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The Monday Roundup

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 25th, 2013 at 10:01 am

Let's get right to it shall we? Here are the best news stories and other tidbits we came across last week...

- The North American Handmade Bicycle Show wrapped up yesterday from a snowed-in Denver, Colorado. It looks like builders once again pushed the boundaries of bike design to even greater heights. Check the coverage at the show's official YouTube channel, lots of photos on Urban Velo, and some short but sweet builder profiles on the Cielo Cycles blog.

- A lot has been hypothesized about why American women ride bikes are lower rates than men. New research, dissected by Atlantic Cities, says that the main key to getting women on bikes is to simply make streets safer to ride on.

- The Columbia School of Journalism took a closer look at a women-only bike shop in Minneapolis.

- In Ohio, a $2.6 billion-dollar bridge project is set to begin construction, even as critics of the project work to alter the plans. A grassroots group wants to ship one of the proposed highways away from the waterfront and to the edge of town in order to allow the waterfront to have some "Portland-style vibrancy."

- In the latest sign that cardboard is taking over the bike world; a designer has created a cardboard helmet inspired by a woodpecker.

- This ranting, anti-bike opinion piece in the LA Observer seems like it was written using an anti-bike opinion piece template.

- I'm happy to see that Enrique Penalosa's spot-on perspective about urban transportation policy continues to make people think. I'd be even happier if I started seeing politicians and advocacy leaders take him seriously.

- The largest-ever study on cycling injuries in Canada found that, "Cyclists are at risk of injury due to the lack of cycling infrastructure in large urban centres," and that, "painted and shared bike lanes... offered no significant protection for cyclists."

- The story of how the Dutch beat back car-centric planning and policies in the 1970s — and thus laid the groundwork for their safe and equitable transportation system — is told by the London Cycling Campaign.

- Good to see a judge in Colorado not allow a road-rager to get off easy.

- A professional cycling team training in Tucson, Arizona was victimized by someone driving a car who ran into the team and then failed to stop.

- Remember that bicycle tax proposed in Washington? Turns out the lawmaker who proposed it doesn't even support it. Huh?!

- I repeat: Do not give any weight to what politicians say; only to what they actually do. Case in point via Streetsblog: Despite “Fix-It-First” Rhetoric, Obama Still Promoting Highway Expansions.

- Car-sharing is still car-using. I think that explains why the San Francisco chapter of the Sierra Club opposes a city ordinance that would give apartment developers a parking exception for car-sharing spots. They object on grounds that, "building more parking spaces — even for car share — violates the city’s Transit First policy."

Thanks for all your link suggestions last week! If you come across a noteworthy story, feel free to drop us a line via email or @bikeportland on Twitter and we'll consider including it in the roundup.

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  • q`Tzal February 25, 2013 at 10:20 am

    From the Tuscon road rage/hit and run - an update from a cyclist on ghe scene:
    "
    chase196126. 3 days ago
    A quick update. The man was arrested and is currently in jail. He is being charged with class 3 felony aggravated assault. Since he was using a car as a weapon intentionally it is very similar/the same as assault with a deadly weapon. This class 3 felony has a minimum of 5 years prison time, a max of 15 if he doesn't plead down. Hopefully the fact that he hit and ran as well as screaming obscenities before hitting our rider will get him some time behind bars"
    .

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  • q`Tzal February 25, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Ohio's obviously not hip to the new "Portland-style vibrancy":
    Ignore everything we learned the last few decades and build like it's 1950.

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    • Spiffy February 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      it's been a little over a decade since I was in Ohio but it's attitude was definitely like being in 1950 when I was there...

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  • Burk February 25, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Man, that Colorado video sure looks familiar. So awesome that Colorado authorities are taking this seriously and prosecuting the driver. I might have to fire up my GoPro more often, seems like I have this kind of thing happen to me about 3 or 4 times a year.

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    • q`Tzal February 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      I'm hoping that someone of similar guilt decides to appeal a similar judicial decision so that the case can go far enough up the judicial ladder so as to set a precedent that all the states will adhere to.
      Until we have such a precedent on the books it will be up to the whim of police and courts as to whether helmet cam video footage is acceptable as evidence.

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    • Pete February 25, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      I live in California and take the lane on several short merges on my rides (as suggested in the bicycling handbook here). I've had so many people beep at me for taking the lane (and believe me, I don't hold up traffic) that I'm designing a jersey that says "HONK if you don't understand CVC 21202" on the back.

