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The Monday Roundup: Myopic marketing, wheelchair biking, pedaling protest, and more

Posted by on February 5th, 2018 at 9:45 am

Welcome to the week. Looks like the rain is gone for a bit and we’ve warmed up a bit. I might even try riding without gloves today. I know, right!

You might notice something new this week: I’ve started giving credit to sources of links we use in the roundup. Giving credit is one of the most important tenets of the web, and it’s always bothered me that I didn’t do this in the past. I also hope you’ll discover new and smart people to follow on Twitter.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Unsafe at any level of nudity: A man is suing the City of Portland for $566,000 after he hit a median curb on SE Morrison and suffered injuries on his way home from the World Naked Bike Ride in 2016. (via The Oregonian)

On a related note: Los Angeles paid out $19 million last year to bicycle riders and their families to settle lawsuits related to crashes caused by unsafe road conditions. (via @bikinginorange)

Pedaling for net neutrality: A protestor rode his bike around FCC headquarters — and purposely held up a full lane of road users — to make a point about net neutrality. (via Steve K.)

Bad dockless: When you plop a bunch of shareable bikes into a city that has no supportive bike cutlure or respect for cycling in general, you get a huge mess (and lots of dockless naysayers). (via John L.)

Good dockless: China has had a huge problem with dockless bike messes too, but Streetsblog reports that, “Cycling rates have doubled in Chinese cities since the advent of dockless bike-share system.”

Picking up trash by bike: That feeling when some cool people actually did the thing you’ve been thinking about for many years: a bike tour devoted to picking up trash. Imagine if we got dozens of people together and did this in one quadrant of Portland? (via @BarbChamberlain)

Segments a security risk: How come nobody told soldiers and army staff to turn off Strava when logging bike rides in war zones? (via @BikeRadar)

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Biking emerges after the storm: As we’ve seen with many major natural disasters, people re-discover the efficacy of bicycles as a transportation tool. People for Bikes has the latest from Puerto Rico, post Maria.

Industry’s myopic marketing: There’s a lot of talk in the bike industry that road cycling is way down. Maybe that’s because the pain-and-suffering and win-at-all-costs marketing imagery is very unappealing to all but the tiny percentage of hardcore riders already participating in the sport. (via

Cross-border bike share: El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico are about to launch a two-country bike-share system. (via @Pflax1)

Future transport pact: Fresh on heels of Uber’s big integration with Jump (formerly Social Bicycles), 15 bike-share and ride-hailing companies signed a pact promising to do keep the best interests of urban livability at core of their mission.

Quick and cheap sidewalks: We talk a lot about protected bikeways. Have you seen Seattle’s “protected walking lanes”? They make them with just paint and curbs. (via Streetsblog)

Biking for all: A wheelchair biking program has popped up in Sequim, Washington. With the demand for adaptive bikes in Portland, I wonder if someone could make this work here? (via @IansRide2016)

Prioritize walking now: When cities make walking easier and driving less convenient in dense urban areas, fewer people die. This article has shares a provocative insight: U.S. fatality rates have only gone down because we took people off their feet and put them in cars — which ultimately leads to less safe conditions. (via @awalkerinLA)

Video of the week: The definition of entitlement is, “the fact of having a right to something.”

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

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  • Alex February 5, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Re: that $566k suit, I’ve hit those median islands on Morrison riding full-speed in the middle of the night (I had a light, but didn’t see the islands). My bike flew up into the air and came down on the front wheel, bending the wheel and breaking my fender. Somehow I stayed upright and free from injury, but it was scary as hell. That thing definitely needs a blinking light on it.

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    • Bald One February 5, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Yeah, these two stories in Portland and LA about intentional placements of diversionary hardscape infra: curbs, bollards, bump outs, islands, diverters, planters, signs, curb-cut ramps that don’t follow the natural line of intuitive path, even the big storm drain catch basins around town, not to mention the potholes and cracks – all of these have a dark side at night for cyclists. Installation of all of these types of infra have benefits, but also have costs, along with failure of maintenance. I guess the folks that typically get clipped by these are riders in the middle of the night, so there is less press and witness about it. And, of course, the dominant paradigm in pro-cycling advocacy is all about more and more protection/separation… How are they going to put a blinky light on every piece of hardscape infra in town?

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      • NC February 5, 2018 at 11:10 am

        The Swales are lethal, they stick out without any marking where most people will be riding. They need bollards and reflectors too.

