Tour de Lab September 1st

The Monday Roundup: Bike share parking wars, Niagara Falls highway removal and more

Posted by on March 28th, 2016 at 9:28 am

The expressway to be removed.
(Image: City of Niagara Falls)

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

Highway removal: New York State will remove Robert Moses Parkway from the waterfront that overlooks Niagara Falls to create a park and walking trails.

11-year-old activist for safe streets: Los Angeles resident Matlock Grossman has wisdom beyond his years. He sees the benefits of bicycling on his rides to orchestra practice.

Victim blamed: The NYC police department says a 61-year-old Spanish teacher is to blame for his own death because he walked into a crosswalk right before an on-duty police officer who was reportedly on her cell phone turned her police van into him.

Street transformation manual: Could there be any more momentum for quick-build street projects like the ones we’ve seen locally on SW 3rd Avenue and Naito recently? National nonprofit People For Bikes just published a guide to help make more of these “fast, flexible changes” happen.

Misused cash: Fremont, Calif., used a Safe Routes to School grant to remove a bike lane and widen an intersection in front of a high school.

Uber subsidy: The Florida city subsidizing 20 percent of Uber fares just might become a model for public transit in low-density areas.

Killing stoplights: An MIT effort to milk more automotive capacity out of intersections by replacing red lights with modulated vehicle speed makes perfect sense as long as everyone is in a motor vehicle.

Bike share parking wars: Jersey City and Hoboken are sparring over where bike share bikes can park, with fines and threats of a lawsuit. Keep in mind Hudson Bike Share uses a “smart bike” system similar to Portland’s.

Vision Zero: The push to cut traffic deaths is not working so far in San Francisco, and some are blaming the city’s unwillingness to remove street parking spaces for better crosswalks or transit stops.

Fatality penalties: Despite the boom in urban biking, people regularly get off with fines in the low thousands after killing people with their cars, reports the Associated Press.


Excess parking: It may have hit a new high with a building in southern England that is topped by a parking lot that can’t be reached by car. (The project is apparently speculative.)

Trader Joe’s: Thanks in part to comparatively tiny parking lots, their stores have twice the revenue per square foot as Whole Foods.

Seattle housing: The Oregonian has taken its turn considering whether Seattle’s attempted grand bargain on housing could work in Portland.

Industry sexism: U.S. bike maker Specialized apologized and said “we do not support the objectification of women in any way” after its marketers hired women to pose in Playboy Bunny costumes next to a Playboy-branded Specialized bike.

Rob Ford: Toronto’s crack-smoking, bike-lane-hating mayor, who died last Tuesday at 46, was actually like a lot of Canadians, the BBC wrote in a rememberance.

Biking “destroying London”: As Portlander Carl Larson points out, this piece from the Independent is “the rare anti-bike AND anti-car editorial.”

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.

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    9watts March 28, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I hope the cop-on-cell-phone-killing-pedestrian-in-crosswalk-with-walk-signal story blows up and heads roll in NYC. Although I’m not holding my breath.
    How many of these outrageous miscarriages of justice are we going to have to learn about?

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      Eric Leifsdad March 28, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Let’s don’

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        Eric Leifsdad March 28, 2016 at 4:05 pm

        Let’s don’t miss the detail that he had the right of way and the walk signal.

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          9watts March 28, 2016 at 4:07 pm

          I noted that above, but in so doing I realized that it shouldn’t matter whether he had the walk signal. Even if this was an unmarked crossing with no signal I’d like to think that the cop/police dept/city wouldn’t get to pull this kind of a blame-the-victim stunt.

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      noah March 28, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Without denying that the NYPD are out of control, this is really the kind of thing you’d expect them to say in a lawsuit defense, because they have to say something in their defense. It doesn’t mean they are going to put up a serious fight, or fail to settle for a big amount.

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        Chris I March 29, 2016 at 7:43 am

        Yes, but doesn’t it seem outrageous that a law enforcement agency issues a statement that ignores very clear laws? Even if it is part of a defense strategy?

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    RJ March 28, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Wasn’t the Fremont Safe Routes to School story debunked?

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    Chris I March 28, 2016 at 10:15 am

    That anti-bike editorial from London may also be anti-car, but it is still complete garbage, and reads much like the usual anti-bike editorial we see around here. Flawed assumptions and baseless comments.

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    Champs March 28, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Were they accepting more racks, Jersey City could have a point. I’d be irked if I lost a space to a bike that’s “docked” there indefinitely. There are already a few places I go where the rack supply is tight (or worse).

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    soren March 28, 2016 at 10:56 am

    “the rare anti-bike AND anti-car editorial.”

    Anti-car? The piece seemed ridiculously pro-car to me:

    “It means that traffic has to fit into a much smaller space and so it is reduced to a crawl.”

    “…taking up a whole traffic lane – right through to Barking in the east.”

    “It seems extraordinary that riding a bike (unlike driving) is subject to so few rules.”

    “You can rent a bike and potentially kill … other road users[drivers]

    “You don’t need to take a driving test to work as a cycle messenger.”

    “Whether cyclists like it or not, roads are also …cars…”

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    wsbob March 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Political correctness to excess:

    “Specialized stands strong with female riders and we do not support the objectification of women in any way, in any region.

    “In the future we will continue only to build on the great work we have done to promote women and men in cycling,” added Olson.” Slate Olson, Specialized’s chief marketing officer as quoted in

    Seriously? No objectification of women in any way? Not even as healthy, physically active people interested in biking for recreation, and as athletes, and as Specialized customers? Could it be that Slate Olson was a little shy about saying so as to leave no doubt about what he seems to be positioning the company to avoid criticism of, which would seem to be ‘sexual objectification of people’.

    Playboy magazine, and the at one time oft discussed Playboy Lifestyle, is bad, bad, bad, in the minds of some people, I guess. All of it allegedly contributing to the idea that women be thought of and used for nothing more than sex, sex, sex. Right? I guess I couldn’t really agree with that take, even though the mag includes a lot of fluff.

    By the way….recent editorial decision means no more unclothed ladies in Playboy. Apparently, even that wasn’t enough to allow Slate Olson to feel that the company he heads up, was safe having a couple women dressed up as Playboy bunnies, helping to draw attention to the companies’ new ebikes. E-bikes certainly have some appeal, but not in terms of sexual appeal compared that of say, racing bikes. The e-bikes could use some help in that dept. Olson and Specialized should mull that thought over a bit more.

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      are March 28, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      the word “playboy” means womanizer. the stunt for which olson is apologizing has nothing to do with showing women as healthy or active or even as customers, but as an implied reward for the male customer.

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    Mark M March 28, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I.e. Victim Blaming from the Streetsblog article I pulled an interesting point that might be a good grass routes movement here in stumptown

    “We’ve received no reports of flyers posted at gas stations or on windshields, reminding drivers to obey the speed limit, yield to pedestrians, and refrain from driving distracted.”

    Maybe its time we start peppering people with flyers like this nonexistent one mentioned above ourselves. All though I’d prefer the Orange paper stickers (that are so hard to remove) stuck to windshields and driver side windows over paper flyers… but you get the point.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty March 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Honest, officer, he just threw his face into my fist!

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    Mike Sanders March 28, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Keep an eye on that Niagra Falls project. In Portland, we removed Harbor Drive and the old Oregon Journal building in order to create Waterfront Park. Wish those folks good luck. The Oregonian article yesterday suggested that the housing situation here might get worse in the next 2-3 years. That is definitely another story to watch.

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    GlowBoy March 28, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Wow, the Robert Moses Parkway is to be removed. There is a God!

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