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The Monday Roundup: Removing liability in Hawaii, Florida’s big switch and more

Posted by on February 16th, 2015 at 10:17 am

Honolulu Century Ride 2008

Pedaling in Honolulu.
(Photo: Ryoichi Tanaka)

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

No-fault injuries: A bill in Hawaii’s legislature would prohibit personal injury protection payments to anyone who hit by a car while bicycling.

Mandatory high-viz: Following Wyoming’s tracks, South Dakota is considering a law to make it a misdemeanor to bike on any public roadway without wearing “fluorescent or reflective garments.”

Mandatory helmets: A bill in California would require all adults to wear helmets while biking.

Maintenance crisis: The U.S. infrastructure crisis is actually a maintenance crisis, with pavement and rail lines needing maintenance far more than roads need expansion. But filling potholes doesn’t seem to get voters excited.

Federal gap: Republicans and Democrats agree that they need transportation money, but there are two problems: conservatives don’t want a penny for walking, biking or transit; and few are willing to talk about how to fund it.

London’s follow-up: Fresh off his green light to build a $240 million downtown protected bike lane network, London’s mayor wants to build a $30 billion underground ring road.

All-ages bikeways: A British web survey found that 33 percent of adults think it’s appropriate to ride with an eight-year-old in a painted bike lane, while 80 percent approve of doing so in a curb-separated bike lane.

Texas milestone: The latest city to get a downtown protected bike lane: Houston.

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Parking removal: Seattle’s push for better bike and bus lanes is crossing a long-avoided line: it’s removing curbside parking spaces. Leaders are framing it as part of the city “growing up.”

Seattle safety: Seattle has launched a Vision Zero plan, with a hard target of 2030 for eliminating traffic deaths.

Proportional funding: San Luis Obispo, Calif., just set a 20 percent bike mode share goal … and more importantly, allocated a matching share of its general fund transportation spending for bike infrastructure.

Standardizing buffers: In a major shift of direction, the Florida Department of Transportation has endorsed 10-foot-wide lanes on urban arterials and made 2 to 3-foot hatched buffers standard for all urban bike lanes.

Livability PAC: Some Dallas residents have launched a political action committee to destroy a freeway.

Job locations: Office tenants say they prefer mixed-use environments to single-use office parks, 83 percent to 17 percent.

Young-adult suburbs: Increasingly priced out of the cities their older siblings helped popularize, millennials are moving to suburbs in large numbers, and the ones with walkable, bikeable grids may have a leg up.

Urban disease: Stephen Corwin writes that driving is like smoking — fun in the beginning, eventually routine — but Los Angeles isn’t just addicted: it has cancer.

Efficiency in action: Here’s a pretty good illustration:

Exporting Sadik-Khan: Bloomberg Philanthropies has chosen 10 cities in the developing world to get help enacting NYC-style makeovers.

And in your video of the week (via Streetsblog USA), the Russian “Stop a Douchebag movement” is a group of men who force people to stop driving on the sidewalk and sometimes get loaded guns pointed at them for it:

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.

Correction 2/17: A previous version of this post misstated the type of payments that the Hawaii bill would ban. It would ban personal injury protection payments that are assigned regardless of fault or liability.

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84 Comments
  • dan February 16, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Re: mandatory high viz in Wyoming and South Dakota. I’d be happy to comply as long as motorists who hit cyclists will be investigated and charged appropriately. After all, then there should be no “I just didn’t see him” excuse, right?

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    • Tim February 16, 2015 at 11:26 am

      How about mandatory high viz cars. Have you ever seen a white car in a ground blizzard – I didn’t think so?

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      • Brad February 17, 2015 at 11:27 am

        That would be hilarious, every car sold in those states has to be painted neon green, orange, or yellow! Love to see that.

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    • 9watts February 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      “then there should be no ‘I just didn’t see him’ excuse, right?”

      No way, no how. You have unwittingly allowed them to define the terms, blind you to the fact that they can’t/shouldn’t be able to use that excuse right now. The point isn’t that they didn’t see me; it’s that they didn’t look very hard.

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      • dan February 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

        Sorry to break the news, but they do use that excuse right now, along with the “unavoidable accident” excuse. If they’re going to pass a mean-spirited law, might as well use it as leverage when push comes to shove, that’s all I’m saying.

