The Monday Roundup: Cheap gas cheerleading, cycling’s diversity problem, Uber’s deadly failure, and more

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The Pioneer Century – June 2nd – 5 routes in an around Canby, Oregon.
A benefit for the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club.

Welcome back from the holiday weekend.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…

Defend our cities: With last week’s horrible hit-and-run downtown, it’s time for Portland to follow the lead of other great cities like Madrid and prohibit driving in some busy central city locations.

Good clean fun: Seniors at a Rockford, Illinois high school filled their parking lot with dockless bikes as a prank. Kids these days.

Driving is toxic: When it comes tracking fatalities, car crashes get the headlines. But when you look closely at the numbers, the emissions are what really do the damage to human beings.

Central Oregon’s dirty bike lanes: The city of Bend has a bike lane maintenance problem.

Marketing jargon: Surprise, surprise, a private corporation (Tesla) uses a word (autopilot) to market a key feature of their product that is not only deceptive, but dangerous.

Bike lanes are for cars: Seattle Bike Blog makes the intriguing case that bike lanes are really for people who drive.

Cheap gas is a bad thing: Among the basic transportation policy tenets Democrats need to master is that we need gasoline to be more expensive — not less.

Sladda recall: Ikea’s practical and smart bike has been recalled due to possible breakage of the belt drive.

Worrying sign for e-bikes: For some crazy reason, the European Commission has ruled that electric-assist bicycle riders must carry third party liability insurance.

Momentum for free transit: One reason it’s important for government agencies to educate the public about the true cost of driving is that it makes the idea of providing free transit seem much more reasonable.


Quick and dirty critique: There’s a debate about whether it’s best to plan large and costly capital projects on specific corridors or spread street updates out to an entire network by using cheaper, temporary designs. The experience of Calgary should be a lesson for Portland.3

An opinion about cycling activism: In a new song, Portland musician Stephan Malkmus hints that the energy of bike activists could be put to better use on other issues.

Uber’s deadly mistakes: The Uber driver’s car that was involved in the fatal Arizona crash “saw” the woman crossing the road but failed to brake. The Economist explains the tech behind the crash and says the car’s on-board computers got confused, leading to a system design failure.

Bike-to-vehicle standards: Trek, Ford and software company Tome have partnered up on an effort to make sure that the confusion from self-driving cars in the link above is less likely to happen again.

Portland’s “century of exclusion”: Housing writer Michael Andersen took a closer look at maps and zoning policy to reveal why some of our neighborhoods continue to exclude multi-family housing nearly 100 years after classist policies passed.

Promising Apple tech: If the new iOS can unlock doors, one of our smart Twitter friends @quicklywilliam wonders if unlocking dockless bike share bikes could be next.

Cycling diversity: The cycling chief of London opines that it might be time to set official diversity targets. What’s also interesting about this article is that — like some academic/activists have warned — pushing solely for a “build it and they will come” approach might result in simply more white men and no greater portion of women and people of color.

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

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