The Monday Roundup

[Publisher’s note: Thanks to the non-profit Community Vision and their annual Harvest Century (October 8th) for support of the Monday Roundup! – JM.]

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

– “Why are American’s driving less?” asks the Washington Post/Bloomberg business blog. It’s important food for thought for transportation planning.

– A new report details the potential economic benefits of the UK being more bike-friendly, including over 2 billion pounds a year saved in missed work days and up to 56 billion in health spending due to reduced car emissions and increased physical activity.

– A bicycle company in India will begin providing loans to help rural customers buy their bikes, and is working out a plan to provide health insurance coverage to its customers as well.

– In Israel, proposals to ban bicycling on some roads leads to comparisons between the country’s social stratification and transportation hierarchy.

– From DC, a interesting look into some of the varying reasons behind opposition to bike lanes.

– A proposed street redesign in Savannah, Georgia would newly accommodate both bicycling and car parking, and may even be politically feasible.

– The legal challenge to a separated bike lane by a cast of wealthy and influential neighbors in New York City has been thrown out of court, to nobody’s surprise.

– Also in NYC, a hard look at a hit and run incident that left a young artist seriously injured and still hasn’t been investigated by the police.

– And yet again in NYC, lawyers arguing bicycle-related cases have to deal with a confusing morass of laws that few seem to be familiar with.

– Bike traveling is a fun, affordable way to get out of town, says the New York Times.

– In Virginia, bike trails are seen as providing a long term benefit for local economies“You can’t ship a trail to China.”

– Should cities install short-term bike parking in high-density residential areas? Some already do, but others don’t prioritize it.

– In Minneapolis, bike sharing seems to be boosting the business of bike rental shops rather than competing with them.

Bike sharing and mandatory helmet laws don’t mix, according to this analysis.

– In London, a “bicycle library” on a double-decker bus rents bikes to try out before deciding what to buy.

– From the racing side of the bike world, an interviewer asks a group of cyclocross racers about their experiences as women in the sport; elsewhere, some pointed advice for the men.

– Video of the week: Danny MacAskill’s latest display of incredible bike handling skills, this time in an abandoned ironworks factory in Scotland…

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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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Jeff Bernards
Jeff Bernards
12 years ago

The video is awesome. I thought Portland’s Bike Share system would compete with local bike rentals, the article gives me hope that they (we) will still be around when and if the system makes it to Portland.
Thanks for all the homework Elly!

Alan 1.0
Alan 1.0
12 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Bernards

Jeff Bernards
I thought Portland’s Bike Share system would compete with local bike rentals, the article gives me hope that they (we) will still be around when and if the system makes it to Portland.

Jeff, no offense meant to you (especially since it’s your biz so you have every reason to be concerned!) but when I first saw comments like that my reaction was “jeez, don’t they even bother to look at the existing examples? For instance, rate structures which are aimed at a TOTALLY different market segment?!” Same for comments about theft and any number of other questions about bikeshares. But since the same questions come up, over and over, from people like you who obviously know plenty about bikes and the bike scene in general, it tells me that there is a big info gap between those proposing this particular system and their supporter base and potential customers. There are plenty of real dilemmas such as whether a bikeshare is the best use of scarce public resources, but it sure seems like Portland’s bikeshare proponents have an opportunity to answer a lot of questions to put undecided constituent’s minds at ease.

12 years ago

re; bike share systems. We had a fairly good discussion about them in bikeportland’s own forums.

There’s a lot of details to absorb in terms of how these bikes will be used and how the system intends them to be used.

The short story, is that, with the DC system, after the first couple hours, the checkout fee goes up to $12/hr. That particular system allows a person to have a single bike out for up to 24hrs, but simple math reveals how expensive it would be to do so. The bikes are intended to be used for short hops, not day trips or touring, for which a regular type rental is perhaps less money, and would likely have better types of bikes for the kind of riding intended.

12 years ago

Loved the video!!!

12 years ago

That story about lawyers arguing bike law in NYC has quite a nice windup:

“…Not for Mr. Vaccaro. He recently quit a large corporate firm after 14 years to join the firm of David Rankin and Mark C. Taylor, two former Portland, Ore., bike messengers who kept their passion for biking after moving into the law. …”

Savannah Georgia’s street redesign sounds not unlike the plan for Williams Ave in Portland.

DC story about some of the varying reasons behind opposition to bike lanes … . I’ve never been there, but have heard the weather isn’t great…cold and snowy in winter, hot and humid in summer. According to this article, biking is on the rise. Miles of bike lanes are being added. DC bikeshare is popular (interesting remark that a frustration some people are finding with the system is in finding available docks.

“… Logic says that as more Bikeshare users become comfortable with riding in D.C.—and become frustrated with the system’s downsides, such as frequently empty docks—they’ll buy bikes of their own. …”)