Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup: E-trikes, ‘Hobocop’ and more

Posted by on August 5th, 2013 at 9:25 am

Photo from bicycledesign.net.

Here’s the bike news from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Recumbent e-trike: George Cooper’s school project is clean, accessible and looks like an X-Wing fighter.

Three cheers for Hobocop: Next time you’re in Edmonton, look for a guy on the side of the street with a handwritten cardboard sign that says “Hello, I am a police officer, if you are on your cellphone right now, you are about to get a ticket.”

Sidewalk superhero: “‘Are you Peatónito?’ asked a little girl. ‘I am he.'” A man in a Mexican wrestling mask who calls himself “Little Pedestrian” is defending Mexico City by pushing cars out of crosswalks and hoisting motorcycles off sidewalks.

The cop’s guide to bikes: A retired officer from Coon Rapids, Minn., writes in Law and Order Magazine about how police should think about bikes. The No. 1 traffic violation to ticket people on bikes for, he says: riding against traffic.

No building is safe: Over four years, one in five 7-Eleven storefronts was damaged after cars crashed into them, usually by people who hit the wrong pedal. It’s a huge problem, and the Storefront Safety Council is here to help.

Silent majority? If you’re a city councilperson and only 70 percent of the crowd who showed up to your hearing is against your idea, you’ve probably got most of the city behind you, estimates bike-walk advocate and former Vancouver BC councilman Gordon Price.

Serial killer: Philadelphia mom Samara Banks, 28, and her three young sons were killed crossing the 12-lane highway that runs through their neighborhood after she decided not to call a taxi for a one-mile trip home, as she often does.

“25 mph”: The speed limit on this massive Washington DC neighborhood street would be a joke if the street weren’t lethal.

Just trust us: Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) must be a pretty big believer in the government’s ability to make smart choices on instinct, because he wants to waive environmental review of highway megaprojects.

I-84 widening: The other end of our local interstate, in Connecticut, is being widened — for $167 million per mile.

Sprawl and the poverty cycle: A new study shows sprawling cities like Atlanta are far worse at helping poor children get richer than dense ones like San Francisco. Portland’s in the middle of the pack.

Power injury: Seattle city councilman Richard Conlin, 65, was hurt by a collision last week while biking to a Democratic Party picnic.

E-bikes boost the case for safety: For people under age 60, e-bikes seem to be safer to use per mile traveled than other bikes. But by broadening the biking population, eBikes are also bringing older and statistically more vulnerable folks into bike lanes.

Alta’s equipment, reviewed: The Bay Area’s LadyFleur looks closely the bikeshare vehicles on their way to her area and, eventually, ours.

Colleges and bikesharing: Why does Columbus already have a bikesharing program? Because bikesharing fits perfectly into college life, and Ohio State has 56,000 students.

Bikesharing late fees: At an average of $2 per trip for each daypass user in Chicago, they’re a key part of a system’s profitability, Divvy Bike data shows.

Bikes and community: “A bike lane is another way to make a neighborhood feel like a neighborhood.”

Parking to patios: Toronto just turned a bunch of commercial auto parking into nice-looking public benches.

Low-car L.A.: Last week we reported that low-car households accounted for an estimated 60 percent of Portland’s growth since 2005. In Los Angeles, the figure is 90 percent.

The amazing costs of commuting: The next time you or anyone you care about says they can’t afford to live near work, thinking about the five statistics in this video might put things in perspective.

Bike tourism: “The most obvious and natural thing to do in Portland is ride a bike,” writes AM New York in a travel article about how Portland has “something for everyone.” Yep.

Bubble wrap bike: Nothing is more likely to become your video of the week than an idea whose time has come:

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • lazyofay August 5, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Hobocop. Finally, a police sting I can wholeheartedly support.

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    • 9watts August 5, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Better yet–hire the actually homeless to do the ticket writing.
      Result: more tickets & less cell phone use while driving at much lower cost.

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  • Spiffy August 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

    HoboCop: this is awesome! when can we get some?

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  • Jonathan Gordon August 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

    “Serial killer” seems kind of glib for such a tragic set of deaths. I think the facts of the story — mom is killed with three of her four children after opting to attempt to walk a mile home rather than take her customary precautionary taxi ride — stand on their own without additional sensationalism.

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    • q`Tzal August 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Please back off the headache inducing headline hyperbole.

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  • Anne Hawley August 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    The bubble wrap bike is ridiculous and wasteful and yet strangely charming.

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    • longgone August 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Wasteful? …Why ?
      Because bubble wrap is a precious commodity ?
      Quite frankly I think this is a most interesting existential statement to the contrary…
      Bubble wrap should be flung into our world, out of its protected elements, filling our physical reality with its translucent,entrancing ,suffocating comfort and allure, until finally overwhelmed by its sheer existence we as a common people destroy it forever… Never to be again.
      Death to bubble wrap!
      One bubble bike at a time.

