Portland Century - August 18th

The Monday Roundup: A note on MAX attacks, Seattle bike share, fast toddlers and more

Posted by on May 30th, 2017 at 10:13 am

This is not a normal week. I’m not sure when normal will ever return.

While we move on with covering bicycling and related news, my thoughts remain heavy with the many issues surrounding the hate-fueled attacks on innocent people that happened Friday on a light rail train in northeast Portland. I’m not sure what form the incident and its aftermath will take here on BikePortland, but it will have an impact — both on the stories we cover and how we cover them, as well as the content and tone of the daily discussions we have in the comments. On that note, please be extra mindful of other peoples’ feelings and perspectives as we all struggle to cope with the many layers of outrage and newly exposed (for some) reality of these stressful times.

Below are the most noteworthy stories we came across last week…

Questioning car use: A car was used as a deadly weapon in the recent Times Square driving rampage, a fact that has sparked a much-needed debate about the unfettered access we grant auto users in our cities.

Bike share back in Seattle? Our friends to the north are reportedly close to working out regulations that would grant a host of new next-generation bike share operators access to city streets.

Hand over your car keys: A survey found that many urban auto users often feel stressed and frustrated about their daily drives — insights that should motivate planners and policymakers to work harder to give them a better option.

Savage takes and a transit fix: The Stranger’s Dan Savage laid out some refreshingly candid truths — and one bold idea — to reverse the dual problems of gentrification and displacement.

Bike a mile in my shoes: In New South Wales, people who want to get a learner’s permit for driving a car might have to first take a course in urban cycling.

From parking to parks: Fast Company delves into the positive trend of cities turning auto parking lots into human playing plots.

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Take a transit ride into the future: The Willamette Week asked: “What if we spent billions to fix the morning commute with something other than cars?”

Rolling coal no more: In Maryland, lawmakers passed a bill that outlaws this absurd, childish behavior and makes it punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Hi-viz doesn’t help: Neon clothing might be easier to see, but one recent study showed that it doesn’t make people give you more room when the pass. That is, unless your hi-viz jacket has “POLICE” emblazoned on it.

Cargo bike attention: It’s always good when a non-bike media outlet gushes about the utility and fun of riding cargo bikes.

Tour de Toddler: Balance bikes are ubiquitous among Portland families — but did you know there’s a racing scene for these tiny, pedal-less bikes?

Big money bike racing: Bike industry ninja Rick Vosper peels back the veil of what it costs to sponsor a major professional cycling team at the highest levels of the sport.

Don’t hold your breath: The Economist covers the autonomous vehicle industry closely and says, “Forget the hype,” about them taking over streets in the near future.

A Tesla warning: A Stanford engineer tested a Tesla’s autopilot mode and said its performance around bicycle users was “frightening.”

— 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

168 Comments
  • Avatar
    9watts May 30, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Great spread of news, Jonathan. Still my favorite post of the week (even when it comes on Tuesdays). 😉

    Curious to hear others’ takes on the hi-viz piece and the Tesla article, both of which seem to generate voluminous discussions.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 10:44 am

      I don’t think that drivers passing too close is a function of not being seen, so I am not surprised that being more visible doesn’t impact that behavior.

      My sense is that there are 3 classes of drivers: those who give you plenty of room (the majority of drivers), those who think they are giving you plenty of room, but aren’t (because they just don’t understand what constitutes “enough”), and assholes/passive-aggressive drivers, who constitute a tiny but very memorable minority.

      As for Tesla… I’m not surprised. Their “autopilot” was designed for highway use.

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        9watts May 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

        You forgot the distracted drivers who may or may not be a minority any more. Remember the share of injuries and deaths that are apparently classified as hit-from-behind?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 11:22 am

          Ok, yes, there are also impaired and distracted drivers. Overall, though, being hit from behind may be very disconcerting, but it is not terribly common.

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            9watts May 30, 2017 at 11:26 am

            I miss Opus the Poet. He used to post here all the time and had a very good handle on those statistics. From him I learned that it was in fact a nontrivial fraction.

            “it is not terribly common.”

            Do you know this?

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

              Because I read somewhere a few years ago (perhaps right here on this blog) that it was on the order of 5%, similar to those cited in the article you link to below.

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                BB May 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm

                Do you have a source or just hearsay?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 1:55 pm

                The article 9watts linked to has two sources.

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              9watts May 30, 2017 at 11:18 pm

              https://opusthepoet.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/more-observations-on-hit-from-behind-and-the-feed/

              “hit-from-behind wrecks becoming statistically large in bicycle deaths, rising from 1 in 22 deaths from the 1970s through the 1990s (with very minor fluctuations) to 1 in 4 bicycle deaths in 2011.”

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              B. Carfree May 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm

              I believe getting hit from behind is more likely to result in a fatality, so a measurement counting just deaths it will yield a much higher number than when one includes injuries. I also suspect that many collisions that are actually right hooks get classified as hit from behind since the motorist was behind the cyclist just prior to half-passing and striking her. It’s not like most cops put a whole lot of effort into accurately determining what happened when a car hit a cyclist.

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                Dan A May 30, 2017 at 1:15 pm

                What I want to know is: what was the cyclist wearing when they run down from behind/the left?

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                GlenK May 30, 2017 at 7:43 pm

                It’s not that this particular maneuver increases the chance of a fatality, it’s just that they’re over-represented in rural bike crashes where motor vehs are likely to be traveling at higher (more fatal) speeds. By far, most cycling occurs in urban areas where the biggest threats are intersections and driveways (i.e. vehicles in front of you). At lower urban speeds they’re less likely to result in a fatality. Rural areas have fewer intersections, so a hit-from-behind crash is more likely – and like all rural crashes also more likely to kill you.

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                David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 7:48 pm

                Rapha?

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          OregonJelly June 1, 2017 at 6:58 pm

          Those clearly fall into the third group.

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            9watts June 1, 2017 at 8:30 pm

            Hello.Kitty included asshole/passive aggressive in the third group; I think of distracted as quite different, though of course also problematic. But the classification we’re discussing here wasn’t constructed around danger but mindset or attitude of the driver.

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        Eric Leifsdad May 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm

        I think the perception of your width / judging their closing speed is also part of it. c.f. the pool noodle — if the back of your bike is as wide as your elbow, most drivers will give more space at your elbow.

        I agree with you about the types of drivers, but it’s easier to tell which is which if you have a pool noodle hanging off the back of your bike.

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      wsbob May 30, 2017 at 11:10 am

      I haven’t read the hi-vis story, but my basic understanding of the purpose of vulnerable road users such as people walking, biking, etc, or working on the road, using hi-vis, is to aid other road users, particularly people driving, in more readily seeing vulnerable road users. It would be nice if use of hi-vis automatically brought people driving, to allow greater passing distance of vulnerable road users, but just having them more readily visible, is a benefit, I think.

