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The Monday Roundup: The Canadian military vs. bike lanes and more

Posted by on June 13th, 2016 at 9:29 am

beatty street

The “recipe for disaster” now installed on Beatty Street.
(Image: City of Vancouver, BC)

Welcome to an extra-robust roundup! We missed last week’s, so this one has the best of two weeks of great bike-related links from around the world.

Military conflict: The Canadian military says a new parking-protected bike lane in front of their Vancouver BC building is a “recipe for disaster” because a “flying” bicycle might hit one of their soldiers.

Teen driving: The Washington Post’s bicycle-fearing columnist is dismayed that kids these days prefer “texting friends and meeting up for a ‘group date’ on a Metro subway car” to “the freedom that comes with getting behind the wheel.” He thinks the answer should be bringing back driver’s ed.

Thief roped: “A man allegedly attempting to steal a bike in front of a Walmart in Southern Oregon was foiled by a man on a horse Friday morning when the mounted rider lassoed the would-be thief and kept him roped up until police arrived.”

Salmonberry Trail: Willamette Week’s longish read on Oregon’s future trail to the coast is worth your time.

Five-fatality collision: A man plowed his pickup truck into nine people biking together in Michigan, killing five of them. The preliminary charge is murder.

Transportation art: The Los Angeles DOT has hired an “artist in residence.” The plan so far seems sorta vague.

“Book bike”: A Los Angeles librarian is distributing children’s books in the community from a custom-built trike.

Waze vs. neighborhoods: The route-finding app can dramatically change traffic patterns on small streets.

E-bike boom: Bloomberg examines growth potential in a “wide open” retail category.

Sagan goes MTB: The world’s current champion road racer will switch to mountain biking for the Rio Olympics.

The roots of dirt: To celebrate MTB’s new Olympic event, Wired tells a short story of mountain biking’s origins as a “goofy hobby” in Marin County, Calif.

Skipping Olympics: U.S. cyclist Tejay van Garderen is the latest athelete to opt out of Rio because of the Zika virus.

Amazon couriers: The retailer abruptly scrapped its bike-based Amazone Prime Now bike delivery service.

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London bike lanes: Weeks after London installed perpendicular protected bike lanes through downtown, bicycles outnumber all other vehicles on the two streets.

Parking trouble: “A Vancouver man accused of trying to stab his roommate over a parking spot dispute” is in Washington courts.

Insurance milestone: The first policy for insuring self-driving cars is out.

Moped rules: Reflective vests and helmets for young moped riders will soon be mandatory in South Carolina.

Life sentence: A Houston man’s ninth conviction for driving drunk may put him in prison permanently.

Atlanta transformation: Its region has budgeted $1 billion for walking and biking improvements over the next 25 years.

Toronto biking: The city’s new plan would double its bike-lane network by 2026; one councilor said it would “change the way the city is perceived.”

“Sprawl tax”: As an alternative to the many congestion rankings that ask if cars are moving quickly, City Observatory created an alternative ranking cities based on the length of commutes. (Portland does well.)

Transit frequency: There’s a big difference between cities where many people live near transit and those where many people live near good transit.

Road redesign benefits: A four-lanes-to-three pilot project in Seattle cut traffic collisions by 15 percent and injuries by 31 percent.

Smart cities: The Washington Post has a fairly readable summary of each finalist city’s proposal in the federal transportation grant Portland is vying for.

NYC vs cars: The Guardian recounts the time NYC nearly banned private cars from lower Manhattan in midday.

Norway vs. oil: The world’s 14th largest oil-producing country is considering a ban on gasoline cars by 2025.

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.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. 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

63 Comments
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    soren June 13, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I believe e-bikes and driverless cars will be some of the things that cause human-powered transport in the USA to take off on a national scale.

