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The Monday Roundup: Stolen bikes in Seattle, car-free retail in Rome and more

Posted by on March 23rd, 2015 at 8:07 am

litelok

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Laughing Planet, where you can now get food delivered by bike in downtown Portland.

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

Better lock? The Litelok markets itself on its 2.2-pound weight, but the bigger feature might actually be flexibility. Here’s the $120 product’s promising Kickstarter.

Car-free retail: A narrow cobblestone street in Rome closed to cars and opened to walking during a construction project, but may never go back, because retail sales jumped 30 percent.

Sticks and carrots: Paying employees to bike to work won’t change any habits if you’re simultaneously paying them to drive by offering free parking.

Designing for revenue? Build your city with lots of 25-foot-wide streets.

Quick commutes: Portland’s are faster, on average, than most large cities’.

Protected lanes: Minneapolis will spend $790,000 to build 5.6 miles of protected bike lanes around its central city this year. The projects will likely use plastic flexposts, a low-cost separation method that’s become popular around the country but never yet been used in Portland.

Must-click headlines: Washington, like Oregon, has a bill in its legislature that would allow people on bikes to proceed carefully through stoplights whose sensors are failing to detect them. But for some odd reason, even news articles that clearly explain this concept at the start of the story fail to capture it in the headline.

Vision Zero: “It’s time to slow down to the speed of life,” writes Seattle Transportation Director Scott Kubly in a Seattle Times op-ed explaining his city’s new policy.

Theft investigation: A Twitter tip to @SeattlePD led the city’s Major Crimes Taskforce to investigate a man selling high-end bikes at deep discounts. That led to a sting, an arrest and 27 recovered bikes.

Cyclists Party: That’s the official affiliation of one Australian publisher turned politician.

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Schwarzenegger detained: The former California governor was pulled over in Melbourne for a traffic violation: riding a bike share bike without a helmet.

Expired concept: A bike frame made to resemble a naked woman is just an “idea that was avant-garde (and kind of shitty) more than fifty years ago,” writes Camille Perreault.

Free kids: Here’s a German dad’s perspective on American parenting and the “narrowing of the child’s world.”

Share the cage: Cartoonist Bikeyface imagines zoos designed by anti-infrastructure biking advocates. “Can someone please get the zebra a reflective vest and a copy of my book?”

Incitement outrage: A California meat purveyor who wrote on his blog that people who bike in traffic lanes are “fair game” seems surprised at the online whirlwind he reaped.

Helmet mandate: In California, a proposed mandatory helmet law makes as much sense as one that would “require pedestrians to wear body armor,” the Los Angeles Times editorializes.

Foxx’s fears: To write this news item about the U.S. transportation secretary, the staff of The Onion seems to have started with the photo and worked backwards.

Downtown jobs: Portland economist Joe Cortright talks to Streetsblog’s podcast about the shift of jobs to urban cores.

And finally, your video of the week is a pretty good 90-second summary of a modern bicycling advocacy agenda:

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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9watts
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9watts

Someone send Sarah Holliday that piece about carfree retail in Rome. And Roger Geller, too.

Erin
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Erin

This Grist question reminded me of all y’all. Best bike frames for the environment: http://grist.org/living/what-is-the-greenest-type-of-bike-frame/

wsbob
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wsbob

I read the NYTimes story on free range kids. If you’re going to encourage people to gamble, I suppose for some people, there’s nothing like encouraging them to gamble with human lives. The writer doesn’t tell much of anything about the town or neighborhood he’s moved to, though the opening words to his story are ‘BETHESDA, Md.’.

Telling a bit about what kind of setting he’s allowing his child to run free in, would help give a better sense of his judgment. At any rate, his story goes, that his 8yr old child just up and leaves the house, without even telling the parents where she’s going, and for how long.

There seems to be plenty of places where that sort of thing just doesn’t make good sense at all, regardless of whether rates of incidence indicate chances of a child being abducted is low.

Scott H
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Scott H

That bike lock looks very promising. Looking forward to some videos of thieves thinking it’s their lucky day only to find out their bolt cutters aren’t going to do the trick.

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

Regarding the KickStarter lock…nice look and good luck. It is very sweet that 2 locks can be joined…I do this with our AXA link locks too.

We will see if the Netherlands certifies it for secure cycle parking [ART2].
(I would be interested if LiteLock has tried to assault it with freezing or fire methods.)

My recommendation for anyone supporting efforts on Kickstarter is to double or triple the promised time to shipping. (Just to reduce the frustration as there is a lot to do to make a great product commercial especially in international markets.)

John Lascurettes
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Regarding that Seattle piece on proceeding through red lights bill:

Regardless of the headline, I’m amazed at how wrong commenters always are.

“Bikes are supposed to follow the same laws as cars.” No, no they don’t. They must follow most of the same rules, but just about every state has separate laws on the books just for bikes.

“So we should allow cars to do this too, right?” Well, no. Because bicycles do not have the potential to easily kill a pedestrian or other vehicle operator.

“So if a cyclist gets hit doing this by a car coming through the other way, then is the driver at fault?” Nope. Because the bicycle operator wouldn’t have properly assessed that it was safe to proceed when it was safe to do so.

“So we’re just going to legalize them blowing the lights.” No, see earlier comment. It never ceases to amaze me how people interpret this as “blowing” the lights.

SEO
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SEO

The Australian guy running on the bike party ticket. I don’t know why we don’t have a party like this yet in PDX. It’s a fabulous idea.