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The Monday Roundup: The country’s biggest bike-hater and more

Posted by on June 3rd, 2013 at 10:19 am

Here’s the bike news from near and far that caught our eyes in the last week:

— Everybody’s talking about this amazing video of a Wall Street Journal editorial board member telling us what she really feels about bikesharing in New York City. Definitely worth waiting through a 15-second Honda or Chevron ad to see some of this hard-hitting journalism:

— A new report about people of color who ride bikes shows that over the last decade, bicycle use grew five times faster among African-Americans than among white Americans. (Followers of Seattle’s Sightline Institute have known this for a while.) As Streetsblog DC shows, people of all backgrounds want to ride if they only have the chance.

— L.A. Weekly profiles Margot Ocañas, the first city pedestrian coordinator for car-clogged Los Angeles, a brainy Quaker with “a nose for business” and a guerrilla sensibility for humanizing the streets.

— Fast Company hosted a Q&A with MIT scientist Sandra Richter, who’s found that bike helmet mandates tend to reduce biking and even bike safety.

— Progress continues on a dream project for Oregon bike tourists: planning to convert the Salmonberry Rail Line to a bike, horse and hiking trail, connecting our beloved Banks-Vernonia trail to the Pacific Ocean.

— Striped bike lanes tend to reduce the number of bike/auto collisions, The Oregonian reports, but not their severity – darkness and traffic speed are bigger factors in how bad a crash is. Unfortunately, the article concludes by inaccurately summarizing a recent City Club study; the piece fails to mention that the report endorsed physically separated bikeways as well as neighborhood greenways as an alternative to striped lanes on busy streets. Update: kudos to writer Joseph Rose making a quick fix.

— For the second year in a row, bike sales in Italy have outpaced car sales. A main reason is the Italian economic crash, which has forced Italians to look for ways to save money – they’re finding bikes do exactly that. (In the U.S., by the way, we buy three times as many new bikes as new cars.)

— “I didn’t even have time to tense up or touch my brakes … he came out of nowhere.” Yes, that’s what a Lane County woman told the Register-Guard last week about the giant black bear that she says darted in front of her Honda Accord. Hansen was unharmed; the bear was killed on the spot.

— Have you seen those scale maps of the world’s rail systems? Now there’s one for bike sharing systems. Check out Minneapolis, the one that’s likely to be most like Portland’s in its scale.

If you come across an important or fun bike story, send it in or Tweet @BikePortland and we’ll consider featuring it here next Monday.

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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Paul in the 'couveq`TzalEl BicicleroMichael Andersen (News Editor)"Fake Cyclist", apparently Recent comment authors
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Peter de Garmo
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Peter de Garmo

Hopefully Occupy NY will pick up on this: @ 1.41 mins the WSJ interviewer says that “citibank” racks prevent the NYFD from accessing the subway system.

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

I guess the bear was not wearing a helmet. ;-(

Nathan
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Nathan

When faced with the statistic that no pedestrian has been killed by a cyclist in the city (though 148 were in 2012 alone), Dorothy Rabinowitz still responds to stay that people riding on the sidewalk is the “most important danger in the city.” -sigh- Really?

See http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/2013/mar/18/traffic-fatalities-up-in-nyc-speeding-top-culprit-dot-says/ for NYSC traffic fatality data.

younggods
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younggods

“trashing bike share program – sponsored by chevron”

jeremy
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jeremy

HA! If Dorothy Rabinowitz “represents most of New York City” as she claims, we are all in trouble. She is so concerned about those racks blighting her beloved historic neighborhoods and blocks, and she is so worried about the safety of those poor pedestrians who have been overtaken by the “all-powerful bike lobby…” That is some of the most absurd “reporting” I have heard since my radio accidentally landed on Rush Limbaugh. 1/2 truths, fear mongering, convenient omissions, ignoring facts, and anecdotal hyperbole. Amazing. She was so fast to criticize the Mayor for having wealth she forgot to check her own situation. Not impressive.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Wow, where did they dig up that lady? She is one of the most pretentious, negative, biased, and just all-around terrible person I have ever seen speak.

She makes it sound like the world is literally ending with the launch of bikeshare. What a terrible existence she must live.

spare_wheel
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spare_wheel

“Striped bike lanes tend to reduce the number of bike/auto collisions”

And physically-separated facilities tend to increase the number of injury accidents that require hospitalization.

anon1q2w3e4r5t
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anon1q2w3e4r5t

I believe I’m the country’s biggest bike-share hater; after all, it’s my goal to end bike sharing in our country, especially CitiBike. But, Dorothy Rabinowitz’s assessment of bicycling in NYC is totally out of line.

Basically, her stance is that scofflaw bicyclists break the rules of the road, therefore, bicycling is bad. Instead of being against bicycling, why doesn’t she complain to the NYPD for not enforcing the rules of the road when the scofflaw bicyclists break them? Simply, illogical!

Also, I find Chevron’s ad, before the video starts, a bit ironic. Their slogan underneath their logo says, “Human Energy”. “Human Energy” = bicycles, “Fossil Fuels” = automobiles.

NO TO BIKE SHARING!, YES FOR REAL BICYCLISTS!

Zaphod
Guest

I watched the NY video also and… I simply wonder where does her frustration and anger come from? I mean, distill it down, what is at the core of it? Does she feel her way of life is threatened? What is it?

are
Guest

i did think rabinovitz’ complaint about putting the blue citibank logo all over the city was well taken.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Definitely worth waiting through a 15-second ad Honda or Chevron ad to see some of this hard-hitting journalism

Is there any doubt why?

Craig Harlow
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Craig Harlow

See the interviewer’s expression, how she seems to regard Rabinowitz as a cute little old thing. Seems to be no journalism going on here, just an open mic for a very tired lines of propaganda, plus some new ones: “THE BIKE LOBBY IS ALL-POWERFUL!”

wade
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wade

i love the use of “begrimed.” God bless all the bike share begrimers.

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

Note to van-paul-couv:

A Brompton could do everything you cavil in your second comment, and you would have it with you whenever you need to ride.

Also it would be a real bike, and a joy to ride, not the God-awful trash that Mia and her troops are foisting.

But hey, NYC is NYC! Everything is way down-market there! Even the bike snobs!

gutterbunny
Guest

So not to change the subject or anything, but the last two “Monday Round Ups” have featured some interesting helmet stats/info, and no dedicated articles? Poor facts being tucked away and hidden under a false banner of news thats happening 3000 miles away. Come on now.

Back on the susposed subject, I got a garage full of bikes and I’d sign up for a citibank bike. I could ride around and get sign up for a refi at the same time.

Seriously though I like the idea, I could perhaps (not that I would) ditch a bike or two in the stable if we had a bike share here. It would be alot easier and less of a hassle than my folder, which granted is doable, but it’s a pain in the butt reguardless of what brand you get.

Though I’m sure the stations would block fire truck access to the Tram.

AlphaMonk
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AlphaMonk

“I represent the majority of New Yorkers… and New Yorkers are appalled that we can’t shoot hippies from our luxury apartment balconies for the benefit of society… because the TOTALITARIANS in charge won’t allow us this freedom!”

mark kenseth
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mark kenseth

Not sure if this was mentioned: WSJ is owned by News Corp = Rupert Murdoch. Like Fox News, the WSJ will say whatever they think will get people to think that their freedom is being “begrimed.” I couldn’t get through the video.