Holiday Sale at Western Bikeworks

The Monday Roundup: Seattle’s secret, Sicily’s stereo cycles, sad satire, and more

Posted by on November 20th, 2017 at 9:54 am

Welcome to the week! These are the best stories we came across in the past seven days…

Sponsored by Go To Ortho, a walk-in immediate injury care clinic that treats urgent injuries like breaks, sprains, fractures, dislocations and wounds.

Sad-tire: This Onion article is hits close to home when it quotes a make-believe NHTSA official as saying, “If every cyclist purchased and operated a car like you’re supposed to as an adult, bike fatalities would drop an estimated 40 percent within six months alone.”

Stereo-cycles: Teens in Palermo Sicily are into a hot new trend: Putting as many speakers as possible onto their bicycles.

Seattle’s secret sauce: Turns out the 1991, statewide “Commute Trip Reduction” law is one of the keys to Seattle’s success in reducing drive-alone trips.

L.A.’s bike bunker: While inspecting a homeless camp in Los Angeles, authorities uncovered a tunnel with 1,000 bikes, many of them suspected to be stolen.

Meanwhile, in Oregon: Two auto industry groups are lobbying the Oregon Supreme Court to kill the new 0.5% sales tax on new car purchases that the legislature passed to help pay for transportation investments.

Must-read transit journalism: The NY Times went deep to uncover the causes of NYC’s subway system failure.

Bikenomics strikes again: As Portland gets ready to start the SE Foster road diet project, Bike Biz UK has the story of a business owner who vehemently opposed a street project that removed auto parking — only to embrace the project after it was done.

When driving cars is outlawed: This story on Autoblog envisions a day soon where human-driven cars won’t be allowed on public roads so driving enthusiasts will take to the hills (and the tracks).

TriMet autopsy: Analysis from TransitCenter shows how housing price increases figure into the TriMet bus ridership decline. Lower-income people who are typically heavier transit users, now live further out, in places with less transit service, and vice versa.

Race and renderings: A Streetsblog LA writer is miffed at renderings for a new project in a black community that shows only white people as its future denizens.

Getting tough on Uber: Is Portland City Council about to stand up to Uber? Possibly even kick them out of town?

Traffic deaths continue to rise: The 2016 fatal crash data is complete and it shows that the threat posed by vehicular travel in America is growing faster than our efforts to mitigate it.

E-MTBs coming to a trail near you: The International Mountain Bicycling Association now officially supports the use of Class 1 (pedal-assisted) e-bikes on dirt trails.

Bike share race: WaPo hosted a race of all six (yes six!) of D.C.’s current crop of bike share bikes.

Dockless disappearance: Industry watchers are buzzing about the abrupt death of Bluegogo, a China-based dockless bike share company. Is it an outlier or an omen?

Speed kills: Yet DOTs continue to raise speed limits. In Ohio crashes increased 24 percent in stretches of rural road where speed limits were increased to 70 mph.

MVdP = GOAT: A long and very pleasant read about cycling (mostly cyclocross) phenom Mathieu Van der Poel, whom CyclingTips calls “the most talented bike racer on the planet.”

Twitter thread of the week:

— 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 productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

103 Comments
  • Justin November 20, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I unfollowed The Onion as soon as I saw that come up. So tone-deaf and horrible, especially in light of all the people that keep getting hit by cars and dying.

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    • bikeninja November 20, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Dude, I think it is satire.

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      • Brian November 20, 2017 at 10:25 am

        The last line really drove it home…”Gafferty went on to say that people who biked for exercise should consider driving to a gym and using a stationary bike facing a wall of televisions like everyone else.?”

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      • Jason H November 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm

        Exactly and satirizing the people who belittle bicyclists, not the bicyclists themselves! So Justin, so you have a problem with mocking those who would rather we disappear from the streetscape?

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      • Al Dimond November 20, 2017 at 2:28 pm

        Satire often comes off as callous or insensitive to some people whose side it’s supposed to be on. Sometimes the joke just hits too close to home for someone that’s been personally affected. The reaction of any one person doesn’t condemn any particular joke, but at the same time, a negative reaction to satire isn’t necessarily based in misunderstanding.