        I allow nothing, I deny everything 🙂

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    • Nathan February 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Luckily this was tabled today by the representative who was the primary sponsor.

      http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Bill=1214&Session=2015

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  • K'Tesh February 16, 2015 at 10:52 am

    DAAAAMMMNNNN!!!!! I’m amazed that nobody knocked that gun out of the idiot’s hand. He was distracted enough that he could have been disarmed easily…

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    • J February 16, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Nah, it was great for activists to invite police intervention. I loved it when the cops emptied his gun and he was forced to apologize!

      In other news… I’ve praised high viz for commuting in the rain, but S.D. and Wyoming are attempting to slide down the slippery slope that commenters here knew would be inevitable. I stand corrected.

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  • Al Dimond February 16, 2015 at 10:52 am

    “Fluorescent” garments? Maybe these guys can help with that.

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  • Granpa February 16, 2015 at 11:41 am

    On a vacation in Hawaii last year, on the Big Island I rented a nice road bike and headed off looking for lesser traveled roads from the resort area near Mauna Lani. Even though the guy at the bike shop tried to dissuade me from taking this route I took the Waikoloa road. It turned out to be somewhat lesser traveled, however it was narrow with the paved shoulder sometimes consisting of nothing wider than the fog line stripe. Frequently the broken pavement at the shoulder had an abrupt edge of 4” or more. AND the road was an unrelenting climb.

    In Hawaii there are haters. Cycling tourists are, in the minds of some, yuppie elites who are worthy of harassment. Riding through lava fields and arid grassland I was crowded by work trucks for no reason and understood why the route was not recommended. For Hawaii to deny injury payments to injured cyclists is unconscionable. It gives haters tacit permission the endanger or hurt cyclists and in a state where tourists and cycling tourism is a viable income generator, it puts this type of tourism and the income it brings to the state in peril.

    FWIW the ride kicked by butt and I recall the ride as being excellent. I am able to compartmentalize the hater/hazard and recall the wonderful fast and long glide down from the town of Wiamea back to the coast as the most memorable part of the trip.

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    • dan February 16, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Yeah, it’s hard to interpret that bill except as “we hate bicyclists, ha ha ha”. I hope that if it passes the Iron Man competition and other races held in Hawaii will move to more welcoming locations.

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      • was carless February 16, 2015 at 12:52 pm

        I visited family in Hawaii last year, and distinctly remember not seeing any sidewalks outside of Waikiki and downtown. Like, almost nowhere had sidewalks. It was actually disturbing.

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        • paikiala February 17, 2015 at 10:41 am

          The state of Hawai’i is generally quite rural.

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    • John Lascurettes February 16, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Truly baffling, this HI bill. So, one must also be driving a car to be able to make a claim against someone who as at fault for causing a collision? Talk about car blindness!

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    • Dan February 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Kaloko Rd is a legendary butt kicker, and Old Mamaloa Hwy is a beautiful old Hawaii route with tons of great views. Hawaii, of all places, should be able to recognize the potential of bicycle tourism.

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  • Dave February 16, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    In related news, Hawaii has legalized cross burning.

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    • Lester Burnham February 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      huh?!

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      • John Lascurettes February 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        The point being that passing a law like cross-burning would be just as absurd – so why is the one denying an injured cyclist a liability claim even being considered? This is taking the “cyclists don’t pay for the road (or anything related to them)” myth to a new extreme.

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        • Scott H February 17, 2015 at 11:10 am

          I would like to meet the human scum that introduced that bill. The Iron Man should immediately announce plans to leave Hawaii.

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  • Psyfalcon February 16, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Honolulu is warm, but not excessively hot, dry (15 inches of rain), and fairly flat. They have very high gas and land prices.

    And they still manage to have no bike commuting even with none of the typical republican opposition. If a city was custom designed for not using a car I’d start there.

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    • JJJJ February 16, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Whats even more baffling is how far behind they are with clean energy. They have endless sun and Id assume a good amount of geothermal, but you see very few solar panels and few electric cars. 20 years ago Israel had solar panels everywhere, and yet the sky high prices of fuel in Hawaii never convinced them to do the same?

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      • was carless February 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        Actually, heco is in the top 10 for adoption of solar power – so much so that the electric utility (heco) has been banning new solar installs because of grid instability issues – ie, they have poor load balancing.

