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The Monday Roundup: Bike Snob’s mic drop, de Blasio’s bollards, Ayesha McGowan, and more

Posted by on January 8th, 2018 at 10:06 am

Welcome to the first full week of 2018.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Scofflaw science: A study in Florida found that — surprise, surprise — people break traffic laws at similar rates regardless of the type of vehicle they operate.

Breaking barriers: ESPN has the story of Ayesha McGowan, a woman who wants to be the first African-American to land a professional cycling contract.

Dutch data: The great Bicycle Dutch blogger and filmmaker Mark Wagenbuur starts off the year with a slew of interesting datapoints about cycling in The Netherlands. Don’t miss the video at the end.

Bike Snob, truth-teller: In one of Eben Weiss’s best-ever columns (and that’s saying a lot) he argues that people who think biking with kids in traffic is dangerous are completely brainwashed: “Perhaps the greatest toll the car has exacted upon our culture: it’s completely annihilated our ability to perceive and understand danger and act accordingly.”

Drive with good morals: Pope Francis singled out driving behavior during his New Year’s Eve address, saying that people, “who move in traffic with good sense and prudence” are “artisans of the common good.”

Terror response in NYC: Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will install 1,500 metal bollards to prevent people from using cars as weapons and protect spaces where people walk and bike.

Bikequity: Elly Blue, the Portland publisher who coined the term “bikenomics”, just published the 14th issue of her feminist bike zine. It’s titled, “Bikequity: Money, Class, & Bicycling” and its contributors include Adonia Lugo, Tamika Butler, and 12 others.

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Neighborhoods are the new backyards: Federal policy to encourage people’s connection to their neighborhood have had unintended consequence of excluding others and resisting change (aka NIMBYism) says this piece in the NY Times.

Sideguards save lives: A bill working its way through Congress would require the use of guards on the side and front of large trucks to prevent other road users from going under the wheels in collisions.

Cleaner buses: This should give you hope: A major city in China has switched all of their buses — a whopping 16,359 of them! — to electric power just six years after it promised to do so.

Visionary path and park: A $40 million project in Ohio will lean on a public-private partnership to create a seven-mile “world class” park and bike path along a riverfront.

An hour just to find a parking spot: In addition to drivers and bike riders and Uber drivers, urban street capacity is being tested by the surge in delivery trucks due to increased use of online ordering. Hopefully cargo bikes can help solve this one.

Truck culture: This inside look at Ford’s MegaRaptor, which is essentially a consumer monster truck, should stoke the ire of every street safety advocate. These trucks are extremely dangerous to vulnerable road users.

Protect it and they will come: The number of people who commute to work by bike into downtown Denver rose 25 percent (to an 8.3 percent mode share) and it follows the installation of four miles of protected bike lanes.

Video of the Week: The BBC sheds light on how the Tour of Colombia bicycle race helps unite the country, as told through the eyes of a young woman whose ex-racer father was killed in the drug wars.

Thanks for all the submissions everyone. And by the way, we’d love to find more sponsors for this regular feature. Please contact me for rates and more information.

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

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bikeninja
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bikeninja

It seems like on-line shopping and individual package delivery to the consumer is a step backward in congestion and logistic efficiency. I think it would be better for people to ride bikes to local stores that were supplied by trucks that made deliveries at night. Or if we are going to have everything delivered, get rid of personal cars and leave the roads to delivery drivers and cyclists.

Pete
Guest
Pete

I vote we replace all remaining “Share the Road” signs with “How Would Jesus Drive?”…

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

The only thing I can say about those Megaraptor monster trucks is , Where is E.L.F. when you need them?

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

The truck side guard legislation is long overdue . . . but I’ll believe it when i see it.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Re: cyclists and drivers obeying the law at approximately the same rate:

This is all the more remarkable considering how hostile our roads and laws are to cycling. Imagine what the numbers would look like if our system actually worked for us.

Elly
Guest

Thanks for the Bikequity shout-out! To be totally fair, Joe Biel coined “bikenomics” as well as this new title. He’s a man of many portmanteaux.

X
Guest
X

Eben Weiss’ next column was about bike monogamy. Guess I’ll stay married to my cargo bike.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Anyone who hasn’t been there should go to Microcosom publishings’ store on Williams for their copy of Bikequity, while you are there your can check out their great cycling t-shirts. I need to get back there soon and get a new ” Live Free or Drive” shirt has my old one is getting ratty.

soren
Guest
soren

With regard to the scofflaw study, I’m pleased that I do my part to decrease local compliance with unnecessary motorvehicle-centric traffic laws . If I can safely violate a traffic law while walking or rolling without impacting the comfort or ROW of another person, I always violate that traffic law.

oliver
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oliver

“artisans of the common good”

I pulled in behind a Union Pacific Railroad Ford Expedition on Interstate yesterday, and was shocked.

