The Monday Roundup: Bike-oriented office building, India’s ‘village of widows’ & more

Posted by on October 5th, 2015 at 9:18 am

bike office building

Would the hallway be one big ramp?
(Image: Steven Fleming via Treehugger)

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

All-bike office: What would an office building look like if it were designed around the assumption that everyone biked there?

Social distance: An excellent roundup of scientific studies into how your commute affects your life includes a haunting detail: “car commuting was associated with lower levels of social participation and general trust.”

Social policing: In suburban Des Moines, the Norwalk Police Department is putting patrol cops on bikes because the chief thinks it improves their connection to the community.

Vision Zero problems: Former Portlander Adonia Lugo explores her nuanced qualms about Vision Zero as a response to traffic violence, including what she sees as a blindness to the problems of police enforcement. “It’s strange to me that a movement so focused on rejecting car-dominated engineering would think that the solution is more large-scale, top-down planning.”

Seattle bikeshare: The city is responding to underuse of its Pronto system by spending $18 million ($5 million from the city) to expand from 500 bikes to 2,500, maybe including e-bikes.

Braking issue: If your bike has front disc brakes and wheels with quick-release levers, it might be subject to a big new recall.

SF stop: A San Francisco Chronicle columnist attempts some useful moderation in the city’s debate over letting people treat stop signs as yield signs while biking, but ignores the fact that the proposed rule wouldn’t prohibit crackdowns on anyone who blasts egregiously through stop signs.

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Philly streets: A few days after the Papal visit gave Philadelphia a few days of a car-free downtown core, Mayor Michael Nutter is fast-tracking a proposal for regular open-streets events.

Cycling spectatordom: “You do not go to a bike race to watch riders laugh,” writes the WSJ’s Jason Gay in an attempt to explain his affection for watching bike races. “You go to watch them suffer.”

Positive thinking: Bicycles are the embodiment of optimism and possibility in a new ad from Oppenheimer Funds.

Bike lane lawsuit: A New York software engineer is suing UPS for letting its trucks constantly disrupt his commute.

Bike-lane satire: The Late Late Show’s James Corden mercilessly lampoons last week’s Coronado bike lane critics, saying their complaints resemble “my new BMW’s air conditioner works a little too well.”

Unequal casualties: The costs of traffic violence fall overwhelmingly on the least educated, and the gap has been getting much worse, in part because auto safety features are expensive:

Village of widows: Casulaties from India’s National Highway 44 have left the tribal village of Peddakunta, which sits along the road, with only three living adult men.

Distracted driving: As Oregon officials puzzle over a 31 percent spike in traffic fatalities this year, they observed that “60 percent of fatal crashes involved a car drifting from its lane.”

Protected intersection: As Salt Lake City prepares to open its first, PSU professor Jennifer Dill attempts to help describe them on public radio.

Data reporting: The News-Press of Fort Myers, Florida, shows how much a newspaper can bring to a problem like Florida’s nation-leading number of bike fatalities when it wants to.

“It’s kind of, like, majestic.” If the kids interviewed in this new one-minute spot from Metro doesn’t make you feel great about about the benefits of biking (and walking and rolling) to school and elsewhere, I don’t know what video of the week ever will.

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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soren
Subscriber

If your bike is on the QR recall list simply reverse the direction of QR release skewer so the lever is on the right-hand side of the wheel.

are
Guest

more generally, teach people how to use quick release levers. many people seem to confuse them with wingnuts.

bikeslobpdx
Guest
bikeslobpdx

Am I missing something here? QR lever “open” == “unlatched”? Who rides around with their wheels unsecured?

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

People who think quick releases are wingnuts.

If you look closely, you’ll see a few around town.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

Trek started a recall for the same issue early in the summer. Can anyone explain why these companies waited until now to do so?

Pete
Guest
Pete

It’s possible they weren’t receiving complaints about it, and/or believed their user’s manuals covered liability with good instructions. It’s also possible they believed that the QRs in their supply chain didn’t have the angles that some of them do, so wouldn’t be susceptible to this. As enough of these cases (or alleged cases – some people look for excuses to sue companies) surface, other companies may be advised by their lawyers to follow suit.

It really is a case of not using the QR properly, as others have mentioned, and Soren’s advice is perfect because it doesn’t really matter which side you fasten on (on the front). Problem is, now we’ll see a new generation of heavier, over-engineered QRs to save ourselves from our own stupidity…

Adam
Subscriber

All-bike office: what happens when a starchitect discovers bicycles. Forget bike buildings, first build the road infrastructure to accommodate people riding bikes safely and comfortably.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Maybe a enthusiastic ‘starchitects’ could be persuaded to put their creative mind to help out with designing road infrastructure that does a better job of supporting bike travel. I didn’t read the article yet, nor have I been obliged to experience working in a cube farm…but that working environment looks less than inviting. I wonder if it would be too space wasteful to build the cubes a bit larger to create just enough additional room for people to park their bike.

