The Monday Roundup

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

– One commentator says that fully half of the US’s climate goals for 2020 can be achieved solely through increasing active transportation.

– Transpo Sec’y Ray LaHood went on the Daily Show to plug high speed rail — but no mention of bikes.

– A blogger asks: Why is it socially acceptable to threaten the lives of people on bikes?

– A UK study has found that “risky cycling” behaviors like wearing dark clothing or running red lights is rarely to blame for crashes.

– Meanwhile, the British government is taking major steps to lower car speeds.

– Despite growing national concern about distracted driving, a major automaker is including wifi in some of its new vehicles. The cars may not be equipped for the drivers to easily make use of the service themselves, but don’t worry, there’s a DIY workaround.

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– While some media outlets fawn over electric cars, those vehicles’ power continues to be generated by fossil fuels and, worse, coal.

– Is Copenhagen really a cycling utopia? Not everyone thinks so.

– In Portland, Maine, bicycle advocates want to be able to ride on a highway bridge as an alternate route to a winding, poorly-marked multi-use path.

– A man in Aloha, Oregon claimed he did not see the three children in a crosswalk who he hit and seriously injured with his car. He received a minor traffic citation.

– How do transportation and sustainability dovetail with poverty issues? Portland’s Coalition for a Livable Future wants everyone to think about that.

– In a world that’s built around cars, when you get too old to drive you are out of luck. (Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a walkable neighborhood like this one.)

Pregnancy and driving are a dangerous combination, it turns out.

– The east coast is snowed-in — creating an impromptu car-free day for many. In more regularly snowy Calgary, Alberta, many bike commute all winter, including this guy who says “it’s not as cold as everyone might think.” Here’s how they do it.

– A proposed new bridge in Istanbul would provide another connection for the Asia and Europe halves of the city — and cause major traffic and sprawl, say opponents.

– A studio in New York will teach you to build your own bamboo bicycle.

– UPS’s bike deliveries in Portland last year went well enough that they have expanded the program to more cities.

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Elly Blue (Columnist)

Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com

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Peter W
14 years ago

> A man in Aloha, Oregon claimed he did not see the three children in a crosswalk who he hit and seriously injured with his car. He received a minor traffic citation.

From the KOIN article:
> ODOT says it plans to install a stoplight at the crosswalk in 2012 but will reevaluate whether something else needs to be done in the meantime.

I’d be curious to know if that stoplight is planned there for purely pedestrian safety reasons or if they’re adding it for traffic reasons. It seems that in Washington County things are done with cars in mind first and bike/ped safety is an afterthought.

In fact, if you look at Google Streetview of the crosswalk (from the west side) you’ll notice that the most prominent signage before the crosswalk is just to warn cars that there is an island where the turn lane ought to be.

Peter W
14 years ago

Here’s more on the crosswalk thing:
WashCo Sheriff’s press release and KGW article with video.

The KGW report notes that there is a sign for the crosswalk, but it is right at it (no ‘crosswalk ahead’ or anything).

Nick V
Nick V
14 years ago

– Transpo Sec’y Ray LaHood went on the Daily Show to plug high speed rail — but no mention of bikes.

Dare I say it: I would place high speed rail as a higher priority than bike infrastructure if I had to choose between them.. It would be used by more people, bring the rail industry back to life, and hopefully help put the *&$%*@! airlines out of business. Less cars on the roads too of course…..

John Lascurettes
14 years ago

Regarding fossil fuels used to power plants that power electric cars. It is easier to both regulate and observe emissions on a few plants than it is comparatively to thousands of cars. Most importantly, observe and measure.

Yes, it’s moving the power generation from the combustable engine to a power plant (deferring the pollution elsewhere), but this does enable the ability to have a “wind-powered” or “hydro-powered” car depending on which power grid you plug into.

