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The Monday Roundup: Spain’s new touring paths, Ford’s urban shift & more

Posted by on January 27th, 2014 at 8:42 am

Where would I go without you?

The Andalucian road.
(Photo by Leo Hidalgo.)

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

Economic engines: Andalucia, Spain, is making a major play to boost its economy with bike tourism with a plan to build 3,200 miles of bike paths by 2020.

Auto futurism: At the Detroit Auto Show this month, Ford Motor Company’s CEO said that adding more cars in big cities is “not going to work” and suggested his company is looking into new products related to public transit and/or car sharing.

Bike curiosity: What’s the most exciting research subject in American transportation right now? Bicycles. These two writers counted.

Women biking: Did you know that women make up 55 percent of Generation X bicycling consumers? I didn’t.

Driver training: The teen driver’s ed program in Chattanooga, Tenn., now includes a walk across downtown, a bike ride and a bus trip.

Cute cars: Elly Blue’s column about her obsession with the car icons on her new favorite handbag is weird and maybe brilliant.

Red light runners: A huge traffic-light study from New Zealand finds that almost all bikers who run lights in that country do so in order to get a head start on dangerous traffic; only a tiny minority fail to stop altogether.

Reckless driving:Reckless driving, circa 2014, is what drunk driving was prior to 1980,” a medical professor argues: “poorly defined in the law, sometimes poorly investigated by police and almost never results in a criminal charge.”

License requirements: A law tightening ID requirements for drivers’ license applications has done basically nothing to change the number of uninsured drivers.

Amsterdamize yourself: Momentum has an interesting guide to riding a bike in a city where it’s almost as common as walking.

Biking to transit: The popularity of bike-plus-transit trips is forcing transit planners to rewrite their models for how many riders a new line will attract.

Vegas messengers: Armed with smartphones, bike couriers are looking to expand their business in Las Vegas. (Their most common cargo: food.)

Mapping poison: The Danes are so good at tracking air pollution that they can calculate the toxin levels at any given street address.

Covering crashes: In Columbia Journalism Review, Tom Vanderbilt asks how local reporting of traffic collisions could get better.

Mandatory flashiness: A UK politician who supports mandatory high-viz vests and registration numbers for bikers doesn’t look like she’s enjoying her own bike very much.

Bad traffic projections: This amazing chart illustrating the ridiculousness of federal highway planning has been making the rounds for a while. Don’t miss it.

Good gentrification? A provocative series of studies suggest that as neighborhoods get richer, longtime low-income residents actually move out of them less frequently, and their credit scores go up — even if they’re renters.

Less youth driving: National Geographic summarizes the four leading theories about the sharp youth driving decline; all four are is almost certainly at work.

Train adventure: A biking tourist from Iowa was nervous when he brought his fully bagged folding bike on Amtrak, but it worked out just fine.

Car racers for road safety: From Louis Chevrolet to Jimmie Johnson, “there’s long and almost symbiotic relationship between cycling and race car driving.” That’s one reason a bunch of auto racers are taking time to promote safe driving around bikes.

Vision Zero: “One minute they are walking to work, or home, or to the grocery store; the next moment, they are in the hospital, and their life has changed irrevocably,” writes ER doctor Kaushal Shah, calling the elimination of traffic fatalities a “moral necessity” in the New York Daily News.

Dumb law: Oops! A Class 6 felony in Virginia intended to fight masked crime also forbids wearing them in cold weather. The state’s bike advocates are trying to change that.

Bike share bankruptcy: If you want to understand the basics of why Alta Bicycle Share’s main supplier entered bankruptcy protection last week and what it means for bikeshare, there’s no better way than to spend these four minutes with NPR, interviewing the leading reporter on the subject.

Finally, your video of the week was inspired by this amazing police memo titled “safety tips for pedestrian”:

Pedestrian Safety Tips from Anna Zivarts on Vimeo.

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.

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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BIKELEPTIC
Guest

OHMAGERD. That person in the video may be more likely to get hit because people are having to look away because they are blinded – hit someone else because their night vision is then killed for a bit. . . or the mere fact that the person is a walking seizure-inducer is nauseating. Gah. I didn’t realize with each step it was going to get worse. (I had it on mute or maybe I would have had warning)

How about, be predictable! Don’t wait until the last possible second to cross the road? Common sense. (When I was coming home last night, I saw several people at midnight when it’s super empty on the road running across Sandy in front of traffic (some against the light!!) there should have been no reason for it at that time of night for instance. Especially at night.)

Then you won’t need to dress up like Capt. A**hat in that safety suit.

Eric in Seattle
Guest
Eric in Seattle

I liked Tom Vanderbilt’s article. Interestingly, even he used the word “accident” instead of collision or crash (3rd paragraph from the end). He is correct when he points out the inaccuracy of the word, but this article demonstrates how easily even he can fall into using it.

Eric in Seattle
Guest
Eric in Seattle

BTW, I couldn’t see the story on the Tennessee driver’s ed program. I think there’s a broken link

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

The article describing the NZ study reports that cyclists run signals for safety reasons and then assumes that this is risky behavior that should be discouraged without providing evidence to justify this assumption.

1. Car head.
2. Idaho Stop Law.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

the charts of DOT travel demand projections and youth driving demographics suggest that instead of expansion of infrastructure (e.g. CRC and rose quarter interchange) we should be planning to *decommission* road infrastructure.

i can think of a few major arterials that would make for fine linear park space in pdx.

Jonathan Gordon
Guest
Jonathan Gordon

If you haven’t seen the bad traffic projections graph you really should.

