Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup: Beauty from Cleveland, dancing by the Seine and more

Posted by on August 11th, 2014 at 10:14 am

cleveland rendering

This week’s news roundup is sponsored by the Barlow Road Ride, the scenic 100-mile tour along the Oregon Trail Aug. 23-24.

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

Cleveland bikeways: Cleveland has some beautiful plans for its former on-street streetcar routes.

Left Bank renaissance: One year after Paris closed an expressway along the Seine to cars, it’s a space for soccer lessons, backgammon games and an impromptu Michael Jackson dance party.

Against e-bikes: “It chagrins me, that’s all, when novel technologies that are hardly amazing cause everyone to forget elegant ways of being in the world. … We did it to cycling when we found cars, and we’re about to do it to cycling again with these stupido e-bike contraptions.”

Family housing: With more children living in cities, the Sightline Institute looks for ways to create more more family-sized urban housing. One key idea: enlarge the middle tier of housing by allowing more duplexes, courtyards and cottages in single-family neighborhoods.

Belayed order: After Toronto’s city council voted unanimously to install a downtown protected bike lane, the transportation department built a buffered lane instead.

Attempted education: The Washington Post columnist who called people who bike on sidewalks “terrorists” took local biker Veronica Davis up on a challenge to “bike a mile in her path”. Looks as if few eyes were opened.

Gresham bike police: For the first summer in six years, Gresham again has a regular bicycle police patrol, part of an effort to evict people camping along the Springwater Trail.

Advertise with BikePortland.

Traffic deaths: In Clark County this year, people have been dying on streets at the fastest rate in at least 10 years.

Transpo funding poll: Only six in 10 Americans believe “the cost of good highways, railroads and airports is justified by their benefits.” Other findings are less surprising.

Right-turn ban: In an echo of Broadway/Wheeler here in Portland, Seattle has banned right turns at a busy intersection to prevent right hooks.

Contest winner: Seattle’s entry in the Oregon Manifest bike design competition, with handlebars that are also a built-in lock, took home the prize and will enter production.

Jailed for speeding: A car journalist who spent three days in Virginia jail for driving 93 mph in a 55 zone writes about what it feels like when a state criminalizes excessive speeding.

High-beam punishment: If you use inappropriate high-beams at night in China, one possible punishment is being forced to stare into bright lights.

Diversifying agency: Equitable-biking expert Adonia Lugo observes that “a lot of activism is still about white men fighting each other for dominance.” But she refuses to be “sand to fling in the eyes of your white rival on the playground.”

Curing traffic with traffic: In Dallas as elsewhere, you can use a federal “sustainability” grant to widen a road.

Texting cop: In Los Angeles, a sheriff’s deputy was texting immediately before fatally striking a man on a bicycle with his car.

Outsider’s eyes: A Los Angeles Times travel reporter offers an adorably wide-eyed look at Portland bike culture. “Workplaces feature ‘bike rooms’ where commuters can stash their rides during the day.”

Finally, your video of the week is simple but useful: it’s a carefully detailed and zoomable year-by-year map of Portland’s expanding bike network from 1975 on.

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.

  • Bryan Hance
    Bryan Hance August 11, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Also worth mentioning: PLEASE keep an eye out for this distinctive CIELO stolen from @procraftinator on Friday:

    STOLEN 2013 Cielo Classic sportiff
    Listing: https://stolen.bikeindex.org/bikes/29650

    Further info/details: https://twitter.com/procraftinator/status/498811874126069760

    And: https://twitter.com/procraftinator/status/498658150338527232

    This is a distinctive ride – if you see it, call the cops please or get in touch with twitter.com/procraftinator !

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  • Paul Atkinson August 11, 2014 at 11:09 am

    After reading the article about getting jailed for speeding I read the first couple dozen comments as well.

    Oddly, “just obey the frickin’ speed limit when you drive” wasn’t an option for anyone. Not even the author.

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    • davemess August 11, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Is that surprising on a site dedicated to cars?

      I did find his idea that because the road was “rural and curvy” speeding was much less of an issue than in towns or by schools.

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  • Michael Orr August 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Just curious what ‘bike network’ means on that super cool map.

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  • johnny moses August 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    in the “jailed for speeding” article, the author (or the one that got incarcerated for going 93mph in a 55mph zone) completely failed to learn anything from his jail sentence. what an utter loss as people like this guy perpetuate the issues we see with car drivers these days who insist on being part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

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    • davemess August 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      And he’s from Texas, go figure!

