Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup: Bike lane retail boost, commuting by highway & more

Posted by on June 2nd, 2014 at 9:41 am


This bike lane in Vancouver BC seems to have caused a
restaurant’s business to briefly tank … and then soar.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Good morning! Our roundup of the best bike links on the web this week is sponsored by Western Bike Works, longtime BikePortland sponsor and one of the city’s best bike shops.

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

Bike lanes and retail: In Vancouver BC, a restaurant owner who led the charge against a parking-protected bike lane in front of his building says that business dropped 30 percent for the seven weeks following its installation … and then rebounded higher than ever, thanks in part, he now says, to all the bike traffic.

Highway commuting: In Kentucky, police have issued three “reckless driving” charges to a 41-year-old single mother of two who bikes to her factory job every morning at 5 a.m. on a five-lane U.S. highway because the bus doesn’t run yet. A judge, however, has refused to order her to stop doing so, because state law gives her a right to the road.

Bike lanes and real estate: New York City’s bike infrastructure boom is freeing non-car-owning residents from the shackles of living near a metro stop.

Crash costs: Traffic collisions cost the country the equivalent of $871 billion, about $900 per American, in combined economic and societal costs per year, a new study estimates.

Bike-transportation surge: Across the United States since 2000, biking to work has been growing more rapidly than any other mode.

Lane taker: If you really want to screw with the minds of folks who can’t wrap their heads around bikes having the right to the streets, the 8rad might be for you:

Prank or felony? A rope that was strung taut across three lanes of Park Drive in New York City wound up breaking a man’s elbow and six ribs after he collided with it in the evening on his bicycle. But police see no crime, and their report says only that he “ran over a rope.”

Driverless cars: Google’s steering-wheel-free self-driving car “isn’t disruption, it’s tinkering,” argues Ben Walsh in a New Republic piece that fails to consider the possibility that such cars could dramatically improve carsharing.

Visibility rule: By 2018, all new U.S. cars will need “rear visibility technology” that’s likely to prevent a lot of back-over collisions with children under age 5.

This week brought a wealth of great bike videos…

Postapocalyptic bike tricks: Stunt wizard Danny MacAskill’s latest shoot took him to the rubble of an abandoned Argentinian village, a great place for long aerial takes of his levitational talents.

Bike-share passenger seat: Newest bike share accessory invention: a snap-on kid’s seat that fits behind the handlebars of a Capital Bikeshare vehicle. (Beware of the dangerously cute kid here.)

Anti-theft policing: The head cop on San Francisco Police Department’s anti-bike-theft team has a “Death to bike thieves” sticker on his desk lamp, some pretty clever ideas for deterring theft and a big gleeful grin on his face when he gets his man (at 1:30):

Intersection art: Portland Bureau of Transportation staffer Greg Raisman has a video interview with the creator of the huge new “intersection repair” at NE 8th and Holman. (Check out the pan at 0:49 to get a sense of the scale.)

Camera vigilante: After being injured in a 2009 collision, Londoner Lewis Dediare strapped seven cameras to his helmet and bicycle, including one he keeps on a three-foot pole, and started flashing red cards to drivers who break the law. His efforts translate into 200 police warnings a year. If we’ve got to pick one, this one has got to be 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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • 9watts June 2, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Monday Roundup is still my favorite part of bikeportland!

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  • 9watts June 2, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Talk about a dereliction of duty…
    “‘It [biking on US 27]’s an accident waiting to happen, in my opinion,’ said Jessamine County Sheriff Kevin Corman.”

    “‘The defendant acted with blatant disregard for her own safety and the safety of the other drivers on U.S. 27,’ Holman said in her motion.”

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    • GlowBoy June 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

      “The Nicholasville Police Department alone has worked 1,187 vehicle collisions on U.S. 27 from the Fayette County line to the “north junction” of the Nicholasville Bypass from Jan. 1, 2010, through April 23. Of those, 250 involved injuries, and five involved fatalities, according to state records.”

