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

Posted by on October 30th, 2017 at 9:55 am

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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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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BC
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BC

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

wsbob
Guest

…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.

rick
Guest
rick

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

Middle of the Road Guy
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Middle of the Road Guy

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

JP
Guest
JP

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
Guest
bikeninja

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.

soren
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soren

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

Joseph McGinley
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Joseph McGinley

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.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

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.

SE
Guest
SE

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

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

“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.