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.
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.
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.)