The Monday Roundup: What Amazon wants, street harrassment, overcoming eyerolls, and more

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Showers Pass. Don’t miss their annual warehouse sale on November 11th.

Welcome to Monday. Here are the stories that caught our eyes last week…

Problematic panacea: Victoria Transport Policy Institute Founder Todd Litman shares his top reasons to be skeptical of autonomous vehicles, including the Zombie Kangaroo Costume Challenge and the Titanic Safety Dilemma.

Wolf Whistles and Creepy Compliments: The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has resources that will help decrease and prevent the all too common phenomenon on harrassment while biking and walking to school.

“Vision Zero” easy to say, hard to do: A few years ago Vision Zero came into vogue and many mayors issued proclamations about it. Now we’re seeing that many of them were just blowing smoke.

More pricing policy momentum: A commission tasked with digging into mobility pricing for the metro Vancouver (Canada) region says the time is right to make some modes more expensive.

Dying for better bikeways: Montreal was by far the best city for cycling in North America years ago; but advocates think they’ve fallen too far behind and they want safer infrastructure (sound familiar, Portland?).

Paris loves e-bikes: Velib bike share was one of the largest and earliest success stories. Now all 20,000 bikes in the fleet will be upgraded to electric-assist.

3-D zebras: The internet has gone mad for this 3-D zebra-striped crosswalk painted in a town in Iceland, created in hopes of getting people in cars to slow down.

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The middle finger heard ’round the world: A woman riding a bicycle staked out Trump at his golf course and followed his motorcade with the specific goal of flipping him off as he came by. She succeeded beyond her wildest dreams:

Overcoming “eyerolls and stinky attitude”: Don’t miss this great interview with Portlander Aqua Dublavee about what it’s like to face fears as a new rider. It’s part of an interview series by Friends on Bikes.

What Amazon wants: The NY Times delves into what the behemoth company in a second headquarters city — and a lot of it has to do with being a place where employees can thrive without using a car.

Lawmaker, lawbreaker: Oregon State Rep Julie Parrish got pulled over and cited for distracted driving — a law she supported in last year’s legislative session.

Scope of distraction problem: Bloomberg has a sobering report about how the lack of federal data on the role of smartphones in traffic crashes is making it harder to tackle this public health epidemic.

Distracted walking a crime too: On October 25th the city of Honolulu, Hawaii became the first in the United States to begin enforcing a law against using a cell phone while walking.

Trackless rail: China has launched an urban train that runs on an invisible line underground. Imagine the reduction in injuries and improved safety of our streets if we had these in Portland!

This is the Thursday Night Ride: Excellent local photographer Eric Thornburg has come out with a beautiful short film that captures the who, what and why of Portland’s TNR.

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

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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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BC
BC
6 years ago

“Woman on a bike” expressed herself beautifully. Thanks to her.

rainbike
rainbike
6 years ago
Reply to  BC

Yea, if we all reached out to those with whom we disagree a little more often and expressed ourselves in such an eloquent manner, I’m sure all of our problems would just go away.

Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  rainbike

Eloquence is hard when you have to keep your message to a level the recipient can understand.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
6 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I can’t remember the news commentator that said Trump had an advantage in written exchanges, which was that he is able to express the totality of his thoughts on a matter in 140 characters. Not everyone can do that.

bikeninja
bikeninja
6 years ago
Reply to  rainbike

I agree, flipping the bird to the sitting president is a bit juvenile. But the photograph is appealing never the less. The lone girl on the bike, expressing defiance to the speeding motorcade of gas guzzling armored vehicles carrying the climate change denier-in-chief protected by heavily armed guards is similar in its imagery to the guy in front of the tank in Tiananmen square. While not dignified, nor purposeful the display of defiance to power is heartwarming.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

If you’re inspired by the act of the guy that temporarily blocked the progress of a tank in Tienanmen Square, imagine this:

…a woman standing with her bike, flipping the bird in front of the presidential motorcade, blocking its progress at least for a short period of time.

Or some variations: everything the same except…

…both hands upright, fingers forming the peace symbol.

…kneeling, hand over heart, head bowed in prayer.

