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The Monday Roundup: Salt Lake’s protected intersection, Jiu-jitsu vs. bike thief and more

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 at 9:00 am

slc

Formerly known as the Dutch-style intersection,
“Utah-style” will be accurate from here on.
(Image: Salt Lake City)

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

Protected intersection: One year after a Portland designer gave it a name, a protected intersection is about to be constructed in Salt Lake City.

Hii-ya: A jiu-jitsu class in Florida got some extra practice when they intercepted a burglary in progress at the bike shop next door.

Tire size: Racing tires are getting fatter for a simple reason, reports the Sacramento Bee: “It turns out that fatter is faster.”

Handmade derailleur: This is what one looks like.

Self-driving cars: Google has patented a system for reading hand signals of people biking.

Self-driving semis: Freightliner has created the first commercially licensed autonomous truck.

Scooters for grownups: “Yes, I’m aware how ridiculous I look when scooting around the city,” writes Michael Hsu. “Why am I so willing to subject myself to such disdain? As any scooter-junkie will tell you: the ride.”

Map messaging: A mobile app lets you encode a message to someone in the form of turn-by-turn directions. They decode by following the directions by foot or bike and looking at the shape on a map.

Bike heist: A scammer in Southern California posed as a Bicycling magazine editor in order to steal two bikes valued at $13,000 and $5,000 from their builders.

Marine Drive: Collisions on the riverside road are nine times deadlier than the average Portland collision. After the latest fatality, the city says that guardrails would be too expensive, but it’s hoping to get a state grant to install rumble strips.

Legal killing: A Springfield man won’t face criminal homicide charges for “unwittingly” running a red light and crashing his pickup into three young children in a crosswalk, killing them.

Acceptable risk: “Ultimately, you can’t prosecute away risk or engineer safety in a way that overcomes the inevitable boneheaded mistakes that people make, even when their full attention should be on the deadly weapon they are piloting down the street,” The Oregonian editorial board writes in its defense of the decision not to prosecute in the Springfield case.

Jaywalking penalty: Bellingham police have issued $112 jaywalking tickets to two people who were hit by a police car as they walked in a crosswalk against a stop light.

Subtle e-bike: The $3,350 Vivax Assist is an 8.6-inch rod that hides inside the seat tube and gives your bike a secret electric assist.

Unacceptable risk: Did you know that the Washington State DOT has had a “Target Zero” plan since 2013?

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Bike-sharing helmets: Chicago’s Divvy Bikes is the latest system to consider helmet vending machines.

False danger: Children are safer on the road than ever … and still far likelier to be killed in a car crash than abducted by a stranger.

Barry Bonds: Eight years after leaving baseball under a doping cloud, the former home-run hero is really, really into biking … including financing a women’s professional riding team.

Ice cream delivery: A local Kickstarter campaign promises to “bring seasonally-inspired and handmade ice cream treats to the people of Portland.” By bicycle, obviously.

Bike obituary: Bicycle rider and inventor Jobst Brandt died last Tuesday after a life well-lived.

Bike documentary: This downloadable film about a British road biking club seems amusing and beautifully produced.

Finally, steel your stomach for your video of the week, a very hard-hitting public service ad that supports New York City’s Vision Zero campaign.

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: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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9watts
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9watts

Running a red light in Springfield and killing three:
“In order to prosecute LaThorpe, authorities would have needed proof that he ‘should have been aware’ of a problem with his own driving at the time of the crash, Gardner said.”

No comment.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Maybe that is why Wanda Cortese only got a $260 ticket for failing to maintain her lane?
http://bikeportland.org/2012/07/17/should-hwy-101-collision-have-trigged-vulnerable-roadway-users-law-74755

Kyle
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Kyle

Once again I fail to see how it’s so hard for people to pay attention while driving. The *only* time I’ve ever “unwittingly” run a red light is in San Jose, CA, on visually-busy First Street at night where street lights are the same colour as yellow traffic signals. (Which is kind of ridiculous.)

9watts
Guest
9watts

Red light or not, witting or unwitting, there were still four people in the cross walk in front of him. What happened to (the expectation that he) pay attention to what is in front of him while driving?

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

I fully agree. However, after reading the article I see that the police officer was chasing after a speeding car, so I can kind of see how this happened. Still, I’m curious whether or not his lights were on.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Is this from some other article besides the linked one in the Register-Guard? I’m missing the connection to a police chase.

wsbob
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wsbob

“… DMV records show that LaThorpe surrendered his license on April 13 after being notified that it would be suspended indefinitely for medical reasons, DMV records services manager Chris Phelps said Monday. He declined to provide additional details about the issue that may have interfered with LaThorpe’s ability to drive safely.

Antone said that after the crash he asked DMV to subject LaThorpe to a medical evaluation.

Last Thursday, DMV tacked on a yearlong license suspension for LaThorpe after reviewing police reports and ruling that he had contributed to the fatal wreck by being “incompetent, negligent, or recklessly or unlawfully” operating a vehicle, records show. …” Eugene Register Guard

The news reports suggest that DMV, for reasons unspecified, is not being very forthcoming about the medical reasons for which Larry LaThorpe, the person driving, has had his license suspended.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Still missing the point – “11 times likelier to be killed in a car crash than abducted by a stranger”. When pointing out how wrong the media gets crime and risk, your math should work out. The 1,300 traffic deaths refer to children between the ages of 2 and 13 in their parents car. The 115 abductions refer to all stranger abductions for children under 19. If you actually use all children killed in car crashes the number is more like 8,000, or closer to 70:1.