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    • shirtsoff November 21, 2017 at 10:05 am

      I had to read the article a few times and consider it in relation to the Onion’s commitment to satire. At first it hurt as it felt inconsiderate of particular vulnerable road users, but upon additional readings I felt that it was making fun of the people who criticize vulnerable road users and less the vulnerable road users themselves. At the same time, I’m sure considerations were glossed over and suggestions on how the satire could have been better phrased should be shared with The Onion editors.

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  • Dave November 20, 2017 at 10:20 am

    In his versatility, you could say that MVdP in the very best way races like a woman.

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  • bikeninja November 20, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Wow, while I look forward to the day when driving is outlawed. I certainly don’t welcome the day when even more car-heads will race through the wilderness terrorizing animals,tearing up nature and burning the last drops of fossil fuels in in orgy of ego fueled self gratification.

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    • soren November 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      if only the cruelty of driving were restricted to terror, drivers kill billions of animals each year.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy November 20, 2017 at 2:09 pm

        Animals kill billions of other animals every year, too.

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        • Toadslick November 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm

          What non-human animals do to each other is never a justification for human behavior.

          But you know that. Just like with every other specious argument you make on this site, it seems to me like you’re attempting to provoke or troll rather than engage in a thoughtful discussion.

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          • Middle of the Road Guy November 20, 2017 at 3:34 pm

            Just putting things in perspective, especially when there are hyperbolic statements such as “cruelty of driving”.

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            • Toadslick November 21, 2017 at 7:31 am

              Is that hyperbolic? I don’t think so. Driving, when other commute options are available, is a selfish act that results in:
              – far more air and noise pollution
              – far more consumption of fossil fuels
              – a much higher likelihood of killing or maiming another person
              than any other method of personal transportation.

              The definition of cruelty is “willingly causing pain and suffering to others.”

              To be aware of the consequences of driving, and chose to drive anyway, must be cruel. A driver chooses their own safety and convenience over the health of the planet, the health of their community, and the safety of the other creatures, human and animal alike, that they encounter on the road.

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              • Kyle Banerjee November 22, 2017 at 5:28 am

                It’s hyperbolic.

                While riding a bike has practically no environmental impact compared to driving a car for commute purposes, it’s not being a cyclist suddenly makes you good for the planet or that your lifestyle doesn’t involve massive consumption of fossil fuel.

                Cyclists and other active people who don’t use cars live significantly longer. During those extra years, you’ll consume loads of food, products, energy, and contribute to greenhouse gases just living. At some point, those extra years of living will fully compensate for the impact from commuting by auto.

                Lifetime odds of being killed by a car are less than 1% and it’s not like you don’t receive a huge benefit from the infrastructure designed to support them.

                Like it or not, our society is set up in such a way that many people really don’t have a viable alternative to driving. Given what many people here consider impediments to cycling, the real mystery is how we have as many cyclists as we do. But then again, the number of cyclists when it’s windy, rainy, and dark is pathetic.

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              • 9watts November 22, 2017 at 8:40 am

                “Cyclists and other active people who don’t use cars live significantly longer. During those extra years, you’ll consume loads of food, products, energy, and contribute to greenhouse gases just living. At some point, those extra years of living will fully compensate for the impact from commuting by auto.”

                That is a really interesting hypothesis, Kyle. I’m going to have to think about it a bit more. In the meantime I’ll just say that I think you are committing a fallacy that is unfortunately extremely common – privileging the average (meat, energy, water, GHG, etc.) when making such calculations. The reason this is a problem is that person-to-person, household-to-household our level of consumption or GHG emissions at all scales (block, city, state, country) actually vary by several orders of magnitude. Important to keep track of these divergences.

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              • Kyle Banerjee November 22, 2017 at 6:40 pm

                The devil is certainly in the details. Everything surrounding how you live and how long all play into the final analysis, so what is true for an individual could be very different than what would be true assuming “typical” values.

                But the basic point still holds. Transportation is significant for such calculations, but it is still only one piece of the puzzle.

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          • jeff November 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm

            um…humans are animals, dude. you don’t get your own genetic tree..