If we’re talking about defiance of the sitting pres, that last one would’ve been sure to tick him off, if his expression of ‘outrage’ about the football players kneeing during the national anthem is any indication.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

If you’re inspired by the act of the guy that temporarily blocked the progress of a tank in Tienanmen Square, imagine this:

…a woman standing with her bike, flipping the bird in front of the presidential motorcade, blocking its progress at least for a short period of time.

Or some variations: everything the same except…

…both hands upright, fingers forming the peace symbol.

…kneeling, hand over heart, head bowed in prayer.

If we’re talking about defiance of the sitting pres, it seems to me that last one would’ve been a truly strong act of defiance, and one sure to tick him off, if his expression of ‘outrage’ about the football players kneeing during the national anthem is any indication.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

Sorry…meant to write ‘…kneeling…’.

wsbob
6 years ago

…flipping the bird to the pres of the U.S. and his motorcade? Not original, but safer than a sign with a death threat written on it, or flashing a b.a….or just riding naked. The level of intelligence represented by flipping the bird, is about the same as dashing out a bunch of mindless tweets day after day, as the sitting pres does. Given that mentality, it’s a little bit of a surprise that he didn’t roll down his window and flip the bird back to her.

Far more impressive and an expression of some notable defiance on a local scale, is the story of Portland resident Aqua Dublavee, rejecting convention and preconceived notions about who can or should be riding a bike.

Excellent example of a woman, not only a person of color but also a full bodied woman presenting a vivid demonstration of how large size, being black, and woman is not an insurmountable obstacle to enjoying the pleasure and practicality of riding a bike. Timidity is absent, also a good quality.

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

I’m with Bob.

Though I sympathize with the motivations for our bird flipper, this is one of those “Don’t wrestle with a pig” type of situations.

CaptainKarma
CaptainKarma
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Are we really discussing a woman’s etnicity and body size on Bikeportland? Strange.

BikeSlobPDX
BikeSlobPDX
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

I’ve read that the windows on the presidential limousine are five inches thick, and I’m guessing they don’t roll down.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Maybe an hour ago, I read a story reporting that the woman flipping the bird to the sitting pres’s motorcade, was fired from her job, because the company objected to her using what it apparently referred to as “…‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things…” on her social media. It claims she violated the company’s social media policy.

Not to ridicule the woman, but from the story, this excerpt about her reaction to hearing a photo of her flipping the bird to the motorcade, was a bit of a head scratcher:

“…In a Saturday interview with HuffPost, Briskman, a 50-year-old mother of two, said she was stunned that someone had taken a picture of her giving Trump the middle finger. …”

Stunned? Stunned that someone would think to photograph a lone woman on a bike, the only person riding alongside it, and flipping the bird to the presidential motorcade? Maybe she thought this type of scene happens every day…people would never think to post the picture on social media.

rick
rick
6 years ago

again, Hillary voted to bail out the automobile industry. move on from it.

Oregonlahar
Oregonlahar
6 years ago
Reply to  rick

Weary of the Hillary too argument. As we ain’t talking about her, but about the DOTUS.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
6 years ago

I am all for the distracted pedestrian law. Can’t count how many times someone has walked across an intersection without even glancing up.

bikeninja
bikeninja
6 years ago

Especially those pesky blind folks.

Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

I’m going to bet that most blind people have fantastic situational awareness.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

Do you mean those people that when they need to cross the street, hold up a white cane with a red tip?

I don’t think blind people actively indicating need to cross the street, by displaying their cane as mentioned in the driver’s manual, is anything close to sighted but distracted pedestrians crossing the street and not paying much attention at all to traffic.

BradWagon
6 years ago

Also can’t count the number of times someone walking across the street has killed another person…

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  BradWagon

The purpose of the law is to protect peds.

They sometimes step out in front of me, most recently today — I had to come to a full stop in the middle of a block. In some areas, it’s seems like it’s rare to not see them wandering around like stray chickens. But let’s keep it all about victimization and oppression, actual safety be dаmned…

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

driver: i hit the ped because *they* were not paying attention/distracted (and/or the sun was in my eyes, they were wearing black, it was dark outside, it was raining, they came out of no where, i was choking on a big gulp etc).

the purpose of this law is to give drivers yet another excuse for hitting, injuring, maiming, or killing human beings.