Adam
Subscriber

The solution to a “bike-friendly office” is simple. A locked bike room on the ground floor (without stairs, install a ramp if there’s a grade separation) with bike racks on the floor (not those lift-your-bike-up wall racks). If vertical storage is needed, there needs to be an easy way to roll a bike onto the rack to lift. TriMet park and ride facilities have these racks. Basically, any time I need to pick my bike up, the design has failed.

No need to reinvent the bicycle wheel trying to build bike paths and ramps inside the building. Just use what’s already been shown to work.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Oh, and make sure the bike room lights are not on the energy timers because sometimes people work late. I had to pull my bike off an upper hanger in the dark one time and accidentally grabbed the button to my Zounds horn… 😉

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

They aren’t cube farms anymore. They are “Creative Spaces”. Gone are the cubicles and any semblance of privacy, and in are large communal conference tables with multiple workstations on them. The way it’s been going, I suspect that work places are going to be nothing more than a few bean bag chairs tossed under an awning any day now. But you know- it’s to keep it fun and lively (so you don’t notice that you’re putting in 80 hours a week on a 30 hour a week salary).

Al Dimond
Guest

This guy had some ideas about that that basically amounted to building merge ramps for bike paths so people can get up to speed before entering traffic. Meh.

Beijing used to be packed with bikes wall-to-wall, before its middle class achieved mass car ownership. I’d look to real history for examples before some imagined future. Auto-oriented cities never quite worked out like the auto-futurists hoped.

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

AMEN.

9watts
Subscriber

Adonia’s piece is interesting, gives on pause. The concern I have about Vision Zero is altogether different: The Swedes have set out to perfect a car-based transportation system, to round off all the sharp edges. Given where things are headed on the climate and petroleum fronts this seems an odd if also Car-Head-compatible direction in which to proceed. My own preference would be to hijack Vision Zero in a direction that problematized the automobile itself, not just the sharp edges related to speed, driver attention, and enforcement.
Having said that, though, the VZ approach seems kilometers ahead of anything else I’ve seen in terms of forthrightly calling out and reining in the menace of automobility.

Our system is so messed up (racial profiling, Car Head, climate change, to name just three vastly different dimensions of Vision Zero) that it is inconceivable that any one thing could possibly solve all the problems. We should obviously strive to get as much right as we can with whatever we do, remain vigilant about the blind spots, listen to and empower thoughtful critics of whatever we do.

I found her critique of Euro-centrism and Top down a bit off, though. Automobility itself suffers from both. Does she have something else in mind? Something bottom up and not Euro-centric? Can we do both?

are
Guest

i understood her point to be that a handful of white guys, mostly in the retail bike industry, are imposing this concept through lobbying the existing political power structure, rather than asking those who actually have to be out on the streets on foot or on bikes (a) how they have been managing and (b) what they themselves see as their needs.

9watts
Subscriber

O.K., sure.
But I guess I’d have thought proposing to hijack Vision Zero to those more inclusive ends would have a greater chance of success. Maybe I’m blinded by what seems like a pretty successful program where it has been tried.
Racial profiling is a huge problem, one deserving of lots of serious attention, but it seems to me like a rather back-handed thing to fault Vision Zero for – throwing the baby out with the bath water, as it were.

We need to get enforcement right (no more profiling) and we need to enforce more (no more winking at speeders and texters). Is Vision Zero an opportunity to both or achieve neither? Adonia’s critique didn’t seem in the end as constructive as that.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

I kept thinking about automated photo enforcement while I was reading it. I agree that local wisdom would be good and the top-down-white-guy problem is the main thing that needs a top-down-white-guy solution.

We don’t need enforcement, but we do need compliance. Automated enforcement won’t fix the problems of 80% of drivers speeding 36 in a 25 and rolling halfway through the crosswalk before thinking about stopping. You can’t stop everbody, so profiling can become a problem, but somebody needs to get a ticket (or at least a stop) for 1mph over or few will comply. Getting neighbors to join in enforcement actions maybe? If nothing else, invite 10 witnesses to keep everything honest while you flag 8 out of 10 drivers for rolling over the stop bar.

