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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on October 12th, 2009 at 8:00 am

It’s Monday morning, time for the news:

– Worldchanging sees the Nobel’s committee choice in its Peace Prize as intended to pressure Obama to move forward on climate issues.

– The LA Times is on the scent of a new trend — kids who aren’t interested in cars. The bad news is that this is in part due to social media making it seem less necessary to go out and meet people.

– The mainstream media is starting to rethink the future of the suburbs, and it doesn’t look good.

– Here’s a chart that breaks down the percentage of drive-alone trips by state.

– In Dallas, enforcement of the city’s all-ages helmet law was halted for several months during a legal skirmish about its constitutionality, but police have launched an appeal and begun ticketing the non-helmeted again.

– The man who was tackled by a New York City cop during Critical Mass last year is now filing a $1.5 million civil suit against the police department.

– A nine year old in Missoula, Montana spearheaded a successful lobby for a new bike/walking trail in her neighborhood.

– The Dutch bike parking congestion crisis continues.

– Samoan roads recently changed over to driving-on-the-left; but bus doors are still on the right, putting most of the transit fleet out of service as bus owners appeal for state funding.

– A fascinating five-part essay called “Fear of Cycling”, examining how the discourse and infrastructure around cycling often serves to create a sense of danger, has finally been completed.

– Streetsblog has some interesting coverage of last weekend’s Walk 21 conference, from the economics to the psychology of walkability.

– We’ve gotten word of two new blogs modeled after BikePortland — check out and, in San Diego,

– Bike parking that also serves as an on-street planter. Nice.

– And finally — a short movie about the most recent Critical Mass ride in Budapest, with twenty thousand participating:

Budapest Critical Mass Sept 2009 from Copenhagenize on Vimeo.

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  • Michael M. October 12, 2009 at 10:44 am

    FYI, what I think are supposed to be two different links to the Streetsblog coverage of Walk21 point to the same article.

    Did Portland send anybody to this? Walkability needs some serious help here.

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  • joeb October 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    BikeDenver also does some good work.

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  • wsbob October 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    The Dallas helmet law article is interesting to read. An except:

    ” Sgt. Warren Mitchell, public information officer for the Dallas Police Department, said officers do not use the law inappropriately.

    “This is more of a safety issue than anything,” he said. “Bicycle accidents occur all the time and hospitals are filled with patients from those injuries who were not wearing helmets.”

    Wow… . “…hospitals are filled with patients from those injuries who were not wearing helmets….”. I had no idea the situation was that bad.

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  • Opus the Poet October 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    The situation isn’t that bad, there aren’t that many people riding in Dallas because of the hassle with LEO about helmets and the drivers that think bicycles don’t have a right to be on the roads.

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  • El Biciclero October 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Regarding mandatory helmet use, let’s see some statistics on the causes of the purported deluge of injured cyclists flooding the hospitals and then address that.

    If cyclists are hitting themselves in the head with hammers, then maybe we should outlaw hammer possession by anyone who can be proved to be a “cyclist”. If cyclists are mostly injured by riding around and falling down or riding into poles and such, then maybe the stats ought to be broken down by age and some kind of appropriate helmet mandate should result. If most of this plethora of injured cyclists are hit because they pay no mind to traffic controls, maybe stricter enforcement is called for. However, if cyclists are getting hit by car drivers who aren’t driving properly, maybe we should enforce driving laws more strictly and have harsher penalties for anyone who hits and injures a cyclist. If cyclists are being hit by drivers because the existing cycling “infrastructure” or laws place cyclists in dangerous positions on the road, then maybe the laws should be changed or the “infrastructure” redesigned.

    Unfortunately, finding and fixing the root causes of safety problems on the road is too hard. It is much easier to tell a small minority they have to wear a questionably useful piece of “safety gear”, and then blame them for getting run over.

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  • El Biciclero October 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    part 2 of the “Fear of Cycling” essay is the eloquent version of what I was trying to say in my comment #5. This is an awesome essay; too bad it’s filled with too much common sense to ever be heeded.

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  • wsbob October 12, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Re; my earlier comment. I can’t imagine the situation being anything as bad as the Dallas PIO allowed it to sound with his statement to It’s surprising that he would say something like unless he had, and included in the statement, at least a even single fact to back it up.

    If what the Dallas PIO says is true, Dallas may have to open some new hospitals just so people besides the injured non-helmet wearing bike riders can get a bed in the hospital when they need it.

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  • robert October 13, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Saving the suburbs could be ok if…

    …gardens replaced lawns

    …zoning laws allowed small local businesses in suburban homes and garages

    …long commutes were reduced by telecommuting some days each week and by meeting more of one’s needs within the suburb.

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