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      • chris November 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        **Comment deleted and user has been banned. Sorry for not handling this one sooner.**

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        • soren November 21, 2017 at 10:03 am

          also very cruel.

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        • Kyle Banerjee November 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm

          They use insecticides on most vegetable crops. Don’t even get me started on how much needless death that causes.

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          • 9watts November 21, 2017 at 10:46 pm

            They?

            The Finches?

            This is getting weird.

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            • Kyle Banerjee November 22, 2017 at 5:58 am

              I keep forgetting linguistic conventions here here.

              I should have stated, “Most farmers who grow vegetable crops use insecticides which cause the horrible deaths of countless living creatures. Unless you and all those who contribute to your lifestyle (keeping in mind that functions such as transporting goods to you via truck inevitably results in bugs and other creatures getting obliterated) strictly observe ahimsa, you perpetrate a wave of death wherever you are. Even then, you are guilty of the wholesale slaughter of microorganisms.”

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  • Manville November 20, 2017 at 10:34 am

    E-Bikes can’t come to a trail near me because there are no trails near me…

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    • shutupandride November 20, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Well said MTBPDX!

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  • Middle of the Road Guy November 20, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Those homeless folks really like to collect bikes!

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    • B. Carfree November 20, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Yeah, and now that L.A. has shut down so many camps you can expect to have a few more “collectors” living on a bike path near you soon.

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      • rachel b November 21, 2017 at 6:04 pm

        🙁

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        • rachel b November 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

          I was thinking that, too. I really don’t understand the laissez faire approach to bike-strewn camps in Portland.

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  • tridork November 20, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Speakers on bicycles is not a new fad. It was featured in the New York Times in 2007: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/nyregion/29bikes.html

    There was also a documentary about it in the bicycle film festival years ago.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 20, 2017 at 11:37 am

      oh obviously tridork. i didn’t mean to make it seem like it was new. I’ve been following portland’s bike-sound system thing for a long time now myself https://bikeportland.org/2010/07/01/portlanders-get-amped-up-with-bike-sound-systems-35897

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      • chris November 20, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        yet you relentlessly complain about noise pollution from motor vehicles?

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        • shirtsoff November 21, 2017 at 10:44 am

          I live on a significant neighborhood collector with freight traffic. The noise from vehicles going 30-50 miles per hour is no where in the same category as a freak bike rolling down the street blasting Kayne West. The motor vehicle noise pollution is unrelentless and numbing in its force. There is also the implied threat of thousands of pounds of metal flying down the road at speed coupled with that noise. Someone rolling by pumping the jams on their bike stereo is far more enjoyable even if it is a tune I’m not particularly fond of. The bike stereos don’t rattle like a tin can with pepples inside it either unlike the chassis of motor vehicles when the bass is bumping. I do want to see the abstract of your comment, chris, but the experienced realities between the two are worlds apart.

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          • chris November 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm

            constant auto traffic almost sounds like the ocean to me, maybe because i grew up in working class neighborhoods close to busy roads? much easier to ignore than kanye’s “music”. and any decent car stereo installer will use something like dynamat to absorb/prevent the rattles.

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          • Kyle Banerjee November 21, 2017 at 5:01 pm

            Agreed. I’ll take heavy traffic over crap music anytime.

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      • rachel b November 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

        Completely obnoxious, those blaring bike stereos. Hate them! Why the hell can’t humans just STFU for a bloody second anymore? I agree with ktaylor, & Kyle: “It’s not enough that they have what they want — they need to be the center of attention enjoying the thing as well.” This is especially true in the narcissist magnet that is Portland.

        And I refuse to accept that grand shift of onus of late–the onus is NOT on me and the rest of us to accept the noxious fallout of your hobby or choice–it’s for YOU to think about the effing community and pull your head out of your own hind! So said our forefathers. I think. In the constitution…? 😉

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    • jeff November 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      and its annoying as its always been. No one wants to listen to someone else’s crappy music choices.

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      • ktaylor November 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm

        Amen to that. I should have posted my comment below up here. Humans are the a-hole of the animal world. Worse even than scrub jays.

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        • B. Carfree November 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm

          Now don’t go dissing scrub jays by comparing them to humans. They nest outside my bedroom (okay, attic, but I sleep there) and I just love hearing them. They almost drown out the train horns that blare two blocks away.