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      Al Dimond June 13, 2016 at 11:45 am

      1. E-bikes are only, like, half-human powered.
      2. Speaking only of transportation cycling: places in the US where cycling is “popular” (i.e. cyclists are more than a rounding error) account for a small minority of the US population, and even in places where cycling is “popular” cyclists are a small minority. In most of the places where cycling is not popular road conditions are perceived (often correctly) as very unsafe for cycling. In most places where cycling is popular road conditions are better, at least for some trips. I’ll buy the idea that e-bikes, reducing the physical exertion required for cycling, could plausibly help cycling reach the masses in places where it’s already perceived as safe. I don’t buy the idea that they’ll help cycling reach the masses in places where it isn’t. For that we’ll need a huge expansion in safe bike routes, and because of how US population is distributed, it will have to occur on an enormous scale. If this happens e-bikes are a sub-headline.
      3. In addition to the safety issue, cycling is much more popular in places where car-parking is scarce or expensive, and driving is therefore more expensive. In most parts of the US car ownership and usage is stunningly cheap (a fact that is responsible for a lot of the development patterns that cause car ownership to be entrenched). To overcome this we’d need (a) Americans to want to be cyclists (b) more expensive driving, and the only likely way that’s happening is through carbon-reduction policies. If these things happen e-bikes are less than a sub-headline.
      4. Driverless cars are not at all human powered, and I’ve never seen anyone even attempt to show that the robo-taxi model that optimists say will reduce car ownership (and thus VMT) in walkable cities makes economic sense in the auto-dominated places that represent a majority of the US population.

      If you replace “human-powered” with “non-fossil-fuel”, then… sure, though electric drivetrains probably have more to do with this than driverless control.

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        soren June 13, 2016 at 12:56 pm

        Two of the major reasons people are reluctant to use human-powered transport in the USA are:

        1) The perception that it is not convenient and/or difficult.
        2) The perception that it is dangerous.

        Electric assist bicycles help with 1 and both driverless cars and more people e-cycling would help with 2.

        For that we’ll need a huge expansion in safe bike routes

        I think we will see an infrastructure buildout but I also believe the impact of perceived safety is underappreciated. For example, Japanese cities have little infrastructure but mode share is high because drivers tend to be respectful of vulnerable traffic. Driverless cars will likely put even the most safe Japanese driver to shame.

        Driverless cars are not at all human powered

        I never suggested this.

        cycling is much more popular in places where car-parking is scarce or expensive, and driving is therefore more expensive

        I definitely support these kinds of milder reforms but ultimately I believe large motorvehicles should be socialized.

        makes economic sense

        I believe the consequences of dumping ~40,000,000,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year will make the economic cost of decarbonization a moot point in coming decades.

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          Al Dimond June 13, 2016 at 4:04 pm

          Japanese cities may have little bike infrastructure, but are dense, congested, and have excellent transit, keeping commute distances shorter and surface vehicle speeds slower. The suburban/exurban/semi-rural arrangements that a large portion of Americans live in are dominated by 40-MPH roads, often without sidewalks. If they get congested they get expanded; today that means they add sidewalks, but that wasn’t the case a couple generations ago when road widening was in full swing. Suburban Chicago (where I’m from) has a lot of 4- and 6-lane roads with no sidewalks, or with token sidewalks that go away at interchanges and bridges, and there’s a lot of the same in a lot of other places. I grew up on a bike and I’d ride most places in town, but I also had jobs where there’s no way to bike there without riding across “zipper-merge” lanes (e.g. as when crossing a cloverleaf interchange) or on 45-MPH roads. I doubt people in this situation bike commute at a much higher rate in Japan than here!

          As would be true if operations of large vehicles were made more expensive by carbon taxes (or carbon caps that effectively amount to taxes or fuel shortages), if large vehicles were socialized in America that would be the real headline, not self-driving technology or e-bikes!

          The economic impact of climate disaster wouldn’t necessarily lead to the destruction of personal driving. Even the collective realization that driving is part (just one little part) of the problem doesn’t remove individual incentives to drive everywhere unless there is effective collective action. Sometimes the negative impacts of doing something increase the personal incentives to do that thing (there are several examples of this for driving).

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            soren June 13, 2016 at 5:09 pm

            I have absolutely no idea why you think we disagree on the need for negative incentives, mass transit, or the benefits of infrastructure. My original post used this language intentionally: “some of the things”. Specifically, I do not and have never viewed e-bikes and driverless cars as the only things that will lead to shift to human powered transport but I do think they will have a very positive impact.

            The economic impact of climate disaster wouldn’t necessarily lead to the destruction of personal driving.