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    • 9watts August 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      No kidding. From his article:
      “You drive 20 mph over the limit, it’s reckless driving. They even charge you with it for failing to properly signal, or when you’re found to be at fault in a car wreck. I’ve heard of some cases where people get 30 days in jail if they speed over 100 mph.

      Other Class One misdemeanors in Virginia include animal cruelty, sexual battery, and aiming a firearm at someone. This is how the state regards people who drive over 80 mph.”

      And he ends by saying:
      “I’m moving back to Texas soon. My radar detector will be a permanent fixture on my dash where it belongs…”

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    • Dan August 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Yeah, the sense of entitlement is breathtaking.

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    • Bella Bici August 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      The driver/writer only learned one thing from the incident: never speed in Rappahannock County. Disappointing in that he could not apply this to all of his other driving.

      Now, I can only fantasize that we could also say something like “Don’t dare speed in Oregon or prepare to face the consequences”

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  • are August 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    the opening section of the story about gresham bike cops is disturbing. the guy on the bike said the motorist almost hit him. that kind of thing can certainly get the adrenaline running. what kind of charge is “suspicion of”? either he was disorderly and in possession or not. was the motorist cited? it doesn’t even matter what the objective answers to these questions might be. the writer, apalategui, frames the narrative to make his point, whatever his point is, and omits to ask.

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  • Cory August 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I’m having issues seeing the right part of the embedded Portland Bike map on this page. For anyone else here is the source link and so you can see it in full screen mode.


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  • q`Tzal August 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    About “Against e-bikes” :
    Someone has a serious hate on e-bikes.
    His “logic” is interesting, familiar even. It reminds me of the “black helicopters gubment comin ta git ya” arguments from some of my extended family.

    You could reasonably extend his reasoning to ban all forms of transportation other than walking. While this is an extreme position to take it does have some merit in an ultra dense urban core as described in CarFree Cities. The same velocities can easily be achieved or exceeded by a purely HPV so all high speed technology would have to be banned.

    Old coger moment: when Windows 3.0 first came out some of us old computer geeks were upset. A graphical user interface made computers “too easy” for the hoi polloi; the rest of us had earned the right through experience, skill and struggle. To let the unwashed masses have access to our realm the felt like a cheat and was tantamount to letting children have semiautomatic weapons.
    Of course it wasn’t that bad and we were being stuck up snobs but ssome bad things did happen: email viruses don’t spread amongst the practitioners of the Deep Magic.

    This attitude of “they didn’t earn it” pervades the anti-Ebike arguments. Somehow people who are dangerous driving an automobile or and ebike are going to be courteous, patient and harmless when on a strictly HPV.

    To this I’ll uniformly say “HOGWASH”. Yes an ebike can consistently go faster and usually a little heavier.
    So lets ban everything but carbon frames over 2 pounds.
    Or maybe cargo bikes.
    Or electric wheelchairs

    Or not.
    This elitism does not become us. The problem is behavior not technology nor equipment. Someone’s honest seething rage does not make their position correct nor true.

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    • Champs August 11, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      To me it’s not about “earning” anything.

      As Theodore Sturgeon said: 90% of everything is crap. History favors the cranks, cynics, and contrarians. There are lots of bad ideas in bicycling and I think this is one of them.

      To the road bike, there is that mountain bike whose owner “upgrades” the bike until it has slicks, aerobars, and bar ends pointed to the sky. They could have come out ahead if they’d just bought a Specialized Roubaix.

      To the car, there is the pedelec loaded down with batteries, a motor, and suspension. Or you could just lease a Hyundai.

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      • q`Tzal August 12, 2014 at 7:46 am

        Because being mowed down by a “pedelec” (*) or even an electric moped at 30mph is definitely exactly the same as being hit by your hypothetical Hyundai.

        (*) I love your use of the word “pedelec” in place of electric bike; it has a vaguely derogatory tone and rolls off the tongue like “ped-o-file” so it has that subconscious negative effect working for it too.

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      • GlowBoy August 12, 2014 at 8:47 pm

        How is a 15mph e-bike “loaded” down with batteries and possibly suspension — but probably still lighter than a Bakfiets or my Madsen — even remotely similar to a Hyundai on the road?

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        • q`Tzal August 13, 2014 at 11:18 am

          It is the child of technology (which is bad) and science (Hollywood tells us ALL science is evil and if Hollywood says it it MUST be true).