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          • ktaylor November 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm

            Hahaaa!!! Well, at least I said we are *worse* than them. 🙂

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      • Brian November 20, 2017 at 1:25 pm

        I do. I’m totally fine with people riding by my house, singing along to the music they are cranking. It lasts all of about 8 seconds for the slowest riders. Lighten up.

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        • ktaylor November 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm

          Singing (to self) is fine. It’s nowhere near as loud. Why can’t they sing without the stereo? Or wear earbuds and sing with what’s in their headphones? It’s not about enjoying music, it’s about dominance display. Just another one of those itchy urges that shows our apeness.

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          • Brian November 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm

            I was thinking they were doing it because it makes them happy. They are listening to music. In a city. I guess one could say that criticizing the choices of others is kind of an urge also.

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            • ktaylor November 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm

              No – it’s usually on a case-by-case basis. 🙂

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            • rachel b November 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm

              “I guess one could say that criticizing the choices of others is kind of an urge also.” But a quiet one!

              I loathe the whole “in a city” argument–as though that gives everyone a carte blanche excuse to be self-absorbed, obnoxious aholes. Because they’re doing something that makes them ‘happy?’ And it’s for the rest of considerate, reasonable humanity to just tough it out around these jerks? Ugh. And, yechhh. This is why Portland–and I’d say the entire US–has become such a stressful place to live. We are far too hellbent on the “rights” of the individual, turning a blind eye to the needs and desires of the greater community, the greater good.

              Plain and simple, you are an ahole if your happiness is contingent on an activity that patently exacerbates the discomfort of others, and you know it. Or can easily deduce that it would distress others and destroy their peaceful enjoyment of their own property.

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              • Brian November 25, 2017 at 8:26 am

                Where does it end? Who decides? Are campfires ok? Grilling meat? Front porch or backyard parties? Lawnmowers? Dogs? My neighbor is upset any time the renters across the street have a party. I enjoy the liveliness in an otherwise rather boring neighborhood, much like I enjoy the woman who bikes by singing outloud to Bob Dylan, or when the pedalpalooza rides go by with heavy metal blaring.
                Cheers!

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          • Kyle Banerjee November 21, 2017 at 5:02 pm

            I think of it more like people who can’t get out of the terrible two’s. It’s not enough that they have what they want — they need to be the center of attention enjoying the thing as well.

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        • jeff November 20, 2017 at 4:45 pm

          I”m not. try validating other people’s opinions without trying to change them. I prefer to hear traffic around me when I ride…or complete silence.

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          • Brian November 21, 2017 at 5:28 am

            If you can find this magical place of complete silence in Portland, send me the coordinates. I’d love to hang there.

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            • Kyle Banerjee November 21, 2017 at 6:06 pm

              Check out 45.5445545,-122.6849189

              You can pay to use a sensory deprivation chamber there to achieve the experience you seek.

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              • q November 26, 2017 at 12:30 pm

                I tried that once, but got nothing out of it.

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      • Mick O November 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm

        Actually I do. When I get behind someone else’s groovy set during TNR, the share experience is just amazing. Now, I will say there are getting to be too many people turning up the volume and the mix of soundsystems can be a mess. But, shared listening to music is one of my favorite things. I understand that others disagree.

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      • Resopmok November 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm

        It’s all about context.. at 3:00 in the afternoon, who cares? At 3:00 in the morning, it’s entirely obnoxious.

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        • John Lascurettes November 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm

          Unless you work a swing shift.

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          • rachel b November 25, 2017 at 12:47 am

            It’s always obnoxious. Headphones, anyone?

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  • SD November 20, 2017 at 10:58 am

    We are investing a lot of hope in AV technology to fix what we haven’t been able to fix with policy while saying that AVs will have to be adequately regulated with good policy.

    We think of policy and government as being too complicated and flawed to make meaningful advances in sustainable, efficient, human-centered transportation, but expect that local elected officials will be able to regulate technology that will consolidate private control of our roads.

