready for lots of stories and photos from NYC.
— And e-bikes show no sign of fading in the U.S. On the contrary, the market is looking strong — yet still has lots of room to grow — says industry mag Bike Europe.
And now to a few videos:
— Old Man Mountain is a maker of pannier racks based in my old home town of Santa Barbara, California. They released a cool new vid showing their manufacturing process that includes some great mountain-bike camping action shots… (Disclaimer: I used to work at OMM)
— With almost 5 million views, this vid of pro rider Martyn Ashton doing all manner of crazy wonderful things on a Pinarello road bike is worth a watch no matter your cycling persuasion…