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The Monday Roundup: A ‘heat map’, street fee criticism, suing the victim and more

Posted by on April 28th, 2014 at 8:52 am

“Heat map” from Strava.

— This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by the Coast Hills Classic Mountain Bike Race, coming this Sunday (5/4) to Newport, Oregon.

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

Where do we bike? Or, at least, where do people who track their rides with GPS bike? Strava knows. Among the local lessons in this beautiful “heat map”: the east-side greenways are very popular (especially NE Going and SE Lincoln/Harrison); and Broadway is by far the most-used route through downtown.

Suing the victim: A Canadian woman who killed a teen with her car is suing the dead boy’s estate for $1.4 million to compensate for her “pain and suffering.” It’s a countersuit to a civil suit by the family of the victim, who her suit says was riding at night without being “properly illuminated.”

Thief shaming: A few days after posting a Craigslist warning that they had put bait bikes around town, San Francisco police followed up with a Craigslist posting of the guys who’d stolen them.

Regressive fee: “Polls do not tell us the right thing to do,” writes local Ph.D student Paul Manson in a blog post that tears into the city’s per-household street fee proposal by discussing its context: 1990s ballot measures that slanted Oregon’s local tax system toward the wealthy.

Detroit’s new wheels: “It’s a great time to be a bicyclist in Detroit,” the Detroit News writes, in part because there’s not much competition for road space these days.

Bike-friendly cobblestones: In one Copenhagen neighborhood, the city is “replacing the old, bumpy cobblestones on certain streets with smooth ones.”

Auto advocacy: A coalition of car-loving San Franciscans is pushing a nonbinding ballot issue calling for “restoring transportation balance in San Francisco” by charging less for auto parking and ticketing jaywalkers.

Bike prison: “Eighteen months after Superstorm Sandy inundated New York City, thousands of bicycles still sit, rusting, in a warehouse in an obscure corner of Brooklyn.”

Bike share premium: As London’s bike share stations have crept beyond the transit-dense city core, landlords are noticing that tenants are willing to pay much more to live near bike share.

Bike share subsidy: “It’s time to put the city in Citi Bike,” an NYC advocate writes, making a case for public bike share funding.

Low-car life everywhere: Even in relatively transit-poor cities like Indianapolis or Tampa, young adults say they prefer to live in places that don’t require constant car use.

Cargo bike pros: DHL and other international delivery companies are now building cargo bikes into their business models.

Transportation as design: The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum gave one of its top 2013 awards to former New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn.

Bankrupt highways: The Economist looks at federal highway finances from about 20 miles up — and it even looks bad from there.

Localizing transportation: One former USDOT leader thinks the country could get more from its gas tax if it spent more on competitive local grants and acted less like an entitlement program for state DOTs. Low-car advocacy group Transportation For America likes the idea.

Safety in numbers: The Alliance for Biking and Walking’s latest benchmarking report shows that where biking is popular, it’s also safe.

Financing suburbanization: Watch out for the rhetorical slight-of-hand in this New York Times op-ed (the stats for cities include suburbs, too), but the underlying argument is strong: with both young and old suddenly eager to live in central cities, political momentum for cutting the federal home mortgage subsidy is actually rising.

Dan Morgan of Houston has been trying to educate drivers about safe passing distances by attaching a three-foot-long plastic flagpole to the side of his bike. The results are 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.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Spiffy
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Spiffy

Thief shaming: SFPD breaks the law by violating the posting rules of craigslist…

Jane
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Jane

Classic portland pearl clutch. Somehow I doubt posting a non bike sales ad to the bike sales section of craigslist counts as “breaking the law”.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

they could be fined by craigslist for improper use of the site…

do you have better wording?

Mike
Guest
Mike

Are Craigslist rules really considered “the law”?

Would you be as righteous over a friend posting a BOLO for their stolen bike? I bet you would… probably turn them into the local constables as part of your civic duty.

TOM
Guest
TOM

you seem to have found a sanitized version of the “blaming victim” in Canada story.

other versions state

“A police report says Simon was driving an estimated 90 km/h in an 80-km/h zone.

