Machines for Freedom launch at Western Bikeworks

The Monday Roundup: Citi Bike fatality, sexism, a hellish interchange, and more

Posted by on June 12th, 2017 at 4:21 pm

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the Gathering at Gateway Green — opening day for the Dirt Lab! It’s coming June 24th.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Being a woman on a bike: We often hear about advocacy efforts to “get more women on bikes.” But guys, have you ever stopped to think about what the riding experience is like for women on bikes? It’s often not pretty, as this post on Greater Greater Washington illuminates.

Cultural impact of our travel mode: As this new research demonstrates, how we get around has a profound effect on how we experience our cities and our fellow human beings.

Death while Citi Biking: A man died today while riding a New York City bike share bike. It was the first death in 43 million rides.

Tracking bikes (and thieves): Our friends at Bike Index are excited about a very promising new technology that will make it easier to track stolen bikes.

Making streets better, faster: The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has a new program (sponsored by Ford Motor Company) aimed at hastening, “the implementation of transformative transportation projects in cities across the country.” Sounds like a different flavor of People for Bikes’ Green Lane Project.

Getting us off infra island: Charles Marohn has some important insights into how to make reform our approach to infrastructure spending. Main takeaways include rooting out inefficiencies and making spending as local as possible.

Race-based driving behavior: A Las Vegas study confirms findings from Portland that people treat road users differently depending on the color of their skin.

Advertise with BikePortland.

Ultimate attendance gift: Well over twice the number of students than expected got perfect attendance at a Maryland junior high due to the promise of a free bike.

Interchange from hell: Peep this 20-road monstrosity from China. At least it’s tolled.

Bike-centric built environment: What happens when architecture and the built environment reflect the needs of bicycles and the people who ride them? The first Bicycle Architecture Biennale happening this week in Amsterdam will be the place to find out.

Safer phones?: Cellepathy is a software startup with a new app that automatically goes into “driver mode” when your car begins to move — locking many common apps and features in the process.

Apple’s similar attempt: The new iOS has a promising new “Do not disturb while driving” mode that we were initially excited about. But it turns out Apple has made it way too easy to opt ouf of.

Deep dive into AVs: Don’t be so sure that self-driving cars will be electric or safe, says Peter Welte in his in-depth piece that takes a look at the recent history of the topic and how corporate battle lines are being drawn.

A new transport future for L.A.: Hoping to make right their car-centric “legacy of shame,” elected leaders in Los Angeles are eagerly pushing forward a mobility plan that will prioritize bus and bike lanes over driving lanes.

Thanks to everyone who submitted links.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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. Thank you — Jonathan

88 Comments
  • ed June 12, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    wrong link in bit about Amsterdam architecture happening

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  • David Hampsten June 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Cultural impact of our travel mode: I usually find academic literature hilarious, and this one even more so. The content and message are true enough, but the literature they cite rarely goes from before 2000; people have been writing about this phenomena since people first started riding horses, and hundreds of studies have come to more or less the same conclusions – your view of the world changes by travel mode, as well as how you interact with people and think about space and context. As my academic friends would say, geography is the study of useless information and sociology is the study of the inherently obvious.

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  • wsbob June 12, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    “Being a woman on a bike: We often hear about advocacy efforts to “get more women on bikes.” But guys, have you ever stopped to think about what the riding experience is like for women on bikes? It’s often not pretty, as this post on Greater Greater Washington illuminates” monday roundup/bikeportland

    This: https://ggwash.org/view/63661/chat-whats-it-like-to-be-a-woman-on-a-bike

    …was one rambling discussion. Didn’t find much in there very specific about what the riding experience for women is like. Interesting article format though. The ladies seem fairly smart and thoughtful, and they seem to like biking and know something about handling the routine crummy conditions existing on the roads and bike infrastructure.

    I can imagine easily enough, that some women riding on the road may get harsher treatment than some men may. Ogling and wolf whistling, cat calls, that sort of thing. And the idiot treatment from some men employees at the bike shops too. Why don’t more women work at bike shops? I’ve wondered about that. The two bike shops in my neighborhood, have a fair number of employees…guessing ten or 15, maybe more, maybe less…but as far as I know, just one woman each. I’ve talked with one of the women, she helped me with some tech stuff. First rate info. From a potential role model perspective to other women: good, I’d say.

    If people are being discouraged from riding, I’d guess it’s happening in various ways both direct and indirect. Not enough support and encouragement from everyone already biking, both men and women…for one thing. And also, too much bad road use standing as omens of what biking in traffic might appear to portend…not just from people that drive, but from people biking too. Having people hesitant about riding, thinking, ‘Oh..no way do I want to be in that situation!’. Not enough people offering good, solid, non-intimidating and enjoyable ways of how road use with a bike can be done with a reasonable, if not perfect level of safety.

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  • David Hampsten June 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Being a woman on a bike: was a great read, but a more accurate title might be along the lines of Being a Bicycle Advocate in a Hostile Environment, as a lot of what they wrote about is true of anyone doing what they do. The bike snobbery from some bike shop owners and mechanics is, alas, all too common, not just aimed at women, but anyone not fit, not dressed in lycra, and on a bike with a mix of parts. I’ve seen it in every city I have visited, especially in shops where making a profit from bike sales and service is clearly not their main priority. As for dealing with dubious allies, including bike and ped committees, welcome to my world – it kinda sucks, but can you do? Their helpful insights about safety perceptions was very useful – I hear much the same from new riders of all genders, as well as from the very public engineers who inadvertently make our riding lives so miserable, who themselves are scared to get on their bikes.

