Gravel - Cycle Oregon

The Monday Roundup: Cars are bad (but still popular), eMTB racing, Google knows, and more

Posted by on October 23rd, 2017 at 10:27 am

Here are the most noteworthy stories we came across in the past seven days…

Future city: Google’s Sidewalk Labs has signed a contract to develop a “city of the future” in Toronto and the plan doesn’t include private cars.

A 3-D printed bike bridge: The world’s first bike bridge to come from a printer opened in the Netherlands (of course!).

Bikes instead of “clean cars”: Continuing on the theme above, Treehugger rounds up all the reasons why cities have much more to gain by prioritizing bikes over electric cars.

Our cars are killing our salmon: Scientists in the state of Washington are sounding alarm over research that shows brake dust, oil, gas, and other toxic crap cars spew onto our streets are directly responsible for a dwindling salmon population.

Le Tour goes gravel grinding: The 2018 Tour de France route was unveiled last week. Stage 10 will include a section of dirt roads, which proves that the gravel riding trend is trickling up.

Neighborhood activism FTW: Oregon Walks will hand out a Weston Award to the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association for their amazing work to secure millions in sidewalk funding.

Hating cars is actually quite reasonable: In a way that only he can, Eben Weiss (aka Bike Snob NYC) shares his extreme dislike of cars and the culture we’ve created around them: “No invention in modern history has been as successful in eliciting the very worst from people and making death, maiming, and general mayhem a part of everyday life.”


Social capital: A major, peer-reviewed study from Spain showed that investment in bicycle infrastructure yielded an impressive socio-economic benefit (in addition to the obvious benefits to air quality, congestion reduction, and so on).

It’s called motocross: “eMTB” racing is a thing and organizers are jazzed to be pushing the envelope of off-road cycling closer toward motorcycling.

State of bikelash: “Cars First” was one of the tamer slogans seen at this bike lane protest in Minneapolis. Perhaps a sign of things to come in Portland?

SUVs are deadly by design: When a person chooses to drive a big 4-x-4 or even a “small SUV,” they are choosing to drive a vehicle that is much more likely to kill someone in the event of a collision with a vulnerable road user.

Dockless bike share Q & A: An interview with a Seattle DOT spokesperson about their experiences with dockless bike share systems, which we continue to think would be an effective supplement to Biketown.

Wheeler “lost at sea”: Oregonian columnist Steve Duin says Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is still without a rudder in his quest for productive leadership and that perhaps its his lack of good messaging that’s to blame.

Cars have come raging back: This breakdown of U.S. Census data on household car ownership shows that, “The boom in car-free and car-lite living that led urbanists and the media to speculate that Americans were letting go of automobiles is over.” Welp.

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

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  • Dave October 23, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Actually, the Tour de France has had pave (cobblestoned) and unpaved sections in stages every few years for a very. long time–many high mountain passes were unpaved until at least the late 1950’s. Nothing to do with the gravel racing trend whatsoever.
    SUV’s vs peds/cyclists–I have a socially unacceptable idea which is that vulnerable users should never be prosecuted for vandalizing or otherwise disabling dangerous vehicles. A motorist should not be protected by the state for the antisocial act of driving a more dangerous than necessary machine.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

      for sure dave. just having some fun.

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    • Pete October 23, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Statistically dangerous. A responsible driver behind the wheel of a modern SUV or crossover, utilizing best practices for safe driving, plus the plethora of available safety measures such as blind spot radar, is no more dangerous than an irresponsible driver in a compact car.

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      • Chris I October 25, 2017 at 7:53 am

        Silly comparison.

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        • Pete October 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm

          Define “silly”. Thousands of people drive SUVs safely on American streets daily. Thousands of young, inexperienced drivers crash non-SUV cars daily, and place peds and cyclists at risk with behavior.

          Yesterday I watched a punk nearly doubling a 35-MPH speed limit in a Honda, and saw another young kid shaking his head in disgust at what was left of the S4 that he spun off of a 45-MPH expressway, smoke from the airbags still bellowing out the window.

          Personally I believe SUVs are terrible (from experience), but Dave is advocating vandalism against a vehicle that, while not optimally safe, may be driven responsibly while putting no more danger to a vulnerable road user than some of the cyclists I’ve ridden with.

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          • Pete October 27, 2017 at 2:57 pm

            Besides, with this line of thinking, garbage trucks would likely be first on the list.

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  • MJS October 23, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Is the Bike Snob NYC link missing?

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  • Middle of the Road Guy October 23, 2017 at 11:07 am

    The problem with your line of thinking is that there is not an objective standard for what a “dangerous” vehicle is. Is a SUV sitting in a driveway dangerous? Is an ambulance dangerous? Your definition of “necessary” is surely different than a mom driving a minivan.

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    • bikeninja October 23, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      There is actually an objective standard. In Europe the NCAP safety testing protocal that all new automobiles must meet includes a pedestrian safety testing component that is objective and well researched. We simply ignore it here in the U.S. or give trucks and SUV’s exemptions because they are the cash cows of the auto industry.

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    • wsbob October 24, 2017 at 2:03 am

      In todays bikeportland roundup, here’s the lead in to the streetsblog story about the collision in Florida in which someone driving an SUV, ran over a young child that had chased out into the street after a ball:

      “SUVs are deadly by design: When a person chooses to drive a big 4-x-4 or even a “small SUV,” they are choosing to drive a vehicle that is much more likely to kill someone in the event of a collision with a vulnerable road user.”

      On the streetsblog story, there’s a picture of the SUV with a sedan in front of and perpendicular to it. It does appear to be a modest sized SUV, a Hyundai, not a lot higher above the pavement than a standard passenger car. How much higher? Would a foot at most be a close guess? The child was under two years old. The SUV was not some huge, raised four wheel drive pickup.

