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The Monday Roundup: Plungers, tolls, chop shops, KISS on bikes, and more

Posted by on March 6th, 2017 at 8:02 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Nutcase, the Portland-based company that offers cool bike helmets for everyday riding.

Rolling with KISS: The legendary band has licensed their logo on a line of aero bicycle wheels.

Imagine that: This Daily Mail (UK) reporter has no clue that fines and tickets to bicycle riders are down — not because police are looking the other way — but because more people are riding, thus improving the overall behavioral pool as expected.

Sobering impact of Uber and Lyft: NYC streets are flooded with Uber and Lyft vehicles, eroding transit ridership and clogging streets even more. What a mess. Yet another reason to be skeptical of any “new technology” that puts cars at its center.

Car use = OK. Car abuse = Not OK: Portland economist Joe Cortright strikes an important tone with his latest from CityLab, where he argues that the only thing wrong with our use of cars is that we don’t pay enough for the privilege.

Housing for people, not cars: A promising update to an issue we’ve been covering longer than anyone else: Thanks to Portland’s new Inclusionary Housing rules, a developer of two residential buildings in southeast Portland may leave auto parking out of its plans and opt for affordable housing instead. All to save money.

Car parking is so over: Another fun one from The Connecticut Post: “City planners need to remember human beings come with two legs, not just four tires.”

Plungers FTW: The latest weapon of choice for tactical urbanists in Wichita, Kansas are toilet plungers. Seriously.

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Don’t call it the Westside Bypass: The Vice-Chair of the Oregon House Transportation Committee is dreaming of a new freeway on the westside that he’s dubbed the “Northwest Passage.” Good luck Rep. Vial.

War on speeding: Portland isn’t the only place that wants us to slow down in our cars. It’s a nationwide phenomenon.

Open-air chop shop ban: San Francisco is tired of stolen bicycles being parted out, out in the open. They want to ban chop shops (and some people think we should do the same here).

It won’t be automatic: A good article summarizing the hurdles faced by autonomous vehicles in urban areas — and how they will lead to radical shifts in urban planning. (The part about curb space — for loading/unloading — becoming the most valuable part of the street is especially interesting.)

Oregon distractions: Get up to speed on how — and why — the Oregon Legislature is trying to revamp their cell phone use/distracted driving laws.

Intersection of justice: A great example of how environmental and social justice issues intersect with transportation in Milwaukee where three groups are suing the state over a planned highway expansion mega-project.

Idaho stop in California: The sensible change to the law that would allow bicycle operators to roll through stop signs after yielding (when it’s safe), has been proposed in California. I hope Oregon tries this again in the 2019 session.

VW sucks: Volkswagen willfully cheated on emissions tests, and now scientists have calculated the significant public health impacts.

Managing traffic: We don’t have a congestion problem, we have a congestion management problem. As more cities figure this out, you’ll be hearing a lot more about tolls.

NOLA rising: New Orleans has a secret weapon that could see its already sharp rise in cycling take off even more: Tens of thousands of workers who ride (or would ride) to their jobs in the city’s legendary hospitality industry. Oh, and the city is about to make it even easier and safer for them to do so.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and 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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David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Need to correct chop shop link – these two stories have the same link:

War on speeding: Portland isn’t the only place that wants us to slow down in our cars. It’s a nationwide phenomenon.

Open-air chop shop ban: San Francisco is tired of stolen bicycles being parted out, out in the open. They want to ban chop shops (and some people think we should do the same here).

Eric in Seattle
Guest
Eric in Seattle
Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Thanks for the link. Fixed.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I am all for the chop shop ban.

9watts
Subscriber

how about some apple pie?

BradWagon
Subscriber

I was riding in Scholls area yesterday… Should let Rep. Vial people already use that area like a bypass freeway.

But seriously, those proposed “Northwest Passage” routes are laughable given existing development, natural terrain, and that they mostly parallel existing highways. Good luck plowing a modern day 205 through westside communities. And there is a reason the only major crossings of the west hills are 26 and Cornelius Pass… Verify inefficient to use this terrain for high volume auto travel. When will we start prioritizing moving people, not cars?

