The Monday Roundup

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

– Over one third of US young people between the ages of 17 and 24 are unfit for military service — primarily due to obesity and poor health.

– The Netherlands may soon become the first European country to charge a kilometer tax (with higher fees for peak hours and more polluting vehicles) rather than a road tax.

– A must-read analysis by Chris Smith on what bicycle advocates need to do to go after the serious funding levels needed to bring Portland to the next level.

– Airplane travel is expected to be less hectic than usual during these holidays, as we hit the roads and the rails instead, due to the down economy.

– The day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday — a huge day for shopping and sales, but also the day of an annual push to ask people to unplug themselves from the grid, leave their cars in the driveway, and see if they can subsist on leftovers and long walks, without spending a cent.

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– Google has opened up a call for municipalities and agencies to submit bicycle infrastructure data that has been formatted according to certain specifications, in a move hailed to be the precursor for an online bicycle trip planning feature.

– A comparison between Portland’s and Vanouver, BC’s approaches to addressing congestion on major bridges. We have the CRC project — they have a new bikeway and an effective road diet.

– A former student of Gordon Patterson, the popular Vancouver, WA science teacher who was killed while bicycling this fall, threw a carwash fundraiser for Patterson’s family recently — but allegedly used the money instead as bail for the man who killed him.

– At Portland Community College’s three campuses, students are bicycling more — to the point that existing bike parking is inadequate — and shuttle use is up by nearly half.

– Portland condo and apartment developers “may be sorry they spent $20,000 per parking spot” as new residents are increasingly seeking bicycle parking options instead. Meanwhile, a new parking colossus in DC sits nearly empty.

– An analysis of the potential effects of a major earthquake on Oregon’s roads and bridges does not paint a rosy picture.

– The Portland Spirit’s owner is concerned that global warming is set to cause such high waters that his boat will not be able to pass safely under TriMet’s new carfree Willamette bridge during the rainy season.

– The man who veered off the road into a couple on a tandem bicycle in Texas this fall, killing them, has denied allegations in a civil suit claiming wrongful death. No criminal charges have been filed.

– In other legal news, the firefighter in North Carolina who shot a guy in the head, supposedly out of rage that the man was bicycling with his daughter, has received an astonishingly light sentence.

– The debate is on in Australia over the issue of allowing (or requiring) people on motor scooters to use bicycle lanes.

– Six-lane freeways and no pedestrian amenities cannot stop the people of Brasilia from walking in a grassy area that serves, sort of, as the city’s central park.

– On anti-bicycle rage and witch hunts.

– This anthropological slice of bicycle riding life on a California university campus questions the rationality of the “use of this animal.”

– A UK campaign to remind the world that the going is usually “quicker by bike” has been successful — if primarily amongst those who are already in the know.

– Make your own dynamo-powered USB charger, and an LED bike light to go with it!

– Video of the week: Streetfilms interviews political conservative William Lind about his strong support for rail transit and distaste for highway spending. Bicycle advocates might learn something.

Discuss away — and feel free to add your own links in the comments below.

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Bjorn
Bjorn
12 years ago

– A former student of Gordon Patterson, the popular Vancouver, WA science teacher who was killed while bicycling this fall, threw a carwash fundraiser for Patterson’s family recently — but allegedly used the money instead as bail for the man who killed him.

A special place in hell seems reserved for one Mallory Ewart…

Bjorn
Bjorn
12 years ago

also, nice work confessing to the crime via a call to the hit and run perp Mallory. You should have known the police were recording you because…wait for it…he was in jail, that one is going to go down in history as one of the all time great blunders…

cold worker
cold worker
12 years ago

PCC parking: i take classes at SE center and Cascade. the parking at SE is not good. routinely packed, while the campus is nearly completely circled by parking lot. This last week there were a few new racks installed, only it’s not staple racks or something similar and useful. Unfortunately i don’t know what these new racks are called, style wise, but they are incredibly ineffetive (they have that slot where you slide your wheel in making it impossible to lock your frame to anything stationary.) Totally weak.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Does anybody else think it’s funny that all of a sudden the Portland Spirit people are “concerned” about global warming? I call big fat BS.

Kt
Kt
12 years ago

Link to the carwash fundraiser story is broken….

bahueh
bahueh
12 years ago

nice…shoot a man in the head in front of his kid and get a whopping 4 months in jail…

Evan Ross
Evan Ross
12 years ago

loving the Monday Roundup these days. I am continually impressed by the amount of information you are able to share, and the diversity of topics. Thanks Elly.

