The Monday Roundup

Posted by on August 20th, 2012 at 9:56 am

“…you are at about as much risk of being hit by a stray bullet as you are for falling off your bike, but I don’t hear the politicians demanding that everybody wear bulletproof vests. Let’s stop blaming the victim and fix this.”
— Lloyd Alter,

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

– Word choice shapes our perception of information. Streetsblog founder Aaron Naparstek gets it, and he want people to realize we need to “change the way we talk about motor vehicle violence.” In related news, Slate brilliantly proposes that it would make more sense to call shark attacks, “shark accidents,” and car “accidents” “car attacks.”

– The policymakers at the US Department of Transportation are deciding on a formal definition of traffic “congestion” which could have an impact on how federal money is divided among transportation projects.

– A survey of people who drive in the UK found 30% are cutting spending on food to save enough to keep their cars running.

– One popular connection between NW Portland and Washington County could become safer for bicycle traffic as the Hillside Neighborhood Association works to improve conditions on Cornell Road.

UPS is testing electric cargo bikes in Dortmund, Germany.

– A Norwegian study finds that mandatory helmet laws “disproportionately discourage the safest cyclists.”

– The New York Daily News is upping the ante for detailed traffic reports but an open letter from StreetsBlog says they’re missing “a number of stories that need telling.”

– One Letter-to-the-Editor in The Washington Post tells the story of a frightening and almost unbelievable near-bike-theft.

– In Chicago, physically separated bike lanes are making commuting by bike “easy as pie.”

– It sounds like computer-driven cars could be less likely to run you over than other people driving, but you might want to watch out if you believe this attack ad from Florida.

Young people’s preference to bike more is driving down the national average for miles travled by car (sorry for the pun) which is something that might drop even further as we approach “Peak Middle Aged People”

– CBS affiliate KVAL reports on the first Cargo Bike Roll Call in Eugene, Oregon which recently drew over one hundred people and their bikes from around the city.

Police in Eugene are being praised for recovering a stolen bicycle belonging to a man helping bring clean water to families in Africa by riding wheelies on his bike.

– A reflection on the death of a man in Toronto, Canada says helmets are about as necessary as bulletproof vests.

– People who have trouble understanding what to do at green bike boxes would be utterly perplexed if Bikeyface designed lane markings.

– If you didn’t get to see it in person, StreetFilms has a look at the dedication of Portland’s bike counter, something being seen as an example for cities trying to collect bicycle traffic stats:

– And for the million (or so) people who have emailed us about it.. Here’s that “invisible helmet” video that everyone’s talking about (for the few of you who haven’t already seen it)…

– And finally, brace yourself for this very peppy music video for the song, “Ma Bicyclette” by Andrew Huang:

— 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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9wattsbiertoddOpus the PoetCaptainKarmaHart Noecker Recent comment authors
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Wow, I fell off my bike a few months ago. Better be watchful for stray bullets, I guess.


Great pieces, as always.

“…last year cars killed 241 pedestrians or cyclists in New York City and only 17 drivers were charged criminally.”

speaking of using precise terminology… cars?

Anne Hawley
Anne Hawley

Dear God, that “Ma Bicyclette” video is annoying. But adorable. I love it!

Good thing, too, because it’s stuck in my head.

Hart Noecker

Bicycle helmets discourage cycling, we already know this. How many more studies have to keep proving it?


Must be PDX irony? See BP’s post today concerning Marilyn Hayward: “Friends and family credit her helmet for saving her life.”

Opus the Poet

Last line of defense in a car-crazy world. I wouldn’t ride without my full-face BMX helmet, but by the same token I wouldn’t force anyone to wear one. But them I ride in Texas, where guns and pickup trucks are enshrined in the state constitution as Gawd-given rights.


I still don’t understand my fellow travelers on the planet, and I suppose one more study won’t make it any less confusing. I wear sunscreen, I wear sunglasses, have bike lights and fenders…why not a helmet? Because I’ll miss out on a personal connection with someone that would’ve loved me otherwise?

I need to read one more helmet study that explain why people don’t want to wear them. One injury avoided to _my_ head seems reason enough for me.


Maybe the same reason hundreds of millions of people take up smoking? I think the probability of suffering ill effects from smoking is orders of magnitude higher than it is from biking helmetless.