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The Monday Roundup: Shameless pathlete, Skid Row’s low-riders, e-bike subsidies and more

The Weekend Event Guide is sponsored by Abus Bike Locks. Thanks Abus!

Here are the best stories that came across our desks this week…

Homeless activism with bikes: I can’t decide what’s more awesome, General Dogon’s life story of criminal-turned-activist, or the fact that he uses tricked out low-rider bikes to help gain attention for his causes.

Inanimate victim-blaming: When drivers failed to control their vehicles and drove up onto cement barriers protecting new bikeways in Queens, critics of the bikeways said it was the barrier’s fault.

Biking while black: Police in Utah shot (three times, in the back) and killed a man who was initially stopped for biking without a rear light.

Bikes rule, cars drool: BikeBiz UK says the startling rise of dockless bike share systems will do more to transform cities than driverless cars.

Bikes rule, cars drool, part two: Oh look, turns out that use of Uber and Lyft have only led to more vehicle miles traveled and more car trips.

‘Hot Pizza’ rider has no shame: A bike rider who slammed into a woman walking on a multi-use path in Spokane has refused to take responsibility for his actions, despite having broken the woman’s arm. Now she’s considering a civil lawsuit.

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Unfair trial: This story underscores a rampant problem in America: unfair trials where the jury is biased against bicycle riders and a legal system that protects motor vehicle operators.

Truck sideguard legislation: A California congressman supports legislation that would require sideguards (aka underride guards) on large trucks.

SF bike share kerfluffle: Very intersting situation in San Fran where a new bike share system wants into the market; but the existing, corporate-backed system is reluctant to have any competition. Strong parallels to Portland as Biketown will likely face similar threats from other systems sooner or later.

1854 Cycling Co: This new bike company was inspired by abolitionists that sparked the Civil War and their mission is to put former inmates to work making and selling bicycles. So great I want to buy everything on their website!

DOT engineers and ethics: Here’s the inconvenient truth about transportation engineers at many DOTs: Their decisions to protect the needs of motor vehicle operators above all others is unethical.

We should subsidize e-bikes: Think of all the government subsidies for electric cars — which encourage the most harmful transportation behavior (driving). Now ask why we don’t subsidize e-bikes like they do in Sweden.

Tough on dangerous drivers: In what’s being hailed as a “major victory” for safety advocates, a change in UK law will mean people whose careless driving leads to a death could face life in prison.

How to reduce auto use: Portland is having a hard time actively discouraging auto use. Thankfully here’s a nice roadmap from London that uses a “carrot and stick” approach to lowering auto use and encouraging more biking, walking, and transit.

Passive language is bad: Read this tweet about passive language use perpetuates the status quo and think about how we talk about traffic collisions (this is one reason we take word-choice so seriously here on BP):

Thanks for all the suggestions this week.

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

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