The Monday Roundup

Here’s the news that caught our eye in the last week:

– Friday was a notable news day across the board, and we would be remiss not to point out several of the more important transportation stories broken that day: New York City has unveiled its truly visionary new transportation plan, even if one prominent politician has suddenly become a surprise advocate for greener alternatives.

– Okay, seriously now, in NYC, the campaign (in which the above mentioned politician has a role) to abolish a successful new bike lane turns out to be something other than the grassroots initiative by safety-conscious citizens that it’s purported to be. Who knew?

– A Danish researcher shows that despite common assumptions to the contrary, bicycling is safer than driving.

– In the weeks since the big quake in Japan, many of the Tokyoites who started bicycling when the trains stopped running are still getting around on two wheels.

– The European Union plans to ban “conventionally fueled cars” from major urban areas by 2050 as part of an environmental initiative.

British national cycling initiatives have been defundedβ€”here’s a look at what that will mean on the ground.

– Seattle is looking into building “bicycle greenways,” inspired by neighboring cities’ coordination of bicycle infrastructure and stormwater management.

– In Charlottesville, North Carolina, the city is making a “major effort” to enhance its bikeway network by painting sharrows.

– In Washington, DC, cycling is up 86% in the last decade.

– A well made economic case for cities to invest in bicycling. (I’ve also been writing about this elsewhere…)

– Newspaper editorial boards in Baltimore and Columbus have issued pleas for everyone to “share the road.”

– Two Los Angeles police officers have donated a bunch of bike helmets to be given to Critical Mass participants under age 18.

– A nice pictorial history of bicycling in Los Angeles.

– In case you can’t get enough of the NYC bike lane saga, here’s more good stuff. And don’t miss P.J. O’Rourke’s diatribe in the Wall Street Journal.

– Video of the week: Streetfilms continues their stellar Moving Beyond the Automobile series with a film about highway removal

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Highway Removal from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

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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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Christopher Pierce, DC - The Bicycle Chiropractor

I have a video of the Portland Tweed Ride ‘virtue & vice’ from Sunday to add to the Monday Roundup. Thanks. Dr. CJP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F01usnTZs78&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Michael
Michael
13 years ago

Charlottesville is in Virginia, not NC πŸ™‚

matt picio
13 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Yep, “Charlotte” is the NC city.

eli bishop
eli bishop
13 years ago

did anyone notice our very own Al Margulies was a commenter on the WSJ article? i honestly was waiting to see if that article was a joke: it felt like the sort of “editorial” you’d see in a college newspaper.

Kristen
Kristen
13 years ago

Please tell me the WSJ article was an over-the-top spoof for April Fool’s day. What a terrible “article” for the business section (!) of a well-respected business newspaper. This tripe belongs in the opinions section, on the floor of a bird cage.

Tacoma
Tacoma
13 years ago
Reply to  Kristen

I believe the WSJ article by Mr. O’Rourke was intended to be taken as an “over-the-top spoof for April Fool’s Day” but apparently wasn’t “over-the-top” enough and sounded too much like the comments section for any bicycle news article from any daily newspaper in the US.

wsbob
wsbob
13 years ago

Oh c’mon…admit how much you secretly loved reading PJ O’Rourke’s creative, curmudgeon’s reflection on the state of biking in America. Though his viewpoints are 180 degrees from what many bike enthusiasts everywhere would prefer reading, he’s a master of the English language, and very funny at it.

If he thought up all the ideas about biking pointed out in his piece, I’d be surprised, but if he really did, that’s quite an accomplishment.

are
are
13 years ago

i like everything about the charlottesville piece, including those price quotes

Oh Word?
Oh Word?
13 years ago

WSJ is owned by Newscorp, you can’t really expect anything more from them. I sure hope he’s right about Soapbox Derby lanes though…

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
13 years ago

PJ O’Rourke has gotten a lot less funny over the years, and he’s become what he once set out to satirize. He may not mean what he wrote, but a lot of folks will take it on face value.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
13 years ago

I really want to believe that the WSJ “article” is an April Fool’s joke published a day late. However, inspired by commenter to that article David Higgins, I have a new mantra which I can repeat to myself as I weave dangerously in and out of traffic, flouting every traffic rule under the sun:

“Cars are Tools”.

Tacoma
Tacoma
13 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Yes! That would be the word, not “flaunt” as was used in the Baltimore editorial. Thank you, El Biciclero.

Flaunt = Display (something) ostentatiously, esp. in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance.

Flout = Openly disregard a rule, law or convention.

Though I suppose someone could flaunt their flouting.

Here’s the full opinion from Merriam-Webster: “Critics have been complaining about the confusion of these two words since the early 1900s. “Flaunt” means “to display ostentatiously,” and most usage commentators consider it an error to use “flaunt” with the meaning “to treat with contemptuous disregard” (even though some admit to doing it themselves). Many educated writers have used “flaunt” in the “flout” sense for years, but the notoriety of the controversy is so great, and the belief that it’s wrong to use “flaunt” for “flout” is so deep-seated, that we think you would do best to keep the two words distinct.

wsbob
wsbob
13 years ago

NYC’s Prospect Park Bike lane: Until today, I didn’t check into what the fuss about that bike lane was. It took some searching around to get an idea of what the source of the dissatisfaction might be. The streetsblog link helped. That media source provided a link to a story from The Guardian… http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2011/mar/09/new-york-bike-lane-cycling … .

Okay, here’s an excerpt from that story:

“…As the Times reports, nearly three-quarters of Park Slope residents surveyed approve the Prospect Park West bike lane; but that figure falls to only about half of residents when you ask those who actually live on the road itself, which, having the park view, are, of course, those with the most valuable real estate but fewer parking places than they used to have. Among these disaffected residents is, by coincidence, Sadik-Khan’s predecessor as the city’s transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall, whose tenure is not recalled for its visionary overhaul of city planning and traffic management. Weinshall happens to be married to Charles (Chuck) E Schumer, Democratic senator for New York. …”

So here it is: “… but fewer parking places than they used to have. …”.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
13 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Odd tradition in the USA,
Allowing private citizens to claim public proprty as their own for the private storage of private property.

Charge the users of on street parking for the full road upkeep and property tax on the private citizen’s “annexed” section of road.