Splendid Cycles Big Sale

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on March 12th, 2012 at 9:27 am

Bike sharing is heating up around the
world as summer approaches.
(Photo: Will Vanlue/BikePortland)

Here’s the news and other cool stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– Metro council candidate Bob Stacey says Oregon is “banking a lot on technology” and fuel-efficient cars to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets; but Slate warns that so-called “soft solutions” aren’t enough to solve our environmental problems.

– A city ordinance requiring San Francisco businesses to allow bikes indoors is being hailed as a victory for people who bike to work but most acknowledge it’s only one small step towards meeting the city’s future ridership goals.

– Driverless cars are closer to reality than science fiction and while they could increase the motor vehicle capacity of our roads some of the research on their use isn’t factoring in sharing the road with people transporting themselves by bike or on foot.

– Former (and future) Portland residents Russ Roca and Laura Crawford completed their ride through New Zealand and are headed back to the states. Reflecting on their journeys, they ask the question: what is bicycle travel?

– In bike sharing news: the city of Beijing expects to have 20,000 bikes at 1,000 stations around the city by the end of the year; Dublin’s bike share system is getting 1,000 new bikes this summer; San Francisco is launching a pilot program with 500 bikes at 50 stations around downtown; and a variety of bike share programs are popping up around New Jersey.

– What do you do when you find a motor vehicle blocking a bike lane? If you’re in NYC you have a new tool to deal with the problem: BKME.org is a “platform that channels the power of cyclists to reclaim bike lanes from vehicles.”

– Planners in Charlottesville, VA are hoping a smartphone application will give them insight into where people on bikes are traveling.

– An opinion piece in The Washington Post looks at the ways grocery stores and other businesses subsidize customers’ automobile use.

– Europe could soon see more bicycles from China if officials decide to ease the current tariff on imported bikes.

– An article from Business Insider calls driving a “dying activity” and looks at data showing America’s declining driving habits.

– Two recent college graduates have embarked on a 10,000 mile bike ride to document Europe and Asia’s local entrepreneurs. You can see what they’ve found so far on the site for the project, Postulate One.

– A judge in Rhode Island banned a 17-year old from driving for life after the teen crashed a car into a tree while driving intoxicated with a suspended license.

– An architecture firm’s rendering shows what the Chongming Bicycle Park could look like once it’s constructed on Chongming Island, just north of Shanghai, China.

– A man who lost both his arms over two decades ago hopes to ride his bike in the 2012 London Paralympics.

– Electric bicycle manufacturer the JD Group introduced an automatic shifting system for standard (non-electric) bicycles at the Taipei Cycle Show.

– Another hybrid bike-repair-and-coffee shop, the Denver Bicycle Cafe, has opened in Colorado.

– The Chilean feminist group Macleta is promoting bicycling as a “tool for social change.”

– Peugeot has a new bike that eliminates the need for a laptop compartment in your backpack by including room for a computer in the bike’s frame.

– A bicycle counter in Ottawa, Canada has been removed because it was built from parts not intended for use in winter weather. City staff isn’t sure yet whether they’re reinstall the counter in the spring.

– And finally, a few video gems… Here’s a look at cycle-skating, 1923’s “new sport” (found via Sydney Cycle Chic):

And the video of the week (at least in terms of popularity) is the hilarious rap ode to Bicyclistus Americanus, “Motherfuckingbike”…

Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @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

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q`TzalJohn Lascurettesbrett d.Mabsfwsbob Recent comment authors
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Paul Johnson
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Paul Johnson

bkme.org seems like a http://mybikelane.com/ knockoff.

John Lascurettes
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And slower.

El Biciclero
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El Biciclero

I find the combination of the Slate article on efficiency innovation and the GGW article on driverless cars fascinating. Of course, I guess I’m old enough to be amazed by how much of people’s lives they are willing to hand over to the robots already–it should be no surprise if we end up want them to drive us around everywhere, too.

I’m going to start on my screenplay right now…

El Biciclero
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El Biciclero

oops: “…end up wanting them to drive us around…”

q`Tzal
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q`Tzal

The scare-monger article on driverless autos seems to have failed to notice that Google’s driverless platform has had many successful and polite interactions with pedestrians and cyclists.
While it is possible to make a less polite and safe software and hardware platform for a driverless auto ultimately this all comes back to money:
No insurance company is going to authorize coverage for a driver that is shown to be dangerous and inviting to numerous lawsuits

Whenever some crackpot starts going on about “da gubment takn way my GOD GIVEN RIGHT to drive!” I have to remind them that 10’s of thousands of people are killed every year by human drivers and that no insurance company will cover a “robot car” until it is a safer driver than Homer Simpson.
Then the insurance companies will give you a discount NOT to drive manually; no government mandate required.

A.K.
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A.K.

Wired had a great article the other month on driverless cars here: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/01/ff_autonomouscars/all/1.

I for one am looking forward to cars that drive themselves. From everything I’ve read, they’ll be able to handle “obstacles” such as cyclists and pedestrians much better than distracted human drivers.

meh
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meh

That’s 10 of thousands of people who kill themselves.
Approx 90% of those fatalities are motorists.