            Let’s just say that my read of the literature does not conform to your optimism. The socioeconomic cost of our roadway infrastructure is staggering and much of this infrastructure is paved with fossil carbon. I also find it odd that you argue for parking reform but have trouble imagining how a transition away from “a culture of drivers” could foster a shift away from personal vehicles. Most models agree that an essential feature of a carbon negative society is the need for highly efficient transport (orders of magnitude more efficient than someone driving prius). I have some doubts as to whether our society will successfully decarbonize but my guess is that it will eventually be highly motivated to make a good faith attempt.

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              Al Dimond June 13, 2016 at 9:37 pm

              I’m just sayin’, the rest of those changes are really, really big. Imagine a world where we make all those things happen. E-bikes and driverless cars are neither necessary nor sufficient… so their role will be closer to “along for the ride” than “driving the change”. Unless e-bikes and driverless cars are going to bridge the political divides standing between us and collective change, that is.

              You might think socialized cars are a good idea; I’m not so sure (if the obviously negative effects of automobility are eliminated it’s not clear what’s wrong with private ownership). I also think it’s very unlikely, whether it’s a good idea or not.

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                soren June 14, 2016 at 1:16 pm

                The harm that is already baked into our ecosystem is really, really, really big.

                It’s interesting to me how people who vehemently support socialized mass transit can be resistant to socialization of low-occupancy vehicles. IMO, once ‘merkins stop identifying as car drivers, shared low-occupancy vehicle use will explode (in much the same way it already has in less developed nations).

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                soren June 14, 2016 at 7:23 pm

                owning a car that is used infrequently makes no economic sense and especially so if the shared car is more “convenient”.

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                Pete June 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm

                I think there are factors to be considered. If you paid outright for a reliable car or truck, but your use of it has declined significantly, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you can afford to cover the reg and insurance or take it out of commission for a period of the year. For a passenger car, yeah, there may be situations where car share services make more sense – again, depending on frequency of travel, routes, times of day, etc. Also, people I speak with often don’t comprehend the cost of money, such as the impact of re-amortizing a mortgage (on its interest curve), or financing a new car that depreciates as soon as it’s driven off the lot. I think you and I would both agree that makes such little sense, especially to do often (with the latest, greatest models).

                I have vehicles I use infrequently, but when and how I do use them can’t be satisfied by many services out there, especially with the oft-unplanned manner in which I use them. If my life hadn’t changed through time the way it has, I probably wouldn’t have made the decision to buy these particular vehicles, or even at all. But, for the times I’ve recently needed to pick up drywall, 4×8 sheathing, 20′ deck composite, etc., I’m sure I’ve paid for all of the rental/delivery costs by not having gotten rid of my big old cargo van (despite all of the ‘kidnap van’ jokes by my friends and neighbors, who change their tone quickly when they move or buy furniture). Selling these vehicles wouldn’t recoup all of the money I’ve paid in maintenance, but car maintenance is non-linear and dependent on wear and manner of (ab)use, such as changing a timing belt or tires, where once you’ve invested the money to keep it on the road it doesn’t always make sense to get rid of it so soon after.

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      wsbob June 13, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      I think e-assist is yet a long way from being widely known about and its function well understood by the general public. Not that the average person isn’t up to this, given how well so many people seem to understand how to pick up on the function and use of electronic devices such as cell phones.

      Just last week, I talked to someone that has some disability, wanted to ride, knew about electric bikes, mopeds, etc, old terms and tech…but not e-assist technology. When I explained that e-assist generally requires some pedaling from the rider, and that they could enter in the desired amount of assist…that appeared to be a kind of revelation to them.

      So I think e-assist definitely is going to enable some people that may not otherwise, to become mobile on a bike or trike. How many, remains to be seen. At least at present though, no bike or e-assist bike remotely approaches the sybaritic comforts of a modern motor vehicle. Traffic congestion is drudgery, but enduring it is a lot easier, sitting in a very comfortable, temperature controlled, stereo equipped motor vehicle…and the ease of doing so, often far surpasses in favor-ability, the experience people on bicycles are obliged to endure when they’re stuck in traffic congestion.

      For about six months, in the morning I’ve been riding Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy between Scholls Ferry Rd and Beaverton…on Saturdays…generally a low traffc day and time of day. Even so, with the exhaust and rush of motor vehicles passing, generally a lousy travel experience riding a bike. Not bad at all, driving. To me, it seems that neither e-assist or autonomous cars, is likely to be able to change the riding experience on road such as this one, sufficient to make one that may people would want to ride.