12-20 Billion… How much more helpful would limited access rail down the center of the highway connecting Salem, Hillsboro, Gresham and the existing those areas have?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

And thousands of demolished houses and businesses. And you’d be looking at 10 billion alone for the tunnel + bridge to get under the Tualatin mountains and over the river(s).

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

If the Western Bypass were to be reality – would it not be labelled as “I-405” and not “I-205”?

BradWagon
Subscriber

No idea about naming convention Todd. Was just using the method with which 205 was constructed as an example to what would have to happen through Sherwood / Tigard / Beaverton / Aloha area in some of the proposed route.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

The BTA turned against Idaho Style decisively under the leadership of Rob Sadowski, hopefully now that he has been fired the next person in charge will take the time to actually examine the issue and understand the history of it in Oregon before making a snap decision to either support or oppose the idea.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“The BTA turned against Idaho Style decisively …” bjorn

And why did they do that? Not because of sadowsky, but because opposition in Oregon to the idaho stop, was overwhelming. Don’t go and reply about how close the vote for the stop was in the house, because even had it passed the house, it still would have had to pass the senate, and the governor…and the chances of that happening, and becoming law in Oregon? Not so good, I think.

San Francisco couldn’t even figure out a way to allow people biking in that city on a very popular route for commuting, The Wiggle, to pass through one particular intersection without stopping. Some of the city’s commissioners thought the way to handle that single intersection issue, was to try pass a city/county law that would allow people biking to roll through stop signs throughout the city, and the entire county.The mayor believed that idea would not be in the best interests of the people he serves, and said ‘no’.

If Portland feels the Idaho Stop, or ‘style’ as you seem to be putting it, thinks allowing people that bike, to roll through stop signs without stopping is such a good idea, maybe city council should consider an effort to pass an ordinance that would allow this within city limits.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

Bob I know you personally are opposed to it but you are painfully unaware of the actual history much like Rob was. First off it has passed the house in Oregon, it did so by a vote of 46-9 in 2003. Support has historically been strong with the BTA’s membership and they supported the idea and lobbied for it in Salem until Sadowsky came in. He publicly spoke about the idea and was clearly not supportive of the BTA working on it but when he spoke places like on the Sprokette podcast it was also clear that he knew little to nothing about the history of attempting to pass the law in Oregon. I offered to discuss it with him since I was involved in several of the attempts but he declined. It clearly isn’t a slam dunk to pass but as evidenced by bills being introduced in a 11 states over the last decade and being close to passage in several the idea does have a lot of support. Also Idaho continues to prove that there are no safety issues with the law.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

bjorn…thanks for the correction. It passed in the house, but that’s all the further it got, and most likely is all the further it ever will get in Oregon for a long time yet to come. I’m curious why all the reps in the house that voted for the bill, did so, but that they did, doesn’t necessarily confirm that the Idaho Stop is an idea widely supported across Oregon.

I’d be happy to read thoughts expressed by some of those representatives, particularly those out of the Willamette Valley, as to why they voted as they did.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…It clearly isn’t a slam dunk to pass but as evidenced by bills being introduced in a 11 states over the last decade and being close to passage in several the idea does have a lot of support. …’ bjorn

They talk about the idaho stop, but none of the states you’re saying introduced bills for it, voted it into law in their state. Over an entire decade? Longer really, if Idaho introduced its law earlier than a decade ago. There’s very little support for the Idaho Stop. Legislators might like talking about it, but when it comes to making it law…they manage not to have that happen.

One of the things Street Trust (formerly the bta…bicycle transportation alliance) realized, I think, about the principle the idaho stop is based on, is how self absorbed were biking enthusiasts interest in that exception to the Stop Sign Law. The exception doesn’t benefit community. It doesn’t benefit people that drive, and it’s questionable whether its benefit to people that bike, is worth the downside of that one occasion when one of them make a mistake, miscalculate about whether traffic is approaching on a street regulated by a stop sign which they’ve decided to roll through, and then find as they proceed on through, they’ve become a victim of a collision.

Street Trust reincarnated from the bta, has done better by committing to much broader objectives for the purpose of achieving improved livability for neighborhoods and city. That commitment stands to accomplish improvements for biking…as well as for walking, skateboarding, and driving…instead of just biking as the old bta was obliged to commits itself to. Note: this is just what it seems to me that the Street Trust is now about…I’m not speaking for them, and again, what I’ve written about the advocacy group, is not what I’ve read to be their official policy.

