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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on July 20th, 2009 at 9:49 am

Bike parking near Johns Hopkins

Philadelphia could follow Baltimore’s lead (seen here)
in converting parking meter poles
into bike racks like this one.
(Photo © Elly Blue)

A long list of interesting news articles in the last week, spanning the transportation spectrum:

– US Transpo Sec’y LaHood writes on his blog that 55 mpg is not enough — “If we want to reduce transportation carbon emissions, we need to reduce the amount of driving we do.”

– The EU is considering a law that would automatically assign fault to the person driving the car in a fatal crash with someone on foot or on a bike. There is some nasty backlash against this, in part due to the expected commensurate increase in car insurance rates.

– The New York Times has a long feature on the disconnect between the research that overwhelmingly shows the dangers of talking on the phone and texting while driving and the unwillingness of lawmakers and the public at large to ban these behaviors.

– Meanwhile, one study reports that eating while driving causes 80% of car crashes.

– Transportation Alternatives, NYC’s advocacy group, has found that as traffic enforcement decreases, reckless driving crashes go up.

– In Colorado’s Jefferson County, electeds are asking the state to give them the power to ban bicycles from selected rural roads.

– Some families in Saratoga Springs, New York, are protesting with their pedals after a school rule that prohibits kids from biking to school began to be enforced.

U.S. obesity rates continue to climb, reports Reuters.

– An NYC businessman died this April after being struck by a deliveryman on a bicycle; his family is suing the delivery company.

– The Streetsblog Network unpacks the myth that people on bicycles slow down traffic, and shares some thoughts on road rage.

– Philadelphia is switching from pole-mounted parking meters to sticker-dispensing boxes like Portland, and local bike advocates are asking the city to convert the old parking meter poles into bike racks.

– In Yonkers, NY, there is a movement to follow the extremely successful lead of Seoul, South Korea in removing a freeway through the heart of town and restoring the river that runs under it.

– The Dutch city of Maastricht is developing an ambitious plan to raise its extremely low (by Dutch standards) cycling mode share of 30%.

– Urban Outfitters is jumping into the transportation mix by introducing a line of cheap fixed gear bikes (with front and rear brakes, apparently).

– An awesomely hilarious analysis of the inadvertent impressionism of bike lane art around the world.

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15 thoughts on “The Monday Roundup”

  1. Avatar Ma says:

    Thanks for the great reporting Elle. How about banning cell phone use while cycling?

  2. Avatar E says:

    I am very much in favor of ticketing & prosecuting lawbreakers on bikes and unsafe cyclists. It would make life so much easier for the rest of us if the jerks got theirs. My own sister bitches at me about getting buzzed while walking on the Broadway. As if it’s my fault. Yeesh.

  3. Avatar BURR says:

    That story on EU cycling laws is like seven years old….

  4. Avatar Bob_M says:

    The cell phone issue will not be resolved until a class action law suit is filed and won against: 1-distracting gadget manufacturers, 2-motor vehicle manufacturers, 3-regulatory agencies and 4-enforcement agencies. And once harsh punitive measures are imposed upon drivers who do harm while driving distracted.

  5. Avatar Elly Blue says:

    Whoops, thanks for seeing that, Burr. Can’t win ’em all on Monday’s first dose of caffeine. Will research and try to find out what came of it…

  6. Avatar hanmade says:

    Does anyone know where the juggling unicyclist graphic is?

  7. Avatar Elly Blue says:

    Also, I haven’t seen very much on making cell phones illegal while biking (it could be written automatically into the law, but that would depend state-by-state on definitions of “vehicle” among other issues), but it’s unclear how much of a public health threat that is.

  8. Avatar Toby says:

    It’s a little hard to know from the photo of the converted parking meter in Philly, but I hope they used serious high-security bolts… I guess welding them on might have been a little tricky, as the post looks to be galvanized.

  9. Avatar IanO says:

    #6: from the flickr caption:

    “The symbol in the bike lane at a crosswalk on NW Cornell, headed into Portland from the West Hills.”

  10. Avatar Disastronaut says:

    That “Illegal for kids to bike to school” story sure brings back memories, I went to a high school where bmx and mountain bikes were not allowed on campus.

  11. Avatar BURR says:

    The Merc has a story this week about Kulongowski vetoing a bill that would have paved the way for tolling traffic on the two Columbia River Interstate bridges.

  12. Avatar Oliver says:

    Where I went to school, it was ‘illegal’ for us to skate to school, though ok for us to ride or walk. That was purely anti-skateboard bias though.

    As far as the phone thing, maybe it’s time for us as a group to start calling people out who talk while riding. I had some tosser get quite upset with me last week for suggesting to him that talking and riding might not be a good idea.

    He used up my ‘courtesy’ quotient for dealing with these people, it’s back to ‘Get off your #$#! phone’ from now on, the same way I do for drivers.

  13. Avatar BikingViking says:

    I was impressed to see a cyclist off to the side of the road, talking on her cell phone this morning. I can only assume she pulled over to take the call. Well done.

  14. Avatar SkidMark says:

    E, cyclists get tickets for moving violations all the time. We no more get away with it than car drivers do. Also I’m not even sure how your comment is pertinent.

    As far as assigning the blame to the motorist in every instance of a car vs. bike/ped fatality, I think that is a little extreme. I’m sure there are plenty of instances where the cyclist is at fault. The best scenario would be an in-depth investigation, assignment of balme, and heavy prosecution and panalties if the motorist is found at fault.

  15. Avatar Mike says:

    I found the juggler. Google street view for 2772 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR or follow this link.

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