The report also states: “no breathalyzer was performed” — a point Cameron intends to delve deeper into, he says.

Simon’s husband, a York Regional Police officer, was driving behind his wife that drizzly night, but little is mentioned about him as a witness in the police report. He pulled over when Brandon was struck, and shortly after both were allowed to go home. It was another witness who pulled over to tend to Brandon and called 911.”

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2014/04/25/driver-that-struck–alcona-teen-suing-dead-boys-family

the cop husband appears not to have even seen the boy that died ?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Kilometer per hour to mile per hour conversion factor is 0.62137119224, so roughly, the driver was traveling 54 mph where 48 mph would be equivalent to speed limit: 6 mph over limit.

For my own driving, I make a point of keeping within 5 mph over the limit. One mph over represents the likelihood of a citation as far as I’m concerned. Whether most people consider 6mph over, or 1mph over 48 mph, to be ‘speeding’, is likely debatable. 48 mph limit basically makes this a high speed highway.

Charles McCarthy
Guest
Charles McCarthy

I saw the same sort of orange pennant on a horizontal fibreglass pole in Sweden in 1968. The pole had a decorative tip at the end that I suspect further deterred drivers from passing too closely. Probably made a loud noise inside a car that came too close; remember the sound of the old curb feelers that used to be on cars?

John Lascurettes
Guest

On that heat map, whats the dense little cloud at NW 17th and Pettygrove?

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

Upper Echelon Fitness is in that building. I’m willing to bet a lot of indoor riding is done there with Garmin units on to capture power/heartrate data. Once uploaded to Strava they would show up as unmoving blobs on the map.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Ah make sense. I was guessing a group ride starting from there, but then there should be a webwork of departure paths also happening. What you say makes much more sense. Thanks.

Buzz Aldrin
Guest
Buzz Aldrin

All that map shows is where all the Cat 6 cyclists that use Strava ride, not where the other 95% of normal cyclists who have no interest in Strava ride.

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

Someone sounds bitter today.

Buzz Aldrin
Guest
Buzz Aldrin

cynical =/= bitter.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I was going to post a similar comment. I’m sure many people log their commutes on Strava, but I highly doubt it is very representative of the bike commuting population. Probably highly dominated by the S&F types, which may skew the results to show busier streets (including some without bike facilities) as more relatively popular than they really are among cyclists.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Hmm … after taking a close look at the heat map, though, I don’t see a lot of obvious anomalies vs. what I would expect from the commuting population as a whole. One of the few that I can find is in Raleigh Hills, where I know there are a few commuters taking Homewood and/or Woodside as an alternative to Jamieson, but the map shows almost no heat on those two streets compared to Jamieson.

Also it seems odd for it to show almost no bike traffic on SE 11th and 12th between Hawthorne and Division.

On another note, I see the heat map shows some amount of use of the Wildwood Trail — but only closer in, not beyond Saltzman.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Strava. Sounds Italian. Is it a flavor of ice cream?

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

Yeah I was originally thinking it was one of the points where folks gather for the Ronde, but that happens further into NW. A quick google street view showed Upper Echelon, and the rest made sense.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

Bike-friendly cobblestones: weird to see copenhagenize misuse the term “cobblestone” instead of using the proper term: sett stone…

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

“Wutz uh Set Stone. Iz dat any stone ah set on da ground” he asks in his honestly aquired deep south redneck accent.

Despite the two different residential buildings I was manual labor on on high school and my autistic obsession with home construction & general contractor shows on HGTV and such I don’t remember the term “sett stone”. That said until I moved to the Pacific NW I didn’t know why anyone wouldn’t love moss.

Austin
Guest
Austin

Man, that heat map is really cool. I could spend all day looking at that!

dan
Guest
dan

Yes, very interesting, especially the “hot zones” of heavy MTB and road training traffic. Does it look to you as though a lot of people are Strava’ing their commutes? There’s a use I never thought of.

