The Monday Roundup: Pixel bridges, Amish bikers and a de facto Idaho in SF

pixel bridges

Uploaded by ishfulness.

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

Pixel bridges: An online artist has made renderings of all 12 that cross the Willamette. They’re even animated — check out Tilikum’s light rail cars.

De facto Idaho: In response to a police crackdown on people who bike through stop signs, a San Francisco city supervisor has proposed a law to make such enforcments a low police priority unless someone is actually at risk.

Amish bikers: A new ruling allowing Amish people to ride bicycles has swamped Kentucky roads with new riders.

Times Square: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio shocked New Yorkers by speculating that the best way to prevent mostly-nude women from posing for photos in with Times Square visitors might be to replace its six-year-old pedestrian plazas with several lanes of auto traffic.

NYC outcomes: Since its economic recovery began in 2009, New York has posted the biggest jobs boom in its history, an all-time high in tourism and the fewest walking deaths it’s ever recorded.

Bike industry trends: Regular bikers are getting rarer, real bike sales are down and shop visits are falling too, writes Rick Vosper in a first-rate assessment of grim data. What’s to be done?

Driving high: Marijuana has the same sort of effects as alcohol behind the wheel.

Speed spike: Oregon’s rural highway speed limit will finally rise to 65 mph next March, thanks to a new state law.

The Blue Route: Looks like Nova Scotia has created a reply to the Route Verte, Quebec’s provincial bike touring network.

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Cool bus ad: Four years after a viral Danish ad campaign about the insane greatness of municipal bus travel, Edmonton has made its own version.

Lost road: A road-widening project on Southwest Farmington Road in Beaverton unearthed wooden remains of the Great Plank Road that connected Portland with the Tualatin Valley in the 1850s.

The end of walking: “Only the most recent neuroscience research is beginning to grasp the bidirectional link between cognitive and motor functions, and the role cardiovascular health plays in our mental wellbeing. Yet walking as a way of life is more out of reach than ever.”

Accidental self-parody: A new “safety” video from the Colorado Department of Transportation opens by ridiculing people who expect cars to yield to them at crosswalks.

Traffic deaths: Cheaper gas and a growing economy seem to have gotten more people on the road, which has sent road fatalities up 14 percent.

Batman killed: A Maryland man who spent years dressing as the Caped Crusader to cheer up kids in hospitals was killed on the side of the freeway when a Camry hit his stalled Batmobile.

Bike lane prescription: A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends protected bike lanes, traffic calming and lower speed limits to improve biking safety while boosting biking rates.

Thai cycling: With 294,800 participants, a Bangkok bike ride broke the record for the world’s biggest.

Biking while richer: Poorer people without cars are still likelier to bike commute than rich people without cars, but that gap is narrowing.

And for your video of the week, it’s humbling but inspiring to compare Portland’s best infrastructure to this video of Copenhagen’s new Cycle Snake and harbor bridge, shot from the helmet cam of Tyler Bump of the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability:

— If you come across a noteworthy story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.

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9watts
9watts
8 years ago

Speed Spike:
“I think it is a long time due because everyone drives that kind of speed anyway,”
Interesting logic.

I’m also not sure about the ‘finally’ in the title above. It is hard to think of a more obvious step backwards (for safety, for fuel economy, not to mention pedagogy).

Ben
Ben
8 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Having grown up on a rural highway, this news is extremely upsetting to me. Our house was on a curve, and I remember a half dozen times people drove right off the road into our or our neighbor’s fences, despite extreme banking on the corner. We really need to add an additional category to our road categories that acknowledges that most of what are currently considered “rural highways” aren’t wide, straight, or numbered, and are regularly used by slow-moving walkers, cyclists, farm equipment, and wildlife whose lives will be further endangered by increased speed limits.

rick
rick
8 years ago
Reply to  9watts

sad to see the legislature do that

wsbob
wsbob
8 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Good thing about the new law, is that on some roads in Oregon where the new law will be in effect (apparently, it won’t be in effect on all rural highways; the basic rule will still be in effect on some.), revised wording on the signs will eliminate ambiguity about what is the top speed road users are legally allowed to travel.

The signs will be revised to say, for car travel, ‘Speed Limit 65’, instead of the current ‘Speed 60’.

Maybe not so good thing, as already mentioned, is that the new law apparently won’t apply to all rural highways in Oregon.

A 5 mph increase allowed in speed traveled doesn’t result in much distance traveled…just 40 miles over an 8 hr day behind the wheel…but there may be some strong arguments that higher speeds traveled, diminish the quality of usability of highways.