      People driving, or biking, are supposed to be on the watch for little kids running out in the street after balls and such. Was the driver of this SUV watching as she should have been? Did the additional height of her vehicle over that of a standard sedan, the one foot or so, critically impair her ability to see the child run into the street, as the Miami Herald reported it?

      “Neallie Junior Saxon III chased the ball out of his yard and into the street moments before the SUV hit him. …”

      “…moments before…” How many moments before?

      Has the Broward County DA got a case here, against the SUV for killing this not even two year old child? If the DA’s office thinks they’ve got a case, they’re probably going to pass on going after the inanimate object, and weigh going after the driver of the vehicle instead.

      The driver of the vehicle, for whatever reason, didn’t stop after colliding with and running over the child. Just drove on as if nothing happened. Until reaching a stop sign, at which point, she stopped. Then, some bystanders making chase, caught up with and beat her., unmercifully as a witness in the Herald is quoted as saying.

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      • Dan A October 24, 2017 at 10:06 am

        Maybe she was busy filming a safe-driving PSA and was talking to the camera?

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        • wsbob October 24, 2017 at 11:42 am

          Sure…despite your wisecrack…is that really necessary? …remember, a kid was killed here. The contributing factors to the collision could have been due to the person driving not adequately assuming their responsibility for to drive safely, including their obligation to be on the watch…for two year old kids not adequately watched by parents or responsible adults.

          When the streetsblog writers used this collision to try support their contention that: “…SUV Design Kills Pedestrians, …”, did they consider the facts about the height of the SUV involved in the collision, relative to standard passenger sedans, and to other SUV’s? Or that the child killed upon running out into the street after a ball, was a mere toddler?

          Average height for and American child, according to this livestrong, is 34.5″

          As an example of SUV height, likely similar to the one in the collision, my older import pickup measues 28″ at the top edge of front bumper. 40″ to the front leading edge of the hood. My neighbor’s older Nissan Altima…a four door sedan, seems smaller than a full size, measures 35″ at a point on the hood roughly close to above the wheel well. That 5″ difference hardly makes for a big, bad SUV design that “…Kills Pedestrians…”.

          Maybe occasionally…streetsblog and other fighters for road safety could put just a bit more emphasis of how important it is for people out in the yard watching over children, to be doing whatever they can to keep the kids from running out into the street if the kids can’t be relied upon to look first for approaching traffic…an inability which I think most people would regard as applying to most toddlers.

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          • Dan A October 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

            The quote of interest in that story is this one:

            Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said it was unlikely the woman driving would have seen the little boy, especially with all the other kids running around in the road.

            Good gravy. I mean, why would a driver proceeding down a neighborhood street where kids regularly play (and were out playing on this particular day) be expected to watch out for EVERY kid? Here is the location, BTW:


            The police statement went further:

            The other children were darting in and out of the street during the incident and may have drawn Mardice’s attention away from Saxon.

            And they pointed out that the driver was going the speed limit (presumably 25mph). No mention of Florida’s basic speed law:

            (4) The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection (1), drive at an appropriately reduced speed when:
            (a) Approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing;
            (b) Approaching and going around a curve;
            (c) Approaching a hill crest;
            (d) Traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway; and
            (e) Any special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty October 24, 2017 at 1:46 pm

              How, exactly, do you prove a driver’s speed was not “appropriately reduced” if the driver was not violating any objective standard?

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              • Dan A October 25, 2017 at 6:52 am

                The objective standard is to be able to drive through a flock of kids without unwittingly running one of them over because you’re going too fast to see them all.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 25, 2017 at 11:53 am

                The way you put it, it sounds like an open-and-shut case. Are the police corrupt, or just evil?

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              • Dan A October 25, 2017 at 12:12 pm

                You left out inept and/or biased. Patrol officers spend 1500-2000 hours per year sitting behind a windshield.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 25, 2017 at 12:59 pm

                And a dead child just can’t penetrate the haze?

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              • Dan A October 25, 2017 at 2:11 pm
            • wsbob October 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm

              Post the link to the police statement you quoted from.

              I feel it is the responsibility of road users, to be watching out for the possibility that any kid at any time, could dart out into the road for something like chasing after a ball. The people doing the investigation down in Florida, have the responsibility of figuring out whether or not the person driving driving the SUV, was meeting her responsibility.

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              • wsbob October 26, 2017 at 6:44 pm

                Thanks for posting the link to the police report on the collision.

                Even for an initial report, it’s interesting that the report would say “…The victim was shorter than the vehicle’s bumper, and according to THI detectives, …” without the child’s height in inches, and a measurement of the vehicle’s bumper.

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              • Dan A October 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm

                And even so, why would a visibility limitation of the driver’s chosen vehicle be a reason to excuse taking a life? The law doesn’t (and shouldn’t) make allowances for visibility issues.

                Driver: “Sorry officer, I was wearing really dark sunglasses while driving down the road at night and didn’t realize there were people in the road….”

                Officer: “Okay, I just have to try on your sunglasses and drive down the same road at night to confirm that you were unable to see anything, and you’ll be good to go.”

                It gives new meaning to vision zero….

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 29, 2017 at 2:06 pm

                If we deem the vehicle unsafe, the place to fix it would be in the definition of what makes a vehicle road-worthy, or what modifications to a vehicle are legal to make. I could be easily persuaded that there are some currently legal vehicles which are inherently dangerous and should not be street-legal.

                I know you want to discourage driving by putting everyone who drives in legal jeopardy, but it might be better to change the laws to make unsafe behaviors objectively illegal. For example, make residential streets 20mph, or make a law that reduces the speed limits when children are around, kind of like a school zone everywhere.