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      • Spiffy February 5, 2018 at 5:56 pm

        “that don’t follow the natural line of intuitive path”

        you’re saying that the natural line of intuitive path for a left turn only lane is to go straight?

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        • John Lascurettes February 5, 2018 at 6:56 pm

          The O article didn’t even say what roadway and direction he was traveling. Note that the concrete blobs are also within the crosswalk. He could have been traveling in the crosswalk going sidewalk to sidewalk for all we know. I have no idea. But to assume that he should have hit them because they are evident is disingenuous without knowing what all the conditions were. And certainly, the way these things are marked are pretty horrible.

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          • John Lascurettes February 5, 2018 at 6:59 pm

            Also, I see very easily that he could have been making a left turn, but then taking it wide to end up in the far right lane at the completion of his turn. That would and could have put him at the right side of the left-only lane as he made his turn—provided he was even operating as a vehicle (in the road) instead of a pedestrian (in the crosswalk).

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    • John Liu
      John Liu February 5, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Raised medians, diverters, ped xing refuges, etc need to be marked. A flexible reflective plastic wand would do it. I am sympathetic to his suit.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy February 5, 2018 at 11:07 am

        I’m not. He was going too fast if he couldn’t see what was in front of him.

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        • Spiffy February 5, 2018 at 5:45 pm

          and that’s why no insurance company would ever pay out… it’s your fault if you hit anything stationary in the road in front of you…

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          • Dan A February 5, 2018 at 7:25 pm

            Not if you’re in a car. At least, not as far as I’ve seen in the stories here.

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            • Spiffy February 5, 2018 at 10:55 pm

              here’s my story: they don’t pay out, and they kinda laugh at you, both the city and the insurance company… but that’s just my own personal experience…

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    • BikeRound February 5, 2018 at 10:23 am

      If you didn’t see the median islands, wouldn’t it be your responsibility to upgrade to more powerful lights or adjust your speed to make it suitable for the conditions? If I am riding my bike, I would always assume that if I smash into any stationary object, the collision would always be my fault. We should also note that it is exactly these types of lawsuits that cause cities to close bike paths at the first hint of what they call a “dangerous condition.”

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      • Bjorn February 5, 2018 at 10:35 am

        I’d be a lot more sympathetic if they weren’t painted bright yellow. I guess a reflector or wand could be added, but I don’t think the city should be paying him out a half million dollars.

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        • WhoPutThatThere February 5, 2018 at 12:09 pm

          They where painted recently, here is what they looked like the year before:

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          • NC February 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm

            Not yellow, and lethal.

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            • John Lascurettes February 5, 2018 at 7:00 pm

              And in the crosswalk. How are these not a major trip hazard for pedestrians?

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              • q February 5, 2018 at 9:34 pm

                Exactly. And what about vision-impaired people? What about if covered in snow or leaves (maybe not likely in this location but it is in others). Anyone walking in a crosswalk should be able to assume that they have a smooth path continuously from when they leave the curb until they arrive on the other side.

                I could imagine someone walking tripping on this when crossing in the dark and rain, with glare from headlights, especially with some traffic thrown in and the need to be watching for turning cars as you crossed. It’s right in the middle of the marked crosswalk (!).

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      • Jon February 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

        I guess different people have different ways of assigning responsibility. A few times I’ve fallen off my bike when commuting and riding after dark. One time I got too close to the edge of the pavement and slipped off into the gravel next to the road and crashed. I have broken my thumb when I slipped on wet pavement and crashed. In every case I determined that I should have been paying more attention. I never considered suing someone because I crashed due to my own negligence. If someone crashed into me I would have no problem having their insurance pay to fix me or my bike but suing the city because I was riding around after dark and did not see a road hazard? He better hope I don’t get chosen for the jury.

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        • Alex February 5, 2018 at 10:46 am

          Yeah, I agree. The lawsuit seems a bit ridiculous. I’m a skateboarder and have gotten hurt plenty of times on both private and public property, and would never consider suing for an action I consider my responsibility. Regardless of the lawsuit, I do think these particular medians/bumps should be made more visible or removed completely.

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        • B. Carfree February 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

          I’m sympathetic to his lawsuit, but your comment did remind me of something. I was called for jury duty. The case was going to be a personal liability thing, so the court had us fill out a questionnaire. One of the questions was whether I had ever been injured (who hasn’t?). The next question was whether or not I had considered suing the responsible party for my injury. I chuckled as I quoted the late Asa Baber (hey, just for the articles) and wrote that I didn’t see how I could sue myself.