Al Dimond
Guest

There’s this great kernel of genius in Vision Zero: that instead of rationalizing road deaths, we need to take official or even collective responsibility for them, and work toward a measurable (if perhaps unattainable) goal of zero road deaths. This may ultimately derive a movement that started with Dutch moms in the street half a century ago protesting the Kindermord, but its particular statement and timing have been just right to spread quickly through the bureaucracies of liberal US cities.

In America today, who’s in the streets protesting a rising tide of senseless death and hearing in response nothing but case-by-case rationalizations? Black Lives Matter. Adriana Lugo accuses American city leaders of being tuned into European city leaders but not their own citizens… and I’d say she’s right on, in light of this. What would Vision Zero look like if tuned to our current cultural moment? Well, Vision Zero is a movement of officialdom that has to be palatable to the car-addicted masses and will always leave activists with other platforms (environmental, anti-consumerist, urbanist, preservationist, etc.) in the cold. Even as the deaths are largely the product of cars and car culture, it counts all deaths the same, though it’s not unreasonable to be particularly outraged by people in cars killing people outside of them (and it’s not unreasonable, as an activist for biking or walking, to break down the numbers and make sure that Vision Zero actually works for us, and isn’t just airbags, bike helmets, and fewer bike deaths by a death-spiral of bike modeshare). Likewise, this new Vision Zero, even one ultimately inspired by protests specifically against police killings of black people, might have to take on an “All Lives Matter” slant to be accepted in police academies, and the original core of activists would still need to keep true to its original focus and not be completely co-opted.

Even at that, I think we’re a long way from any kind of movement of official and collective accountability for the number of people killed by any kind of violence. I’m from Illinois, and there’s a constant conservative talking point that Illinois’ relatively strict gun laws haven’t done anything to curb gun violence. The fact that Illinois is actually in the bottom quarter of states in gun deaths per capita literally never even enters the conversation. That’s what we need Vision Zero’s kernel of genius for. To keep ourselves focused on that bottom-line number.

soren
Subscriber

I think Adonia’s point was that the epidemic of police violence targeting social and economic minorities is not being addressed by Vision Zero at all. I personally see this same dysfunction here. White, generally well-off, people who are angry about bike theft or trash accumulation call for “crackdowns” on the houseless even though past crackdowns have resulted in injury and death.

I believe that the life of a single houseless person is worth more than all the bikes stolen in human history.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

main article
Cycling spectatordom: “You do not go to a bike race to watch riders laugh,” writes the WSJ’s Jason Gay in an attempt to explain his affection for watching bike races. “You go to watch them suffer.”

“You go to watch them suffer.”

Explain why this isn’t sadism.

Nick Skaggs
Guest
Nick Skaggs

“Sadism: sa·dism/ˈsāˌdizəm/
noun: the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.”

I don’t believe that those watching a bike race are inflicting pain on the cyclists. Cycling for sport has long involved some level of voluntary suffering. I don’t think that qualifies as sadism…

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Ok, ok… so the question is wrong.

Does it count as schadenfreude if the other person enjoys their masochism that much?

soren
Subscriber

I believe that what two or more consenting adults do on their own free time is none of my business.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

That’s the sort of reply I was fishin fer!

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

re; SF stop:

Michael, in saying the writer “…ignores the fact that the proposed rule wouldn’t prohibit crackdowns on anyone who blasts egregiously through stop signs…”, are you referring to this article?

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Time-to-yield-on-misunderstood-bike-yield-6541412.php

I read the column, seeing no indication the writer is ignoring any such thing. In fact, the column clarifies that apparently what SF supervisors are considering, would, in the words of Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Noah Budnick, merely be a “…policy recommendation…”. Not a rule, not a law.

The columnist writes: “…All the proposal asks is that San Francisco police treat rolling through stop signs as the “lowest law enforcement priority.” …”

Which, insists Park Station Capt. John Sanford, is already happening.

In other words, were the policy recommendation supported by the supervisors to successfully go into city code, SF police could continue on, business as usual with regards to enforcement of the stop sign law. Which has been, as a SF Police Dept Captain reminds,

“…“As our chief has said, we give out less than 1 percent of our traffic tickets to cyclists” and 96 percent to drivers,” he said. “We are looking for the egregious behavior.” …”

It’s what’s been occurring with some of the people riding The Wiggle…a short, one mile switchback route well suited to help people biking deal with SF’s biggest hills…that’s likely been the source of this ruckus. Some people biking feel it’s a big deal to have to stop and start on the modest three to six percent grade. So maybe put up some signs allowing roll throughs on the uphill grade, rather than try allow roll throughs, or worse, across the city, become standard practice.

