The Monday Roundup

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

– In Mexico City, the year-old bike sharing system ECOBICI is at capacity with a waiting list for memberships, and is said to have contributed to a 50% jump in ridership of privately owned bikes.

– Jakarta, Indonesia gets its first bike lane, and 5,000 people show up to ride it.

– In the U.S. a spate of new state laws require people to drive more safely around bicycles.

– A Swedish study has found a correlation between long commutes and divorce, loneliness, and other forms of suffering.

Bicycling, not driving, is the way of the future worldwide, or so one analyst predicts after looking at the numbers and trends.

A fifth of licensed drivers in the U.S. would fail a drivers test if asked to take one today, among other distressing findings.

– And here we go again… A radio show in Ontario launched a presumably jokey “Eff Cyclists” campaign advocating violence on the roads.

– A serious bicycle-car crash made one guy feel less afraid rather than more.

– Montreal has pledged to expand its bike network to the tune of $10 million this year.

– In Hawaii, a spirited rally protests plans to repave a major road without adding a bike lane.

– Seattle is discontinuing its bike parking installation program.

– A Long Island church gives away free bikes to local residents who can’t afford a car.

– A tale of parking passes and electric assist: How Seattle’s bike-friendly mayor got on two wheels.

– New Yorkers who work at computers all day enthusiastically recharge by building bikes by night.

– A Boulder woman was reunited with her stolen bike only a few hours after putting the word out via social media.

If your bike is making weird noises, try these pro tips.

– Remember that all-wood bike from a while back? Here’s more coverage of it.

A giant bike wedding for Gary Fisher!

– A baby owl! On a bike! No kidding! Pictures!

– Video of the week: In Seattle, a guy gets hit by a car while biking through an intersection and lands on his feet.

Photo of author

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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K'Tesh
K'Tesh
12 years ago

A fifth of licensed drivers in the U.S. would fail a drivers test
“For example, a full 85% of those surveyed could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light”

All to often, it’s “green = Go. Red = Stop. Yellow = Go Faster. Right?”.

Oliver
Oliver
12 years ago
Reply to  K'Tesh

At first glance a 20% supposed failure rate seemed high. Upon reflection (certainly in light of your statistic), I’m surprised it’s that low.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
12 years ago
Reply to  K'Tesh

In the ODOT Oregon Driver Manual in section 3 “Rules of the Road”:
The Basic Rule Law
The basic rule states you must drive at a speed that is reasonable and
cautious for existing conditions. The basic rule applies on all streets and
highways at all times.

Of course most drivers practice the oldest rule:
“Might makes right.”

Jene-Paul
12 years ago

In the not too informative article about Seattle suspending bike rack/corral installs, the illo used is a pic of The Fresh Pot bike corral at the corner of Mississippi & Shaver in Portland. City racks must be harder to find in Seattle than I thought.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
12 years ago

– Seattle is discontinuing its bike parking installation program.

Seattle is North Los Angeles.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
12 years ago

– A giant bike wedding for Gary Fisher!

Am I the only one who was surprised that he married a woman?

She
She
12 years ago

Re: – A serious bicycle-car crash made one guy feel less afraid rather than more.

He said he felt more afraid and more alive… where did you get less afraid?

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago
Reply to  She

I think the ‘less afraid’ part comes from idea that what doesn’t kill you can make you stronger.

I liked this guy’s personal story quite a lot, especially the part of it where he describes his impressions from an article he read that tells of an experiment involving people verbally interacting with computers programmed to attempt to present themselves as a human in conversation with an actual human.

Spiffy
12 years ago
Reply to  She

he’s less afraid of everything else in life now that he’s seen real fear…

Mike
Mike
12 years ago
Reply to  She

Bahh – shameless helmet propoganda.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago
Reply to  Mike

The article has 1073 words, almost entirely devoted to talk about things other than bike helmets, such as…people learning to communicate better with each other, stress relative to life and work, forest conservation.

In the entire article, the word ‘helmet’ is used just three times. The article is a personal story in which the writer expresses his view that the helmet he wore helped minimize injuries sustained in a crash. He closes with a ‘p.s.’, advise people to “… Wear a helmet.”.

Information provided in this article seems to be about much more than attempting to persuade people to wear bike helmets while riding a bike.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Sarcasm – Sorry if it was lost on you.
I support using a helmet, but I know there are a vocal few that comment here that do not. They suggest it only provides a false sense of security, that there are no statistics proving blah blah blah.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago
Reply to  Mike

True, I guess I didn’t pick up that you were joking. I wouldn’t have paid the remark much mind, except that it seemed the article had such a lot of other good things to say besides mentioning bike helmet use. Didn’t want people to be turned away from reading it because of a flippant remark seeming to allege the article was simply a big sell on bike helmet use.

dmc
dmc
12 years ago

Wow, excellent Monday Roundup Elly! Lots of awesome reading material here.

I am a huge fan of the Monday Roundup and I hope it continues as long as possible!

Ryan Good
Ryan Good
12 years ago
Reply to  dmc

+1!

