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The Monday Roundup: A bike-boom time capsule, the Blazers’ latest bike fanatic and more

Posted by on June 1st, 2015 at 8:54 am

Portland Bike Lobby founder Sam Oakland
received a Bud Clark Award for lifetime achievement
from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in 2001.
(Photo courtesy BTA.)

— This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the Ride for Schools, a ride to raise money for Oregon’s public schools that takes place in Hillsboro on June 27th.

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

Time capsule: What did it feel like to run a bike shop in the middle of Oregon’s 1971 bike boom? “They’ve taken all the fun out of the business,” complained Portland retailer Pat Patterson in this newspaper article from that spring. Leading the activism charge at the time was the late PSU English professor Sam Oakland, who said “We want to redesign Portland to make it a city for people — particularly in the downtown business area — instead of what it is now, a giant, smelly parking garage for commuters.”

Kerry’s cycling: Secretary of State John Kerry, who broke his femur while biking in France on Sunday, is quite an athelete. “If he raced in his age category, he’d be one of the top riders in the U.S,” says former pro racer Jonathan Vaughters, who’s ridden with the 71-year-old politician.

National plateau: The number of Americans who reported riding a bicycle was unchanged last year in just about every way.

Biking dynasty: True to his team’s tradition of bike lovers, Blazers Coach Terry Stotts blew off his end-of-season steam with his first trip up the Banks-Vernonia path.

Freeway-induced congestion: Texas spent $2.8 billion to widen a freeway from eight lanes to 23. Result: it now takes 51 percent longer to drive the route during rush hour than it did in 2005.

Biking promotion: How-to-be-safe campaigns don’t seem to increase or decrease people’s interest in biking, but biking-makes-you-healthy campaigns seem to appeal more to people who don’t.

The best gets better: Groningen, the Dutch college town where a world-leading 57 percent of trips are by bike, has a new 10-year plan to improve biking. It includes a new bike-themed city logo and fixes for its 11 unsafe roadway crossings.

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Bike theft: How do the Dutch and Danish handle it? The Danish Cycling Embassy has some tantalizingly brief but useful answers.

12 feet bad: To minimize collision rates in urban areas, the optimal traffic lane width seems to be 10 to 10.5 feet — well narrower than the current widths on streets like SE Powell, SW Barbur or NE Going.

CRC still dead: Washington State Rep. Liz Pike’s bill to reboot Interstate 5 bridge replacement plans has died without a Senate vote.

Wagner resigns: Southwest Washington’s top state transportation official, a major highway expansion advocate but also a backer of bike infrastructure, is retiring.

Sun-glare collision: A 79-year-old man who hit two men riding bikes with his car on Wednesday in north Clark County said he couldn’t see them due to sun glare.

Healthier highways: Most safety fixes to major arterial streets also make people who live near them healthier, according to a Clackamas County Public Health analysis of a McLoughlin Boulevard safety audit.

And your video of the week is a quick promotional spot of a breakdancer showing off an interesting new product: classy-in-the-light, reflective-in-the-dark boots.

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 welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

Freeway induced congestion: actually the linked article says that it took 51% longer in 2014 than in 2011. Even more absurd.
This could be added to Tom Vanderbilt’s list of myths you linked to here in a recent Monday Roundup.

tedder
Guest

The obvious question- what Portland bicycle shop was Pat Patterson at in 1971 in the “bike boom” article? Google wasn’t helpful, though there’s talk of a Pat Patterson in this article- I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same fellow.
http://bikeportland.org/2015/04/03/two-weeks-two-wheels-portlanders-share-bikes-skills-new-pay-forward-program-136842

Patrick Barber
Guest

23 lanes? I keep rereading that to make sure I’m not seeing things.

9watts
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9watts

Always that strange asymmetry:
“Keith Kerbs, 42, of Vancouver and Larry Hiday, 42, of Battle Ground were both cycling west on Northeast 299th Street when an SUV, also traveling west, crashed into the cyclists near Northeast 128th Avenue, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. The crash was reported at 5:13 p.m.” (emphasis mine)

Misbehaving automobiles, again (TM Ted Buehler)

Brad
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Brad

“12 feet bad: To minimize collision rates in urban areas, the optimal traffic lane width seems to be 10 to 10.5 feet — well narrower than the current widths on streets like SE Powell, SW Barbur or NE Going.”
^Duh. Wider lanes = faster cars = deadlier cars.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Reading the article about the bike boom helps to enlighten one little part of the bike boom that goes often unsaid but is often still seen…why are there all these Schwinns and other underused bikes in garages and basements … often in great shape and still being found.

If folks were buying anything with two wheels and often without good guidance by the bike shop this might be other reason to the above and why the bike boom went bust… in addition to not having a lot of high quality facilities other than signed “bike routes” in most non college cities.The latter has often been discussed.

Dave McCabe
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Dave McCabe

I’m kind of astounded by the comments on the Columbian article. Where are all the decent, humane, and responsible Oregonian readers?

Champs
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Champs

I think there’s a lot of overstatement about that freeway on both sides of the argument. Surely as there is some benefit to the freeway, it’s just as certain that there is something wrong with a design that ever reaches 23 lanes. That plays right into the Will Rogers quote: “If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?”

Pete
Guest
Pete

Kerry is also an avid windsurfer/kitesurfer who’s been known to shut down the winds in the gorge by visiting Hood River.

Josh G
Guest
Josh G

Michael, I can’t get enough great coverage of local bike history from the 2nd half of 20th century. …The infamous Bike Lobby of 1971.
And on Kerry, bikesnob makes a good point: Only you can end of the scourge of ISIS (now that Kerry broke his femur)
http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2015/06/sorry-im-late-my-apple-watch-doesnt.html
by supporting the horrible bottom bracket standard.

LC
Guest
LC

Re: Biking promotion: People respond to positive reinforcement better, wait til they break the news that people who bike are better in the sack.
.
And can we just go ahead and make having sun in your eyes a ticketable driving infraction already?