        “Hawaiian Electric Company was again named one of the nation’s Top 10 electric utilities for solar power added to its system per customer in 2010 in the Utility Solar Rankings published annually by the Solar Electric Power Association. Of 230 utilities participating, Hawaiian Electric ranked third nationally in added solar watts-per-customer.”

        http://www.hawaiianelectric.com/heco/Clean-Energy/Renewable-Energy-Basics/Solar-Energy

        “The average monthly residential electricity bill in Hawaii, $203, is the nation’s highest [PDF]. Because of the high retail electricity prices, Hawaii residents can install solar, without incentives, for less than the cost of grid electricity.”

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2013/07/26/why-hawaii-just-became-an-even-better-market-for-solar/

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        • Psyfalcon February 16, 2015 at 1:45 pm

          Yes, but I think they burn diesel for anything not roof top solar. Combined with the load balancing issue, they’re pretty much stuck. Maybe some more utility owned solar or wind in areas where people can’t afford to put them on their roof…

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      • Lester Burnham February 16, 2015 at 1:48 pm

        Ever heard of Governor Abercrombie? Worst thing since Kitzhaber.

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      • dave February 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm

        There are quite a few wind mills on every island I’ve been on. So they do take alternative energy pretty seriously. Plus, electric car plug in stations seemed to be all over the place on Oahu.

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      • Todd Boulanger February 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm

        Hawaii as a state was ahead of the alt energy curve when over 10% of its energy came from buying dry cane stalks…back before the 1990s collapse of Big Sugar.

        Geothermal on a large scale was attempted in the early 90s but there was strong concern about drilling into Madame Pele (volcano goddess) and the destruction necessary to build transmission lines across the islands (and marine areas) to get the power to the big cities on Oahu. Hydro also is limited. As a former planner there, I always wondered why solar water heating never took off in a big way given how simple the tech was.

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      • paikiala February 17, 2015 at 10:43 am

        Exlploitation of geothermal is a cultural issue with the first nations population from whom the land was taken.

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    • Brendan February 16, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      That’s funny because I was thinking the same thing reading the article about LA. And then Seattle, Portland, Minnesota, and Amsterdam, which seem like 4 of the worst climates for biking are among the most popular in the world. I’ve never understood that paradox.

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    • was carless February 16, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      I think Hawaii has more freeway lanes per resident than any other city in the world. The island of Oahu, with a population of less than a million, has three interstate freeways, and even a freeway loop around the military bases. There is a 2-4 lane highway that rings around the island’s coast, but most of the way is no room to walk or ride a bike despite it being the absolutely perfect most ideal conditions for it!

      Unfortunately, due to the traffic congestion, riding the bus takes forever and a day to get anywhere. However, they are building an elevated light rail system that will hopefully start to get people out of their cars.

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      • dave February 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm

        They have three highways on Oahu. One that goes East-West and two that are roughly North-South, there is no highway that circles the island. Now they do have a regular road that goes around the island but I would say it’s no different than 101 on our coast. having said that the newest highway (H3) goes through the longest tunnel in North America and should have been built bike-friendly. That was a big miss.

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      • caesar February 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm

        Dude, you’re source of info is seriously flawed. There is no freeway circling the island. In fact, one cannot traverse the northwestern tip except by foot or MTB. Like the locals would say: “Maybe try Google maps?”

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  • Adam Charles February 16, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Is there any context to the Hawaii bill? Why does it exist in the first place? Who is behind it and what problem is it trying to solve?

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    • wsbob February 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      “Is there any context to the Hawaii bill? Why does it exist in the first place? Who is behind it and what problem is it trying to solve?” Adam Charles

      Good questions it would have been nice if someone having read the stories, would have looked for the answers to, instead of posting the usual thoughtless assumptions.

      It seems to be somewhat common knowledge that native Hawaiians have for a long time, not been enthusiastic about how tourism dominates Hawaii. Is the animosity expressed towards people riding bikes, because of the bike, or because those riding them are out of state tourists?

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    • Psyfalcon February 16, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      Looks like its sponsored by someone from the NE (windward) coast. The only roads to Honolulu are narrow, steep, and fast. But not so far that you can’t commute it.

      I’d start with someone holding up the represenative on his commute to the city. Imagine Beaverton to PDX but you only get 2 Barburs to get into the city.

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  • Lester Burnham February 16, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Hawaii was stolen from the indigenous people. It is not your biking paradise.

