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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on March 18th, 2013 at 10:31 am

“Cars are as dangerous for pregnant women as alcohol and cigarettes, yet few mums-to-be are warned of travel risks.”
— From MSN in New Zealand

Happy Monday everyone. Let’s take a look back at the stories you might have missed last week…

— Watch this video of a dooring incident in San Francisco and then ask yourself how Geico Insurance could have partially blamed the rider for going too fast and losing control of her bicycle.

— Portland-based writer and rider Heidi Swift highlights the amazing story of a women’s cycling team that’s has emerged in Afghanistan and the woman trying to raise funds to produce a film about them.

— As the debate over how to pay for transportation infrastructure rages on, this analysis of a report by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transportation Policy Institute is a must read. It explains how auto-centric planning that fails to consider the high cost of car ownership unfairly impacts lower-income populations.

— Lovely Bicycle opines on “Passive Transportation” and gives us great food for thought for how we frame various mobility options.

— I’m really loving the League’s deep dives into legal and policy issues. Their latest is a state-by-state analysis of “Share the Road” license plates.

Bad news for bikeshare in Vancouver BC and it looks like their mandatory helmet law is at least partially to blame.

— As a traffic safety nerd, transportation culture observer, and veteran of three home-births, I always wondered if I’d ever see this headline: “Cars are as dangerous for pregnant women as alcohol and cigarettes, yet few mums-to-be are warned of travel risks, a lead injury researcher says.”

— Streetsblog shared a fascinating look at the history of hit-and-run laws in New York City, where there’s some momentum to make it a felony offense. Again. Turns out hit-and-run used to be a felony up until the 1920s when the, “rapid expansion of car ownership meant that an increasing number of the voting public saw themselves as more likely to be behind a wheel than under one.”

— Another place (Sonoma County) is looking to pass anti-harassment legislation. I’m split as to whether such laws reflect a bike-friendly culture or one that’s so inhospitable that laws like this are necessary.

— When an 81-year-old woman gets her bike stolen, the only sensible way for a community to react is to get her a new one. ASAP. Nice work Colorado Springs!

Good news about bicycles in Riverside, California is good new for bicycles everywhere.

— At USC, students and faculty are pressuring planners to make campus more bike-friendly.

— More signs of the vast political and pubic agency support for electric cars in Oregon. We’ll know bicycling has truly arrived when it can amass that much political capital.

— Check out this awesome interview in VeloNews on local bike industry icon Chris King.

— I’m late to this one, but a neighborhood in Santa Monica, California has actually implemented the “woonerf” or shared-space road design. When it comes to traffic calming and truly human-scale planning, “woonerf” is sort of the holy grail.

— In the weekly, cars-are-not-the-future department, The Atlantic Cities explains why cars are likely to follow in the footsteps of landlines and steamships. As in, the automobile’s days are numbered.

— In New York City, bike activists continue to pressure the NYPD to take fatal biking and walking traffic collisions more seriously. On the recent Criminality Suspected Ride, non-profit group Times Up! mixed a street graffiti campaign with a hard-hitting message. Watch video recap below:

— More bad news from New York City for activists that want the system to be tougher on those that drive recklessly and hurt others. A high court now says prosecutors must not only show that a driver was negligent in causing a collision, their actions must have risen to a level of “moral blameworthiness.”

— And speaking of life and death, The Guardian (UK) took a global look at road carnage with this compelling interactive feature.

— When a bike-sensitive LA Times columnist calls your bike policy “foolish,” you know it’s probably not a great idea (I’m looking at you Washington state).

— How important is it to keep multi-use paths clean and smooth? The University of Iowa just learned that answer the hard way.

— On a positive note, The Oregonian published a great profile and update on Evan Ross and his Cycle Portland Bike Tours business.

Come across a great bike story or news item? Drop us a line and we might include it in the next roundup. Thanks!

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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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Morgan Fitzgibbons
Morgan Fitzgibbons

Not necessarily bike-centric, but I thought you might be interested this freakonomics podcast on parking:

Top Scientist
Top Scientist

Re: Dooring incident — These types of lanes are death traps. They’re everywhere and they cause more harm than any other scenario that appears “bike friendly”. Design is the true culprit — the bicyclist is the victim of it (and so is the driver in a certain sense).


The behavior of GEICIO illustrates why the first thing you should do when you are involved in a serious car-bike accident is contact a lawyer. (Its not about making the person in the car “pay”, its about protecting yourself from the sociopathy of corporate insurance.)


Jonathan, your link to Vancouver BC’s bikeshare article goes to a page about license plates.


the new york state appeals court decisions in question are from 2008 and 2009, not all that “recent” and by no means limited in their effect to NYC alone. the times story linked has to do with a current local prosecution and could be seen as an implied editorial comment that the appeals court was wrong.

props, incidentally, to the oregon supreme court, mentioned in the times article as having rejected the argument that we should follow new york’s lead on this. the reference apparently is to state vs. lewis,


LA Times Article on bike policy “foolish”:
I think he got the states backwards. Washington is proposing a fee on the sales of bikes, and OR is proposing the registration fee.
Not that either of them will really get anywhere.


For all those sick of the O’s comment reaction hate-fest check out the comments at the NYTimes “moral blameworthiness” article.

My favorite so far:

Joseph Petrosino: “you’re not talking about somebody taking out a gun and shooting somebody”.
If someone were licensed to carry a gun, and started shooting at random, having absolutely no intention of hurting anybody, but killing several people nevertheless, would he not be “morally blameworthy”? How is this different?


Per the Iowa bike path lawsuit, I wonder if this is precedence for someone to sew Portland for the constantly wet/slimy patch on the Springwater under Tacoma?!?!?! What do we have to do to get someone to fix that? Or at least what can we do to get permission to fix it ourselves?

Chris Anderson

We have a bunch of barely-paved or dirt roads in Portland. Let’s make them into woonerfs. You can’t really drive on them due to potholes, so they are a great candidate for community adoption and beautification.