    I know “it’s not if but when,” however, the impending AV future means that we need to aggressively do more to return the streets and urban landscape to non-motorized use before AV-corp lobbyists are writing the laws for us. We should view AVs as a risk not a solution given the current failures of transportation officials.

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    • ktaylor November 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Yes!

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    • SD November 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Topical: Highway widening for AVs.

      https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/foxconn-requests-av-lane-as-part-of-10b-wisconsin-factory-deal/511242/

      “Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn has requested that Wisconsin include an autonomous vehicle (AV) lane as part of the $3 billion benefits package it is receiving for investing $10 billion in a flat panel display factory there, according to BizTimes Milwaukee.

      The driverless car lane would be part of an Interstate 94 expansion authorized by the same legislation that approved FoxConn’s tax credits and other breaks. Wisconsin’s Transportation Department said Foxconn could use the AV lane to shuttle its products to and from the airport, and to provide easy transport for its employees.

      The I-94 project is contingent on federal funding to complement the $252.4 million that lawmakers pledged for the expansion. State transportation officials said they have submitted an application to the federal government to assess the resources needed to procure an AV lane.”

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      • soren November 21, 2017 at 10:06 am

        a dedicated transit lane for foxconn is not a sign of the coming AVpocalypse.

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        • SD November 21, 2017 at 11:13 am

          No, but adding a highway lane for AVs shows how AVs can increase the number of vehicles on the road rather than decreasing the number of vehicles and enabling more efficient transit. The fact that this is being done with public funding specifically for use by a multinational corp is an example of how AV infrastructure could be predominantly influenced by interests that are not congruent with the public good.

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          • soren November 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm

            except that it’s not a highway lane — it’s a dedicated road for foxconn. i’m pretty sure that this is not the first time a large predatory capitalist multinational has blackmailed working class folk to fund a roadway to a transportation hub…

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            • SD November 22, 2017 at 9:34 pm

              I don’t see your point. But that is ok.

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              • soren November 23, 2017 at 8:19 am

                my point is that it’s not a general use road. private roads that connect companies with large shipping operations to airports are not uncommon.

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          • Pete November 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm

            You’ve seen what’s coming out of the fed highway trust fund for wireless V2V and V2I research, yes? It’s no secret that the automotive industry is currently fueling high tech valuations in semiconductor and wireless companies.

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  • B. Carfree November 20, 2017 at 11:00 am

    I enjoyed the photos of the speaker bikes of Italy. I have a dear neighbor who rides a recumbent trike tricked out with oodles of speakers and a laser light show to boot. He likes to ride at night, often returning home around 2:00 AM (just about the time I’m heading out for a ride). He has a cohort of about five other light show/speaker bike folks who travel with him and there are very few complaints.

    He did have one tiny issue with a UO campus cop who took exception to his one very tiny blue light (hard to see amongst the rest of the light show). The cop felt that the blue light was equivalent to impersonating an officer, a comment that provided laughs all around. The cop did get the last laugh by actually writing Rainbow a citation.

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    • Spiffy November 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      as far as I know it’s totally legal to have blue lights on a bicycle… they’re not covered by the same light laws as motor vehicles… I had a super bright blue light on mine for years…

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      • B. Carfree November 20, 2017 at 8:40 pm

        I believe you are incorrect. The wording of ORS 816.350 does not specify motor vehicles, it refers to vehicles, so that includes bicycles.

        “Vehicles operated by a police officer and used for law enforcement may be equipped with any type of police lights, but only these vehicles may be equipped with blue lights.”

        Now that hasn’t stopped me from using blue lights when I thought it was necessary for my safety. I’ve even had cops see me rolling with blue and just ignore it, likely in the interests of safety. I’m assuming the cops who ignored my petty violation realize that all I’m trying to do is create that little bit of caution on the part of motorists that might buy me enough extra space to not get whacked. However, if a cop chose to cite me, I wouldn’t argue. I’d simply thank him for doing difficult work and pay my fine.

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      • B. Carfree November 20, 2017 at 8:43 pm

        Here’s a spiffy list of where blue lights are legal and not on a state-by-state basis. In the west, only Arizona permits their use.

        https://www.supernovabikelight.com/statutes/

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        • hotrodder November 24, 2017 at 7:18 pm

          I had a green light on the back of my bike for a while – until some jerkwad stole it.