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        • Dan A February 5, 2018 at 7:29 pm
      • Oliver February 5, 2018 at 1:07 pm

        If I pile a load of gravel in the street in front of my house and someone hits it because it wasn’t marked.

        Am I liable?

        Is there a reasonable expectation that a travel path is going to be clear of intentionally placed hazards?

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        • Middle of the Road Guy February 5, 2018 at 2:22 pm

          I am curious to know if the cyclist had been down this road before and therefore had previously seen the island he hit later on.

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        • pdxlady February 5, 2018 at 2:59 pm

          Sure but one man’s intentional hazard is another man’s traffic calming device. That seems like a slippery slope to use that definition

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        • NC February 5, 2018 at 5:16 pm

          Yes you may well be. Such things should be marked, especially something the colour of the tarmac around it.

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        • Spiffy February 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm

          yes, you’re probably liable because you put the obstacle where people should be driving… that’s not the case here… you should never come into contact with that median unless you’re doing something illegal…

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        • q February 5, 2018 at 9:41 pm

          I recall a case mentioned on bikeportland previously where a cyclist was injured driving into a pile of dirt or mulch that someone had placed in the street in front of their house. Or maybe it was a cyclist who owned the house and was sued…can’t remember details, but I’m sure you could be liable. I believe there are also laws requiring reflectors on dumpsters left in the street (plus I think there are laws requiring permits to place dumpsters there) all presumably because there are dangers in placing non-reflective things in the street (even in places where cars may legally park).

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    • Kyle Banerjee February 5, 2018 at 10:27 am

      I can see how those could present a hazard.

      Given the consistent response from many posters when a motorist hits a dark object in the dark, why it is the city’s fault if a cyclist hits something that is bright yellow in a lit intersection when riding down a clearly marked left turn only lane on the left side of the street?

      Ignoring that all road users are obligated to operate at a speed that allows them to respond to conditions (peds in black or kids could be out there) cracks, holes, debris, and a wide range of common threats are inherent to road riding.

      Logic based on the number of peds killed by cyclists ignores the issue. As someone who frequently rides at night, my consistent observation is that the low level of cyclists and peds (I often ride miles without seeing either — especially peds) minimizes the potential for conflict while I have yet to ride anywhere in Portland without encountering cars.

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      • CaptainKarma February 5, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        Many obstructions such as bulb-outs and diverters are not painted at all, making them nearly invisible in the dark and/or rain, plus untrustworthy drivers. A photo was posted fuether up showing the degraded, insufficient marking on the diverter in question. If I left a piece of grey cargo in the road and somebody crashed due to that, I’d be culpable.

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      • wsbob February 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm

        “…why it is the city’s fault if a cyclist hits something that is bright yellow in a lit intersection when riding down a clearly marked left turn only lane on the left side of the street? …” banerjee

        After I posted the earlier comment, I got to wondering how well the left turn lane was indicated before the big Morrison reconfiguration that the O reported on. How fresh was the painted left turn arrow on the pavement, and is their either a ‘left turn only’ sign on a post at the curb, or an overhead illuminated sign with the same info.

        In the O’s night picture of them, the little islands don’t show up very well for whatever reason. The O story doesn’t come right out and say it, but does mention the islands still being left in place after the reconfiguration making Morrison all one way traffic. Which sounds to be saying the islands no longer are necessary as an extra measure to help prevent traffic in the left turn lane from traveling straight through the intersection and into oncoming traffic.

        Why has the city left those little traffic islands in place after the reconfiguration seems to have rendered them unnecessary? If the islands no longer are really necessary, and they lack visibility under average bright bike light illumination, that makes the islands a definite hazard to biking; to my thinking, as I gather what the situation is on limited info, of course.

        If the lane still is ‘left turn only’, I wonder why. Even if it is, not strictly adhering to that direction is less essential during hours when traffic is light, as it may well have been when Z was going home at 1am in the morning. Not essential if the road user checks for traffic from behind and to the right before proceeding straight rather than turning.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy February 5, 2018 at 11:06 am

      So you were going too fast and riding past the range of your lights?

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      • Brian February 5, 2018 at 11:34 am

        48,231 people have ridden by without falling on their face. And over half a million for a broken nose and some cuts? Maybe if he was a model, but….