      Most certainly, there probably are people driving that deliberately drive close to vulnerable road users to scare and intimidate them. That’s a bad thing for people driving to allow themselves to descend to. Actually, it’s a crime, if the grounds can be found to prove what they’ve done was deliberate.

      That some people driving do this kind of thing though, would I think, be a bad reason for vulnerable road users to decide not to use hi-vis gear in road conditions where use of such gear could possibly help people driving to see them more readily, enabling people driving, with better opportunities to avoid close proximity or contact with vulnerable road users.

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        9watts May 30, 2017 at 11:20 am

        “That some people driving do this kind of thing though, would I think, be a bad reason for vulnerable road users to decide not to use hi-vis gear in road conditions where use of such gear could possibly help people driving to see them more readily, enabling people driving, with better opportunities to avoid close proximity or contact with vulnerable road users.”

        = exasperating.

        “I haven’t read the hi-vis story”

        Maybe you should. You read the story in Dec 2013 which was either the same study or at least came to the exact same conclusions which your comment above fails to account for – it makes no measurable difference.

        Your fondness for hi-viz—facts be damned—is clouding your judgment here.

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          wsbob May 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm

          watts…to say, as you’ve chosen to, that I have a “…fondness…” for hi-vis gear, is not accurate.

          From a fashion or style perspective, I don’t particularly like the stuff, but I do acknowledge its potential for effectiveness in helping other people using the road, particularly those driving, to see more readily, people that are vulnerable road users.

          This element of potentially safer road use, as they are equipped with some forms of hi-vis gear…which could by the way, also includes lights such as flashlights and blinkies… is the primary factor I hope people will consider in deciding what gear to equip themselves with as they set out on the road to walk, bike, skateboard, and so on. Not so much, on the other hand, some study someone has decided to conduct, finding out that passing distances aren’t increased much when people as vulnerable road users, are equipped with hi-vis gear.

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            David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 7:51 pm

            I confess I’m also fond of hi-viz clothing, but I will say it makes drivers more bold in passing even closer to me than when I’m wearing “normal” clothing.

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              wsbob May 30, 2017 at 9:29 pm

              hey david…did you mean to say you ‘are’ fond of hi-vis? Or that you’re ‘not’ fond of high vis. Just curious.

              I’ve not had to ride at night, so that’s one factor in my decision what to wear for visibility while riding. I’ve got good lights front and back for visibility, plus a messenger bag I had customized with the entire flap area covered with high vis tape. In front of lights directed at it, the bag shines like a beacon.

              Hi-vis orange and green don’t go well with my style sense, but I’ve got an orange top set that’s slightly less bright a shade than the true hi-vis orange. I wear that quite a lot on dark overcast days. I actually like the hi-vis green color, but it makes my skin look kind of sickly, so with that color, I also prefer a shade that’s a slight variation in shade and brightness from the brightest of hi-vis green. I do like white, and wear that a lot in spring, summer, fall.

              Some people do pass close to me when I’m riding, but I couldn’t say reliably that they pass closer to me due to the lighter brighter colors I’m wearing, than if I was wearing darker, more subdued colors and tones. As long as they can see me to avoid colliding with me, I’m not so concerned that the occasional person driving might come closer than usual to me because of the hi-vis gear I was wearing.

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                David Hampsten May 31, 2017 at 11:53 am

                I sincerely enjoy wearing my hi-viz orange jacket, a “waterproof” garment made by a Florida fire-fighting equipment company (http://mlkishigo.com/). That said, I have noticed that nighttime drivers will try to pass me closer than when I’m wearing just a t-shirt and shorts – in both cases I have bright front and rear lights on my helmet. In some cases they treat me like a traffic cone, something to be barely dodged within inches, rather than the 4 feet required by law here in North Carolina. I noticed the same behavior when I lived in Portland.

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    David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Bike Share – We’ll be having a LimeBike launch on this Thursday at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). I’d send you a web link, but I can’t find one, just an email:

    UNCG is excited to announce the first dockless bike share program on the East Coast is launching on campus Thursday, June 1st! Celebration begins at 10am at Walker Circle behind the library tower. LimeBike CEO Toby Sun will be on site to share his vision for the program, followed by demonstrations, free rides, Q&A, and complimentary snacks. Parking in Walker Deck will be complimentary.

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      Racer X May 30, 2017 at 11:25 am

      David – let us know how “robust” and intuitive the bikes are after the first week and the glow of the ribbon cutting has faded…

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        David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 7:52 pm

        I’ll certainly do my best, but school’s out and the main group of users won’t be back until late August.

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      Ray Atkinson May 30, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks for sharing, David. Since UNCG wrote, “UNCG is excited to announce the first dockless bike share program on the East Coast “, it must not be aware that the Universty of Virginia already has a dockless bike share program (http://ubike.virginia.edu/). I’m not sure whether the University of Virginia has the first dockless bike share program on the East Coast, but UNCG definitely isn’t first.

      Since I was born and raised in NC and graduated from UNCC, I’m excited to see UNCG launching a bike share program. My twin sister graduated from UNCG and I participated in the statewide geography bee at UNCG every year during undergrad, so I’ve visited UNCG several times. I look forward to visiting UNCG again soon to check out the new bike share program. I currently work as the Capital Bikeshare Planner (consultant) for Arlington County, VA and Montgomery County, MD, so bike share fascinates me.

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        David Hampsten May 31, 2017 at 11:55 am

        They probably meant the first Limebike bike share program, but university administrators being who they are…

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    9watts May 30, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I have to say I’m not sure I understand this statement –
    “I’d estimate that Autopilot classified ~30% of other cars, and 1% of bicyclists. Not being able to classify objects doesn’t mean the tesla doesn’t see that something is there, but given the lives at stake, we recommend that people NEVER USE TESLA AUTOPILOT AROUND BICYCLISTS!”

    Is this saying that of the 100 bikes the people in the autonomous Tesla passed the screen interface indicated that it only properly identified one of them and either missed or mis-classified the other 99?
    And the same for 70% of the cars on the road?

    I think I need to understand more about what this ‘classification’ means in practice.

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      Chris I May 30, 2017 at 10:51 am

      That’s how I interpreted that statement. It is not surprising. This system is not designed for anything other than Interstate driving.

      I love the idea of autonomous vehicles, but they have become the latest excuse people use when opposing transit and bike improvements. These folks act like it will just be a few years before everyone has one of these vehicles. In reality, we are probably 30 years away from a reality where 100% of the vehicles on the road are autonomous.

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    wsbob May 30, 2017 at 10:52 am

    maus…thanks for the thoughts expressed about the tragic occurrence on the light rail last Friday. Figuring out what to do to prevent more of that kind of thing happening, is a major challenge. More and more people seem either to be simply losing their mind, or are willing to dispense with or compromise their ethics and values to personally justify doing horrifically terrible things.