Fairly good article from the Bend Bulletin, but it doesn’t do a very good job of detailing which rural highways the law will apply to in Oregon, and those it won’t apply to.

Spiffy
Spiffy
8 years ago
Reply to  9watts

Vision 65

9watts
9watts
8 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

Or Vision 80. If the goal were 65, then the speed limit should have been set at 50.

9watts
9watts
8 years ago

That Bend Bulletin article bears reading in its entirety.
Lots about the basic speed rule vs. speed limits. Plenty of material for several articles or at least some lively discussion here.
http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/3414770-151/oregon-speed-limit-hike-not-so-basic-change#

Dan
Dan
8 years ago
Reply to  9watts

“And while basic rule intends to ensure drivers go slower than the posted speeds during inclement weather, for example, Sgt. Kyle Hove, with Oregon State Police in La Grande, said some troopers believe the rule also allows drivers to exceed the posted signs when conditions permit.

“For instance, if you’re driving at night between Cove and La Grande and you’re going 10 over, you know, there’s elk, deer; 70 mph is way too fast in a 55 … those are conditions when we would cite” for violation of basic rule, Hove said.

“During the day, it depends. It depends on the traffic. Once you get past a certain number over it’s up to each individual trooper to decide,” Hove said.”

Dave
Dave
8 years ago

The walking article is heartbreaking; makes me wish for ISIS to take over the Saudi oil fields and refineries, kick our gas prices up to about $12, and remove driving as a choice for about fifty million people!

N
N
8 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I am very uncomfortable with this comment. People live there. ISIS is a terrorist organization. You’re wishing terrorism and oppression on lots of other people for your own convenience.

Maybe don’t do that?

Maybe instead we could wish for governments to take the stance that individuals are not willing to, and raise gas taxes. The money would stay in the country and could be put to use for education, infrastructure, and environmental protection, rather than going to fund more terrorism.

Same result, less hate.

Spiffy
Spiffy
8 years ago
Reply to  N

many drivers are already terrorists according to the FBI… you could argue the “fight fire with fire” reasoning…

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/terrorism/terrorism-definition

“Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:
* Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
* Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
* Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

instead of calling the police next time somebody menaces you with a motor vehicle call the FBI and report a terrorist…

Pete
Pete
8 years ago
Reply to  N

Also, ISIS taking over Saudi oil fields wouldn’t send our gas prices to $12/gallon.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Can’t wait to get passed by cars doing 80mph just inches away from my left elbow.

Robert L
Robert L
8 years ago

I found the “Cool Bus Ad” rather stupid but I did laugh at this line.

“It shows a woman stroking a seat’s cloth lining, not because the feel of caked vomit gets her going but because she’s on mescaline.”

wsbob
wsbob
8 years ago

SF supervisor seeking to legislate to have the city’s police department make citing people riding and rolling stop signs, the departments lowest priority: interesting. As it if citing for that particular offense likely hasn’t already been one of the departments’ lowest citing priorities. Except that during a recent short span of time, the department had an enforcement detail targeting types of moving violations it identified as being a cause of collisions.

No information in the KQED story on how San Franciscans generally view the supervisors’ idea for relaxing obligations on the part of people biking, to stop at stop signs.

John Lascurettes
8 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

And so far the only comments to the KQED piece are missing the point and vitriolic. No big surprise.

wsbob
wsbob
8 years ago

I didn’t notice any comments posted to the KQED comment section that were worth remembering. The language the supervisor came up with for the legislation he’s proposing, was rather interesting though. Partly the reason I wondered what San Franciscans in general think of his idea.

I probably won’t get around to looking for comments in other media, from the SP public about his idea, but doing so might discover some more serious discussion about the idea.

Pete
Pete
8 years ago
Reply to  wsbob
ethan
ethan
8 years ago

Did anyone else notice the large number of drivers who completely disregarded the signs for Sunday Parkways? I nearly got hit by someone who drove their lifted truck onto and over the sidewalk to get past Ankeny.

And there were a few others who did some very disrespectful things to people biking and walking. One person blocked the entire street with their car when about a hundred people were coming down the hill, forcing everyone to stop.

Another person blocked Clinton and kept whining to the people running the event. They were so upset they had to park 1 block from their house.

rick
rick
8 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Did the event not have enough volunteers? At least the east side of the river had a Sunday Parkways unlike the entire west side this year.

Alan 1.0
Alan 1.0
8 years ago
Reply to  rick

They could have used more. (My longer answer was eaten by the moderation monster.)

