The Monday Roundup: Reclaiming street play, bad parking shaming and more

Posted by on September 29th, 2014 at 8:57 am

A Northeast Portland neighborhood greenway.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

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

Reclaiming street play: After part of Edinburgh set a 20 mph speed limit on residential and major shopping streets, the percentage of kids allowed to play on the sidewalk or street jumped from 31 percent to 66 percent (PDF).

Bad parking shaming: Some Toronto residents have been keeping rolls of stickers in their pockets that say “I parked in a bike lane.”

Hit-run workaround: NYC’s city council voted unanimously to levy city fines of up to $10,000 on drivers who hit and run. The civil penalties will have lower standards of evidence than criminal process, which typically fails to muster enough evidence to convict suspects.

4G bike sharing: An internal Intel news site has a detailed, readable report on the company’s experimental dockless, text-activated corporate bike sharing system.

Walking on air: Pop star Katy Perry biked to work in Silicon Valley last Tuesday. In other news, Jonathan is now weighing more use of emoji in his tweets:

Bikelash errors: “In its worst manifestation, bikelash descends into glib homicidal musings,” writes Jon Terbush for The Week. “But even the more tame outrage is still misguided — and misinformed.”

Outrage of the week: California’s new three-foot passing law “doesn’t add up” because people in cars aren’t capable of passing bikes safely, writes the Orange County Register (the previous paper of Oregonian publisher N. Christian Anderson III) in an editorial. Also: every new bike-related law “must confront the bad behavior of cyclists.”

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NYC soul-searching: After the second fatality in two months caused by a bike that hit a person on foot, New York City’s biking advocates are looking inward.

Portland development: When it comes to infill, Portland ain’t seen nothing yet, says local writer Carl Alviani in a look at buildings about to rise in inner Northeast Portland.

National bike network: Bike Route 10 in northern Washington state is the first in the Northwest and California to be designated as part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

Biking and privilege: Sorry bros, but driving is just not enough like being white for it to work as a metaphor for privilege, says Brentin Mock.

Speed control: Oregon State Rep. Jeff Reardon is taking up the cause of unmanned speed cameras on high-crash corridors.

Transportation genius: New MacArthur grantee and historian Pamela Long, 71, has been car-free in DC for 10 years thanks to transit, Capital Bikeshare and her feet.

Autonomous truck: Mercedes has a working prototype of a self-driving semi truck and says it could be on the road in 10 years.

Wasted space: An Oakland-based web database is now tracking the Bay Area’s thousands of empty private car parking spaces.

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: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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TonyT
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TonyT
Dan de Vriend
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Dan de Vriend

First advice I got from my local friend riding in Amsterdam was “slow down dude, this isn’t a race.” I think we could all remember that. You don’t drive as fast as you can all the time, do you?

Cheif
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Cheif

Not really an accurate comparison, bikes don’t go 120 mph if you ride as fast as you can.

A.K.
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A.K.

“You don’t drive as fast as you can all the time, do you?”

HA! Just ask any hot-head driving who is forced to slow down because of a bike in the lane, or gets a ticket and complains they were only a few MPH over the limit. People treat speed limits as speed minimums.

Spiffy
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Spiffy

You don’t drive as fast as you can all the time, do you?

most drivers do drive as fast as they can get away with… the speed limit is only a low baseline for them to know how much they can get away with speeding…

Ted
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Ted

Just because I ride faster than you does not mean I am riding as fast as I can. I ride the speed I do because it is the speed I am comfortable riding.

spare_wheel
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spare_wheel

riding fast in a city park threatens others. riding fast in a traffic lane not so much.

Kyle
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Kyle

I can see where there’s a difference between riding in-lane with autos and separated cycle tracks. For example, I ride as fast as I can in many areas around Portland because I’m forced to ride in the lane (less speed differential is ultimately going to be safer for me), but I’d probably take it a bit easier and enjoy the ride if there was a separate facility.

Nicholas Skaggs
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Nicholas Skaggs

One of the key arguments of the editorial on California’s 3-foot passing lane is that

“…if a single cyclist rides at least two feet from parked cars… adding the new statutory three-foot buffer means that the cars and trucks those roads were built for have only three feet of lane left for themselves.”

Funny. If it isn’t safe to pass a cyclist, you can’t pass a cyclist. It’s like you hear the gears churning in his head as he realizes this.

I’m not even going to address the “roads were built for cars and trucks” sentiment in that quote.

Dwaine Dibbly
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Dwaine Dibbly

Put those “I parked in a bike lane” stickers on the perp’s license plate so they get pulled over by The PoPo for having an obstructed plate. They probably won’t get a ticket, but it’ll give them the excitement of a traffic stop. (Putting them on a taillight might have the same effect, but that could also harm other roadway users, so please don’t do that.)

