Support BikePortland

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on October 17th, 2011 at 9:39 am

Here’s the news that caught our eyes this past week…

– A three-day outage of Blackberry phone service resulted in a big decrease in traffic crashes in the Middle East – 20% in Dubai and 40% in Abu Dhabi.

– In Seattle, a fatal hit-and-run back in July is being called just another “tragic accident”. KIRO-TV reports that the teenage driver involved in the collision will get a $42 fine for “unsafe lane change.”

Concern from bicycling advocates has continued after California’s Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a safe passing law last week. Some are calling for Governor Brown to meet with people who ride bicycles in L.A. and better explain his reasoning for vetoing the bill.

– Across the pond, London Mayor Boris Johnson is being invited to ride a bicycle along a dangerous section of road in his city in hopes that he’ll better understand the needs of people on bicycles.

– Check out the great looking Fairdale city bike, as photog’d by Mr. John Prolly.

– Despite wanting to make it easier for local agencies to improve on-street facilities, the UK’s Department for Transportation is proposing an increase in the speedlimit on some roads to 80MPH. This comes along with their own findings that the increased speedlimit will result in more pollution and deaths.

– A little closer to home, the state of Maine is making a similar move to raise the speedlimit on one stretch of road to 75 MPH which makes it the state with the highest speedlimit east of the Mississippi River.

– A jury in Brooklyn awarded $19 million to a man who suffered brain damage after being hit by someone driving 55 mph on a neighborhood street. “City officials ignored the warnings from Gerritsen Beach residents,” reports the NY Post, “that Gerritsen Avenue needed to be revamped to slow down drivers who fly along the open stretch of road.”

– Here in Portland it’s not uncommon to see Police officers riding around on bicycles and soon you may see PPB officers riding around on one electric-assisted wheel.

– TriMet has released their multimodal trip planner to help people travel using a combination of public transit and their bicycle. In New York, Transportation Alternatives has released a similar tool but theirs is designed to help people on bikes and on foot avoid dangerous intersections.

– The city of New Orleans is taking the opportunity to improve safety and access for people on bicycles as it rebuilds roads damaged by Hurrican Katrina.

– Speaking of improving our streets, StreetsBlog San Francisco explains why building better bicycling infrastructure is in the best interest of those who want to drive their car.

– In Detroit a man was issued a $110 ticket and might face charges of child endangerment after riding in the road with his twin sons in a bike trailer. Police accuse him of impeding traffic but the man insists that he had no other option than to ride in the street. Many news outlets are pointing out how ridiculous the charges are, including the local Fox affiliate.

– The Oshkosh Community Bike Program is helping provide bicycles to get people to work. Workers find the refurbished bicycles to be a big help even in Wisconsin’s cold winters.

– Bicycling advocates in Turkey helped Todd Miller, who is on a ride to raise money and awareness to combat climate change, cross through auto-centric Taksim Square at the conclusion of Miller’s ride from Portugal to Turkey.

– Can smartphones be a tool in recovering stolen bicycles? The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia hopes phones’ QR code readers can help identify stolen bicycles, but one author is skeptical of the program, which costs $15 and relies on good samaritans to scan and check stolen bicycles.

– Want to stay connected to Twitter while you ride your bike? There’s an app (and a speaker amplifier) for that.

– If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to your bike ride entertainment, you might want to check out the bicycle that plays vinyl records.

– A man in Oklahoma has been reunited with his bicycle, 26 years after he sold it to pay for grad school.

– Scientists at Saarland University in Germany are using a bicycle to test out a wireless braking system that may eventually be used on planes, trains, and other motorized vehicles.

– If you’re a fan of steel-framed bicycles, you might want to check out Ron Arad’s new bicycle which features wheels built entirely from loops of tempered steel.

– Busted inner tubes are a byproduct of bicycle ownership but with a little ingenuity they can be repurposed into things like rugs and key lanyards.

– Another DIY project, for people who have bicycles and cats, makes panniers from empty cat litter buckets.

– Most of you now know to watch out for antelope when riding your bike, but you may want to keep an eye out for magpies too.

– Musical artist Cyclist has released an EP of nu-disco music that, appropriate for the group’s name, would be a great accompaniment to a bike ride when played from a pedal-powered stereo.

– And just this week, Wolfpack Hustle, the group of bicyclists who beat a JetBlue passenger plane in a race from Burbank to Long Beach, California back in July was recognized for their impressive win by Los Angeles City Council member Bill Rosendahl.

Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

16 Comments
  • Avatar
    Marcus Griffith October 17, 2011 at 10:20 am

    From the Seattle collision article:

    “Police told Horcher that the driver is devastated about what happened…”Again, a terrible accident.”

    Yet another incident that supports the easiest way to kill someone and get away with it is to use motor vehicle as the murder weapon.