          I liked to think of it as an homage to The Great Gatsby. Now it’s gone. I suppose there’s a poetic metaphor somewhere there, but it still pisses me off.

          (I also had and have plenty of red lights)

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  • Zimmerman November 20, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I recommend NWTA end their IMBA chapter membership immediately and issue a strong statement against allowing motorized vehicles on non-motorized trail systems.

    The bicycle industry has lost its friggin’ mind when it comes to “pedal assist” and already tenuous trail access issues.

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    • Nick November 20, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      I wrote both IMBA and NWTA to say motorized bikes have no role on non-motorized trails. I recommend all who agree write both organizations as well.

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  • B. Carfree November 20, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I happened into Seattle in 1989 at the end of a long tour. It was a horrid environment to ride in, contrary to its propaganda at the time. Over two decades later I went back and was astounded by the awesome public transit (the cycling is still so-so at best). It was easy to use, went all over with decent schedules and had very helpful staff. I love the bus tunnel and met some wonderful people while riding the buses. Seattle has really done a fantastic job with their transit system. It’s nice to see an instance of words on paper being translated into meaningful facts on the ground.

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    • Dave November 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Seattle knows when to stop studying and start building–their transit system is really great. Nothing like riding the Link into downtown from Seatac and seeing all the gridlocked cars outside as the train blows by them. FWIW, it’s used as a multi-mode system by many cyclists. I counted over fifteen last time I had to fly there, between the airport and downtown, using the train as part of their trip.

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  • jeff November 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Justin
    I unfollowed The Onion as soon as I saw that come up. So tone-deaf and horrible, especially in light of all the people that keep getting hit by cars and dying.
    Recommended 1

    WTF? its a satire website. get a sense of humor.

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    • resopmok November 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      I think Al Dimond’s comment above sheds good light on why people might not react well to satire. It’s not an everybody thing.

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  • ktaylor November 20, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Nice headline alliteration, Jonathan!

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  • ktaylor November 20, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    And as for stereo-cycles – ugh. Why are humans so annoying?

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    • Brian November 20, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      They are teenagers who are motivated to practice real-life Engineering. I think that’s rad.

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    • CaptainKarma November 21, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      They are more obnoxious than the “drunkbikes” pedalled by 6 or 10 drunk tourists eating pink boxes of donuts and drinking beer.

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  • Toadslick November 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I love audio bikes, light-show bikes, tall bikes, grill bikes, and every combination thereof. Those same mods, when applied to motor vehicles, feel incredibly annoying. But on bikes they feel creative, expressive, and beautiful.

    I’m not sure why I have such different reactions. Maybe it’s because the bike mods are mostly still home-made? Or that they’re human-powered and generally harmless, unlike tricked-out cars, which feel like they’re meant to be macho, ostentatious, and/or intimidating.

    Regardless, i’m perfectly okay with my double standard. Kudos to Portland’s freakbike community for always putting a smile on my face.

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  • B. Carfree November 20, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    That was a fun article covering the “race” of bikeshares in DC. The start line location may have been a bit unfair to the e-bike, but them’s the breaks. In the long run, I expect e-bikeshare to take over the market.

    I fully agree that “pathing” is the key to all cycling. It’s the big difference between being on a bike and being in a car. Motorists can simply point themselves in the general direction of their destination and get there with reasonable safety and speed. On a bike, one must have much greater local knowledge and be much more careful in selecting a route that is safe and efficient.

    This is my main beef with so many city efforts to create bike routes. I feel strongly that we should instead select car routes and take steps to make driving extremely difficult and time consuming on all other streets.

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    • Toadslick November 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Agreed. I’ll never understand why Portland’s bike routes avoid the popular business districts, when those are often the destinations of people on bikes.

      I’d frequent Hawthorne much more often if I could comfortably ride on that street instead of having to remember the address and cross-street of my intended destination.

      Whenever I travel through a business district such as Woodstock, Alberta, or Hawthorne, it feels like biking is less popular than it actually is, because bikes have been all but erased from those streets.