Spencer Boomhower
12 years ago

That William Lind video makes some great points. It’s helpful to see how transit opponents slice the numbers to suit their needs, and how advocates can push back against those kinds of, let’s say, “creative” interpretations of raw data.

KWW
KWW
12 years ago

21 stories in Monday roundup!?

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago

The motor scooters in the bicycle lanes down in Australia article/comments was very interesting. Very good, mostly thoughtful comments on the whole. Quite a few people not speaking as the usual knee-jerk types, actually seem to think it’s a reasonable concept. One commenter mentioned a city in Holland where scooters are allowed to use the bike lane at 25k/15mph.

Speaking for myself, I’m not a big fan of internal combustion powered scooters, but each to their own. I’d be concerned that allowing them…their notoriously noxious fumes and noise…in bike lanes would not help to encourage people to step out of their cars and pedal a bike (‘push bike’ as Aussies seem wont to call them).

On the other hand, electric or electric assist bikes…regulated sufficiently, I think they could be good companions in bike lanes.

david....no the other one
david....no the other one
12 years ago

21 stories, wow, but not local feelback on what WE did. Or maybe the riders arn’t back from being blown away!

Jim O'Horo
Jim O'Horo
12 years ago

RE: The Gordon Patterson hit & run:

This is now the 3rd person charged with a crime committed after the collision/hit & run for either interfering with the investigation and/or trying to spring Cellestine from jail.

It’s beginning to sound like a gang effort, & I’m having a hard time trying to remember about “innocent until proven guilty.” Hope I don’t get called for jury duty on this one.

Refunk
Refunk
12 years ago

wsbob @ #11:

Pretty sure that what you describe (electric or electric-assist bikes in bike lanes, no gas-powered) already is the law in OR & WA (and also Federal standard). Yes, I believe it is.

Nearly any cheapo gas scooter – from those Vespa wanna-be types to those skateboards with rudders – is a stinking, noisy two-banger (as opposed to quieter, cleaner four-cylinders, which are both more expensive and generally bigger overall – and demonstrably too big and fast for bikeways). I’m glad state code denies the use of bike infrastructure to ’em, in fact, wish that 2-cylinder units were banned completely – there’s no excuse for their technological level (unless yer trying to replicate air quality of third-world nations). And while most 4-cylinder scoots are fine as neighborhood vehicles, think of the improvement all around if instead, they were electric bikes (already approved for MUP/SUP use) .

Ryan G.
Ryan G.
12 years ago

Elly (and others),

I don’t think it’s too many stories at all. I always enjoy this segment, and the more stories the better. The bullets are only three or four sentences long and it only takes a second to scroll through them and decide which ones I’m interested in. You are doing such a good job providing us with information, I’m surprised anyone would complain. Keep up the good work.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago

Refunk…didn’t mean to imply that electric or electric-assist bikes in bike lanes in Oregon isn’t legal, but rather, just that it’s not yet very common. What the article brought out, is that in other parts of the world, such as Australia, this type of use in bike lanes apparently becoming quite common.

People are looking for cheaper, easier ways to get around. It’s interesting that when people have made the transition from a 4 wheel internal combustion powered vehicle to the smaller, 2 wheeled variety, considerable numbers of them apparently feel they shouldn’t be confined to travel in main travel lanes with big cars and trucks, if it turns out there’s a bike specific lane established right next to the main travel lanes.

I suppose it could be nice to let people riding gas powered scooter operators travel in bike lanes, especially if they aren’t filled to capacity with people riding bikes at the same time main travel lanes are filled to capacity with people driving cars. Myself, I’d like to see more people riding bikes for their transportation needs. For some but not all of them, bike lanes are likely a definite incentive to try pedal rather than sit behind a IC engine vehicle.

Letting riders of IC powered vehicles in bike lanes is going to be no incentive to those that ride them, to try pedaling.

Electric assist and electric bikes in the bike lane have been discussed in bikeportland forums not so long ago; pretty good discussion…reception to there is wide ranging. My feeling is they’re way more manageable in the bike lanes…at least with current technology/speeds than IC vehicles are. Though…if they ever take off in popularity around here…big time, like they have in China and India…look out!