Instead of efforts towards exception to the stop sign law, I’d much rather see the legislature look very closely at, and possibly do something to change the way ODOT evaluates roads and the traffic on them, for determining mile per hour posted speed limits. The 85th percentile, for those familiar with what that refers to, seems not to be a great way to support neighborhood and community livability through the provision of roads whose traffic is managed for safe, efficient and functional travel for a range of travel modes.

Bay Area rider
Guest
Bay Area rider

We will see what happens with the proposed law change in California this year that would allow bicycle riders to treat a stop sign like a yield sign. The proposal was submitted with bipartisan support with a few co authors. Also proposed is a rewording of the law about where bicycles should ride. The proposal does away with the must ride as far to the right language and instead says bicycles may use the right lane except in the rare case where the lane is wide enough to safely share.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I don’t see why it would not work for cars, as well. Why should I stop at a sign if there are no other cars present?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

You’ve asked before. Did you not like my answer last time? Because of ‘A’ pillars.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

The first rule of Idaho Style is that you can’t have a conversation about Idaho Style without someone throwing a Red Herring at you.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“I don’t see why it would not work for cars, as well. Why should I stop at a sign if there are no other cars present?” motrg

Idaho’s exclusive to bike use exception to the stop sign law, would work if it was extended to use of the road with cars too…badly…a fact that is among the reasons I think allowing road users to legally roll through stop signs has never passed into law outside of Idaho.

Think about this: fifty states in the union, the people of each of them, able as states, to decide to allow people riding bikes in their states, to legally roll through stop signs without stopping; yet in the many years since idaho has had it’s law on the book, no other state has followed suit.

Some state’s legislators have mulled over bills proposing the idea, but no state has apparently considered the exception’s benefit to people biking, of not having to stop at stop signs, to be worth the disadvantages to all road users, of cancelling some of the important safety margin the stop sign law provides for…and of placing upon people that drive, a greater burden of responsibility for the safety of people riding bikes, if they should happen to make errors of judgment in rolling stop signs.

So what, if Idaho hasn’t had an increase in collision occurring because of its stop sign law? Again…the law increases the burden of responsibility upon people driving, to look out for people biking, that don’t stop at the stop signs. Is that increased burden worth it? An overwhelming majority of people in every other state except Idaho, apparently don’t think so.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

The idaho style stop law does not change the right of way laws in anyway and therefore does not place a new burden upon other road users. Collision rates did not change as a result of the law. There is no safety tradeoff here.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

You and other enthusiasts for the Idaho Stop would like to think that Idaho’s bike exclusive exception to the stop sign law poses no additional burden of responsibility upon people that drive, for the safety of people biking that do not stop at stop signs, but logic says otherwise.

There is no disputing that despite what virtues there are to the bike exclusive exception to the stop sign law, states across the nation have not decided that those virtues are worth making the exception, law in their states.

I’d suggest that anyone that cares about functionality and safety of the road for biking, and that thinks the idaho stop is a good idea, acknowledge that people across the nation, apparently to an overwhelming degree, are indicating either by their disinterest or outright rejection of the idaho stop idea, that they don’t believe the exception is in the best interests of the people of their state.

People really caring about functionality and safety of the road for biking, will put their efforts elsewhere, where improvements in road use for biking are better, as are their chances of being supported by law as needed.

dwk
Guest
dwk

Every day I read your comments.
Nice to know what the car lobby thinks about things…..

9watts
Subscriber

“Again…the law increases the burden of responsibility upon people driving, to look out for people biking, that don’t stop at the stop signs.”

I think you still don’t understand the Idaho Stop Law. The law gives those on bikes the right to treat stop signs as yield signs. Are you suggesting that the existing yield signs place an increased burden on other people (in or out of cars)? Because where I grew up, in Germany, there are more yield signs than stop signs. In fact, I think they pretty much skipped the whole stop sign thing altogether.

For this to be a productive discussion you’re going to have to eventually retire this mistaken notion.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

As traffic and road use management equipment, stop signs and yield signs differ from each other and, I believe, are chosen and used to help aid in accomplishing different levels of safe road use as required by the road and traffic situation, on a case by case basis.