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      • David Hampsten November 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm

        What would you consider a good example of a safe bike route that actually has good access to a prime commercial district, in the USA? Most of the protected bike lanes in DC are on less-traveled streets, except Penn Ave, where the lanes run down the center, forcing riders to cross 3 busy lanes in each direction to access businesses (and museums and Govt buildings). M Street is hardly prime commercial real estate and the Mall is all monuments and parks. Most of the busy commercial there is dominated by parked cars, double-parked taxis, and delivery vehicles, much like Portland or Seattle.

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        • Jonno November 21, 2017 at 7:12 am

          Some may argue whether it’s safe, but Vancouver/Williams fits the definition of a commercial district bike route.

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          • David Hampsten November 21, 2017 at 8:17 am

            Vancouver-Williams is hardly a main street, more of a minor collector than an arterial, except for bikes. The reason I ask is that when we are advocating for protected bike routes along major commercial arterial roadways here in NC and elsewhere, we have so few (nearly zero) examples to cite from other US cities. Canada & Europe have plenty, but in the US the best we can usually get is a regular unprotected bike lane along busy streets (e.g., outer Division, 122nd, 102nd), while most protected lanes on are on relatively less busy streets, as in Portland (Broadway, Multnomah, or Couch), Chicago (Dearborn & Harrison), or in DC (1st St NE, M Street). For example, Tuscaloosa Alabama has a curb-protected bike lane on an uphill street (Hackberry Ln), but it’s on the campus of the University of Alabama, and the street is neither busy nor commercial. What we need are protected lanes on the busiest arterial roads, the ones with prime commercial uses.

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            • wsbob November 21, 2017 at 10:09 am

              Vancouver-Williams might be aptly regarded as a collector street or probably more correctly, a thoroughfare rather than an arterial, but my impression is that these streets get a huge amount of motor vehicle traffic. Less so than MLK to the east, but still, quite a challenging street for some people needs for comfortable street biking. That I think, had a lot to do with the city and people from the neighborhood, devoting so much time and money into making some changes to the street configuration a few years back, to have the street provide better, more comfortable conditions for biking.

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            • Harald November 22, 2017 at 6:00 am

              University Ave in Madison (WI) has a protected contra-flow lane and certainly qualifies as a major arterial https://goo.gl/maps/maAQ2bK8zm72

              There are plans in the work to turn it into a two-way protected lane at some point (Currently westbound bike traffic is an unprotected lane wedged between a busy bus lane and a general travel lane).

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        • soren November 21, 2017 at 10:13 am
          • David Hampsten November 21, 2017 at 11:20 am

            Thank you. That’s very helpful!

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      • shirtsoff November 21, 2017 at 2:13 pm

        I’m of two positions, but one mindset, in regards to the issue of bike paths on commercial, destination streets and the importance of side route greenways that operate parallel to them. We NEED both and should not settle for one over the other. (1) People WILL ride on the main streets either due to a lack of the local streets and/or because their destination is on that street. Being a street of many potential destinations, it is enjoyable to see them as well as being necessary to accommodate multiple modes on these streets. (2) Side routes such as Clinton, Going, et. al. are convenient for their efficiency (e.g. lack of stop signs and presence of diverters to deter larger motor vehicles) and safety for all comfort levels. We must have both options throughout the metro. Is it not enough to paint a Greenway nearby but leave the nearby main road inaccessible to people biking, skateboarding, using mobility assistance devices, and attempting to walk across the street.

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  • Racer X November 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    As for the LA Homeless Camp discovery…1000 bikes sounds like a lot, but its only 6.666 bikes per resident of the camp…I think many of us have more bikes than that.

    I am glad that the County is enforcing its bicycle parking ordinance for residential projects…even those that are houseless need a safe dry place to park their bike(s).

    [PS. Good luck reuniting the bikes with their lost owners.]

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    • David Hampsten November 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Judging from the grainy photo in the article, I’d say 90% of the bikes are Walmart junk.

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  • Harth Huffman November 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I crashed my bike a week ago and broke my ribs and clavicle. Doctor specifically said to avoid laughing. Right away, my smart *** sister in law posted that Onion article to my FB page. Not fair.