The worst thing about this SF supervisor legislative effort may be as the columnist writes:

“…So the ordinance sounds like another of those feel-good, let-me-demonstrate-my-progressive-cred (hello Supervisor John Avalos, who introduced this) piece of legislation that doesn’t really mean much of anything. …”

Oh c’mon… . The last thing cities should be spending time on, is creating meaningless legislation.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

It’s not entirely meaningless legislation. There are isolated precinct captains who love to go after cyclists for sport. This would put their stings outside of city policy and would give their supervisors cause to reprimand or, if they persist, demote or even fire them for their anti-bike bias.

As to cyclists receiving less than 1% of the citations in SF, they are responsible for so little death and injury that even 1% is relative over-enforcement.

are
Guest

also there is a public relations, or should i say, educational aspect to formalizing the policy.

are
Guest

in his column nevius says:

What the “yield bike law” needs is an addendum that says cyclists can treat a stop sign as a yield as long as they don’t use it as an excuse to speed and ride recklessly.

but of course treating a stop sign as a yield already does not provide an excuse, etc. so in his purported effort to clairfy, nevius only contributes to the confusion.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Here’s a question for you (and the general audience): did the police officers riding bicycles in this video actually stop for this stop sign? If not, why not… because they didn’t put a foot down? I’d genuinely like to know, as I think this reinforces my previous points about a “stop” being rather subjective anyway.

http://www.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2015/09/24/sf-cop-known-for-bike-crackdown-rolls-through-stop-sign

(BTW, this video clip is not on the Wiggle, it’s in Golden Gate Park and, coincidentally, the same section where Stanley Roberts has filmed People Behaving Badly segments on the same subject).

Bill Walters
Guest
Bill Walters

In this instance, the officers clearly kept rolling forward — wasn’t even close — so no, they didn’t stop. Meanwhile, there is no legal need to put a foot on the ground, any more than is required when in a car. (Check the wording of California law. For Oregon, it’s at http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.260 .

You can stay balanced while stopped. It’s called a “trackstand” and it just takes a little technique but a lot of practice.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Here’s another bit from the SF Chronicle column to consider:

“…Meanwhile, the subplot is that Sanford is taking heat for arriving at Park Station six months ago and starting a cycling crackdown. Which, after getting a rash of complaints from residents about reckless riders, he did.

“When I got out there, we hadn’t done any enforcement,” Sanford said. “And I thought that was part of the problem. That’s what the shock was, when I said we are not going to turn a blind eye to the problem.” …”.

Sandford, says he, a big guy, went and stood at the location himself, in his police uniform, and people on bikes went fast through the stop signs, showing little indication they even were aware of his presence.

Residents got sick and tired of bad behavior on the part of people riding. People riding, in disregarding road use regulations, diminished neighborhood quality of life, and the residents spoke up for assistance. It’s city residents that brought the police into enforcing what for the department, already had been a low priority.

Had people riding been…so to speak, watching their p’s and q’s, there likely would have been no significant increase over whatever had been routine periodic enforcement detail at The Wiggle, or elsewhere in the city, and the supervisors wouldn’t have been moved to spend time working on legislation not likely to accomplish much at all, if anything.

Pete
Guest
Pete

“People riding, in disregarding road use regulations, diminished neighborhood quality of life…”

Exactly how? Does Sanford point to any metrics in cyclist/pedestrian or cyclist/automobile collisions? How does one measure “neighborhood quality of life” in such a way that people rolling through stop signs while ignoring uniformed police officers impacts it so negatively?

You realize that Captain Sanford is the officer shown rolling the stop sign on the ride-along in the video I posted a link to above, yes? Of course he’s taking the heat – his boss made a decision to target a larger percentage of Mayor Lee’s constituency than anticipated, which ultimately put him in the sticky situation of vetoing a measure that his entire city council backed. You can’t tell me the mayor’s office didn’t have a little chat with Chief Greg Suhr about the position the mayor was put in, and you know the old saying about stuff flowing downhill…

Not that I’m defending the practice, but I still go right back to my point that people have differing opinions of what it means to “stop”: http://bikeportland.org/2015/09/24/priceless-nine-questions-seleta-reynolds-163166#comment-6558201

Meanwhile, in a less politically controversial step forward, the CA legislature took steps to allow (or rather, no longer outlaw) bicyclist ticket diversion programs to give all these neighborhood-wreckers the opportunity to edumacate themselves on the error of their ways:
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB902

This recent article sheds a little more insight into the Idaho law itself – like I said before, there’s no evidence it doesn’t work, and very little evidence that it does:
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Cyclists-Idaho-stop-becomes-hot-potato-in-San-6552279.php
(Note that the article appears to have been published today, but Mayor Lee already vetoed the proposal last week).