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    Dan A June 13, 2016 at 10:58 am

    RE: Life Sentence: “In Mr. Middleton’s case, he still had a valid driver’s license, despite the eight convictions.” WTF.

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    John Lascurettes June 13, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Regarding the Waze story: It’s part of the benefit and a curse of a grid system city like ours (as opposed to collectors, arterials and closed neighborhoods in most burbs).

    I don’t mind drivers in otherwise stopped gridlock finding other streets to take (it relieves some traffic on the main streets). I just want them to do it safely and without the typical commuter rage that they’ve built up. That’s the real problem — people flying down greenways at 30+ mph.

    When driving, I’ve always personally turned off of busy, backed up roads finding that I’d rather take the long way and keep moving than to sit and smoke tailpipes. But when I’m no a neighborhood street, I treat it as such. Just chill, people, chill.

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      John Lascurettes June 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

      * “… when I’m on a neighborhood street …”

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. June 13, 2016 at 11:07 am

      You’re an outlier though, since you have far more empathy for other road users because you also ride a bike. We can’t trust that everyone will just play it cool on neighborhood streets simply by asking them nicely, so the solution is to use infrastructure to force the behavior we want.

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      Tom June 13, 2016 at 11:39 am

      There is no benefit. Waze only induces demand as some people will slightly pull in their work start/end times closer to 8 to 5. If everyone left work exactly at 5pm, even 30 lane freeways would be gridlocked (Katy for example). Studies show that congestion tends to remain constant if you allow several years for it to adjust. Waze does not relieve congestion, but only makes multimodal transport more difficult, increases VMT, and makes traffic enforcement more difficult while endangering the police.

      Some cities have complained, and have got free useful data from them in return for keeping quite. Portland should at least complain and get the data feed.

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      Kyle Banerjee June 13, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      I think of Waze as a good thing. When things are mucked up, people should take alternatives — though they also need to be considerate about it.

      Public roads are in fact public. That means we can bike on them and others can drive on them. I totally get why people would want cars not going down their road. I live along a street that gets busy for similar reasons and people speed all the time. But those who don’t want others on their streets need to live on private streets or at least not in a crowded metropolitan area.

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        9watts June 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm

        “But those who don’t want others on their streets need to live on private streets or at least not in a crowded metropolitan area.”

        I couldn’t disagree more. You yourself just said that the streets are public. But when they are taken over by (private) cars, all the other, prior functions are precluded. The (public) things I might have done or might like to continue doing are no longer options.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. June 13, 2016 at 2:25 pm

          Yep. Powell Boulevard is also a public road. Just see what happens when you try and cycle on it.

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            Dan A June 13, 2016 at 6:33 pm

            Take the lane. I’m sure drivers won’t mind.

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            Kyle Banerjee June 13, 2016 at 8:28 pm

            I’ve ridden on it many times. And Columbia, Grand, and a bunch of other streets. None of them are nearly as bad as described here.

            One thing I find interesting is that drivers do know where bikes are and tend to avoid those streets. For example, if traffic is moving on Division, I take that uphill because it’s faster than Clinton. But I’ve had people yell at me to take Clinton which shows people think there are bike streets.

            KristenT
            A concerted effort on the part of bike commuters to take the lane on these small neighborhood streets that have become cut-throughs can help slow traffic and convince cut-through drivers to stick to more main roads.

            This is realistic and it will work. Actually, they don’t even need to try because so many cyclists ride like that naturally out here.

            That’s one of the reasons I sometimes prefer through roads to cycling streets — you can count on getting stuck behind a car that’s stuck behind a bunch of slow moving cyclists.

            There are already plenty of disincentives for motorists to use side roads. Even in a best case scenario, they are slow. Many are so narrow that cars can’t pass in opposite directions. And since bikes take them, odds of going even slower are good.

            I cannot fathom why we should think it’s a good idea for loads of people to be spewing fumes going nowhere. If there’s a better alternative, they should use it rather than just waste fuel and time.

