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The Monday Roundup: Brain-stress maps, disembowled by a bike thief & more

Posted by on February 9th, 2015 at 10:05 am

mindbend

A bike map built from brain waves.
(Image: MindRider)

Welcome to the first day of BikePortland’s first Southwest Portland Week! All this week, Jonathan and I will be reporting (and usually writing) from west of the hills, sharing the stories of biking here.

But while we get things rolling, we’ll start, as always, with a roundup of great bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week.

Stress maps: A bike helmet set up to monitor brainwaves for signs of stress has created a unique bike map of Manhattan.

Bike-thief knife attack: A Southeast Portland man was disemboweled by a would-be bike thief at his home last June, he testified last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Midnight races: For the former jailbirds in L.A.’s underground bike racing scene, “cycling is a way to escape crime, gain sponsorships and see the world.”

Beware of a too cheap e-bike: A crowdfunded fat tire e-bike claims that it can deliver its product to earlybird buyers for $599. It has raised millions so far, but there are reports that it’s too good to be true.

Bikes vs. broadband: When you need to move a big video file across London, bikes still beat the Internet.

Subway bikeways: One year after a London design firm proposed putting bikeways above all the railways, another one has proposed converting abandoned Tube lines to bikeways.

Street fee: Hillsboro’s city council unanimously voted to hike its street fee, paid on residents’ and businesses’ utility bills, by 137 percent over three years, to $7.56 per month. Most of the residential fee goes to biking and walking improvements; the business fee goes entirely to pavement maintenance.

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Chronic speeding: “Everybody’s complaining about speeding. Everybody,” Vancouver police traffic Sgt. Pat Johns tells The Columbian for a story about the 95 percent leap in Clark County traffic fatalities last year. “You can’t do consistent enforcement with one or two guys dedicated to an entire city.” The article doesn’t discuss the possibility of changing road designs.

Gas price crash: Gasoline is now almost as cheap as bottled water for the first time since 2009.

Gas tax hike: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) has introduced a bill that would phase in a 15-cent federal gas tax hike over the next three years.

Good money after bad: Giving more gas taxes to the federal Department of Transportation will only actually help if we stop spending 57 percent of our money on ever-larger roads, says Streetsblog’s Angie Schmitt.

Free U-locks: Salem’s Willamette University is fighting theft by giving them to students.

Big think: U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx spent an hour talking to Google’s chairman about the next 30 years of transportation policy.

Reshaped worlds: Portland’s Safe Routes to School program manager finishes this short Atlantic video with a great anecdote about the difference between a childhood where you walk to school and one where you don’t.

Language barrier: I can identify with this short personal essay expressing gratitude to the writer’s past self for finding the guts to walk into a bike shop and ask for help without knowing the words to say.

Finally, your video of the week takes a look at the abandoned Kentucky mine that’s been converted to the nation’s largest indoor bike park. (No embed this week because there was no way to turn off autoplay.)

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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Terry D-M
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Terry D-M

With all the fracking quakes, I would be a little worried that it would collapse. Buried bicylists…..sounds like a good idea for bike horror movie…..

Adron @ Transit Sleuth
Guest

Wait a second, Hillsboro – the not so progressive part of the area – passed a street fee while Portland spirals around trying to get it’s act together? I mean, we’re ahead in MANY ways but that’s just downright frustrating. We gotta get some movement on this, I’d like to see better options and improvements before I’m freakin’ 90 years old!!!

trippy…

…all that other round up, good job. Interesting stuff.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“we’re ahead in MANY ways but that’s just downright frustrating.”
Raising money is one thing.
Getting it right is (or can be) something else entirely.
Just look at the ebike fundraiser story above.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

they didn’t pass a street fee, they increased it…

if we already had a street fee it probably would’ve been raised by now…

John Lascurettes
Guest

Bikes vs. Broadband link is wrong; it goes to the Storm Kickstarter page.

Found a link via google that might be the Bikes vs. Broadband story: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/02/southeast_portland_bicycle_thi.html

John Lascurettes
Guest

Never mind. Your link is right. It’s s bug in Apple’s Safari’s Reader function.

9watts
Guest
9watts

I wonder why Blumenauer’s gas tax hike proposal isn’t indexed to inflation? He acknowledges that inflation is what has eaten away at the real value of the gas tax receipts.

Pete
Guest
Pete

I wonder if it has to do with “think tanks” like this one:
http://www.americansfortaxreformfoundation.org/tying-gas-tax-inflation-good-idea-a15

Or maybe a house majority funded by industry lobbies?

9watts
Guest
9watts

Yikes! Hard to believe the ‘reasoning’ by some people in this country.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

Well I’ll be damned, I had no idea a gas tax being indexed with the CPI or not is the only factor in road conditions!

That so-called think tanks commonly promote such simplified perspectives is something I find very troubling.

Trek 3900
Guest
Trek 3900

Excellent article – thanks for the link. They are right: we should look at states with good roads to see why their roads are good and learn from more successful states.