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Residents got sick and tired of bad behavior on the part of people riding. People riding, in disregarding road use regulations, diminished neighborhood quality of life, and the residents spoke up for assistance. …” wsbob

Diminishing of neighborhood quality of life due to people chronically rolling stop signs on The Wiggle, is what, I gather from reading residents quoted in the SF Chronicle story and in the comments to that story…occurred.

It’s not police officers being unseen or ignored while observing stop sign violations, that diminishes neighborhood quality of living, but ignoring and disrespecting residents, visitors and other road users in the neighborhood. It’s the tension and stress of this kind of road use abuse that poses a threat to neighborhood livability.

The entire SF city council has not supported the legislative proposal being considered; a majority has, but full council could override a veto. The mayor seems to be smart enough to realize fluff legislation when he sees it. He should hold his position, and encourage city residents, including the supervisors, to think through the situation people biking uphill on The Wiggle, are putting the city in. There are better solutions for bike specific traffic situations like that one, than vague, ineffective legislation.

Pete
Guest
Pete

To be fair, it’s the car traffic and parking problems that are the primary detractor in that neighborhood, as well as panhandlers and stoners galore. I think it’s overstatement when bicyclists are singled out for livability issues in a targeted area blocks away from a very popular methadone clinic. If you get a chance to go hang out there, though, there are some really cool shops, restaurants, and indie film theater, and the people-watching is entertainment alone.

Again, not that I’m defending the practice or saying it’s not a hassle – even the video clip I posted last week shows the person filming almost hit someone trying to cross the street. Maybe outlawing fixies with suicide clips would be more effective legislation? (I kid, I kid!)…

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“Exactly how?”

Seeing people roll through when you are expecting them to stop induces a dizzying type of vertigo and takes away from your outlook on life.

Pete
Guest
Pete

LOL. The irony is this is the Haight we’re talking about, and people there are already walking around in a literal haze.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Pete…too bad, but the article the last link provided in your comment comment leads to, is only a couple sentences long, and offers virtually no insight at all on the Idaho Stop, or what SF supervisors were considering. The SF Chronicle could have done better on that article, I think.

By the way, I did answer your question about neighborhood livability relative to road users, in this case, people biking that disregard their obligation to stop signs. That comment has been in moderation, and may eventually be posted…or not. Hard to know sometimes.

As I think I’ve suggested earlier, because of the climb involved, and aversion to stopping on uphill grades by some people biking, San Francisco’s could and perhaps should come up with some kind of special alternative to the stop signs on The Wiggle. It’s on this particular section of street, rather than anywhere else in the city, that an issue over generally stopping at stop signs happened to come up. Fix that particular situation, rather than trying to apply a blanket treatment to the whole city, and the situation may be resolved.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Yeah, I mentioned last week (in a comment stuck in moderation 😉 that the primary intersection in question is at Haight, where the Wiggle turns left across it, and cars (and peds) make it very busy. The reality is that the naysayers are right, many MANY cyclists simply do blast right through it, so it’s hard to make the arguments that I was making (for the Idaho stop) when that’s not what people see. The incline isn’t actually that bad at all, from what I remember (it’s been a little while since I last rode in SF).

I think the article was intentionally focused on the Idaho experience itself and not the SF measure, plus I think it was published later than originally planned (judging by the lack of past tense). I thought its main point was relevant, that the Idaho stop hasn’t been studied much – mainly because nobody in Idaho makes a big deal of it. (Meanwhile, everywhere else it seems to raise as much ire as gay marriage or abortion).

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…The incline isn’t actually that bad at all, from what I remember (it’s been a little while since I last rode in SF). …” Pete

May have been the wikipedia article that said ‘ three to six percent grade’. Towards having The Wiggle be a better biking route for everyone, the city should study carefully, the route, the number and range of different types of people riding it. Get a sense of, when they do stop at the signs, how the range of people biking that route, handle starting out again on the grade.

They should try get some idea of the range speeds people are rolling or blowing through the stop signs, and what percent are excessively fast. I’m going to say rather arbitrarily, that rolling through at a walking speed, assuming the person doing so is visibly indicating situational awareness…looking both ways, etc, before rolling…may be a point at which police may have been using discretion not to cite…but that’s something the city, supervisors, and interested people ought to look into.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I suspect the dramatic difference in road fatalities between high school drop outs and people with more education is more related to behavior than to air bags and other car passenger safety equipment. Look at who’s driving drunk and generally behaving like a sixteen-year-old when behind the wheel. It’s not generally your physician or some post-doctoral academic researcher doing this, it’s mostly, but not exclusively, a drop-out or.