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        • Middle of the Road Guy February 5, 2018 at 12:35 pm

          a FRENCH model. Bon Jour!

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    • wsbob February 5, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      The O story has seven good pictures. I’m not personally familiar with that part of Morrison or the intersection with 11th, so I’m relying entirely on the pictures and the story description to try understand reasons he might have ran into the little traffic islands. One thing the O story said, is that Morrison, when Ziemer hit the islands, didn’t used to be all one way.

      I guess Z, east of 11th, was riding westbound on Morrison. The story says the left turn lane and islands were there to direct people to a left turn rather than proceeding straight ahead in the left lanes on the former configuration, which if they did, would have them proceeding into oncoming traffic. Not sure if this is correct. Someone reading here, likely knows.

      It sounds as though Z was in the left lane, proceeding straight through the intersection, under the impression that the lane ahead was free and clear, only to find himself running into the low islands. What the night pic on the O site shows, is something to think about. The left turn arrow stands out well. The islands themselves, don’t stand out. Was that picture taken under the illumination of a bike light? And if so, what’s the quality of beam from that light?

      Bike lights’ beam illumination aren’t standardized like it seems most motor vehicle headlight beam illumination is. No report on what quality light Z had on his bike. Bike light beam angle isn’t adjusted on the vehicle, to illuminate the road at a fixed distance ahead with screws, like motor vehicle headlight beams are. Some people ride with the beam to low or too high, or they set it a certain way and the light gets knocked from its adjustment. Some people have good, bright front lights, other’s have lights only good enough to satisfy the legal requirement to have a light…in other words, dim, virtually worthless for seeing pavement problems.

      I have no idea how Ziemer is going to come out on this deal.

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    • Chris I February 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      They need to be removed.

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    • Spiffy February 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      “That thing definitely needs a blinking light on it.”

      why? if you’re doing it legally (make a left turn because it’s a turn-only lane) you never come into contact with it…

      however, looking at the pictures it seems there used to be a small low-profile light on it, but the socket is now filled with mud…

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  • rick February 5, 2018 at 10:06 am

    What will prevent people from driving on that bike / walk path again ?

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    • K'Tesh February 6, 2018 at 4:12 am

      If I was on that bike lane, I’d make sure that they have to leave the trail in order to get around me.

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      • K'Tesh February 6, 2018 at 4:13 am

        Correction… bike PATH… not lane..

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  • bikeninja February 5, 2018 at 10:43 am

    When I see the video of the entitled drivers using the bike path it puts a whole new spin on how I view infrastructure safety improvements. It appears that the only way to make motorist’s behave is to fence them in behind concrete walls with no gaps, or take their cars away from them.

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  • Bjorn February 5, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Cully Blvd/57th Ave has something similar from shaver to fremont. It seems to have reduced the number of cars that drive through the fence into the cemetery but I continue to think that the wands (some of which have been broken off by cars) are inadequate separation. Should have jersey barriers, although even curbs like this would be an improvement.

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  • Dave February 5, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Why are People so freakin’ cheap about putting lights on their bikes? Why are stores such candyasses about selling them–we in the industry should be going full-bore car salesman mode to be pushing lumens!!!

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    • CaptainKarma February 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Why do people aim their flamethrowers into my eyes when theu clearly need to be used to illuminate the ROAD surface?

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      • Paul February 5, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        For many/most models of lights, there’s no way to position them to illuminate the road 20 or 30 feet ahead (which is where the light is needed most) without also having them shine on people’s eyes. If the light is pointed down right in front of you, it just makes a bright spot on the road and blinds you even more to anything further out.

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  • shirtsoff February 5, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I’ve had the good fortune of always riding in the bus, now bus/bike, lane on the far right or had the intention of turning left onto 11th Ave from Morrison. Those concrete islands have not affected myself but I agree, they should have a light.

    The concrete islands are low to the ground and they’re on a downhill portion of roadway. It is too easy to imagine someone scanning for cars racing down 11th Ave to the right and potentially not seeing the concrete islands in their path even if they were intending to turn left there. Negligence of design is evident.

    Sandy Blvd has a number of low-height concrete islands with flashing lights. The islands are easy to overlook but the lights are the right idea. They’re quite dim at this point in their life cycle, but they are a working example of a minimal solution to this problem.

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  • Kyle Banerjee February 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

    The “myopic marketing” article is off the mark and presents inaccurate information to boot.

