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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on April 1st, 2013 at 10:47 am

Movie-makers in LA are whining over green lanes.
(LA Times screenshot)

Welcome to Monday. If you missed some of the great bike stories last week, fear not: The links below will bring you right up to date…

— One of pro bike racing’s biggest stars has pinched into some controversy after grabbing the rear-end of a podium girl following the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.

— The Project for Public Spaces calculated the Walk Score for each state’s DOT headquarters. It wasn’t pretty.

— The debate over how bikeshare can/can’t coexist with bike rental shops is one that just won’t go away.

— Best Onion article in a long time focuses on a new report from the US DOT that finds it’s, “pretty goddamn shocking that we let citizens operate 4,000-pound machines capable of going 200 mph.”

— A daily newspaper site from the Netherlands warns of “bike chaos” in Amsterdam due to streets clogged with bikes. I might be headed there in a few months so I look forward to delving into this issue myself.

— Seems like there’s a growing awareness around the world of the many societal ills brought on by a car-dominated transportation system. On This Big City, a London livable streets activist opines about the inherent inequality of such systems (includes neat graphs!).

— Here’s a fun resource for all you cargo-bike lovers: The Museum of Tradesman’s Delivery Bikes.

— Check out this fantastic hack that shows you how to make a kids balance bike out of a couple IKEA bar stools.

More giveaways for electric cars. When will cities realize that “green cars” are still cars and come with many/most of same negative externalities that gas-guzzlers have always had?

— Richard at Cyclelicious delves into the oft-repeated stat that 40% of all trips are two miles or less. What’s amazing is that when you look at car-only trips, that number rises to 69%.

— It’s the same old “debate” playing out in San Francisco. The City wants to improve bike access on an important downtown street and some folks act like the sky is falling. In this case, the LA Times shows their lack of understanding about transportation issues by bringing up SF’s high-profile manslaughter case of a man on a bike who struck and killed a woman who was walking on the street.

— And here’s a critique of that LA Times piece by a San Francisco bike blogger.

— And the LA Times struck again when they gave space to another non-troversy: This time it’s about movie location scouts pushing for removal of green bike lanes downtown because they say it makes it hard to shoot old-timey movies.

— A really solid National Bike Summit recap from an unlikely source: Noted national bicycle racing announcer and advocate Richard Fries.

— Speaking of the Summit, here’s an update on the lobbying effort we took part in on Capitol Hill: “Dozens in Congress Press for Nat’l Bike and Pedestrian Safety Goals, Measurement.”

— And just this morning, US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced that Tampa and Minneapolis will host the bike safety summits he promised to hold.

— In San Jose, CA a group of folks have inked a deal on a permanent cyclocross arena. I love the sound of that.

— Looks like our friends in Washington are really starting to realize what a terrible project the CRC is.

— From London, a cautionary tale about how narrowing roads might not always be a great idea for bicycling.

— The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new report on road traffic injuries and it’s equal parts alarming, depressing, and frustrating.

— Everybody’s talking about the Bike Spike, a new product on Kickstarter that promises to tap into your phone’s GPS and accelerometer to do all types of useful stuff — from theft recovery to automatically crash reporting.

— Did you know that a bill in the Oregon House would create a massive “private tollway” freeway project from I-5 near Wilsonville through Willamette Valley farmland and out to the coast?

— Great. Portland’s parking controversy has gone national with an AP story titled, Dilemma for Bike-Crazy Portland: Parking for Cars.

— And we’ll end this week with a breath of fresh air for just down the valley in Eugene, Oregon. That city’s main daily newspaper, the Eugene Register-Guard penned an editorial titled making the case that “Bicyclists aren’t free riders” and the “Notion that bicyclists don’t pay their way is wrong.”

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  • Andrew K April 1, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Since the LA Times is up for sale, it looks like they are doing their best to appeal to a potential buyer by presenting the typical “us vs. them” type story telling.

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  • John Lascurettes April 1, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Regarding the “podium girl”, it’s bad enough that there is a practice of having them up with the winner as if they were some piece of the prize like a trophy. That’s the first piece of the objectification puzzle. Sagan just made it worse – but he didn’t start it.

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    • Andrew K April 1, 2013 at 11:54 am

      totally agree!

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    • Chainwhipped April 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Yup. That was pretty brazen of Petr, and he definitely shouldn’t have done it. Still, I wonder if the rest of us would look like perfect people under the public celebrity microscope?