Great quote: “And in 61 cases out of 61, the C&P estimates were too high.”

That’s a fantastic record!

John Lascurettes
Guest

That Ford piece is a bit of refreshing perspective from a car head (literal head of a motor company).

Maximus
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Maximus

Can we please use target=”_blank” for the links from now on. I would rather click a link and have it open in a new tab.

are
Guest

circular to argue gentrification improves the incumbent resident’s credit score if we do not know how credit scores are made. and of course equifax will not disclose their methods.

Mark Allyn
Guest

That pedestrian in the video reminds me of myself.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

speaking of covering crashes and local reporters choosing their words better, I spotted this gem from yesterday:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/01/southeast_82nd_avenue_closed_a.html

it appears as though two inanimate objects, a car and a truck, somehow managed to hit people all on their own… no mention of drivers at all… but there was a mention of people being cut free from inside the truck… the truck must have eaten them at some time before the crash…

PorterStout
Guest
PorterStout

A classic retweet from the article on the recent TRB meeting:

RT @USDOT: “If you aggregated it, every year Americans spend roughly 600,000 years stuck in traffic.” #TRBAM

Paul
Guest
Paul

That video had me laughing good.

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

The British politician who “doesn’t look like she’s enjoying her own bike very much” simply looks like she’s concentrating on the road. Her stance on high-visibility gear requirements is kind of illogical, but implying that she isn’t having any fun riding a bike while wearing a neon vest is no better than any other unpopular commentary around here about what people wear while on a bike.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…the NZ study reports that cyclists run signals for safety reasons …” spare_wheel

People compiling the report, accept the claim offered by some people that bike, that they run red lights to avoid various dangerous traffic situations (read the comment bubbles in the powerpoint slides), and for other reasons also.

The consulting firm does this rather than offer procedures for people biking either in or alongside main travel lanes amongst motor vehicles, that can help avoid dangerous traffic situations without running red lights.

Consulting firm:

http://conf.hardingconsultants.co.nz/workspace/uploads/daniel-newcombe-5174b953be74d.pdf

Both the National Business Review story and the consulting firm’s report, advise, when done for certain reasons, not discouraging people biking from riding through red lights.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Regarding the reckless driving article, I thought it curious that the author, who is obviously very knowledgeable about this subject, equated reckless and careless driving, something I’ve learned to differentiate in the comments section of bikeportland.

“A person who operates a vehicle […] in a careless or negligent manner likely to endanger any person or property, but without wantonness or recklessness, is responsible for a civil infraction.”
vs.
“A person who operates a vehicle […] in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. […] is guilty of a misdemeanor…”

Slow Joe Crow
Guest
Slow Joe Crow

The NZ data strikes me as odd because I actually do the exact opposite at red lights. I stop and when it turns green I pause before I take off because that gives me time to avoid idiots running the red light in the other direction and also lets me use a car as protective cover. Then again my regular commuting route goes through the NE25th and Cornell Road intersection in Hillsboro which attracts an unusually high proportion of automotive stupid, although the bollards on 25th help.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

People likely will be enthusiastically debating the cost effective benefits of the Ford f-150 aluminum body over the standard steel body. From another article I read about the f-150 aluminum body, another of the reasons Ford is trying this, is to make progress towards meeting federal reduced fuel consumption guidelines for motor vehicles. Without those, automakers may not be so motivated to attempt such means to reduce vehicle weigh/fuel consumption. The auto show is coming up. My dad likes to go, so if it’s there, I’ll get to see it.

I have no particular idea how big automakers will survive in the face of reduced automobile ownership, and possibly, use in general. Permeating most of the entire auto industry, to artificially generate sales, the quirk of overly frequent design changes that compels most car owners to get rid of their cars for a new one after, say…5-10yrs…has always basically been nuts. A waste that’s almost too incredible to comprehend. Especially considering that some well designed, maintained cars around the world, 50 and more years old, continue to be regularly used for transportation.

Cars can be very nice to have though. Micro cars like the Smart, which some of Ford’s are very close to being, don’t take up much room in the garage, street, or parking lot; much less than full size vehicles. Perfect for many people that need cars for limited, close range uses. The idea of a micro car that, for example, could have its body molded or contoured to offer the capability of transporting a full size bike sounds like an interesting experiment, if it would look like and perform like something people would want to buy.

Speaking of micro cars, people that like the ELF, but feel pedaling isn’t for them, and that they may still need an internal combustion motor, something that can perform more like a car than a bike, may be interested in checking out the Elio, also a 3wheeler:

http://www.eliomotors.com/

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

9watts
There was no EPA in 1969 and no mpg ratings either. 33mpg was my own measurement. I am aware that the drive cycle has been updated several times, and I am also aware of the degree to which manufacturers have come up with countless ways to fool around with/circumvent the spirit of the CAFE standard. But real-world measurements in 1969 or 1999 or today avoid all that. The only mpg *rating* I mentioned was for the 2015 Aluminum Ford F-150. I don’t know if that rating corresponds to actual in use fuel economy but for the sake of argument I assumed it does.
Recommended 0

Sorry, should have realized that when you said 1969. But it’s still true that today’s EPA ratings are highly pessimistic for moderate drivers.

My experience is that if you drive a steady 55-60mph on the highway, you will get 10-20% better mpg than the current EPA highway rating.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Well, that’s exactly right. People are driving much faster and more aggressively than they used to, as well as spending more of their time stuck in traffic, so they’re using more fuel. If people still aren’t beating their cars’ highway mpg ratings on the highway, it’s because they’re driving 65+.