    A little quibble about what you wrote in the roundup today: “…Questioning car use: A car was used as a deadly weapon in the recent Times Square driving rampage, a fact that has sparked a much-needed debate about the unfettered access we grant auto users in our cities. …” maus/bikeportland

    I hope it’s not passed, but there was a day on bikeportland, when great emphasis was placed on not inadvertently or deliberately using words or phrases that generally dehumanizes people using the roads. So when phrases like “…auto users…”, are used by the owner-editor of the weblog himself, that seems to kind of go counter to the whole idea that should be emphasized, that people using motor vehicles for travel, whether they’re driving or riding, actually are people, and not the occasional monster that decides to use their motor vehicle for weapon.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

      hi wsbob,

      thanks for the comment. To your note about my use of “auto users”… In this context I think it’s fine. Note that I’m merely stating a fact about people who use autos… that they have relatively unfettered access to our city streets. In a different context — like where I was assigning a behavior, I would write “some auto users” in order to not make it a blanket generalization. And FWIW I think “auto users” and “bicycle users” is much better than “bicyclist” or “motorist” because it is more of an action-oriented phrase and less of a label.

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        wsbob May 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

        ok…I think it can be exasperatingly difficult, and restrictive to absolutely avoid using words and phrases to refer to people using the road without including the word ‘people’ in the reference.

        At the same time though, I think not rather consistently avoiding such referential words and phrases, tends to be a slippery slope for some people looking for any opportunity to repeatedly refer in demeaning ways towards people they don’t like.

        This what seems to be a growing trend, of people using motor vehicles to do terrible things: they’re not simply or accurately ‘auto users’. In such a context, if a phrase something like that is to be used, such people might more aptly described as ‘auto mis-users’. It’s misuse of motor vehicles that has some people deliberately or carelessly driving dangerously close to or into other people, with the intent to scare, hurt or kill them, regardless of what the other people are doing at the time.

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        El Biciclero June 2, 2017 at 5:52 pm

        What I wish is that there were some temporal connotation to the “users” designation. Along the lines of, e.g., “..unfettered access we grant people when they are driving cars”. Otherwise, I think it is entirely appropriate to just say “…unfettered access we allow cars“, since “access” is not an action taken by an implied impersonal machine. To use a non-temporal phrase suggests that “auto users” use autos all the time, to the exclusion of all other modes; same for “bicyclist” and “bicycle user”. We should find a way to foster the notion that people are “multi-mode users”, but have different amounts of power and privilege at different times, depending on which mode they are using at those times.

        I have a harder time finding safe routes when I’m riding my bike, but I can go pretty much anywhere I want when I drive my car. Which am I, an “auto user”, or a “bicycle user”?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 2, 2017 at 6:27 pm

          You are, of course either, or neither, depending on your choice at a particular moment in time. This is why the using the concept of “privilege” as used in this context is troubling to me. I’ve come to understand the term as something innate that a person has or does not have in reference to a particular culture, not something someone can choose and change from moment to moment.

          Maybe my thinking on this matter is still too limited; or maybe I still misunderstand. If “privilege” is something people can choose to have or discard at any moment, what does it really mean? And further, it strikes me as ironic that some parts of society see cycling as a symbol of the very privilege and power that we, as cyclists, supposedly don’t have.

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            9watts June 2, 2017 at 7:18 pm

            I learned today (on KBOO) that privilege is not power but something bestowed on certain people by those in power. I found that helpful.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty June 2, 2017 at 9:26 pm

              That suggests that it can be revoked at any time, and that if we are in a position of power that we can bestow it on others. Does that sound right? That also suggests that privilege is relative to different individuals; for example person A could bestow while person B does not. That’s a different way of looking at it.

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                9watts June 3, 2017 at 7:45 am

                More or less. I also think, though, that this was meant in the context of groups more than individuals. In other words our power structure confers privilege on whites/white males in particular. So even unpowerful whites enjoy certain privileges that are not automatically granted those who aren’t white (for example).

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                Dan A June 4, 2017 at 12:01 pm

                Privilege can be innate or acquired. Ivanka Trump was born with privilege. Buy a car entitles you to numerous privileges that are unavailable otherwise.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 4, 2017 at 10:02 pm

                That’s the old, traditional meaning of privilege: all the advantages that money and power and connections can provide.

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            El Biciclero June 4, 2017 at 10:33 am

            Not trying to “appropriate” current cultural terms. When I said “power” I kind of meant literal watts or horsepower, as in that which I have when driving my car. That kind of literal power also gives me more power to intimidate. By privilege, I meant something along the lines of having access to all roadways without fear of such intimidation, and also the murky notion of who is considered a more “legitimate” user of those roadways, especially if it ever comes down to a driver-said, bicyclist-said “incident”.

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      Middle of the Road Guy May 30, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Thank you – I’ve noticed the same thing. Terms like Social Justice Warrior are routinely censored, but “cagers” and “cars are deadly weapons/death machines” are not.

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 30, 2017 at 11:07 am

        Here’s the thing: When it comes to my own use of words and how I moderate comments — there are no set rules. It’s a very nuanced thing and requires judgment and discretion that doesn’t lend itself to a concise explanation.

        As always, if you come across a specific situation that should be moderated, please send me the link and I will take a look at it.

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        B. Carfree May 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm

        But since people using cars are indeed killing 40,000 Americans per year by impact and another 50,000 per year by toxic emissions while injuring a few million more, cars very much are death machines.

        While it is true that only some of those deaths are due to actual criminal intent, most of the rest are clearly the result of some sort of indifference to life that is not normal; good people are driving in deadly ways so it shouldn’t be considered rude to blame the machine they are operating for this aberrant behavior.

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          chris May 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm

          actually, you should watch Cowspiracy. fossil fuels are a drop in the bucket compared to what the animal husbandry industry dumps into our climate every day. more greenhouse gasses than planes, trains, & automobiles combined, not only more produced, but methane is way more toxic than co2. not no mention the millions of tons of feces produced and all the water wasted, 650 gallons of water for 1 hamburger.

          but no one wants to talk about that, even though it is a lot easier for most people to eat different food than give up your car and bike everywhere.

          shouldn’t we also be calling hamburgers and hot dogs death machines?

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            Dan A May 31, 2017 at 6:48 am

            Those are death meats.

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      Spiffy May 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      is it really unfair to dehumanize people that are doing something that dehumanizes people?

      “auto users” isn’t far from “people who use autos” and seems more of a shortcut rather than a different dehumanizing term such as “drivers”…

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    9watts May 30, 2017 at 10:53 am

    The conclusion to the hi-viz story:

    “The researchers suggest that improvements to infrastructure are a more effective means of improving rider safety than changing clothing habits.”

    I found that interesting. No acknowledgement that the responsibility might lie with those in cars to actually pay attention! Give them a wide berth already.