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              9watts June 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

              “I cannot fathom why we should think it’s a good idea for loads of people to be spewing fumes going nowhere. If there’s a better alternative, they should use it rather than just waste fuel and time.”

              I think what some of us are saying here is that these are not the (only) two options, and that if you choose to view the situation in this narrow binary way you may well make things worse in the long run by accommodating autodom. It is really no different than adding lanes which we all (well excepting Bud Pierce) know will not reduce congestion but just induce more people to drive who were otherwise frustrated, which will soon enough return us to the previous level of congestion but with more people now habituated to sitting in their cars.

              Wasting fuel and time is associated with cars, not with the lack of accommodations, workarounds, optimization software for those who are sitting in them.

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                Kyle Banerjee June 14, 2016 at 10:28 am

                Here’s the thing — the cars go somewhere. So when those diverters went in on Clinton, it pushed a load of cars up 32nd right where I lived until recently. Woodward is pretty messed up. I lived on Macadam for a few years for a few years and am currently on Denver which people race on to avoid Interstate.

                A lot of people in this town seem to feel entitled to foisting the congestion on others. Believe me, I get the peace and quiet thing — this is the first city I’ve lived in. I spent the vast majority of my life living in rural areas or towns with less than 10K population. When I do drive, it’s to get far out of town.

                There is no need to go out of our way to make driving miserable in this town. It already totally sucks which is why I take my bike — I don’t care if I have 20 miles to cover in the dark and rain, it’s still better than driving.

                Share the road should mean exactly that. Not bikes trying to make life difficult for cars because they differ philosophically from the drivers, nor drivers trying to make life difficult on cyclists for that same reason.

                If we want to encourage cycling, the best way is to do it since it is the best way to get around if you’re able bodied. Then people for whom that isn’t a realistic option like people with physical disabilities can get around rather than being trapped in one location.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. June 14, 2016 at 11:13 am

                We don’t have the traffic counts for Clinton and Woodward, so we can’t say for sure. But the idea is not to move cars somewhere else, but to remove those cars entirely by replacing trips with cycling and public transport. The amount of cars on the road is not some immutable number, and with careful planning, we can reduce this number. That’s the goal of diverters: make it more comfortable to cycle by removing the thing that makes it uncomfortable (motor traffic) and get more people to cycle instead of drive. We can’t reasonably expect people to just “share the road” and take up cycling without making the road safer to do so.

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              soren June 13, 2016 at 9:01 pm

              I cannot fathom why we should think it’s a good idea for loads of people to be spewing fumes going nowhere. If there’s a better alternative, they should use it rather than just waste fuel and time.

              sw

              That alternative is called active and/or mass transit. And congestion is one of the most effective motivators to switch.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. June 14, 2016 at 11:01 am

              you can count on getting stuck behind a car that’s stuck behind a bunch of slow moving cyclists

              That’s interesting because in my experience, those drivers nearly always zoom around me and nearly run over a cyclist coming the opposite direction.

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                Kyle Banerjee June 14, 2016 at 2:58 pm

                While that certainly happens, the much bigger problem I have in this town is drivers being too considerate — yielding right of way when they have it, not passing when I’m trying to wave them through, and generally not taking what’s theirs.

                That encourages a wide variety of cycling behaviors that would be suicidal anywhere else, and that’s not good for anyone.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. June 14, 2016 at 3:07 pm

                the much bigger problem I have in this town is drivers being too considerate

                Where is this fantasy version of Portland and how can I bike there?

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                John Lascurettes June 14, 2016 at 3:13 pm

                I see it every day. I’m stopped at a stop sign and a driver on a cross street without one will stop when he doesn’t have one. I refuse to go to someone yielding their right of way incorrectly like that — because if I get hit by another driver (other lane, coming the other way, etc.), then I am at fault. Screw that noise.

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                andrew June 14, 2016 at 5:49 pm

                Annoying and happens all the time, not just while cycling either. If predictability is a component of safety, then a motorist stopping and giving up their right of way gets rid of that predictability.

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                soren June 14, 2016 at 7:21 pm

                this used to bother me too. however, i’ve recently had the epiphany that these drivers are treating people cycling like they treat pedestrians and that this is a very good thing.

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        9watts June 13, 2016 at 2:00 pm

        “That means we can bike on them and others can drive on them.”