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              • wsbob October 30, 2017 at 1:17 am

                “And even so, why would a visibility limitation of the driver’s chosen vehicle be a reason to excuse taking a life? …” dan a

                Why are you going to such lengths to suggest that the driver of the vehicle involved in this collision, has been or is being excused for the death of the toddler? Or that the driver was at fault or guilty of some crime?

                Nobody, relying exclusively on the couple articles about the collision for which links were posted in comments to this story, or the police report you posted a link to, would be sufficient to fairly draw a conclusion that the person driving was either guilty of taking a life, or that they were excused from having taken one.

                This is the United States, a country that does not have the kind of system of justice in which a person driving, and involved in a collision in which a person that wasn’t driving was killed, automatically results in the person driving being charged and convicted for the death.

                The woman driving and involved in this collision, nearly succumbed to the violent inclinations of a mob that turned to vigilante action. No trial, no jury, by the slim details available in the sources provided to this comment section, they just grabbed her as she lawfully stopped at a stop sign, unwittingly it would seem, given the circumstances of a vicious mob pursuing her, and proceeded to beat the hell out of her. They didn’t just apprehend the 50 some year old woman, they went on to beat her. Fortunately, they stopped short of killing her. There certainly was no excusing her on their part.

                And I suppose some people reading here will of course plead that the people that decided to become part of the vigilante mob were the victim too, in addition to the toddler, and claim that consequently, they can’t be held at all responsible for the toddler having run out into the street after a ball, in front of a vehicle.

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  • rick October 23, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Where is the traffic lane for gas-powered lawn chairs? crazy protest in MN.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu October 23, 2017 at 11:20 am

    eMTB is a good thing why?

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    • mran1984 October 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Please don’t fall for the rebranding. It is a moped. There is a motor. It will never be a bicycle.

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      • CaptainKarma October 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        As a motor vehicle, an ebike should be fully insured. Because if you injure or kill me or my family in the bike lane, expect to be sued into bankruptcy.

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        • Chris I October 23, 2017 at 3:32 pm

          Does that apply to the guys on time trial bikes that do repeats in full tuck at 25mph+ on the Springwater Trail?

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        • Dan A October 23, 2017 at 5:02 pm

          With hit & runs on the rise, and 1/8th of all drivers having no insurance, it’s a good idea to have a high UIM policy.

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    • Paul Atkinson October 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      I know a guy in CA who’s in his 70s. For several decades he’s made it his hobby to ride his age, in miles, on his MTB every year for his birthday.

      In recent years he’s begun riding an eMTB.

      Having him on the trails is an unmitigated good thing. If you think it’s not, you two should go for a ride and have a beer together.

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      • wsbob October 23, 2017 at 7:24 pm

        A couple weeks ago in the WSJ, there was a story about e-mtn bikes, and how they’re able to extend the ability of people to ride trail as they get up in years. Featured person was a guy 75, more inclined to long, serious workouts than the average rider. He’d realized that he wasn’t doing the hills so easily anymore, and he wanted to continue riding with his son, 20 years younger.

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        • Paul Atkinson October 24, 2017 at 9:53 am

          If that had been about Mike I’d have heard, I think, but…

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          • Paul Atkinson October 24, 2017 at 9:53 am

            (Searching WSJ…)

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          • wsbob October 24, 2017 at 2:27 pm

            Sorry…I knew I should have come home, found the article and posted the link here, doubted that many people really would be interested. Almost certain it was the journal. Maybe the times, but I don’t think so. I’ve exhausted my free access to journal stories.

            In searching though, I noticed the hits brought up two or three other journal stories going back three years, about senior using e-mtn bikes to ride trail. There was a story too, about downhillers using e-mtn bikes to climb. The concept of e-bikes in general I think, is something completely alien to many people not having even ridden a bike for years.

            I’d guess outside of fear of falling, they have no idea with what ease e-power can help them ride a bike. I can imagine there are people out there that would like to ride atv’s but can’t afford to. An e-mtn bike might fit the bill far more easily, and overall, might be far better vehicular mode of trail travel. Once more people come to realization of the basics of e-power in biking, it seems like e-biking, and e-mtn biking has the potential to catch on in a big way around here. The broadening of the demographic interested in biking that e-power in biking could bring about, is something to consider.

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      • John Liu October 24, 2017 at 11:41 am

        eMTB racing is RACING. Which means there is no reason to accommodate physical weakness.

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        • Paul Atkinson October 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

          Do you feel the same way about the Paralympics?

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          • John Liu
            John Liu October 24, 2017 at 4:58 pm

            The paralympics competitions are among persons who are all disabled or better term partially-abled. And they don’t use motors.

            eMTB is to MTB racing like electric wheelchair races are to wheelchair racing.

            If you want to race with a motor, then race motocross.

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  • soren October 23, 2017 at 11:23 am
  • bikeninja October 23, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I love the last line from the bike snob article.

    “Maybe that’s why some people seem to hate bikes so much: pedal one for long enough and eventually you’ll arrive at the truth.”

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    • Dave October 23, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      Brilliant–I will have a hat made with that sentence on it.

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    • Kyle Banerjee October 23, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      Strikes me as a non sequitur. People hate bikes because you learn the truth if you ride long enough?

      In any case, sounds like has more riding to do. I’m suspicious of any “truth” that demonizes the vast majority of the population.

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      • bikeninja October 23, 2017 at 3:43 pm

        Hopefully more people will figure out the “truth” of the automobile before we humans end up like the unfortunate salmon.