RH
RH
8 years ago
Reply to  ethan

I also noticed quite a few cars driving on the route this year. It was my first time doing the SE route, so I wasn’t sure if that was normal or if there were fewer volunteers, etc…

ethan
ethan
8 years ago
Reply to  RH

I’ve never done the SE route either. I think I only saw one car drive on the NE route in the last 2 years (and they were escorted through by volunteers).

It’s really sad when cars are creating problems on a bike route during a bike event. It’s especially sad when considering my friends who live in the area will not bike anywhere in the city except for special events even though they live on “neighborhood greenways.”

Sunday Parkways everyday is a lie. PBOT values parked cars more than people who ride bikes.

Chris I
Chris I
8 years ago
Reply to  ethan

I didn’t notice anything different, other than fewer riders, fewer police, and fewer volunteers. There are always issues with people driving on the route. I had a few altercations with folks during the N Portland ride as a mobile volunteer a few years ago.

Someone intentionally blocked the route while crossing it? Where did that happen?

Adam H.
Adam H.
8 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Yes, I saw someone get out of his car and move the barricades so he could drive across the route. I ended up corking the intersection and explaining that he couldn’t drive though. He just kept repeating that he was “visiting his mother’s house” and .needed to drive across Clinton St; refusing to use the designated crossing locations. A cop eventually showed up and intervened.

ethan
ethan
8 years ago
Reply to  Adam H.

Was this the annoying person in the very large, branded SUV?

Adam H.
Adam H.
8 years ago
Reply to  ethan

No, it was someone else.

wsbob
wsbob
8 years ago

Will NYC close its pedestrian squares because of some women logically realizing there’s money to be made there by displaying their essentially bare breasts (they do the breast painting thing.) to passersby? Likely not.

Still, that women in the big city have scoped out this entrepreneurial opportunity and are taking advantage of it, is kind of exciting news. Three hundred bucks a day (‘donations’) has got to be a far sight better than panhandling. Of course, the woman quoted in the story as saying she makes that kind of money, daily on average, seems to have better than average looks, and has had experience working a regular job as a flight attendant.

With the topless ladies, it’s been fun and games for people so far at Times Square. If the city can figure out a way to keep the presentations upbeat and generally wholesome, they may continue. Betcha there’s some women in Portland more than happy to throw a little paint on their breasts and entertain people down around Voodoo Donuts, or maybe Pioneer Square, to get some donations.

There’s freedom of speech and expression to be observed and protected. Possibly, the dividing line at which the activity is allowable or not, which the NYtimes story notes, is whether the activity is this, or commercial. The city seems yet to figure out for sure though.

The NYtimes has been following this story for a while as it’s progressed. Here’s a link to another of them.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/nyregion/the-desnudas-of-times-square-topless-but-for-the-paint.html?action=click&contentCollection=Art%20%26%20Design&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
8 years ago

The Amish on bikes in Kentucky could get interesting. In Daviess County, KY, the 10,000 Amish represent over 10% of the population. If they all take to bikes, we’re talking about a real critical mass over a large area. I might have to take the South off of my “never ride there again” list.

wsbob
wsbob
8 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Black, horse drawn buggies with tail lights, have been the transportation mode of choice for the Amish.

If that’s essentially their only mode of travel besides walking or riding horses, the authorization by the bishops to let them ride bikes could be a huge extension of personal freedom. Amish klunkers, cruisers, old three speeds. Amish kids stretched out over the bars of racing bikes and fixies.

Dave
Dave
8 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

I rode through the Amish part of Pennsylvania a couple of years ago; could get interesting around there, too. I’m actually very excited to see how this plays out–the Amish are as far from any of the usual US cycling demographics as you can get.

Captain Karma
8 years ago

So will the speed *limit* also apply in the left lane? Everyone seems to believe it’s exempt, as far as I can tell.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago
Reply to  Captain Karma

There is no limit. LEOs just make it up as they go.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
8 years ago

The bike industry trends article on the disappearing bike shops (and cyclists) was an interesting read, especially to someone who has lost his favorite bike shop during this past decade.

I wish they had used a different definition of cyclist rather than someone who rides at least six times per year. As someone who was riding quite a few miles in the article’s reference year of 1995 (about 15,000 miles per year) and had been riding extensively during the preceding decades and since, my experience is that the ’90s were a lost decade, not a peak.

Perhaps there were a lot of people who had been riding regularly in the ’80s who cut back in the ’90s to a few rides per year so that there were fewer riders on the road and trails while more people were classified as riders. I would love to know how many people were and are riding sixty or more times per year as opposed to six. That number would be more informative in terms of understanding if we’re seeing increases or decreases in ridership, imo.