    Why would anyone expect companies to market high end gear designed for competition which inherently involves pain to cost sensitive people who don’t care about any of the things the bikes are designed for? Different types of bikes go for different types of riding — it’s not like fat tire or MTB bikes are marketed at nonriders or urban commuters.

    The outdoor industry example is misleading. For a more fair comparison, compare the marketing for equipment designed for competition/expert use rather than stuff aimed at casual users.

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  • colton February 5, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    “There’s a lot of talk in the bike industry that road cycling is way down”

    Well, of course. It’s an image thing. The image of the road biker isn’t what it was when more people could relate. As the image gets more and more exclusive (and expensive), less people are doing it.

    In years past, you could imagine training and participating in a triathlon (or bike race) on the same bike that you rode to work on, at least if it had drop bars. Maybe you would take off the rack and fenders to save some weight, but you wouldn’t feel completely out of place when you got out of the water. Move forward a couple decades and it’s morphed into an activity of the well-to-do who are riding bikes that don’t look much different from what you see at the Olympics (with corresponding price tags).

    **I have to believe that potential new riders can’t see themselves as part of that crowd.**

    I think that the rather constant press (this blog included) that involves excessively priced bike gear contributes to this decline for all forms of biking. You sure don’t see reviews of great value bikes and equipment on blogs and other press. Instead, you get glamorizations about hand-built frames.

    $500-$1000 should get anyone a lovely bike they can enjoy for many many years.

    **Do we really think that is the message being received by potential new riders?**

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    • B. Carfree February 5, 2018 at 1:23 pm

      I think the bigger reason for the decline of road riding is what I call the doughnut effect. Inside many cities, the riding is okay (not great, but not really death-defying either). Well away from the urban core, the riding is even better. However, the doughy part of the doughnut, those outer parts of the city and its suburbs, are pretty awful to ride through.

      That presents an obstacle as a newish rider stretches her wings and attempts to ride further afield. She’s likely to do one of two things:
      1. Put the road bike in a car and drive outside the doughnut.
      2. Just give it up.

      If you’re going to drive to ride, you might as well give mountain biking a try.

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    • Dave February 5, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      How about minimum bike weight for beginner events?

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    • David Hampsten February 5, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      In general, the whole bicycle sales industry is dying. According to BRAIN (Bicycle Retail And Industry News), 99% of bikes are now imported, mostly from China, while the number of bicycles imported has dropped by over 3 million units in the past few years. The number of bike shops nationwide has also been cut in half since 2000. Of those shops that remain, fewer than half survive on bike sales/repair alone, with increasing sales in e-bikes. Many of the remaining shops have sideline business in bars, cafes, etc; many others are tax write-offs for their better-paid spouses (a surprising number of whom are in the medical field) or are perfectly legal money-laundering operations for other somewhat dubious businesses (i.e., marijuana sales in legal states.)

      Here in Greensboro we have 8 bike shops, all of which are in “white” parts of town; all except Performance accidentally deal almost exclusively with white customers, who are 40% of our population. One deals exclusively with used bikes and various antique furniture. One deals exclusively in supplying donated bicycles to refugees and immigrants, paid for through donations from charities. One is also a brew pub. Two are about to go under, including our long-time road shop, and have been about to go under for 3-5 years now. REI sells clothing, camping gear, and a couple bikes. Trek part-owns the Trek shop here (as in most places). Only Performance is thriving, as they have most of the 55% customers who ride while black, as well as a lot of the white, Asian, Hispanic, and migrant riders in our community who can afford going to bike shops. Those who can’t afford to shop at a bike shop use LimeBike or buy at Walmart/Target.

      Or they drive. About 28% of our population own a bicycle, but about 90% drive to work.

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  • Todd Boulanger February 5, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Taking an alternative view of the “self-declared emergency” MV detour on the shared use path in Chicago…

    …its all about transportation network resiliency…so the next time some “motorhead” says that ‘bike paths are worthless’ or that they ‘will never get to use it’…we can point out they do have a tertiary use.

    [I also love that an articulated bus operator thought they could use it too…navigate the corners AND not crush the pavement…]

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    • B. Carfree February 5, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      If bike paths are going to be expected to withstand the beating that motor vehicles put on them, then they should be built to proper road standards. Actually, considering so many cities operate pick-ups on them, they should probably be built to better standards anyway.

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      • Todd Boulanger February 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

        Yes…and have you seen the size and GVW of the new generation of city OPS trucks?!…definitely not your father’s PU truck…more like 30k GVW now.

