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The Monday Roundup: Santa Rampage, headphone-blaming, car bans, and more

Paris waited too late to strengthen auto use regulations.

Welcome to Monday.

This is our last full week before the news cycle slows way down. So let’s get to it, shall we? Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Death by headphones?: A coroner in Yorkshire had no evidence a woman was listening to music prior to being run over by a truck crashing her bike near a truck — but he put the blame squarely on her anyways. And The Telegraph piled-on with a biased and irresponsible article.

Design saving commutes: The bad news is people’s work commutes are getting longer (see next item). The good news is, according to The Economist, the free market and urban designers are stepping in to make them more enjoyable.

Going further: More lower-income Portlanders are moving further away from their jobs and other important destinations in order to afford a place to live.

Anti-bike NYC police strike again: It seems like the biggest barrier to transportation reform in New York City is the police. After they spread anti-bike lane propaganda through a tabloid, our friends at Streetsblog did a proper smackdown.

Who’s losing the ‘War on cars’?: Short and to-the-point blog post from Dan Savage shares important truths about the so-called ‘War on Cars’.

How the Dutch do it: As we debate how to tame big streets here in Portland, here’s how it’s done in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

Cycling’s status symbols: The idea that luxury bike brands like Pinarello and Rapha are equal parts fashion statement and functional gear has been cemented now that the former just sold a majority stake to Louis Vuitton and the latter is rumored to be doing the same.


All ‘vision’, no action: It took Portland 18 months just to pass a plan for Vision Zero, in New York City their mayor said their effort “is just getting started” three years after committing to it, and now from D.C. comes a report that one year into Vision Zero there has been no decline in deaths.

A cautionary tale: One of the greatest cities in the world waited too long to regulate auto use and now smog is at a crisis level. In response, Paris plans to seriously curtail auto use and ban it altogether in some parts of the city.

No more private cars: Portland wants to eliminate traffic deaths in next nine years. In Helsinki they’re focused on the root of the problem and want to eliminate all private cars in about the same amount of time.

Carfree Broadway in NYC: NY Times editorial nails it: “Perhaps it’s time to embrace a more radical solution — to think bigger, not smaller… why not close off Broadway to traffic for a far longer stretch — perhaps even from one end to the other — creating an unfettered corridor for bicycles and pedestrians that would slice across much of Manhattan?”

School trip analysis: The first comprehensive survey of its kind in San Francisco showed that 56 percent of the city’s more than 45,000 students are driven to school and just 3 percent arrive by bike. The report (PDF) is full of interesting data — including the fact that 40 percent of those who drove who said they’d love to explore an alternative.

Unprotected bike lanes: TransAlt in New York City is demanding more investment in protected bike lanes after a Citi Bike user was hit in a section of street left “unprotected.”

Win for bikenomics: President Obama signed a new bill into law that takes into account the outdoor industry — which includes cycling — when calculating the country’s gross domestic product.

One tough bike race: Any time the New York Times gives feature story treatment to a bike race, it’s worth taking a look.

Santa cycling: The Santa Rampage Ride in Milwaukee, Wisconsin looks fantastic. I’m surprised we don’t do this in Portland.

Tweet of the Week: If you don’t think America’s car abuse problem has reached epidemic levels, please watch this:

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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