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The Monday Roundup: Slower trucks, MAMILs, bikeway band-aids, and more

Posted by on September 12th, 2016 at 9:43 am

monroundlead

Welcome to Monday. Here are the stories that caught our eyes last week…

Take notes: A diverse mix of experts — a consultant, a planner, an advocate, a politician — share how to make cycling safer in Montreal, and the insights can be applied to almost any serious cycling city.

Anti-bike bingo: Create your own anti-bike rant with this convenient form! All you need is a desire for inane clickbait.

The End of Road Riding: We’ve been discussing this on Twitter lately: The idea that some vehicle operators have become so irresponsible that many long-time road riders are so afraid they are giving up and finding other things to do — or other, off-highway places to ride.

Dedicated lanes or nothing: Seems obvious: To make streetcar work better, give it a dedicated lane.

MAMILs strike again: Fascinating article about a village in England is sick and tired of “lycra louts” fouling up “their” streets.

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Right-of-way gone wrong: The danger of being too polite to vulnerable roadway users isn’t just a Portland thing.

“Cross bikes” a band-aid? A smart urban planner and former Portlander (hi Katrina!) takes aim at our latest “bikeway innovation” and says it’s just a band-aid that won’t help us become a world-class biking city.

Another carsharing option: Portland is now home to yet another carsharing service. BMW’s ReachNow seems similar to Biketown bike share. All you need is the app and a PIN and you can use the cars by-the-minute.

If Paris can do it: The government of one world’s greatest cities understands that busy roads have no place in the urban ecosystem and will create a two-mile carfree stretch along the Seine River.

What’s good transit worth?: $56, according to a new report based on an analysis of real estate listings in New York City. A local organizer of our recent gas tax says that has “huge implications” for our local policy debate about housing and transportation investment.

Autonomous cars are over: The breathless enthusiasm about driverless cars has made us uneasy for a long time. Now pessimism about their role in our future is becoming mainstream.

Slower trucks: The US Department of Transportation is floating a 60 mph speed limit for big rigs. The lower speeds are estimated to save 500 lives per year.

We’re going to start featuring notable tweets of the week. Here’s the best one we read last week:

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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

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soren
Guest

This does not come across as pessimistic about the future of automated motor vehicles to me:

I’m very optimistic. For decades we’ve been looking at ways to mitigate injury when you have a crash… Right now, we have the opportunity to prevent the crash altogether. And that’s going to save tens of thousands of lives. That’s the ideal end point: no crashes whatsoever.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

I’m optimistic about automatic speed governors.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Cuz! MURICA!

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

U! S! A!

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Let me tell you, cyclists are such whiny babies. This one time I drove in to the city from my home in Evanston and I saw someone on a bike flip me off after she felt I’d endangered her life. It made me feel so mad! Bikes aren’t like cars, which totally pay their share of costs, so it’s just not fair that I’m expected to slow down once in awhile. Therefore bikes should be taxed into oblivion. This will surely bring an end to all those times cyclists injure drivers. Anyone who disagrees is probably just a millennial.

Robert Burchett
Guest
Robert Burchett

Keep your eyes on your own device! 😉

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Wow, so many likes! Apparently y’all agree with me 🙂

Beth
Guest

When your vehicle weighs a thousand pounds and can accelerate from sero to sixty in seconds;
when the landscape is designed to favor such vehicles;
when my vehicle weighs thirty pounds and travels at an average of ten miles an hour;
when the laws governing the mobile landscape say on paper that my vehicle and yours must follow the same laws and share the same roads;
when there is little to no meaningful encofrcement of that legislation;
AND I still have to pay taxes to support this lopsided, ill-conceived transportation system — guess what?
If you handle your vehicle in an irresponsible way at threatens my safety, my life, I am gonna do more than merely flip you off. I’m going to write down your license number and call the cops and the DMV. And if i an find out which insurance company give you coverage, I’ll call them, too.

soren
Guest

word beth…but that was a tongue firmly-in-cheek use of random anti-bike-rant generator highlighted above.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Did you use an anti-car rant generator for this? It’s pretty good. 😉

TonyT
Subscriber
TonyT

Requiring slower speed limits for trucks while allowing higher speeds for other vehicles has always confused me. How does requiring different speed limits on the same road increase safety? You have more lane changes, more unsafe passes. It just strikes me as only seeing half the picture.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Speed differentials do cause problems. However, I think there may be advantages to having some of the larger vehicles moving slower because it keeps them to the right and contribute to a more predictable flow. I don’t know if that’s actually the case, but it certainly seems like it could be.

I am curious how they came up with the number of lives lowering the limits would save.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Trucks are limited to slower speeds in Europe as well. My understanding is that it reduces trucks passing smaller vehicles. There must be some data to support the notion that this increases safety, though I haven’t seen it.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

It’s all about the weight.
Trucks are usually heavy, and the heavier the vehicle the longer it takes to slow down (and speed up). KE = 1/2*mass*velocity*velocity.
Speed differential is not just about how fast each of the users are going relative to each other, but also how fast the users can slow down relative to each other.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Decrease the speed and you decrease the momentum available to transfer as well as decreasing the stopping distance.

soren
Guest

“Cross bikes” a band-aid? A smart urban planner and former Portlander (hi Katrina!) takes aim at our latest “bikeway innovation” and says it’s just a band-aid that won’t help us become a world-class biking city.

I have no idea what the point of this rant was. To my knowledge, crossbikes have not been pitched as “innovation” by anyone. They are, as far as I can tell, an attempt to standardize the use of green paint crossing zones.