Chris Anderson
8 years ago

I called the number on the Colorado video and told them what for.

daisy
daisy
8 years ago

Regarding bike shops: that post discussed what I think is huge problem in bike shops right now — they aren’t serving many of their existing potential customers, ie women.

“…in testosterone-poisoned industry rife with sexism yet frantically scrambling to come up with more women’s-specific products, it’s surprising the industry has yet to discover that 48.5% of cyclists in the 2012 NGSA report are already women. So when the industry wails about ‘bringing more women into the sport,’ what they actually mean is ‘bring more women into bike shops where we can sell them stuff.’

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The bike business, like any other business, is based on selling stuff. But they’re two very different goals. Here’s a newsflash, industry: women are already ‘in the sport,’ and their numbers are effectively at parity with men’s. They’re just in it on their own terms, on bikes that come from someplace other than bike shops. So, you want more women going to bike shops, you might start by reformulating the problem you think you’re trying to solve.”

In general I’ve received very good to excellent customer service at local bike shops (I love Metropolis!), but I’m quite frustrated by many of the larger independent bike shops in Portland, where they don’t stock the same range of clothing, shoes, and so on for women compared to what they stock for men. A few years ago I was jersey shopping and ended up buying online because there weren’t that many options for women even at bigger shops like Bike N Hike and Bike Gallery. I was riding centuries that summer, but when I went into the eastside Bike N Hike, the friendly woman clerk suggested I purchase a bell for my rides on the Springwater with my kids. I think there are a lot a assumptions about women as consumers at bike shops that quite wrong, and hiring one or two women doesn’t always solve the problem.

It seems like Gladys Bikes is doing great (they’ve already outgrown their first location), and my guess is that it’s because they’re friendly and welcoming to everyone and don’t make assumptions about the women who walk in their store.

gutterbunnybikes
8 years ago
Reply to  daisy

The one part of the equation that is missed by that article is that it is possible (even easy) to buy a bicycle that will last you a lifetime – most steel and alloy bicycles would fall into this category. In essence if you buy the right one, it’s one of the most durable goods ever produced. I have a 1938 bicycle that rides better than most new bicycles even with it’s heavy (by today’s standards) and only 3 gears.

And all this bust and boom in the manufacturing and sales of the bicycle has been the status quo since they were mass produced, and because of their durability, I largely suspect that explains why the booms come every 15-20 years (ie the next generation).

gutterbunnybikes
8 years ago

“Indeed, the most dramatic declines in mortality rates from cycling have come among children, and the authors of the report speculate that “the decline in bicyclist mortality among children might be attributable to fewer child bicycle trips rather than a result of safer road conditions.” Among adults the good news is that recent (since 2000) large increases in the frequency of cycling by adults have not been reflected in higher overall mortality from cycling.”

I wonder how much mandatory helmet laws for children account for the decrease in children ridership numbers? Studies in Alberta ad Sweden put the decline of ridership for children at 40% and 60% as a result of helmet laws. Anyone Gen X or older can easily recall a day when bicycles were littering school yards. Now most school racks aren’t very full, and most the bikes that are there were ridden by the faculty.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
8 years ago

My Millennial nephew gave up riding early in high school because he and his mother were tired of dealing with citations for not wearing a helmet (in CA). He decided he would rather walk and then get a drivers license when he turned sixteen, which he did. He’s now a twenty-two year old full-time motorist, the only full-time motorist in that branch of the family (among eight others who drive once a month or less).

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

It’s an interesting question. I’m currently trying to promote riding to school at my kids’ elementary school, and ‘my kids would have to wear a helmet’ is never mentioned as a barrier to their riding. It probably limits how much kids ride in general, though, which is a big factor in getting them to ride to school. I know some 5th graders who have not learned how to ride a bike yet, and other 5th graders who do not even own a bike.

What I do hear from parents is worries about abduction and sexual predators, despite the fact that all indications say kids are less likely to be abducted or preyed upon now than they were 20 years ago. I attribute that to our TV news stations and the stories they choose to fill up their 30 minute shows.

Pete
Pete
8 years ago

I suspect many children don’t ride their bicycles (especially to school) because their parents are programmed to believe it’s far more dangerous than riding in a car and therefore don’t let them.

WAR
WAR
8 years ago

*Yawn*

Pete
Pete
8 years ago

Holy impersonators, that story about Lenny Robinson is sad. Bittersweet watching the police pull him over. RIP superherodude. 🙁