Some intersections are evaluated and determined to best be equipped with stop signs, some are evaluated and determined to best be equipped with yield signs. I believe the burden of responsibility for safe road use, is one of the factors that figures into which type sign is best for a given intersection.

Stop signs go up because intersections, that safety and traffic management measures are considered for, hold a hazard level that it’s determined, road users should be obliged to completely stop and take necessary precautions to determine the road is clear, before proceeding on through the intersection.

In an intersection situation where people feel a stop sign isn’t needed, but it’s felt some lesser level of safety and traffic management is needed, maybe they should consider requesting a yield sign instead.

Enthusiasts for idaho’s bike exclusive exception to the stop law, want to do just that: make an exception to that law for only people that bike, their mode of travel being a vehicle in fundamental ways, comparable to other vehicles in use on the road…anyone operating a vehicle on the road and approaching an intersection, must for safe use of the road, be certain that the intersection is clear before proceeding. Depending upon which is determined is needed to help road users be certain the road is clear, stop signs, yield signs, or more complex and expensive traffic light signals are used.

It’s very obvious that despite Idaho’s choice to conceive and make into law in their state, their exception to the stop sign law…no other state in the nation, despite having years to think it over, has gone for it…again…no other state in the union has decided that Idaho’s idea is a good one for their state.

There are far better objectives towards accomplishing better conditions for biking, and community livability in general, that people can devote their efforts to.

9watts
Guest
9watts

The way your mind works is a source of endless fascination to me.

By your logic the fact that the Constitution of the State of Ohio banned slavery in 1802 but no other state’s constitutions (immediately) copied this means that Ohio is just weird and there’s nothing to be learned from their pioneering status. Nothing to see here, move along….?

Can you not conceive a situation that is suboptimal, where the leaders of a city, state, or country pass laws that are terrible, unjust, immoral, or merely foolish? That will some day be revoked and regretted? Or is everyone in your view always tuned to the Panglossian frequencies of the day?

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“…no other state in the union has decided that Idaho’s idea is a good one for their state.”

I believe what’s really happened, including in Oregon, is that no other states’ politicians have decided that passing a law that motorists might think is “unfair” would be good for their careers. It has little to do with what is “good” or makes sense. For comparison, I will point you to the right turn on red “exception” to the law. I know you will claim, “but that applies to cars, too, so it doesn’t count”. In that case, I will point you to the “dead red” law that was recently passed, due to it applying to motorcycles. There is no provision in that law that allows four-wheeled, motorized vehicles to proceed on a red light; it applies only to motorcyclists and bicyclists. What is the difference between an “exception” such as right turn on red, an “exception” such as ORS 811.360(2) (“dead red”), and an “exception” such as an Idaho-style stop law for bicyclists? If you want to argue from safety, the right-on-red law is the only one that’s gotten me hit by an actual car, because the driver was making assumptions and abusing the RTOR privilege. I’ve never even come close to being hit—or hitting anyone else—when rolling a STOP sign or proceeding on a “dead red”.

There is no “undue burden” placed on non-bicyclists by the Idaho-style stop law. Just because you are not always required to stop doesn’t mean you aren’t still often required to stop. No one would be given free license to blast through STOP signs, thumbing their noses at all the suckers in cars who have had to screech to a halt to let them cruise by. In fact, and I’ve pointed this out before, if you recall, the penalties for “improperly entering an intersection” under the proposed “Oregon stop” law would have been stiffer than those we currently impose for merely failing to obey a STOP sign.

What if we stopped thinking of it as an “exception”, and just called it “a new law”?

Greg Spencer
Guest

Re: “Turns out, Uber is clogging the streets” The headline of this article made it sound like a take down of ride-sharing services, but the writer actually sees NYC’s congestion problem as a failure of the city’s leadership.

“… we shouldn’t blame the companies or their customers for adding to traffic woes. Riders are voting with their feet for what they value most: prompt, responsive, reliable and comfortable transportation.”