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      Middle of the Road Guy May 30, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Dumb people will always find a way to obviate infrastructure safety measures. You just can’t out-engineer human stupidity/irresponsibility.

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        Chris I May 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        Yes, but they will do so less often, which is kind of the idea behind separated infrastructure. Do morons still find a way to drive down jersey barrier bikeways? Yes.

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        9watts May 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        But what about Vision Zero? It seems like Sweden is moving (quite expeditiously) down a path that is accomplishing exactly that? The fact that they still have some fatalities and serious injuries doesn’t in my mind rule out the possibility that they (we) could make inroads in this problem.

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    Allan Rudwick May 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

    re: parking -> play spaces — I have heard from multiple people recently about bars in Madison, WI dumping sand on their parking lots for the summer to host outdoor volleyball leagues. This seems like it would be fun here

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    Eric U. May 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I wouldn’t expect different driver behavior due to high-vis. I wear high vis so they can see me. I know it works for me.

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      9watts May 30, 2017 at 11:08 am

      “I wear high vis so they can see me. I know it works for me.”

      That is a little confusing. We do know that people wearing high viz have been hit and killed, or run over but not killed. I can think of three specific cases we’ve read about here over the past few years. Ellen Dittebrand, father and child in bike trailer stopped at light on 60th by Mt. Tabor, and Chris.teen Os.born.

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        Dan A May 30, 2017 at 6:39 pm

        Also Kirke Johnson, riding a bright yellow wrapped recumbent and right-hooked by a FedEx driver.

        “He was concerned about being seen,” Heather Johnson said. “He had a custom paint job and reflectors all over. He was pretty obnoxiously visible.”

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm

          People who drive defensively still get T-boned. All you can do is better your odds.

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      Dan A May 30, 2017 at 11:09 am

      How do you know?

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      BB May 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      I have some elephant repellent to sell you.

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    9watts May 30, 2017 at 11:06 am
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    Spiffy May 30, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Cargo bike attention: “keep an eye out for anything bigger or faster than you and it feels remarkably safe.” just like a car!

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      John Lascurettes May 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      ugh!

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. May 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Which when you’re hauling a fully loaded cargo bike is literally everyone else – runners included!

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    Kyle Banerjee May 30, 2017 at 11:38 am

    What’s supposed to be the point of the hi viz article — that people shouldn’t bother to dress brightly because it has no impact on safety?

    The purpose of bright clothing is to help people recognize and avoid the cyclist. Once the cyclist is spotted, there’s no particular reason to believe you’d get more space (which is maybe why adding POLICE only got an extra 2″)

    Also, data from a few years ago collected in 2 UK cities in a controlled test may yield ideas that can be applied elsewhere, but it is not a description of what’s actually happening in other environments. If you don’t believe that, try cycling in different places. I guarantee the experience varies widely.

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      B. Carfree May 30, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Very true about different locales having utterly different cycling experiences. Sometimes it can be a distance of just a few blocks, but that’s a whole different matter.

      Having moved around a bit and returned to places where I had cycled previously, there are also noticeable differences that happen over time, with or without infrastructure changes.

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    bikeninja May 30, 2017 at 11:52 am

    The AV article was excellent. Having spent much of my career installing, operating and maintaining robotic metal fabricating equipment I can attest that the devil is in the details. Pundits always tout the amazing advances in A.I. or self learning software but the perfection, integration and maintenance of the sensors is more critical and will take years of grinding trial and error to develop to the point where level 4 or 5 is possible. I feel that our petroleum fueled, human driven, automobile based transportation system will be in drastic systematic decline from resource depletion, pollution, congestion and economics long before self driving cars come to the rescue.

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    Ted Buehler May 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    “That is, unless your hi-viz jacket has “POLICE” emblazoned on it.”

    It would probably also work if your hi viz jacket had “POLITE” on it. (Hat tip Gavin Davidson).

    Ted Buehler

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      Kyle Banerjee May 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      The study looked at that exact issue. Changing that one letter had a larger impact on changing clothing than any other factor — it increased the incidence of passing within 100cm from 24.3% to 43.1%. The study also speculates on what can be derived about what motorists see and think from that.

      For all the noise people are making about passing distances, it’s important to keep in perspective that we’re talking a couple inches — i.e. you’d need the measuring equipment to know the difference.

      It’s a real mistake to conclude that because changing your clothing doesn’t affect passing distances in a limited study that it’s unimportant to be visible. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that the vast majority of people who believe that have a lot of trouble with cars.

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        9watts May 30, 2017 at 12:36 pm

        “It’s a real mistake to conclude that because changing your clothing doesn’t affect passing distances in a limited study that it’s unimportant to be visible. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that the vast majority of people who believe that have a lot of trouble with cars.”

        The argument here going back years has rarely been that it is ‘not important to be visible’ in a practical sense, but ‘who bears the responsibility’ for not hitting those who are—or are not—especially visible. By endlessly focusing in this all-too-predictable manner on clothing we reify the all-too-prevalent idea that people in cars have already covered their bases when it comes to safety, to not running over people, or, by extension that if he was not wearing high-viz that of course I couldn’t see him…..

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm

          It’s kind of like hunting. It is a basic duty of hunters not to shoot one another, yet it is very dangerous to creep around the forest in cammo during hunting season. It doesn’t change where responsibility lies, but everyone recognizes that all parties have some basic responsibility to help keep everyone safe.

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            9watts May 30, 2017 at 1:45 pm

            “It’s kind of like hunting. It is a basic duty of hunters not to shoot one another, yet it is very dangerous to creep around the forest in cammo during hunting season.”

            But it isn’t like hunting at all. Where are the asymmetrical risks we know to inhere to traffic (bike & car) in your analogy? The people biking certainly don’t have guns, or are they the deer in your example?

            “It doesn’t change where responsibility lies, but everyone recognizes that all parties have some basic responsibility to help keep everyone safe.”

            If everyone recognizes this then why do we always and only hear admonitions that one (minority) must don special garb so as to ‘not get killed’?

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 2:01 pm

              I think the difference between shooting and being shot is pretty asymmetrical. Not everyone in the forest carries a gun, and it’s not like they’d fire back if they had one.

              As for admonitions, why don’t we run ads telling people not to crash into bridge pilings, or not to ram parked cars? Some things are pretty obvious. Not running over cyclists that you can see falls into that category.

              The huge vast majority of drivers has a strong motivation not to kill someone else.

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                Chris I May 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm

                Yet here we are, with 40,000+ killed every year. If every cyclist wore bright yellow high viz at all times, we would still have about 40,000 road deaths every year.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm

                As you so succinctly point out, driving mostly pose a threat to themselves and to other drivers. We could build all the protected bike lanes we want, and there will still be about 40,000 traffic deaths a year. Why should we bother?

