BikePortland

The Monday Roundup: Tech, why words matter, a $35,000 python-wrapped bike, and more


This week’s Monday Roundup is made possible by Treo Bike Tours, who reminds you to reserve a spot for their upcoming (August 25-27) three-day ‘Journey Through Time’ riding experience.
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Welcome to the week. Everyone’s talking about the heat wave headed our way. Hope you can keep riding through it. Stay tuned for some tips and tricks to stay cool on the bike.

Before we get to last week’s best stories, remember to follow us on Facebook if you don’t already. We’ll be sharing more content there in the future.

Here are the best articles we came across last week…

NYC’s bike boom: What do you get when you combine the biggest bike share system in the U.S., a dense urban form, an aggressive DOT, and the nation’s best transportation reform advocates? More than 450,000 daily bike trips — and all the other immeasurablly positive benefits that come with them.

Hidden housing cost: The title of this piece says it all: “If you’re renting a US city apartment without a car, 16% of your rent pays for parking you don’t need.”

Bike tech and AVs: Researchers think bicycles need to feed data to autonomous vehicles (AVs) in order to prevent the future robocars from inadvertently running over bicycle users.

Feds address speeding: The NTSB released a landmark report on speeding that advocates for the abolishment of 85th percentile speeds (yay!) and includes other important measures to tame America’s motor vehicle menace. And to think, just a year ago the official US DOT blog was named “Fast Lane”.

AV industry power grab? The National Association of City Transportation Officials is sounding the alarm about draft bill language from U.S. House that would let AV companies “self-certify” vehicle safety and prevent local regulatory power.

Automatic doors: Few things show America’s complete lack of sympathy for and understanding of bicycle users than the automatic door opening feature of the Tesla Model X.

E-bike share: We’re watching stationless bike share in Seattle. Now we’ve got eyes on Park City, Utah where they’ve just launched the an e-bike share system.

Don’t work from home: The Wall Street Journal reports that full-time telecommuting is on the decline, just as the City of Portland preps to add a 10 percent “work from home” mode share to its Transportation System Plan performance goals.

$35,000 bikes: A company called Williamson Goods is making bicycles in Detroit with an eye-popping price that covers lots of copper parts and tubes wrapped in hand-sewn python and crocodile skin. No shit.

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Froome’s magic: Fresh off his fifth Tour de France win, Chris Froome’s boss explains why his man is so successful in the pro peloton.

Motor doper: An Italian man was caught at a race with a motor concealed in his frame.

Driving makes us less smart: British researchers say driving more than two hours per day can lead to a drop in IQ.

Mandatory helmets for Citi Bike? A New York lawmaker has proposed legislation that would make helmet use required on all Citi Bike rides. This will either save lives or kill the life of Citi Bike, depending on your perspective.

Hope for the future: Mountain bike racing is the coolest thing in high school sports right now. Minnesota has 100 teams in their league and I can’t wait to bring you the story of Portland’s nascent league.

Power of courtesy: Small town safety PSAs are usually noted for how silly or off-mark they are; but this one from Newport Rhode Island is actually kind of good. And “Do the wave” campaign itself seems smart:

The curse of Ray Scott: That Colorado lawmaker inspired by Oregon’s bike tax has spurred quite a discussion in his state. A newspaper in Aurora says taxing bicycle users could make sense if done with good intentions.

“Jaywalking” no more? A Seattle politician is questioning the effectiveness and necessity of the law that criminalize the behavior of people who don’t cross at intersections.

Then there’s Honolulu: A city in Hawaii wants to lower its walking death rate so they’ve passed an absurd new law that makes it illegal to look at your phone while crossing the street.

Words matter: For many years we’ve used human-centric language on this site for a myriad of reasons. Now there’s research to back up our approach.

Finally, for fun: Did you see this cool graphic posted on the River City Bicycles Instagram? Shows how diverse the riding opportunities — and the bikes — are in Portland

(NOTE: This post originally included an item on teenage head injuries from car crashes. I mischaracterized the research and ultimately decided to remove the item. Sorry for the error. See comments below for more background.)

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

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