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The Monday Roundup: Cheaper bikesharing, bike pediatrics & more

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on October 21st, 2013 at 10:12 am

'Bitlock' wants to get rid of your bike key.
(Image: Bitlock)

Here are the news, views, and other tidbits that caught our eyes last week...

Smartphone bike lock: A half-funded new Kickstarter promises an app-activated U-lock that could decentralize bikesharing.

Should kids ride? Streetsblog reporter and mom Tanya Snyder digs into The American Academy of Pediatrics' controversial recommendation to ride with young children only "in parks, on bike paths or on quiet streets," and never with an infant under 12 months.

Lower fines, more citations? The bike mecca of Davis, Calif., just lowered first-time fines for lawbreaking bikers from $203 to $50 as part of an effort to get cops to write them more tickets.

Fatal pollution: Traffic fatalities are already the leading cause of death for people 5 to 24, but vehicle emissions cause even more premature deaths among people living near major roads, a new study finds.

Theft investigations: Danish police explain why they don't bother trying to solve bicycle thefts despite 200 that happen per day.

Bike theft sting: In Ashland, Ore., which gets about three bike thefts a week, police are using electronic tracking devices to run a bike-theft sting operation.

"Don't share the road": "All the soft-ball pitching of our needs has failed to deliver streets that are safer," writes local activist Hart Noecker in a much-shared polemic.

Citi Bike triumphant: The size of the bikesharing mother lode unearthed by New York City and Portland's Alta Bicycle Share continues to grow. Streetfilms has a video showing just how popular biking has become in NYC.

SF bikeshare: Bay Area Bike Share, meanwhile, has just 700 bikes in SF and Silicon Valley (as many as Portland's increasingly hypothetical system would get) and needs a corporate sponsor to grow, one advocate says.

Lottery prize: What would your town do if it won the lottery? A rich resident willed $150 million to the community foundation in Elkhart, Ind., population 51,000. Guess which vehicle they're investing in.

Off-peak freight: After nearly being hit by a truck on his own bike, London's Conservative mayor is rapidly rolling out plans to reduce conflicts between urban freight and biking.

Luxury bike: Another week, another $10,000 ultralightweight bike, this one from a "French luxury firm with its roots in the equestrian world."

The undriving generation: The grease-loving son of an auto mechanic says he'll stop recoiling from car ownership once cars are self-driving, emission-free and quick-charging.

Rahm on wheels: Chicago's mayor rides bikeshare without a helmet. No one panics.

Puppet safety rap: Rhyming puppets make for an unusually palatable bike safety lecture.

Historical advocacy: Copenhagenize unearths a letter announcing a new nonprofit lobbying for protected bike lanes ... in 1897.

"Being bike-friendly is an easy step to more business in Oregon's booming bicycle tourism economy," says Laura Crawford in a new Travel Oregon series about the business case for bike-friendliness, your video of the week:

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Comments
  • Kiel Johnson October 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    that bitlock is interesting! just ordered one, should be arriving in July, I'll let you know what I think. bike share is evolving fast!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • wsbob October 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Bitlock is clever, has functionality that stands to be very appealing to device minded people. Great info on the kickstarter page. One caveat: not a lot about testing of the strength of the lock. The battery and motor inside the lock crossbar requires that it be a hollow tube. The cutaway shows how relatively thin the steel there is.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Trevor October 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    small reddit discussion

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • MadKnowledge October 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    IN the Rahm/chicago article Rahm claims that MIlwaukee Ave has the highest level of cycle commuter traffic in the country at 4000/day. According to the Hawthorne Bridge's Wikipedia page, which claims 8000/day and the 2 million recorded trips in a little over a year that the counter logged, I don't think that is correct.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • ward October 22, 2013 at 1:50 am

    I'm surprised you put in the "share the road" article with all of the us vs. them rants and suggested violence (a homicide warning sign?). I guess all that talk about bike safety, nonviolence, and inclusive/user neutral language was just you blowing smoke.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Matt October 22, 2013 at 7:41 am

      I think there's a difference between BikePortland's opinions and sharing other people's opinions.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

      ward,

      We share a lot of articles here... But that doesn't mean we fully agree or endorse every single one of them. The article you mention above is simply something that I felt deserved wider attention. That's all. Thanks.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • BIKELEPTIC October 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      He also posted a video of Chicago's mayor riding a bike share bike without a helmet even though he almost exclusively strategically posts photos of people wearing helmets on the site. It sounds like you're targeting something that you're personally bristled by. And by pointing out the article, something that might have gone unnoticed now got three comments regarding it so people reading the comments are going to look up to see what you're talking about. That's how people seek it out because they what to know what the hubbub is about.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

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