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    • wsbob June 13, 2017 at 12:35 am

      “…Their helpful insights about safety perceptions was very useful – I hear much the same from new riders of all genders, as well as from the very public engineers who inadvertently make our riding lives so miserable, who themselves are scared to get on their bikes.” hampsten

      I wonder what it is you’re thinking the engineers are doing that makes your riding lives so miserable. If it’s provision of bike infrastructure, I figure any bike infrastructure is a plus gain for biking over nothing at all. Today, thanks to many of the people from the public and government, people that ride have bike lanes to ride in where there once were none, anywhere. More, and better bike infrastructure such as single direction bike lanes of 7′ or 8′ rather than 6′, 5′, and 4′ or less in shoulder territory would be nice, but well…beggars…which is what people whose mode of travel essentially makes up no more than 20 percent of vehicles on the road on a good day, can’t be choosy.

      The ladies did note bi-directional bike paths of 10′ wide not being sufficient, but then, considering that some adults seem to think it’s just fine to ride comparatively fast to walking speed, on bi-directional sidewalks of 6′ wide, makes bi-directional bike paths of 10′ wide seem luxurious in comparison.

      Impression I got from reading that article, is that while sure, it was kind of fun to read, those ladies didn’t seem to have much grasp at all of what it’s like for people that aren’t fit and well girded to ride in traffic, to make their way towards acquiring the knowledge, skills, and confidence required to contend with motor vehicle traffic in making use of the streets they have a right to use.

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      • Pete June 17, 2017 at 11:26 am

        “I wonder what it is you’re thinking the engineers are doing that makes your riding lives so miserable.”

        I have two examples:

        Pleading with engineers in Sunnyvale, CA, to erase a bizarre painted ‘bulb-out’ in a wide section of roadway and continue the bike lane straight rather than a fanatical adherence to the “5-feet-wide-and-always-hugging-the-curb” principle. I won the west side of the intersection, but the east side jogs the bicyclist back over to the curb, back out of view for a while of the drivers pulling out of the next road. When I explained it was safer for the bicyclist to continue straight at the same relative distance from traffic and within line of sight of the next intersection, I was told there was a risk of a driver turning right on red (out of Bobwhite) to run them down. Highly unlikely in my ample riding experience through this intersection, but my suggestion was to install a “No Right On Red” sign if that was truly deemed a risk.

        https://goo.gl/maps/1RWSWHivTup (if you zoom into street-view you can see the original painted lines – quite frankly a right hook waiting to happen with the typical traffic flow on this road).

        The other was your typical “keep the bike lane to the far right of right-turning cars” during a redevelopment at Williams and Saratoga in San Jose, where we proposed that the right lane be for right turns and (straightward) buses only (with a bicycles sharrow and green space to its far left), because the right lane only appears for a short time and doing this would be 1) a standard treatment, and 2) prevent traffic from doubling-up and racing down the bike lane on the other side where the lane disappears just after the bus stop.

        https://goo.gl/maps/XoFrHMAsp8Q2 (outdated image).

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        • wsbob June 19, 2017 at 5:04 pm

          My pc connection has trouble with data download, so I’ll take your word for it about street engineering problem that causes problems for biking. Those are some weird problems you’re describing. I used to go to some of the Beaverton street planning presentations to the public which I haven’t done for awhile. It’s a lot of work and time, actually, to do that.

          During one of them, I did in fact, encounter what Hampsten mentions about some of the traffic engineers afraid to ride on the bike infrastructure they design. One guy. Younger, definitely not physically incapable of riding, but he said to me something about being uneasy about riding on the street. I believe he said he was only comfortable riding on bike trails, MUP’s that sort of thing. That kind of first hand aversion on the part of traffic engineers towards themselves biking, can’t help much toward improving the quality of bike lanes and bike infrastructure for serious travel on the street.

          But then, I expect those people, the traffic engineers, are a bit between a rock and a hard place.Some with more authority tells them ‘Do this’, and unless the orders are really, really bad, maybe they just have to go ahead and do it. On the other hand…I can’t escape the feeling that people with a true vision and passion for creating something that’s better, but risks a lot of kickback, are hard to come by. People just want to go and do their job and not risk losing their paycheck.

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          • Pete June 20, 2017 at 5:02 pm

            “I expect those people, the traffic engineers, are a bit between a rock and a hard place.”

            One of my cycling buddies is a Beaverton engineer; this is indeed the case.

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    • Dan A June 13, 2017 at 7:59 am

      Well, I’ve never worked in a bike shop, but I would imagine it’s difficult to deal with customers who bring in a $200 Magna bike with all kinds of mechanical problems, ask for a tuneup, and are surprised that the repairs will cost almost as much as the bike itself. I work on my neighbors’ bikes sometimes, and one guy brought over a bike that was having trouble shifting. It turns out that his middle chainring (which had a big bump on one side to help create a gap between it and the chainring next to it) was installed backwards by the factory, putting two rows of chainring teeth right next to each other, and leaving a big gap on the other side where the chain would fall in and get stuck. I could not fix it because it was riveted in place, so he gave up and decided to stop trying to ride his bike. If I saw that kind of crap all the time, I would either become snarky or I’d go crazy.

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    • Kyle Banerjee June 13, 2017 at 11:13 am

      The snobbery charge gets thrown around a lot. Cycling has many subcultures, and my personal observation is that the snobbery factor tends to be high with those who closely identify with any particular subculture.

      Those dressed in lycra are regularly denigrated on this blog. As the vast, vast majority of lycra wearing cyclists are recreational and utility riders, I cannot imagine what the opinions must be of those who actually take cycling and training seriously.

