The Classic - Cycle Oregon

The Monday Roundup: A deadly Uber, better bus stops, a new Surly, and more

Posted by on March 19th, 2018 at 10:06 am

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.

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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:

One Thousand Attend NYC's March for Safe Streets from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

Thanks to everyone who emailed and tagged these great stories to us. Remember you can sign-up to get this (and other great posts) via email.

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

BikePortland needs your support.

Portland Century August 19th

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

66 Comments
  • bikeninja March 19, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Sounds like the sledgehammer lady from New Zealand has a future as the President of the PBA once she gets out of jail.

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    • Clark in Vancouver March 19, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      She’s a trip for sure. When I started reading it I got the sense that she is the usual anti-bike lane person but just got a bit emotional one day and then I keep reading and find out that it’s really just about parking spots, (once again. Sigh…) Then later reading I find out that she’s a conspiracy theorist worried about Agenda 21 and all that crap.

      THE SPACE ALIENS ARE COMING TO TAKE AWAY OUR CARS!!!!

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    • Matt Meskill March 20, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      I love that she’s wearing a “Let it Be” t-shirt!

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  • BB March 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

    If a self driving car runs over a pedestrian, can it just claim it didn’t see her and get off with just a ticket for failure to yield?

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    • 9watts March 19, 2018 at 10:18 am

      “can it just claim it didn’t see her ”

      Is there an ‘it’ at all? And if so, who/where is the ‘it’? The guy who wrote the algorithm? The shareholders? The CEO of Uber?

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      • BB March 19, 2018 at 11:16 am

        Who cares? As long as the courts treat killing someone with an automobile as an unavoidable circumstance it stands to reason that it’s even more unavoidable if nobody is actually driving the car.

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        • q March 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm

          Not necessarily. Currently, I think law enforcement and judges side with drivers in part because they are drivers themselves. When they hear, “I never saw him”, “He seemed to come out of nowhere”, etc. they sympathize, thinking “That could have been me driving (or my kid, or husband…). Even “good drivers” know they’ve run stop signs or almost hit pedestrians or motorcyclists because they just didn’t see them.

          With autonomous vehicles, they may lose that personal connection. It’s no longer a fellow driver unlucky enough to have had a pedestrian dart out in front of them. It’s a product, and if the corporation that owns that robot vehicle wants to drive it on the road, it should have made sure it was safe before endangering the public. In fact, the police and judges may now sympathize with the victims (“That poor person killed by the robot car could have been my child”) because now there’s no driver to sympathize with–just a team of lawyers, engineers and executives.

          And if there’s a “safety driver”, they may be seen as someone getting paid to take over when needed, who failed to do their job, versus a typical driver than others can relate to.

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      • Kyle Banerjee March 19, 2018 at 11:24 am

        They first need to investigate this specific incident.

        I expect something considerably more thorough than average given the scrutiny this will receive. The courts will (and should) hash out the issues you raise.

        It will take time to determine the appropriate role of autonomous technology. I personally am glad they’re working on it as I believe the long term potential for autonomous vehicles “noticing” me and behaving more safely/predictably is greater than distracted drivers who lack good judgment, skills, and emotional control. If nothing else, they won’t drive so crazy fast and will help depress overall speeds.

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        • John Lascurettes March 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm

          I doubt it will go to court unless a DA insists on it — Uber is more likely to throw cash as the victim’s family and settle for a fine with the state in order to get this gone and forgotten as soon as possible.

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          • Kyle Banerjee March 19, 2018 at 1:07 pm

            Regardless of what happens in this specific incident, these issues will eventually be settled. As 9watts observes, Uber is hardly the only party of interest for purposes of determining liability.

            Given how often human drivers injure/kill peds, cyclists, and other vehicles, I am unclear why so many people assume that AV is much more dangerous. AVs only need to be better than the “average” driver to improve road safety (probably less since the worst drivers might be among the people who take advantage of it first). That’s before we consider that they operate in a way that makes it harder for other drivers to speed, run red lights, and engage in other dangerous behaviors.

            I was out pretty far out on NE Sandy yesterday. I swear cars were doing 50mph+. There is no bike lane out there, but there is a curb limiting evasive options — it’s almost as bad as Columbia for cycling. I’m very certain I’d rather ride out there with AVs than humans. If nothing else, I trust them to behave more predictably so I know if I need to bail.

