The Monday Roundup

Posted by on May 11th, 2009 at 10:19 am

Safety in numbers; gas taxes; electric bikes; child safety; parking; moving house.

– The stats are in: Car culture is on the decline, according to an analysis in Esquire Magazine by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver developed a regression model that shows that the past year’s decline in driving is not entirely due to unemployment and high gas prices.

– The New York Times has published a must-read profile of new transportation secretary Ray LaHood, and the Infrastructurist has responded with an excellent analysis of what this means for the future of the transportation department and of sustainable transportation.

– After a crash caused by a Boston trolley operator who was sending text messages while driving, Boston’s MTA drivers and operators will from here on out be forbidden to even have a cell phone in their possession while aboard their vehicles.

– The Safety in Numbers paradigm continues to gain ground, with a recent UK study concluding that in cities where more people ride bikes, cycling is in fact safer.

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– Facing insurmountable opposition in the legislature, Idaho’s governor has given up his mission to raise the state’s gas tax.

– The Oregonian has an interesting article about farmers and new urban residents rubbing elbows as the Urban Growth Boundary expands in Forest Grove.

– Chris Smith of PortlandTransport.com test-rides an e-bike for his commute to Wilsonville and asks “Are electric bikes active transportation?”

– A new book, Free Range Kids, takes on myths and hysteria about child safety, pointing out that the number one cause of death for children in the United States is car crashes — the author points out that a child’s chances of being killed in a crash while being driven to school is 40 times the probability of being abducted by a stranger while walking.

– The bike move revolution is spreading. Inspired by a video about a bike move in Portland, a couple in Longmont, Colorado decided to move five miles by bike, heavily supported by borrowed cargo bikes, and got some nice press.

– StreetFilms’ latest movie showcases the mother of all bike parking facilities, in Brazil. Seventeen hundred users a day pay $5 a month, and the perks are pretty sweet.

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Big Marty
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Big Marty

Nate Silver on Bike Portland? Sweet!

Too bad he mentioned in his article that Seattle is friendly to alternative modes of transportation. I’m not sure what those would be, although they do have a great bus system.

K'Tesh
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K'Tesh

Loved the streetsblog article on bike parking! Perhaps we could get something like that in PDX?

Matt Picio
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The Free Range Kids link was interesting. I’m curious if car crashes are more likely than abductions in general. Very few child abductions are by strangers – usually an abduction is someone the child knows, a friend or relative. The most common instance is abduction by a non-custodial spouse.

I definitely plan to take a look at the book – sounds interesting.

peejay
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peejay

Of course when I had a discussion about the book with a parent of a young child, they said “are you a parent? No? Then shut up about the risks I take or don’t take with my child.” What is it about parenting that makes normally sane people feel they know better than everyone else?

ScottG
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ScottG

I think TriMet should consider a full-on ban of cell phones for transit drivers as well. I’ve been on a bus with a driver talking on a cell phone at least a couple of times in the past month. This is a major accident waiting to happen.

She
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She

Peejay,

I am sorry you had that experience of being shut down, however, I do feel that the decisions you face as a parent are often times difficult because of the emotions involved. It is hard sometimes to sort out the emotional response from the rational/scientificly back response.

At the end of the day the parent needs to be able to sit back and feel they did the best they could.

It is a little bit like (but not exactly) a man saying that if he were a female he would NEVER under any circumstances have an abortion/or that he would just have an abortion in a given situation. Well, he can’t necessarily understand ALL the emotions that face a person making that decision.

I sometimes make statements like, “I like to think if I were in that situation I would do…” because I think we cannot really know what we would decide to do in the moment that the decision needs to be made.

It still does not mean that your perspective should be discounted and not listened to as a valid opinion on the subject.

Frankly, I like to hear what others think is reasonable or not reasonable in terms of parenting whether they are a parent or not.

April
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April

I helped out with my first bike move last week. It was so much fun, I plan to help with lots of them this summer!

Joe
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Joe

cool news, I have been working with my girls since young.. one day they might be
just like me :)( working with them about street safely ) its crazy sometime since they dont really understand why the road is
unsafe these days!

Joe

mark
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mark

I have a kid, and I don’t act that way, so I dunno..