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  • X November 20, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I’m waiting to see what TriMet will do to solve the problem of transit riders forced to move out of service areas. Express routes from Gresham and the East side? More frquent service? Quicker connections? BRT? Those things might inconvenience motor vehicles with a single rider. Oh well, might as well just toss that study on the pile.

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  • chris November 20, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I’m guessing not many people here have seen the Top Gear bicycle public service ads?

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    • Pete November 22, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      I have. I’ve got thick skin, but the one showing the mangled bike and painting cyclists as “self-righteous” got my ire, probably because it was posted not long after my neighbor was dragged 20′ to his death by a texting driver. You can guess which YouTube comment is mine.

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  • wsbob November 20, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Bikeradar’s story about IMBA supporting use of Class 1 eMTB’s on what the association refers to in its statement, as “…non-motorized trails…”, had some interesting things in it to think about. IMBA says in its statement, that it’s supportive,

    “…when the responsible land management agency, in consultation with local mountain bikers, deem such eMTB access is appropriate and will not cause any loss of access to non-motorized bikes. …”.

    The association statement doesn’t say specifically, but the implication seems to be that it’s referring to trail exclusively designated for mountain biking or other off-road biking. This seems to be the implication, because the statement makes no reference to loss of access to trail users of any other mode of travel besides non-motorized bikes.

    From my perspective, not being someone that mountain bikes, but has no objection that absolutely excludes this form of recreation outside of federally designated wilderness, and nature parks that are open to use, only without a vehicle..is that use of e-mtb’s could be ok, specifically limited to certain conditions. It seems possible that e-mtn bikes could be the technology that, because of some moderate level of physical disability, would allow some people not able to go out riding on an only pedaled, no e-motor bike, in a natural setting off road…to go out and ride easy trail in a natural land setting; mostly flat, gently up and down grades, no jumps.

    Given the range of use it allows, it kind of surprises me that IMBA would support use of Class I e-mtn bikes. I’m referring to that class bike, allowing speeds up to 20mph on the motor alone. On the road with motor vehicle traffic and other bikes, that top end mph of 20, unassisted is probably ok, but off-road, on trail, it seems unnecessarily high. What type of trail situations and uses is IMBA feeling this mph speed on an e-mtb, attainable with electric power alone, is acceptable in a natural land setting or park?

    My idea about what would be a reasonable speed before electric cutoff, would be say…5mph tops. Want to go any faster than that, you pedal. I think it’s true that e-mtn bikes likely will be very appealing to people interested in mountain and off-road biking. Some of them likely will be interested in a wide range of riding style, not limited to just some sedate, meander on trail through the woods at around 5mph. Some of them will want to go fast. Very fast. Electric power able to move a bike down the trail, and up the hill, is the technology that can get them there. At the table, figuring out how to deal with that desire some people will likely have for off-road biking, could be quite a challenge.

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  • John Lascurettes November 20, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    So of those auto industry groups succeed in killing the 0.5% tax on motor vehicles, can we kill the $20 fee on new bicycles?

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  • N-1 November 21, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I wonder if that furniture store, with signs against the SE Foster redesign, will have the same revelation. Either way, I won’t be shopping there, ever.

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  • wsbob November 27, 2017 at 9:51 am

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/nyregion/new-york-subway-system-failure-delays.html

    The NYtimes story on the problems the city’s subway system has succumbed to, is reading that’s worthwhile for Portland residents and residents of cities in the metro area that gradually come closer to relying more on mass transit to meet their travel needs.

    New York’s mass transit system including the subway system, is massive compared to that of Portland and the metro area. Both systems though, have things in common, chief among them in terms of maintaining reliability, includes routine, regularly scheduled maintenance, which over the decades since 1970, NYC state and city have cut back repeatedly. The result is that with increasing frequency, trains break down, preventing them for being able to stay on schedule.

    Portland’s light rail and trolley system, and bus system gradually grows bigger and bigger, to help meet a portion of the growing population’s travel needs. Mass transit systems are an essential mode of travel that city’s the size of Portland, must provide to counter the impact of too great a reliance on personal motor vehicles to meet the population’s travel needs. Such systems cost a ton of money, so it’s not a surprise that the temptation is strong, to insufficiently fund their basic needs.

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