        If we all biked on them, others could still do their thing on the street. Not so if we all drove down them.

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      KristenT June 13, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      A concerted effort on the part of bike commuters to take the lane on these small neighborhood streets that have become cut-throughs can help slow traffic and convince cut-through drivers to stick to more main roads. Tigard has a few fairly close together that I routinely ride– Fonner runs from Walnut to Gaarde; Watkins, which runs from Walnut parallel to 99W almost to Gaarde; and Johnson, which runs from 99W to Walnut while cutting around traffic– all three are small neighborhood streets that see a lot of traffic trying to get around construction and traffic. Especially now that the Walnut re-do is happening, a lot of people are trying to figure out how to get around the construction zone.

      I anticipate a lot more traffic up Fonner, which is narrow from Walnut to where it turns into 115th, with no sidewalks/shoulders/bike lanes. It will suck.

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      wsbob June 13, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      “…drivers in otherwise stopped gridlock finding other streets to take (it relieves some traffic on the main streets) …” lascurettes

      The ‘cut-through’ strategy is a bad way to deal with general traffic congestion arising from too many vehicles for the capacity a given street is capable of handling. People driving, that don’t live in neighborhoods their driving…or riding through…too often are indifferent to quality of living I think it’s safe to say, most people likely prefer for their neighborhoods.

      Arguably, bike traffic is probably traffic most people would find excesses of, to be less objectionable that motor vehicle traffic, but people in some neighborhoods may find even it to be a bit much, if it’s not for the most part, bike traffic arising from neighborhood residents’ use of the street.

      The better way than relying on the ‘cut thorough’ to deal with traffic congestion in urban settings, is to make improvements to the functionality of cities’ thoroughfares and collector streets, for multi-modal travel.

      I think it’s true that people biking on some neighborhood streets that are part of key routes for biking, could gain better prominence on such streets, if they were to generally be more inclined than many seem to be…to take the lane rather than, when a motor vehicle approaches from behind, immediately heeling to just outside the door zone.

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        Dan A June 14, 2016 at 1:09 pm

        Drivers will complain about literally anything.

        I think I mentioned this in a previous post, but in my neighborhood we have gotten our elementary school walking/biking rate up to ~50% on nice days. A driver complained to me about how, when driving his child to the school drop off, he has to wait longer at the nearby crosswalk, because it’s always full with kids crossing. Boo hoo.

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          wsbob June 15, 2016 at 10:09 am

          “…he has to wait longer at the nearby crosswalk…” dan a

          Longer, compared to what? And how much longer? It’s not extraordinary during times of the day before school starts, and after it ends, for school zones to result in a slow down of traffic on road adjacent to the school.

          All traffic near schools gets slowed down during these hours, and everyone using the road with a vehicle, including people with bikes, have to wait for the kids to cross the street. I think it’s fair to say there are plenty of people biking, that don’t like having their trip time slowed down, any more than do people that drive.

          Plenty of people biking, also seem to complain about their trip time being slowed down, and also don’t seem to mind imposing the effects of their use of the ‘cut through’ strategy on neighborhoods, to try minimize slow down time…Ladd’s Addition’s Ladd Ave between Division St and Hawthorne Blvd being a prime example.

          Looking closely at the timing of the crosswalk procedure arrangement that schools use to provide safe passage of kids crossing the street, may help to find ways of better managing street crossings so as to reduce the time everyone using the street has to wait before proceeding on their way.

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            Dan A June 15, 2016 at 9:25 pm

            My point being: You have arrived at a point on your trip where the road is now clogged with children walking to school. Why is your child still in the car? He wants these walking children to be held back from legally crossing so that he can more easily drop his little prince off at the front door.

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      Pete June 14, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      “collectors, arterials and closed neighborhoods in most burbs”

      Almost overnight, street usage has changed, yet even the practice of “classifying” streets is now as obsolete as Level Of Service measurements (should be). Once cars themselves know better routes to take than the drivers do, what will it matter if a street is a collector or arterial?

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    Chris I June 13, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Not surprised to see that the Canadian military is afraid of bicycles…

    Seriously, though. I’ve been on the street in question. Their concerns are absurd, and anyone working at that facility will be safer with the new street design.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. June 13, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Seriously. If your soldiers can’t avoid being run over by a cyclist, perhaps they need better training?