For starters I’d propose a $50 fee for putting studs into tires, paid by the tire company when you buy studded tires – obviously the consumer is really paying, but it would be easy to collect from the tire company.

Next I’d propose increasing the gas tax to be highest in the nation – currently we are at ~31.1 cents per gallon. I’d go for 50 cents right away and, yes, I drive a car. Gas is cheap – now is the time to raise the tax.

Tell Kitzhaber and the idiots in Salem to STFU about (and quit wasting money on) charging a per mile road tax, except possibly for electric vehicles. I do not want my Civic paying more to use the roads than a Hummer, thank you very much! A Hummer does more dollar damage to roads in 10 miles than my Civic does in 1000! For electric cars the tax should be quite low since they are light and do little damage – for electric trucks the tax could be higher.

I suspect 90% of damage to Oregon roads is done by big trucks and by studded tires.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Or, instead of raising any gas taxes, why don’t we offer tax breaks for big companies to bring some of their money back from overseas shelters?

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/231448-obama-proposes-478b-transportation-bill

Sorry, I never cease to be amazed at politics – state, federal, or otherwise.

Trek 3900
Guest
Trek 3900

The government should butt out of the movement of money by individuals. Ditto for corporations. Once I get a paycheck and pay my federal and state tax on that money it should be mine and should not be taxed again. If I decide to take it offshore that should be my business, not the governments business. If I earn money in another country I should have to pay the tax where it was earned, with no tax to the US. The IRS has gotten WAY WAY too big for their britches and needs to be taken to the woodshed. Hopefully the R’s will make it happen. 😉

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

I had the impression Pete was referring to companies that move their money overseas to avoid paying taxes.

Trek 3900
Guest
Trek 3900

13 STATES have higher gas taxes than Oregon. Let’s find out which one has the highest and raise ours so we are number 1. That would be better and cheaper than the idiotic plans coming out of Salem to monitor mileage driven which would mean fuel efficient cars are subsidizing gas hogs.

Here are the stats: (Oregon is slide #32)
http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/taxes/states-with-the-lowest-and-highest-gas-taxes/ss-AA8vX2r?index=32&ocid=iehp

joel
Guest

video transfer speed by bike is faster for most central cities. as both video file size and portable storage capacity grow, broadband wont catch up any time soon, because my bandwidth is functionally infinite. heck, a while back i took 16 TERABYTES from downtown to n mississippi in less than 20 minutes. good luck doing that over the wire. when i messengered in london in the late 90s, we were still doing a lot of audio file transfer by bike – that died off in the early 2000s. video is a different story altogether.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

Comcast currently has infrastructure in place to efficiently offer gigabit connections using existing DOCSIS 3.0 technology but they’re more concerned with milking the market through incremental speed and price increases.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

I’m all for private business competition but companies like Comcast & TWC have legislated monopolies that have allowed them to transition from cable monopolies to being ISP/data service provider monopolies.
It really is hard to argue why a monopolistic private business would be any less corrupt than a government run equivalent service.
At least the government isn’t as concerned with stealing every last penny they can.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Especially professionally-editable video, which tends not to be compressed.

brian
Guest
brian

I don’t buy gas or bottled water, but its shocking that they could cost the same!

Dan
Guest
Dan

We should tax the heck out of both.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Oregonian did a follow up story on the bike thief with a knife. Theft of a bike was down the list in comparison to other types of harm to other people he’s produced. He did get convicted, so he’ll be locked up for awhile. Though, if the O story’s report on his past record and disposition is accurate, sentence aside, this person has a very long way to go before the public should ever be exposed to his tendencies again.

PorterStout
Guest
PorterStout

I don’t know this for a fact, but I suspect the Russian authorities spend less than half on their prisoners than we spend here. Let’s offer to ship him back and pay the tab. 25 years in a Russian prison and the problem will probably be solved.

Mossby Pomegrante
Guest
Mossby Pomegrante

I agree! DEPORT!

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

It sounds like a great idea, deporting criminals to their country of origin, but the USA and Latin America has already and continues to experience the unforeseen consequences of blanket deportation.

Will the other country even accept them?
What makes you think they will remain incarcerated there?
When they get out we have no reason to believe that they won’t come right back.

The United States adopted a policy of deporting criminals back to Latin American countries over the last 2 decades. Its primary effect seems to have been to destabilize and shove in to anarchy countries that were susceptible to corruption and criminal influence.

Sending vast numbers of organized crime gang members back to these small countries had the effect of installing criminal organizations in areas that had only ever dealt with small scale crime. With most of these organized crime groups now operating in the US and having a backup power base they have been able to rescue deported criminals. They are able to maintain a solid power base outside the reach of the US and stronger than the influence of local law enforcement.

Our deportation policy SET UP organized crime in each of these areas and its continuation continuously replenishes their manpower in areas we can’t touch.