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      • BradWagon October 23, 2017 at 3:51 pm

        Ah yes, the popular opinion held by the majority is always the moral truth, how dare we question it.

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        • Kyle Banerjee October 23, 2017 at 10:08 pm

          Undoubtedly, it’s better to follow those who are certain of their moral superiority to people they haven’t met and know nothing about aside from a single dimension.

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          • BradWagon October 24, 2017 at 9:43 am

            I am assuming you are referring to most drivers that don’t spend time cycling?

            Majority of cyclists also drive regularly or at least have in the past so I’m not sure they “know nothing about” the perspective of drivers… so your comment doesn’t work if directed as a counter point to mine.

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          • Kyle Banerjee October 24, 2017 at 2:20 pm

            The views that are so common here represent only part of the cycling community. Until I moved PDX, I’d never ridden with someone who felt morally superior to others just because of their transport. Even in Portland, this attitude is not so common among cyclists as reading BP might lead one to believe.

            It is especially ridiculous here, considering the never ending complaints about some of the easiest riding possible. Everyone has their own circumstances — fitness, health, terrain, time, distance, responsibilities. I question what some of the moralizers would do in some other riders’/drivers’ shoes.

            Moral superiority typically goes hand in hand with lack of understanding.

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            • John Liu
              John Liu October 24, 2017 at 5:02 pm

              Copenhagen is dead flat and geographically tiny. We’re going to complain until Portland is the same way.

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            • 9watts October 24, 2017 at 5:23 pm

              “never ending complaints”

              you hear what you want to hear; (mis-)interpret what we’re saying; fail to engage when one of us tries to clarify your (by now very familiar) misconceptions.

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            • El Biciclero October 24, 2017 at 7:16 pm

              “Moral superiority typically goes hand in hand with lack of understanding.”

              I guess it depends on what you mean by “moral”. There is empirical evidence that cars cause a plethora of problems, some of which result from their being driven. Cars take up space being useless 90% of the time, take up at least 5x the road space necessary to transport their (usually) single occupant, kill thousands of people per year (in more ways than one), kill animals, destroy property, pollute the air, water, soil, and auditory environment, incite fear and stress among the general population, co-opt public ways as their exclusive domain, suck valuable income away from their owners, put people into debt, are a contributing factor to many wars and military “conflicts”, and generally suck the life out of the population (whether they realize it or not). Bicycles do have their societal/environmental costs imposed by manufacturing, disposal, and whatnot, but the major cost to society imposed by bicycle use, the one huge factor that incites so much outrage, the drain on economic viability in communities of all sizes the world over—the hideous, unspeakable evil that is foisted on society by smug, morally-superiorer-than-thou bicyclists is—are you ready? minor inconvenience to those in motor vehicles. Regardless of what one considers to be “morally superior”, simply on a cost-benefit basis, bicycles are vastly superior as a form of transport. On the personal comfort/convenience scale, for those that can afford them, cars would likely be “superior” to bikes. Either way, I think the lack of understanding is on the part of those who ignore the so-called “externalities” of owning and operating motor vehicles because they are blinded by status and convenience, or feel they have no other option but to drive everywhere and therefore cannot consider the cost to society because they believe their car is essential to their very existence.

              Now, there are indeed cases in which some people cannot move about by any other means than motorized transport of some sort, and are not served by any form of accommodating public transportation, and so “must” rely on a personal (or at-their-disposal) motor vehicle for their transportation needs. I think everyone here understands that. I don’t berate people who drive—I drive a good portion of the time, but whereas I don’t yell at people and tell them to “quit destroying society and the planet!” simply because they are driving to work, I personally have been yelled at or otherwise treated poorly and had my life threatened because I am perceived as an inconvenience by those in motor vehicles. So let’s see…in this hand I have insidious destruction of life, property, and the planet itself, and in this hand…minor inconvenience…yep, ’bout equal I guess.

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            • Kyle Banerjee October 25, 2017 at 2:13 pm

              Like I said, it comes from a lack of understanding.

              There are presumptions of distance, fitness, time, responsibilities and factors about the dynamics of driving. There is a total failure to recognize how easy many of you have it.

              Some of you need to spend some real time riding outside this bubble and see if you still find the morality so easy.

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              • El Biciclero October 25, 2017 at 4:33 pm

                Not sure if this was a reply to my comment, but I think I have a bit of an understanding of the time/distance/fitness/responsibility parameters. I live over 10 hilly miles from my workplace, have kids to deliver to school in the morning (in the opposite direction from my workplace), and like to be home before said kids are in bed. These parameters give me a very narrow window in which to make the hour-long bike commute to work and back. The degree of exertion I have to put forth to get to work on my bike within my allotted hour as a 50-ish-year-old person is such that doing so two days in a row is an iffy proposition. Plus, obligations and responsibilities often dictate that I don’t even get my hour on many days and have no way to meet schedule demand except by making the “immoral” choice to drive. I also eat hamburgers on occasion. My compromise is that I plan to ride to work a few days per week and then drive the other days. I also fairly strictly walk or bicycle my kid to school (he’s too little to go alone); we only drive to school a few times per year. I guess where I feel I have a greater level of understanding (I could be wrong, though), is when it comes to encountering bicyclists on the road when I am driving. I know that as a driver, I am the one being a boorish resource-hog, and so willingly concede as much roadway space for as long as is necessary to accommodate anyone riding a bike to the degree to which I would appreciate being accommodated when I happen to be riding. That sounded like a convoluted sentence, but you know what I meant. This is in contrast to the majority of drivers that I encounter when riding, or even in conversation, who hold the belief that as drivers, we should have full and exclusive rights to the road, on which we should be allowed to drive as fast as other [motor] traffic allows, and that anyone not motorized, whether they be pedestrians or bicyclists, are interlopers who use the roads at drivers’ pleasure and mercy, and had better stay out of the way if they know what’s good for ’em. My wife has had people casually tell her they wish they could see “those yellow jerseys scattered all over the ditch.” So maybe it’s just the attitude of many (not all of them, mind you) drivers that we could call “immoral”, even if we do the requisite mental gymnastics to ignore the destructive nature of driving. I mean, if someone voices the opinion, even in jest, that I deserve to die—or at least get run over—because I caused them some legally-sanctioned, extremely transient inconvenience while they were busy spreading death to everything around them, there’s something wrong with that.