I also find the reference to Copenhagen ironic given that Copenhagenize and others have highlighted the “blue lanes” that serve a very similar function:

After all that, it was time to repaint the bike lanes. The Copenhagen Blue lanes that remind motorists, and cyclists, that they are crossing an intersection. After all that, it was time to repaint the bike lanes. The Copenhagen Blue lanes that remind motorists, and cyclists, that they are crossing an intersection.

Spiffy
Subscriber

this site is pitching it as innovation…

http://bikeportland.org/2016/08/02/say-hello-to-crossbikes-portlands-latest-bikeway-innovation-188841

to me it looks like a huge liability issue and an injury lawsuit waiting to happen…

soren
Guest

with all due respect, i don’t think a bike portland title shows that the city is pitching these an an “innovation”.

crossbikes or painted crossing treatments have been around for a long time in portland and data suggests that they are an improvement over the status quo (e.g. nothing):

>The results of the study showed a significant, positive increase in the number of motorists yielding at the intersections (from 72 % to 92%), as well as increased comfort and perception of safety for cyclists at the intersection. Motorists acknowledged the signs and the blue color, and were, in the majority of cases, more likely to permit cyclists to safely pass.

http://nacto.org/case-study/evaluation-of-blue-bike-lanes-portland-or/

http://nacto.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/PortlandsBlueBikeLanes_coloredbikefacilities_Portland.pdf

i’m not sure where this crossbike butthurt comes from. i certainly don’t remember anyone complaining about the blue crossing treatments in the late 90s and early zeroes.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Aren’t the crossbikes used where autos are not required to yield? And didn’t we reach a sort of consensus that cars yielding where they weren’t required to is a problem?

soren
Subscriber

absolutely not. i vehemently believes that drivers should always attempt to yield to more vulnerable traffic. i make a point of doing this when i drive or bike.

ironically, in this very news roundup there was a piece where someone rants about their annoyance with motorvehicles yielding of right of way and then proceeds to write this:

Unfortunately, experts make it clear that I’m going about these crossings all wrong. The scowling wave-offs I precipitate don’t help in the long run, since they punish Car A’s for obeying the law. Instead, the experts tell me, pedestrians should walk carefully when beckoned but then stop in front of Car A and look around it. “Make sure that if there’s somebody coming, that somebody sees you,” says Fischer. “I wave my arm; I put that arm up in the air as I’m coming by that car.”

imo, the anger at people yielding for other people is pure cognitive dissonance.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

There was a similar discussion a week or two ago, and I think nearly everyone here agreed it was better for vehicles to NOT yield their right-of-way when not required to (though I don’t recall you participating in that conversation one way or the other).

I feel it sows uncertainty and confusion when people yield, and if something goes wrong (e.g. driver in opposing lane does not yield), you are in a legally untenable position. When everyone does what they’re expected to do, things generally run more smoothly.

I’m not a cheerleader on this issue one way or the other, but some of those cheerleaders are right here commenting as I write this, and I’m sure they haven’t exhausted themselves yet.

Adam
Subscriber

IMO drivers should always yield to cyclists and people walking, whether or not the law says so.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If everyone felt the same way, it would probably be a good idea.

Adam
Subscriber

That would be nice. I can’t even cross my street during rush hour because no one ever stops.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Cross at the corner and use your bike to create some space, and assert your rights.

Adam
Subscriber

No thanks. I’ve tried that and usually the driver just speeds around me or nearly clips me. I’d rather they follow the fscking law and stop for me. Or the street shouldn’t be designed as a high-speed collector.

Adam
Subscriber

Plus, I don’t want to push my bike across the street just to get to the bus stop…

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Try a baby stroller. But yeah, they should stop for you if you’re using a crosswalk.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Push a shopping cart full of bricks – they will stop. They don’t like scratching their paint.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Or a couch. Nice and visible. And comfy.

Adam
Subscriber

I know you are all just joking, but the fact that we are even having this conversation is evidence that our streets are broken for people.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Oh, I was totally serious about the couch. Super comfy. Unless you have one like mine, which is a bit like the one Dick Cheney used to interrogate Al Quaeda prisoners in his secret undisclosed location. But even that might get people to stop so you can cross.

q
Guest
q

Careful about recommending pushing a couch. One of my friends tried it, and the couch got hit. Trying to save money on the repairs, he rented an upholstery machine, and had a horrible accident when it caught his sleeve and sucked him into it. Fortunately, he’s now fully recovered.

jered bogli
Guest
jered bogli

If I’m walking I’ll assert myself in any crosswalk – probably to a fault… Driving I’ll yield to pedestrians – no problem – easy.
Biking I’ll yield to pedestrians – no problem – easy.

This is where it ends for me. IF the expectation of me on a bike is that I follow the rules of the road then I’ll stop at stop signs and wait until i can get my vehicle (bike) through safely – it isn’t hard but yes it takes longer that I want sometimes. if there is a cross walk and too much traffic I have been known to dismount my bike and apply my pedestrian powers to cross the street pushing my bike then remount – crafty but fair.

soren
Guest

people riding bikes are legally considered pedestrians when they ride at a moderate pace in a crosswalk. of course, most who drive are ignorant of this due to our laughable driver education and licensing requirements.