Deportation sounds simple but unless you have a big island with no technology and ZERO chance of escape then we are wasting out time and money.

Rick
Guest
Rick

interesting to note where are the bike lanes in staten island? More trails are needed there.

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

“Disembowel” is not a word one expects to see on BikePortland. Or in Portland. Or in the 21st century. Wow.

ethan
Guest
ethan

Seriously… for a while, I was reading it as “disemvoweled” (which was used by the blog Consumerist to remove vowels from unruly posts to obfuscate their message).

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

It is a little “Braveheart”y…

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“Disembowel” is not a word one expects to see …” anne hawley

Not being well familiar with its meaning because I don’t see or hear the word often, reading it in the Oregonian story, the image that first came to my mind, is not what happened to the person attacked. The attack was a knife slash across the stomach, with everything spilling out. In this case, a very vicious response to what initially was a warning to not steal the bike. I think the story reports that before being slashed, the victim did hit the 25 yr old attacker with a baton.

SW
Guest
SW

>>A Southeast Portland man was disemboweled by a would-be bike thief at his home last June

all other sources called it “partially” , meaning that some intestine was sticking out. Don’t make it sound even worse than reality.

And , if you ever get an appendectomy , standard procedure is to pull out 12 or 15 feet of intestine, check it out and then stuff it back in. (as long as they’re already in there)

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Don’t make it sound even worse than reality. …” SW

I’m inclined to heed the word of first responders, as reported in the O. Due to the apparent severity of his injuries, they questioned whether the person attacked would survive. Taking a person’s intestines out of their stomach and putting them back in, isn’t a trivial procedure done outside, on someone’s driveway. And not with some big pig sticker randomly slashed across a person’s stomach, very likely cutting the intestines in addition to the stomach wall.

Makes me think of a story I read in past, describing the kind of traumatic thing field medics have to deal with.

SW
Guest
SW

wsbob
“…Don’t make it sound even worse than reality. …” SW
And not with some big pig sticker randomly slashed across a person’s stomach, very likely cutting the intestines in addition to the stomach wall.
Recommended 0

you appear to be adding “facts” that aren’t in the other reports of this incident. Victim never saw the weapon and afterwards assumed it to be a box cutter, not a “big pig sticker”

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Whatever. Whether the victim saw a weapon or not, he got sliced, didn’t he? Or maybe you’re imagining his being cut was everyone’s’ imagination. I imagine a pig, no less than a person, doesn’t like being cut with either a box cutter, or some other knife. A box cutter is no pair relatively harmless grade school craft scissors.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Regarding the Vancouver speeding story, like Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns says, if you have to tell drivers to slow down, you’ve built your road wrong.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…like Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns says, if you have to tell drivers to slow down, you’ve built your road wrong.” Brad

Please give those of us reading here, a thumbnail description of what Mr Marohn’s idea of road construction and design that by its function, keeps people driving motor vehicles, from exceeding posted mph speeds with their vehicles.

I wonder if his idea for accomplishing this is narrower, twistier, speed bump equipped, road dieted roads.

More pertinent to The Columbian story on speed limits being exceeded, are reasons cited for that happening. Number one reason cited being DUI driving. Thoughts of people quoted in the story, express that not enough police to sufficiently help maintain posted speeds is another big reason for the speeding problem.

If certain approaches of road design are able in a practical way, to maintain the speed of DUI drivers within posted speed limits, that would be something perhaps worth looking at.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

You’ve pretty much summed up the Strong Town argument (in a very small nut shell).

If you haven’t read his Mr. Marohns blog it’s a good read. He is one of the few professionals fighting against the established fraternity system of their profession. I’d put him up there as a civil engineering pioneer as Michael Renyolds and Nader Khalili are to architecture, both of which found much better ways of building smaller structures (houses, and small commercial) than what exists, and have been fighting an uphill battle against the field in which they are (or were in Khalili case) working within.

Sorry if my references escape you too, I’m as much of an armchair architecture wonk as I am a transportation wonk.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Small scale roads and architecture can be fine. When somebody tries to imply that road design is the reason, or a significant reason drunks are driving motor vehicles over the speed limit, they’re not making any sense.

When people try make the case that speeds being traveled by motor vehicles on roads of the type Barbur Blvd is, are too fast because the road hasn’t been designed properly, due to it having too many main lanes, that’s something that really makes little sense.

An interesting question to me is, of all the people driving on roads of the type Barbur Blvd is, what percent of them would like the top speeds motor vehicles, including theirs, travel on the road to be greater that 25 mph?.

I don’t think many would want to be confined to that speed limit in their motor vehicles on such roads. it seems that communities generally tend to desire the 45 mph posted, and higher speed limits that big government bureaucracy sets.

SW
Guest
SW

Interesting how the latest in the Lance Armstrong saga did not make it to the Monday roundup ?

Pete
Guest
Pete

Lance who?

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

He’s one of those human shaped flexible rubber Gumby knockoffs.

Pete
Guest
Pete