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      • BicycleDave February 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm

        Thank God I live in Portland. I can't remember the last time I was honked at for merging my bike into traffic. And I do it multiple times on my daily commute.

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        • Pete February 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm

          Yeah, Portland drivers are nice - they'll just save it for the Oregonian and KATU comments section. ;-)

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  • spare_wheel February 25, 2013 at 11:36 am

    "The largest-ever study on cycling injuries in Canada found that, "Cyclists are at risk of injury due to the lack of cycling infrastructure in large urban centres," and that, "painted and shared bike lanes... offered no significant protection for cyclists."

    It helps to look at the actual data instead of repeating the university PR puff piece.

    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2013/02/13/injuryprev-2012-040561/F3.large.jpg

    I found it amusing that a fully separated multi-use trails (114 control sites) were less safe than cycle tracks (only 17 control sites -- and absolutely ginormous error bars) and a bike lane. So much for the idea that separated infrastructure protects you from being hit by a car meme. I guess cycle tracks *do* protect you from pedestrians, strollers, joggers, and dogs.

    *rolls eyes*

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    • spare_wheel February 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      apologies for the typos:

      I found it amusing that fully separated multi-use trails (114 control sites) were less safe than cycle tracks (17 control sites -- and absolutely enormous CLs) and bike lanes. So much for the idea that separated infrastructure protects you from being hit by a car.

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      • Pete February 26, 2013 at 10:14 am

        I'll take painted bike lanes over shared multi-use trails any day. When I'm in the bike lane I pretty much know where my threats lie and can be prepared for them, but the MUPs where I live are littered with peds, joggers, dog-walkers, and families of all sizes - all of whom rarely move in a predictable pattern (and most of whom are distracted by their smartphones, moreso than the drivers).

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        • spare_wheel February 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm

          since mups had a higher rate of accidents than bike lanes their definition of "accident" clearly encompassed interactions with things other than motorists. i suspect this was due to some kind of sample bias and/or an overly permissive definition of "accident" (few cyclists are severely injured or killed by baby carriages or joggers).

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  • wsbob February 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

    re;Stranger story, Washington state transportation budget bike tax proposal:

    "Washington State representative Judy Clibborn said in a phone interview today that inserting a tax on bicycles into a $10 billion state revenue package for transportation, which mostly funds freeways, "was my idea." But when asked if she supports that bicycle tax she repeated: "I don't. I don't." .....

    But slapping a $25 excise on bicycles over $500 will appease Republican legislators who typically "grouse" about funding transportation packages that include a little money for bike trails and transit, said Clibborn, a Democrat from suburban Seattle who chairs the state House's transportation committee. ...." dominic holden/stranger

    The stranger story was interesting and more of Clibborn's comments in it sheds light on some of the contortionist moves legislators sometimes have to make to get anything done. Oregon legislator Tobias Reed's sponsorship of the bill here in Oregon, to toll cyclists riding across a future gargantuan new Columbia River Crossing bridge complex is perhaps another example.

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  • spare_wheel February 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    another take on dutch cycling history:

    http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/why-is-cycling-popular-in-the-netherlands-infrastructure-or-history/

    I found this quote from the project manager of the 1999 Dutch Bicycle Master Plan to be particularly interesting:

    "“…the construction of a network of bicycle routes is insufficient in itself for bringing about a sustainable increase in bicycle use. The simultaneous execution of a policy discouraging car use is deemed necessary, as is attention to good bicycle parking facilities and informing people of the route network on a continual basis.”

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  • wsbob February 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    re; BBC story on cardboard helmet designer having been inspired by woodpeckers: It's a good story with info on what specifically the designer observed from woodpecker's unique anatomy, which he believed he might be able to use to produce superior protective ability in bike helmets compared to that of conventionally designed bike helmets. The designer's helmet also was reported on a year and half ago on Wired.com: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/06/cardboard-bike-helmet-better-than-plastic/

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  • Brian E February 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Heads-up, the OBCA group won 4 awards at NAHBS 2013.

    On the lighter side of things, the is what I saw while the bikes were out of the both being judged and we didn't have anything to show.

    http://youtu.be/7VfsYRfGQE4

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  • dwainedibbly February 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Has the location for NAHBS 2014 been announced, yet?

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  • Eric February 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I have never been much of a fan of the Sierra Club, but their position on car share is totally wrong. Car share allows people to give up their car and rely primarily on public transportation, cycling, and walking. It is far better than every household having as many cars as adults.

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