The Monday Roundup

Anti-bike bias and the law; Job sprawl; Carfree Mayor; Wheelchair rights; Bike parking crunch; Shrinking cities; Paving the planet.

Time for the Monday Roundup. There’s a lot of worthwhile news this week, so take a deep breath, get another cup of coffee, and pace yourself.

– Exxon Mobil had a great 2008, earning over $45 billion dollars in profits (in other terms, that’s 45% of the total net profits of all Fortune 500 companies.)

– A major oil lobbyist was found to have knowingly spread false information about the human causes of climate change.

– On Earth Day, Transportation Sec’y LaHood wrote on his blog about the importance of bicycling in reducing carbon emissions and revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods. LaHood has pledged to work closely with HUD, which oversees housing.

– Poland has passed a law criminalizing drunk bicycling, imposing the same penalties applied to drunk driving: up to two years in prison, depending on level of drunkenness.

– From the department of egregious bias: Two men on bikes are run down by someone in a Hummer in downtown LA. One is hospitalized. The responding police officer releases the man who drove the Hummer and harangues the injured men’s friends, telling them, “I would have done the same thing, and I carry a gun in my car.”

– In a similar vein, bike lawyer Bob Mionske’s latest column in Bicycling Magazine details a case in which an officer beats and tases two men — one a minor — after demanding they get off of the road.

– The O has a nice article about the surge in bike programs, bike activism, and just plain bikes over in Vancouver, Washington.

– Portland has been experiencing “job sprawl,” with the increased commute miles and car-dependence that comes with it.

– Tom Bates, mayor of Berkeley, California has taken the step of going carfree.

– The first of San Francisco’s six Sunday Streets ciclovia events of 2009 was held yesterday, and drew rave reviews from the two big local dailies.

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– The Irish government has announced plans to quadruple the country’s cycling modeshare by 2020.

– A fascinating NY Times article discusses “An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It.”

– Sausalito, California, experienced such overwhelming bike traffic last summer, mainly from tourists, that they are hustling to install more parking, signs, and come up with education and enforcement strategies to prepare for the coming season.

– In the Netherlands, the same laws apply if you are in a wheelchair or on a bicycle.

– How much of the world’s land mass is covered in roads? Lots of it.

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Elly Blue (Columnist)

Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com

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the "other" steph
the "other" steph
15 years ago

way to go, San Francisco!

Scooter
Scooter
15 years ago

Sounds like Exxon should be bailing out the auto industry.

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

Yes and it only took them $442 billion in sales.

Do the math and thats a 10.2% profit margin.

Or in numbers that are more meaningful, if you were a small business owner who did $750,000 in sales, that profit margin would equate to just over $75,000 in profit.

Very few business’ can survive on such a small profit margin.

old&slow
old&slow
15 years ago

Energy secretary Chu goes one better that Lahood. He is carless and has been a bike computer for years. Nice article on him on Huffingtonpost.

Krampus
Krampus
15 years ago

From the department of egregious bias: Two men on bikes are run down by someone in a Hummer in downtown LA. One is hospitalized. The responding police officer releases the man who drove the Hummer and harangues the injured men’s friends, telling them, “I would have done the same thing, and I carry a gun in my car.”

This story seems kinda far fetched. Not doubting some of it is true, but there’s too many inconsistencies. For example, the first sentence of the article is:

Friday morning at approximately 2am in downtown LA: A black Hummer, bearing no license plates, hits a cyclist, knocking him to the ground.

Then, in the very next paragraph, it says:

However, the motorist then tried to flee the scene, as cyclists tried to record the license plate number.

So there was a license plate number? Even though the Hummer was bearing no license plates?

Sometimes I think cyclists hurt their cause when they are wronged and then they turn around and lie/exaggerate things to the point that it seems difficult to believe. Like the pedicab operator who saw “bags of drugs” fly out of the car 😛

P Finn
15 years ago

Looks like we’re missing the NY Times article link thar…?

Seager
Seager
15 years ago

Quoting from the Bicycling Magazine Article:

The first issue–whether cyclists must obey the orders of law enforcement officers–was central to the “motion to dismiss” hearings for Tony and Ryan. As the Court held, if the cyclist hasn’t broken a traffic law, then the cyclist can’t be lawfully arrested, and the order to pull over is itself unlawful. Therefore, if the order is unlawful, the cyclist is not required to obey the order, and can’t be arrested for failure to comply. Now, this is the law in Ohio, but it is based on 4th Amendment jurisprudence, so the jurisprudence in other states should be similar. If somebody knows of contradictory 4th Amendment jurisprudence in another state, please let me know.

Is this true in Oregon? For instance, could Rev Phil have legally kept riding when that cop told him to pull over if he hadn’t been lacking a bike light? If a cop tells me to pull over while riding can I ignore him if I know I haven’t broken any laws?

Krampus
Krampus
15 years ago

I highly doubt you want to ignore a cop telling you to pull over. Seriously.. that would turn out to be one of the worst days of your life.

Seager
Seager
15 years ago

Well, of course. I’m just wondering what my rights are. I wouldn’t actually do it.

Rixtir
Rixtir
15 years ago

In Oregon, it’s illegal to disobey a lawful order. One of the problems raised by your question comes when you try to make an on-the-spot determination as to whether an order is lawful or not. If you incorrectly determine that an order is unlawful, and you disobey it, at best you will be facing a Class B traffic violation, or even a Class A misdemeanor charge– one step below a felony. At worst, you could be stopped by whatever physical force the officer[s] determine is necessary.

The point made in that article is not that cyclists can and/or should disregard orders from law enforcement (and remember, there is a dispute as to whether the officer ever gave the cyclists an order in the first place). Rather, the point is that when law enforcement officers do not know the law, cyclists should follow their orders to pull over, but should (respectfully) stand up for their right to the road, even if it means accepting a ticket now and beating it in court later.