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The Monday Roundup: Mapping every collision, handmade bikes and more

Posted by on April 7th, 2014 at 9:12 am

Are you on this map?
(Image by the You Are Here project.)

Here are the bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Mapping crashes: A team of MIT researchers has visualized every reported bike collision from 2010-2013 in Portland and a few other cities. I was surprised by how many happen on streets without marked bike facilities.

Handmade framebuilding: Atlantic Cities takes a deep dive into the ongoing golden age of handmade framebuilding, with Portland companies front and center.

Used bike market: Somebody’s finally done a study of the underappreciated but ubiquitous used bicycle market. About 7.5 million of us own them and they’re worth $2.4 billion combined.

Biker’s monologue: I don’t love everything about Buzzfeed’s 53 thoughts every cyclist in a city has, but some of them are pretty funny.

Free business tip: The tradition of “ghost bike” memorials is probably not a good platform for your viral marketing campaign.

Switching scripts: Rebel Metropolis has a funny best-of from the weekend’s #ReplaceBikeWithCar game on Twitter.

Housing demand: If you’re lucky enough to have a single-family home in a walkable neighborhood, you’re sitting on the hottest commodity in American real estate. Only half of Americans now say they’d prefer a large yard to a small one or to no yard.

Pricing parking: It was heartening to see PBOT Director Leah Treat tweet this roundup of recent studies showing the economic benefits of charging people money to park on public streets.

Recycled highways: “We’ve all heard about rails to trails. How about roads to trails?”

Texas biking: Texans are discovering that “Companies like Samsung and Google are looking at the bicycle facility infrastructure before they decide what city they’re going to locate in,” and it’s persuading their leaders to make big bike infrastructure investments.

Utility rider: When the mayor of New Zealand’s capital city arrived to a meeting with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, nobody would have guessed she’d shown up on a bike. She usually does.

Competitive pedestrianism: In the 1870s and 1880s, “watching people walk was America’s favorite spectator sport.”

Car dependence: In our auto-centric cities, poor people who own cars are better off than poor people who don’t, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be making it easier for those who don’t.

Helmet study: I’d love to see someone fluent in both German and Science assess this study finding that the total social costs of bike helmets are 40 percent greater than the benefits.

Death toll: Just under three percent of all human deaths are now caused by motor vehicles.

Bike share benefits: A bill we covered last fall that would make bike sharing fees a tax-deductible commuter benefit has passed a key hurdle in the Senate.

Backup transit: New York’s Citi Bike just released the first trove of data on its usage patterns. I love how they show, among other things, that people jump on Citi Bikes every time the subway’s running late:

Bike share advocacy shift: New York City’s top bike advocate is publicly shifting from Citi Bike cheerleading to sharp criticism of Alta Bicycle Share, Citi Bike’s Portland-based management, on behalf of Citi Bike users.

Activated by honking: The Bicycle Story has a long, interesting Q&A with Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek, a onetime web usability expert who started seeing streets as an “interface design problem.”

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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9watts
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9watts

“fluent in both German and Science assess this study ”
Well, the study is interesting and pretty well designed I feel.

Incidentally the paper to which the article in German refers is available online in English:
http://www.wiwi.uni-muenster.de/ivm/materialien/forschen/Veroeffentlichungen/WP21.pdf

The conclusion:*
“Tallying up the social costs and benefits yields a net loss of 278 million Euro/yr. With a helmet law there would be fewer deaths and seriously injured cyclists, but higher expenditures for helmets, more heart attacks–among those who because of the helmet mandate had quit bicycling or bicycled less than before.”
His parting suggestion. “Let’s instead consider improved infrastructure and an across-the-board 30 km/h speed limit within towns and cities.”

The specific calculations (annual figures):
(a)benefits:
+570M Euro (reduced death and injury on the part of people biking)
+123M Euro (mode switching (cars safer than unhelmeted biking))

(b) costs:
– 473M Euro (health costs from 4.5% of current bikers quitting)
– 315M Euro (purchase costs of helmets)
– 171M Euro (loss of comfort; messes with my hairdo, etc.)
– 12M Euro (environmental costs from folks switching from bikes to cars & mass transit)

*(my translation, before I realized the article was in English)

Chris I
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Chris I

Just say no to Buzzfeed.

