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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on April 15th, 2013 at 10:23 am

A Bloody Trambles

Nope. That’s not going to work.
(Photo the Magnificent Octopus/Flickr)

Here’s the local and national bike news that caught our eyes this past week…

— Our friends in New York City are freaking out right now because their Citibike bike share system is hitting the streets and membership is now open.

— With a bold plan laid out by London Mayor Boris Johnson, everyone should keep their eye on how/if he’ll be able to deliver on his promises. Here’s a good update from the Cycle London City blog.

— More good news from Chicago: They plan to go beyond parking or bollard-protected bike lanes and build some of their new bikeways as grade-separated paths.

— Remember when Rob Anderson singlehandedly stopped the City of San Francisco from installing any bikeways? Now it looks like he’s inspired a man in Boston named Eric Berger, who has already spent $40,000 of his own money to keep bikeways off the streets near his home.

— On a similar note, this anti-bike rant in the Toronto Sun is one of the best I’ve ever read.

— And precisely because those types of rants are becoming old hat with the same old out-of-touch perspectives, a blogger at The Guardian has supplied the “anti-bike lobby” with new ammunition.

— Portland’s Bureau of Transportation does a lot of crosswalk enforcements using human decoys to bust violators. Atlantic Cities took a closer look at whether or not that actually improves behaviors.

— Here’s a more novel measure to improve law compliance and traffic safety: Some folks in London have resorted to dressing up like cops while riding to make people drive more safely.

— Check out this nightmarish streetcar/bus/bike/taxi lane in Edinburgh, Scotland. The person who took the photo called it a “bloody trambles” and said, “I’m appalled.”

— Portland has bike-through windows, but we’ve never had anything like this bicycle drive-in cafe that has popped up in Zurich.

— US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood breaks down the transportation portion of President Obama’s proposed budget. There are some bright spots in there but I haven’t heard a peep about any programs dedicated solely to bicycling and walking.

— And Sec. LaHood posted the full video from the first of two Bike Safety Summits that took place in Tampla, Florida last week.

— Check out these nifty bicycle planning ideas that are up for a prize at Velo City 2013 (which takes place in June in Vienna).

— If you’ve always wanted to ride around Copenhagen but simply can’t make it over there; check out this fun new tool called Cyclodeo. It puts you in the rider’s seat on of some of the busiest bike routes in the world.

— Bicycle-friendly business district expert April Economides is up for a big grant as part of the Good LA 2050 planning effort. Go over and vote for her project!

— Great news for local bike touring and randonneuring fans: 1) SunTour is coming back with a specific focus on those two disciplines and 2) Adventure Cycling has completely revamped their website!

— This “modest proposal” delivered as an open letter to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is right after my own heart. The guy is asking for one — just one — street in the city to be set-aside as a bike-only thoroughfare.

— NYPD officers ticketing people on bikes for using the Hudson River Greenway after 1:00 am is the latest sign that no matter how far New York City progresses as a bike city they still have to deal with a police department that seems unable to get on board.

— Some certifiable smart people said bicycle advocates would be wise to read this Salon article on how the NRA — initially mocked for seeming so out of touch in the gun debate — has re-framed the discussion to their advantage.

— The Oregonian had an update on the I-5 widening plan that’s not called the CRC.

— And local transportation reporter Michael Andersen of Portland Afoot shared four lessons from the Williams Ave project on how advocates and planners should handle projects when race and gentrification are part of the picture.

If you come across a noteworthy bike story, get in touch and we’ll consider adding it to next week’s Roundup. Thanks!

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  • Andrew K April 15, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I think the article in the Boston Biker you posted goes all the way back to 2010. I’d be curious to find out if $40,000 was enough to stop the bike improvements on that street or if he just ended up flushing it down the toilet.

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    • cycler April 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

      The situation in Arlington MA is still not completely resolved. The town voted on a non-binding resolution about bike lanes last week, which very narrowly failed (51 to 49%) However the same election brought in a very pro- lanes city councilor in the affected district, and defeated a staunch opponent of the lanes. The general hope of advocates is that the city will ignore the vote and go forward with the plan which includes the lanes, otherwise they would forfeit federal funding for the project.

      Unfortunately residents are considering suing on another local project which would remove parking on one side of the busiest bicycle route in the region in order to create a cycletrack. We’ll just have to hope that this does not become a recurring theme in bicycle advocacy.

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  • Andrew Seger April 15, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I dunno, the scottish shared lane doesn’t look that horrible. Imagine if they did that with all the streetcar tracks in Portland. This would be an improvement from what’s there now.

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    • Erinne April 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Indicating that bikes should ride between the streetcar tracks would be an improvement? Can you explain that please?

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      • spare_wheel April 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm

        for those of us who ride between street car tracks this would be an improvement.

        “indicating that bikes should ride between the streetcar tracks”

        a facility indicates that bikes *CAN* ride between streetcar tracks. considering the honks i have received when doing so downtown i would welcome this kind of a facility.

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        • Erinne April 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

          Personally, I think it’s a very bad idea to suggest that with painted sharrows. Too many riders fall that way. It’s great that you feel like you’re safe enough to do so spare_wheel, but it seems irresponsible to point the general biking public in that direction.

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          • Alan 1.0 April 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm

            Maybe that bike logo means to only ride between the tracks if you have square wheels? 😉

            (No, wouldn’t be my choice of where to ride, either.)

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      • Andrew Seger April 16, 2013 at 12:51 am

        I mean reserving streets in Portland for just bikes and transit. The streetcar tracks are already there and (unfortunately) aren’t going away. It would be a big improvement if we at least had a lane that was closed to private automobiles.

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  • BURR April 15, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Someone should write a book of Mad Libs for both the pro and anti cycling zealots.

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  • spare_wheel April 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    This statement from the letter to McGinn annoyed me:

    “by the fact that it keeps cyclists “out of the way” of busier/faster streets.”

    I can just see the signs on Pike-Pine:
    Cyclists not allowed! Please use bike street 7 blocks over.

    IMO, mode share will never increase until we are willing to inconvenience motorists. Eliminate or calm SOVs and the need for cycling ghettos lessens. Dutch cities had cycling mode share in the 70-80% range without any fancy separated infrastructure during the ’50s!

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  • grimm April 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I love that proposal of dedicating one street.
    I think Portland has done a lot of great things, but our multi-modal approach can feel overly confusing. Like our bus mall just has so much going on, I avoid it on two wheels.

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