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            • Matthew in Portsmouth March 19, 2018 at 2:20 pm

              I don’t think “bad” drivers will be early adopters of AV technology. When I think of bad drivers, several categories come to mind: 1) The self entitled speed demon driving a large truck/SUV faster than the speed limit, who thinks that other road users should make way for him (almost always a him); 2) the distracted driver, looking at phone/yelling at kids, looking frantically for a short cut to the appointment s/he is late for; 3) the drunk; 4) the perennial scofflaw driving a POS that shouldn’t be allowed on the road, no insurance, no assets, no f__ks to give. None of these strike me as the type of person to early adopt what will be expensive technology.

              The great thing with AVs is that they will be programmed to obey all traffic rules, so they won’t be travelling at 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, or blowing through red lights and stop signs. They’ll likely signal a turn or lane change at exactly the distance the law requires.

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              • John Lascurettes March 19, 2018 at 3:31 pm

                Regarding AVs breaking the speed limit, I’ve already heard rumors that many of the consumer vehicles (Tesla and the like) allow for 5mph over the speed limit. Sigh. If that’s true, it’s just more of the same.

                “AV manufacturers are already starting to design against the speed limit. Tesla argues that allowing AVs to drive faster than the speed limit to keep up with traffic is safer for everyone. Google’s Eric Schmit agrees, saying that the “biggest problem” about AVs is that they follow the speed limit. Brad Templeton makes a somewhat detailed argument for why he believes AV operators should be able to set the car to any speed, not limited by the one posted.”

                https://sites.tufts.edu/selfdrivecities/2017/10/24/no-speed-limits/

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              • B. Carfree March 19, 2018 at 5:33 pm

                Odd that you think the person in the expensive oversized SUV who thinks everyone should get out of the way is almost always a him. My experience riding on many roads throughout the western states has led me to the conclusion that if the vehicle is expensive, a male driver is much less likely to endanger me and behave with a sense of entitlement as I ride along than a female in a similarly expensive vehicle. The situation reverses with the $500 junkers, where the males are generally quite aggressive and the females will wait and give me space.

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              • Dan A March 20, 2018 at 6:57 am

                Lots of people believe that drivers who go the speed limit are a safety hazard. Traffic engineers, police, and even some noteworthy posters here. It’s not the drivers swerving around them, it’s the slow drivers!

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty March 20, 2018 at 9:05 am

                From a systems perspective you are probably right. But as an individual wanting to be as safe as possible, driving the same does as other drivers might be the better choice. AVs (and drivers) should prioritize safety over a strict adherence to the law.

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              • paikiala March 20, 2018 at 9:59 am

                I’ve read that ‘obey all the rules’ AVs are easier to manipulate and delay by more aggressive human operators than the fuzzy logic versions. The AV won’t gain much traction if it’s average speed is under 10 mph.

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              • soren March 20, 2018 at 2:42 pm

                the ability of people walking or rolling to get in the way is exactly why waymo, tesla, and uber design their AVs to break traffic laws. if we socialize and/or regulate AV technology it may end up being a positive for active transportation. if we do not, this technology may end up being worse than the terrible status quo for people that walk or roll.

                Drivers of the electronic cars will again be able to set the self-driving features to break the speed limit, even on undivided roads

                https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/16/tesla-allows-self-driving-cars-to-break-speed-limit-again

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              • Kyle Banerjee March 21, 2018 at 5:35 am

                Regulation is essential. I think odds are overwhelming that AV technology is likely to benefit peds, cyclists, and others in a car. One of the biggest advantages of AVs is that they can be regulated in ways that human drivers can’t.

                For starters, AVs can not only be programmed to protect these people, they can be programmed to prioritize them. I’ll bet if they did the study mentioned in this article https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliversmith/2018/03/21/the-results-of-the-biggest-global-study-on-driverless-car-ethics-are-in/#77f6e2704a9f with human drivers behind the wheel, few would ever prioritize any humans outside the vehicle over those inside. I’m pretty sure a huge percentage of drivers would hit a cyclist before they’d even risk damaging their car in a manner that presented no safety risk to the vehicle occupants.