      1187 crashes in just over four years, on one road? Time to focus on more preventive policing, and less picking on cyclists.

      (Although I personally cannot comprehend taking the lane when a wide shoulder is available, I’ll still defend her right to do so).

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      • Pete June 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm

        I thought the same thing about the shoulder width, until one of the commenters linked to a Google street-view image that showed a rumble strip, soft shoulder, and scattered debris. If it was me I’d maybe go with wide kevlar-belted city tires, but yeah, I’m only guessing she’s taking the lane there for reasons not obvious to us fellow cyclists and not just to spite drivers (and rack up harassment citations).

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        • El Biciclero June 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

          Also perhaps the many exit lanes and right turns available off of this high-stroad. Avoiding right hooks would mean a lot of re-merging into the lane or stopping every quarter-mile or less to check for overtaking turning drivers.

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  • spare_wheel June 2, 2014 at 10:10 am

    We need traffic droids so much more than bike ambassadors. I wish I could think of something as effective as a “red card” for the USA.

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    • Pete June 2, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Sharks with laser beams… on bicycles.

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  • Dave June 2, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Sounds like some Kentucky pigs need an education in both transportation cycling and their own state’s vehicle code.

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  • K'Tesh June 2, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Bike vigilante doesn’t have a link/video

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    • K'Tesh June 2, 2014 at 11:07 am

      I see it’s been fixed now… Thanks!

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  • captainkarma June 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Maybe Portland popo could adopt a programof a actuallylooking for stolen bikes instead of sending letters asking if still care about my stolen bike. Yes!

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  • q`Tzal June 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Re “San Francisco Police Department’s anti-bike-theft team” :

    I know LOL, ROFLMAO and others but what’s the accepted abbreviation for “raucous evil cackling at the fate of bike thieves”? I want to put that here.

    I’m not sure Schadenfreude covers the degree of enjoyment I got imagining what his team is going to do to bike thieves.

    Still got the sinister chortle/giggle/snorts minutes later.

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  • Bike Everywhere June 2, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    The “Is This a Bait Bike?” Campaign seems very effective and could work well for Portland. Has anyone suggested something like this to PPB? What about a letter writing campaign to urge them to institute a program like this?

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    • Chris I June 2, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      This needs to happen. I would put one of those stickers on my bike in a second.

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    • q`Tzal June 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      It would only be as effective as PPD giving a damn.

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  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley June 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Kudos to Greg Raisman on a very nicely done short documentary about intersection art. I love the one in my neighborhood, on 12th and Beech.

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  • Pete June 2, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    While unloading my MTB from yesterday’s trek my neighbor was telling me about the bait bike press, how it’s coming under fire, and how there’s already been a lawsuit filed. Frankly I’ve never liked that “Bait Car” show I saw on TV where cops drop cars in east L.A. leaving the doors open and keys still inside, but this is indeed different.


    Recently here in the bay area there have been “elevated efforts” to ticket distracted drivers, so there’s now a noticeable number of them stopped on shoulders and bike lanes with flashers on while they text and talk. Can never please everyone, goes the saying!

    All I know is I want one of those stickers now…

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    • BikeEverywhere June 2, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      With a little help from Photoshop and my computer printer, I think I can make myself a bike bait sticker. Now I’m just wondering if I can get myself into trouble for using the PPB emblem on it…

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  • BIKELEPTIC June 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    With the “Prank or felony?” article from NYC – I really appreciate in the article that they mention that he was wearing a helmet because it really protected his six broken ribs and a fractured elbow.

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    • Jane June 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      It also didn’t whiten his teeth or lower his cholesterol.. What’s your point?