Spiffy
Subscriber

previous blue crossing treatments aligned with the bike lane and cars were required to yield…

cross-bikes have neither of those attributes…

soren
Subscriber

and many crossbike treatments today do the same. pay attention to the striping on the merge points on the hawthorne bridge.

one of the main criticisms of many “bike portland” commentators is that PBOT does not standardize treatments. well…here is an example where PBOT is attempting to standardize crossing treatments and for some reason this provoked ululation. i don’t get it.

do pedestrian crosswalks make our roads less safe? (there is zero legal difference between a marked and unmarked cross walk so it’s not about legality per se — just visibility.) apparently paint for pedestrians is an improvement but paint for people cycling is an afront.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

A crossbike does NOT indicate or grant the user right-of-way. That is part of the problem. It only looks like it does, and hence confuses all users of the road. Confusion in this case can rapidly lead to death.

Adam
Subscriber

If a driver reacts to confusion by slowing down or stopping, I would consider that a success.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Unless a different one didn’t, and hit you.

Adam
Subscriber

Driving a car in an urban environment should feel confusing and dangerous at all times so that drivers are always on high-alert.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

The more confusing the environment is, the less likely a driver will have the “cognitive bandwidth” to watch for pedestrians. I understand what you’re saying, but it’s a bad idea, unless you like crashes and injuries.

soren
Guest

crosswalks don’t grant right of way either. as for “indication”, it’s pbot’s stated goal that crossbikes should someday grant right of way. and, anecdotally, i’m seeing increasing numbers of drivers treat them in this manner.

interestingly, portland started using bike signals many years before they had any policy meaning (e.g. interim approval by the fhwa). sadly, bike signals, greenway sharrow markings, and crossbikes have no legal meaning in oregon. we need to change this.

soren
Guest

(painted crosswalks don’t grant…)

soren
Guest

i should also note that some crossbike treatments do indicate right of way. see this recent bp peice for an example:

http://bikeportland.org/2016/08/19/citys-vision-zero-survey-says-distracted-driving-speeding-are-top-concerns-189675

q
Guest
q

But you can also say that PBOT is NOT doing standardization. Sure, it’s making the crossbike markings the same here and there, but it’s not standardizing the legal meaning. Sometimes crossbike symbols appear in areas where the bikes on them do have the r.o.w. (although, as in the case of the Hawthorne Bridge, they’d have the r.o.w. even without the markings, because the stop signs for cars are already giving bikes the r.o.w.). Most times they do not.

Standardization of symbols works best if the meaning is also standardized. There are safety drawbacks if the same symbols can be interpreted differently by different users at the same location, with say, a biker viewing the crossbike as giving them the r.o.w., while the approaching car views it as a suggestion with no requirement to yield.

I think you have a point with your crosswalk example. If people have the r.o.w. at an unmarked crossing, painting crosswalks could be seen as pointless, and even confusing–if all crossings are crosswalks giving the pedestrian the r.o.w., why are some marked as others not?

But the crossbike situation compared to crosswalks seems more like having a situation where marked crosswalks didn’t always give pedestrians the r.o.w. People saying that’s a safety problem would have a valid point.

soren
Subscriber

most of our bike infrastructure has no legal meaning. bike signals – zip. sharrows – zip. they do, however, have FHWA policy meaning and i think it’s clear that by standardizing these markings pbot is pushing to get them included in the fhwa mutcd. (ultimately, i hope we can all agree that we want quasi-legal bike infrastructure to, someday, become fully legal.)

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If bike signals have no meaning, then cyclists could be cited for running a red light when they have a bike-green. Are you sure this is correct?

As for sharrows, what is it that they _could_ mean? They’re basically there to alert drivers that there are lots of bikes around.

The crossbikes (how I hate that name) are something quite different — they look similar to crosswalks, but their legal situation is different… Drivers need pay them no heed. They do, I suppose, serve a similar alerting function as sharrows (another name I hate), but why make them look like crosswalks?

Adam
Subscriber

why make them look like crosswalks

I suspect the only reason is to save paint, and therefore money. Other countries use solid colors for bicycle crossings.

soren
Guest

pbot and many cities clearly want bike signals to mean something legally. and while that has not happened yet, they now have “interim” status under the fhwa mutcd. sharrows have a specific meaning according to pbot:

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/386150

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I did enjoy the story about the MAMILs running afoul in the English village of Great Budworth.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/recreational-cycling/theyre-ruining-our-way-of-life-the-cheshire-village-declaring-wa/

Bikes traveling 40 mph through the streets seems a bit of a stretch, but big packs of self absorbed loud mouthed profane nitwits in billboard kits, doesn’t. Great Budworth looks like a beautiful town. I’d love an opportunity to ride there and meet people. Is there some good reason visitors with the privilege of doing so, shouldn’t want to be on their best, most polite behavior when riding through the town?

Middle Aged Men In Lycra…MAMIL…funny, but sad terminology a bunch of over the hill misbehaving men probably deserve to have attached to them. I like to think that here in Beaverton, Portland and surrounding towns in the Metro area, people, both men and women, enthusiastic about biking, are interesting in conducting themselves in ways that won’t have such a title attached to them.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Would you rather have overhormoned midlife crisis cases spinning two pedals, or mashing one?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I’d rather that guys seeking to reconcile excess energy, not give up being civilized, reasonably polite human beings. There’ can be a certain amount of humor that goes along with the sight of people up in years, slipping into a car with flash and power way beyond their ability to considerately and safely operate it, and with them slipping into lycra and expensive bicycles as well.

When that kind of thing gets out of hand in a physical sense, holding the potential for real and traumatic consequences, the humor tends to slip away. It’s not so funny when something bad happens. As an example, I’ll offer a reminder that just within the last year, out on Multnomah Blvd, east of Oleson Rd, an example of this…old guy in a corvette…showing off his car to some younger person…loses control of the car, veers into the bike lane, crashing into and killing someone riding a bike.