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        Clark in Vancouver June 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

        And behind this there seems to be some sort of idea that cyclists won’t stop if they are using their driveway. What a crazy idea. Vancouver has many cycle lanes where driveways cross without any problems. This idea is complete nonsense.
        The other claim that they weren’t consulted is also bogus. The City of Vancouver does a huge amount of outreach and consultation. They are simply lying when they say they didn’t know about it beforehand. I’m calling their bluff.

        Reading between the lines this is all just about parking spots. Once again somebody with a car is more important than anyone else.

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          q June 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm

          “They are simply lying…”? That’s a pretty strong statement. Even with good outreach and notification, people don’t always hear about projects like this.

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      canuck June 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Except this isn’t just a bike lane it includes a concrete barrier between the bike lane and the parking/loading zone.

      Old armouries aren’t set up with modern loading facilities, particularly when they are over a century old.

      And the safety issue goes both ways, when moving equipment across a bike lane and having to lift it over a barrier.

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        Chris I June 13, 2016 at 2:41 pm

        Is it really safe for them to be loading equipment on a sidewalk with the existing setup? Why don’t they sell the incredibly valuable real estate in downtown Vancouver and buy a warehouse Surrey?

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        q June 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm

        After reading the article, I’m a bit surprised at how negative some comments are. Everyone’s had their fun with the “flying bicycle” comment, but obviously he didn’t mean actually “flying”.

        It sounds like the bike lane change is an overall benefit even if it does have negative impacts to the military facility, but that doesn’t mean the concerns weren’t legitimate, that the group was “lying” that they didn’t know about the project, that they should be made fun of for the “flying” comment, etc. I’d rather stick to the merits of the case, without snarkiness or dismissiveness.

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    B. Carfree June 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    The Atlanta area’s billion dollar plan sounds good, until you realize that it’s about $6 per person per year and just over 1% of the total transportation budget. It just doesn’t sound serious to me, more like a PR thing.

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    B. Carfree June 13, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I previously thought that driver’s ed. in schools was a good thing. Who wants our young people ignorant of how to use the roads? However, the bike-fearing Post columnist demonstrates how great removing that course from high schools has been. DC’s percentage of 16-19-year-olds with licenses has dropped from ~80% to ~5% since they dropped driver’s ed. There’s over 10,000 teens not driving there this year who otherwise would have been.

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    lop June 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    http://www.oregonmetro.gov/public-projects/40-mile-loop-troutdale-springwater-trail-master-plan

    http://www.oregonmetro.gov/event/sixth-annual-barbara-walker-regional-trails-fair/2016-06-22

    A couple events to add to the calendar, and in case you aren’t already working on it a story on the trail connection would be nice.

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    KristenT June 13, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Ugh– don’t click the first link of the bicycle-fearing columnist from DC, it’s the usual tripe and drivel about how people who ride suck, with a side of racism.

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      Pete June 14, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up – I was tempted! I should know better by now.

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    q`Tzal June 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    I gotta get myself to Vancouver BC so I score one of those flying bicycles!

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    Eric Leifsdad June 14, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Sprawl tax is pretty close to the cost of an e-bike, which is one way to cure sprawl.

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    Alan June 14, 2016 at 6:58 am

    In case you haven’t seen it, the WP included a reply to their own “bicycle fearing columnist” that is very well expressed: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/its-time-to-tone-down-the-tirades-against-bicyclists/2014/07/09/950a98b4-077b-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html?tid=a_inl

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      soren June 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

      We obey traffic laws. In traffic, we stop for lights and stop signs. We don’t do dangerous things like sneaking up the gutter or between lanes of cars stopped at lights. We don’t ride on sidewalks, John Kelly.

      What you saw as a well-expressed piece, I see just another anti-cycling piece. With “allies” like these who needs enemies.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. June 14, 2016 at 9:25 am

        I ride on sidewalks all the time. I’m just looking for the protected bike lane that’s not there.

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          Kyle Banerjee June 14, 2016 at 7:20 pm

          Sidewalks are not protected lanes. Drivers won’t be looking for you there so your odds of getting speared while crossing driveways and intersections go through the roof.