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              • Kyle Banerjee October 26, 2017 at 10:04 am

                Then you understand the riding part of the equation, but not the human side. We’re in the same category in terms of age and what we’re willing to do to be on a bike — I had a 40+mile RT commute for over a decade that included a 47 month stint without driving even once.

                We are both outliers. Every place I’ve ever worked, people are introduced to my coworkers by their title. I am consistently introduced as a cyclist first and then my title. I have been featured in newspapers in other places I’ve lived several times over the years.

                Most people are unable and unwilling to do what it takes to do that. That does not constitute a moral deficiency in my book.

                I encounter the attitudes you describe all the time and hear the death jokes. I consistently speak up and offer an alternative perspective. For example, if someone talks about how they wanted to hit a cyclist moving 15mph because they couldn’t pass for half a minute, I wonder out loud how they don’t go out of their minds waiting for someone who brings all traffic to a dead standstill for much longer while they wait to turn left across a very busy road or back into a parking spot. If they talk about cycling gumming things up by going so slowly, I say if all those people wouldn’t leave their cars in the traffic lane for hours/days not even running, we’d all get where we’re going faster.

                I experience very little conflict with motorists and seem to get much better treatment than most cyclists. I can’t say exactly why that is, but I suspect it’s because I’m genuinely trying to work with them and sense that. I am much more assertive than most riders, but I also try to help everyone get where they’re going.

                Hate is just a form of aggression that leads nowhere good. Trying to change things by what amounts to force is like a chihuahua trying to threaten a Rott. It is comically sad and the outcome is inevitable. Rather, we need to help change the consciousness of that entitled attitude so that drivers understand it’s in everyone’s interests to work together.

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              • Eric Leifsdad October 28, 2017 at 8:49 am

                A small electric motor does wonders for covering longer distances or challenging terrain without so much cost to those around you. The whining or excuses about why some people have to drive and “won’t anyone think of the cars” are very thin when you look at them through the lens of an e-bike.

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      • rachel b October 24, 2017 at 7:08 pm

        I think the point was that most people want actually to avoid the truth, Kyle. Despite all our quacking about it. 😉

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    • Matt S. October 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      What, riding in the rain sucks!

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  • soren October 23, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    State of bikelash…Perhaps a sign of things to come in Portland?

    * Portland’s new source of transportation revenue is budgeted as “”fixing our streets”“.

    * The Bicycle Transportation Alliance dropped cycling as its major focus and changed its name to the “Street Trust”“.

    * Portland’s commissioners, Mayor, and city staff actively avoid pitching new projects as cycling infrastructure. Cycling has become a word to avoid due to fears of “bikelash”.

    * Mainstream and grassroots active transportation groups also avoid an emphasis on bike infrastructure due to fears of “bikelash”.

    * PBOT eliminated all *dedicated* active transportation funding in its budget.

    * PBOT safety education targets people walking and rolling for “unsafe” behavior.

    * Portland’s active transportation division manager leaves PBOT.

    * Cycling infrastructure design often seeks to improve “safety” by reducing cycling speeds and/or delaying people cycling.

    * PBOT repeatedly urges people cycling to avoid main-street commercial routes and instead detour to Neighborhood Greenways.

    * PBOT designs and builds major bike-routes that funnel people cycling away from main-street commercial areas.

    * Planning and design of East Portland Neighborhood Greenways (funded in 2012) has been canceled and/or repeatedly delayed with little public signs of progress.

    * Planning and design of the Central City Multimodal Plan (funded in 2013) has been repeatedly delayed (the first private stakeholder committee meeting was held this Oct).

    * Construction of the Foster streetscape project has been repeatedly delayed and was recently delayed et again.

    * Since 2014 Portland’s bike mode share has dropped ~13% .

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    • David Hampsten October 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Meanwhile, In Greensboro NC, America’s most car-friendly city, the number of miles of bike infrastructure (bike lanes and buffered bike lanes) has more than doubled in the last 12 months, with projects spread evenly citywide. Its local LimeBike dockless bikeshare program, started earlier in 2017, has also more than doubled local “visible” bicycle use. Thanks to LimeBike distributing its bright lime green bikes citywide, including in black, immigrant, and industrial areas, local politicians are now “seeing” bicycles and openly advocating for further improvements, as part of their election campaigns for this November.

      IMO, Portland screwed up on several opportunities to make improvements citywide, rather than just serve the most liberal voters of inner Portland. By segregating the bike program to just the inner core, the outer areas now not only feel disenfranchised, but because they have no other option but to drive, they vent their frustrations upon vulnerable users such as pedestrians and bicyclists, most especially in those same outer areas, which have the most crash deaths, as well as (apparently) inner city users.

      – When starting the greenway (bicycle boulevard) program, PBOT should have implemented them citywide, including in EP and Southwest, and not just in inner neighborhoods.

      – Similarly, its bikeshare program should have also been citywide.