The lane cohesion of this driver was absolutely impeccable. He didn’t drop a tire onto either the fogline/bikelane or the yellow “centerline” all the way from Going to Lombard. Not once.

It was amazing to drive behind someone who was obviously paying attention for once.

TK Conrad
Guest
TK Conrad

In regards to Eben Weiss’s article, while I agree that biking is not as dangerous for children as driving, it also has tremendous health benefits that have been shown to significantly outweigh the risks of biking. When adults regularly bike with their kids, they are setting an example of how to get around the city without a car. When kids grow up seeing biking as a normal and easy way to get around, they are more likely to become adults who prioritize this for themselves. Therefore, I feel the best reason for wanting to bike with your kids is to help them establish lifelong active commuting habits.

soren
Guest
soren

“Drive with good morals”

* ubiquitous harm to people’s health
* ~1.3 million human beings killed each year (WHO statistics)
* trillions of animals with emotion and sentience killed each year (multiple sources)
* an unavoidable and emerging climate catastrophe that is partly attributable to driving (IPCC report)

IMO, driving can only be a “moral good” overall when it is necessary due to inequity, lack of access, inability, and/or socioeconomic oppression.

Clark in Vancouver
Guest
Clark in Vancouver

That MegaRaptor truck is crazy! If this is the type of thing they’re making then it only makes the case stronger for protection from motor vehicles.
I don’t want to take anyone’s toys away or tell them what to do with their money but on the other hand I don’t want to get killed by somebody with a macho complex.
Another thing is at what point do limits get set? Do people who drive these need to get a different license and training? If these trucks keep getting bigger and bigger then at one point they’ll be the size of a semi-trailer. Would there be some streets that they’re not allowed on?

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

The shift in delivery methods and suburbanization of distribution centers…have also led to the shift from larger semi-truck style trailers (>80,000 GVW / >60 FT long) from smaller more city friendly box trucks (<20,000 GVW / <24 FT long) in many US urban areas…these trucks are too large for most if not all city center loading zones thus if not enforced by the police and traffic/ parking departments will then double park thus blocking bike lanes and or sidewalks and undermine traffic safety (and vision zero policy).

rachel s
Guest
rachel s

The video clip from Bicycle Dutch with all the kids streaming into the school yard on bicycles is worth the click alone….Just think how the demand for safe streets would escalate if kids used them for school, sports etc.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Jesus of Nazereth? Definitely a fixie guy.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Taking any advice from the Catholic church might be hazardous to your health.

Douglas K
Guest
Douglas K

The “$40 million project in Ohio” is actually in Indiana.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I’m always dubious of “build it and they will come” claims. In Denver, I wonder how valid downtown groups number of 6.6% of commuters coming by bike in 2016 is when the city as a whole had a bicycle commute rate of one-third that number (2.2%). Downtown had 40% coming in cars, but Denver proper had over 75%. I suspect their survey is a bit biased.

If their numbers for that are legit, it’s just a small bubble and I’m unwilling expand that to confirmation of biatwc. Besides, the experience of Davis, CA is the case that disproves the value of separation. Davis built boatloads of separated infra from 1990-present, but has seen longstanding trend of decreased ridership, with a few brief upticks, from its heyday of the early ’80s when modal shares were, while never documented, beyond anything I have seen since. (Only place in the world where one could look down a random road and pretty much always see bikes outnumbering cars.)

What changed? Traffic law enforcement. Enforce traffic laws and they will ride. Don’t enforce them and they will drive.

Joe Fortino
Guest
Joe Fortino

jesus rode fixed.. haha

SE
Guest
SE

Middle of the Road Guy
The main thing I notice when I cycle in Europe (which is “not enough”) is the absolute lack of pick up trucks and SUVs. .

I drove to SoCal a while back and made the same observation there.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Well, I actually bought a drum brake for my KHS Flite 100 track frame from Sheldon Brown so I could convert it to a 26 inch cross machine.

Rode it for 11 years. Stolen last spring.

Just today I picked up a new drum brake from Clever Cycles. Another month to build more wheels, these for the old custom frame fixie. Drum brakes are truly excellent in horrible mucky weather.

Be back before long!

Andy K
Guest
Andy K

Eben Weiss is a national treasure