I don’t see this as an equity issue at all. In fact, when a motorist dies in a single-car crash (usually while intoxicated) I’m pleased since it means that irresponsible road user won’t be killing an innocent road user.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I, too would imagine that the causes of these “unfair” crashes is far more behavior-related than equipment-related. My guess is that those traits that make finishing high school too hard also put safe driving above one’s competency level. When I was in high school, my parents’ insurance company offered a “good student” discount for teenage drivers with a high enough GPA, so even among those who haven’t yet had the chance to graduate or drop out, insurance companies know who are going to be better drivers.

Bella Bici
Guest

The Indian story is tragic. Truly tragic.

According to WHO, almost 240,000 people were killed in traffic collisions in 2013. That is nearly one-quarter of a million people per year. This is utterly insane!!!

China has comparable numbers. World totals are near 1.24 million deaths per year. Not even including all the maimed and mangled survivors, and their devastated families.

Automobiles, what a Faustian bargain we have made.

Champs
Guest
Champs

One can only hope that this is the death knell of the quick release skewer. They are more notable for being easy to misuse with dangerous consequences than easy to use in a race situation (typically just one day out of the week even for people who *do* race). Consumer bikes don’t have tubular tires, and QR makes even less sense.

Adonia Lugo hits me on two points.

Race and Vision Zero: it occurred to me the other week when I turned onto NE Rodney. My girlfriend took that Idaho stop at jogging speed to stay with me. It did not escape my notice that the woman parked in the car across the street looked right past me, a fellow person of color, and admonished the white girl I had in tow. My partner was outraged, and it is an outrage, but all too well I know what it’s like on her end of that scenario. So no, you can’t simply dismiss racial concerns with “just obey the law and you’ll be fine” because it isn’t evenly applied.

Copenhagenization: Portland is not Copenhagen, nor is any other city but Copenhagen itself. Vision Zero as a policy demagoguery. Vision Zero in practice requires cultural change, not only from road users but within the Portland Building. Off-street trails might be the linchpin of another city’s active transportation network, but here in Portland you can’t count on them to be clean, safe, or even open.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

What kind of skewer do you prefer? One that requires a wrench?

Champs
Guest
Champs

Yes, a wrench. 5mm hex is preferable, box wrench… eh. You can’t fix a flat without tools,an inflator at the very least.

LC
Guest
LC

I like pitlocks because they keep my wheels from rolling away without my bike while unattended. The pitlock key is about the size of a small marble and the piece of metal I use to engage it is attached to my tire lever. Not a lot extra to carry and way more peace of mind than q/r.

Spiffy
Subscriber

quick-release means I don’t have to bring a wrench with me to remove my wheel to change a flat… wrenches are a lot harder to carry than patch kits…

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

Blah, Cresent makes an adjustable wrench (about $10.00 at Home Depot) in which the handle is only 3″ long with a wide enough mouth to take on every bolt (5/8″ is tops I believe) on a bicycle other than those on the head tube. I carry two of them when I ride, and they take up less room in my pocket than the Swiss Army knife, tire lever, and patch kit which incidentally I also carry in the pockets of my pants. Other than the pocket knife, the whole kit almost fits in an Altoids can.

Champs
Guest
Champs

You’re carrying a pump/CO2 plus a patch/spare tube. You don’t also have a wrench?

Pete
Guest
Pete

Quick Releases have stood the test of time because they’re lightweight, require no tools, quick, and perfectly reliable when used properly. Now if you’re going to sound the death knell for something, I’d hope it would be lawyer tabs.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Why carry one if you don’t need it? I’ve never had an issue with QRs, nor has anyone that I know. If you have a bike with disk brakes, install the QR on the opposite side of the fork.

are
Guest

i pack a rather complete set of wrenches, actually, but the quick release has a function which should be easy for anyone to learn, and i would rather not have to deal with nuts and washers when i am doing a roadside flat fix.

are
Guest

let me also say it is one thing to disagree with someone and to explain in neutral language the factual basis of your disagreement, and it is another to employ a disparaging tone.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Idiocracy in action. Some people can’t figure out how to use a thing correctly or safely, so let’s not let anyone use it. Bollocks.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Distracted driving:
“Sixty percent of fatal crashes involved a car drifting from its lane, probably because of a cellphone or some other distraction.”

“I have to think a lot of it has to do with distracted drivers. Texting and all that, it’s a big deal.”

“…there’s no silver bullet.