There’s a bit of difference between mashing the pedal of a hot sports car…spinning the pedals of a bicycle…and, when instead they should be chilling it, going nice and easy, being friendly to everyone they see…hammering the pedals of a bicycle through narrow streets of quaint old towns.

Dave
Guest
Dave

The relative sizes of the two problems (if too many sporting cyclists can really be called a problem) make a comparison quite stupid.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…(if too many sporting cyclists can really be called a problem)…” dave

In and of themselves, sporting cyclists are not the problem village residents of English village Great Budworth are expressing some alarm about. The problem is the inconsiderate and unsafe way some of them are riding. Same as with some sporting car drivers. Click on the link in roundup, and read the story.

Sure…there’s a difference between the harm someone operating a hot car, driving it excessively, can do, and the harm someone riding a bike excessively fast along streets and without due regard for people and pets, can do. Both though, potentially can and do disrupt reasonable levels of livability most people tend to enjoy for their neighborhoods and towns, and sometimes injure and kill people.

Reading the story about biking in Great Budworth, it seems residents of the village, welcome biking, but would just like people to not ride fast and recklessly through the streets

Andy K
Guest

I don’t mind being called a MAMIL. It fits many of us perfectly!

Pete
Guest
Pete

That article reminded me of when I rolled up to a stop light on Foothill Expressway in Los Altos, a heavily cycled route by men/women (yes, mostly in lycra). An elderly lady was crossing the street and I smiled and said hi, to which she replied, “Now you be a good bicycle rider and stay all the way over to the right of the road… I see you people riding out on the white lane or even in the middle of the car lanes!”. I told her I’d give her $100 if she could name the four reasons bicyclists (in California) are legally allowed to leave the bicycle lane, and why it sometimes makes sense to ride in front of cars rather than next to them. She walked away in disgust, and all I was trying to do was be nice on such a lovely day.

My point is, the article is not surprising given the explosion of cycling’s popularity in England since Team Sky came on the scene and Le Tour made its first appearance there after Sir Bradley brought the yellow home to the royal kingdom. I see no difference in the attitudes of the older, established townspeople toward the generally younger (though often not by much) bicyclists there than I do in the established towns people ride in here in the bay area (Mill Valley, Los Altos, Woodside, Tiburon, Piedmont, etc.). All the roads I’ve seen in the English countryside (which I hate driving on because I get confused going clockwise in roundabouts) are super narrow, and often lined with tall hedgerows* growing into them. Last year I visited Cheshire and Bristol a few times for work and frequently got stuck behind cyclists using roads with barely enough room for cars let alone bikes… of course leading my colleagues to bitch and moan (and me biting my tongue).

*So the only advice I have to offer the townsfolk of Great Budworth: if there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now; it’s just a spring clean for the May queen.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…“Now you be a good bicycle rider and stay all the way over to the right of the road… I see you people riding out on the white lane or even in the middle of the car lanes!”. I told her I’d give her $100 if she could name the four reasons bicyclists (in California) are legally allowed to leave the bicycle lane, and why it sometimes makes sense to ride in front of cars rather than next to them. She walked away in disgust, and all I was trying to do was be nice on such a lovely day. …” pete

I like that story. Good thing you didn’t ask someone with a knowledge of the rules of the road with respect to biking, or you’d of been out a c-note. Actually, I think there are lots of people using the road that are vaguely aware of what is legitimate travel use of the road with a bike. More people making greater personal efforts to ride legally as well as with consideration for other road users, could help widen the general awareness of what is legitimate travel use of the road with a bike.

The story on dissatisfaction with some of the people biking through Great Budworth on the part of people living in that village, seems definitely not to be arising from things that British UCI cycling team members, other pro riders, or even young, fit, riders are doing…but are instead arising from things that old, disillusioned old guys stuffing themselves into lycra race kits and looking for one last stab at being hot shot bad boys on bicycles…are doing.

They ought to not forget politeness when they ride through someone else’s town. In order to be fast, hey don’t have to be rude and obnoxious to the townspeople. If they’ve got to take a wizz, mid-ride, and can’t find a proper facility, at least try find a tree, and take relief behind it, rather than in front of it, in full view of everyone passing by. This is just basic common sense. Even middle age guys with too many hormones, ought to have a little common sense left.

bradwagon
Guest
bradwagon

Regarding Truck Speed Limits:

I could really care less about Highway speeds. What we need are lower speeds on surface streets; 30 mph city wide, 20 mph all pedestrian crossings, etc… 500 lives saved would of course be nice but I think the 5000+ peds and cyclists killed each year could be reduced at least some by lower speeds on surface streets.

bjorn
Guest
bjorn

Truck speed limits on highways are nice but many drivers don’t observe them, understandable when you are paid by the mile. What we really need is speed govenors in the trucks that physically prevent them from going more than 60.

Adam L.
Guest
Adam L.

I work at our local heavy duty truck company. Customers have the ability to specify the highest allowable speed for the trucks. It is electronically limited. Most fleets specify it for fuel economy reasons. If the freeway speed for trucks was set nationally it would be easy to govern new trucks and trucks that come in for service.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

The high-quality trucking companies that I have worked for all govern their vehicles. 62 mph is pretty typical. It looks to me like UPS governs theirs at just under 60 mph.

Interestingly, the good companies, the ones that govern their rigs, also tended to self-insure. I guess they had found their focus on safety (they all have safety officers (road spies) and a bonus structure that incentives safe driving) meant that their liability was low enough to cover it themselves.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Is there any medium or big sized company that doesn’t self-insure?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I could just see the marketing campaign now….

