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The Monday Roundup

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 10th, 2012 at 9:47 am

We came across many noteworthy and important stories last week that deserve your attention. Here we go...

— David Alpert of the excellent Greater Greater Washington blog argues in the Washington Post that, instead of focusing on fault when tragedies occur, we should instead look at road design. "Our roads shouldn’t exact such a high price for our inevitable moments of carelessness, especially when the pedestrian pays the higher price for the error either way."

— The Lovely Bicycle blog shared a thoughtful review of Grant Peterson's book, Just Ride.

— One aspect of bicycling that is enjoying quite a renaissance these days is bike touring. Don't believe me? Check out this rundown of nine indicators that bicycle travel and tourism is "booming."

— As a big basketball fan, I got all excited when I read this Streetsblog post about how Miami Heat stars participated in Critical Mass. And I followed a link in that story to see that NY Knick star J.R. Smith recently biked around Manhattan on a Dahon folder. Yes!

— After I posted a story about Portlanders picking up their Christmas trees by bike, I noticed the Yuba Bicycles blog put out a call for holiday-themed bikes and loads. Check out what folks sent in.

— The SSCXWC was held in Los Angeles this year and Prolly is not Probably captured all the single-speed action and shenanigans.

— Seems like every week there's a new development in the bike theft wars. Check out Bikenapped, a website created by a Harvard Graduate School of Design student.

— Research about how mode choice impacts consumer behavior made headlines (including NBC Business News!) this past week. The research — which shows how people that arrive by bike and foot spend more per month than those that arrive by car — comes from the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (which is based here at Portland State). We've reported about it several times in the past, but the recent publicity bump came after a new draft of the report was made public.

— On a similar note, The Urban Country went in-depth on the topic of how bicycles can boost commerce.

— We all know Portland is prone to earthquakes. We also have a lot of bikes. Is it time to invest in earthquake-proof, underground bike storage?

— The Unstoppables documentary up for funding on Kickstarter looks to be very inspirational. It chronicles the story of amputees looking to compete in international competition on the track.

— There's a gorgeous Christmas tree made of bicycles in Sydney, Australia. We need one of those in Pioneer Square!

— The State of Oregon has a Drive Less, Save More
marketing campaign. I like the twist Chicago has put on a similar effort. They call theirs Drive Less, Live More.

— In Los Angeles, a front page story by the LA Weekly about their "bloody hit-and-run epidemic" has added to a growing feeling of urgency around how to prevent hit-and-runs.

— Here's an interesting study published by the American Journal of Public Health that I hope to read more carefully this week: Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study.

— People in Boston are reeling and calling for tougher bike safety laws after their fifth fatal collision involving someone on a bike this year. The most recent one was a young Boston University student who had, tragically, written his own obituary as part of a class assignment.

— I found this short video clip detailing the severe blind spot in a large truck to be very compelling (and a bit scary)...

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  • 9watts December 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Drive Less, Live More.

    Ooh, nice! But don't tell John Charles (CPI). He'll develop an ulcer.

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    • Lois December 11, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Dayton, Ohio has done Drive Less, Live More for 3 or 4 years. Theirs is an interesting partnership of entities including the regional MPO, park district, transit agency and water district. In Ohio, these types of organizations generally work independently, so it was surprising to me when this program started in such a wonderfully, collaborative way. http://www.drivelesslivemore.org

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  • Matt December 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    That blind spot video really irks me. When the camera zooms in on the blind spot mirror you actually CAN see one of the cyclists, just barely. And...the mirrors are clearly set up wrong. They're angled in and mostly looking at the side of the truck, and yes, I know the cab is angled to simulate a turn but the mirrors are still wrong. It bugs me. Just venting.

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    • q`Tzal December 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Sure the mirrors can be fixed and other mirrors added but that doesn't make a difference here I am America.
      Mirrors on commercial trucks can easily be out of alignment but be good enough to see other trucks.
      Unless the cyclist KNOWS that they can be seen by a commercial truck driver the default assumption should be that the cyclist is unseen.
      Don't assume that all commercial truck drivers have equivalent safety equipment, skills or attitude: it will get you killed.

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    • Adam December 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      I was thinking exactly the same thing.

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    • Adam December 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      as in, the mirrors are way out of adjustment.

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  • Alan 1.0 December 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    http://www.bikenapped.com has some interesting features, but it sure seems to lack the basic functionality of http://www.stolenbicycleregistry.com, in particular search by serial number.

    What really bugs me is the lack of coordination between different systems, and yet new systems keep popping up. Besides those two there are several other private registries and any number of police, college, and other governmental registries for stolen bikes. Most of them aren't searchable and none exchange info (that I am aware of). Considering how easy it is to ship parts or whole bikes to another city to unload, the info needs to be easily available to potential buyers anywhere in the US and Canada, and searching through innumerable (let alone unknown) registries for a single bike doesn't scale well. That sort of "competition" between systems doesn't help honest bike owners; it helps the crooks!

    This point was recently brought home to me through a friend who's Bacchetta has been stolen. He reported it to his local police, who assure him it's been filed in some national registry, but I can't search for his serial number (and if I can't, neither can a potential buyer). I told him about StolenBikeRegistry but he hasn't taken up the offer. :-(

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  • Opus the Poet December 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    As a survivor of what was almost a fatal hit-and-run the LA Weekly article gave me chills and blood-boiling anger alternately, several times. I still don't know who tried to kill me, only that they died driving drunk a couple of years later (the driver's name and date of death were never revealed to me, only that he died running into either a tree or a telephone pole (I heard the almost identical story from two people with the only difference being the object he ran into the night he died). I don't know why I was never told the driver's name, it's not like I'm going to dig up the body so I can kick him in the crotch. He's dead and it would do me no good at this point.

    I still have the steel-toed boots and shin guards for when I find out who on the police force decided to block the investigation into the wreck when they already had a very good idea of who tried to kill me. They might escape legal repercussions, they won't escape a kick (or hundred) to the 'nads.

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