Jeff Bernards
Jeff Bernards
12 years ago

I’ve been to Jakarta, 1.4 km of bike lane is a good start, it’s one of the most densely populated places on earth, safe biking would be a great improvement to many of their lives.
And Yes Elly, this is the best round-up, I’ve read almost every link. Thanks for working on a holiday, we all appreciate it.
Happy Trails
Jeff

jim
jim
12 years ago

Perhaps Seattle needs a bike revenue system of some sorts to pay for infrastructure since there is obviously no gas tax from bikes. Perhaps a registration fee?

JAT in Seattle
JAT in Seattle
12 years ago
Reply to  jim

Gas tax goes to state highways and property tax pays for the overwhelming majority of local infrastructure, right?

Alan 1.0
Alan 1.0
12 years ago
Reply to  jim

“The Seattle Department of Transportation’s 2009 annual report breaks down the agency’s $340.8 million budget by funding source. The gas tax accounts for $13.4 million, or 4 percent of that total.”

“We All Pay For The Roads”
August 31, 2010
Josh Cohen

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
12 years ago
Reply to  jim

Perhaps Washington State needs to increase the gas tax and registration fees by about 2500% to keep up with the primarily automotive expenditures created by motorists.

Pete
Pete
12 years ago
Reply to  jim

Great idea! I’ll pay a registration fee for my bike to cover the costs I incur building and maintaining bike lanes when you stop charging me to send your kids to school (and not do too well academically I might add).

Spiffy
12 years ago

Put A Bird On It!

A.K.
A.K.
12 years ago

Another +1 for the monday roundup. I don’t specifically go looking for bike news on many sites, so the links provided each week are often to articles I would have never seen otherwise.

Spiffy
12 years ago

K’TeshAll to often, it’s “green = Go. Red = Stop. Yellow = Go Faster. Right?”.

you’ve been watching Starman…

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
12 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

Or just watching the way people drive here.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
12 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

In NYC (the one time I visited) it seemed like yellow=go fast, red=go faster, green=honk.

…And I believe Starman said “…yellow means go very fast.”

9watts
9watts
12 years ago

On the “Bikes are the Future, Not Cars’ piece–thanks for bringing this to our attention, Elly. Two criticisms of the article:
(1) “Private transport’s share of UK trips declined from 50 percent in 1993 to 41 percent in 2008.” I assume the author means ‘cars’; surely bikes are also private transport, no?
(2) and more significantly, why all the mystification as to why this is or might be happening? Why no mention of oil, climate change, overconsumption, etc.? Surely anyone paying attention these days, whether they are eschewing the acquisition of a driver’s license or writing about the decline in automobility can appreciate that ubiquitous private auto ownership and use has no future on environmental grounds alone.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago
Reply to  9watts

The type of personal car use that may be declining, is cruising; that is, just driving around to be driving. A lot of cruising in cars has gone on for decades, just because gas had been so cheap.

Personal car use will continue to be a mode of transportation for the simple fact that there are many people that for one reason or another cannot ride a bike…any type of bike, including recumbents.

In looking at London as an example of rising population with a decline in car trips per person, the ‘Bikes are the future, not cars’ article does note one factor in particular that could logically explain the decline in car trips per person: London has enabled urban but formerly dowdy places become fashionable places to live.

People living within walking and biking distance…10 to 20 minutes…from where they need to go. As long as this can be done without pricing people out of residing there…like in the Pearl District…it’s potentially a good idea.

9watts
9watts
12 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

“there are many people that for one reason or another cannot ride a bike…any type of bike, including recumbents.”
How do we know this? By asking folks who have never biked, can’t imagine themselves on bikes? Probably.

The Cubans interviewed in the very interesting movie ‘The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil’ were adamant that bikes were not for them either. Right. Until there was no gas. If Karl Moritz could commute thirty plus miles a day on a bike, and people with no legs can bike everywhere right here in Portland, and all the grandmas and grandpas where I lived in Germany rode their bikes to the store, everywhere really, then I don’t see where the ‘many people cannot ride a bike’ idea comes from. It is an obsolete fiction in my view, and an obstacle to the transition we’re in the midst of.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago
Reply to  9watts

You’re enthusiasm is good, but your sense of reality is clouded by it. For sure, talk to people about the question of whether they could ride a bike for transportation; some of them that aren’t may be able to with a bit of encouragement. But just look around; there’s many people that can’t be cycling for transportation, and for many reasons.

Yes, there definitely are extraordinary exceptions of people overcoming major obstacles like amputated legs and so on. Those are exceptional individuals, not average people.

Healthy people that have experienced the loss of a limb is one thing. Many people that aren’t healthy, have bodies that can’t get healthy enough to do the type of type of cycling required for transportation; they’ve got the strength, maybe…to get from the house to the car, drive somewhere where they can slowly walk around for awhile…maybe sit…and then go back home. For them, motor vehicles are a godsend.

Road infrastructure that better accommodated basic transportation by bike could certainly bring more average people to cycling. In communities that are already built up, it’s tough to even raise the idea of buying up properties and punching through cul-de-sacs to create a great bike route across town. It’s that very type of thing though, that might enable some of the ‘cannot bike’ people to bike for transportation.