      Finding a good bike shop is no different than finding a good restaurant, clothing store, or whatever. Patronize the one that speaks to you. If you see products, and people you relate to, that’s a good sign. If you don’t, there’s an excellent chance that you would be better served elsewhere.

      Just because someone doesn’t understand what’s going on doesn’t mean the shop is mistreating or trying to take advantage of them. I’ve been in multiple shops where the customer clearly thought they were being treated poorly simply because the what they were told their bike needed costly repairs when the reality was that shop staff were bending over backwards to try to help them.

      People who buy bikes purely on the basis of appearance often don’t recognize seriously dangerous conditions such as failing brakes, headsets, and rims. They often don’t realize things like if you don’t maintain your tranny, you have to replace your rings, cogs, and chain together. And they think that because they didn’t pay much for the bike, it shouldn’t cost much to fix when the reality is that their bike is hard to work on and is plagued with serious problems.

      Bad service does exist, but I’ve seen it reported when I personally witnessed staff trying their best to help someone.

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      • JP June 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm

        I’m not sure that covers it. I know women from across the cycling subculture spectrum who have been treated poorly at all manner of shops. I’m a woman and have been personally talked down to at all manner of shops, from race-oriented lycra palaces to commuter shops. Maybe all the dudes commenting on the article should let the women speak to their own experiences.

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        • Chris I June 13, 2017 at 1:12 pm

          Thank you for pointing this out.

          1. Article posted about women not feeling welcome.
          2. A bunch of dudes: What? This is stupid. They are making a big deal out of nothing!

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          • KristenT June 15, 2017 at 5:51 pm

            I’m really loving the mansplaining here… really makes me feel welcomed. Thanks for pointing it out.

            Look, guys, maybe instead of you talking about how the women in the article– or who comment here or who bike but don’t know about this site or whatever– feel, you should spend some time listening to us. You know, instead of telling us how it is.

            We know how it is– we live it. You don’t, so you don’t know.

            For the record: I am a woman. I’ve gone into bike shops by myself (including my local one, where I bought my bike, and where I take it back to get serviced) and have been completely ignored by the staff who instead, help the man who came in after me. Or shown the “pink water bottles” and “pink helmets” and “pink u-locks”. I DON’T WANT PINK, I WANT TO BE TREATED THE SAME AS MY BOYFRIEND.

            We’re not asking for a lot here– and the guys here who comment don’t seem to get it.

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            • Dan A June 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm

              I was responding only to the comment that I directly responded to:

              The bike snobbery from some bike shop owners and mechanics is, alas, all too common, not just aimed at women, but anyone not fit, not dressed in lycra, and on a bike with a mix of parts. I’ve seen it in every city I have visited, especially in shops where making a profit from bike sales and service is clearly not their main priority.

              If my response to David is mansplaining, then string me up I guess.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 17, 2017 at 3:07 am

                You was ‘splainin’ to a man!

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            • wsbob June 16, 2017 at 11:22 pm

              “…I am a woman. I’ve gone into bike shops by myself (including my local one, where I bought my bike, and where I take it back to get serviced) and have been completely ignored by the staff who instead, help the man who came in after me. …” kristen t

              You’re sure it was because you’re a woman that you were ignored? Because although I’m a guy, I’ve similarly experienced being ignored in a bike shops. My theory as to why I might have been ignored? Because the other person looked liked a better prospect for a sale. And you know what? They were a better prospect for a sale. Ka-ching-g–g! I figured out ways, eventually, to beat that problem.

              I accept that there are guys in bike shops that are treating women poorly. What I’d like to hear about, is if you don’t want guys giving you their perspective on the situation: What is it you’re going to do about the situation?

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        • Kyle Banerjee June 13, 2017 at 5:08 pm

          I don’t doubt that talking down and bad service exists in every type of shop. I do doubt that all shops hire exclusively sexist pigs.

          I wasn’t speaking to your experience or any other that I haven’t personally witnessed. I’ve seen plenty of men think they’re getting jacked around when they weren’t.

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        • Kyle Banerjee June 13, 2017 at 6:26 pm

          Even for those who couldn’t care less about equality, talking down to customers is a red flag that they’re not competent — that’s what insecure people do to make themselves look authoritative. No shop that does that will ever touch my bikes.

          One thing that I think would help would be if cycling advocacy involved helping people understand their bikes better. Even if you don’t want to do any work yourself, being able to articulate problems and understand what might be involved makes it much easier for others to help.

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          • monkeysee June 21, 2017 at 10:44 pm

            A bike shop is a capitalistic enterprise. If you receive bad service, go somewhere else. I’ve been ignored in shops. I’ve worked in shops. I’ve missed situations where I couldn’t possibly get to or offer my best to everyone . I’ve had Saturdays when we’ve locked the door, and nearly collapsed from exhaustion both mental and physical, all at the glorious rate of 12 bucks an hour.
            Learn to fix your own bike, and order components on amazon. Maybe you’ll be happier.
            People In Portland are spoiled first world ninnies .

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        • wsbob June 14, 2017 at 9:23 am

          “…I’m a woman and have been personally talked down to at all manner of shops, from race-oriented lycra palaces to commuter shops. …” jp

          What do they say? I can relate to bannerjee’s mention of shop employees sometimes finding difficulty communicating in the best light, with some customers lacking a familiarity with the mechanicals of bikes, and the general wear and tear that can have a bike look ok, but actually function poorly.