    I am getting sick of the mentality that the deaths of vulnerable road uses is just the cost of transportation.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Psyfalcon October 17, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Was the Seattle crash really a hit and run? The article does not mention it, and that would certainly be a crime, separate from the potential vehicular homicide.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      JAT in Seattle October 17, 2011 at 10:47 am

      This fatal crash took place in the suburb of Kirkland, and was not a hit and run (The recent hit and run was a different crash, and as far as I know the driver has not yet been found).

      In this case the driver who, passing on a blind curve, swerved back to avoid an oncoming driver, and apparently swerved into the shoulder where the cyclist was riding.

      There will probably be a civil suit and cell phone record will be subpoenaed, but from the standpoint of the “awesome power of the state” this is nothing but an unsafe lane change…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Paul Johnson October 17, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Meanwhile, also in Oklahoma, Overholser Bridge on old Route 66 sees new life as a segment of Oklahoma State Bike Route 66, which becomes Oklahoma’s first state bikeway on November 1.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    q`Tzal October 17, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Detroit man faces charges of child endangerment

    Police know the Big Bat of a “child endangerment” charge is an extra form of intimidation they can use to scare people in the same way that police know that a prisoner who is identified as a pedophile and placed in the general prison population is likely to confess anything to avoid harm.

    I propose that if we really want to protect children, with child endangerment laws, that the legal ability to write that ticket be placed in the hands Children Protective Services officials and not some mook with a badge and a grudge.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Spiffy October 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

      I’m all for the ticket this guy got… going the wrong way down a 1-way street with kids… I think every vehicle that gets a ticket while they have kids in with them should get a child endangerment charge… it would certainly get people to drive better when they had their kids in the vehicle…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        q`Tzal October 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

        Check out the FOX “News” video.
        The police issued THREE different tickets in a scatter shot sort of effort that the same police NEVER put in to attempting to prosecute auto drivers who have injured cyclists.
        There were some extenuating circumstances: he didn’t want to go on the road but one sidewalk was blocked by ticket scalpers and parking vendors, the opposite was obstructed by construction scaffolding.

        I have no problem with this guy getting a ticket.
        This is a Moving Violation. No one was injured.
        The streets were mobbed with pedestrians going to a sports event.
        Involving CPS is over kill in that CPS generally does not stop ever; they stay in your life no matter what.
        This is why I don’t think that a REDNECK COP should be allowed to wield that weapon.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    q`Tzal October 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

    linked article
    Want to stay connected to Twitter while you ride your bike? There’s an app (and a speaker amplifier) for that.

    linked article
    A three-day outage of Blackberry phone service resulted in a big decrease in traffic crashes in the Middle East – 20% in Dubai and 40% in Abu Dhabi.

    hmmm

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      A.K. October 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      Seriously, what ever happened to the pure pleasure of riding your bike to enjoy THAT activity. I’m dead serious, if you “need” to tweet while riding your bike you need a life priority check.

      From the article: “I ride my bike a lot; it’s my primary source of exercise. If I had the time, I’d ride my bike all day everyday, I love it that much. As I’ve written many times before, the only thing that could make my bike riding experience better would be if I could tweet and ride at the same time.”

      If you’re riding your bike for ‘exercise’ and you have time to tweet, you’re not riding hard enough.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Neighbor Gregg October 17, 2011 at 11:28 am

    “Unfortunately, unless a person’s driving recklessly, they’re intoxicated, (on) drugs or alcohol, then there’s really no criminal charge on this,” said Detective Allan O’Neill of the Kirkland Police Department.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Gordon October 17, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Here’s another article on the Kirkland collision:

    http://www.katu.com/news/local/131875988.html

    Apparently, not only was the person on the bicycle hit twice, but apparently the person in the car then crashed into a telephone pole. But a $42 traffic ticket is the only legal sanction. We have such low standards for acceptable driving behavior in this country.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Chris I October 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    That Fairdale city bike seems to be lacking in a few key areas. For one, the fork doesn’t fit the frame, and has absolutely no clearance for fenders. Which city is this bike designed for? Phoenix?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      are October 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      i am curious why anyone would “want” a one by ten (or a one by seven or eight) anyway. especially with what looks like at least forty-eight teeth on the chainring. with a thirty-eight and a forty-two in the front, the gears i am not using are the first and second cogs in the rear.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        are October 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm

        thirty-six, not thirty-eight.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    El Biciclero October 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I have mixed feelings about an app that is designed to “help me steer clear of dangerous intersections”. Crash data and identification of dangerous locations is gold–but should the intent be to use that data to essentially bully people off of their preferred route? This data should be taken to heart by city planners and traffic agencies and used to implement true safety improvements, not to try to convince people that they don’t belong in a particular place because “it’s too dangerous”.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Ted Buehler October 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    The man who had a heart attack at the Providence Bridge Pedal in August is doing well, though recovery is slow. (Under the Taylor St. Overpass on I-405)

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/10/for_steve_dinwiddie_real-life.html

    Best of luck to you, Steve!

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar