Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on January 14th, 2013 at 10:10 am

D.C.’s protected bike lanes aren’t protected from
people parking illegally.
(Photo: Who’s Blocking the L St. Bike Lane Today?)

Happy Monday everyone. Welcome to our weekly cheat-sheet of all the noteworthy bike news and stories published last week. If you’ve fallen behind on your reading, first check out last week’s BikePortland headlines and then scroll down for stories from around the web that caught our eyes…

— The 92nd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board — known as the Super Bowl for transpo wonks — is going on right now. Follow the big ideas and get links to coverage via the #TRBAM hashtag on Twitter.

— The always-interesting (and increasingly active transportation focused) writer Tom Vanderbilt took a deep dive into D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare system for Slate to uncover its genesis and components of its success. A must-read for city planners and bike share boosters as well as skeptics.

— Thanks to the “low-car apartments” brouhaha, the debate over density is a hot one in Portland right now. Transit blogger Cap’n Transit wrote a thoughtful post about how, “Most conflicts about “density” are really conflicts about parking or road space.”

— A new Apple Store in Santa Monica got a ton of bad bike press for its lackluster bicycle parking.

— In Cleveland, Ohio a church group has teamed with homeless men to set up a thriving business manufacturing bicycle racks.

— Yosemite National Park is in the midst of a planning process and it looks like one of the preferred options for an overhaul includes the elimination of bike rentals while increasing the number of parking spots.

— Portland-based writer Anna Brones recently spent time in Kabul, Afghanistan and shared her perspective on bicycling in that historic city.

— A physician in Candada calls proposed new bike lanes near a hospital a “health risk” because he’s worried that they might slow emergency vehicles down. That’s a myth that’s already been busted (not to mention that it’s odd to have a doctor lobbying against healthier streets).

— Not surprisingly, D.C. is having some growing pains in their development of protected bike lanes. This hilarious (and sad) Tumblr blog, “Who’s Blocking the L St. Bike Lane Today?” is a great bit of citizen activism.

— A city council member in The Bronx boasted on Twitter that he introduced a bill to allow people to double-park outside schools while picking up and dropping off kids. Seriously.

— Along with helmets and whether blinky lights are good or bad, a new safety debate is happening around high-visibility and reflective clothing. We recently shared how Mr. Copenhagenize advocated for cars to have reflective materials, now a new study shows that wearing bright, neon, hi-vis clothing might not have as much impact as many of us thought.

— A British rock star loves to ride fast, expensive bicycles. He also despises locking them up and has had 30 bikes stolen in the past few years.

— If you can’t get your head around the new transportation bill — known as MAP-21 — the League has put together a nifty infographic. If you are wonky enough I recommend printing it out poster-size and pinning it up on your bedroom wall.

Portland region

— Things have gone from bad to worse for Todd Wyatt, the former Captain of the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division.

— The C-Tran bus driver who was involved in a fatal collision with an 11-year old boy last year in Vancouver won’t face any charges. The Columbian reports that the Clark County Attorney’s Office said the investigation showed the bus operator was, “driving in “a normal fashion” and the bus was traveling its normal route,” prior to the collision.

— I joined Michael Andersen and Lily Karabaic on the Portland Afoot podcast last week. You can download the episode via iTunes here.

— Our friend Chris Sanderson has released a new promo video for his “Builder by Bike” business:

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  • Andyc of Linnton January 14, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Well. You know we’re not doing enough here when I look through the photos of BLOCKED lanes and become jealous.

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  • Bjorn January 14, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I find it insane that they assigned a cop with a history of multiple complaints of unwanted sexual contact to the sex crimes division? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot PPB?

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    • Tony January 14, 2013 at 11:30 am

      The whole thing is appalling.

      He’s been to Sexual Harassment classes FOUR times. He says “he gets it” and he learned to harass from his superiors.

      PPB says they can’t properly discipline him because they’ve, apparently, made other bad decisions in the past and the precedent binds them to those decisions? WHAT THE F?

      Hales and city council should be spending time on fixing the Police Department before they focus on protecting people’s perceived rights to park free in front of their houses.