      I don’t know anybody who hasn’t made an a$$ of themselves at some point in life. How lucky most of us are that our transgressions are not so newsworthy.

      If only we made such a big deal about celebrity vehicular assault as we do about nipple slips and butt-pinching.

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    • Spiffy April 2, 2013 at 11:01 am

      to me it looks like the podium girl started it by planting one on the winner…

      the girl shouldn’t even be up there in the first place…

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  • L April 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Totally disagree! He put his hand on her. Uninvited. And not on her arm, either. Unacceptable. It’s irrelevant whether he “started it” or not.

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    • John Lascurettes April 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      The whole practice of podium “girl”s should be totally unacceptable. Like I said, Sagan made it worse. To parade women as if they’re meat trophies for the winner is rather anachronistic and patriarchal to begin with.

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      • Patty in Portland April 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm

        I cringe every time I see young women dressed up like trophies doing the double-sided kiss on race winners. I tend to avoid watching the presentations at the end of races because of it. Isn’t it long past time that we stopped using women as decorations?

        Peter Sagan should have had more class than to touch that young woman and then mug for the camera like a schoolboy.

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      • longgone April 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        I think we understood your point the first time.

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  • dan April 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Parking-free apartments are a good thing…but I think they need a parking permit system in that neighborhood, with permits not available for residents of those buildings. The point is not subsidizing the developers with free street parking, but creating viable walking-oriented and dense communities. Pushing a bunch of additional cars into street parking does not achieve that goal.

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    • davemess April 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Yet Dan, those older homes have been subsidized with free street parking for decades (many without a driveway and/or garage). And those homeowners have not complained as their property values have drastically gone up over the last 20 years. You just can’t have your cake and eat it too.

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  • Shane April 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    ” the Eugene Register-Guard penned an editorial titled making the case that “Bicyclists aren’t free riders”…”

    …with some typical responses in the comments of course.

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  • ty April 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Has anyone heard about bob huckaby and his stupid law he was pushing??

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  • Pete April 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Bike Spike looks like a cool idea! Now that Garmin has gone all soft-key on us you could build the Bike Spike to be ANT+-compatible and relay speed/cadence/power data back to an app on a cradled smartphone. An open API is a good thing too, as it can hold your place in future innovations. I’ve been waiting for the world of connected cycling computers to get its act together, particularly in the form of open APIs on the server side so data can be shared between service providers (like Garmin Connect ,MapMyRide, Strava, Plus3Network, etc.) and I don’t have to upload the same TCX files repeatedly. Remember what Google taught us: own the data and you can make the rules.

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  • Al from PA April 2, 2013 at 12:16 am

    [snip] In Utrecht, the situation is so acute commuters may start travelling to work by car again,

    This makes no sense–there’s room for cars but not for bikes?

    My impression when visiting Amsterdam is that people don’t love their bikes enough. I know this sounds ridiculous–but the bike is more than just a “transparent” way to get around. You have to care for it. The real crux of the bike overcrowding is the sheer number of abandoned bikes–the owners don’t care about them once they’re finished with them, and the authorities don’t care enough about them to reclaim and recycle them.

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  • Nancy Baumeister April 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Regarding % of trips traveled by bike.

    I think that the National Transportation Survey ( defines a trip as a movement from one address to another. Thus, someone who leaves from home to pick up the kids at soccer (first trip) then stops at the grocery store on the way back (second trip) and then drops one kid off at a friends house (third trip) and only then goes back home (fourth trip) would be recorded as having made 4 trips. Each trip may be about 2 miles but the total distance traveled would be closer to 8 miles.

    You can

    Moving into advocacy mode- I try to drive as little as possible, for my own health and enjoyment and for the health of the planet.

    My method for reducing my travel by car is to log all trips by vehicle and then analyze them by whether or not I could have biked (by my personal arbitrary and changing criteria). I have set a goal of biking more miles than I drive, so that is a powerful incentive to move a trip from the “drove” column to the “biked” column.

    My criteria for “bikable” have expanded over the years in terms of the distance that is comfortable and pleasurable to bike and also my options for carrying things.

    As in most aspects of life, attention and effort over time will allow one to reach a goal.

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    • are April 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      thanks for that clarification. by that definition, i rarely make more than one or two “trips” in a day, since i chain everything, carrying appropriate changes of clothing for various activities, and saving the perishable groceries for the last leg.

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