Posted by Michael Andersen (Contributor) 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.