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                Spiffy May 30, 2017 at 4:01 pm

                “The huge vast majority of drivers has a strong motivation not to kill someone else.”

                I think you meant “people” and not “drivers”… once you give somebody a weapon with little consequence for its use then people get a lot more aggressive and willing to do harm…

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 4:20 pm

                Yes, people who drive. Most people don’t discard their humanity when they change transportation mode. Show me a person who injures another and doesn’t suffer, and I’ll show you a psychopath.

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                9watts May 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

                “As traffic, weather, and lighting changes, adjustments need to be made to remain visible. ”

                Yes, but by whom is the question.
                I’m not saying (never have here in these comments going back years) that wearing high viz isn’t prudent, but how do you account for all those other road users who do not or cannot wear high viz? (kids, blind people, deer, boulders, trees) Surely those within the auto are going to have to pay enough attention, throttle their speed so as to be able to spot these, right?

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                Kyle Banerjee May 31, 2017 at 5:59 am

                Absolutely. That stuff and more is what driving is all about, and it is everywhere and can be encountered at any time.

                All the more reason to use our ability to be easy to spot out so more attention is available for other things.

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                9watts May 31, 2017 at 6:17 am

                “All the more reason to use our ability to be easy to spot out so more attention is available for other things.”

                That is an endearingly pragmatic take.
                You are aware, I assume, of the very real possibilities that this works out very differently?

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                Kyle Banerjee May 31, 2017 at 9:21 am

                If dressing visibly is unimportant and we should just focus on driver education, why do people cheer on crosswalk or bike lane markings here? After all, cars are required by law to treat all intersections as crosswalks and give adequate clearance to bikes.

                As Adam is fond of pointing out, “paint is not protection.” However, it gives us something that’s possibly more valuable — it encourages predictable behavior in motorists and cyclists alike that makes us all safer wherever we are rather than in a few select zones.

                Being visible is similar in that it makes it easier for cyclist and motorist alike by reducing the number of threats that need to be monitored in a given moment. That guarantees nothing but it still translates into more options and more response time.

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                9watts May 31, 2017 at 11:10 am

                “why do people cheer on crosswalk […] markings here? After all, cars are required by law to treat all intersections as crosswalks[…].”

                You’re right. I am not a fan of crosswalk paint for exactly that reason. It would seem to reify the belief that crosswalks without paint are different, offer less protection.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 11:16 am

                I cheer painted crosswalks. Unpainted crosswalks do offer less protection.

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                9watts May 31, 2017 at 11:18 am

                “Unpainted crosswalks do offer less protection.”

                Can you elaborate?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 11:22 am

                Sure. People are less likely to stop. Paint may not change the obligation, but it is a visible reminder. And it works.

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              Kyle Banerjee May 30, 2017 at 2:07 pm

              It’s because you only hear what you want to hear.

              Most people drive reasonably well and the vast majority do their best to avoid cyclists, including those not dressed to be visible and/or operating unsafely. That a few lоudmоuths spew out anti cycling nоnsеnse doesn’t change this.

              Being visible and clearly communicating intent is a basic responsibility on the road. That’s why cars have taillights, turn signals, and headlights are required in many states to be on whenever the windshield wipers are on. In OR, they’re required to be on when clear visibility is less than 1000′ for any reason.

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                9watts May 30, 2017 at 2:18 pm

                You have it backwards. It is the law (unenforced though it may be) to watch for and not to run into or over others, to drive at a speed that is appropriate to the conditions, etc. It is not the law to dress up in funny clothing.

                And yet….

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                Kyle Banerjee May 30, 2017 at 3:23 pm

                Curiously, slow moving vehicles are required to have clear markings to help drivers identify them. Cars and trucks are both required to be clearly visible.

                If you consider yourself a road user, you might consider operating like one. Or least don’t look for holes in a system of laws written largely by people with no legal expertise.

                Just because something’s legal doesn’t mean it’s not a really bad idea.

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                9watts May 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm

                “don’t look for holes”

                Are you addressing my comment?

                I’m not looking for holes; I’m pointing out that the focus on extra-legal clothing requirements should be viewed alongside all the requirements on those piloting automobiles which though they are legally required are not by and large enforced or taken seriously. No, instead we find that focusing on what pedestrians ‘make eye contact’ and cyclists ‘wear day-glo’ should do, which though prudent take attention away from the actual problems, which as Vision Zero is so good at emphasizing, have nothing whatsoever to do with vulnerable road user behavior.

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                Kyle Banerjee May 30, 2017 at 4:09 pm

                There are no extralegal clothing requirements nor is it true that the legal requirements for operating vehicles aren’t taken seriously even if there are still major problems.

                You have some obligation to conduct yourself safely wherever you are. The first and most important rule on land, in the water, and in the air is to avoid collisions regardless of who is legally to blame.

                If you are a vulnerable road user, this means doing things like looking before stepping out in front of a car. Yes, the car should stop for you, but if 99.9% of them do it right and one of them makes a mistake in the moment for whatever reason, it could cost your life.

                Also, on the vulnerable road user thing, the vast majority of cyclists out here ride past pass a line of stopped cars at their normal riding speed in the bike lane. There is absolutely no way they can see or respond to a kid or other vulnerable road user crossing in front. So I’m sure a bunch of people should be casting stones.

                5 year old kids use a lot better sense as peds and as cyclists than an incredible percentage of adults.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 4:21 pm

                >>> The first and most important rule on land, in the water, and in the air is to avoid collisions regardless of who is legally to blame. <<<

                It's also the first rule of tunneling.

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                9watts May 30, 2017 at 4:35 pm

                I don’t take issue with (most of) that. But you’re not hearing what I’m saying.

                If (and high-viz is almost invariably in this category) we are talking about a public campaign, some form of transportational public service, the one-sided focus on high viz clothing is—because it is almost never symmetrically paired with admonitions to those in cars—lopsided and thus misplaced.

                The fact that high viz may bequeath little margin of safety in practice just adds insult to injury. I think we’ve established that it makes some in cars feel better, like we’re shouldering some responsibility, but if we peel back the layers I think the high viz thing is mostly a way to shift responsibility in the case of a collision. Not that the absence of high viz clothing is needed for that card to be played or to be accepted by the relevant authorities.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm

                Right. To keep things “even”, we need an ad campaign telling bus drivers to use their lights at night.

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                9watts May 30, 2017 at 5:28 pm

                With high-viz we’re in the realm of ‘suggestions’ not reminders of what the law already requires. So the symmetrical approach would probably focus on behaviors that are not codified into law.

                But given the disproportionate threat represented by those in autos (or buses) I don’t even think parity is that apropos. As we’ve noted many times if you were to (thought experiment) remove all cars from the road and everyone got around by their own power the carnage would evaporate. Not true if we were to put everyone who now walks and bikes into additional cars.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 5:33 pm

                I agree the concept of “parity” is nonsensical. I also agree that if we removed all the cars from the streets, the number of deaths associated with those cars would drop dramatically.