      – The sidewalks of Brentwood-Darlington, as well as Cully and East Portland should have been built after annexation in 1992, 25 years ago. As much of a shame that they have to wait so long (longer still as PBOT keeps delaying funded sidewalks in EP), feel sorry for Southwest, who after 50 years are still waiting for basic sidewalks.

      My 18 years in Portland were pleasant enough, but I’m sure glad I don’t live there anymore. Yeah, Greensboro kinda sucks for biking, walking, and transit, but at least it’s improving, unlike Portland.

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      • soren October 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm

        “By segregating the bike program to just the inner core, the outer areas now not only feel disenfranchised, but because they have no other option but to drive…”

        Yes. And, like many inner PDX people, I was for the most part clueless about this.

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        • dwk October 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

          Weren’t you a big proponent of Better Naito?
          Some of us thought the money could and should be spent elsewhere…..

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        • dwk October 23, 2017 at 2:11 pm

          Also the 21st and 28th bridges….

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        • JeffS October 23, 2017 at 2:29 pm

          I’m always left scratching my head at these types of statements. If I ride around my house in relatively inner SE, there are no bike lanes. The further east I travel from my house, the more lanes I see. If I travel west, they really don’t start to appear until very close to the river. Far north of town has bike lanes all over the place.

          What areas, specifically, is everyone talking about when they make these “no infrastructure”, “have to drive” statements? Serious question. I don’t know.

          And to David… how much riding you’re really doing around Greensboro if you feel that a bike lane is a requirement for getting around. Was car-free in Raleigh for years and remember seeing a bike lane twice I believe. As someone used to riding around cars, I do not believe the bike lanes of Portland are making me safer. In fact, I am confident that they increase my risk, especially at intersections.

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          • David Hampsten October 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm

            I said “bike improvements” about Portland, which includes bike lanes, bicycle boulevards (greenways in Portlandese), chicanes, diverters, sharrows, etc. I’m sure there are several within a half-mile of where you live.

            As for “bike lanes”, I totally agree with you, as does the city traffic engineer here in Greensboro, bike lanes provide, at best, a false sense of security for bicyclists. However, for distracted motorists, bike lanes give them a better symbolic cue than sharrows that bicyclists have every right to use the roadway, even if they aren’t there at the moment. They serve an additional purpose of traffic calming, of narrowing and delineating car lanes. If done well, they can delineate the car lane to 9 to 10 feet, which will often slow even moderate traffic down to 30 mph, even without a bike in sight. For heavy trucks and buses, the bike lane provides wiggle room for turns and dodging turning vehicles. The engineers here use bike lanes, especially buffered bike lanes, to remove traffic lanes, with a long-term goal of reducing speeds and maintenance costs. Since they cannot sell traffic-calming to the local politicians here (they’ve tried), they use lanes as a useful substitute, in the name of encouraging recreation and exercise. It’s all false flim-flam, but it is working to reduce speeds.

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            • Pete October 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

              “They serve an additional purpose of traffic calming, of narrowing and delineating car lanes.”

              I truly believe this. There is a contentious road diet here in Santa Clara, San Jose (look up “Pruneridge” or “Hedding” “bike lanes”), and recently San Jose eliminated a travel lane to implement buffered bike lanes on Hedding, part of their master plan for some time. (The route is a critical east-west connector to downtown SJ, despite Santa Clara reneging on portions of its implementation by caving to motorist pressure).

              Anyway, I don’t bike this route, I drive it several times weekly. When it was two lanes I was the slowest car on the road by obeying the speed limit. I would have thought eliminating one lane would result in significant tailgating, but ironically people just seem to drive slower on it now.

              I also believe that fully hashed buffers make a big difference. There was a similar treatment I proposed here ( in Santa Clara, and they only hashed the intersection ends of the buffer. The paint is now almost completely gone, and speeds remain high.

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              • David Hampsten October 24, 2017 at 8:35 pm

                I had a meeting earlier this evening that enforces your point. It was at the local transit board, for which I am one of two representatives for one of the whitest districts (3). A city councilor from District 1, which is 90% black, was complaining about a new set of bike lanes, on a street that was 2 lanes each way, now converted to one lane each way, plus two bike lanes and a center turn lane. She (the councilor) complained that she could no longer pass the city bus on the street, as it was blocking all the traffic every time it stopped, and was slowing traffic to a crawl. From her points, I learned:

                Firstly, that the Greensboro Dept of Transportation has successfully added another mile of new bike lanes, in one of the highest crime sections of the city, as planned and already approved by Council. They did it by using the re-paving budget, then redesigning the striping before striping the street, almost for free. The immediate community wanted it to reduce traffic speeds and make crossing the street easier and safer; the police wanted it to reduce traffic speeds without having to pull over mostly black motorists; and the Dept of Transportation wanted it to fulfill a “75 miles of new bike lanes in 5 years” promise to council they foolishly made last year.

                Secondly, this particular councilor hates bike lanes, hates transit, and presumably hates pedestrians, but loves to drive her car as fast as possible (alas, most of our council agrees with her.)

                Finally, and most important, the combination of a regular scheduled bus line and a 3-lane plus bike lanes road diet is a truly winning combination for traffic calming by just using engineering and pavement markings, rather than using expensive and often unreliable law enforcement, or waiting 15 years for enough money to rebuild the street, as PBOT usually does.

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              • Pete October 25, 2017 at 8:15 am

                “a street that was 2 lanes each way, now converted to one lane each way, plus two bike lanes and a center turn lane.”

                During debates on this type of treatment here, the police frequently point to reduced speeds and lowered numbers of citations and incidents as a result. Upon measurement, the city also learned that the average driver delay (during peak commute times) was barely measurable. (Still, they caved to public pressure, but alas…).