The home is the most likely place for children to be injured or abused. Sent them out to play.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

Good call.

George H.
Guest
George H.

“Victims ticketed”

Dishonest, biased headline is dishonest and biased. When you disregard traffic signals and experience consequences as a result, you’re not a victim.

Joseph Rose would impressed with that chunk of commenter read meat.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

Sad to watch all these bikeshare companies start jumping on the bicycle industries add-on point of sale tactics with helmets.

J
Guest
J

My fellow Americans: I have a difficult time justifying punishment in the form of imprisonment. The important thing to remember is that we have a civil law system with its own set of rules and punishments and that is where victims can, and usually should look for compensation for their losses. Vengeance for punishment only helps continue the cycle of abuse and violence in the world.

SilkySlim
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SilkySlim

Oh c’mon…. Our justice system isn’t just there for the punishment of individuals. You are completely missing the loftier goal of preventing ill behavior through the threat (and follow through!) of punishment. If I hear this guy was going to jail, even for a couple months, I’d be even more careful behind the wheel. But this “oops, didn’t see ’em, maybe he’ll lose some money in a civil court, maybe, but the public will never even here about” isn’t going to prevent a darn thing.

BikeSlobPDX
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BikeSlobPDX

So the legal argument is “he didn’t do anything wrong, he’s just a bad driver”? Has his license been revoked? If not, why not? He’s demonstrated that he’s a lethal hazard.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Not revoked, suspended:
http://bikeportland.org/2015/05/11/monday-roundup-salt-lakes-protected-intersection-jiu-jitsu-vs-bike-thief-143023#comment-6380239

It’s hard to revoke a license in the current legal system because cars are, you know, necessary when you have a job and/or kids.

Pete
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Pete

Thanks for the link to Ray’s tribute to Jobst. When I first moved to the bay area I pointed out this older guy riding up around Woodside and commented to my friend, “That’s the tallest headtube I’ve ever seen on a bike.” He said, “Dude – that’s Jobst Brandt!”. After that I started hearing more and more about this legend, and stories of the ‘glory days’ of cycling around here.

9watts
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9watts

thanks for calling my attention to that item in the Roundup. A delightful read indeed!

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Scooters for adults: I read the WSJ story, and studied the pics of the scooters mentioned. They look like something I’d not want to be riding.

Of somewhat related note, a couple times lately on Humphrey Blvd west of Council Crest, I’ve seen a guy riding one of those step bikes. Doesn’t seem to travel very fast, maybe 12-15 mph, but the ride looks interesting. Haven’t seen the thing up close. Guy rides in in a way that definitely makes it look like something that could seriously meet a transportation need. Likely to be heavier, but looks much more stable than the little scooters.

JonPB
Guest
JonPB

It sounds to me like the refrain is “cars don’t kill people,” which sounds an awful lot like “guns don’t kill people.” Driving aggressively or inattentively should be treated the same way as waving a gun around. I think it might be worthwhile for me to learn more about the social history of guns in American society in order to better advocate for non-lethal uses of public space.

Alan 1.0
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Alan 1.0

RIP Bikeportland’s user Forum.

http://bikeportland.org/forum

Long live Bikeportland’s Forum!

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Taps

Also: is there a read only dump I can access of stuff I’ve posted that doesn’t require futzing with The Wayback Machine or Internet Archive?

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

I don’t see any way. I tried to get to my compendium of links about “road taxes” and it’s 404. ‘Twould be nice, though.

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

The secrecy/shame/cheating narrative in the CityLab article about the new e-assist device is really frustrating. The publicity material from the manufacturer just says that their device sort of levels the field in group rides, so that weaker riders can enjoy the fun.

CityLab takes the strangely American view that weaker riders don’t deserve to join in, and have to resort to sneaky trickery.

Ho-hum, CityLab. Do better.

Josh G
Guest
Josh G

Coming back from a gorge overnight via Marina Dr. around 3pm Sunday, I was surprised to see the shoulder disappear completely (westbound) near private homes way east of 205. And then I ran into a cop waving all cars off just a little ways before 205. He let me through and I never saw what the trouble was about.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

<facepalm>
Oh look
RUMBLE STRIPS ON MARINE DR AGAIN

apparently the facepalming will never stop.

Eric
Guest
Eric

The Vivax (formerly Gruber) is putting a huge premium on light weight and stealth. They say 200W and 6 Ah LiIon battery is included in the 4lb and runs for 60 minutes — but I don’t see a voltage listed (at 200W/6A = 33V — maybe 9 parallel 3.7V 6Ah cells weighing over 1lb.) If these numbers are real, that’s good for 8 miles up a 6% grade for a full hour with ~60W from you (if you like a 90rpm cadence.)

Compare that $3350 to a $600 10lb kit with a 250W hub motor and 6Ah LiIon battery. Getting the motor into the drivetrain will make a big difference in versatility (hub motors won’t do really steep climbs or over ~16mph), but 200W isn’t a lot (and one could do a 1000W mid-drive with that budget, albeit 15lb heavier.)

Mike Healey
Guest
Mike Healey