No silver bullet? Really? How about increasing enforcement for distracted driving. I’ve heard lots of people complain about getting tickets for this and that, but never for distracted driving, even though its rampant and on the increase. How about fines for distracted driving that are more than just spare change. How about points for the license, since distracted driving has shown to be even more dangerous than drunk driving. Now that we have Vision Zero, shouldn’t the city take steps to get this problem at least under control?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It’s so rampant that I suspect many drivers think it’s legal.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“There’s no silver bullet”

Interesting choice of words. I ride with silver bullets every day…and yellow ones, white ones, black ones, red ones, trendy ochre-colored ones, blue ones…. some of them even have bullety names like “Caliber”, “Ram”, “Dart”, “Charger”, “Crossfire”, “Avenger”, “Nitro”, “Magnum”— and have instructions written right on them as well: “Dodge”.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

If you decide to cross the Willamette or Columbia, DO NOT follow the instructions which say “ford.”

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s insane for a city to spend enourmous time, money and effort to create bike lanes…then not enforce them. It seems like easy money to write these tickets..but yet the cops don’t.

Why? Because they feel it’s beneath them.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“It’s insane for a city to spend enourmous time, money and effort to create bike lanes…then not enforce them. …” Mark

Enforce the bike lanes? Not following your thinking…what do you mean by suggesting to ‘enforce…bike lanes’ ? In case it’s relevant to your suggestion, here’s a link to the text of Oregon’s law regarding detailing use of bike lanes by people biking:

http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.420

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I think he meant that the police allow motorists to drift into them illegally.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Probably because the visual cacophony would induce a sort of dizzying nausea if they tried.

Mark
Guest
Mark

wsbob
“It’s insane for a city to spend enourmous time, money and effort to create bike lanes…then not enforce them. …” MarkEnforce the bike lanes? Not following your thinking…what do you mean by suggesting to ‘enforce…bike lanes’ ? In case it’s relevant to your suggestion, here’s a link to the text of Oregon’s law regarding detailing use of bike lanes by people biking:http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.420Recommended 1

I was referring to cities that seem to think that bike lanes make excellent loading zones.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Mark…thanks for that clarification. I understand, and to some extent feel that using bike lanes to unload/load things can be acceptable, but only with great discretion, and if there’s no other reasonable alternative available for a given time and place. Where the practice begins to be routine and commonplace, and not even really necessary, it can be a pain, and can pose danger.

Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

To the kid in the Video of the Week: It IS like kind of majestic, isn’t it? I still feel that way at some point during every ride.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I don’t know everything–I have only been a full time working bike mechanic since 1974–but bikes with disc brakes should be assembled

Dave
Guest
Dave

WITH THE QUICK RELEASE LEVERS ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE BICYCLE. Don’t mimic the appearance of rim brake bicycles–it’ll work better. Better yet, use allen-key skewers; they’re cheaper and lighter.

HJ
Guest
HJ

Sadly that 60% of fatalities involving drifting out of lanes not surprise me. Every single day I’ll be out on the road and see someone crossing the double yellow. Not because they’re avoiding a hazard or trying to get around a cyclist, but just out of pure incompetence.
Unfortunately I’m fairly certain a fair amount of this is due to cell phone use. I’ve found it utterly confounding when I’ve ridden as a passenger with some of my friends lately. We’ll be having a conversation about the terrible drivers on the road. While my friend will be sitting there saying how awful texting drivers are she/he will be actively typing in an address just to see what the estimated drive time will be. In the meantime the vehicle will begin to drift. I’ll make a comment about it and get a look like I’m crazy in response.
Are people really so blind/dumb as to not understand that they’re effectively texting while driving? Just because it’s not a message being sent outside the vehicle doesn’t make the actions and their consequences any different.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Actually, what surprises me more is when I watch a driver weaving all over the road and then catch up with them at a light and see that they’re not using a cell phone. I actually see that a lot… not sure what goes through their heads.

One point that I’ve brought up before is the road crown. The natural course of a car driving down most streets is not going to be straight – like the car is designed to drive – it will be to the right, because roads are designed to run water off into gutters and drains. When we drive, we are constantly battling this natural force pulling the car to the right, but power steering hides the action from us for almost everything we encounter. It all depends on the specific roadway section, but you’ll particularly see/feel it under hard braking. Again, it’s very subtle, but I believe it’s a factor regardless.

9watts
Subscriber

Well in addition to the effects of gravity on a slope you mention it is also worth remembering that cars steering is set up to pull to the right should the driver let go of the wheel (this is to reduce the chances of him/her drifting into oncoming traffic. Of course, as I’ve mentioned here in the past, like the convention of having car doors hinged at the front, this design parameter fails to account for the consequences for those of us on bikes/on the shoulder/etc.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Alignment is generally adjusted to partly counter the road camber. On flat ground, it would pull left.