Brian
Brian
6 years ago
Reply to  Kyle Banerjee

They are distracted, though. What makes anyone think having a law will make someone suddenly undistracted and consider the new rule on the book before stepping out? Isn’t jaywalking illegal, too?

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Brian

your knowledge of traffic law suggests to me that you must be a driver! jaywalking is, in fact, legal on most portland streets.

Brian
Brian
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

I’m many things, actually. Are all forms of jaywalking legal?

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Brian

that was meant as a joke, btw. almost all of us here are multmodal: walk, roll, ride transit, and drive.

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

The issue isn’t jaywalking, it’s attention. You can cross I-5 safely if you’re paying attention.

That something’s legal doesn’t mean it should be, nor does it mean it’s safe.

I don’t know if a distracted walking law would affect behavior, but if it prevents any injuries or deaths, it’s not a bad thing. There is zero advantage and plenty of risks to walking distracted.

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Speeding is illegal, and we know that no one ever does that.

This law will be used for “broken windows” type policing. Certain groups will be targeted, and it will be used as an excuse for a search.

meh
meh
6 years ago
Reply to  BradWagon

You mean other than themselves??? No pain for those they leave behind, or for the driver who did nothing wrong yet is party to killing someone.

SD
SD
6 years ago
Reply to  BradWagon

If the distracted pedestrian is safe, then so are our children.

What do I say when a distracted pedestrian behaves unpredictably and steps in front of me when I am in a car or a bike?

“Thank you for your service.”

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  SD

Which works fine in a bubble where no drivers make any mistakes. As soon as they leave the bubble (even to visit) or a driver makes a mistake, they are in extreme peril.

wsbob
6 years ago
Reply to  SD

“…What do I say when a distracted pedestrian behaves unpredictably and steps in front of me when I am in a car or a bike?

“Thank you for your service.” ” SD

What do you say to them when they step in front of you, not leaving you enough time to stop to avoid colliding with them…resulting in you, knocking them down, their sustaining injuries, and maybe you as well, if the impact causes you to fall off your bike? Maybe: ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s my fault, I’ll take full responsibility because I was riding a bike, you were the relatively more vulnerable road user.’?

KTaylor
KTaylor
6 years ago

I have to confess that, though I don’t agree with the thinking behind these laws, I support them. I don’t want the oness taken off of drivers to watch out for pedestrians, but I am sick to death of sidewalk zombies. Even if they aren’t an outright danger to those around them, they are delegating their part in cooperatively sharing space to everyone around them. You have to look out for them as if they were babies — essentially, if you are looking up and attending to your surroundings, these people are taking from you.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  KTaylor

in my experience, people cycling in portland are far worse than drivers when it comes to respecting pedestrian right of way*. consequently, i love “sidewalk zombies” (e.g. people walking) because they represent real-time training for cyclists who do not understand that it is their responsibility to avoid hitting other people.

*the risk of serious injury and/or death is, of course, almost entirely associated with driving

shirtsoff
shirtsoff
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

I find when cycling at 21-24mph (not uncommon for my setup) I typically end up stopped in the crosswalk when I notice pedestrians on the sidewalk (see: speed blindness for a scientific explanation of this phenomenon). It’s embarrassing but my civic duty to stop as soon as I notice the intent to cross. All shame aside what is most astonishing is the three cars behind me that typically CONTINUE through the crosswalk with me and the pedestrians present in it. That I have no rational explanation for.

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

Totally agreed.

I always signal to cyclists behind me since I’ve nearly gotten run over by ones assuming I wouldn’t stop.

This is a particularly dangerous situation when there is a line of vehicles that isn’t moving and a ped is crossing that the cyclists can’t see. Some of these cyclists aren’t aware the world doesn’t revolve around them.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  KTaylor

That law already exists in most states.
A safe system needs better road users as well as better infrastructure. Laws are one way to that goal.