          As a guy that’s not particularly mechanically inclined, and doesn’t have much money, so I’m constantly trying to scrimp on every penny, I’ve frequently gone into shops, trying to get info on repair along with buying parts. A difficulty I’ve had getting the info I need, has tended to be, my self being able to explain to the bike mech, what the problem is. That’s not an easy situation for any pro to handle, but lots of guys from other professions…plumbers, electricians, appliance repairmen…seem to be able to handle it with both men and women customers, so I don’t see any good reason that bike shop employees in sales or the repair department, shouldn’t be able to handle it with their men and women customers.

          Easiest thing at the bike shop for the mechanic, when I’ve had questions, is the mech just sets the bike up on the stand and checks it out. In about 5 minutes or less, they seem to be able ascertain the general problem.

          Tell us what they’ve said in the bad experiences you’ve had from employees at the bike shops, and then we reading here can have a better opportunity to arrive at a solution.

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          • JP June 15, 2017 at 11:39 am

            You know what? No! I’m not asking the BikePortland comments section to fix sexism in bike shops. I’m pointing out that perhaps the male perspective/opinion on the problem is not something that needs more attention.

            Not that I should have to say this, but I’m married to a former bike mechanic. He worked at a well known local shop for the first three years we were together, so I’m familiar with how to talk to mechanics. I know how to ask questions.

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            • wsbob June 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm

              I’m asking for your opinion about what happened, and what you’re suggesting might be done to correct a problem with men working at bike shops and treating women poorly. You’re the one that experienced the problem. I haven’t. I have to, and am listening to you, to get a grasp on what form the problem takes.

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              • q June 19, 2017 at 10:47 am

                Women everywhere will be thrilled to know you’re ready to step and and help them to finally fix this problem that has had them stymied for so long. I expect the examples to come flying in.

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              • wsbob June 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

                “Women everywhere will be thrilled to know you’re ready to step and and help them to finally fix this problem that has had them stymied for so long. I expect the examples to come flying in.” q

                That’s good news. Thank you! How about yourself? Are you willing to help? I know it’s difficult, but worth the effort.

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        • rachel b June 14, 2017 at 4:02 pm

          Hah 🙂 Thanks, JP. And wsbob–I don’t think you’re going to solve sexism by getting details.

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          • q June 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm

            I agree. Even if the majority of people at stores are never sexist (not saying that’s true) that leaves plenty that at least sometimes are.

            I know someone who went to look at fireplaces not that long ago only to be told by the clerk to come back on the weekend with her husband (yes, really). She said no thanks, she was an architect, she was planning to specify that store’s brand for a project and had come in to see them in person as a last step, but thanks to that treatment she’d changed her mind, and was now going to recommend to her client another brand which they didn’t sell, so the order for 2 dozen fireplaces they would have got would be going to another business. And it did.

            You don’t have to be female to know that stuff goes on, and the details don’t really matter.

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          • wsbob June 14, 2017 at 9:03 pm

            “…I don’t think you’re going to solve sexism by getting details. …” rachel b

            rachel…it’s not like the objective should be attempting changing the human genome for sexism, if there were such a thing, and if that’s what you’re referring to.

            Don’t you think that getting the details about sexual and other forms of discrimination, is part of what responsible companies and businesses do to counter the tendency some people have towards discriminating against other people? Doesn’t seem to help to just go on complaining and making allegations without putting some tangible form forward that allows people to have an idea of exactly what’s going on, to help them figure out what to do about the problem.

            Bike shops want your money. They need your money, in exchange for new bikes, accessories, and repairs, whether you’re a man, or a woman. It doesn’t make sense to me that a good bike shop owner, would knowingly allow their employees to treat badly or turn away customers because they’re women.

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            • q June 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm

              1.Responsible companies do get details. This is bikeportland, so there’s no need or point for details here, and no obligation for anyone to provide them, even people who mention being discriminated against.

              2. If someone is discriminated against, and wants to point that out to a store (or to anyone else) it’s not their responsibility to give details to the store, or to help the store understand anything. It’s the store’s responsibility to figure it out.

              3. Just complaining and making allegations DOES help, even if that’s all someone does. And sometimes, just doing that isn’t that easy. You can open yourself up to criticism by outside parties, such as is happening here, for example.

              4. No, it doesn’t make sense for responsible store owners in any business to knowingly allow employees to discriminate. But not all owners are responsible, and of those that are, not all know the discrimination is going on, and others don’t always even recognize discriminatory behavior.

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              • wsbob June 16, 2017 at 10:55 pm

                I’m not saying to name names, but just to give some kind of idea of what form the claimed bad treatment is taking, so it’s something people can get a little better grasp on than having to simply respond with ‘uh…ok, take your word for it. How about those blazers?’. I hate to say it, but when people make vague allegations, it sounds too much like baseless whining and complaining.

                Your number 2 point: Just how do you think a store is supposed to find out they may have a sexist discrimination problem…if someone that feels they’ve been treated badly, doesn’t directly tell the store management? Anonymous tips? Sidewalk demonstrations?

                I want to hear what women that feel they’ve had bad treatment at bike shops, have to say. If it happens, there’s no good reason for it happening. Measures should be taken to stop if it’s continuing to happen.

                It’s just seems like the weirdest thing to me, that women going into a bike shop for help with a bike, accessories, repair or whatever, would get bad treatment from men employees. I don’t work in a bike shop, but I have hung around some, and watched and listened to how the men employees worked with women customers coming in. They do a fine job, I guess. Women come in and buy bikes, go up to the repair counter and ask about mechanical problems.

                Years ago, back in the 60’s era of women’s lib, one of the topics of discussion relating to the empowerment thing, was experiences some women experienced when going to get their cars repaired. Relics of the boneheaded chauvinistic male archetype were still, ‘pc’ to some extent it might be said. They reportedly treated women bad, as if they were idiots about how cars operated. Part of how women were helped to beat that syndrome, was to learn something about how cars work, even do some wrenching on them, which is a nasty greasy job I don’t like doing.

