Welcome to a new week.
Here are the best stories we came across in the past seven days…
A sign of humanity: Read this tale from New York about how a woman’s bike theft-inspired sign sparked a karma loop that began in her neighborhood and reached across continents.
Get these damn cars off the road: Uber drivers using the company’s self-driving mode were involved in two crashes in the past week. One in Pittsburgh and one in Tempe, Arizona that killed a woman who was walking across the street.
Same roads, different rules: Montreal gets it. That city’s ruling political party is floating a very sensible idea: That bicycles are so different than cars they need their own set of laws.
Better bus stops. Quicker: The latest trend in better bus service is plastic, snap-together “floating” islands that allow for quicker stops — and they don’t have to impede on existing bikeways. Why are we not using these in Portland?
Vista boycott continues: There was a die-in protest at the northern California headquarters of Giro, Bell and Blackburn — companies whose parent company Vista Outdoors Inc. has close ties to the NRA and gun products.
Car ad ban: An environmental reporter based in Sydney, Australia makes the case that car ads should regulated out of existence just like cigarette ads.
The case for biking lanes: A protected bike lane in Philly took years to approve and was the victim of typical bikelash BS. Here’s a very solid explanation about why fears that it would lead to congestion were overblown. (Can someone please send this to the Portland Business Alliance?)
Mo’ money fo’ Ofo: Dockless bike share company Ofo is on a fundraising tear, pulling in nearly one billion dollars in their most recent round.
A prediction: Surly’s new Midnight Special “fat tire road bike” will probably become one of the most popular bikes in Portland.
Privitely-funding Safe Routes to School: About 400 people die in traffic crashes in India every day. That epidemic has spurred Toyota Motor Co. to invest $700,000 in a campaign to teach road safety to children.
DUIs and AVs: As if self-driving cars needed any more political momentum; now the liquor lobby is pushing them as a way to sell more booze to people who will no longer have to worry about drunk driving.
Next level bikelash: A woman in New Zealand was arrested after her protest against a bikeway escalated to bashing a traffic island with a sledge-hammer.
Streetcar for the 1%: A cautionary tale about a streetcar line in Detroit where the government sold out the needs of the city to private benefactors.
Big data for bike lane blockage: A computer scientist who commutes in Manhattan developed an algorithm to show how often the bike lane is illegally blocked, then he released the source code.
Seattle’s dockless parking: We might want to create some of these parking zones once dockless bike share hits the streets of Portland.
De Blasio is over: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has come under fire from transportation reformers for many things; but giving credence to the texting-while-walking fallacy is a low point.
No limit to the selfishness: As the culture in Portland is biased toward lower speed limits, the WSJ reports on the trend of rising speed limits and encapsulates American road culture with the line, “the Need for Speed seems to be trumping Speed Kills.”
The left and housing: A California bill (SB 827) that would dramatically up-zone neighborhoods near transit lines in an effort to stem the housing crisis has split progressives — some see it as a savior, while others see it as a threat.
Video of the Week: Watch the Streetfilms recap of last week’s March for Safe Streets in New York City:
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