          Riding on sidewalks is not safe for cyclists or peds — that’s why it’s illegal in many areas. Even in a best case scenario, you really have to go very slowly to not be a menace to yourself and others.

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    Dave June 14, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Even with the other horrendous shit in the news I can’t stop chuckling over the story of the Southern Oregon cowboy LASSOING a bike thief! Made my day.

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    Clark in Vancouver June 15, 2016 at 8:47 am

    q
    It sounds like the bike lane change is an overall benefit even if it does have negative impacts to the military facility, but that doesn’t mean the concerns weren’t legitimate, that the group was “lying” that they didn’t know about the project, that they should be made fun of for the “flying” comment, etc. I’d rather stick to the merits of the case, without snarkiness or dismissiveness.
    Recommended 1

    Yes, of course I was only speculating about them lying. It’s entirely possible that they were too busy to get around to seeing the notices or answering the phone calls from the city. I really don’t know.
    This is a comments forum on a blog, not the House of Parliament so I think it’s okay for me to speak my mind and state what I speculate. I also invite responses from others.

    I agree that people that are having a hard time getting used to new things shouldn’t be made fun of. It takes time to adjust to new things. I understand that and don’t support ridicule as a response to people having concerns. I’m more in favour of education and accommodation. However Vancouver has many driveways that cross separated bike lanes. I find it odd that they haven’t noticed how those ones work well.
    Another thing I speculate about is that they may have been misinformed by the reporter. Just before the interview the reporter might have told them things about the project that weren’t true and then asked for a response.

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    Kyle Banerjee June 15, 2016 at 9:09 am

    soren
    this used to bother me too. however, i’ve recently had the epiphany that these drivers are treating people cycling like they treat pedestrians and that this is a very good thing.

    I’m not sure it is for a couple reasons. One is that it makes them assume we’re always moving very slowly which can cause them to do *very* unsafe things when we’re moving at speed.

    Another is that it perpetuates the mindset that we are not normal traffic when we are — we should be treated just like any other slow moving vehicle.

    A third is it encourages the notion that we are fragile and what we are doing is dangerous. That only discourages people from cycling.

    What makes us safe is awareness rather than barriers, facilities, and procedures. I totally get that some of those things make it easier for people to start cycling. But it’s using your head that really keeps you safe.

    The more cyclists motorists see, the better they’ll be at dealing with them. The more cyclists everyone sees everywhere, the more a part of the norm it becomes.

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      soren June 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      One is that it makes them assume we’re always moving very slowly

      If stopping or yielding for someone makes drivers assume that all cyclists are moving slowly then I am truly fracked and/or very lucky.

      Another is that it perpetuates the mindset that we are not normal traffic

      A third is it encourages the notion that we are fragile

      Unlike multi-ton vehicles, we *ARE* fragile and vulnerable human beings who can be severely injured by very minor collisions. Howeover, the fact that people cycling are not equivalent to car/truck traffic does not mean we are abnormal.

      But it’s using your head that really keeps you safe.

      I find the idea that skill, experience, or “using your head” should be required to safely walk or ride in our city to be car-centric. The risk on our roadway comes from people driving, not people walking or cycling. Both our Infrastructure and people driving should be far more forgiving to mistakes made by vulnerable traffic.

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    Clark in Vancouver June 17, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    The bike lane on Beatty street in front of the armoury has been completed. Today I rode it.
    It’s a simple paint only buffer on each side, a tiny concrete curb on the other. On the side with the armoury there are still parking spots. To me it looks like the same number as before (but maybe there are a couple that have been “lost”). They just shifted the bike lane to the right of the parking lane. No other change. There is a driveway crossing it just like before.

    I write this just so there’s an online record of it to counter the misinformation on the CBC site. People need to know that the criticisms were false.
    It was built. It’s all over now. And it’s good. Life goes on better than before.

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      q June 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      You’ve mentioned the driveway before. But in the article, it sounds like the concern isn’t the driveway, but the on-street loading. Previously, trucks could pull up in the loading area in front of the building, and load directly onto the sidewalk. Now, there’s a bike lane in between the trucks and the sidewalk, which does seem like a safety issue for both bikers and unloaders.

      So, again, that doesn’t mean the bike lane change may not have been a positive change overall. But that doesn’t mean “the criticisms were false”.

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