                I think lots of women actually did take on that strategy, and showed men they could know plenty about cars. This isn’t an easy problem to deal with, I’m sure…but let people help that are willing to help. Give them something to work with.

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              • rachel b June 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm

                wsbob–I just see the conversation usually take the direction of bogged downedness–i.e., “please detail precisely what you perceived as sexism”—when, as q points out, “You don’t have to be female to know that stuff goes on, and the details don’t really matter.”

                Sexism is so pervasive it’s part and parcel of every woman’s day, and we roll with it out of long habit and lack of any real recourse. Some of us have done exactly as you requested over the years (detailed the offenses in any given instance) but you quickly learn it’s all busywork and no result. It’s to give someone “helping” you the warm happy feeling that their overt “Message: We Care” response occurred.

                It’s also like trying to count grains of sand. If I were to detail to you the run-of-the-mill sexism I’ve experienced in a lifetime of it, it’d be ludicrous. Also, exhausting. And it’s not like I’m going around keeping count. It’s just life, unfortunately, and in lieu of some giant, miraculous systemic meaningful change, I prefer to get on with it no matter the circumstances. I think you’ll find most women think this way, while acknowledging (when asked) that yes, it takes a real, very serious cumulative toll and is super effective at keeping you down down down.

                The whole rape kit thing’s a great example. Imagine a woman having just been through rape. In that state, she nevertheless goes through the extreme unpleasantness and additional trauma of putting together a rape kit. You can’t get clean until you go through the process. So, you do that. And then you find out it’s warehoused and nothing’s done with it. If you want to know why women are jaded when asked for details, this is precisely why.

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              • wsbob June 19, 2017 at 12:31 pm

                Rachel at:

                https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/12/the-monday-roundup-citi-bike-fatality-sexism-a-hellish-interchange-and-more-231304#comment-6809061

                …sorry to hear women continue to experience all that you’ve described, even though I know all of it’s true too, to some extent. I hope you feel that an important thing to always keep in mind, is that lots of guys, myself included, don’t appreciate men pulling that crap, and if in a bike shop, I was nearby some male employee giving a woman customer ‘the business’, I’d say something or do something about it.

                I know all about obnoxious male behavior on the street and elsewhere in public, bars and whatnot..the ogling, wolf whistles and other stuff like that. But in bike shops whose owners and managers are trying to make money? Wow…that just makes no sense to me that anyone associated with a bike shop would do that kind of thing. If you and other women are saying they really are getting ‘the business’ from some of the men in bike shops, I’ll take your word for it, but it just seems to me that a little something more ought to be done than to just take people’s word that it happens. If nobody calls these people on their behavior, they have little reason to stop doing it, and it just goes on and on.

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              • rachel b June 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

                wsbob–this is not about “….obnoxious male behavior on the street and elsewhere in public, bars and whatnot..the ogling, wolf whistles and other stuff like that. But in bike shops whose owners and managers are trying to make money? Wow…that just makes no sense to me that anyone associated with a bike shop would do that kind of thing….”

                It’s about this:
                https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/business/women-react-to-sexism-in-the-workplace.html?mabReward=CTS2&recp=5&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0

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        • Carrie June 14, 2017 at 8:04 pm

          Thank you JP.

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  • Peter W June 12, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    > Deep dive into AVs: Don’t be so sure that self-driving cars will be electric or safe…

    *safe for the climate* that is. It’s counter-intuitive, but researchers caution that emissions could actually double due to driverless vehicles (see the article for the logic on that).

    If they were electric, efficient, and shared autonomous vehicles (think last-mile neighborhood transit support vehicles) could help cut transport emission by around 80%.

    Unfortunately, opposition to electric AV policy is coming from the auto industry as well as some Silicon Valley companies that stand to gain the most from such policy. The article goes into much more detail on all that – I don’t want to spoil it all here. Thanks for sharing, Jonathan.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty June 12, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.

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      • Peter W June 12, 2017 at 9:37 pm

        > It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.

        Yeah, and I thought someone would call me out for implying that the Google EV was nothing but a museum piece now.

        Then this happened today: Google retired its cute all-electric AVs in favor of pretty standard minivans. Those original Firefly vehicles will live on though… in museums.

        https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/12/15788390/waymo-retires-cute-firefly-cars

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 12, 2017 at 10:38 pm

          Google was never going to become a car manufacturer. Other than Tesla (which is still a pretty niche player), when was the last time the world saw a successful new automobile company?

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          • wsbob June 13, 2017 at 12:52 am

            “…when was the last time the world saw a successful new automobile company?” h kitty

            Hyundai, Kia, Smart. Or maybe you have in mind, ‘successful new exclusively electric automobile company’, which at present, is much more difficult to be viable due to range limitations. Big car companies are getting into that market though. Like Chevrolet with its new this year, Spark…not much for looks, but has good range.

            Re; AV’s…one of the more interesting articles I’ve recently read, was titled ‘Can Robot Cars Trust Us’, NYtimes, June 8th. It ponders the technological challenge posed to safe operation of AV’s, where the human operator is relieved of full time vehicle operation, but still is required to be on standby to abruptly take over operation of the vehicle, when the AV finds itself encountering various types of traffic situation it ascertains it’s not sufficiently prepared for. The safety of ‘handover’, to the human operator, is the big question.

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            • q June 14, 2017 at 9:50 am

              Hyundai and Kia are both decades old, even when counting only from when they started building motor vehicles, and ignoring everything they did before that.