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    • Zimmerman February 16, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      So was the rest of the United States, what’s your point, that cyclists should be fair game on the roads to make up for it?

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    • Granpa February 16, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      I have a hunch that resentment against cyclists is well represented by native Hawaiians. It is not my (infers ownership) biking paradise, but there is no reason that it is not a biking paradise.

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      • wsbob February 17, 2015 at 12:06 am

        “I have a hunch that resentment against cyclists is well represented by native Hawaiians. …” Granpa

        Tell why it is you have such a hunch. Are you thinking that many Hawaiians that drive, don’t respect people riding a bike, even if they’re native Hawaiians?

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    • q`Tzal February 16, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Eat the RICH, the poor are tough and stringy.

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      • Lester Burnham February 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

        You mean the same rich who can afford $5000 bicycles?

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      • Granpa February 16, 2015 at 2:58 pm

        I guess Hawaii is not the only place with haters

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    • Dan February 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Hawaii was stolen from the indigenous people. It is not your driving paradise.

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    • El Biciclero February 17, 2015 at 9:42 am

      “Hawaii was stolen from the indigenous people. It is not your biking paradise.”

      Should it be a driving paradise instead? If we really want to return Hawai’i to it’s original state, shouldn’t we de-pave the whole place and remove the motor vehicles as well?

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  • John Lascurettes February 16, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Regarding that story about L.A. having cancer, I’ll start with a quote:

    Let’s talk about how Los Angeles is a city where construction projects can fence off whole blocks, including the sidewalks, without offering people on foot an alternative. Let’s talk about how when that happens, no one even considers converting one of the two car lanes into a temporary sidewalk, because dear god, that might cause slight inconvenience to people in cars

    We have that going on in several areas around Portland right now, especially downtown.

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    • Brad February 17, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Not that I don’t agree that it’s a nuisance having a sidewalk closed off in downtown Portland, but our 200 ft blocks and narrower streets really mitigate the impact. In LA, their blocks are longer and their streets are so wide they make Burnside look quaint. It’s a far bigger LA problem.

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      • invisiblebikes February 17, 2015 at 12:22 pm

        That and you’d be hard pressed to find a street with a speed limit under 45mph in LA and anything under 35mph just doesn’t exist in even the older neighborhood streets are 45!
        just like the song says “nobody walks in LA” everyone drives and everyone has to drive the newest, fastest car they can get!

        I wish we as American’s (wink wink) could vote on turning California into a giant prison and LA would be the supermax… remember Escape from LA… we can only dream!

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      • John Lascurettes February 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

        Except that there’s been a few cases in recent months where you have to cross back and forth across the street (that is, waiting for two green lights) because of construction zones on opposite sides of the street on two different blocks.

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  • shirtsoff February 16, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    If the city were to require very costly permits to obstruct and/or restrict a sidewalk for these construction projects, it could be a valuable source of revenue for road maintenance. The public right of way for vulnerable transportation users (i.e. pedestrians, cyclists) should not be sacrificed without great cost.

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  • Todd Boulanger February 16, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    If you read the Hawaii Bill changing the insurance payment status of cyclists in MV crashes…you also see that mopeds are affected (a very large percentage of traffic in Honolulu – bigger than bikes) and motorcycle passengers too.

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    • caesar February 16, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Exactly. And that is why the bill will fail. Ken Ito sponsored it. He’s also a staunch supporter of the NRA and opposes gay marriage. Yet, he’s a Democrat.

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    • wsbob February 17, 2015 at 12:11 am

      “…mopeds are affected (a very large percentage of traffic in Honolulu…” Todd Boulanger

      Any word from Hawaii on how moped operators are as fellow road users in traffic?

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      • Dan February 17, 2015 at 6:33 am

        as a group?

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        • wsbob February 17, 2015 at 8:10 pm

          Not as a group, but rather, in general. In other words, when people driving in Hawaii, find people on bikes in traffic amongst them, what type of riding in traffic behavior are they likely to experience from them?

          In a comment elsewhere in this stories’ comment section: http://bikeportland.org/2015/02/16/monday-roundup-removing-liability-hawaii-floridas-big-switch-134577#comment-6189780

          …Caesar says that

          “…cyclists in Honolulu are, by and large, much, much more unwilling to ride by the rules if the road than their counterparts here in Portland. …”

          Nobody posting comments here is offering an opposing viewpoint. If what he says is true, that could partly explain the animosity people biking in Hawaii may be experiencing.

