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The Monday Roundup: Killing ‘Share the Road’ signs, the walkability shortage and more

Posted by on August 31st, 2015 at 9:28 am

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Study says: one works, one doesn’t.
(Image: Bike Delaware)

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

Killing “share the road”: A new study has verified that people don’t understand the road sign, but they understand “bicycles may use full lane” signs perfectly.

Walkability shortage: More people live in yard-and-driveway neighborhoods with but yearn for walkably attached homes than the other way around. That’s one finding from a recent survey about active transportation and real estate preferences.

No you first: An Austin fixie user figured out how to halt and bewilder a Google car: a track stand.

More trucks: The pullout of two big shipping companies from the Port of Portland this year has put 1,700 more trucks on local roads.

Mountain biking: Ski resorts are turning to the sport for revenue since it doesn’t snow very much any more.

Folding bikes: London manufacturer Brompton will open a new consolidated factory with double its current floorspace.

Sydney backpedals: The minister of roads in New South Wales is about to remove a much-ridden protected bike lane over the protests of Sydney’s mayor.

Pedestrian vs. bike: After a UK woman on a bike failed to yield to a person walking in front of her in a crosswalk (and possibly flipped him a finger) he ran after her and pushed her over.

Federal clarification: A bunch of the excuses that conservative engineers use for not building bike lanes are myths, according to a new memo from the Federal Highway Administration. (Portland’s top signals engineer, Peter Koonce, is quoted saying this could allow more bike signals.)

Speed limits: Another myth: that cities must base speed limits on how fast people drive.

Market shift: The U.S. auto industry is focusing on its base, Bloomberg says: “old people.”

Electric cars: All BMWs will be hybrid or emission-free within 10 years, the company says.

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Montreal’s secrets: Here are eight from Canada’s longtime biking capital.

Vision Zero LA: The latest city to sign on to the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025 is Los Angeles.

Vision Zero NYC: One year after New York made it a criminal misdemeanor to fail to yield to someone walking or biking with the right of way, the city’s police seem to have used the law a grand total of 31 times.

Normal violence: Eight-year-old Jadann Williams was playing in a Brooklyn cul-de-sac when Reginald Auguste killed her with his car. Ryan Romans, an acquaintance of Williams, then punched Auguste. Police have charged Romans with assault and Auguste with nothing.

Niceness in numbers: Rude bike riders are really annoying, says New York Magazine’s Justin Davidson. The only solution is to build protected bike lanes until normal people outnumber rude ones.

Biking in India: It’s way cheaper.

Bikes on Amtrak: Roll-on access (usually with reservations) was just allowed on four new train lines.

Washington advocacy: Washington’s statewide advocacy group may merge with the Seattle-focused Cascade Bicycle Club.

Sadik-Khan book: The former NYC transportation director (now leading an international effort funded by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to save cities from cars) has published a book about her work.

“Crash” vs “accident”: I’m going to quote a passage in full from the Washington Post’s summary of the merits of changing the public language about street collisions:

Before the labor movement, factory owners would say “it was an accident” when American workers were injured in unsafe conditions.

Before the movement to combat drunk driving, intoxicated drivers would say “it was an accident” when they crashed their cars.

Planes don’t have accidents. They crash. Cranes don’t have accidents. They collapse. And as a society, we expect answers and solutions.

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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Justin Carinci
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Justin Carinci

I love that Google car link, like the car is thinking “it’s like a bicycle, but more difficult to operate. And why won’t the operator put down his foot?” And some programmer has to sit the Google car down and have The Talk.

Dan
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Dan

I’ve been seeing this commercial a lot lately. Liberty Mutual Accident Forgiveness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uiBa-VF5e8

9watts
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9watts

BMW is talking out of both sides of its mouth. Last I checked, plug-in Hybrid wasn’t the same thing as off gasoline. If it were then there would be nothing to hybridize.

KristenT
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KristenT

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see “share the road” replaced by “(bicycle) may use full lane”. Especially if Tigard continues its trend of removing bike lanes and replacing them with parking “because people are parking there anyway”. Or in places where they can’t put in bike lanes for one reason or another (i.e. Tigard St heading towards Main, 121st Ave in the gap between Walnut and Whistler’s Walk where there is no bike lane or shoulder, Fonner St/115th, Tiedeman where they removed the bike lane on one side in favor of variable width “refuges” aka not-a-shoulders).

Lester Burnham
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Lester Burnham

Union greed = more congestion for us. That was unfortunate.

Buzz
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Buzz

Here’s the full research article on ‘Bikes May Use Full Lane’ signage study:

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0136973

wsbob
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wsbob

“…State and local DOTs deploy an array of excuses to avoid building designs like protected bike lanes. “It’s not in the manual” is a favorite. So is “the feds won’t fund that.” …” streetsblog http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/08/24/feds-to-traffic-engineers-use-our-money-to-build-protected-bike-lanes/#.VdyAS4_zjHs.twitter

Anyone having heard examples of this response to requests for protected bike lanes (cycle tracks), characterizing Oreon’s DOT or those of cities in the Portland Metro area? There can be so many other challenges to building even simple, good bike lanes, let alone protected bike lanes…this one doesn’t sound like one that would be particularly common.

rick
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rick

I personally have seen some young people driving the 30 mph 2015 Corvette Stingray lately.

On another note, I like the “take full lane” signs. Washington County could surely use them.

Anne Hawley
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Anne Hawley

Gosh. Wealthy, senior, and presumably white male Americans who “have no hobbies but cars and investing” see it as their right and privilege to keep driving fancy cars. Color me amazed.

It’s some faint comfort to know that high end new cars include features that help aging drivers drive a little more safely. It really is. But most of the aging drivers I know of aren’t wealthy. They can’t buy the latest safety features. And they have little choice but to drive, for the same reason poor younger people do: they moved to where they could afford to live, and now they’re stuck.

B. Carfree
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B. Carfree

As someone who is in the middle of his sixth decade of life, I find it frightening that three-fourths of all motorists are my age or older. While I’m a fairly healthy person, I have noticed that my reflexes, both physical and mental, are not what they used to be. My vision is far weaker than at my prime and I don’t hear nearly as well (What?). To think that so many narcissistic old people continue to drive is discouraging.

I am somewhat buoyed by the fact that record numbers of young people are refusing to get licenses, so the future is bright, at least.

K'Tesh
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K'Tesh

A known leadfoot kills a kid on a dead end street but doesn’t get cited? Then the guy who decks him does for assault? Common Sense in America has left.

Ted Buehler
Guest

Two thumbs up for “Bicycle May Use Full Lane” signs.

Ted Buehler

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

The Model T got around 20 mpg….So it’s not as if automobile efficiency has really increased that much over the years. Besides nearly every maker of hybrids are getting sued for greatly inflating the MPG ratings of their vehicles – I doubt the hybrids (especially considering how few of them their are) have any significant effect in the “overall” picture.

Robin
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Robin

In regards to the “Killing the Share the Road” reference, its especially disheartening when Portland City Council member Dan Saltzman announces during last week’s vote for the greenway that he doesn’t understand the bicycle signage either and that its “very confusing. ” Thanks Dan.

are
Guest

wsbob
Kind of guessing here, but I think differences of language in closely related laws, may come about because they were written at different times by different groups of people, and because people involved in the latter of the groups, looked at the earlier law and found no strong reason to make changes.

nope, they were both written at the same time.
https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors814.html