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      • David Hampsten February 5, 2018 at 11:02 pm

        Apparently the 4 huge 1970s concrete bike bridges in Eugene were built to handle battle tanks, but all they get are the occasional fire truck to rescue white-water rafters.

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  • Jim Lee February 5, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I am nonplussed.

    Should I join Strava and block out rides near my house? As I age my cycling universe contracts. Still, several miles from home is realistic. Frankly, nobody cares where I cycle.

    Within two days last year: I sold a nice road fixie; had my daily driver fixie stolen from the rack at my gym.

    I still have one really nice fixie, carefully sequestered at home. Presently building wheels to duplicate those stolen with the daily driver, which had a Campy bottom bracket and a Sugino 75 crankset, but did not look like much. Also lost: my two favorite cogs.

    Maybe I should just carry on, ignoring Strava and excoriating thieves. Perhaps, by the time I die, we shall have autonomous and dockless bicycles, and all will be moot.

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    • Pete February 5, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      What I find ironic is we can do the research to locate American military facilities with Strava data, but we still can’t seem to improve bicycling on American roadways with it.

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      • B. Carfree February 5, 2018 at 8:47 pm

        I thought some jurisdictions were looking at heat maps to help select which their sites to do infrastructure work on. Here we go:
        “Strava Metro partners with departments of transportation, city planning groups and safety departments to improve infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians. Over 125 cities and organizations around the world use Strava Metro to measure and improve their bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.”

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        • Asher Atkinson February 5, 2018 at 9:44 pm

          My understanding is that Portland was an early customer. I can certainly see how the amount of data pouring into Strava helps cities plan and prioritize sensible improvements and I’m happy to share my rides with them.

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        • David Hampsten February 5, 2018 at 10:58 pm

          What we found here in Greensboro is that Strava only measures the riding of the upper 10% of the white population, people with enough free time to install and use the phone app, quite often during the daytime between peak commuting periods. It’s one of several data sources for our city, along with stationary infrared counters (we have 7 at various strategic locations), unreliable student counts, and LimeBike trip data. Given our very limited amount of public dollars, the data has almost no impact on where new bike projects are located.

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          • Pete February 6, 2018 at 12:33 pm

            Bingo. It’s always been in Strava’s business model to sell data to planners, but the argument is repeatedly made that it’s tainted by recreationalists (like me, a work-at-home professional using a bike computer that cost more than some folks’ bikes). When I was on the BPAC here, my city said it cost too much to buy the data from them, but now I believe they just give it away and we still don’t use it. (Our crowning glory was a bike path that closes whenever our stadium has events, ironically preventing people from safely biking to the stadium).

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  • anna February 5, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Bae Bae PDX did a trash ride and picked up tons of stuff. They even gave out awards for “most interesting trash.”

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  • rubenoh February 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve been reading a lot about Leading Pedestrian Intervals to reduce pedestrian fatalaties. This seems like an easy step to implement here in Portland

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 5, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Hi rubenoh. Thanks for commenting! Just FYI we have several of these installed in Portland already. N Williams and Killingsworth is one and I know there are others.

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      • Scott Kocher February 5, 2018 at 4:34 pm

        I have concerns about leading pedestrian intervals. Although I believe there is some limited research on them, they (1) can deprive peds the opportunity to make eye contact with a driver, and (2) if the driver, for example, is looking left for traffic and turns right, a person walking slowly may be directly in front of their vehicle due to the timing of the LPI. A person was killed by a right-turning driver in front of St Vincent hospital at the 4 second LPI there. Portland also has one on SW Vista at Park which is a scary crossing with turning vehicles.

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        • Todd Boulanger February 5, 2018 at 5:19 pm

          Good point but the use of “making eye contact” with MV operators but seems to no longer work much since they seem to be either too busy/ distracted and no longer scan the intersection with a rotating head…

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        • Spiffy February 5, 2018 at 6:16 pm

          they need a No Right On Red for every intersection with these… that way driver’s focus will be on where they’re going instead of on possible traffic from the left…

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        • Pete February 6, 2018 at 6:15 pm

          This is what popped into my mind. The article says that NYC has shown the best improvement (over SF and some others) – I suspect this may have to do with dedicated left turn lanes. In a typical California intersection your direction’s cycle typically starts with opposing left turn lanes getting the green, in which case peds have to wait until that cycle is done and the straight lanes get the green anyway. Many east coast cities tend not to have the width to accommodate the dedicated left- and right-turn lanes that west coast cities do, simply due to age and space.