Spiffy
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Spiffy

unfortunately it’s illegal to leave anything on somebody’s car in Oregon…

q`Tzal
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q`Tzal

Doea that include people that leave fliers under wipers on windshields?

Spiffy
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Spiffy

yep… illegal…

q`Tzal
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q`Tzal

Cool!
<walks away cackling malevolently>

Chris I
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Chris I

I once had some A-hole park with his car touching mine (the license plate bolts put a few small dents in my bumper). It was an older car, so I didn’t mind much, but I still got out my tool kit, turned his front license plate upside down, and went on my way. Sometimes you have to give Karma a little nudge.

Pete
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Pete

Somehow a valve stem remover found its way into my saddlebag… 😉

Alan 1.0
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Alan 1.0

I visited Buenos Aires many years ago. It’s a very flat city. The cars were mostly small and older; Fiat 500 etc. Parking was very tight. It was common to park without setting the brake but instead be literally bumper-to-bumper. To get out they’d gently roll back, pushing the car behind until they had room to turn out. Going in they’d often start at the end of the line, nudging the next few cars together until theirs cleared the corner.

shuppatsu
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shuppatsu

I’m in the “don’t really care” camp where it comes to the three feet law. I doubt it will change any behavior, and I doubt it will be enforced. It will figure in lawsuits when there are collisions. I suppose this is a good thing, but it’s not really clear to me.

I disagree with the article arguing against using cycling as a metaphor for understanding race and gender-based privilege. Most of what’s interesting about the concept of privilege is in the unconscious forms that it takes. It’s insidious, hard to understand, and hard to recognize in different contexts even if you do understand it and are open to the concept. For that reason, analogies are good. They stretch your mind and enable you to identify the dynamics in play in different situations. The fact that the analogy isn’t perfect or that the degrees of privilege are orders of magnitude apart does not mean it isn’t a valuable contribution to thinking about privilege.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Yeah, I think the privilege essay was conflating analogy to illustrate with equivalency. No one is saying it’s the same, but it does help people trying with difficulty to wrap their heads around recognizing their privilege to understand it a bit better.

Pete
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Pete

I agree the 3′ passing law will likely be effected more after collisions in practice, but I think it has some value in education and awareness. Frankly I prefer to have a law like this in place in case I’m struck by a driver and it’s recorded on my forward and rear-facing cameras. A few years back I was passed very closely on a highway by a driver talking on a cell phone. She was driving (seemingly) alone in the carpool lane, and a CHP motorcycle officer saw her drive over the line and close to me and pulled her over. I thanked him as I rode by, as I’m sure he got her for at least one of the three violations, but if this law was in effect I’d have stopped to ask him if he’d be citing her for that as well.

I also prefer a 3′ law (common in about half the states) as opposed to Oregon’s “distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the drivers lane of traffic.” To me, that’s unenforceable.

MaxD
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MaxD

I loved the reclaiming street play piece. It is such a positive spin on why to slow traffic on residential streets. I would love to this promoted by Portland, and I hope the State would allow city-wide lowering of residential neighbor speed limits to 15 mph. There has some mention on this blog (by commenter Chris I?) of a city-wide network of diverters to limit through traffic to 3 blocks or so and limit cut-through traffic. An enormous amount of the space of our city is given to roads, and they should not *just* be used for transportation. Low-level residential streets should have a cars-as-guests feeling and be open for all kinds of play!

Chris Anderson
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I think you are thinking of this one: http://bikeportland.org/2014/09/23/panel-ponders-portlands-slide-cycling-superstardom-111205#comment-5536196

The fact that we allow cars to move so fast through our neighborhoods that the phrase “look both ways” is a mandatory part of parenting, sickens me.

For those of you that haven’t read about what life was like before drivers started killing kids in the street: http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/episode-76-the-modern-moloch/

MaxD
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MaxD

Sorry I got you name wrong-totally love the idea of taming our neighborhood streets!

Suburban
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Suburban

There are no safe routes to school.

Pete
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Pete

Ironically school entrances are the most unsafe sections on my routes.

gutterbunnybikes
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gutterbunnybikes

I’d go far to say that other than a couple of the streets, even 35 is too fast on most the arterial streets. I’m all for lowering the speed limits by 5 mph (or more depending on the popularity of the street for bikes and pedestrians) on commercial streets across the city as well.

Lowering motorized vehicle speed is the absolute best thing you can do to make the streets safer for all users. Infrastructure improvements don’t even come close to the effectiveness of lower speed limits.