                AVs need to be programmed so they will be safest, and that is not going to be slavishly following all laws to the letter at all times

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              • GlowBoy March 21, 2018 at 12:19 pm

                Many of the “bad” drivers will switch to AVs, when the insurance on a human-driven car costs 5x as much.

                Unfortunately, there will be better-off “bad” drivers who will still be willing to pay for the privilege of driving their own vehicles and terrorizing others.

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    • pruss2ny March 20, 2018 at 7:26 am

      so now that it seems that, with all the machine and human witnesses, the outcome of this case will largely be along the lines of “there was nothing the car could do to avoid the accident” will this provide tacit support for drivers who say “there was nothing i could do to avoid the accident…”

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty March 20, 2018 at 8:51 am

        Are there every accidents where the pedestrian is at fault? Your post suggests you think the answer is no.

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        • q March 20, 2018 at 10:28 am

          I think it’s a valid point. Especially if the robot cars are really “good drivers”, every or almost every time they hit a pedestrian, the data will show the pedestrian was at fault. Then human drivers will take that as proof that that’s always the case, even though human drivers will still actually be the ones at fault and not pedestrians.

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        • Pruss2ny March 20, 2018 at 1:35 pm

          I think there are plenty of accidents where vru is at fault. Not sure if that helps anything.

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          • soren March 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm

            i wonder what fault looks like in societies where the cult of driving is not a norm…

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            • Mount Tabor Neighbor March 20, 2018 at 3:49 pm

              hah more like bikers are the cult

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              • Dan A March 21, 2018 at 7:55 am

                Zing!

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        • Dan A March 21, 2018 at 6:18 am

          Yes. And it’s a far lower percentage than what our police believe.

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          • q March 21, 2018 at 9:45 am

            And many drivers still view pedestrians at fault if they a) cross anywhere except in a marked crosswalk, and b) aren’t wearing bright clothing at night. Then beyond that there’s a place where pedestrians aren’t at fault, but drivers are not yet at fault, either–for instance if a pedestrian crosses with the signal in a marked crosswalk, but the sun is shining into the driver’s eyes.

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      • pruss2ny March 21, 2018 at 7:43 pm

        WAIT A MINUTE….have people seen the released UBER video yet? IT MAKES NO SENSE. the road is poorly lit..sure, but every car I’ve driven in the last 10 years has had some sensor on it that ABSOLUTELY would have picked up on her in the roadway and automatically braked…the sensors don’t care if its light or dark out….how in the world did the sensors on this UBER not function at least as well as the sensors on an audi 10years ago? something makes no sense

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5529453/Video-shows-moment-pedestrian-killed-self-driving-Uber-car.html

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    • soren March 20, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      if waymo, uber, and lyft are given carte blanche to dominate our transportation (as happened with automobility) then i suspect jaywalking laws will be strengthened and there will be even fewer protections for pesky humans who decrease AV profits by getting in the way. in fact, i could see many of the roads we use becoming limited access (e.g. no human powered traffic allowed).

      i don’t think people realize just how dystopian our cities could become if everyone except low-income folk or cycling deviants can use an autonomous AVs with targeted advertising and all the comforts of home.

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      • q March 20, 2018 at 2:56 pm

        Fahrenheit 451?

        In fact, imagine the legal system, where you get hit by a robot car, and the company denies fault. You’ll be up against them for the first time. The mega-companies that owns the cars will have legal departments who do nothing but defend their vehicles in traffic cases. When they go against you, they’ll already have handled 10,000 similar cases.

        It could be a lopsided situation similar to the property management company that you take to small claims court when they refuse to return your deposit (as they may have done to hundreds before you) but magnified by a thousand.

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  • Beth H March 19, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Raising speed limits — thinning the herd? Film at 11.

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    • Dave March 19, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Someone should realize–the word “automobile” appears exactly ZERO times in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. On a lighter note–what bike company is going to bring out the “Leadbelly” model?

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      • Dan A March 19, 2018 at 12:17 pm

        [reserving this space for future MOTRG comment about the word “bicycyle”]

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  • Dan A March 19, 2018 at 10:47 am

    85mph is de facto 100mph.

