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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on February 18th, 2013 at 9:47 am

Lookin’ good Al Roker.

Welcome to our time-honored Monday morning tradition of rounding up the week’s bike and transportation news…

- Aspen, Colorado is poised to be the latest city to enact the “Idaho-style” stop sign law for people riding bicycles.

- If you’re a parking policy wonk, you’ve got to be encouraged that the scourge of free parking was part of the dialogue when a major storm approached the Northeast.

- The venerable BBC weighed in on “why cyclists enrage car drivers.” Their theory? “Motorists hate cyclists because they think they offend the moral order.” And of course you must read the rebuttal by Carlton Reid on IPayRoadTax.com.

- Via Copenhagenize, there’s a trend in Germany dubbed Autofasten, which translates to giving up one’s car during Lent. The initiative is being promoted by the environmental officers of the Catholic and Protestant churches in Austria.

- Mandatory, all-ages helmet laws are generally considered a bad idea. But that doesn’t stop states from adopting them. For more background, the League of American Bicyclists offered a state-by-state primer as part of their Bike Law University series.

- With a new mayor coming to town in New York City, there remains “anxiety” over the future of their huge gains for bicycling made during the Bloomberg era.

- Cool video of the week was posted by BikeHugger (via a few other sources). It chronicles a bike made out of cars:

- Fellow bike blogger Tom Fucoloro posted an amazing bike theft recovery story on Seattle Bike Blog.

- Seems like it doesn’t even need to be said at this point, but if you needed more proof that cities should not bend over backwards to accomodate cars, read this Atlantic Cities article about new studies validating the fact that,Cars and Robust Cities Are Fundamentally Incompatible.

- Perhaps you heard about Obama’s “Fix-it First” approach to infrastructure laid out in his recent State of the Union Speech. The WashCycle blog says it could be a boon for biking.

- You know Al Roker? The ubiquitous weather guy from the Today morning show? Turns out he has lost a ton of weight recently and he rides a Brompton to work through the streets of Manhattan. And it does it in style (and with a protein shake). Go Al!

- While some of us debate whether or not mandatory helmet laws kill bike share programs, the bike share industry is moving full steam ahead. A Canadian news blog offered a sneak peek at a prototype of a bike helmet vending machine said to be coming to Vancouver’s bike share system (which incidentally is being managed by Portland’s Alta Bicycle Share).

- I can’t read a word of this blog post from the Netherlands, but I do know that it shows former President Bill Clinton receiving a cargo bike at a charity event. (For the cargo bike nerds, it’s an Urban Arrow electric assist bakfiets – so says the company’s owner, who emailed us this link).

- Streetsblog DC uncovers the shocking truth about a provision in the recent transportation bill (MAP-21) that could become a feeding frenzy for highway builders — a “National Freight Advisory Committee” that could call for 3,000 new highway miles. Ouch.

- Automobile lobbying group, AAA continues, “to advocate for antiquated car-centric urban policies that will keep DC’s transportation options firmly mired in the 1950s,” so says the respected Greater Greater Washington blog. (We wonder if AAA PR and communications director Yolanda Cade will address any of that during her keynote speech at the National Bike Summit.)

For more great links, follow us throughout the week on Twitter via @BikePortland. And feel free to send in good stories you come across.

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  • Kristen February 18, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I like the tidbit at the bottom of the Al Roker article, about the author:

    “Julieanne Smolinski is a TODAY.com contributor. She drives to her mailbox.”

    Hahahaha, isn’t that funny? Get over yourself; it’s harmless to be lazy! We all do it, amirite?

    /sarcasm

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  • wsbob February 18, 2013 at 11:50 am

    re; MHL’s (mandatory helmet laws) article: I do like New York’s incorporation of ‘Limitation on Effect of Law’ into its MHL. That probably would eliminate one of the big complaints opponents of bike helmet use seem to draw on as a reason not to have MHL’s.

    Maryland and its legislature’s consideration…which still may be in progress…of changing its 16 and under MHL to an all ages MHL was being discussed over at bikeforums, until the mods locked the thread. Maryland has a ‘no-fine’ MHL.

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  • David Feldman February 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Roker, you like folding bikes? Time for you to do a morning show segment from Eugene and test ride a Bike Friday!

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  • davemess February 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    From the BBC article: “Perhaps true, but irrelevant when other road-users perceive you as breaking rules they have to keep. Maybe the solution is to educate drivers that cyclists are playing an important role in a wider game of reducing traffic and pollution. Or maybe we should just all take it out on a more important class of free-riders, the tax-dodgers.”

    Nope. We just need to get more people out on bikes and experience it for themselves. I think we need to advocate for a “forced to ride a bike” punishment for anyone involved in a bike/auto collision.
    That article irked me a bit, as he continues to intimate that cyclists are “free-riders”.

