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The Monday Roundup: Right hooks in Copenhagen, Facebook town and more

Posted by on October 7th, 2013 at 10:25 am

The ice. sensor measures skull impacts.

Here’s the bike-related news that caught our eyes this week:

Trauma detector: A new product that attaches to your helmet immediately detects “if the force of the impact you are experiencing is consistent with a concussion or major head trauma”.

Forest mountain biking: “The local forest is like an amusement park, where you get to select your desired level of difficulty or excitement.”

Simulated city: Two years after moving into its suburban campus, Facebook is responding to its workers’ housing preferences (and Silicon Valley’s code-enforced sprawl) by developing a 394-apartment building for its employees, a five-minute bike ride from its headquarters.

Rethink Paris: Since 2001, “185 acres of Paris’s streets have been given over to cyclists, sidewalks have been widened, parking has been restricted, and many public spaces have been redesigned” as part of the French capital’s citywide campaign to make the most of some of the planet’s most beloved neighborhoods. It’s also transferring the right of way on some streets entirely to people on foot.

L.A. biking: The Los Angeles Times editorial page declares itself “pro-bike” and endorses reallocating road space for biking in order to reduce the damage done by excessive car use.

Latina bike group: A group of Latina bikers are challenging L.A.’s “macho cycling culture” … by having fun while being themselves.

Police cars in bike lanes: A concept that was born to tumbl.

Buy a coffee, get a bike: A group of cafes in the Czech Republic’s second-largest city have had “no problems with abuse or theft” since starting a program that offers a free day-long folding bike rental with a cup of coffee.

Copenhagen right hooks: Though the Danish biking capital remains far safer per trip than U.S. cites, it’s had a string of right-hook fatalities this year.

Mandatory single file: A Georgia lawmaker who said his constituents are annoyed by slow-moving bikes is solving the problem by introducing a law to ban riding side by side. He also wants to require bike license plates, for good measure.

“I am not a cyclist,” writes a Vancouver man. “I am no more an avid cyclist than I am an avid walker or avid eater.”

No more ‘Allies’:Actions count, labels don’t,” writes Black Girl Dangerous writer Mia McKenzie in a case against the term. Relevant to fighting racism as it is fighting for better transportation.

Cars vs bees: Diesel exhaust “zaps the aromas” of flowers, confusing and starving bees, research has found.

Mobile tech vs driving: Here are four reasons smartphones are cutting the demand for driving.

Highway texting: Illinois State Police issued 135 citations for texting while driving in 2.5 hours on Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway last month. A similar enforcement in England had similar results.

Bikes on commuter rail: TriMet’s WES line is among the majority of U.S. commuter rail systems that now allow bikes on board.

Google Glass tricks: The new on-your-face hardware makes a sweet on-bike camera and more, says Bikehugger’s DL Byron. Intel, by the way, is investing in a competitor that’s aimed squarely at the bike market.

Road-rage stabbing in Springfield: A man driving a truck in Springfield, Ore., allegedly chased a man on bicycle down after a road-rage incident and attacked him. The man on the bike then pulled a knife and stabbed his assailant, police said.

Electric cargo bikes: With e-assists growing in the U.S., can they make cargo and family biking mainstream?

Toll hike: New York’s Tappan Zee bridge project got a smaller federal loan than expected and may have to make up the difference with “far higher tolls” than predicted.

Dumb bike ban: Congested Kolkata is wondering if maybe banning nonmotorized vehicles from major streets wasn’t such a good idea.

Oil city casualty: A drunk driver whose vehicle killed Dubai triathlete Roy Nasr got a month in jail and a $54,000 fine.

Is safety ignored? Shaken by the traffic death Thursday of cyclocross pro Amy Dombroski, Tim Blumenthal of national advocacy group PeopleForBikes argues in a much-shared essay that our enthusiasm for boosting biking shouldn’t keep us from talking about safety — or modeling safe and legal behavior ourselves.

Awkward cargo: A Brazilian soccer star is being lambasted after being filmed pedaling slowly on a flat gravel path while carrying a young child in one arm. Admittedly, it’s not clear how much fun the kid is having, but this outrageous behavior is your video of the week:

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

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  • 9watts October 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Curious that all those police cars parked in NYC bike lanes say police police twice twice. Perhaps the guy who made up the decals didn’t realize what the ‘P’ in the first half of NYPD Police stands for. Or maybe he’s the same guy who makes all the signs that say ATM Machine?