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  • Todd Boulanger March 19, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Regarding the “plastic” bus stop islands…I love the idea of making low cost quick upgrades to bus stops that improve customer access, bus operations and safety…though I would only recommend the tool of “rubber islands/ stops” for very short term work zones or emergency retrofits (with multiple reinstalls), as my direct experience with the rubber speed cushions/ humps [after promoting the idea once] is that their cost to purchase and install is very high and was higher than the use of asphalt (the original and longer term solution).

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    • paikiala March 20, 2018 at 9:47 am

      “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?”
      Because someone would complain….

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  • Racer X March 19, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Not sure how much “humanity” there is in telling crooks to ‘rob the rich’ (aka ‘hipsters’, the new target of class warfare comments…even those whom have front door intercoms)…IMHO, it would have been more effective, if she had just stopped at her recommendation of “not stealing”…

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  • Racer X March 19, 2018 at 11:24 am

    As for OFO, this high level of re-investent at a time of other dockless bike share companies [given the tsunami of unused bikes in serviced cities and question of ROI] one has to wonder what is the long game for these investor companies…there is beginning to appear some transportation research that this is an effort by the Chinese government to place “apps” on everyone’s phones that might then “leak” data or “piggyback” other features to a user’s personal phone…in addition to just collecting basic user data when reserving and cycling…

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    • Su Wonda March 19, 2018 at 11:33 am

      I rode an OFO last weekend in Seattle. No thanks, they are small, flimsy and do not feel safe. I’ll keep my Biketown membership when dockless (OFO, Limebike etc….) arrives. Sure these ‘tourist’ bikes are heavier and have fewer docking options but they are excellent for commuting over potholes and rails with ease and there’s actually mechanics working on them.

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      • GlowBoy March 19, 2018 at 11:45 am

        I’ve ridden all three players’ bikes in Seattle: Ofo, Spin and LimeBike.

        I would agree that the Ofo bikes seem by far the worst maintained about the three, often in pretty poor condition. I’m not sure “small” (they seem the same size of any other bike, except those for super-tall riders I guess) or “flimsy” (the frames seem beefy enough) are the adjectives I’d use to describe their problems.

        As far as safety goes, I’d agree but only in terms of braking. I found the power of their drum brakes varied quite a bit from bike to bike, and was borderline inadequate on some. Spin, which uses rim brakes, were even worse: I got one Spin that braked well, one that was borderline and one that was downright dangerously weak in the braking.

        Did you try a LimeBike? In my experience these were far more reliable and well put together, and seemed to be well maintained. Importantly, the drum brakes worked well on all of the Limes I rode. They also have 8 speeds, while the two brands have fairly tall-geared 3 speeds – which would be fine in most of Portland (where I think BikeTowns’ 8 speeds are overkill), but totally inadequate in Seattle.

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  • John Lascurettes March 19, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Same roads, different rules: That’s already true almost everywhere. That said, I’d like to see those Venn diagram circles’ overlap spread apart a little more than they are for sure.

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  • Jon March 19, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Until we get the details about the Uber crash it is impossible to determine what went wrong. It could be Uber’s fault but it also could be the fault of the pedestrian. As opposed to all the crashes involving pedestrians in Portland recently this crash will have great records covering what happened. There will be video and telemetry from the vehicle that will allow a complete reconstruction of what happened. It would be great if everyone driving themselves had the same requirements – video documentation of what they are doing in the car while they are driving and all driver inputs (braking, acceleration, etc.) recorded and available for review if the driver is involved in a crash. Anyone driving a vehicle on public roads should be required to produce evidence they are a responsible driver in the event of a crash. Driving on public roads is not a right.

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  • Mike Sanders March 19, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    And those “20 is Plenty” signs are flying out the door at the free pickup events the city’s been been staging around town lately. At one recent event, a thousand signs were handed out. That’s a good sign of public support, literally.

    And those driverless cars that conservatives insist will make Max and streetcar lines outdated…well, I don’t like the idea. They add to traffic, manned or not. Reducing traffic should be the goal, not making it worse.

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    • q March 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      I’m not sure that people who insist driverless cars will make Max and streetcar lines outdated are generally “conservatives”. Certainly some may be, but I’d guess the typical conservative (if there is one) is skeptical about them, as they often are of other new technologies and social changes.