KTaylor
KTaylor
6 years ago
Reply to  KTaylor

Ok – I recant. I really don’t like seeing the oness placed on pedestrians to avoid being hit. I feel the same way about the current push to get pedestrians to wear flashing lights, neon clothing and reflectors. But I do wish something would happen to get pedestrians’ heads up out of their phones – just as with motorists. I really don’t like having to watch out for these babes in the woods – and I’m speaking in this context as a pedestrian. It makes me long for there to be a chronic problem with eagles swooping down and attacking the unwary – and all you need to do to avoid having your toupee, or, god forbid, your phone swept away into the blue beyond is to pay attention.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  KTaylor

i think smartphones should be automatically disabled when people are moving.

KTaylor
KTaylor
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

Works for me!

K Taylor
K Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

Ow! Would have to build up eye calluses!

soren
soren
6 years ago

it is *YOUR* legal responsibility to pay attention because pedestrians have right of way at intersections. please stop blaming others for your lack of respect for the law and for the safety of people in your community.

Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

It’s the pedestrian’s responsibility to not step in front of a vehicle without giving the driver enough time to stop. The system only works if everyone is paying attention.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

ahhh…the “they came out of nowhere” argument.

i almost never see someone walking proceeding into a crosswalk without checking for a signal or for cross traffic. on the other hand, i often see people cycling and driving intentionally failing to stop for pedestrians (sometimes in a sociopathic manner).

Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

No, not that at all. The legal lines of responsibility are pretty clear — drivers stop for peds in a crosswalk, peds don’t step in front of a car that doesn’t have time to stop. If peds are ensuring the way is clear, they are paying attention and doing what they’re supposed to.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

i must be the luckiest cyclist/driver ever because i don’t think i’ve ever had a pedestrian fling themselves in front of my bike/car. on the other hand, i do fail to stop a few times a year (usually because i was going too fast for conditions).

Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

Nor have I, because most pedestrians do pay attention. My main objection to your posting is the assertion that some road users have no role to play in their own safety.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

“the assertion that some road users have no role to play in their own safety.”

where did i assert this?

Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

In the context of:

>>> I don’t want the oness taken off of drivers to watch out for pedestrians, but I am sick to death of sidewalk zombies

you wrote:

>>> it is *YOUR* legal responsibility to pay attention because pedestrians have right of way at intersections.

If you meant to suggest that pedestrians *ALSO* have a responsibility to pay attention at intersections, then I retract my criticism, and would instead consur that everyone has a role to play in street safety.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

you did not attribute my comment correctly. it was to this comment:

Middle of the Road Guy October 30, 2017 at 11:13 am

Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

You’re right. My mistake. I incorrectly accused you of asserting pedestrians do not have any obligations to be aware of their surroundings. I apologize.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

no problem, hk. the nesting (and rhetoric) can easily get out of control here.

shirtsoff
shirtsoff
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

How fast are you going? Are you stating that you cycle beyond the posted legal speed limit? Call me a skeptic..

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

“How fast are you going? Are you stating that you cycle beyond the posted legal speed limit? Call me a skeptic..”

It’s easy to go too fast for conditions without exceeding the posted speed limit. I wish I would have been doing about zero the last couple of times I unexpectedly encountered ice. If it is wet, and one has rim brakes, it’s pretty easy to get going too fast for unanticipated stops. Pedestrians (and others) also notoriously underestimate the speed of bicyclists, possibly leading them to step into the path of a bicyclist after it is too late to safely stop. The unfortunate reality is that, given the “conditions” of a roadway populated by users, almost none of whom understand the mechanics and normal operating parameters of bicycles, “too fast” ends up being anything over about 12 mph. On sparsely populated roads, of course, that goes up—but most of the time, all vehicles (motorized and otherwise) are being operated at speeds that are “too fast” for all possible “conditions” that may materialize.

Brian
Brian
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

You must a person who spends little time in downtown. I see peds walking against the walk signal frequently.

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  Brian

It is incredibly common, especially in certain areas such as PSU or near Moda. Especially on Broadway near PSU, it is unusual not to encounter anyone not walking against it — often paying zero attention to anything going on.

Just so happens I had to come to a full stop this morning for a woman who stepped out in front of me in the middle of the block as if I weren’t there. The hi viz and strobe apparently weren’t visible.