John Lascurettes
Guest

I had used Strava for tracking some (but not even most) commutes but I didn’t like it because it doesn’t have an auto-pause feature like some other tracking software does (Kinetic and GPSlite). When the app doesn’t pause itself, all those inner city lights and stops mess up my MPH average. 🙂

John Lascurettes
Guest

Sorry, wrong article, so the comment isn’t on that one.

Austin
Guest
Austin

You may be right, but Strava gives me a “moving time” and “elapsed time”, I think it must remove the time that you are stopped at lights. I assume the MPH reflects this, but now I’m not sure!

Austin
Guest
Austin

I use Strava on every one of my rides (I really, really like the app), most of which are commutes. I’m not a fast rider and I don’t care about personal bests, but it is fun for me to see all of the information available.

dan
Guest
dan

I guess you are not Austin from Atlanta, then?

Charley
Guest
Charley

Regarding the heat map: look at all the MTB destinations- Sandy Ridge, Post Canyon, and Capitol State Forest show tons of use!

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

On “Suing the Victim”:

“…”They were riding in the middle of an unlit road at 1:30 a.m. Their bicycles were not properly illuminated, nor did they have the proper reflectors,” he says. …” (‘he’, is the lawyer for the woman driving.) ctvnews-barrie

Story says the family of the young man, a kid really, hit and killed, alleges the person driving was speeding, possibly intoxicated. Interesting notes offered by people in the comment section, is that person driving was slightly over the speed limit, impaired, possibly on the cell, and was being followed by her husband, who is a cop. The kid’s estate has no money.

“…For now, Cameron says the family is just struggling to “understand why their son is a defendant in this action.” ” ctvnews-barrie

Cameron is the lawyer representing the family of the kid. As always, difficult to know from reading brief news stories about incidents, but so far, it seems there’s plenty of denial to go around on the part of parties involved or associated with them.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Look at the first comment to the story too. It alleges that the driver’s dad, a sherif, was following her in another vehicle at the time.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Sorry, wrong version of the article, so the comment isn’t on that one.

q`Tzal
Guest
Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

cool idea, but too easy to drop the key and lose it…

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

I’d design the key with a couple of those really tiny top grade n52 magnets embedded in the key body (at opposite orientations) so that when you drop in the key and cam the lock body the key self aligns with matching magnets in the lock body.
I’d use a slightly bigger version of this magnet to match up with a quick release keyring mechanism.

John Lascurettes
Guest

I doubt that most U-Locks are foiled via picking. My guess is that most are busted via brute force methods or improper locking. (old Bic Pen foiled locks excepted) Still, that’s pretty clever and would be more apt to pay for something like that on a safe or a deadbolt lock.

Jonathan Gordon
Guest
Jonathan Gordon

The bike-friendly cobblestone piece reminds me of the two cement stripes that run down SE 42nd between Belmont and Yamhill. That road is terrible and it seems like all cyclists, myself included, bike all over it in an attempt to avoid the bumps. I would love a treatment like this on that road.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

I always try to ride on those strips when I go that way…

Nick
Guest
Nick

Strava’s heatmap is like a treasure-map for home bike thieves. Leave your Garmin off if you’re riding your trainer.

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

It looks like it doesn’t use data covered by privacy zone filters. My last two houses and current work don’t show up, despite having hundreds of rides start/end at them.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Interesting. So are the static hot-zones on the map users who don’t have privacy filters enabled?

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

That’s my guess. I see a lot of blobs at businesses like bike shops, the previously mentioned Upper Echelon Fitness, etc. Places where people wouldn’t bother setting up zones.

That’s not to say caution isn’t needed – your warning is exactly why I use the privacy settings available.

TOM
Guest
TOM

wsbob
Kilometer per hour to mile per hour conversion factor is 0.62137119224, so roughly, the driver was traveling 54 mph where 48 mph would be equivalent to speed limit: 6 mph over limit.
For my own driving, I make a point of keeping within 5 mph over the limit. One mph over represents the likelihood of a citation as far as I’m concerned. Whether most people consider 6mph over, or 1mph over 48 mph, to be ‘speeding’, is likely debatable. 48 mph limit basically makes this a high speed highway.

it was a “wet/drizzly, dark road” at 1:30 AM . her speed was “estimated” . Who knows what the real speed was ?