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  • John Lascurettes June 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Regarding the Google self-driving cars. It might be more of an illusion than first believed. That is to say, it might be farther away than we think: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2014/06/01/madrigal-google-cars

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  • q`Tzal June 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Since the main article doesn’t seem to have a link to the “must see video of the week” I thought I’d include a link to the website hosting the video:


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  • wsbob June 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Fairly good story from the Lexington Herald Leader, about the Kentucky woman ticketed issued reckless driving citations for riding her bike on busy U.S. Higway 27. She’s doing well to ride a bike 18 miles in an hour and a half to her factory job.

    If there really is no other, less busy, reasonable route to one’s job other than the highway, that may lead people to take the risk of riding there. Generally though, there are other routes for any given area, country roads, secondary roads and whatnot, but the story does not discuss whether that’s so for this woman between her home and job.

    Speed limit for this road, also isn’t mentioned in the story, nor are the conditions for riding the far right side of the road. Often on busy roads, even if the shoulder or the bike lane is debris ridden, the road itself a foot or so left of the fog line or line dividing main lane from bike lane, is relatively debris free, often making it a manageable place to ride to allow faster traffic to pass by.

    The cops quoted in the story certainly don’t seem hostile or biased towards this person riding on the highway. They seem genuinely concerned about her not becoming another fatality statistic. Sure it would be great if the county or state could implement effective safety measures and step up enforcement to reduce the roads’ collision rate over the last 4 years, but face it, budgets across the country are strapped.

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    • 9watts June 2, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      “They seem genuinely concerned about her not becoming another fatality statistic.”

      Genuinely? I don’t think so.
      Within their carhead frame of mind I am sure they think they are acting out of concern but that is not very helpful, circular.

      “Sure it would be great if the county or state could implement effective safety measures and step up enforcement to reduce the roads’ collision rate over the last 4 years, but face it, budgets across the country are strapped.”

      Oh, I see. After blowing a couple hundred thousand on a new fleet of vehicles, perhaps lots of overtime harassing Occupy protesters, and who knows what else… all of a sudden there’s no money for enforcing laws that are routinely violated and which make the roads dangerous for everyone, but especially those not in cars. M-hm.

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      • wsbob June 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm

        It’s a good story. Quotes from the judge the case has been handed to are very worthwhile thinking about. Here’s some of them, in this excerpt:

        “…”The question is whether or not her continued operation of her bicycle on this roadway creates such a safety concern that she should be deemed a careless operator on the highway, requiring prohibition of said operation,” Booth wrote. “This question goes to the heart of the controversy.”

        Booth said a jury, not a judge, is the “trier of fact.” As such, Booth wrote that it would be inappropriate to enter a pretrial order restraining Schill’s ability to legally ride her bike on U.S. 27 “prior to the ultimate findings by the jury.” http://www.kentucky.com/2014/05/01/3222461/woman-biking-daily-to-lexington.html

        From Booth’s remarks, it looks as though the county’s legal system is preparing to take a carefully considered look at how responsibly this person has chosen to use the road. The police have done their part to raise question. If the jury doesn’t agree with the police or the thoughts of Judge Booth, they can throw the citations out.

        I think questions a jury would consider, is at times when traffic was backed up behind her, whether she made efforts to ride at least reasonably close to the left of the fog line, and also, if there were other, safer alternate and reasonable routes from this woman’s house to her job that she was aware of, but chose not to take.

        Watts, you don’t seem to have a lot of confidence in how they’re doing things in the bluegrass state. Maybe you ought to get on your bike, peddle yourself on over to Kentucky, wave your magic wand and set all those Kentuckians priorities straight.

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        • 9watts June 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm

          “Watts, you don’t seem to have a lot of confidence in how they’re doing things in the bluegrass state.”

          You are correct.
          But I have the same misgivings right here at home. Wanda Cortese gets a ticket for ‘failing to maintain her lane’ after running over Christeen Osborn in broad daylight on Hwy 101.

          The no money excuse is bullshit.