The writer goes on to propose several improvements to public transit, starting with more bus lanes, signal priority, all-door boarding, etc. Exactly the sorts of improvements that would make TriMet an attractive alternative to cars in Portland.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

“public transit, starting with more bus lanes, signal priority, all-door boarding…”

In other words, BRT and aBRT.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

“(The part about curb space — for loading/unloading — becoming the most valuable part of the street is especially interesting.)”

All the more reason we’ll need to cut back on – and charge (more) for – curbside parking in commercial districts.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

re; joe cortwright’s article…it raises some things that are worth giving thought to:

In the U.S. what mode of transportation contributes most to the health of the economy, and at the same time, meets the most important day to day travel needs of this country’s citizens? Is it airlines? Trains? Boats? Rail? Not horses, or bikes either.

The greatest contributor to economic health, and that meets people’s basic day to day travel needs, has been and continues to be, motor vehicles…specifically, personal cars and trucks. It’s a misnomer to say that in paying for the construction and maintenance of road infrastructure for motor vehicle use, that we’re subsidizing that mode of travel, because we’re not: money spent on construction and maintenance of the country’s road system, is support for the health of the nation’s economy. When people don’t buy cars, other people are out of work. When people don’t have cars to travel with, they can’t get to work.

Do some people in the U.S. and around the world, use cars for travel when they don’t really need to, taking advantage of travel infrastructure necessary for supporting health of the economy? Of course. Good luck sorting those people out, from those that need use of motor vehicles for purely essential travel needs. And discouraging them from driving. Maybe go after buyers of Ferrari’s and Porsche or any car that doesn’t seat four or more people, and isn’t fully occupied any time it’s on the road and moving.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

A subsidy is still a subsidy. You can make the argument that it is a necessary subsidy, but the language is important. When they start slashing budgets, do we cut the subsidy for housing first, or for highways? If we don’t recognize it as a subsidy, it won’t be on the table.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…When they start slashing budgets, do we cut the subsidy for housing first, or for highways?…” chris I

Money provided by people through their government for basic, essential infrastructure, i.e; roads and highways, is not a subsidy. (At least, I don’t think so, but I’m thinking the question over.) Not to the military or the post office, or the military either. To farmers, to keep them from going broke producing crops, milk, meat: subsidies.

Money provided by government to prvate businessmen to build low income housing, could be subsidies, I think, as would money to help poor people afford the rent. It’s sad when they become homeless, but the country’s economic health doesn’t live or die depending upon whether or not they have homes to live in. Roads and highways are indispensable…the country has to have them…the recent winter storms we had, when the streets and highways were shut down for a couple days, is a very small indication of what can happen if there aren’t roads.

q
Guest
q

“Money provided by people through their government for basic, essential infrastructure, i.e; roads and highways, is not a subsidy.”

Maybe not, but building them subsidizes the activity (driving) that they’re built for. So it’s an irrelevant difference.

Greg Spencer
Guest

Of course it’s a subsidy! The vast majority of roads in the US are built and maintained with public funds and require no fee for use. It’s been that way for so long that people take it as God given and don’t recognize it for what it is. Healthy economies need balanced, sustainable transport systems, not free roads and free parking.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

It’s called a public good. We do it as a society for a great many things.

Matt
Guest
Matt

“When people don’t buy bicycles, other people are out of work. When people don’t have bicycles to travel with, they can’t get to work.”

Fixed that for you.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

You didn’t “…fix it…” for me. Give us your own thoughts…please don’t steal other people’s ideas to make what point it is you have to share.

You did not explain why you may believe people’s purchase of bikes, and the nation’s provision of road infrastructure for biking is as important to the the U.S. economic health, as people’s purchase of motor vehicles, and the nation’s provision of road infrastructure to drive them on.

In the U.S., road infrastructure providing for motor vehicle travel and transport, is an essential and major component of U.S. economic health. At this point in the nation’s evolution, provision for motor vehicle travel is not expendable or replaceable by provision for travel by bike.