“Simon’s husband, a York Regional Police officer, was driving behind his wife that drizzly night, but little is mentioned about him as a witness in the police report. He pulled over when Brandon was struck, and shortly after both were allowed to go home.”

It APPEARS that she didn’t even know how many kids she hit.

seems also a reasonable ASSUMPTION , that she (the driver) and her husband “shortly after both were allowed to go home.” “no breathalyzer was performed” smacks of either gross ineptitude or police cronyism or the kids were so dazed that the didn’t even mention that their friend was hurt/missing ?
>> It was another witness who pulled over to tend to Brandon and called 911

unbelievable.

she is suing : the dead boy , the two other injured boys , the dead boy’s parents, and even his brother, who has since died. She’s also suing the County of Simcoe for failing to maintain the road.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“no breathalyzer was performed”

Do you know the guidelines and required procedures law enforcement in Canada is obliged to follow, to determine whether a breathalyzer test should be requested of a driver? Equally possible as the reasons you’ve suggested, is that the person driving was not impaired, accounting for why a breathalyzer test was not given.

At any rate, readers of a bike weblog being able to accurately and responsibly establish cause or fault for this collision, or any, simply by reading a sarcastic Monday Roundup story tip, and a couple stories, is unlikely.

More interesting to me, are questions raised by the reasons the person that was driving, reportedly is suing the young man’s estate for. It’s likely not the money, because, word from the news stories is, the kid’s estate has no money.

Hypothetical case: A vulnerable road user completely disregards responsibility in their use of the road, representing a major contribution to the occurrence of a collision in which they die, and also cause great harm to others driving or riding in motor vehicles, involved in, but that survive the collision.

Assume for the hypothetical, that on the part of the persons driving or riding, there was no violation of laws; speeding, intoxication, etc.

One of central questions here, is whether circumstances can exist in which a survivor driving or traveling by motor vehicle, truly has been injured to some degree by irresponsible actions of a vulnerable road user. And, whether there can be circumstances in which this type survivor rightfully should be compensated for their injury, from the deceased road users estate.

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

GlowBoy
Hmm … after taking a close look at the heat map, though, I don’t see a lot of obvious anomalies vs. what I would expect from the commuting population as a whole.

Oh good, so you can’t be an insufferable anti-elitist-elitist?

I swear to god, the “errmagerd, STRAVA, blah!” folks on this site who whine about strava, whine about any bike that happens to have skinny tires and looks like a race bike, whine about lycra, ad infinitum – are the biggest snobs and boors I’ve ever witnessed. I have never, ever met any hardcore rider who actually races who has the level of snobbery as most of the posters here exhibit towards anything that might not be “regular ‘ol commutin'”.

Jesus. /rant off

Dave Thomson
Guest
Dave Thomson

Well, maybe the Porsche driver who pulled up on my left on a narrow, busy, no shoulders road last week and informed me that I was riding too far out in the lane and he knew this because he was a Cat 4 racer.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Wow, didn’t realized the racer-types were so oppressed and dominated by the rest of bike culture. Sorry.

Reza
Guest
Reza

That heat map is very cool. You can clearly see all of the marked bike boulevards on the Eastside. It also makes the need for dedicated cycling facilities on 4th Ave painfully obvious.

Can I assume the trips on the Marquam and Fremont bridges are from BridgePedal?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

On the ‘Suing the victim’ story, an Oregonian story included a link to a Huffington Post story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/27/sharlene-simon-brandon-majewski_n_5224094.html

….with a number of links to Canadian stories and comments with more extensive info about the collision and its repercussions. One was a link to a story in the Toronto Sun:

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/04/25/witness-haunted-by-tragic-bike-accident

And also, one from the National Post:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/04/24/christie-blatchford-family-of-teen-fatally-struck-by-suv-sued-by-motorist-for-her-pain-and-suffering/

And from The Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/04/25/driver_who_struck_teen_suing_dead_youth.html