                The other issue that police and engineers described this configuration as solving was rear-ending of vehicles. It seems the biggest situation was that drivers turning into their own driveways were frequently getting rear-ended, and the center turn lane solved that.

                The bike lanes are frequently attributed as being the culprits by opposition, but it’s actually the center turn lane that forces the loss of the two-lane-in-each-direction configuration… it’s just that there’s then room left over for bike lanes.

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          • soren October 23, 2017 at 3:08 pm

            Number of Neighborhood Greenways in inner SE PDX: ~10 (e.g. west of 82nd)
            Number of Neighborhood Greenways in SE PDX east of 82nd: 1.5 (includes partially complete 100s)

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty October 24, 2017 at 10:40 am

              How many riders from further out use these facilities frequently?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 24, 2017 at 10:41 am

                Use the facilities in inner PDX, that is.

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            • Eric Leifsdad October 28, 2017 at 8:17 am

              Check out the southwest greenway map. Maybe 2, at 6 blocks each.

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          • Kyle Banerjee October 23, 2017 at 4:13 pm

            As you go further North and Northeast, the riding gets dodgier. Cars go significantly faster, you’re much more likely to find undesirable routing, busier shoulderless roads with curbs (i.e. lousy bail opportunities).

            I’m happy to mix with traffic, but there are plenty of places that aren’t great. It’s no mystery to me why there are few cyclists out there, particularly at night — you can go miles without seeing one.

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            • I Voted for Trump October 24, 2017 at 11:56 pm

              Saw a cyclist the other night at 2 am, on the shoulder of west bound I-84, somewhere around Gresham. I did think that was an unusual place to be riding at 2 am, but the shoulder is fairly wide so maybe it was his safest option.

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              • Pete October 27, 2017 at 3:05 pm

                I’ve ridden on Halsey and the frontage road in Troutdale, and wouldn’t consider I-84 any more dangerous.

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      • Dave October 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm

        Portland desperately needs city council seats allotted geographically.

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        • Lester Burnham October 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

          Agreed. But how do we get the representation we deserve? How do we turn our current city government upside down and take out the trash?

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          • David Hampsten October 25, 2017 at 9:01 pm

            Learn from other cities that have recently switched from at-large councils to district councils, such as Denver & Cincinnati. You may need the courts to intervene.

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            • Eric Leifsdad October 28, 2017 at 8:04 am

              Ballot measure?

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  • hotrodder October 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Is “motorcross” anything like “motocross”?

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  • hotrodder October 23, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Link on the TdF sent me to a KOIN page! About a guy running over someone with his car!

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  • pixie October 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    There will be a 3D printed steel bridge installed in Amsterdam soon.

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  • Tim October 23, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    The Irony of the SUV is that people buy them because the feel safer driving an SUV. An SUV is less safe than a sedan for the people inside and far less safe for everyone else, but people buy them because they feel safe. Height and size feels safer to emotional reasoning. Objective safety is real, but doesn’t sell over-sized vehicles.

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    • bikeninja October 23, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      The safety fantasy of the SUV is much like the fantasy that drives some people to purchase guns for home security. The gun owner imagines themselves shooting down the faceless thug who breaks in brandishing a knife, while the SUV owner imagines themselves safely crashing with a drunk in a compact car. In reality the gun owner is much more likely to kill themselves or a family member by accident, and the SUV owner is much more likely to die in a single car accident involving multiple roll overs or ramming a bridge abutment. In these single car accidents, SUV’s are significantly less safe than modern passenger cars.

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      • 9watts October 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm


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      • Dan A October 24, 2017 at 8:32 am

        More likely to die ramming a bridge abutment? I’m curious where this information comes from.

        As the owner of a compact SUV and a compact car, I don’t imagine myself ‘safely crashing with a drunk’ when I’m in the SUV, but I do imagine driving in deep snow on the mountain or in mud on the way to a rainy campout, having better visibility around the vehicle than I do in our compact car, having better visibility in inclement weather, having better traction when the roads are slippery, and having enough room to carry all of my monthly Cub Scout meeting supplies to the school in one trip. I do prefer the compact car in good weather though.

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        • bikeninja October 24, 2017 at 9:06 am

          This safety comparison mostly applies to the traditional body-on-frame SUV which are built on truck chassis. Because of the limitations of this design, and lobbying from auto manufacturers these types of SUV’s don’t have the same front end energy absorbing capability as cars and transfer more of the energy of a crash directly in to the occupants, they also tip over more easily, and are more likely to experience roof crush in a roll over due to greater weight and less roof strength. Many small cross over SUV’s are just unitized-body cars with 4 wheel drive and benefit from the better safety engineering of the car they were based on. These types of small SUV’s should really be called 4wd tall-roof-cars, but that doesn’t have much of a ring to it.

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          • Dan A October 24, 2017 at 10:14 am

            When our current tall-roof-car dies, I’ll probably replace it with a small minivan like a Mazda5. I prefer the little bit of extra ground clearance and AWD we currently have, but we’ve been left out of some of our local carpools because we don’t have enough room for everyone when it’s our turn to drive.

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        • Brian October 24, 2017 at 9:22 am


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    • I Voted for Trump October 25, 2017 at 12:01 am

      In a head on collision between a Yukon and a Corolla which vehicle will you elect to be be seated in? Kinda puts it in perspective doesn’t it.

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      • 9watts October 25, 2017 at 7:11 am

        You are mistaking the damage to the respective vehicles for the damage to those within. I’d take the Corolla if my health was at issue; the Yukon if damage to the vehicle were the metric.
        Several decades ago my aunt and three cousins smashed into a Geo Metro with their massive seventies Ford station wagon that weighed several times what the Geo weighed. The Geo was totaled but the occupant was fine; whereas my aunt had to wear a neck brace afterwards and her car was fine.