Would some people in the U.S. be unable to get to work if they didn’t have road infrastructure to use with bikes? Most likely…but if the 15 percent or so road users that use bikes for travel, weren’t able to get to work because they couldn’t ride, that wouldn’t likely affect the nation’s economic health to near the extent people that drive, not being able to drive to work, would effect the nation’s economic health. And of course…compared to motor vehicles, cost of bikes being so little, doesn’t have much of an effect on economic health either.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

We better hope that gas prices never go up, since we are so dependent on a singular mode of transportation, powered by a singular power source. We’re screwed…

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Gas prices will go up. That resource will be depleted someday. There are other energy sources, and there likely will be more with time. Human beings have a knack for adaptability. I’m talking about right now…let’s say a 20-50 year window. Motor vehicles are a major component of the U.S. economy. Bike manufacture, etc represents a fairly big industry, but they aren’t a major component of the U.S. economy.

9watts
Subscriber

“let’s say a 20-50 year window”

wishful. No one who is paying attention thinks we have five years, never mind 50.

Spiffy
Subscriber

and you didn’t explain why motor vehicles provide more to the economy… sure, if you focus on this point in our transportation evolution you see people choose motor vehicles… at some point we made lots of other choices…

you could also say that allowing people to shoot each other to settle their disputes solves the problem created by a bloated justice system, but it’s still not the right choice…

you’re simply stating that the choice that we’ve decided to make extremely easy is the best choice…

Matt is saying that the argument can be made for any choice that’s the most popular right now…

Matt
Guest
Matt

Actually, what I meant is that I work in a bike shop, and I ride my bike to work every day. But I like your interpretation too.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…you’re simply stating that the choice that we’ve decided to make extremely easy is the best choice…” spif

I’m saying that travel by motor vehicle is the major mode of travel people in the U.S. use to meet their daily travel needs, and that their choice in having made this so, has made infrastructure for motor vehicle travel, a fundamental, indispensable component of the country’s economy.

At this point in the evolution of motor vehicle as primary day to day mode of travel in suburban to urban areas of the nation, maybe capacity for more major road and highway infrastructure has peaked out. Exactly what people that do so, are envisioning when they champion new highway and freeway expansion, I’m not sure about.

If the logical extreme of their idea is that current highway and freeway widths should increase exponentially, to double, triple, quadruple in efforts to meet the needs of a growing population, and to manage congestion…that idea to me seems like one the public would find unacceptable and impractical.

Pete
Guest
Pete

“The greatest contributor to economic health”

Yes if you don’t consider net – now factor in public health, productive hours lost to commuters waiting in traffic, and the opportunity cost of all the deficit spending that’s gone into maintaining roadway infrastructure. Without empirical data, I’d wager that networking (and other) technologies had a more profound contribution to our economy in recent decades.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Those are all good points which I readily acknowledge. If U.S. society were to have revolutionary evolution in community design…which in a number of ways, I think would be a great idea…lots of people that do now, wouldn’t have to be using their motor vehicles, which are kind of like an exoskeleton…to meet most or all of their travel needs.

Nevertheless, motor vehicle travel is what we’ve got right now. Easing away from it as the primary mode of travel, is going to take awhile. For now, the nation has to provide the infrastructure necessary for the mode of travel the majority of road users rely on.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Bizarre that a kid with a lemonade stand can get in trouble for not having permits http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/08/portland_lemonade_stand_runs_i.html but bike chop shops can operate openly with no problem.

I don’t know if the problem is liberal guilt, false equivalency, unwillingness to take on anyone with a smidgen of political support, or simply being out of touch with what residents want, but the city government is not effectively governing this city.

oliver
Guest
oliver

I’m absolutely certain that if a bike breaker attempted to set up a booth selling bike parts on the sidewalk during last Thursday, it’d take < 15 minutes to be shut down.

Tom
Guest
Tom

What if the chop shop was for city property, like copper wire, road signs, traffic lights, etc. Would the city need some special new law to be able to adress the issue?

Spiffy
Subscriber

I’ve never seen a chop-shop stand on the side of the road offering parts or bikes for money… I’ve never been approached while passing such chop-shops and had somebody solicit me to buy parts or bikes…

a better comparison would be having kids scrounging lemons off the street and creating their lemonade curb-side and then putting it on craigslist for sale…

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

It’s interesting that NOLA began doing its bikey thing in 2010, but all of the increase in bike use happened in 2013. It was flat before, at around 2.4%, and flat after that year, at about 3.4%. I don’t know much about NOLA, but I suspect there is something else going on there. It did have a similar bounce up in 2009 when there was no change in infrastructure going on, but there was a noteworthy change in gasoline prices.

