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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on March 4th, 2013 at 8:48 am

Here are the stories of the past week we deem worthy of your attention…

— The comments made over the weekend by Washington State Representative Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama) have become a national news story. Orcutt is the high-ranking rep who believes that bicycling isn’t environmentally friendly because it causes people to breathe more heavily which results in increased C02 emissions.

— Did you know the co-founder of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and former Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder is now blogging?

— The competitiveness of light rail — versus bicycling or driving — as a mode choice is a growing question in the planning field. A recent study shows that we should, “caution against expecting major long-term reductions in road congestion after the creation of a light rail system.”

— An interesting interview with “Boston Bike Czar” Nicole Freedman sheds light on how she helped take that city from worst to not-that-bad (and bike share has been a big part of it).

— Here’s a dream come true: Police officers in San Antonio, Texas are getting on bikes to do undercover enforcement actions against people who do not comply with that city’s safe passing law.

— This great Bikeface comic illustrates a cold weather riding phenomenon many of us can relate to.

— What’s the most important urban design decision Vancouver (BC) ever made? One planner says it’s their 1997 transportation plan which made a clear decision to prioritize active transportation.

— The big transportation funding scheme in Virginia that everyone is watching — that would raise the sales tax to help pay for new roads — is still moving forward; much to the chagrin of Streetsblog.

— Bike advocates in Minneapolis are organized and motivated for their effort to build a network of cycle tracks throughout the city via their “Bikeways for Everyone” campaign. (Hey Portland, our #1 bike friendly city claim is never safe!)

— A new study shows that the observed reduction in injuries in places that have mandatory helmet laws in place could be the result of fewer people bicycling due to the laws themselves.

— The great writer Constance Winters reviewed the Xtracycle Radish longtail in her new Bicycling Magazine column.

— Speaking of Bicycling Magazine, Portland’s very own Elly Blue is also blogging for them now. Check out the first post on her Everyday Rider blog.

— Yet another sign that young people are driving less and owning fewer cars than previous generations.

— If you love cargo bikes, you will love this amazing photoset put together by an Australian that chronicles the history of longtails.

— Family biking got a major nod this week when NPR did a story about exercise that featured none other than Portland bike shop co-owner Martina Fahrner and carfree mom-of-six Emily Finch.

— If you’re family-biking curious, check out this great post by Portlander Andy Schmidt about how his family made the transition to bicycling instead of driving.

Unicycling is not a crime.

— Bicycling Magazine contributor Joe Lindsey is one of the smartest bike industry pundits in the business. His post about how the bike industry is like the beer industry is worth a read.

— It has finally happened; a technology company is making a “helmet of justice” with 360-degree cameras that promises to be a “black box” recorder or people who ride bikes.

— I’m not a rear-view mirror kind of guy; but they remain a popular safety accessory. Here’s a blog post in their defense by Mac McCoy.

— The reflective clothing debate rages on: In New Zealand a coroner wants to make hi-vis clothing compulsory for bicycle operators.

— The idea that owning a car is a money pit continues to gain ground. This time the Globe & Mail shares advice from an investor who says the “secret to big savings is to ditch your car.”

— And in case you missed it, The Sunday Oregonian included a feature story on ghost bikes.

Thanks for reading the Monday Roundup. If you come across an interesting bike story, drop us a line and we’ll consider including it next week.

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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Opus the PoetTonyTq`TzalJeff BernardsSpiffy Recent comment authors
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9watts
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9watts

Police officers in San Antonio, Texas are getting on bikes to do undercover enforcement actions against people who do not comply with that city’s safe passing law.

When are we going to persuade PPB to do this?! What a swell bit of news.

BURR
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BURR

The Portland Police Bureau promised something like this way back in the 1990’s but as far as I know it’s never actually happened.

Opus the Poet
Guest

SAPD started to do this after one of their own was killed by a driver that refused to change lanes to pass.

Paul in the 'couve
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Paul in the 'couve

I ride with a mirror most of the time. It does take a few rides to get used to it and to train yourself to use it as needed but not be distracted by it. I understand why people don’t and I resisted for a long time myself, but I’d never go back and I encourage folks to try it. Especially since I have learned how much safer it is to ride left and when appropriate take the whole lane. I feel much more confident doing that when I can see what is behind me.

Jeff Bernards
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Jeff Bernards

Once you get a mirror, you’ll never look back!

Opus the Poet
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Once you get a mirror, you’ll never always be able to look back!

q`Tzal
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q`Tzal

What’s sad/funny is when I cock my head to the side to look out my helmet mirror…

… when I’m walking somewhere in public without my bike or helmet.

K'Tesh
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K'Tesh

The blackbox is a good idea, but it only works after being hit? I’d rather have one that can record everything on a loop, but if it detects a hit, it puts everything from 5 minutes before, and everything after into a protected memory file that can be downloaded to a computer, then reset.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Exactly, I’d like to have a record of what happened moments before the incident too.

K'Tesh
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K'Tesh

As to the NZ coroner’s comment… Perhaps all cars should be made Hi-Viz? That way we can all see them.

Daniel
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Daniel

Regarding the light rail and congestion article I think we need to stop justifying anything with “congestion.” The only thing that actually may reduce congestion is increasing the price of driving (gas price, gas tax, tolls, parking cost, etc.) we already know that building more road capacity doesn’t reduce congestion so there’s no reason to believe that adding other capacity would magically reduce congestion either. What it does do is allow people an option to avoid the congestion, and has numerous benefits on its own merits. We should be planning and building infrastructure that moves people in the best way rather than just comparing everything to autos.

Anne Hawley
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Anne Hawley

I depend so heavily on my rearview mirror that when I’m walking, I find myself glancing left before “changing lanes” on the sidewalk, only to be confused at not being able to see if anyone’s coming up behind me.

Spiffy
Guest

I do the same thing… then I’m annoyed that I have to turn around and look… hehe!

EngineerScotty
Guest

While on the subject of light rail and congestion, I’d like to direct your readers to a new Portland Transport article that may be of interest.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Great little infographic on your site: http://portlandafoot.org/documents/moneyinfographic.pdf

Kinda reminds me of the Money Chart from XKCD: http://xkcd.com/980/

TonyT
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TonyT

Our dream come true is that we have a passing law that is practically pointless. Read the details.

Opus the Poet
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What happened to being able to use html tags for emphasis and comic editing in the comments? My Strikeout tag was completely ignored making my reply nearly unintelligible.