But there are also legitimate safety reasons why limiting a vehicle to the speed limit would be a bad idea. How much would be desirable to allow really varies with the road.

BTW, while GPS and map coverage is generally good, there are areas where it doesn’t work or the maps are outright wrong.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Then the map-based governing could be confined to developed areas like cities. I’d sure be happier to have motor vehicles slowed down inside the city limits even if nothing changes elsewhere. The more motorists are taught patience, by whatever means, the better it is, imo.

Swan Island Runner
Guest
Swan Island Runner

Electronic governors are exactly what the proposal is planning!

This is more a nationwide discussion that doesn’t really apply locally or regionally to us because Oregon and Washington truck limits are already 65 and 60, respectively.

What they don’t appear to be mentioning in this proposed rule is that the same amount of interstate tonnage still needs to be hauled(unless you can get Americans to start buying less junk or greatly improve the railway infrastructure), even though the trucks will be going slower(roughly 14% less fleet efficiency moving from 70mph average to 60mph since 34 states have speed limits for truck at 70mph or higher). Those 14% missing miles to be covered have to be done with either additional vehicles on the road, or for the current vehicles to be run longer(which is less likely considering the most drivers are already driving at the limits of their hour of service rules). I don’t think the increased movement of trucks on the road(albeit it at only slightly less lethal speeds) are properly figured into their traffic congestion and safety improvement projections, as it only tries to figure out if the fuel and time can be paid back with the fuel efficiencies.

My opinion overall is that this rule is only being supported/lobbied by the large trucking fleet companies that already limit their speed limits at 65 or less for fuel savings, and they want to force that speed onto the smaller truck fleets and remaining owner/operators in order to make them compete on the same playing field, where they can then beat them with overall lower costs. The safety and efficiency bit is just their trump card to get it done.

bradwagon
Guest
bradwagon

I’m fine with slower / more expensive shipping expenses for consumers. Especially if it drives some of those improvements you mentioned! Haha

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

“Sure, we’ll save a few lives, but millions will be late! ”

-Homer Simpson.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Swan Island Runner

What they don’t appear to be mentioning in this proposed rule is that the same amount of interstate tonnage still needs to be hauled(unless you can get Americans to start buying less junk or greatly improve the railway infrastructure), even though the trucks will be going slower(roughly 14% less fleet efficiency moving from 70mph average to 60mph since 34 states have speed limits for truck at 70mph or higher). Those 14% missing miles to be covered have to be done with either additional vehicles on the road, or for the current vehicles to be run longer(which is less likely considering the most drivers are already driving at the limits of their hour of service rules). I don’t think the increased movement of trucks on the road(albeit it at only slightly less lethal speeds) are properly figured into their traffic congestion and safety improvement projections, as it only tries to figure out if the fuel and time can be paid back with the fuel efficiencies.

It’s so interesting if you reverse the argument: we can reduce the number of trucks on the road, and increase the fleet efficiency, if we increase the speeds trucks can travel.

Let’s start at 100mph. All truck congestion will disappear!

ed
Guest
ed

Well John I guess you know the answer to your question: such governors on cars would eliminate the appeal of 90% of private vehicles on the market now. Those who run the economy would never stand for such a measure and sadly most US auto buyers respond very favorably to vehicles being fast and aggressive. Seen any car ads lately? If ads like that didn’t work they wouldn’t be made. Speed, power, aggression, and feeling superior are the foundation of US car ownership.

Adam
Subscriber

All car ads should only show the driver stuck in rush hour traffic.

ac
Guest
ac

Metropolis magazine decided Portland is the 10th most livable city in the world. Toronto was the other north american mention at #9. Copenhagen was #1.
http://www.metropolismag.com/September-2016/The-Best-Cities-to-Live-In/

KTaylor
Guest
KTaylor

Have they been here recently?

Swan Island Runner
Guest
Swan Island Runner

I am hoping it is true in this case that no one reads magazines anymore.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

aggghghhghhghghghghghghghhghgghhghghghhghghghhghghghghhggh

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It was an interesting article. They made a great case for all their readers move to within a 2-block radius of 26th & Clinton, and to bring all their friends.

What’s that, rachel b? Sorry, I can’t hear you over that choking sound you’re making…

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

kkkkkkkkkkkkblrrbllllllllllgackkkkkkkkkkkglrrrrrrrrrrbbbbbbbllllllll…….!

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Sorry? What was that? I said they’re on their way! All three readers of Metropolis Magazine, and their friend! Hey, are you ok? Rachel? Hello?

Just be glad it wasn’t a serious magazine, like Cosmo or something.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

fllrrrrp.

Adam
Subscriber

Surprising that Vancouver BC was not on that list, as it usually ranks very high if not the highest for livability in North America.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I know that most Top 10… articles like this tend to be well researched journalistic endeavors, with the pros and cons of dozens or hundreds of cities carefully weighed, each factor meticulously measured and judged, and not just some trend-following fluff piece that someone wrote for $60 in an afternoon by surfing the net and watching a recent episode of Portlandia while getting baked in a small Brooklyn apartment painted, no doubt, with bold colors.

Therefore I am also surprised by some of the entries on the list.