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      • Chris I October 25, 2017 at 7:59 am

        SUVs are more dangerous because they are more likely to crash in certain situations where a car would not: driving down a country road and you blow a tire, swerve and roll into the ditch. Swerving to avoid a deer and you roll. T-boned at an intersection and you roll. It is also disingenuous for you to compare a Yukon and a compact car. If you are concerned with safety, there are many very safe mid and full-size sedans out there. The statistics are quite clear.

        But, sure. Keep telling yourself that your SUV is keeping you safe.

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      • Pete October 25, 2017 at 8:02 am

        Both vehicles are designed with the same crumple zones and to the same cabin safety standards. I think if you were to witness this head-on, you’d be surprised at the protection inside the Corolla, except that the excess weight of the Yukon would indeed send more impact to the Corolla’s driver (F = MA and all that).

        Yukon and Suburban were two of the most common vehicles we’d see upside down on the side of highway 35 when I worked on Mt Hood. SUVs are basically pickup trucks, and despite having 4WD they still have high center of gravity and unbalanced fore-to-aft weight distribution. I drove in snow and icy conditions for decades, and the Jeep Cherokee was not only the worst vehicle I owned, but the least safe. Spun like a top at the slightest inclination. Go to a snowy area and you’ll see pickup truck owners filling beds with snow to weight the rear for better traction. SUV owners tend not to do this.

        BTW, with the right tires, the Corolla would be fine in all but the deepest snow.

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        • GlowBoy October 25, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          “with the right tires.”

          And snow/ice highlights one of the massive irrationalities people have about vehicle safety. On snow or ice, I’d take a small car with good winter tires over a 4WD SUV with all-season tires in a heartbeat. The SUV might be able to go better than the 2WD car in the snow, but it won’t stop as well, and it won’t turn as well. All four-wheeled vehicles have four-wheel braking, and only your tires touch the road surface.

          I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had conversations with people who bought SUVs (or AWD cars) because they thought it would be safer in slick conditions. These SUVs cost thousands of dollars more than the cars they replaced – or compared with a comparable 2WD car – and yet, more than 95% of the time, these folks refused to invest in winter tires, despite my (convincing, I think) arguments for doing so. In many cases, the extra fuel consumption alone cost more on an annual basis than a second set of tires would.

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          • Pete October 25, 2017 at 6:43 pm

            Coming down from Meadows with my lovely ‘lil sis’ and stripping off gear in my wagon’s tail, the boys in the huge Ford behind us were having quite a time offering rescue (to her). The snow had piled up to the windows and they were convinced there was no way we could move that little old Audi. Clearly that huge F350 (coincidentally what I learned to drive in… before they were born) would have no problem!

            I packed down little ramps of snow in front of the Blizzaks, rocked back and forth twice, and pulled right out. The boys had driven over to an open spot of the parking lot to do donuts and watch us. You could imagine their surprise when – to their dismay – they got stuck! You see, those old F350s have part-time 4WD, and they forgot to engage the front hubs! I turned off the electronic skid protection and had some fun showing them what the S4’s 300 lb-ft of torque can do before rolling down the window to offer some help…

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      • wsbob October 25, 2017 at 9:21 am

        Between a Yukon and a Corrolla? Neither really…I don’t want to be in any collisions. Though I don’t feel either vehicle is as inherently unsafe by design, as some people that resent larger vehicles like the full size Yukon pickup hope to convince people that such vehicles are. Know your vehicle and you’re chances of having a problem are much less. Plus, there’s no way a dinky little Corrolla is going to be able to do some of the jobs for which people have need of a pickup.

        Consumer protection is an important defense to make, but some people go way overboard on that, Ralph Nader with the Chevrolet Corvair back in the early sixties being a prime example. Initially, Chevrolet had a design flaw with the Corvair’s suspension, causing it to be more than reasonably inclined to tip over during hard turns.

        Ralph made a big deal about this with video, causing a nationwide sensation, with many in the U.S. at the time very favorable to big American cars and trucks, ridiculing and dismissing the small Corvair. Chev quickly fixed the suspension problem, and went on to make other improvements to the car’s design, including high performance, but the car’s rep was forever tainted by the sensation, influencing Chev to move its design efforts to the v-8 powered Camaro. Had that not happened, the U.S. might have had smaller, more fuel efficient cars popular with the public much sooner than it did. In a crash scenario? Early corvairs don’t seem like they’d be a strong contender against a full size pickup of the day.

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      • GlowBoy October 25, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Mass doesn’t equate to safety as directly as many people think. The extra mass of the Yukon will help you in a crash with a Corolla by shifting more of the force of the collision to the other vehicle. But it doesn’t help you substantially when you hit a large truck or a fixed object like a ditch, bridge abutment, tree, train, etc. where it’s not possible to transfer that much of the burden of the collision to the other object.

        Also, while increasing your vehicle’s mass makes you safer in a collision with another vehicle with a similar order of magnitude of mass, it does so directly at the other party’s expense. And it decreases their safety MORE than it increases yours. On the whole it is a losing proposition, and a damned selfish one.

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  • SE October 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    I thought we were paying an extra tax on gas to fix potholes ? Have not seen a single one repaired in SE

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    • 9watts October 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      I haven’t seen any potholes in inner SE. Maybe the freakout over them was overblown?

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    • Paul October 23, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      I have seen a lot repaired. It was pretty bad right after the winter, and I encounter them much less now.

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  • SE October 24, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I have seen a lot repaired. It was pretty bad right after the winter, and I encounter them much less now.
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    come out past 122nd some time. Division at 131st. 136th at division ..etc.

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