              Smart is a Daimler brand. Daimler is ancient.

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              • wsbob June 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm

                They’re new compared to Ford and GM. New relative to ‘what’, is the question associated with autonomous vehicle R&D. Any new car line that was successful after the big three, was successful because of a new market discovered and ingeniously captured, which is what Tesla has done, and what some company like Google could possibly do. Who could ever imagine before it happened, that Honda, manufacturer of one-time wimpy motorbikes, could morph into the huge car manufacturer it is today?

                Another hopeful car company I haven’t checked up on recently: Elio. I wonder if they’ve finally thrown in the towel on their unconventional idea.

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              • q June 19, 2017 at 10:44 am

                I guess if you define “new” as anything newer than Ford and General Motors, then yes, companies that have been building cars for decades are “new”.

                But you’re wrong anyway with Smart, because it’s a Daimler product, and Daimler is much older than Ford or General Motors.

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              • wsbob June 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm

                “…But you’re wrong anyway with Smart, because it’s a Daimler product, and Daimler is much older than Ford or General Motors.” q

                If all you’re trying to do is prove me wrong, you can keep trying. The fact is, it doesn’t matter how old Smart’s parent company is…Smart is a relatively new car company and car concept. There’ve been micro cars in earlier decades, post WWII, but comparatively speaking, the Smart represented a significant breakaway from the dominant convention of compact and big, to huge motor vehicles that rule the road.

                Saturn was another example of a new car line that had a giant auto manufacturer as a parent. Saturn had some good strong strength in its foundation, but it unfortunately failed over time. My parents still have their good running Saturn, which they bought brand new off the auto show floor.

                By the way…for anyone interested, I did a web search to check this weekend on how the Elio car company is doing. Working prototypes, but still not in production. This is a very unconventional motor car..high mileage, two person, front-back seating rather than side by side. There’s been lots of interest and support for this car, lots of money invested, but a bunch more money needed if production ever will happen. So it’s no sure thing yet, that this company will become a successful car manufacturer. High gas mileage is a strong motivating factor though, so there still is a chance that Elio could eventually make it to production.

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              • 9watts June 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm

                “There’ve been micro cars in earlier decades, post WWII”

                I assume you are thinking of the US? Because there were micro cars throughout the world during that period. And even in the US, though I guess they escaped your attention. I have a friend here in town who is the president of the microcar association. Might want to check with him about your hunch.

                Honda 600, Subaru 360, Morris Mini, and on and on….
                https://www.facebook.com/gpnwmme/

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              • wsbob June 19, 2017 at 4:10 pm

                watts at: https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/12/the-monday-roundup-citi-bike-fatality-sexism-a-hellish-interchange-and-more-231304#comment-6809484

                No…I was thinking of Europe, though the U.S. did have some micro cars, like the Bantam, to me, a weird looking little car. Maybe others too. These are just ones that come to mind. There’s a memorable photo of Cary Grant stepping out of a European micro car whose design allows the entire front face of the car to swing out as a door.

                I’ve not deliberately searched out info on why Europe mostly had micro cars and the U.S. didn’t, post WWII, but what I read by chance, from time to time, is that the difference in economic health of the the U.S. and countries in Europe was the reason. The U.S. economy boomed after the war. Britain for sure, but also maybe, Germany, France and other countries over there, struggled for a decade or so.

                Saving every penny was a big deal, post war, so people were willing to put up with the gas savings that puny little cars and comparatively low powered cars could provide. The U.S. on the other hand, had a big market for big cars with six cylinder engines, and soon in 55, had the V-8, start of one of the biggest motor vehicle performance eras the U.S. has ever seen.

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            • Pete June 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm

              Just from living here in silly valley I would have had a pretty hefty list… except for that darned word successful.

              Hyundai was a heavy equipment company whose first car was a Korean Ford. Kia was a bicycle company whose first car was also in partnership with Ford. And Smart… oh, wait, there’s that darned word successful again.

              My neighbor would sell you his Corbin Sparrow (just don’t drive it near a golf course).
              http://newatlas.com/corbin-sparrow-2-electric-three-wheeler-dimples

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              • wsbob June 19, 2017 at 4:24 pm

                The Sparrow is a cool looking car! I’ve talked to a couple guys that had them and used them. There’s info on the web about the cars. It’s electric power technology is outdated, if I understand correctly.

                The local guy to talk to if anyone gets a chance, is John Wayland, the DIY guy that adapted electric power to an old nissan 1200 to resurrect it as the drag strip winning White Zombie. When I briefly talked to him at the last auto show, he was working on adapting an old…Honda Insight, I believe…for a range to beat that of the Tesla. That wouldn’t be as dramatic an accomplishment against the elegance of the Tesla, as the boxy 1200 was to the camaros and corvettes, but hearing about it was kind of inspiring to me.

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              • q June 19, 2017 at 8:22 pm

                When car2go was illegally storing its vehicles in a park near where I work, I read quite a bit about the company. According to what I read, it got its start when Daimler had a glut of Smart cars it couldn’t sell. Based on the anemic number of Smart cars on the street, I believe it. I don’t even know if you can buy Smart cars anymore. But if you can, why would anyone? It’s a novelty car at a full-car price.

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              • wsbob June 20, 2017 at 11:27 pm

                q at: https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/12/the-monday-roundup-citi-bike-fatality-sexism-a-hellish-interchange-and-more-231304#comment-6809557

                Re; Smart cars: …do a search. Retails for around 13k. Wilsonville Subaru’s web listing says they have 2017 models. I see them around Beaverton. A few people commenting to this weblog a couple years back, said the gas mileage isn’t great, considering the car’s size. I haven’t driven one, but have sat in one. Very comfortable for my 6′ height. Styling got better in 2016. Scion made the IQ…seems that Toyota did also…which was hardly larger than Smart. Mini is a fairly small car, but those things aren’t low priced at all.