Spiffy
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Spiffy

so much news on the NY Central Park cycling death (Tarlov) focuses on the faults of the cyclist when everything I’m reading points to it being the fault of the dead pedestrian for crossing against the walk signal…

this happened at a signaled intersection and I could barely find any reference to who had the right of way… so far only the cyclist has said they had the green, and there haven’t been any other statements to the contrary… we all know there would be a ton of focus on the cyclist running the light if they had done so… there were witnesses…

so a pedestrian disobeys a traffic control device and steps into the path of a full-speed bicycle, essentially killing themselves, and the only thing you read about in the media is that reckless bicyclists are racing around killing pedestrians…

I’m not even finding any unbiased articles about it in the mainstream at all…

click-bait… all the news in the world today is just click-bait to generate revenue… thanks a lot for getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine, Reagan (and Bush)…

spare_wheel
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spare_wheel

this accident occurred on a car-free park road with striped bike and walk lanes. i don’t think the traffic signal is relevant given that this is a heavily used park. imo, pedestrians should always have right of way in a mixed-use recreational area. in fact, i believe pedestrians should always have right of way period.

spare_wheel
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spare_wheel

accident = collision

wsbob
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wsbob

“this accident occurred on a car-free park road with striped bike and walk lanes.” spare_wheel

I believe it’s the Central Park parkway, and cars are driven on it. Apparently, he rode his bike into the person on foot while quick changing from bike lane to main lane to dodge people crossing from one of the sides of the street.

Reporting on a collision like this one is no click bait joke. Popularity of biking in New York and the extreme uses with bikes of this park is very serious. The severity of the person riding into and killing a person on foot in Central Park, of all places, is no less than that of the collision out here on the Oregon coast road, in which someone driving ran into and killed someone riding on an obviously narrow, curvy road that did not afford long distance sight lines. The road in Central Park appears to have been straight, affording good sight lines. The person riding had good views of the people crossing the street.

Spiffy
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Spiffy

it happened at a signaled crosswalk… motor vehicle and bicycle lanes… pedestrians were allegedly crossing against the signal because no cars were coming and although the cyclist swerved out of the bike lane to avoid some of them he ended up hitting one…

Opus the Poet
Guest

He swerved to miss the ones coming from the left in the bike lane and hit the one coming from the right.

Spiffy
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Spiffy

you may be thinking of the death where a 17 year old kid swerved around a pedicab and hit somebody on a park path… although I don’t know of any of those paths that are striped for peds/bikes; couldn’t see any on Google street view…

here’s the Google street view of the Tarlov collision intersection I’m talking about: http://goo.gl/maps/Rb1EN

are
Guest

a guy setting personal speed records on a tri bike is simply at fault here, regardless of the condition of a crosswalk signal

Champs
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Champs

Is that giant lunchbox really Intel’s second iteration? I’m just speculating, but maybe there’s not enough money in it for Intel if they did the obvious thing:

1. User taps the lock to wake it via NFC
2. App pairs phone with lock via WiFi/Bluetooth
3. App requests a one-time authorization code via web
4. App transmits code to lock via WiFi/Bluetooth
5. Lock opens via electropermanent magnet
6. Lock drops to low power

It’s a really easy system that uses small, cheap commodity technologies. The components fit inside any decent U-lock. The bill of materials is about the same as a cheap smartphone. The dwindling number of phones w/o native NFC can add it with an inexpensive case or battery.

But if this is a serious effort, perhaps they should make contacts at Ingersoll-Rand (Kryptonite) or Todson (OnGuard). Surely they’d love to help out with schematics, maybe even prototype parts.

q`Tzal
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q`Tzal

In the comments at th KOIN story covering Oregon State Rep. Jeff Reardon is taking up the cause of unmanned speed cameras on high-crash corridors;
the most succinct bit of cognitive dissonance I’ve ever seen

Cant be too dangerous if people are going fast. Sounds like its marked are a lucrative area for tickets.. but not dangerous. If it were dangerous they would have already fixed it.

Chris I
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Chris I

This is why we live in a representative democracy. Some people are just not intelligent enough to deserve a seat at the table.

Chris Shaffer
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Chris Shaffer

I was just amazed and happy to see that the comments section of the Orange County Register was about 99% in favor of safety. It was such a contrast to the retrograde comments we see in the Oregonian.

Pat Franz
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Pat Franz

Nicholas Skaggs
One of the key arguments of the editorial on California’s 3-foot passing lane is that
“…if a single cyclist rides at least two feet from parked cars… adding the new statutory three-foot buffer means that the cars and trucks those roads were built for have only three feet of lane left for themselves.”

Yeah, and notice how the right of the parked cars to be there, taking up all that space, was never even thought about…

Interesting that if people just stopped their cars on the road for hours or days at a time, people would get upset they were impeding traffic, but leave the car there and walk away, that’s OK for some reason.