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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 CyclingTips.com)

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 jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Alex
Guest

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.

rick
Guest
rick

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

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

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.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

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.

Dave
Guest
Dave

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!!!

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

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.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

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.

colton
Guest
colton

“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?**

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

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…]

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

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.

anna
Guest
anna

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

rubenoh
Guest
rubenoh

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

https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018/01/96981-life-saving-potential-leading-pedestrian-intervals

Emily Guise (Contributor)
Subscriber

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

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

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.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

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.

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

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

Spiffy
Subscriber

Prioritize walking now: Is this the link that’s missing? https://www.curbed.com/2018/1/31/16952856/walking-traffic-deaths-pedestrian-streets

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

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.

q
Guest
q

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.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

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?

Mary
Guest
Mary

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.