Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on November 16th, 2009 at 10:58 am

Blind Pilot and KBOO Bike Show New Years Party-6

Portland-based Blind Pilot, shown
here playing at KBOO studios, is
hitting the big time.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:

– The US government is crossing bureaucratic boundaries to create policies (and funding) aimed at creating complete streets around transit hubs.

– After a tight race, Mike McGinn, who commutes by bike and wants to tear down a waterfront freeway, has been elected as the next mayor of Seattle.

– Mexico City’s bus system, which includes the recent addition and expansion of a Bus Rapid Transit corridor along the city’s most famous road, has won a Harvard award for its role in reducing the city’s congestion and pollution.

– Last week’s report on the dangerous conditions for urban walking nationwide continues to make waves. Here’s a roundup of some of the responses. (Others, unfortunately, are spinning the report as a reason to drive rather than walk.)

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– Carfree housing developments in London (usually low-income housing which is built without parking garages) are coming under scrutiny for not always living up to the hype. Meanwhile, fancy developments in the Bay Area are leaving out parking spots with greater success.

– Here’s an analysis of the impact of cars, as well as different transit systems, on US energy use, extrapolated from the US energy department’s latest statistics. (Via Carfree Tokyo)

– Bicycle manufacturing has increased considerably more than car manufacturing since 1970, and has increased substantially in recent years (particularly thanks to electric bicycles), says a new report.

– Popular site WalkScore has recently added transit access to its algorithm in determining the walkability of addresses across the nation. But, they say, only 40 transit agencies have made that data open and public. They’ve opened a petition to ask the rest of the nation’s agencies to do the same.

– Meanwhile, London will begin making its transit data freely available to the public.

– The city of Portsmouth in the UK is moving to limit traffic speeds to 20mph on all residential roads.

Street trees and sidewalks are two key components of a livable city — but they don’t always get along well. One solution? Rubber sidewalks.

– A former politician in Australia is the latest to explain with a straight face why people on bikes shouldn’t enjoy the same rights as people in cars.

– Melbourne, Australia is the latest city to launch a bike sharing program.

– In California, crackdowns on drunken bicycling and bicycling with dogs are making the news. Meanwhile, San Jose is positioning itself for a bid to become the most bicycle friendly city in the Bay Area.

– An intrepid pair of Mercury reporters explore Portland’s bus system, with amusing and eye-opening results.

– About 80 employees at the US transportation department commute by bike; despite improvements in conditions, they still find they must be their “own best protection” out there on the roads.

– Causation or correlation? A new study finds a potential link between homicide rates and traffic fatalities.

– Portland’s “green streets” which combine bike and walk friendliness with sustainable stormwater management are earning national praise. Portlanders will likely feel the same once all that construction in the Burnside corridor has been completed.

– Who benefits from bike theft? A counter-intuitive look at the economics in theft-prone Denmark.

– Portland band Blind Pilot, which has toured the country by bike, is starting to make it big.

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  • John Lascurettes November 16, 2009 at 11:49 am

    San Jose is positioning itself to be the best bike city in USA? Hmpf! They have a looooong way to go. Was down there a couple of months ago and could not believe the high-speed concrete expanses I once lived in. How soon I had forgotten them.

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  • John Lascurettes November 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Excuse me. San Jose is gunning for the best bike city in the bay area. Not as tall an order. Still a long shot.

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  • John Lascurettes November 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Meh. On second thought, I should be less of a curmudgeon and send kudos San Jose for at least setting the bar high for themselves. Best of luck, San Ho.

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  • Pete November 18, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    As a Santa Clara County taxpayer I’m glad to see this news from VTA, an agency whose supervisors drive around in Ford Expeditions. Bike commuting here is year-round, relatively popular (more so than I saw living in Beaverton), and the infrastructure isn’t terrible (yeah, just about everything’s paved). During rush hours there’s no way I could beat my “5-mile time trial” commute in a car! I’ve had lots of questions since moving here for work not too long ago, though, and I wish the SVBC forums were as active as Bike Portland. Really, though, it’s the same here as there: when gas prices go back up more people will jump on bikes again.

    Thanks for the articles Elly – at least I know not to tie a dog to my bike now! 🙂

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