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    • Pete October 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Ford Quality! Government Assistance! Oh wait… different concept. 😉

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    • Spiffy October 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      more like saying NCR cash machine…

      They’re the NYPD, and they’re the police… the sticker isn’t saying they’re the NYPD Police… if they didn’t say police then out-of-area people wouldn’t know… they they didn’t say NYPD then people wouldn’t know they were the city’s police…

      they probably have other NYPD vehicles they don’t use for policing…

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      • 9watts October 8, 2013 at 9:19 am

        “the sticker isn’t saying they’re the NYPD Police”

        Hm. Maybe we’re looking at different images, but that is precisely what all the vehicles at that site were labeled as.

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  • 9watts October 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    135 tickets in 150 minutes either involves a rather sizable team of cops or they are much quicker about taking care of business than Oregon cops or both.

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  • Dan October 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    My bike multi-tool doesn’t come with a knife. Darn.

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  • Pete October 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    So Facebook is getting into residential real estate? Not so unwise, though definitely at an inflated time. Menlo Park put the hammer down on them when they announced last year they were hiring thousands of people, but residents were up in arms because it means thousands more cars on the few single-lane roads leading into town. I suspect many of these same people would be up in arms if they were asked to help fund bike lanes on these same roads though.

    Bike commuting really is what I call the “best kept secret” in Si Valley. Where I live in the south bay there are many wide lanes and shoulders, and ridership counts (on BTW day) are up ~25% annually since I moved here in 2009. The weather is nice most of the year, there are few hills (unless you want them ;), and most companies have gyms/showers and even secure bike parking. I think the biggest thing keeping people away is simply perception that it’s dangerous due to cars.

    Employers take note: those of us who do commute by bike in the Valley will almost always factor that in our employment decisions (even factored into my decision to move away from Portland).

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  • PorterStout October 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Man, you weren’t kidding: “The Times’ editorial page is pro-bike. We have noted repeatedly and with approval that cycling reduces traffic, cuts fossil fuel use and pollution and improves the health of those who do it; in fact, it’s beneficial in so many ways that cities, especially those such as Los Angeles that are beset by automotive-related problems, should go to great lengths to encourage it”. Now that’s what we’re talking about!

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  • gutterbunnybikes October 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Loved the “I’m Am Not a Cyclist” piece. Rings very true to my riding style/philosophy, though I’ll willing to admit Idaho stops and sidewalk riding. But Otherwise it’s always been my riding style, and attitude.

    And props to the Ovarian Psyco Cycles.

    And I’d love to see a local crack down on texting here. Would be better time served by PPD than a crack down on Ladds.

    And as for being attacked while on a bicycle. U-locks and chains (heck even cables) make for some pretty potent improv weapons if need be.

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  • Alexis October 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Although I think it’s accurate to say that overall the Silicon Valley sprawl is code-enforced, it’s pertinent to note that there is incredibly strong cultural opposition in Menlo Park in particular to densification. It’s been proposed and rejected because there are so many people there who want to preserve their sense that they live in a magical 19th century town. I am not kidding, they actually believe this. It’s pretty nuts. (Also Atherton, but there aren’t many businesses there.)

    There’s also the routine opposition because of PARKING!!! and PROPERTY VALUES!!! and OMG NON-RICH PEOPLE!!! of course.

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    • Pete October 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Si Valley sprawl is a snowball dating back to wartime technology research (and funding) and post-war population boom (plus the weather doesn’t suck). Actually my experience with planning in CA versus OR is that parking requirements are stricter there, which leads me to believe sprawl is more economically feasible there (for developers) than density. I think sprawl here just pre-dates density, whereas Portland’s growth is from a more recent exodus.

      Funny what you say about MP… I dated a girl there and experienced that attitude firsthand (her and snooty neighbors upstaging Palo Alto, etc.). I was once stopped, handcuffed, and searched leaving her house at 12 AM driving a Ford Econoline with Oregon plates – officer said I was driving suspiciously slowly (in a residential zone with speed bumps and 20 MPH limits) and that people in the area typically don’t drive vans (or slow for that matter… ;).

      Atherton, on the other hand, can afford to believe what they want.

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