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  • John Lascurettes January 14, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Regarding that shot of the Chicago bike lane – take a look at our own buffered lanes on Stark: https://twitter.com/Lascurettes/status/289103474233339904

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  • Chainwhipped January 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    While the story about the C-Tran bus is upsetting, the decision not to charge the driver was likely the right call.

    After reading the description of the incident, we find that the boy was riding pretty fast down the wrong side of the street, possibly on the sidewalk. There is no way the bus driver could have seen it coming.

    Parents, let’s teach our kids to ride on the right side of the street. It’s not the traffic that’s going your way that’ll get you, it’s the cross-traffic. And for the love of god, if you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, slow down!

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    • wsbob January 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Excerpt from the story:

      “….Benjamin collided with the side of the bus in the vicinity of the crosswalk and struck the bus on the driver’s side several feet behind the bus driver, according to Vu’s written decision. Benjamin then fell to the ground and was run over by the driver’s side rear-end tires as the bus completed the left turn. …”

      And from one of the comments to the story:

      “…You should be asking why a bus so large is allowed to take a left turn when it takes up both lanes to make the turn, with its rear wheels coming within a foot of the sidewalk and sometimes hitting the sidewalk, and has to go outside the lane into the grass just to complete a turn. Right next to Dairy Queen where there’s always kids playing. The next street down is wider and it has a sign that says trucks can’t take a left turn. This one should too.” Dustin Fulwiler

      The kid was 11 years old, not an age at which it can be assumed people are sufficiently experienced with traffic situations to know how to approach one such as this. I suppose the driver of the bus shouldn’t be faulted very much. She may have already commenced to turn upon seeing the boy some distance away from the bus, and presumed he would have seen the bus and stopped instead of entering 27th and colliding with the bus. Still, especially in situations where kids are likely to be hanging around, driver’s can’t be too careful.

      The Columbian’s two stories about this collision are contradictory in reporting from whence he came; earlier story says he came from the street: “…The boy was riding south on the east side of Main Street, against the flow of traffic, and was crossing 27th when the bus turned left onto 27th, and the two collided, said Capt. Scott Willis of the Vancouver Fire Department. …” columbian, april 29th

      Later story, the one a link is provided for in this bikeportland story, reports: “…entered the intersection on his bicycle from a parking lot of a Dairy Queen near the intersection. …” . columbian, january 10th

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  • Todd Boulanger January 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    As for the Cleveland article reporting about a new bike rack fabricator…nice effort but wrong style rack.

    For our Cleveland bicyclists and readers…please contact them and recommend they avoid the “wave” style rack and stick to more bike friendly racks (aka ‘staple’ or “U” style).

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    • Mike Cobb January 15, 2013 at 8:01 am

      Is it architect/property managers who keep the “wave” rack alive? I assume that it’s visual form and it’s relative ease of installation (less mounting flanges per theoretical parking space) drive sales, not function.

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    • Chris Sanderson January 15, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Looks like they have the “U” shaped racks. Look at the photo on the right hand side. I would imagine that they are making racks of all shapes and sizes if they are running their business well.

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    • Chris Sanderson January 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

      Indeed, it looks like they exclusively make the “U” racks. I don’t see the wave racks even listed on their brochure. Perhaps that one pictured was a special order. Here’s their brochure: http://www.lutheranmetro.org/images/metro%20metal%20works%20-%20handout%20-%20outlines.pdf

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  • Nick Falbo January 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Not that I don’t trust the photographer of the cars parked in the bike lane, but many of those shots are taken within a “mixing zone.” area, where cars are supposed to enter the lane to make a left turn. This is similar to our right turn mixing zones on NE Multnomah.

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    • Spiffy January 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      it looks like they converted it from a parking lane with a bike lane next to it into a buffered cycle-track with no parking…

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  • Pete January 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    While I believe that bike lanes do not impede emergency response (in fact I’m betting the added buffer space improves it), I’d like to see a much better article than the one linked to actually “bust” that myth.

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  • Branden January 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Regarding Damon Albarn, he’s the frontman and lead singer of Blur, not really a movie star per se

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  • Indy January 15, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I to never lock my bike. I hate it. 10 years now and never a bike stolen. Think of the hundreds of hours over that time saved in never locking my bike, easily pays for itself in time saved.

    I also don’t like my car or house. Guess I’m just lucky.

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