BellaBici
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I was flat-out hit by a car riding on Williams. “I didn’t see you.” I called the Portland Police Department to report it, etc., and they wouldn’t even bother with it. Said it wasn’t an issue for them. Let the insurance companies deal with it.

What should the two-wheeled wounded do to have their incidents recorded and their voice heard?

9watts
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9watts

”Used bicycles contribute $2.4 billion to US market,” says new report

Be careful suggesting that to readers of bikeportland. A surprising number of them have in the past insisted that all bikes and bike parts sold on Craigslist are fenced.

JEFF BERNARDS
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JEFF BERNARDS

I heard if you smoke society saves money because smokers don’t live long enough to collect social security. Sure a few die young but it pencils out better for the rest of us. Same for helmets, maybe it pencils out (in some universe), but if your one of the ones injuried because you weren’t wearing a hlemet, you may view the economics of no helmet worthless. Not all of lifes choices should be based on dollars. To say it makes cents to have a few deaths or permenaet injuries for what the author describes as “loss of comfort” a main argument against the helmet, or the other excuse, “destroys your summer hairstyle.” Did I miss something, but what is the reason you helmetless people insist on not wearing a helmet? because these 2 excuses he cites seem pretty lame, just saying.

Buzz Aldrin
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Buzz Aldrin

based on that MIT map, it’s obvious we need to be doing a lot more to make our major arterial streets safer for multi-modal use.

bike tourer
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bike tourer

Thanks for the link to the Devils Slide Hwy to trail article. I biked this on a loaded tour last year, before the tunnel and trail opened. I was hoping they would keep the road for bikes/peds. Wonderful!
However, the winding, narrow, heavy traffic, bad driver, approach on 101 from the north was the least safe stretch I biked from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo. Check out the Google View.
The highway folks need a bunch of stutter flashing bike caution signs and reduced speed limits to make it more safe, ASAP.
Thanks again.

Charley
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Charley

We see more crashes on those bike-facility streets because WAY WAY more cyclists are riding on those streets. To give an opposite example- Macadam is a very, very unfriendly street for riding, but there aren’t many crashes on it. That’s not because it’s somehow safer, but because very few people ride on it. There are going to be way more crashes on the safer streets because most of us usually ride on the safer streets. So that map is useful, but it has to go with another map that shows density of use.

GlowBoy
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GlowBoy

Most of the top 10 streets for crashes lack bike facilities. Just goes to show that making a small selection of major streets safe for biking isn’t enough.

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that Broadway tops the list, despite having bike facilities. On SW Broadway the hotel-zone bike lane has had serious problems ever since it was put in, on NE through the Lloyd District you have a 20mph speed limit that is flagrantly violated ALL the time, with average vehicle speeds probably topping 30, and on NE in the Rose Quarter area we have very severe right-hook problems.

I am a little surprised by 7th also being in the top 10. I ride that street all the time but haven’t had too many problems except the downhill southbound section approaching Morrison. Right hooks?

Jedito
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Jedito

Michael Andersen (News Editor)
…there are a bunch of streets high on the list that don’t have marked facilities: MLK, Grand, 6th, Lombard, Powell, Stark, 82nd.
Recommended 0

My initial reaction is to wonder how many of these collisions are the result of people on bikes attempting to cross these streets, rather than travel down them.

Pete
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Pete

I kinda take issue with the polarized article about walkable communities. They present “traditional suburbs” as being mutually exclusive of having public transportation, sidewalks, or even local markets/banks/libraries. I live in a `50’s suburb surrounded by wide bike lanes, many parks, a huge library, and shops and restaurants, and it is quite walkable for those choosing to do so. Of course I’ve also seen failed attempts at “new urbanism” where mixed-use buildings with parking out back to encourage walking couldn’t stay occupied.

GlowBoy
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GlowBoy

You have a good point Pete. Central Beaverton, near where I work for example, is fairly walkable, with has excellent transit and (mostly) decent bike connections, but of course that doesn’t speak for all of Beaverton let alone the westside. Some older suburbs are often not too bad in this respect, and I’ve seen this in some other metro areas too, though Beaverton is still one of the best burbs for biking and walking that I’ve seen anywhere.