I’m really not a fan of encouraging this dangerous behavior. Only one driver has to be momentarily distracted for the ped to get killed. Everyone should be doing their best to be safe.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Brian

i guess you missed this:

“or [checking] for cross traffic”

i am an enthusiastic supporter of people (walking or rolling) crossing against signals when there is no cross traffic. i also believe that pedestrians should always have right of way.

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

I have no issue when people are paying attention. But that is not what I see an incredible percentage of the time.

It is common for peds to step in front in of vehicles in Portland without paying attention. Curiously, nobody does this does this except in certain areas where they know people will stop.

Actual vulnerable users don’t engage in this sort of willful jасkаssery. For example, parents with small kids and the kids themselves don’t do it. Last night, I rode about 20 utility miles in the dark. Due to the perfect weather, trick or treaters were everywhere, I saw zero parents or kids do anything that looked vaguely unsafe.

But I can count on seeing this on practically every commute, just as I can count on cyclists to pass too fast and close to peds on bridges.

Most people do not accept the premise that anyone should always have right of way wherever they may be soley based on how they get around. I personally think more nuance is necessary for both safe and practicality reasons.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
6 years ago

Let’s not forget, this law is about pedestrians who have the right of way in crosswalks. Whether or not they’re “paying attention” to drivers who might kill them.

And that means what it’s really about is drivers who are angry that pedestrians aren’t making eye contact with them, genuflecting in front of the almighty driver. “Oh, thank you, all-powerful motorist, for not killing me!”

Which means this is really about maintaining the status quo of automotive dominance. When I’m driving down the highway and there are intersecting roads with stop signs, I’m not expected to make eye contact, wave and thank the stopping drivers for not plowing into me. But as a pedestrian, such behavior is expected from me.

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  GlowBoy

I do all those things when I drive, bike, or walk on pretty much every trip. This behavior is very common among drivers. It is also common among walkers and cyclists who are not from PDX.

One thing I find peculiar about many PDX walkers and cyclists is that many seem to make efforts pretend or ignore everyone else is not out there. Refusing to acknowledge the presence of others forced to interact with you is rude and not making minor adjustments to reduce the amount of collective inconvenience is common sense and consideration. People who don’t understand these very basic things probably find they’re not treated as well.

JP
JP
6 years ago

How much does it suck that there’s enough of a problem with street harassment of KIDS IN SCHOOL that Safe Routes to School felt motivated to prepare a report on it? How depressing.

bikeninja
bikeninja
6 years ago

The distracted pedestrian law in Hawaii is mostly a gimmick to harvest traffic fine revenue from Tourists. Hawaii is hard up for money, and most of the tourists on Oahu now are from Japan, Korea and China and don’t drive rental cars. So the only way the city can get extra revenue from them is to pass a traffic law aimed at pedestrians so the non-drivers can’t escape.

RH
RH
6 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

” Hawaii is hard up for money” Really? Tourism in Hawaii is on fire the past few years. I find it hard to believe they want to try to ticket as many tourists as they can when hotel taxes, sales taxes, etc…provide some serious revenue.
http://dbedt.hawaii.gov/visitor/tourism-forecast/

bikeninja
bikeninja
6 years ago
Reply to  RH

Gotta pay for the Honolulu light rail that is years behind schedule and 6 billion dollars ( and counting) over budget.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

The law was created as an outcome of a student work project on how to make roads safer for everyone.

soren
soren
6 years ago

The only citations for the negative claims in the autonomous vehicle blog post were other blog posts.

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago
Reply to  soren

Considering that the outlandish claims made by AV advocates have yet to be proven anywhere, I think that is appropriate. Perhaps you can point us to documented demonstrations that show how AVs will:

– Work in dense environments around cyclists, children, and animals
– Reduce traffic congestion
– Work in all weather conditions

Most of the problems with AVs are political and social, rather than technical. I can cite studies showing how most of America favors independence over government regulation, and how they don’t trust technology. I can cite studies showing massive resistance to speed cameras, red light cameras, or anything else that requires people to follow the law when driving (which AVs will have to do). In the end, everyone is really just playing Nostradamus. No one really knows what this will all look like in 20 years.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

“Considering that the outlandish claims made by AV advocates…”

Two wrongs do not make a right.