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  • Dave March 19, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Good comment, Mr. Sanders. The powers that be seem to want to diminish mass transit and be infatuated with the whole robot car idea. Privatization must be close to godliness in some tiny little screwed up minds.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty March 19, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      It’s not a question of wanting to diminish transit… it’s just that if a robot car can get me all the way to the place I’m going, on my schedule, in more comfort, for a similar price (or not much more) why would I take the Max?

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      • paikiala March 20, 2018 at 9:55 am

        Max is less selfish.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty March 20, 2018 at 3:09 pm

          Maybe that could be their new slogan.

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  • B. Carfree March 19, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Ah, dense housing and transit, brought on by permissive zoning of transit corridors. What a problem for the faux-progressive who wants to live in an exclusive neighborhood and virtue-signal environmental concerns by driving the latest electric car. How dare some legislator challenge their credentials by putting forth a real solution that doesn’t recognize how wonderful the status quo is.

    Seriously, I watched this play out in Eugene last year. The city planners messed up by not telling the truth about their plans to up-zone a corridor just south of the city center that is filled with suburban-style developments. Consequently, when the details became public, the faux-progressives shut it down completely. I fear that in the absence of a similar state law like is being proposed in California, this city will be lost to active transportation and transit for a generation. (It’s already seen a 43% decline in cycling, 30% decline in walking and 50% decline in transit from their peaks in ’09, ’14 and ’08).

    Portland has similar issues; single-family dwelling owners will allow multi-family structures, but only right on busy streets. They are fought fiercely if anyone should dare to try to help with the housing/space crunch by attempting to build tall off the main drag. Our grandchildren will hate us for what we have not done to fix this.

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    • q March 19, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      Years ago here, the Albina Community Plan proposed general upzoning to increase density. The wealthier (Irvington especially) neighborhoods opposed it, and got the City to instead propose rezoning (mostly struggling) commercial areas on busy streets from commercial to high-density residential, so that their single-family areas would remain low density.

      Nothing remarkable about any of that, but what was memorable to me was when commercial property owners understandably objected to losing their commercial zoning (and the City listened, and rezoned much of the busy streets to flexible zoning which allowed both residential and commercial) they were attacked by some main proponents of the no-upzoning-our-single-family-neighborhoods group for being resistant to density. When people pointed out that they were being at least equally resistant to density, the homeowners said “No, we’re not resistant to it, we’re taking no position. We’re merely asking that our zoning remain single-family”. (?!?).

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty March 19, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Our grandchildren are going to have bigger issues to deal with than what housing policy was in Portland in the early 2000s.

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      • Chris March 21, 2018 at 7:06 am

        Exactly. Why try to do anything? Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty March 21, 2018 at 9:56 am

          What makes you think I’m not doing anything?

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  • joeb
    joeb March 19, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    On a less significant topic… I bought a Surly Midnight Express last Friday (3/16). The aluminum frame on my Trek Portland cracked two weeks ago (probably delayed manifestation of damage received from being t-boned by a guy blasting out of the Game Knight parking lot on Williams last Summer.) So far so good on the sturdier, smoother steel frame ride. I’m not sure about my first century on this thing yet…

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    • maxD March 20, 2018 at 10:36 am

      I loved reading the radavist review of this bike, how are you liking it?

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      • joeb
        joeb March 20, 2018 at 10:07 pm

        My Trek Portland carried me over 36,000 mile in 11 years. I miss it! I consistently overloaded it and did a few centuries and 2-4 day trips. My goal is to own one all purpose bike. Some of the things I was looking for this time was a little more stability with heavy loads and, what I perceive as, the smoother ride feel of a steel frame. The Surly ME feels like a good choice!

        Fat tires probably improve the ride, but may create a sluggish feel. I don’t mind yet and kind of like it, but will experiment with skinnier tires next time (probably 35mm instead of 47mm).

        Minor misgivings:
        1. I liked my old-fashion, obsolete, 30-39-50 triple crank on the Trek (30 for climbing 90% of the time; 50 for shooting downhill < 5%). I'll be doing more shifting on both sides, 34-50 crank and 11 speed cassette, to find the right combination on the Surly.