                I don’t know why other people would buy this car, but I liked the concept from the first time I heard of it. Some people like really small cars. A slightly larger car like the Honda Fit, would make more sense for me. Honda Fit msrp is 16K. It’s a small car. Last week on my street, one was parked with a tiny 13′ Scamp camper hitched to it. I wonder how well the Fit is able to tow the trailer. Looked super cute, and fun.

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              • q June 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm

                You’re supporting my point. You like the Smart car concept, but a slightly larger car would make more sense for you. You don’t know why other people would buy one. The mileage isn’t great. Price is about $13k, but for about 3K more you can get a much larger, much more versatile Honda Fit…

                Your view of them is the common view. It’s a car people want to like, and many do, but when it comes to buying, they choose something larger. There’s a reason Daimler ended up with such a glut of them, and a reason you don’t see many around, other than Car2go ones.

                So even if you decide to ignore that Smart Cars’ parent company is over a century old, so that you can call it a “new” car company, it’s still hardly accurate to call it a SUCCESSFUL new car brand.

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        • Spiffy June 13, 2017 at 8:09 am

          that’s sad… I’d rather have 2 small cars on the road than 1 large one…

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      • q June 13, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        It HAS been hard to make predictions, but that doesn’t mean it will be hard to make them in the future.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm

          It will actually get easier — in a week, it should be much easier to make predictions about tomorrow than it is right now.

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  • David Hampsten June 12, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Raced-based driving behavior: is actually about stopping behavior. The article implies that (mostly white) motorists are more likely to yield to white pedestrians, but this isn’t actually proven at all. As noted in the comments at the end, “Perhaps in the next study it would be interesting to take note of the color of the motorists behind the wheel.”

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    • Middle of the Road Guy June 13, 2017 at 8:58 am

      People do not react well to those crossing the street in a lazy manner…checking their phone, walking slow, crossing with a do not walk sign flashing….

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  • I Voted For Trump June 12, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Whole lotta hooey in this one.

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    • 9watts June 14, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      thanks for stopping in here and contributing to the conversation.

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  • Kittens June 12, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Women don’t ride bicycles because the social impact that they should be empowered, strong and independent. However, the fact that riding a bicycle means you are not strong or independent or empowered women but driving a car is. Women will be pressured to drive as meets this social quota.

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    • David Hampsten June 12, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Presumably, per the social quota, men will occupy a social niche along the outer margins of the paved environment, and evolve into Homo Rahpalycra [what’shappenin’-man], a purveyor of natural-powered technologies fueled with cappuccinos and organic hemp-based stimulants. But what other changes will occur with our species as we move towards the social quota horizon?

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      • Middle of the Road Guy June 13, 2017 at 8:55 am

        The evolutionary biologist in me thanks you for your comment!

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    • wsbob June 13, 2017 at 1:09 am

      “Women don’t ride bicycles because the social impact that they should be empowered, strong and independent. However, the fact that riding a bicycle means you are not strong or independent or empowered women but driving a car is. Women will be pressured to drive as meets this social quota.” kittens

      You’re offering a paradigm that has some truth to it, but a paradigm that also does not confine women that decide to defy it, to exalt in the pleasure and thrill of riding, and to empower themselves. Depends some, on how the person riding, woman or man, presents themselves visually and in manner on the road to other road users, and how they ride. The old axiom ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’ may be true, but why wait for as long as that’s going to take. I think the people riding that likely command respect, are those that show to other road users that they know what they’re doing. .

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  • David Hampsten June 12, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Getting us off infra island: I’ve been doing transportation advocacy for over 25 years and in general I have found most transportation engineers utterly clueless where their funding comes from. Charles Marohn, an engineer from Minnesota is a case in point. He talks about “90% federal funding for construction, 50% for maintenance” as being the norm. Sorry, this was true from the 50s through 80s, but today 20% for construction is closer to the norm, with nearly nothing for maintenance. Funding is already much more local, has been for decades. Any state building large amounts of new freeways, for example Ohio or NC, is paying for them through a combination of state and local funding, with usually no more than 20% from the feds. If the feds were offering 90%, do you think Oregon would be in such deep **** on funding right now?

    As for costs, yeah, he has a point. A few years ago several of neighborhood advocates had a discussion with a local developer about sidewalk costs. If you put in a sidewalk in front of your house yourself, assuming your labor is free, it will cost you around $13 per linear foot to put in a six-foot wide sidewalk. If you hire a local contractor, it will typically cost you about $25/foot. If the city of Gresham or Washington County did it, about $50/foot. The City of Portland charges $95/foot. ODOT charges about $200/foot. No joke. We concluded that Portland ought to contract everything out to Gresham and refund the difference to taxpayers, and that PBOT was more of an employment bureau for overpriced engineers than a bureau that ever built anything. Of course, this was a few years ago and I’m sure that PBOT has since reformed and now has a stellar success rate on projects.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy June 13, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Private companies have much lower benefit overheads than public agencies. But when you throw out numbers like that, one can begin to understand the conservative viewpoint that government can’t do anything better than the private sector (a view I disagree with).

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  • bjorn June 12, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Unsurprising that the first fatality was a very large vehicle, either a bus or a semi truck, even less surprising that the driver continued on. The scale of some of these vehicles is just too large for the city. Buses are great, but more minibuses would increase the frequency of service while allowing for drivers to be more aware of their surroundings.