“In the end, everyone is really just playing Nostradamus. No one really knows what this will all look like in 20 years.”

That’s too nihilistic for me. I think we can have evidence-based discussions about policy.

Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

The second one, maybe, but if the first and third turn out to be wrong, AVs simply won’t be. So if we have them, they’ll work in urban environments and bad weather.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Well, human drivers have a tendency to increase traffic congestion (while complaining unendingly about it), are apparently incapable of driving safely around pedestrians, children and animals and clearly can’t handle even mild weather issues (I live near a fire station that dispatches ambulances. I know when it has started raining because the sirens start.). How much better than humans do the AV’s have to be? If they were to cause half the CARnage that human piloted cars do, I’m all in, especially since unlike human drivers, AV’s will likely improve over time.

soren
soren
6 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

“especially since unlike human drivers, AV’s will likely improve over time.”

word.

Joseph McGinley
Joseph McGinley
6 years ago

I don’t understand how a trackless rail would magically make streets safer and reduce injuries. It is basically a light rail train without rails or a higher-tech BRT system. What would the existence of an at-grade urban train/bus with dedicated lanes do for street safety that our own MAX light rail doesn’t do already?

I can think of one safety improvement: cyclists don’t need to worry about crossing tracks.

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago

That’s the one. Unfortunately, a rubber-tired tram will use more fuel and cost more to operate than a standard tram.

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

There are maintenance advantages too. This presumes the railway is separate from the roadway.

However, separated roadways can also be used for emergency use.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

A rubber-tired subway? Mexico City has had that for decades. Works great, too, and is much quieter than track subways. Not sure you’ll see much cost savings though.

Seattle also has a number of so-called “trackless trolleys” running above ground, basically just electric buses that hook up to overhead wires like streetcars do. They also work great, although when I lived there it was common for the buses to become disconnected from the overhead wires, causing minor delays as the bus driver had to get out and use a long pole to hook things back up.

On the plus side, they are far cheaper to build than rail lines, far quieter than either rail vehicles or combustion-powered buses, and don’t have tracks for cyclists to trip over.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
6 years ago

Ah, yet another place where Vision Zero has been played out as Zero Vision (Los Angeles, this time). This tendency of politicians to jump onto nice-sounding band-wagons and then refuse to do the heavy-lifting required to live up to their promises breeds a cynical public (guilty as charged). This cynicism plays well for those who benefit from dismantling our government because it makes it easier for them to depress voter turn-out so that people like Paul Ryan end up in charge.

I’d rather have my elected officials tell me point blank that while they would love to deal with climate change or reduce traffic fatalities to zero, they will not risk losing their seats by doing what it takes because that would inconvenience people who want to drive everywhere always. At least such a stance could lead to an honest discussion amongst the citizens as to whether or not we are willing to live our values and to what exactly our values are. All this virtue signaling is bothersome in the extreme.

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Exactly.

Lifetime odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident are 1 in 114, for peds it’s 1 in 647, and for cyclists it’s 1 in 4,486. This means over 99% of the deaths are from other causes. http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/injury-facts-chart.aspx

With a maximum reduction of 1% on the table, expecting everyone to be on board to make radical changes is a hard sell.

SE
SE
6 years ago

Maybe if POTUS ever visits PDX, a bike swarm surrounding the motorcade and 50 middle fingers would be appropriate ?

Kyle Banerjee
6 years ago
Reply to  SE

If you want to promote the image of cycling being a fringe activity enjoyed by loons, then yes. If you want more people cycling, then no.

Normal people don’t do this sort of thing. Whether you like it or not, a huge number of people like the guy. Alienating all of them and giving people the idea that they’re somehow associated with this kind of activity if they cycle is a turnoff for all but a dedicated core.

Doug Hecker
Doug Hecker
6 years ago

“And yet, since the mayor’s 2015 directive, Los Angeles hasn’t just gotten more dangerous, it has become outright hostile to the concept of roadway safety. A small but vocal contingent of residents has taken an increasingly combative posture to any meaningful safety improvements that appear to interfere with their daily car commutes. ”

If and when Foster changes, I anticipate things like this happening. Vision Zero is cool and all but plenty of changes have been made already to improve the system.