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                Kyle Banerjee May 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm

                9watts
                The fact that high viz may bequeath little margin of safety in practice just adds insult to injury. I think we’ve established that it makes some in cars feel better, like we’re shouldering some responsibility, but if we peel back the layers I think the high viz thing is mostly a way to shift responsibility in the case of a collision. Not that the absence of high viz clothing is needed for that card to be played or to be accepted by the relevant authorities.

                I’m not sure I agree.

                Cyclists need to be aware of how other road users perceive them and make a reasonable effort to be roughly as visible as one would expect a road user to be. For the type of riding most people do in broad daylight, regular clothes are totally reasonable. No lights, reflective gear, or special colors are necessary.

                As traffic, weather, and lighting changes, adjustments need to be made to remain visible. Being visible does not mean being as bright as possible (which doesn’t necessarily help and can even be detrimental). Rather, it just means that you’re obvious enough to others.

                As far as the admonitions being lopsided, that’s a reasonable argument. Keep in mind though, that driver training reminds people of that sort of thing while it’s rare for someone being trained to be a cyclist or a ped. But drivers should keep a vigilant eye out for the unexpected like a kid darting out in the street.

                One thing I find weird here is I wear lights and reflective gear even to walk at night — I never did that in my life before I moved here but I was getting too many close calls. Ironically, I do it mostly to make myself visible to cyclists. I find cars much easier to make out and avoid.

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                9watts May 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm
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    Ted Buehler May 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    On the high-viz clothing, it might reduce passing space granted by people in cars.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-helmets-attract-cars-to-cyclists/

    As per the oft-cited 2006 study, you’ll get more passing space if you wear long hair than a helmet. Probably the same for high-viz clothing.

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      B. Carfree May 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      My two favorite “joy ride” bikes are an old touring bike and the tandem my wife and I ride. I ride stoker, so overtaking motorists’ first view is the same (my backside). However, in spite of similar speeds, lane positions, rear light, time of day and road selection, we are given much more space on the tandem than I am afforded on my half-bike. My wife tells me that we also get more space on the tandem than she gets on her half-bike.

      I’m not sure how motorists make their decisions with regard to passing distance, but there is seems to be something going on that gives oddities more space. Twenty-five years ago, my town bike was an early version of a tall bike (we called it an upside-down bike, because it was made by flipping the forks and then welding on some extensions for stem and seat). No car ever came within eight feet of me when I was up on that thing.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 1:43 pm

        Is a “half bike” like a unicycle?

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          B. Carfree May 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

          People who ride tandems often jokingly use this term to refer to bikes that only have one saddle, handlebars and set of cranks. It makes me chuckle, so I use it sometimes.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 2:48 pm

            Unicycles make me chuckle too, so I understand!

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              Dan A May 30, 2017 at 6:45 pm

              Do you mean “quarter bike”?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 6:55 pm

                Especially as ridden by the QuarterPiper.

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                Alan 1.0 May 30, 2017 at 6:57 pm

                And his nickel paradigm.

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        bikeninja May 30, 2017 at 2:40 pm

        I agree about riding a tandem. When my wife and I are riding our tandem we not only get much greater passing clearance than I get on my “one person” bike, but motorists will stop and let us cross on even the busiest streets.

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        Pete May 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm

        “…there is seems to be something going on that gives oddities more space.”

        I wonder if people who ride these things have an online forum where they debate what to wear in order to convince motorists to give them more space while passing.

        http://www.elliptigo.com

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. May 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Glad to see bike share potentially coming back to Seattle. I was up there this past weekend and brought my bike, and one thing that’s impossible not to notice are the crazy hills. I think an e-bike share would do very well up there!

    The infrastructure there mostly relies on two-way cycleways through major urban centers, and waterfront multi-use paths. The cycleways were well-designed for what they were (though two-ways are generally a poor choice when there potential conflicts), and it was really nice to actually be able to ride up to the front door of bars and restaurants! The paths were also really nice to ride as a tourist, but not the most direct routes for commuting. However, outside the good bike lanes, Seattle is terrible for riding. Portland at least has half-assed greenways to fall back on – Seattle has nothing. Most streets there are five lanes wide and I found myself riding on the sidewalk a lot. Portland definitely wins in sheer bike-friendliness even though Seattle builds better protected infrastructure.

    I also barely saw anyone riding up there (aside from the major bike I-5 event on Sunday) – even in the high-quality cycle lanes. I saw more people in my 20 minute ride home from the train station in Portland than I saw riding the protected bike lanes in Seattle all weekend! I think Seattle should seriously consider making their bike share fleet all e-bike, as I imaging that many people are scared away by the hills.

    And in case you were wondering, yes I did blatantly flout Seattle’s ridiculous helmet law. 😉

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      B. Carfree May 30, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      “Portland definitely wins in sheer bike-friendliness even though Seattle builds better protected infrastructure.” – Adam H.

      I just want to sit and enjoy this statement. Ahhhh. I adore the fact that you are now openly acknowledging that there is more to bike-friendliness than separate infrastructure builds.

      We two may yet find that magical middle-ground of full agreement, hopefully before it all becomes moot because of a sea-level rise that has submerged half our cities.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        The protected facilities in downtown Seattle are terrible. Terrible! They are so slow to ride on; you need to stop every block or two for a red light, traveling in either direction. Give me a wide-open downtown Portland street any day!

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          Kyle Banerjee May 30, 2017 at 4:11 pm

          Except for those are also incredibly slow even when traffic is light…

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          David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 8:07 pm

          The protected bike lane down the center of Pennsylvanian Avenue in Washington DC is the same way – you have to ride no more than 8 mph to make every green light. Any faster and you get a red every time, and DC drivers are so super aggressive at making left-hooks over the bike lane that you don’t dare go through a red light.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. May 31, 2017 at 1:41 am

        For me, it’s the higher number of people riding here that makes it feel safer. Imagine, however, how much better it would be with a few Seattle-style protected bike lanes, though!

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 8:20 am

          It would not be better if we had to stop every block or two and wait for a red light.

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      BB May 31, 2017 at 9:25 am

      If you were riding on five lane roads it sounds like you were doing it wrong. There are plenty of good back roads and greenways to ride. Also if you find the separated facilities too slow there is no sidepath law – you can ride wherever you want.

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    J. Parnaby May 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I have a Tesla and find auto-pilot and other automatic functions to be completely unreliable in every conceivable way. The car has failed to lock itself so many times I gave up on that, and now either check my iPhone app obsessively to see if it’s locked or just lock it via the fob. As for auto-pilot? Auto-pilot is largely designed for highway use. But it’s important to note that in many circumstances it is available during city driving (the presence of a steering wheel icon on the dash lets you know you can engage it). I rarely drive on highways, so most of the times I’ve tried auto-pilot have been in inner PDX, and it’s pretty awful. It’s typical behavior is to a) shut itself off for non-transparent reasons, or b) to get confused by one lane splitting to two or two lanes converging to one. When it gets confused and it senses you over-riding it, it also shuts off.