Matt
Guest
Matt

How can you call an increase from 2.4% to 3.4% “flat”? Sure, it’s only a 1% absolute increase, but proportionally it’s a 42% increase.

Paul
Guest
Paul

He’s not calling that flat. He’s saying it was flat before that, and flat after that, with a big sudden increase in the middle.

Phil Richman
Subscriber

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-ride-sharing-apps/ If transit agencies want to be honest with themselves, which most do not, they all need to realize ride sharing will not be going away EVER. The hope and beauty of this resides in the fact that in most cases neither will bikesharing EVER. In fact, this will only serve to exacerbate increased congestion and force the societal shift to Vision Zero, where people recognize bicycles as the most efficient mode for the vast majority of trips and prioritize walking/riding over driving a personal automobile. Once this is realized and social acceptance around the use of bicycles becomes as commonplace as motor vehicles our cities will change faster than anyone realizes.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

When do we get to stop calling it “ride-sharing”? These are distributed taxi companies with an App platform.

BB
Guest
BB

It’s like “reality television”. The words are the same but the meaning has changed.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

As for VW “willfully cheated” on emissions tests – I have been waiting for bike and ped advocacy groups to push for some of the settlement to reflect that these roadway users (along with the poor) have most likely taken to brunt of the diesel “emissions dumping”.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

The impact in the U.S. is tiny, all things considered. Diesel trucks and busses are a much bigger problem, especially considering that we have millions of morons driving around in 1/2 or 3/4 ton diesel monster trucks for their daily commute to work.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“Northwest Passage”? NOOOOOOOOoooooo! I’m probably being a NIMBY, but I’d like to know why there is such a demand for this kind of destructive freeway construction through my extended neighborhood. Can no one find jobs to their liking within 30 miles of housing they can afford? If you’re driving from Wilsonville to a job in Vancouver, that sucks, I guess, but can you expect the people who live in between to sacrifice their quality of life for you?

Tim
Guest
Tim

Actually the majority of roads are built with private funds as part of development, but they are still not built with fees levied on vehicles. The cost of constructing local streets are paid through the cost of lots sold along the street, so you pay for your local street with your mortgage and rent. You also pay for “free” parking lots with the cost of goods even if you don’t park. The less you drive the more you subsidize drivers.

Teddy
Guest
Teddy

I think my apartment in Tualatin would have to be torn down which is not good.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

maybe if the travel between the points was easier, the people living in between wouldn’t have to sacrifice as much.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Thousands of people would literally lose their homes if this “bypass” were to become a reality. What is your definition of sacrifice?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I should have clarified. I was referring to El Biciclero’s comment about commuting between Wilsonville and Vancouver. To me, that says I-5.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about I-5 or a brand new highway. In order to make ultra-long distance commutes less painful, we would have to massively expand our highway capacity. You can expand I-5 through Portland without demolishing hundreds of homes, and spending tens of billions of dollars.

Spiffy
Subscriber

Don’t call it the Westside Bypass: I say we close every freeway ramp inside the city and only leave one open where each freeway crosses the city limit… reduce the speed limit inside the city to 20 mph… you’ll likely need a lot of Park & Ride lots near those exits initially as people figure out a better way into the central city… this was the way Eisenhower wanted it when he introduced the interstate highway system… he didn’t mean it to allow direct access within the city, only travel between them…

Thanks and Thoughts
Guest
Thanks and Thoughts

Thanks for the post, very interesting stuff.

RE “It won’t be automatic”: robobusses are the way to go. Robo cars will just mean a zero occupancy vehicle snarl/sprawl disaster. The government, car companies etc. are heading toward the disaster rather than robobusses.

RE “Managing Traffic”: Tolls are only the way to go if the the toll covers the total cost of building and maintaining the freeway. Anything less is just a taxpayer subsidy so the rich can pass and shove aside the poor on their way to work. So Boston spent $1 billion for a mile of freeway, LA freeways have cost up to $150 million a mile. That doesn’t include maintenance. There aren’t many people willing to pay the $1,000+ dollars a year it would likely take to significantly reduce their commute times. If there were, the private market would have already built tons of private toll roads.