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  • q'Tzal February 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    RE: “ “National Freight Advisory Committee” that could call for 3,000 new highway miles.
    If my recent driving through Dallas Fort Worth is any indication most of these new highway miles will be built there. They are very much enamored of multiple concentric beltways.

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  • Todd Boulanger February 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Jonathan…here is the English translation of the Dutch Cycling Union article (with Google Translate you no longer have to pull out your Dutch to English dictionary like when I started my research)

    Bill Clinton is now on the bike shopping. The former president was in the Netherlands for Good Money Gala of the Postcode Lottery. He was a typical Dutch transport gift: a cargo of Urban Arrow. (Photo: Roy Beusker)

    Bill Clinton got the Urban Arrow after Good Money Gala. I could not be there, but I heard that he was very happy and takes him to the United States. I do not know if he himself goes on bicycles, or his wife Hillary. Or maybe his daughter, “said Jorrit Creek Urban Arrow.
    The former president Clinton Foundation’s behalf are present at the gala which will be announced which charities get money from the Postcode Lottery. Clinton’s foundation puts itself in the health of youth and environment.

    Second car
    The tricycle of Urban Arrow fits perfectly with environmental Clintons. “The goal of the Urban Arrow to fewer cars in the city to have. More than half of our customers, the second car exchanged for an Urban Arrow “says Creek.

    “A major challenge ‘
    The tricycle was created out of frustration. Creek and his partner Gerard van Weel found it “a major challenge” to their children in the bike through the city bikes. That would easily be able to, they thought.

    Comfortable
    They left when a cargo bike with electric pedal designs. It is a lightweight aluminum bike – if your kids want to transport – an equally bright plastic bucket. In the rear is an automatic gear so you dont have to switch. The whole supplies, according Creek, “a comfortable ride ‘on. The family tricycle with pedal assistance costs 3250 euros.

    Modular
    If the children have outgrown the bucket, you can let tricycle trim. “It is a modular system,” says Creek. The back remains the same and at the front you can connect another part causing the Urban Arrow on a contemporary version of a baker bike looks.
    Besides families Urban Arrow focuses on companies that want to deliver such stuff in inner cities. In cooperation with TNO develops Urban Arrow a tricycle which you can transport refrigerated foods. The power comes from solar panels mounted on the bucket.

    Export
    The sale of the Urban Arrow began in September 2011. Surprisingly stores the bike abroad well. “Sixty percent goes to Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland.” Here comes the United States now. Clinton will of course take home. And a second Urban Arrow enters the showroom of Rolling Orange Bikes. This is a bike shop in New York, specializing in Dutch bicycles.

    Child
    Perhaps the Urban Arrow the third product of the Dutch cycling culture that American cyclists will embrace. Van Moof been selling well in the United States. And American parents are also fond of the bright orange booster Yepp.

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  • Todd Boulanger February 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I am not surprised this new bakfiets type bike is selling better in Germany etc. than in the NL…at $4300 each (almost twice the bakfiets price) it is too valuable to park on the street overnight.

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  • bjorn February 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I’d be pretty shocked if Aspen passed an Idaho Style law. In Portland when we were working on the Idaho Style law for Oregon the city pretty much told us that the state is in total control of that type of traffic law, and that they were quite concerned about the liability that might arise from passing anything that conflicted with the state law. That was when we started lobbying in Salem.

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    • wsbob February 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Aspen, Colorado, population about 6000 people.

      If it was Denver, population about 619,968, considering the Idaho Stop, that might be something.

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  • bjorn February 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Also I would just like to point out that since joining the Better World Club I have used it twice. It worked just as well as AAA with basically the same customer service and wait time for the tow truck but without having any of my money go to fund anti bicycle lobbying. If you haven’t changed over because you weren’t sure if it was really as good as AAA it is and you should switch now. http://www.betterworldclub.com

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  • Kevin Putnam February 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Just a wee correction, but I didn’t see that the Copenhagenize article mentioned Germany at all, just German, since that’s what they speak in Austria.

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    • ZGNW July 18, 2013 at 3:16 am

      Thanks for pointing that out, Kevin! You spent time in Austria?

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  • Dick Schouten February 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    That Dutch-English google translation program is terrible. What we probably need is human translation to make real sense out of that Dutch blog.

    The Dutch blog says that a surprising 60% of all current sales for this new bakfiets model are exports. The current export markets are: Germany, France, Switzerland and Belgium, and now soon the United States.

    So the remaining 40% of these bakfiets sales are in the Netherlands. Chances are quite good than that the Netherlands is the largest single market for this new bakfiet model, but that is not certain with out more information than is provided in the blog. Germany has a population of around 85 million, and the Netherlands has roughly 17 million residents. So if German sales exceed Dutch sales that huge size difference might be a probable reason.

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  • Dick Schouten February 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Well my intial translation could have been better too! On second read: the Dutch blog says exports of the Urban Arrow are doing surprisingly well, with Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland collectively representing 60% of all sales.

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