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    • Spiffy August 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      I thought it was cool until I realized it was leaving a trail of bubble wrap… I thought it was popping it while on the roll… it needs a receiving wheel in the back to roll up the popped wrap…

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    • pdxpaul August 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      My thought was wasteful. Some bong-inspired ideas should remain just that, ideas. You Tube is number 3 on the list of why we can’t have nice things.

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    • John Lascurettes August 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Note: he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Didn’t need one! 🙂

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  • bikesalot August 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    The recumbent e-trike is way TOO “clean”. Lacking fenders on the front wheels, the rider will be anything but clean. I believe it was proposed as a bike for local shopping, etc, but there is no sign of significant cargo capacity.

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    • Chris I August 6, 2013 at 9:31 am

      All they need to do is extend the trailing edge structure in the rear. You would have a nice enclosed triangular space and it would help the aerodynamics.

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  • q`Tzal August 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Um… that e-trike may be “futuristic” looking but it looks NOTHING like an X-Wing.
    From any angle.
    At all.
    Maybe LSD and Dark Side of the Moon is required to get the X-Wing resemblance.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) August 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      OK, OK. I guess it just looks like a generic cockpit.

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      • q`Tzal August 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        Don’t get me wrong: I think it looks cool in a “what would an e-trike prototype from Apple Design Dept” look like sort of way.
        Perhaps that is what could get people out of their cars: a HPV or electric/HPV hybrid that looks “sexy” (marketing speak sexy – still turns my stomach) to normal people that feel they need a status symbol to lord over everyone else.

        I want a trike faired to look like the spaceship from Flight of the Navigator 🙂

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        • longgone August 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

          That ebike could be one the most interesting answers to all of our urban drunk driving issues. I for one cannot wait to try one out after a fun night of pint chugging!
          Think about it.
          And lest anyone thinks about jumping down my throat for this thought..I will remind them we live in the “bike fun capitol” of the world, which also plays host to a self prescribed title of being the modern day ground zero for craft beer.
          I am willing to bet that 89% of you have ridden your bicycles encumbered with alcohol, at or above the legal limit, at least once……if not a lot .
          Happy tipsy people in smaller lighter vehicles, still in awareness of the elements with its beautiful open canopy. The radio pumping some tunes, (not so loud that ambient surrounding are lost of course).
          Manageable and fun speeds close to the ground, enhancing the sense of speed.
          A lightweight package that would reduce injury and deaths to all involved, if things go truly amok.
          Hell ya. I want one, why not.
          I am getting old too, so I am seeing a certain allure for many reasons.
          And BTW,… a matching trailer would take care of all the liquid cargo carrying concerns some of you seem to have.
          Not all of us want a bakfiet.

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          • q`Tzal August 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm

            I’ve always thought Bicycling Under the Influence as a self solving problem: unlike driving, staying upright on two wheels in motion requires the sort of skills that alcohol traditionally impair.
            The distance to which a truly wasted cyclist can statistically get to and the increased skill required to successfully ride a two wheel bike would suggest that most drunk cyclists will wipe out themselves alone within ¼mile of the bar.

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            • longgone August 7, 2013 at 9:18 am

              Geez, then I must possess very special skills!
              Not the case for me at all…
              Perhaps your aforementioned propensity for hallucinogens is the difference?
              I for one, cannot pedal two feet, let alone walk anywhere, once the the wave of confusion from lysergic acid hits my brain.

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              • q`Tzal August 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm

                Nah, I’m as clean as Sheldon Cooper but that’s mainly because I have all of the extreme drunk stereotypes in my family. Plus the fact that the grups grew up during the Woodstock era someone had to try no drugs to see what happens.
                Those close to me would say I need to be tested 😛

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    • matt picio August 6, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Looks more like a Tron light cycle than an X-Wing.

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  • q`Tzal August 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    From the Atlantic article that scooped JM in the comments about building safety:
    This article neglects to explore the buildings’ culpability for their attacks on cars. I happen to know that not one of them was wearing a helmet, which is a dead giveaway. See here for more: http://buildsafe.tumblr.com/

    These are Hi-larious!

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  • Pete August 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Seems like Conlin is taking a good attitude about his crash. I had a close call last year when a lost motorist decided to turn right without looking or signalling on a no-right-turn road (I was doing about 30 MPH and still can’t believe I managed to avoid hitting his hood, but for a passenger in the back seat who saw me and yelled). I don’t know that I’d have handled it so well – much respect Richard Conlin and hope you recover fully and soon!

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