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          • Dan February 17, 2015 at 10:23 pm

            There are wackos transporting themselves all over the world by all kinds of means. Having been to Hawaii many times (couldn’t tell you how many, lost track some time ago), I feel confident in saying that there are poor walkers, skateboarders, cyclists, mopeders, motorcyclists and drivers in Hawaii just like there are here. I have not noticed any particular type of road user being abnormally worse than another (as compared to here), though I would say that in Hawaii there are probably a lot more lost tourists who may run you over because they are distracted and don’t know where they are going. Locals will flash a shaka when you do them a courtesy in traffic, but they’ll also think you’re crazy for trying to ride a bike around on those skinny roads.

            Caesar says “Excluding the sports cyclists (those training for triathlons, iron mans and the like)”. Why exclude ‘sports cyclists’? Is this meant to refer to anyone who’s not on a beach cruiser? Who maybe wants to ride the road to Hana? Or the Honolulu Century Ride? Or climb Maunakea? Or any number of classic routes on the Islands? I don’t know what that means, except to say that there are law abiding cyclists on the islands. That shouldn’t be a surprise — most law abiding cyclists go completely unnoticed, unless they are run over.

            The idea behind this bill SEEMS to be that there are some knuckleheads acting crazy on bikes and mopeds, so lets remove all personal injury claims for all cyclists and mopeds, regardless of the particular situation, because if that made any sense you would take away ALL personal injury claims. Sorry, but you don’t get to choose what mode to take it away from — that’s just ridiculous. If you want to narrow it down, get REAL specific. Like, no injury claims for guys named Dave. Or joggers with small dogs. Or skateboarders on little plastic decks. Or that smelly guy in the apartment above you.

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            • 9watts February 18, 2015 at 7:07 am

              so many candidates for comment of the week!

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            • wsbob February 18, 2015 at 5:43 pm

              “…The idea behind this bill SEEMS to be …” Dan

              Wild guesses don’t answer the question of why this bill is being proposed in Hawaii. There’s no shortage of people commenting here, that like to crank out old animosity laden complaints in speculation as to why the bill is being proposed. Nobody has yet come forward with a current news story from Hawaii, about what issues occurring in Hawaii, have brought this bill to that state’s legislature.

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  • Tony H February 16, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    So glad to see San Luis Obispo in bike news! I lived there in the 1990s. Although I did have a vehicle, that was where I first began to contemplate life without a car. I began to do the vast majority of errands on my bike. BTW, the ride to Avila Beach is outstanding. Trivia: This is where BOB trailers started.

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    • tacoma February 18, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Love my BOB trailer.

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  • Jim Lee February 16, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I taught at Cal Poly SLO in the 1970s, biking to work almost every day. The place is a wind-tunnel, and can be cold and wet too.

    Yeah, the ride from SLO down to Avila Beach is very nice indeed!

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  • Mark February 16, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    My take on the Hawaii bill is that it adversely affects motor vehicle drivers. No longer will their insurance cover injuries to vulnerable road users, the offending driver will be on the hook for the full amount of damages. Clip a cyclist? Kiss your assets goodbye and get ready for a lifetime of garnished wages!

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    • wsbob February 17, 2015 at 12:19 am

      “My take on the Hawaii bill is that it adversely affects motor vehicle drivers. …” Mark

      Possibly good point. If the bill isn’t precluding people that ride from suing, people that injure them while driving their motor vehicles, then people driving could be made to pay, if they’re not broke. Of interest also, is whether Hawaii has an uninsured motorists fund that would cover injuries in situations where insurance doesn’t.

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  • caesar February 16, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    The Hawaii bill is headed for the Transportation Committee. That is where it will die. Just wait, you’ll see.

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  • caesar February 16, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    dave
    Plus, electric car plug in stations seemed to be all over the place on Oahu.
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    True. Unlike Portland. In fact, I was unable to find a single charging station open to the public in downtown PDX other than the ones at PSU, and half of those were broken. Also, EVs get quite a few perks in Hawaii, like exemption from parking meters and free parking at the airport. Haven’t seen any of that in PDX yet…

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    • 9watts February 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      “Also, EVs get quite a few perks in Hawaii, like exemption from parking meters and free parking at the airport. Haven’t seen any of that in PDX yet…”
      And why would we want that?
      The average household income of a Chevy Volt owner is, if I remember correctly, $175,000. And poor people, by and large, don’t fly.

