The Monday Roundup

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

– U.S. Congressional leaders have been feverishly studying the Constitution, resulting in the conclusion that bicycles are not transportation.

A three foot passing law has been defeated in Wyoming, with the reasoning that it should be common sense to leave that much room without a difficult-to-enforce law.

– In the U.K., bicycle infrastructure is being promoted and defunded at the same time.

– The World Health Organization is looking at ways to quantify the effect of transportation on public health.

– A look at bicycling numbers worldwide debunks the myth that cycling rates are tied to gas prices.

– In rural Oregon, a private, long-distance bus company is growing as demand proves strong.

– In NYC, a man seriously injured a bicycle deliveryman with his Lexus and drove away. In Charlotte, North Carolina, a man who biked eight miles to work down unfriendly streets so he could save money to help his kids through college was hit by a drunk driver who fled the scene (but who has many friends to leave comments in his defense).

– A reflection on when or if forgiveness becomes possible after a serious car crash.

– From the world of sports cycling, an analysis of the unusually light sentence given in a doping case involving Alberto Contador of Tour de France fame.

– In Seattle, the vision of converting an old freeway into a park is catching on.

– Also in Seattle, is there a war on cars or an ongoing, uncommented war on the carless?

“The parable of the cyclist who fixed things for everyone” is cute and makes its point well.

– Video of the week: A blues singer pens an ode to her bicycle and stars in the charming music video. ..

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Elly Blue (Columnist)

Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for since 2006. Find her at

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13 years ago

It would be hard to enforce the 3 foot rule, I have bikes come within 3 ft of my car all the time. They think theyare invulnerable or something. There are other rules that we have and are not enforced, like “no passing a turning vehicle”, headlights are not enforced like they should, riding the wrong way on a one way street is common, there are a lot of rules that are difficult to enforce, or a blind eye is turned.

13 years ago
Reply to  jim

we are talking about the distance a motorist must leave in overtaking a cyclist, not the other way around. it should be obvious why the distinction matters, but if you would like some help sorting it out, give a shout, and we can fill up this board with a detailed discussion.

13 years ago
Reply to  are

I didn’t see where they made the distinction that the rule was only applied to cars. When a bike passes a car or a bike they should give 3 ft, I have seen many wobbly bikes that shouldn’t be within 3 ft of a car for their own clumsy safety

13 years ago
Reply to  jim

one of the primary arguments for taking the entire lane is the willingness of many motorists to race ahead in an attempt to cut off a cyclist.

“riding the wrong way on a one way street is common”

salmoning may be common in other cities but not in pdx. i do see cyclists ride contra-traffic on the sidewalk but this is 100% legal.

13 years ago

love that Del Ray – Queen of the Uke!

And, a note on the Oregon Breeze, the Bend-Portland bus shuttle: they don’t carry bikes. I’ve asked them about this, the idea of adding a bike rack as many carriers have done, and their response was essentially “there’s a lot of gravel going over Mt Hood/Hwy 26 in the winter and we’re afraid the paint on a bike would be chipped”.


13 years ago

“- U.S. Congressional leaders have been feverishly studying the Constitution, resulting in the conclusion that bicycles are not transportation.” monday roundup/elly blue

The streetsblog story concerns itself with a single member of Congress: Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA.). rather than a whole bunch of them critters.

Hunter has only been in the seat for 3 years, so he’s a junior member of that body. His responses to the reporters questions leave the impression that after 3 years with Congress, he’s still burdened with a heaping helping of freshman naivete.

Here’s a couple things he says that are depressingly funny:

“… San Diego’s one of those places where a lot of people live who work in the more expensive places in Southern California and they can’t afford to live there. …”

So, o.k., he’s acknowledging in a sense, that people can’t afford to live where they work in the richer areas of California. Is he willing to support mass transit to help the poorer workers get to their service jobs in the richer areas?

“… We just built the whole trolley system that goes from El Cajon to San Diego State; it’s one of our main transit systems now that goes by our main stadium for football and goes all the way downtown to where the Padres play. So if transit makes sense and it can be done on its own and pay for itself, then absolutely. …”

Well…yeah! If it gets people to football!

Here’s the bit from the story where he mentions the U.S. Constitution:

“… SB: But you’re OK with mandating highways?

DH: Absolutely, yeah. Because that’s in the constitution. …”

I have to admit there’s a lot about the U.S. Constitution I’m not familiar with, but I’m suspicious about it actually mandating highways. Of course…Rep. Hunter is in Congress. He should know, right?

The streetsblog story got some good response comments too. Here’s one from someone calling herself ‘Taomom’:

“This interview is deeply troubling.

The constitution gives Congress the power to establish post offices and post roads, presumably for the delivery of mail. Cars had not been invented yet. …” Taomom