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  • Mike Quigley June 13, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Looks like Los Angeles is leapfrogging Portland again by prioritizing bus and bike lanes over car lanes. No wonder Californians no longer want to move here.

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    • Dan A June 13, 2017 at 8:02 am

      “…Californians no longer want to move here.”

      Source?

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    • paikiala June 13, 2017 at 11:29 am

      LA is a big city with lots of moving parts. Last I checked, their council members were elected by district (small picture, not big picture). Lastly, policy does not necessarily equal results.

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    • Pete June 17, 2017 at 11:34 am

      It might also have something to do with jobs and rain.

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  • Kyle Banerjee June 13, 2017 at 6:11 am

    It’s good to provide incentives to go to school, but a free bike could encourage people with communicable diseases to come in anyway.

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    • Chris I June 13, 2017 at 8:19 am

      I’m sure that they allow sick days.

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      • Kyle Banerjee June 13, 2017 at 10:21 am

        What would be the point of a perfect attendance award that allows you to take sick days? You’re still not there, even if you have a legitimate reason.

        If they only count unexcused absences against the perfect attendance award, they should be kicking themselves in the butt rather than patting themselves on the back for having such an incredibly high percentage of students missing for invalid reasons. I grew up in an economically depressed region where education wasn’t valued that much and nowhere near that many kids missed school for bоgus reasons.

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        • BB June 13, 2017 at 10:46 am

          From the article (does anyone actually click the links and read or are you people just reacting to the one line summary from this blog?):

          ““It was hard because sometimes I would be really sick and then I would be like, ‘I don’t want to come to school’ but then at the same time, it’s for a bike,” Angely Garcia told WTOP.”

          .

          The fact of the matter is that school districts get paid for butts in seats, excused absence or not. This was a push for the district to get more money by bribing kids with walmart bikes donated by a local car dealership.

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    • q June 16, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      That was my first thought also. Schools shouldn’t be encouraging anyone to come to school when sick (and as mentioned, the article gives the example of a student coming in when feeling sick).

      The program even creates the ironic situation where one student comes to school sick so they don’t miss out on the bike, then they infect half a dozen other students who get sick, and miss out on THEIR chances for bikes unless their parents are not responsible and allow them to attend, keeping the infection cycle alive.

      Actually, they could call it the cycle program–the infection cycle program. I feel like a buzzkill for saying it, but it’s true.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu June 13, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Cellphone software to reduce distracted driving has to provide a way for passengers to use their phones, so a driver can always say he’s a passenger and use his phone.

    One solution would be for cars to track the number of cellphones in the vehicle, and refuse to operate unless at least one phone is switched off, but that level of integration and intrusiveness is hard to imagine anytime soon, and I can think of way to defeat that as well.

    Technology isn’t going to provide a magic solution to this problem.

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    • Paul June 13, 2017 at 9:31 am

      I think most people will choose to use these features as designed. Getting a message while driving is just as annoying as it is dangerous. In my opinion iOS 11 will save quite a few lives.

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      • John Liu
        John Liu June 13, 2017 at 10:37 am

        Let’s hope. Apple has a remarkable ability to drive adoption of new OS/software features. It would be really cool if iOS could periodically remind users of their state’s laws on cellphone usage while driving.

        I ignore my phone when driving anyway, but will turn the feature “on” on all our phones including wife and kids.

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        • GlowBoy June 13, 2017 at 1:24 pm

          Sometimes people glance at their phones because it’s just all too easy. We’ve all experienced that, whether driving or not. Sure, there will be people who will turn off the feature, but the path of least resistance suddenly becomes to *not* get notifications while you’re driving. Of course much more must be done, but this is a good step, and it will save many lives. Like John I’ll be using this feature as soon as iOS 11 pushes out.

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        • Kyle Banerjee June 14, 2017 at 6:47 am

          I refuse to buy a phone with a feature like that if it can’t be disabled. I don’t use the phone when I shouldn’t and have no interest being prevented from legitimate use and being nagged when there is no need.

          I doubt others will be interested in this feature either. Now people in carpools, on buses, etc. will find their phones more difficult to use.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty June 14, 2017 at 10:20 am

            If you want to actually control your own device, you’d never consider an Apple product in the first place.

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            • q June 14, 2017 at 9:33 pm

              Don’t even think of buying one of their microwave ovens.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 14, 2017 at 11:47 pm

                They only cook Apple branded food.

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              • Pete June 17, 2017 at 11:33 am

                “They only cook Apple branded food.”

                I see what you did there, clever kitty.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm

                Being clever is one of my jobs.

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          • GlowBoy June 15, 2017 at 11:34 am

            Not sure what your big “refusal” is all about. It’s been made pretty clear the feature is can be overridden both on a one-time basis and permanently. Which is absolutely necessary, because the phone can’t tell whether you’re a driver or a passenger.
            You have nothing to worry about.

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    • 9watts June 14, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      “has to provide a way for passengers to use their phones”

      So we’ve given up on just leaving them home/off/having a face-to-face conversation?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 14, 2017 at 11:48 pm

        Yes.

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      • GlowBoy June 16, 2017 at 8:53 am

        Amazingly, it isn’t binary.

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  • El Biciclero June 13, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I have to admit that when I glanced at “race-based driving behavior”, I thought of something completely different.

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  • Todd Boulanger June 13, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I am happy to hear that the Eisenhower Middle School administration offered free bikes to students with perfect attendance (and that more students participated than planned)…though I hope they think it through more completely for next year by adding:
    – some road and basic mechanical training for the students,
    – a repair stand and pump at the school racks, and
    – a lock…[with guidance to the parents about how to lock the bikes at home].

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