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      • Caesar February 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm

        So according to your logic Portland only needs to create and support infrastructure that benefits poor people? Middle class folks who can afford a Nissan Leaf ( about $29k after federal and State of Hawaii rebates) are just not part of that equation?
        Interesting way to ‘splain why EVs don’t seem to be of much concern round here – ’cause “poor people” don’t drive them.

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        • 9watts February 17, 2015 at 12:53 pm

          You missed my points entirely. We should not be in the business of subsidizing any cars, especially not already massively subsidized electric cars that, for the most part, rich people buy and drive.

          And you haven’t said why you think we are remiss for not having further subsidized these vehicles. Let me guess – so more people will be encouraged to buy them? Well I have no interest whatsoever in public funds being used to encourage that. If we have public funds to throw around encouraging transportation of this or that flavor, then I say let’s throw it at human powered modes, or at enforcement of laws governing the use of the horseless carriage, so people using their feet or legs stand a better chance of arriving at their destination with their physique intact.

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          • Caesar February 17, 2015 at 5:39 pm

            For every electric vehicle that is purchased one can assume that an internal combustion vehicle will not be purchased (and thus not driven). And that’s a good thing. If you somehow can’t accept that replacing, let’s say for the sense of argument, 50% of the currently projected vehicles on the road in 50 years with electric ones is a positive thing, then we simply have reached the limit of our little debate.

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            • 9watts February 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm

              “For every electric vehicle that is purchased one can assume that an internal combustion vehicle will not be purchased (and thus not driven).”

              I make no such assumption. What about the possibility that electric cars are middle class trophies, like SUVs or big stainless steel refrigerators? A way to demonstrate your environmental bona fides.

              “And that’s a good thing.”

              Even if this were true, how it it a good thing? Do you know that electric cars are less terrible for the planet than internal combustion rigs? There are plenty of debates about this, but your statement skips right over them. I’ll link to one such debate below.

              “If you somehow can’t accept that replacing, let’s say for the sense of argument, 50% of the currently projected vehicles on the road in 50 years with electric ones is a positive thing, then we simply have reached the limit of our little debate.”

              50 years? 🙂 Dude if we have the machinery to mine and refine and transport Lithium across the globe in fifty years; if we have any Lithium left in fifty years I’ll buy you an electric car. Long before we get to 2065 we’re going to have bigger issues than adding EVs to our shopping lists.

              http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/unclean-at-any-speed

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            • 9watts February 17, 2015 at 9:09 pm

              Here’s a quote that cuts to the chase:

              “Fascination with electric vehicles has distracted us from investigating this predicament and diverted our attention from more promising initiatives. A reminder of this came during the rush to extend electric-car subsidies, when Congress largely gutted a highly successful Safe Routes to School program that was upgrading basic infrastructure for students and educators to walk or bike to school. The fact that schools hold bake sales to finance bike racks while car companies bathe in billions of public funds is an inglorious national embarrassment.”

              from here:
              http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/ozzie-zehner-responds-to-his-critics

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    • John Lascurettes February 17, 2015 at 10:27 am

      There are some charging stations at OMSI. I don’t know if they’re free (I don’t have an EV).

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  • Dan February 17, 2015 at 6:29 am

    wsbob
    Is the animosity expressed towards people riding bikes, because of the bike, or because those riding them are out of state tourists?

    What’s the difference? Does one of these reasons make it valid?

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    • Caesar February 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      Excluding the sports cyclists (those training for triathlons, iron mans and the like), cyclists in Honolulu are, by and large, much, much more unwilling to ride by the rules if the road than their counterparts here in Portland. That culture simply doesn’t exist there. When most cyclists are almost continously weaving in and out if traffic, riding against traffic, jumping on and off curbs and narrowly missing ( and colliding with) pedestrians, and just generally behaving like they are exempt from traffic laws, my logical assumption after living there for over six years is that most Honolulu drivers and pedestrians see them as a nuisance.

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      • Chris I February 17, 2015 at 8:36 pm

        How many pedestrians are killed by cyclists each year in Hawaii? How many are killed by motor vehicles?

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    • wsbob February 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      The following sentence question is yours:

      “…What’s the difference? Does one of these reasons make it valid?” Dan

      I’m just looking for ideas from people reading here, about why they think there may be animosity felt towards people that bike in Hawaii. Caesar seems to be about the only person here with significant ideas about that.