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          • wsbob June 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm

            “…The no money excuse is bullshit.” 9watts

            Easy to talk big when it’s not yourself in the situation. Not so for cities and counties that don’t have the money. Of course, that’s where you and other people that think likewise, would certainly be welcome to open you wallet and volunteer your time to make sure they’re able to conduct the enforcement you feel is required to set things right.

            I don’t know what Jessamine County, Kentucky’s budget situation is, but a number of counties in Oregon have faced some very severe budget cutbacks that have directly resulted in their having to drastically cut back staffing for all kinds of things including law enforcement. Can’t remember right off hand which ones, whether Grant County was one, or whether it was another that had to cut their PD staff back by, I think it was 60 or 70 percent. Law breaking has gone up there accordingly.

            In counties facing that situation, particularly, there just isn’t the resources to do the kind of investigation you expect with regards to collision victims. Even big city Portland faces that situation.

            At any rate, I’d be interested in reading what a jury decides about Schill’s use of the road with her bike. Jury members likely will have access to much more info about the situation than bikeportland readers do.

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            • 9watts June 3, 2014 at 10:41 pm

              but, wsbob. The same lopsided priorities prevailed back when we were flush with cash. This is just sour grapes, bait and switch, hide the nut, obfuscatory nonsense.
              Are you really trying to tell me that people on bikes got a fairer shake, that speed limits were more diligently enforced, that cops treated people not in cars more magnanimously, back when we weren’t all so out of money?!

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              • wsbob June 3, 2014 at 11:39 pm

                I wouldn’t say that. Road conditions for travel have been and are, in a constant state of flux. They’ve never really been great for people that drive or ride in motor vehicles, let alone vulnerable road users.

                Though because vulnerable road users are the conspicuously small percentage of overall road users, the priority the public accords them for infrastructural and enforcement support, is accordingly much smaller than it is for motor vehicle related travel. It’s not fair, but that’s where it is.

                Times really are changing, maybe. Were the U.S. public really supportive of people traveling by bike, to the extent it was generally prepared to accommodate bikes on U.S. highways heavily traveled by motor vehicles at high speeds, incidents occurring over someone riding a bike in the lane on them, likely wouldn’t happen. Highway use in the U.S. would be like that in the Netherlands that Washington County Commissioner Dick Schouten mentioned in a comment to this bikeportland story:


                The current reality in the U.S. is, there’s widespread dismissal of bikes as a viable transportation option that the public is prepared to support very much either by road use or by dollars. I think that’s why, despite some people’s upbeat, optimistic references to faraway countries being a model for infrastructure here in the metro area, what residents here actually wind up with is crummy active transportation infrastructure that only a small percentage of people are actually willing to use themselves.

                Unless it incredibly is discovered that she was drunk and knowingly weaving all over the road, deliberately threatening collisions, Kentuckian Cherokee Schill will probably get her citations dismissed. That won’t change the fact that from some people’s comments the Lexington Herald Leader’s story, U.S. 27 may continue to be a very dangerous place to ride a bike.

                One last excerpt from that story:

                “…However, Goettl said Jessamine County Judge-Executive Neal Cassity has sent a letter to the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky to investigate the possibility of putting bike lanes on 27 from Nicholasville to the Fayette County line. …”

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  • 9watts June 4, 2014 at 6:46 am

    “Though because vulnerable road users are the conspicuously small percentage of overall road users, the priority the public accords them for infrastructural and enforcement support, is accordingly much smaller than it is for motor vehicle related travel. It’s not fair, but that’s where it is.”

    Interesting quantitative view of the situation. You will perhaps admit that there are other ways of looking at this. Oregon’s Vulnerable Road User law, for instance, highlights the asymmetric nature of participation in traffic, instantiates the need for special protections, etc.

    What you’re suggesting to me sounds reminiscent of the ‘no special rights’ screed of certain groups who have opposed equality for sexual minorities. People in cars, aren’t, by and large, in danger from other road users. It is the ones like Schill, who need and deserve not to be harassed but supported by law enforcement.

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