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

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.

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