The Monday Roundup

Posted by on August 6th, 2012 at 8:31 am

“…a pedestrian, a bicyclist and an automobile driver enter an intersection. The person in the car turns and hits either the person on foot or the person on the bike, killing her. Question: What happens to the driver? In most states, nothing.”
— Alex Marshall, Senior Fellow at The Regional Plan Association

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

– The opinion pages of Sunday’s NY Times featured an interesting take on the ethics of illegal bike riding from Randy “The Ethicist” Cohen: If Kant were a New York Cyclist.

– The driver of an Olympic bus was arrested after they killed a person riding a bike while transporting members of the media between events.

– In reaction to the collision at the Olympics, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins suggested victims of collisions can’t “argue” with the outcome if they’re not wearing a helmet but later insisted he was not calling for mandatory helmet laws.

– The high-profile cycling death even got a response from The Economist, who reminded readers that riding a bike in London is “safer than you think.”

– Alex Marshal thinks current laws protecting people walking and biking are “crazy” and that America has no chance of building truly livable cities until people driving cars do a better job looking out for people walking and biking.

– The City of Oakland is being sued in a wrongful death lawsuit after a man was stuck by a person driving a car on roads the city allegedly knew were in disrepair.

– Bay Area commuters are looking forward to Fridays in August when Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will lift its rush-hour ban on bicycles.

– The surge in electric bicycle sales continues and a new study suggests the market for e-bikes will triple in the next 6 years.

– If you think you can’t go bike camping with kids, think again: Portland’s Kidical Mass camping trip was a huge success, drawing around a dozen families.

– Do walking advocates simply need to build a better sense of “self-righteousness” to gain more awareness for their issues?

– The people of Paris have reason to celebrate after the mayor successfully fought to build parks along the banks of the Seine, which, when completed, will replace expressways that have dominated the river since the 1960s.

– Research into the benefits of bicycles is expanding in America’s universities.

– Portland’s “growing marketplace” for bikes is highlighted as a “silver lining” in a CNN Money piece on the Gates Corp belt drive.

– Successful tech start-ups are flocking to San Francisco due in part to the city’s well-known bike-friendliness.

– Riding on rural roads could be a little safer thanks to a “magic trick” ODOT is trying out on OR 211.

– Research has shown that economic activity is increasing around bike share stations in the Twin Cities.

– A young man drove his truck into a ravine moments after he sent a text message telling a friend about his “need to quit texting.” And his first name is Chance. Seriously.

– Cello player Ben Sollee is touring by bicycle (with his cello in tow) to raise awareness of mountain top removal strip mining in Appalachia.

– The latest successful spin-off from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is the Multicultural Communities for Mobility, a group working to help low-income people who travel by bicycle in L.A.

– The Maryland State Highway Administration has posted signs reading “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” along a two-mile stretch of state highway.

– One Seattle man had to take matters into his own hands to recover his stolen bike a year after it was originally taken from him.

– One of our DIY projects of the week is an elegant homemade pegboard cart, perfect for organizing all manner of tools.

– Or if you’re looking for a cheaper yet challenging project, check out this $9 bicycle built from recycled cardboard.

– And finally, a pack of glowing, pedal-powered sea creatures has been roaming around Sydney, Australia during the city’s VIVID light festival.

— 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.

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Lenny AndersonSpiffyZaphodwsbobAnton Recent comment authors
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Alex Marshal is right. “Ultimately, if we are to be safe, we need the driver to look out for us, not for us to look out for the driver.”

El Biciclero and a few of us have been saying as much here for quite a while.


“If cycling laws were a wise response to actual cycling rather than a clumsy misapplication of motor vehicle laws, I suspect that compliance, even by me, would rise.”
(from If Kant Were a New York Cyclist)


Nice indeed.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero

+50 for the Alex Marshal article. Randy Cohen, in the article linked above about ethics of illegal riding uses the phrase “I have skin in the game”. Right now, drivers in cars have paint chips in the game, and maybe a few dollars. Cyclists are extremely motivated not to get into collisions with autos; the converse isn’t necessarily true. It needs to be.

Joseph E

Bike camping with Kidical Mass was great. I highly recommend trying it. If you are already getting your kids around town by bike, you can probably handle the trip to a close campsite, like Dodge Park.


I wish I had known about it ahead of time…


Yes E-bikes are now mainstreamn. Yesterday I saw not one, but two, yes two, probable crackheads in Gresham on E-bikes. Not saying they actually *bought* them….


I borrowed my London roommate’s bike and rode from Finchley to work, on Baker St, in the 90s. I don’t recall it being dangerous or frightening (once you get past the whole riding-on-the-left part). One time though, I tried to get around the ‘bicycles must be walked’ rule in St James park by coasting on one pedal. A woman pc (police constable) caught me and yelled ‘walking does not mean standing on one pedal’. Oops, busted. :o) Ah, good times.


Re; Alex Marshall column: Who is Alex Marshall: caption under his photo on the article: “Alex Marshall is the transportation columnist for GOVERNING and a Senior Fellow at The Regional Plan Association in New York City.”. I haven’t read the publication, other than this article, and haven’t yet looked into what the association mentioned, particularly is or does.

Marshall mentions ‘Strict Liability’, a concept having some association with the responsibilities of people involved in collisions over in the Netherlands and so forth. He says:

“…The countries where cycling is an integral part of life, such as Holland and Denmark, as well as much of the rest of continental Europe, have something in effect called “strict liability.”

It means that if you, the driver, strike a pedestrian or cyclist, you are automatically at fault, even if the walker or cyclist literally jumps out in front of you. This may not seem fair, but a system where a cyclist and a driver are on equal footing is not a fair one either, because the results of any collision are so unequal. A system needs to acknowledge that it is the driver of a car or truck that is doing something inherently dangerous. …” marshall/governing

Here’s an explanation of ‘Strict Liability’ described by a writer, David Hembrow from Assen, Drenthe, Netherlands in a blog article:

“….in addition, how the law works is somewhat different to what many people outside the Netherlands have been told. Drivers are not held 100% liable for all crashes with cyclists. That would be quite unreasonable as there are many reasons why drivers might not be wholly responsible.

The law draws a distinction at the age of 14 years. In a collision with a cyclist or pedestrian aged under 14, a motorist is likely to be held to be responsible. However, a cyclist or pedestrian who is older than 14 years of age is expected to know how to behave on the streets and is likely to be held at least partly responsible in the event of a crash. If they’re behaving recklessly then they can instantly expect at least 50% of the blame for any collision. An adult pedestrian dressed in black and crossing a road without looking can expect to be held to be liable for damage to a motor vehicle which hits him. That is what the law makes clear. …” david hembrow/a view from the cycle path


Kant article is really brilliant.

Lenny Anderson
Lenny Anderson

Bravo Randy Cohen! I follow only three rules when I ride: 1. don’t get hit. 2. don’t be a jerk. and 3. don’t lose momentum!
All the other rules are foolish, dangerous and.or irrelevant.