Additionally, when all that power production is moved out from under the hood of the car and to a power plant, you’d probably find broader support from the populace to get tougher on emissions when it has less direct pain on their own lives.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s still better to move toward a future of all-electric cars than to continue on with combustion-engine cars. Certainly, getting more total cars of any type OFF of the road is better, but celebrate the gains where they can be made.

jim
jim
14 years ago

it’s a lot less money to laydown a thin layer of asfault for bikes than the billions for high speed trains

Peter Smith
Peter Smith
14 years ago

and in other news, finally someone going public with their doubts about the ‘veracity’ of those alleged eyewitness accounts of the Steed pedestrian death.

i had earlier emailed that author of the philly news pieces and suggested it might be bs — it sounded too much like the ‘some black guys carjacked me and stole my babies!’ routine. people are weird. sometimes they just make stuff up. i’m not saying it happened here — i’m just saying two alleged eyewitnesses leave a man bleeding to death in the street, and then claim to have seen a bicyclist mow him down?

that just sounds like Lying for Attention With A Zealous Investigator Planting Ideas 101.

Al
Al
14 years ago

“They do not expect criminal charges to be filed. But the other three lanes of traffic had stopped for the pedestrians, so investigators say he will be cited with ‘passing a stopped vehicle at a crosswalk.'”

This guy didn’t just not see the kids. He willfully went around stopped vehicles, EVERYONE else stopped for the kids but him. And this is a minor thing?

mabsf
mabsf
14 years ago

That’s the baffling thing to me: the guy sees one or two cars stopped and it doesn’t catch his attention?
This is the same scenario as in one of the last Foster Pedestrian accidents, if I remember right!

Damian
Damian
14 years ago

Ray LaHood did not mention bikes on the daily show but I am convince he supports bikes by tweets ( and dot blog entries) like these:
“What I’m reading: Neal Peirce: The new buzz about #cycling in The Denver Post: http://bit.ly/68iClI
and
“Bike paths not infrastructure? DOT thinks they are. Ask Sen. #Coburn. #bikes #arra http://bit.ly/5pb8vQ

Rail inherently supports active transpo; you arrive at your destination car-less.

chelsea
chelsea
14 years ago

Last week I was nearly hit walking across Burnside in the crosswalk. 3 lanes of traffic were stopped, but the woman in an SUV in the fourth lane was either texting or messing with the radio/ipod. Luckily for me I saw that she was oblivious and didn’t proceed. When she saw me she slammed on her brakes but by the time she stopped she was in crosswalk. I understand that accidents happen, but many “accidents” are just plain negligence. Pay attention out there.

mabsf
mabsf
14 years ago

The other baffling thing is that so many drivers blame the peds:”Wait until it is all free!” WIth the average speed of cars on the artery roads there literally is NO gap big enough to cross safely.
For me it is just another sign how much our culture is centered around cars.

John Lascurettes
14 years ago

The other baffling thing is that so many drivers blame the peds:”Wait until it is all free!” WIth the average speed of cars on the artery roads there literally is NO gap big enough to cross safely.
For me it is just another sign how much our culture is centered around cars.

Couldn’t have said it better, but it deserves repeating.

Stig6
Stig6
14 years ago

11 days until cell phone ban. Hopefully that at least will save some lives.

Steve B.
14 years ago

Distracted driving is a bigger menace than DUI. How much is the ticket for driving while using a cell phone? In states that already have bans, enforcement and penalties still make it more of a nice idea than a law people take seriously 🙁

jim
jim
14 years ago

does the cell phone ban include bikes also? I don’t remember how it is worded.

GregSea
GregSea
14 years ago

Sgt. Bob Ray/Washington County- “Very busy highway. It’s dark, raining, roads are wet and people have their windshield wipers on and from our initial information the children were wearing dark colored clothing.”

Hmmm. So is anyone else beginning to feel that “No helmets/dark clothing” is the modern equivalent of blaming rape victims cause they were wearing immodest clothing?

Shouldn’t you be able to cross at a marked crosswalk without wearing special clothing?

Basically what it all comes down to “Moving while not driving”. (MWND – okay maybe we need a catchier acronym 🙂

Kt
Kt
14 years ago

Stig6, #13:

If you actually read the new law, it’s not a cell phone BAN. It’s a restriction on the use of cell phones– you can still use your cell phone all you want, you just need to use a bluetooth or other hands-free device to do so.

I’m not sure if it applies to bikes, but it would be great if it did.

Oh, and don’t forget: Jan 1, the police can stop you for talking on your cell phone without a hands-free device– unlike Washington’s law, they CAN pull you over for it, and don’t have to pull you over for something else first.

GregSea, #16: right on. You too, mabsf #11.