Any death is unacceptable, but this isn’t an issue of 40K pedestrians and cyclists being killed on the roads each year.

El Biciclero
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El Biciclero

“No insurance company is going to authorize coverage for a driver that is shown to be dangerous and inviting to numerous lawsuits”

[begin cynical thought]

This is why auto companies will lobby for changes to the law to make their products less liable in collisions with non-autos. Hence the fence scenario described in the article. If a pedestrian or cyclist wanders into “restricted street-space”, it’ll be their own stupid fault for getting themselves run over. After all, don’t they have any common sense to stay out of the way?

Good thing auto companies don’t have very much government influence…oh, wait…

[end cynical thought]

q`Tzal
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q`Tzal

I love a good cynical thought!
I suspect however that popular media has us over trained to paranoia with movies like the Terminator series and shows like The Walking Dead.
Public resistance will be higher that expected.

In reality WE ARE the zombies and killer robots.

Oliver
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Oliver

I counted 3 Long-bed, extra-cab, 4×4 “Dually’s” obscuring the bike lane on Saturday alone.

Stretchy
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Stretchy

Lately, it seems like I’m seeing (or, rather hearing) more ‘road rage’ type stuff from people on bikes. Not, message board rants but, actual audible stuff I hear cyclists mumbling/grumbling while I’m out for a walk. It usually seems like typical driver road rage type stuff. A bunch of passive aggressive, ‘why are these stupid people on my road’ type stuff.

None of the incidents looked like they involved anything dangerous. At worst, a little inconvenient or inconsiderate. Is this a trend? Are cyclists becoming typical aggro drivers, complete with attitude? Or, did I just happen to walk by two disgruntled, anti-social cyclists, mid-rant in the last week or so?

Antload
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Antload

I’m a bicycle transportationist who gets less road-rage-ready as I age. A “you can’t mess with my pleasant day” attitude, an ever-expanding safe zone (proportional to expanding skill), and declining testosterone combine to make me a pretty unflappable cyclist. Also, I don’t think I remember a single moment in history when I raged then felt productive…basic behaviorism at play. I haven’t detected a cyclist-generated road rage uptick in Portland.

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

With regard to grocery stores ‘subsidizing’ drivers, I should point out that in most places, if you want to build a store of a certain size, the government will force you to add parking, regardless of whether the store wants to or not. Also, every single public transit trip is subsidized (often quite heavily) so the author of the article probably would have been better off not mentioning transit riders as a group subsidizing drivers.

9watts
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9watts

David Owen is right.

Bob Stacey, channeling a lot of familiar have-your-energy-efficient-cake-and-drive-it-too language, regrettably is not, or not in so far as his discussion of all the ‘alternative’ cars is concerned. Making walkable neighborhoods happen and no encouraging sprawl are both salutary, of course, but we need (as David Owen suggests) to move beyond this wishful embrace of energy efficiency as a panacea; the way to combat climate change. It isn’t.

“Oregon has a strategy for reducing transportation GHG”
here’s a link:
http://www.keeporegoncool.org/sites/default/files/TLU%20Draft%20Roadmap_100510.pdf

If you read it you’ll know why I am not convinced. It may be the driest, most tepid and most uninspired document I’ve ever read. It makes no mention of people(!)

Andyc
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Andyc

Huh. “Driverless cars”, eh? Maybe they could somehow link them together and place some sort of track on the ground for them to ride on.

Paul Johnson
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Paul Johnson

@Stretchy #8: I don’t think that speaks to the bicycling community so much as the community as a whole. Portland’s a pretty passive-aggressive city. Even Portlandia has picked up on this.

9watts
Guest
9watts

I think we’ll see lots of carless drivers before we see any driverless cars.

Dan Faulkner
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Dan Faulkner

I’m glad to see Charlottesville (where I was born and raised) doing some serious bike planning. But last time I checked, my home town was still in Virginia, not North Carolina! 🙂

wsbob
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wsbob

The article about a new law requiring SF “…commercial building owners to allow employees to bring their bicycles indoors while they work …” gets off track right away, but the topic addresses some important needs for improving the practicality of using bikes for transportation.

If there’s actually room enough in it, parking your bike in your workspace could solve many of the usual problems with simply finding suitable bike parking and bikes being subject to theft and degradation from the weather..

Cleanliness could be a problem. Coming into a building with dirty shoe soles from wet, dirty streets, brushing off the shoe soles on a mat at the door isn’t such a big deal. On dry days, it’s fine, but on wet, muddy days, getting a bike’s tires clean and dry enough to bring into some work spaces could be more of a challenge.

Mabsf
Guest
Mabsf

I was thinking about the grocery shop article and I think if would work better if un-drivers get a discount. Because you catch more bees with honey…

John Lascurettes
Guest

I was thinking the same thing. But how would you get it to work? Maybe if you showed a still valid transit pass or your bicycle helmet and lock key? Then what about the walkers?

brett d.
Guest
brett d.

I just watched the cycle skate piece…any idea where one could find something like that ??

John Lascurettes
Guest

I think Orbit skates are still around. Though I do think the bike skates are cooler, particularly for their off-road ability – and they go much better with tweed.