Robert Burchett
Guest
Robert Burchett

The articles about urban design, with various reserved lanes and paint stripes and signals and right-of-way rules, lead me to propose my own modest solution: the Plaid. Picture a tan piece of fabric with alternating red and blue stripes running each way and crossing at right angles. The red stripes are motor vehicles streets. The blue stripes are bike streets with wide sidewalks allowing room for seating and planters and food carts and kiosks. All vehicle traffic moves at 16 kph and every intersection has a ped-only signal phase. MV can only turn onto MV streets with some provision for delivery vehicles (haven’t figured that one out completely — job security for cargo bikes? Yes!) Bikes can turn onto bike streets, and make left turns ONLY onto and off of MV streets. (It’s a one-way grid and buses travel in the right-hand lane) If you can’t proceed legally with your vehicle to the spot in front of your destination? Well, you park and walk.

Before the screaming starts about the impact on business, I suggest that Portland already has experience to show that bike and pedestrian access favors retail business success. How could you do a Plaid layout in a city that’s already built? Well, your planners do an overlay, and every repaving project or construction beyond routine maintenance triggers a conversion.

I told you mine, tell me yours!

KTaylor
Guest
KTaylor

This sounds lovely!

bradwagon
Guest
bradwagon

Not sure I followed every detail of that but sounds like we just start making every other street ped / bike only? Even having ped / bike streets maintain one local access only lane for autos (aka Woonerf) would be fine with me.

Robert Burchett
Guest
Robert Burchett

What I outlined is idealized, obviously hard to pull off in the real world. It does almost totally eliminate the possibility of right- or left-hook car/bike crashes. It also takes care of the separate signals problem. You don’t need a bike signal phase if only bikes are on the street.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

The Plaid! 🙂 Aye!

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

In NYC, Manhattan has alternating one way streets from Houston St. almost all the way to the north end of the island. One way eastbound, followed one block later by one way westbound. Most of downtown PDX works that way, too. Make certain streets ped / bike only, except for deliveries and nightclub band access, as they generally do in Holland. 10 mph downtown, 20 on major thru streets. (In NYC, it’s 25 except where posted, freeways exempt, of course.)

Adam
Subscriber

Yeah, no sh*t crossbikes “won’t help us become a world-class biking city”. Especially when they lack full signalization. Any bikeway “improvement” that relies only on more paint won’t be enough.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

They had an innovative world-class launch/landing ramp bike crossing plan which totally would have made crossing safer due to aerial separation but it requires cyclists to hit the ramp at a specific speed which means everyone would need a speedometer on their bike (also specific tire pressures, mamil-to-bakfiets conversion tables, etc.) In the end, we decided it was safer for everyone to drive a car instead.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Adam,
since we’re generalizing.

Anyone who thinks a full signal is the only way for a greenway to cross any busier road in the city….

I’ll let others fill in their favorite answer.

Adam
Subscriber

As someone who frequently rides greenways, I would absolutely agree with the statement “a full signal is the only way for a greenway to cross any busier road in the city”. There are multiple crossings of Cesar Chavez without signals and crossing is near impossible. Same goes for crossing SE 50th at Clinton. Even the four-way stop at Clinton and 26th is not great.
Though I never actually mentioned greenways in my initial comment, however, even the crossbike markings used at the 2nd Av protected bike lane are not enough without dedicated bicycle signals.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Would you really prefer a full signal at 26th & Clinton over the 4-way flashing red? I think that would suck.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Oh, I’d prefer it. Anything to break the current mentality (“I barely have to stop! Then I can go go go GOOOOOOO all the way to Powell, completely unhindered! ZOOOOM!”).

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

I would push a beg button for a pop-up bollard.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

With spikes, I presume.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

No, I wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt. Most of the bollards we have now need to be fitted with a high-viz vest and helmet.

Adam
Subscriber

Yes I would prefer a full signal.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It just occurred to me it would suck for pedestrians too… They’d have to wait to cross rather than just getting the right of way immediately.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

I would decree pedestrians always have the right-of-way. Selah.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Rachel,
The signal does not do that, while the stops sign does.
You also imply the signal will always stop north-south drivers, which anyone can tell you is false. A signal only stops traffic when red. When green, there is no impediment for people driving to require them to slow down.

soren
Subscriber

i think we should to legalize “stop signs” that apply only to motorized traffic but not to human-powered traffic. imo, the idea that people walking and biking cannot safely coexist is a car-centric fantasy.

Adam
Subscriber

My favorite is the stop sign on a multi-use path, as if the city expects people walking to come to a complete stop before walking across…

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

They use those on street corners as well. Do most pedestrians even know it applies to them?

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Dear paik–I was speaking as an irrational god, not a rational human. I do understand how lights work. 😉 And while I’m not happy about the green “just go” part of the light, what I do like is the much longer, enforced waiting period of the red. It snaps people out of the mindset they currently have, which is clearly “roll through the stop sign and gogogoGO!” It really is a scofflaw driver’s dream, at present. Free and clear and absolutely no enforcement of the speed limit.

Naturally, I’d prefer big, gaudy flashing crosswalks between Clinton and Powell on SE 26th, plus curb buildouts, roundabouts, whatever. Anything. Enforcement! Spikes. Moats. Alligators. Water balloons.

Adam
Subscriber

What I think would work best would be a car-free plaza from 25th to 27th on Clinton with continuous surface that drivers on 26th must have to drive up and over to cross. Drivers on 26th would get a flashing signal and full stop, whereas Clinton traffic would be uncontrolled.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Er…I amend “anything.” No speed bumps, please–moderately heavy vehicles going over even tiny bumps/pavement repairs shake the house. Houses are pretty close to the street, here. Speed bumps would = living in a bouncy castle.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Good idea, Adam!