Cars should have suicide doors instead of homicide doors? Maybe scissor-hinged — I’m imagining the rear-hinged door deflecting a bike into traffic like a pinball paddle. This would be much simpler and bike-friendlier if all of the cars have no doors and are actually golf carts (which can park 3 per parallel spot.)

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Today, about 9:30 this morning, I was driving east on Humphrey Blvd (quiet, fairly low volume, sort of scenic, twisty little neighborhood road, 20-25 mph tops, up in the hills west of Council Crest; steep rising bank on one side, flat or descending on the other. Didn’t see it happen, single car mishap, somebody managed to have their car tip over on its roof. Going to guess they weren’t watching the road, veered into and rose up on the bank, tipped over and upside down.

By the way, I’m going to recommend not riding this road. Though it’s relatively low volume, quite a lot of the volume is people driving, and the road’s hairpin curves, no shoulders, make it not so good for riding. Huett on the south side of the hill is much better, and nicer.

Short story in the Oregonian, yesterday and today: 26 year old guy plows into a 45 year old woman in the crosswalk, inflicting fatal injuries on her. Reported also, is that seconds before the collision, the guy was smoking pot:

http://www.oregonlive.com/gresham/index.ssf/2015/10/woman_hit_in_crosswalk_by_pot-.html

Pete
Guest
Pete

I personally would love to see the effort put into studying alternate solutions as you recommend, but the reality is that we’re close to the sun setting so much earlier that many people will actually stop riding for the year, even in SF, and the issue will die a quick death with so many bigger fishes to fry. You’re proposing something logical (which I get, as a left-brained soul), and I don’t think politics works that way.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Sorry, this was in reply to http://bikeportland.org/2015/10/05/monday-roundup-bike-oriented-office-building-indias-village-widows-164461#comment-6567996. The point I guess I’m not making clear is that the section of the Wiggle that has the grade isn’t the same section as where the stop sign enforcement was concentrated. A lot of the ire stems from bicyclists who have actually received expensive stop sign tickets and then watched bike-riding police officers roll stops themselves, so they feel that making it (rolling stops) law actually makes it more objective rather than subjective, and prevents the abuse of power in anything but the most egregious of transgressions.

But it’s a moot point; as I predict, politics will quell this argument quickly.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I think the police chief, captain, sergeant, or whoever it is down the chain of command that’s responsible for outlining and reviewing to officers doing the stop sign enforcement details, what is the range of discretion that should be applied when deciding whether or not to cite, could go over some of that with the officers on the details, and get the situation squared away; if poorly applied discretion in citing is the problem.

People in SF, and here in Portland or anywhere people are using the road, by bike, motor vehicle and other modes of travel, all ought to be doing a bit of thought and discussion about what different things may figure into police deciding a citation for someone not stopping at stop signs is justified.

In SF on The Wiggle, the police apparently came to do the enforcement detail there, because residents got sick and tired of people biking that are rolling the stop signs with little or no regard for other road users…on foot, biking…driving, etc.

Especially if the stop signs aren’t even located on the uphill grades, there’s really no good excuse for everyone biking, not to be stopping at the stop signs.

At the very least…if people biking or driving, are going to go against the law, take a risk and decide to roll the stop signs, then they should do so slowly enough and with caution visibly displayed to other road users, so as not to tick off the residents and road users that don’t like the bad behavior, resulting in the police being brought in to do these details.

And that, kind of guessing, I think is really the source of the problem with people biking and not stopping at the stop signs on The Wiggle. Not that they weren’t stopping at the stop signs so much as that whether they were rolling through at a walking pace, or blowing through at speed, many likely were doing so with little apparent awareness of or consideration of other road users visibly displayed. The residents, neighbors, other road users unhappy with this behavior, got on the phone, email, whatever, apparently told the police in no uncertain terms that they’d had it.

If most SF residents truly want to effectively cancel obligation of people biking to stop at stop signs, I suppose they could do that by getting the word to the cops, not to bother any longer with citing people that bike for rolling and blowing through. If that’s what SF residents want, and will be happy with, then fine. That would be one less responsibility for the police to have to deal with. Got a strong feeling though, that the desire among SF residents generally is for people biking to continue to be obliged to stop at stop signs, and actually do so with more consistency than they apparently do now in some parts of town. If City Hall, the mayor, and the police can’t be relied upon to help them get this done…who can?