          We must renounce all technology and live as hunter gatherers in dirt caves so that the Amish look like Borg cyberpunk refugees.

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    • wsbob August 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      You mean the writer, Steve Fleming on his blog cycle space, of the piece this link leads to?:


      He may dislike ebikes, but in reading more of what he’s got to say in the comment section to his story, what it seems he actually hoped to do with his lament that ebikes are a bearer of doom, is lodge a complaint about cities building on hilly terrain. What he seems to think is, don’t build on any but level ground, and people won’t have a need for an electric motor to power their bicycle.

      A funny guy, I guess. In a comment to the comment section of his story, he claimed, or joked, that he chose the provocative title he did for his story, deliberately to try generate site hits. He, or one of the other people commenting to his story, mentioned that he likes to draw on irony to make a point. He got some good comments to his story though. One from someone in the Netherlands that rides an ebike on level ground, and thinks they’re just fine, and practical.

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    • JOH August 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Well said!! E-bikes are clearly not for everyone, but for getting around in the city, they make a lot of sense to me. Like so many of bikeportland’s younger commenters I used to leap tall buildings in a single bound, race along as fast or faster than traffic, etc. Now I’m 74, disabled and not supposed to walk farther than 200 ft. Because of my failing sense of balance doctors have said no more biking, so now because the nearest bus stop is several blocks away, I’m driving the car everywhere. I’m thinking of getting a recumbent trike with electric assist. Does that make me a bad person? No, just someone who looks at all the available options and chooses the one most appropriate for my needs.

      The most appropriate attitude here is to let economics & market demand deal with the issue. Welcome all the variations into the marketplace. Those which are appropriately engineered and cost-effective will succeed and economics 101 will deal with the rest.

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  • Dwaine Dibbly August 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I hope those terrible “fenders” from the Oregon Manifest bike don’t make it to production. Anyone who rides one of those should have to ride behind another one, in the rain.

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    • GlowBoy August 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      My biggest question about the Denny, other than “how well do those fenders work?” is how tough that clever handlebar is. In my book, any kind of urban utility bike needs to include U-lock level security, and that’s where most of the other entries failed for me.

      This handlebar at least provides a similar locking strategy as a U-lock, but the open question is how easily it is cut. I don’t need Manhattan-level security, or necessarily even overnight-in-downtown-Portland security (ability to survive attacks from bottle jacks, liquid nitrogen or 5 minutes with a Dremel). But I do need something that will at least fend off a quick opportunity attack from common hand tools, if I leave it parked somewhere for a couple hours. It’s probably NOT good enough for this handlebar to be made from thin aluminum. Hopefully Fuji can figure out how to commercialize it in a decently tough material, but without having it weigh 8 pounds.

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  • Opus the Poet August 11, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Am I the only one upset at the bike patrol mainly being used to harass homeless people and not to enhance bicycle safety?

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    • q`Tzal August 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      There seems to be a subset of permanently camped homeless people on the Springwater trail that have become territorial and aggressive.

      While this begs for better mental health care for the disadvantaged the gut reaction of most people is “more walls, more bars, more guards”.

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    • gutterbunnybikes August 11, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Ever ride down the stretch of Springwater from 205 east after dark? I’m a pretty big guy and not scared of much of anything. But it gets pretty creepy and weird out there sometimes. I think for many clearing the campers off the trail would consider it enhancing bicycling safety.

      Mind you I was homeless (I lived in a van – though in heat like today I preferred sleeping outside) for about a year and half back in the 90’s. So I’m not unsympathetic to the homeless. But there is a point where the population (and it’s pretty large all along the Springwater) becomes problematic to everyone – including the homeless camping there. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think there is a lot of people with drug/alcohol and mental health issues out there.

      Sadly there is nothing within the system to really help these people. It sucks. We defiantly need more services for this problem, but that in itself is whole different discussion.

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  • Clark in Vancouver August 11, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    So even after being shown evidence that it’s the environment that makes cyclists appear to others to be: crazy, entitled, special, etc. this Milloy guy still hangs onto his myth of those evil cyclists.
    I guess that’s to be expected. If those who you believe are inferior to you end up being the same as you, then you’re not so great after all. Pretty classic bigoted approach.

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  • Michael Miller August 15, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Who told the LA Times writer that NW 2nd Ave is in the Pearl?

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