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  • reader February 17, 2015 at 11:14 am

    So, in Russia, barreling down the sidewalk in cars is such a common thing that a “douchbag patrol” is created to stop it?

    And what’s the significance of speaking with an accent that two different drivers in this video pointed out?

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  • Brad February 17, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Russia gives the world the best Youtube videos.

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  • BIKELEPTIC February 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    One of my favorite jokes when I was staying in Russia (bare with me; it’s a bad joke – and a Russian one at that!)

    “I was taking a drive with my friend through Moscow and every time we came to a red light he would speed through it. This happened a few times before I finally asked, ‘Why are you going through the red lights!’ My friend replied; ‘Because I am a very brave man.’ Then I noticed when we would come up to the green lights he would slow to a stop. I asked him, ‘Why do you stop for the greens?’ And he said; ‘There might be another brave man coming.'”

    I learned a lot of things during my time in Moscow, St Petersburg, Lomonosov and the surrounding areas. One is that cars generally park on the sidewalks because if you park in the street, your car will get hit. When you’re a pedestrian, you cross on the signal AND you cross WITHIN the walk paint. If you are even a step outside the white lines, you risk getting hit. . . and more!

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    • BIKELEPTIC February 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      I forgot; you can fit 6 cars abreast on a 4 lane freeway. I would watch that from one of my hotel rooms overlooking the Neva River. There’s also a great traffic/Cops-like tv show there called “Crocodile” but it shows people being thrown through their front windows into trees and stuff. The censoring is different there without the FCC.

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      • CaptainKarma February 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

        Reminds me of eastern countries I’ve been in where I was sternly warned to keep my elbow inside the window!

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    • wsbob February 17, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      I like that joke. A ‘brave man coming’, yep.

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  • King February 19, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Re: Hawaii PIP
    Having been through a bike vs car collision resulting in $100,000+ doctor/hospital bills in the past year, I have to say that PIP (mine and driver’s) didn’t help ME, per se… it just took $25k off the top of what my foot-dragging health insurance company would otherwise been responsible for. I still had to come up with deductible and self-pay amounts, fortunately paid for by AFLAC accident insurance I also carry.

    Given that EVERYONE is — ahem — supposed to be covered by health insurance nowadays, PIP seems like redundant coverage. It has nothing to do with liability and I can see why an automobile insurer would want it gone. I wouldn’t pay for it if it wasn’t required, either. Maybe someone out there can better explain its necessity.

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    • wsbob February 19, 2015 at 10:31 am

      “…Given that EVERYONE is — ahem — supposed to be covered by health insurance nowadays, PIP seems like redundant coverage. It has nothing to do with liability and I can see why an automobile insurer would want it gone. I wouldn’t pay for it if it wasn’t required, either. Maybe someone out there can better explain its necessity. …” King

      Safety nets of various types are needed for people who, for whatever reason, don’t have insurance. From a harsher perspective, I suppose a suggestion may be to just leave out on the curb, injured people that don’t have money or insurance to pay for the care they need.

      This line of thinking still doesn’t particularly answer the question of why Hawaii’s state legislature is apparently having to deal with a bill proposal that would cut off from personal injury protection, people biking that are hurt in collisions with cars. If I knew someone in Hawaii, that was closer to and knew the issues surrounding the creation of this bill proposal, I would contact them and ask them.

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  • Paul in the 'Couve February 19, 2015 at 9:24 am

    1) because of how Tort Law tradition works, liability and associated cost is to be born by the person responsible. The insurance is required to make sure people have the means to pay damages for at least a minimal / common level of damage.
    2) because cost not born by one funding stream (liability) then must be born by the other (health care). Health insurance rates would have to rise to cover the expected additional costs to be born.
    3) Auto insurance liability allows insures to evaluate risk and charge rates based on an individual’s circumstances and history charging less for good drivers and more for bad drivers. Removing PIP and covering all those costs through a population wide fund would mean the costs bad drivers would be shared by all.
    4) insurance would recognize that some groups are more likely to end up with large PIP bills, walkers and cyclists in particular. They would want to charge premiums for people who walk or bike. They would want to refuse claims for people hit while walking or biking. The insurers would be even more likely to want laws requiring helmets or lights or reflective gear and want to deny claims for people who don’t comply.

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