    Bottom line is that this grad student’s findings are not at all surprising to me. Teslas are light years ahead of other cars in technology, but most of that technology is still unrealized potential rather than actual, predictable, useful features.

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      Pete May 30, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Ha. I remember the first new car I bought; it had power door locks, and I thought “oh crap, one more thing to break.” I was right (along with the ABS). I dread the day when all cars have wireless fobs and ‘start’ buttons (frankly they don’t fare so well tucked into wetsuit pockets when I’m surfing and kitesurfing).

      Designers often fall into the trap of technology for technology’s sake.

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        David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 8:09 pm

        When I lived in East Portland, thieves would regularly hack into electronically locked cars, stealing anything of value. Only old cars were safe from break-ins.

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    Mike Sanders May 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Dan Savage’s piece is worth a read. Willamette Week’s piece on possible MAX and streetcar expansions drew a robust discussion on Facebook when WW posted a link to the article. Conservatives said that driverless cars will make MAX obsolete in 20 years, suggesting that a buses only policy with no bus only lanes must be considered to be the only option left. I pointed out that stopping MAX now would be an irrational decision that we might end up regretting 10 or 20 years from now. One even suggested that when driverless cars take hold, we’ll be REMOVING MAX lines and turning them into linear housing corridors. How illogical is that?

    A bigger problem might be funding. Trump reportedly will kill the Tiger Grant program, widely used to build ped/bike trails, including some sections of the US Bike Route system. He wants to concentrate on freeways…he clearly has a 1960s mindset when it comes to public transit. He wants trails to be built with local money from state and local governments and corporate funding (I,e. Have Nike put up money to get rail and trail projects done around here). Imagine the signs on a trail that might read, “This trail was made possible thru funding provided by Nike,” instead of one signed as funded by a Metro bond measure.

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      Dan A May 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      I doubt that will ever happen. If Nike wanted to fund a bike trail, they’d surely have done it by now.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. May 31, 2017 at 1:44 am

        You mean, other than the one Nike built though the woods connecting the MAX station with their main campus?

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          Dan A May 31, 2017 at 7:08 am

          Ah, yes, the 1/3 of a mile trail that connects directly to their campus. I don’t really see that being used by the public, especially after they close it to the public.

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      Alan 1.0 May 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      One even suggested that when driverless cars take hold, we’ll be REMOVING MAX lines and turning them into linear housing corridors.

      And how about all the petroleum and electricity produced by those SDCs? How will we ever even begin to store all of that? /s

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      David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Cutting TIGER grant funding will probably have no impact on Portland, as they haven’t gotten one in years (they apply whenever they can.) The importance of Federal transportation funding has been falling for decades relative to local funding, especially in urban areas, but rural areas will probably be hit harder.

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        Chris I May 31, 2017 at 7:33 am

        Just remember that every time you ride on SW Moody.

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          David Hampsten May 31, 2017 at 11:58 am

          I think it was Trimet that got the grant, not PBOT, and moreover most of Moody was paid for with a local SDC funding source, not that it matters much.

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    Paul May 30, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    The Savage article is fantastic; thanks.

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    B. Carfree May 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    The article by Dan Savage should be required reading for every planning department employee, every transportation department employee and every elected official. Heck, it should be the starting point for a debate between all candidates for elected office from now until about forever.

    I particularly loved his rendition of what a conversation between a suburban commuter and an elected official in a city with functional public transit would be, as well as his suggestion that his own neighborhood be densified.

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      dan May 30, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Aesthetically I would hate for my neighborhood to be densified…but if I could throw an 4-plex on my lot, quit working and live off the rent? Yeah, I guess I could live with that.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 3:18 pm

        Property owners have the most to gain from adding density. It really is more pro-owner and pro-builder than anything. It’s too bad the only way to capitalize on that potential is to destroy your home. Maybe that’s why villages in the Appalachians support coal mining despite the destruction it brings to their front door.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

        I should add that if density is added slowly and organically, it can be done in a way that improves the aesthetics and quality of life. What we’re seeing now is not the only way it can be done.

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          9watts May 30, 2017 at 3:46 pm

          Thanks for adding that qualifier. Your prior comment was a bit too economistic for my tastes. As a homeowner who has no plans of ever selling but who sees his property taxes continually climb, and who has plenty of other values that have nothing to do with this sort of first order economic effect I think it is not at all clear that density per se is of benefit to me as a homeowner. I may like aspects of it or I may not or both.

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            David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm

            If you should ever want to sell or whoever inherits your home wants to sell, “density by right” hugely increases property values and the selling price paid by buyers. However, there are places even in Portland that should never have increasing density, such as near wetlands (along outer Powell) and places that will liquefy in an earthquake (Pearl).

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    • John Liu
      John Liu May 30, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      More density does not equal more affordable housing.

      There’s about a hundred new apartment complexes in Portland that prove this.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 5:35 pm

        It can actually mean less if the new development displaces existing affordable housing, as is often (but not always) the case.

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        David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 8:31 pm

        More new apartments also doesn’t necessarily equal a greater density of people, just more space to put them. The Glenfair neighborhood, 5th densest in Portland by person/area, has had very little new construction, but rather more people squeezed into existing units, often illegally. It also the poorest neighborhood in the city, next to Gresham on the Blue Line of the MAX. Meanwhile the Pearl get more units, but the population density (of people, not households) has stabilized.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 9:56 pm

          Some cultural groups prefer multigenerational households. Our new construction rarely permits that due to the monoculture of studios and one BR units.

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            David Hampsten May 31, 2017 at 12:05 pm

            So true. Culture and our timid city planners and developers also play a part. Several outer suburbs of Vancouver BC and Toronto have 39-story 2-3 bedroom apartment blocks near subway and Skytrain stations, with shopping and primary schools within easy walking distance. Such buildings would be quite appropriate in many parts of Portland, especially Gateway and Lents, but I rather doubt we’ll see such in our lifetimes.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 4:50 pm

              It’s almost as if our housing policies are anti-family, in effect if not in intent.

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    Dave May 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Living in Vantucky, Dan Savage’s public affairs columns are a heart-bracing blast of encouragement; I read them regularly. He’s the only political columnist in the Northwest who talks about certain politicians and ideas in the language they deserve and is always funny and truthful.

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    was carless May 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Tragedy. So sad for what transpired on Friday. But I refuse to allow terrorists or nutjobs to dictate how I live my life in this country.

    Sorry I don’t have much more to say, keeping it short as I’m at work.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty May 30, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      That pretty much sums it up for me as well.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. May 31, 2017 at 1:48 am

        Funny how you denounce racist murderers while still supporting racist housing practices. Portland liberalism at its finest.