          When I was nearly hit in a crosswalk here (, the driver was racing oncoming traffic to turn right on red without stopping (or looking right). If I had been given the walk light in advance of the oncoming traffic, I’d have been dead in front of her as she flew through. (Heck, if straight traffic had been green before I got the walk, she would have had to actually hit her brakes on her red).

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  • Emily Guise (Contributor) February 5, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Another way to pick up trash by bike: build a floating bike and pedal it along the London canals!

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    • Kyle Banerjee February 5, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      There are a number of companies that all kinds of pedal powered watercraft. I’ve tried one of the floating bikes. Canoe is better for that purpose IMO. Loads of capacity, you can just throw stuff right on board, and it’s easy to clean.

      On land, bikes with a bit of hauling capacity represent a very good way to pick up small trash which is a task well suited to frequent stops and slow movement.

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    • Resopmok February 5, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      Unfortunately pedal powered boats are typically less mechanically efficient and less ergonomic than rowing. Fewer moving parts, more surface area contact with the water from the propulsion method, better center of gravity, better range of motion, and a decent rowing setup uses both leg and arm power. Come to think of it, a rowing bike might be cool invention.

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      • Resopmok February 5, 2018 at 9:12 pm

        On second thought, I searched for that after I posted with the sad realization that someone had already thought of it. Some things are just better as ideas.

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  • Mike Sanders February 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    And then there was the early morning motorist who hit a raised median on a street in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, went airborne, and landed on the second floor of a dental office, just missing an LA Transit bus going the other direction. Lots of jokes on Facebook about the building needing a filling afterward!

    And the scene of drivers on a bike path avoiding an accident comes from Chicago. The path they used is the one that runs along the Lake Michigan shoreline, which is actually part of the National Bike Route System.

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  • Toby Keith February 5, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I do feel bad Mr.Ziemer was injured. However, did he have adequate lighting? Had he been drinking? Can’t really say the city (all of us) should be paying him that large sum.

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  • Kathy February 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    There doesn’t seem to be a link for the article for the heading “Prioritize walking now.”

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  • Spiffy February 5, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Prioritize walking now: Is this the link that’s missing?

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  • B. Carfree February 5, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    The L.A. lawsuit payouts article had some interesting statements. For instance, their response to the poor condition of roads with bike infrastructure is going to be to check in out from a motor vehicle (granted the vehicle will be tooled out with nice toys). I much prefer the approach taken in Denmark (I think) that puts accelerameters on bikes and grabs the data to identify road defects. Of course they could also just ride bikes on the road and the problematic roads would be obvious.

    I also liked the phrase “notmyjobism”. All complaint-driven entities end up there. It’s the mark of a failed organization that it sits back and does the minimum while waiting for complaints. The next level of evolution is to work harder to not fix the problem than to fix it.

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  • q February 5, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Regarding the SE Morrison median lawsuit–the big question to me isn’t what happens with the lawsuit, it’s why are those median bumps still there? What purpose do they serve now that Morrison has been changed to remain one-way westbound as you continue through the SE 11th intersection? Why not just let people continue straight through the intersection in that lane?

    At the very least, if there is some reason why it’s desirable to have that curb lane remain left-turn only, why not at least remove the concrete median bumps? They serve no purpose anymore.

    Plus, since the lane does continue westbound beyond the intersection, that makes the median’s presence all the more surprising, and more likely to be overlooked until you drive or bike over it.

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    • Rich Herbin February 6, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      The presence of those things is totally unexpected mainly because there is nothing like that anywhere else that I know of. The only purpose they seem to serve is being hit by people who don’t see them despite exercising a reasonable level of care. I predict that they are going to unceremoniously and mysteriously disappear one of these days.

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  • K'Tesh February 6, 2018 at 4:18 am

    Those huge payouts in LA seem to have something in common… Inspectors and repair crews not doing what is needed after getting reports of problems… ODOT, PBOT are you listening?

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    • Andrew Kreps February 7, 2018 at 11:03 am

      Also of interest is that 74% of the payout dollar amount went to two people.

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  • Mary February 7, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I liked the article about the trash clean-up. Being an outer SE cyclist, I’ve always wanted a bicycle street sweeper to clean up all the rocks, debris, and glass that also often end up sitting for months in the bike lanes before it gets cleaned.

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