Adam
Subscriber

Pedestrians may technically have the right of way, but drivers often do not stop. Your proposal to me only provided two options: four way stop or full signal, for which I prefer a full signal. However, what I think would actually work best would be a car-free plaza from 25th to 27th on Clinton with continuous surface that drivers on 26th must have to drive up and over to cross. Drivers on 26th would get a flashing signal and full stop, whereas Clinton traffic would be uncontrolled.

Spiffy
Subscriber

oh please, 50th is easy to cross at Clinton because the cars illegally stop to let you go…

but in reality it’s hard to cross because the cars illegally stop… then I have to wait a LONG time for them to give up and finally take their right-of-way… and hope that somebody further down the line doesn’t do it again further delaying my crossing…

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Illegally?

soren
Subscriber

a driver that prioritizes people biking over environment-destroying and people killing motorized transport?

quelle horreur!!!

Adam
Subscriber

When a driver stops for me at 50th (which still takes a while) I will always take advantage and cross. Why wouldn’t I?

soren
Guest

crossbikes with rapid-flash beacons and signage.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

(not a signal)

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

You’re right. Signals are a bit of a pain, especially when the standards say cyclists and pedestrians must wait and wait and wait while motorists who haven’t even gotten into town proceed unimpeded. Barring a policy change on signal timing, perhaps we should work on getting some stop signs in at those crossings. Oh wait, that would interfere with the convenience of motorists too, so we can’t do that either.

I guess we’re back to accepting our third-class status. And to think we sometimes dream of double-digit percentages of people on bikes.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Signal timing could be a lot better at a lot of intersections.

Adam
Subscriber

Give signal priority to cyclists.

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

In Holand, that’s standard practice. Should be here, too.

soren
Guest

so this is why most dutch cyclists run lights? car-centric signal timing in amsterdam is a huge problem.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Mike,
If you mean the green wave, that is not bike priority, it is signal progression based on bike speed. A cyclist that arrives outside the set progression speed still has to wait for the wave from behind to get to them.

Adam
Subscriber

No, there are actually signals in the Netherlands that detect cyclists and immediately give them a green.

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/traffic-lights-in-s-hertogenbosch-an-interview/

soren
Guest

very rare.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

B.
Where does the situation you describe exist?
Signals are timed to favor the higher classified street sometimes, but usually the timing is divided evenly between the two cross streets.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I think he is referring to the most common signal pattern, where the signal is on a simple timer: 40 seconds for the major (car street), 15 seconds for the minor street, cycling endlessly, even when there are no cars on the major street.

Even when there are sensors in the minor street, they are rarely used to good effect; how much better would the system work (at low volume times, at least) if the major signal had had a green for a certain period, the side street would just change instantly when it detected a bike or other vehicle? Clinton & 39th could work this way… someone presses the button, and the signal changes immediately if it hadn’t changed for a while, or, at off-peak times, even if it had just changed.

I know some signals do work this way, but most don’t. Most are just dumb, with far less brains than a $3 embedded computer has.

Adam
Subscriber

Not at Powell and 52nd. Cars on Powell get a very long light while people crossing Powell get maybe 15 seconds to dart across the highway.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Adam,

You’ve timed it and know how ped signals work?

For a 70 foot crossing, at 3.5 feet per second, the crossing time is 20 seconds. That will be the length of the flashing don’t walk, or count down portion (try it sometime). To this is added the walk portion to indicate a pedestrian’s turn to start crossing. This can be short, but it is only the signal to begin walking, not the total time allotted to cross.
After the flashing don’t walk or countdown is finished, there is still the 3 seconds minimum of yellow and one second minimum of all red before the cross traffic is allowed to start moving.

Adam
Subscriber

Well, since drivers are allowed to turn on red, there is literally never a time that I get to cross without drivers trying to drive around me.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Try pushing a beg button on Macadam, Barbur, or Capitol Hwy. while facing a fresh green with a “don’t walk” signal. Does it immediately turn on the walk signal or does it ignore you until the cycle goes around again. It’s one thing to ask pedestrians to wait for their safety, something else entirely to ask them to wait for the convenience of drivers. Because we’re legally required to wait where there is a signal, it’s insulting when the signal does not give pedestrians priority (meaning: ASAP, maybe 5 seconds.) This unpleasant, smelly, noisy time is generally spent thinking about how Portland really wants me to drive a car.

Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to keep a wheel in your pocket so you can make a vehicular left with the green when you’re trying to get somewhere.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Eric,
Is it also insulting to make people driving wait their turn at a red light? Most of us learned to share in Kindergarten.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

No. Politely waiting at a red light is the least you can do when you drive a car in the city. Cars are the only reason we even need traffic lights. Sharing means caring.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Eric,
So, you imply there will never be a situation where signal control is needed unless a car is involved. I envision a better world than that.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

I think I was pretty clear. Even if I forgot boats, most bridges serve as their own sort of signal. https://vimeo.com/99480558 (Sailboat is the top of the transportation food chain in Groningen? Go figure.)

What’s better than an intersection without cars? Don’t forget to envision the smell and the noise, or the rain on your face.

Adam
Subscriber

Drivers take up most of the room, so why aren’t they sharing?