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          Chris I May 31, 2017 at 7:36 am

          I mean, racism is bad, but who wants their neighborhood to change? I bought this house expecting that everything in my neighborhood would stay exactly the same, forever!

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 8:16 am

          I absolutely oppose racist housing policies. I really don’t know where you come up with this stuff.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 8:39 am

            I’ll also add that using unfounded claims of racism to win points in an argument trivializes real issues of racial bias.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. May 31, 2017 at 9:08 am

              Trivialize? Racism is literally baked into our economic and political system. It’s impossible to trivialize racism, it’s literally everywhere you look if you have the right lens.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 10:19 am

                You chose to move to one of the whitest cities in America. You are participating in a racist economic system, working in a very white industry (is there much racial or gender diversity in the company you toil for daily?) You deposit your salary in a racist banking system. You use that money to buy property in a very white neighborhood (surely all your neighbors are racists), on land stolen from others, edging out someone who could not afford what you could, and further entrenching the grip that the white middle class has on the real assets of this city. And you did it all with full awareness and your eyes open.

                I, on the other hand, can sleep with myself at night because when you call me racist and the worst of “Portland liberalism”, I know you have no idea what you are talking about.

                And what motivated that? You can’t think of a more substantial critique, and you could not let my support for an expression of sorrow stand unchallenged?

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                David Hampsten May 31, 2017 at 12:16 pm

                Once again you a both confusing “institutionalized racism” with other forms of racism – you’ve done it before on this blog and I’m sure you’ll do it again. You both seem to be entertained by it, your trivial bickering on various definitions of racism, while I’ll bet that neither of you are any more “racist” than anyone else responding to this blog. I find it odd that you can find something entertaining to do like this, over such a terrible incident.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. May 31, 2017 at 1:39 pm

                What happened this weekend was terrible but did not occur in a vacuum. It is a symptom of a broken system that is based on the continued exploitation of the most vulnerable and the disenfranchisement and encarceration of minority populations. Capitalism cannot exist without exploitation. Shutting others down who are complaining about racism makes you part of this exploitative system. Why are you defending racism?

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                David Hampsten May 31, 2017 at 2:06 pm

                You are a swell person, Adam H. I hope the rest of your day goes well.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 4:52 pm

                I don’t understand why anyone would choose to participate in a system they believed is fundamentally corrupt, exploitative, murderous, and broken, contributing every day to injustice and class betrayal, and that they would do so despite a certainty that the system they are supporting spawns outrages such as what happened on the train.

                You can, without evidence, claim I am a defender of racism, but it simply isn’t true. It is not hyocritical of me to lament the violence of the weekend, and also to fight for the things I love about this city. How could I do otherwise?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. May 31, 2017 at 6:07 pm

                It’s not as if one can simply opt out of capitalism, especially if one enjoys things like eating food and sleeping indoors. Being forced to live in an explosive system does not equal an endorsement of said system. Save for building a cabin in the woods and growing my own food (both skills I don’t possess) I have no idea what you expect me to do. In the mean time, I will continue fighting for change and resisting bullish¡t where I see it.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 7:17 pm

                What do I expect? For starters, if you are willing to “support racism” while pursuing your upper middle class lifestyle (because, as you say, you can’t exactly opt out), I would expect you to refrain from attacking others for doing the same, especially when those attacks are premised on a rather radical belief structure that you yourself are unwilling (sorry, unable) to adhere to.

                We share much of our fundamental world view, and where we differ is mostly a question of degree. I see the world as being made of up of mostly good people trying to do mostly the right thing. I’m trying to do the right thing. You’re trying to do the right thing. We may not always agree on what the right thing is, but just because we disagree does not mean I “support racism” any more than you do.

                So I guess I also expect tolerance.

                Peace.

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                9watts May 31, 2017 at 7:23 pm
              • Adam H.
                Adam H. May 31, 2017 at 8:15 pm

                You don’t know me or my situation so maybe you should hesitate because making judgements about my “lifestyle”.

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    Pete May 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Did anyone else notice a link on the “rolling coal” WP article to this other one?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2016/05/12/how-safe-is-bike-commuting-perhaps-less-than-you-think

    Incidentally, I’m not surprised the diesel industry is supportive of this legislation. Any attention brought to the particulate matter that spews from diesel engines is negative attention for them.

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      David Hampsten May 30, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      I’ve seen gasoline-powered vehicles here in North Carolina do it too, so I’m not sure why diesel trucks have been singled-out.

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    pdxhobbitmom May 30, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks for the toddler racing link. That was the happiest thing I’ve read in a long time!

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      El Biciclero June 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

      We stumbled upon one of these races in Spokane while on vacation since it was being held right next to the outdoor seating area where we were having lunch. The thing that made it was the particular announcer/commentator. We couldn’t actually see much of the action, but we saw enough, and to hear that guy’s intense (and hilarious) play-by-play of a race between 4-year-olds…he was a pro.

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    Steve Scarich May 31, 2017 at 8:58 am

    A bit off-topic, but….I ride 4 or 5 days a week on the rural roads around Bend. I have a very bright blinky light on the back of my bike, and have noticed them becoming much more common the last two years. I used to use a front blinky, but had issues with its short battery life, and the mounting system, so stopped using it. Two days ago, out on a rural 55 mph road, I saw a flashing display coming at me, maybe 500 yds. It was two cyclists with amazing white front blinkies. They were so visible that no way would a car not see them and pull out to pass. Got me thinking again about putting my front light back on.

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      Kyle Banerjee May 31, 2017 at 11:31 am

      What is appropriate for rural highways is not appropriate for crowded urban environments. I have never used the setup I used to use for riding winter storms at night on rural highways for the simple reason that it’s outright harmful to others.

      The retina searing power required to be visible in by traffic moving over 60mph from long distances is blinding in short distances occupied by slow traffic as are the super bright lights necessary to see in areas with no ambient light after your pupils have been contracted by oncoming automotive high beams.

      Front lights help, but use settings appropriate for conditions. Too many cyclists here run daytime strobes at night or poorly aimed lights that are really for highway use. Blinding people undermines everyone’s safety.

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        Dan A May 31, 2017 at 1:38 pm

        “I didn’t see the cyclist! His headlight was in my eyes.”

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          David Hampsten May 31, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          “My future’s so bright I’ve got to wear shades.”

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          Kyle Banerjee May 31, 2017 at 6:16 pm

          That claim could be totally legit. Any уutz can buy a 1000 lumen lamp and some do.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 8:58 pm

            I wasn’t judging you; I was just asking you to stop accusing me of defending racism. You know, unless I actually do.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 31, 2017 at 8:59 pm

              I guess you all know who that was for.

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    Jim Lee May 31, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Why don’t people complain about “genderism”?

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