        2. Fat tires fit fine on the frame, but I'm getting some rub on the fender stays. It's fixable, did it myself, and the pros at the shop could have probably gotten it right the first time.

        3. Slightly sluggish but a fine ride. I'm not certain whether I am feeling the 2 extra pounds (appx. 25 lbs vs my 23 lb Trek) or friction and drag from the fat tires. So far I'm happy commuting and have only a slight misgiving about how I will fare on 50-100 mile rides and long climbs. Guess I need to get out there.

        I liked the radavist review too! I learned quite a bit about frame geometry and gear ratios in this process. It took two weeks to settle on this bike and I think I found what I was looking for. I am quite happy.

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      • joeb
        joeb March 28, 2018 at 10:27 am

        One week later . . . possibly nobody will ever see this, but I want put down that this bike has turned out to be everything I was looking for. I smile every time I step into the pedals.

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  • Mike Reams March 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    It appears the uber fatality was at least partially the result of poor sidewalk (crosswalk?) design. https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/20/uber-fault-pedestrian-fatality-police-chief/

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    • q March 20, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      1. That’s a horrible design–basically a fake sidewalk.
      2. That answers whether the cars are programmed to speed. 38 in a 35 zone means yes, but sounds like that doesn’t matter.
      3. The question I have–the article (and there are more photos if you click on the twitter image) says there are signs telling pedestrians not to cross, and those signs seem needed because the paths invite you to cross. But would a driver approaching that area be able to see the paths, but not be able to read the signs, so should have assumed a person on the path could be intending to cross? My guess is it probably doesn’t matter because many drivers figure the only legal crossing is a marked one. But do these vehicles also make that assumption?

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    • Dan A March 21, 2018 at 6:30 am

      The driver, Rafaela Vasquez, said that “it was like a flash,” when the person abruptly stepped out from a center median in front of the car.

      It was ‘like a flash’ when this woman walked her old mountain bike loaded up with grocery bags from the left side of the road across 2 1/2 lanes of road before finally being hit by the right front side of this SUV? Sounds fishy to me.

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    • BradWagon March 22, 2018 at 11:56 am

      I rode my bike across the Mill Ave bridge and thus past this exact point a couple times on a trip to Scottsdale last spring. This area is a mess of highway, bridges crossing the river and streets winding down to the waterfront area. The only people I recall seeing walking in this area I would have judged to be homeless or at least very poor. I had to walk my bike down a set of stairs to get where I wanted once because it’s such a maze and so hostile to anyone outside a vehicle.

      The Mill Ave Bridge feels like a freeway onramp leaving Tempe and once you cross Curry, where this happened, it essentially is. Due to the rock formations in this area it’s the one spot in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe confluence where denser city planning and grid layout was not used.

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  • GlowBoy March 21, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Sounds like if Uber isn’t liable for this incident, maybe the city of Tempe should be.

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  • BradWagon March 22, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Why is Toyota donating money to teach children about road safety? Are kids the ones killing themselves with cars?… More victim blaming veiled in well meaning “education”. No doubt it will focus primary on keeping children off the streets and out of the way of the vehicles they sell.

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    • BradWagon March 22, 2018 at 11:22 am

      Also, should be added this doesn’t appear to be analogous to Safe Routes to School at all. They are mostly focusing on just educating kids from a young age about safe driving in general, like a privately funded early age drivers ed. However, given that the kids won’t be driving for a while (and really shouldn’t be ever in a country like India) I’m still a bit skeptical about it’s long term outcomes.

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  • Dan A June 22, 2018 at 8:32 am

    March 26, 2018, “Tempe police chief says early probe shows no fault by Uber”

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Exclusive-Tempe-police-chief-says-early-probe-12765481.php

    “The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them,” said Sylvia Moir, police chief in Tempe, Ariz.

    From viewing the videos, “it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” Moir said.

    “I suspect preliminarily it appears that the Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident, either,” Moir said.

    Today

    Police released a 318-page report indicating that Herzberg would have been seen 143 down the road by 85 percent of motorists, and that the crash was “entirely avoidable” had the backup driver been looking down the road instead of watching The Voice on her phone.

    It’s interesting how different a traffic investigation plays out when the world is watching. 318 pages!

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