Spiffy
Subscriber

signal timing effects my route… I’d like to cross Powell at a light at 65th or 69th, but it takes so long for the light to change that now I just ride down the sidewalk until the traffic is clear and then cross wherever I can…

that timing is controlled by ODOT though, so I doubt they’ll ever change it to make it better for the side-streets…

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

The anti-lycra “movement” is so childishly belligerent, it’s amusing at times.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I was yelled at last week on the way home while in my lycra. It was weird because I was stopped at a red light for two minutes with a car behind me. Then when the light turned green and I had crossed through the intersection, the driver behind me paused in the middle of his left turn to yell out some nasty words at me, and then mis-shifted and got stuck in the intersection for a bit while his engine revved. It was confusing and hilarious at the same time. Why did he wait until I was gone before he yelled at me? What was he bothered by? Had he been saving up his stupid insult the whole way home, waiting for just the right moment to unleash it on someone who had done nothing to impede him? So many questions.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Maybe he was telling you you dropped your wallet?

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Oh, the tragical botched, humiliating exit! HAHAHA! 🙂 His vrooming off in a huff was ruined! RUUUUINED!

Spiffy
Subscriber

maybe you looked more fit than he was so he took his jab when he knew you couldn’t turn around and confront him…

soren
Subscriber

especially since most of the clothing i wear has lycra in it.

ralph
Guest
ralph

In my experience, trucks are not the problem. I’ll trust a professional driver over the bozo in their private rig who tries to squeeze by me with 1.5 inches to spare. Trucks always swing wide and give me breathing space. Yea, they are big and loud, but they are looking out for me.

bradwagon
Guest
bradwagon

Agreed, my own experience has me much more cautious around car drivers, not trucks on the highway.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Not on the Oregon Coast.

Ryan Good
Guest
Ryan Good

Am I the only person who for a moment was like, “‘Cross bikes a band-aid…’ What do cyclocross bikes have to do with urban planning anyway?”

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I thought it was obvious that the bikes were angry.

Spiffy
Subscriber

cross traffic ahead

lop
Guest
lop

http://www.kezi.com/news/Springfield_Boy_Suffers_Brain_Injury_after_Allegedly_Being_Hit_by_Drunk_Driver.html

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A Springfield boy is recovering from a brain injury, after police said a drunk driver hit him with his truck.

The Springfield Police Department said it happened Saturday night at around 6:45, near 49th and E Streets.

Police said 40-year-old Jeffery Cantrall was driving his Ford Ranger north on 49th Street, when he hit the 12-year-old bicyclist.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“Police said the boy was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. They want to remind kids to always wear their helmets.”

SMH

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

“Police want to remind drivers to not drive drunk, speed, and hit children with their vehicles.”

Oh right, that part wasn’t in the article…

Dave
Guest
Dave

And remember–drunk drivers are not people. The law should stop treating them as if they are.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I always found reporting on bike crashes to be goofy. As if wearing a beer cooler on your head really helps that much when you’re getting smacked by thousands of pounds of steel.

Having said that, I do think helmets are a good idea for most road riders.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Having a beer cooler ALWAYS helps, unless you are out of beer.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…As if wearing a beer cooler on your head…” banerjee

I get the idea…and it’s kind of funny…but a bike helmet shaped to fit the human head, is probably going to fit most people’s head better than will a squarish shaped beer cooler. And should a person’s head happens to slam against a hard surface from 6′ or so, a bike helmet between that surface and the wearer’s head, may be very nice to have.

When not used on the head, a bike helmet might work out kind of well in a pinch, to cool a couple beers, a bottle of wine, or some champagne….good idea!

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I heard that this is this motorist’s fourth DUII. Good grief! Why do we allow chronic drunk drivers to even own cars? And, perhaps more importantly, why do we have such mild penalties for the first couple of DUII’s in Oregon?

Adam
Subscriber

Because cars are an inalienable right laid out by the founding fathers in the Constitution.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Although I’m not sure that’s enough to get us to truly high mode shares,
that’s all that’s equitable to fund until East Portland gets a complete transportation overhaul.

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

The east side east of 82 Av. has been largely ignored for years. Even after the Portland and Gresham annexations of the 1970s/80s, that has been the case. Extending Portland’s bike route/greenway system in that direction, except for the Springwater trail, has been needed for years but has been repeatedly ignored for at least the last four decades.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Mike,
As long as you ignore the current Halsey/Weidler project, the bike lanes added with light rail on E Burnside, the 87th greenway, the SE Mill greenway, SE Bush greenway, SE 100/101st greenway, the SE Steele connection west of 100th, or the buffered bike lanes on Holgate that took an auto lane away.

Then there are the funded and planned projects:
The HOP (POH if going east: Pacific/Oregon/Holladay) greenway
The 4 M greenway
The 99th/100th/Tillamook greenway
The 130’s greenway
The 100’s greenway
the 150’s greenway

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/554218

SE
Guest
SE

wsbob

Middle Aged Men In Lycra…MAMIL…funny, but sad terminology a bunch of over the hill misbehaving men probably deserve to have attached to them.
Recommended 6

RE: Middle Aged Men In Lycra

2 days ago I was resting at the bench on SpringWater at the Johnson-Tideman restrooms. Was re-tying my shoe when I heard a huge crash.

So the MUP has these gates to keep motor vehicles out. 2 wood posts on the sides and a center removable metal post.

MAMIL (with the wind at his back , and ASSUME rolling pretty fast) slammed into that center post. It was so loud that I expected to see body parts strewn around, but he kinda got up slowly and checked the bike.

After all the F%^K, S%it screaming …. His comment was “shouldn’t be tuning the radio while going through those gates”

yup, he was a Middle Aged Man In Lycra

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

I saw a woman who hadn’t ridden a bike much. It was in poor shape. She was wearing gaudy clothes that got greasy from the chain. She wobbled all over the place and crashed into a post.

Huh. That’s cruel, but dredging out MAMIL stories isn’t.