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The Monday Roundup: Cargo bikes over cars, history of VC, cycling in suburbia, and more

Posted by on June 11th, 2018 at 9:04 am

Welcome to the week.

Before we get to the best stories we came across in the past seven days, let’s give some love to our sponsor: The Weekender Ride by Cycle Oregon. Grab some friends and head to University of Oregon on July 13-15 for a weekend of riding, relaxing, and reveling you won’t soon forget.

Now, on with the news…

Teach them young: You can help prevent driving abuse in the next generation by exposing young minds to books that share positive depictions of walking, biking, and urban living.

Cargo bikes’ rise: There’s a strong presence of cargo bikes for hauling kids and goods in German cities. So much so that this news out refers to them as, “the nippy, clean alternative to cars and delivery vans.”

Oslo is looking past car use: This city in Norway is showing the rest of the world that it’s possible to phase out driving as the dominant mode of travel. They’ve set a goal of being carfree by 2019.

Don’t ride like a jerk: London is similar to Portland in terms of street culture, so it’s no surprise they have many people who don’t bike with respect for others. That’s where a new “considerate cycling” awareness campaign comes in.

RIP VC: A recent episode of the Outside/In podcast presented a history of bike advocacy in the U.S., including the rise and fall of vehicular cycling.

Geography of driving deaths: Richard Florida connects the dots of a major study into where road fatalities happen to show how they relate to political leanings, speed limits, and even income levels.

Bike share data: Mobility Lab asks a good question about the trend of large, opaque corporations gobbling up urban bike share systems: Will they share ride data?

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Highways and segregation: How would ODOT’s proposed I-5 freeway widening through the Rose Quarter fare if planners were required to complete — and abide by — an “Equity Impact Statement”?

Cycling suburbia: The town of Houten in The Netherlands is a marvel of 1960s suburban planning done with cycling in mind instead of driving. Hopefully the U.S. citizens on a recent People for Bikes study tour will bring its lessons back to America.

Think e-scooters are bad: The anti-scooter hysteria is silly on many levels. For me what makes it misplaced is that car-oriented problems — like the highly inefficient and often passenger-less Uber/Lyft vehicles that add to emissions and congestion — are a much bigger deal yet they fail to garner the same pushback.

Bikes and scooters for all: Lime announced a new payment platform that allows unbanked people without smartphones to purchase ride cards at places like CVS and 7-Eleven.

Skip’s scooter play: A dockless e-scooter company that sets itself apart by following the rules and treating cities and riders with respect? Sounds like the kind of company PBOT will favor when it hands out permits.

Hefty fines: Montreal is one of the most bike-oriented cities in North America; but if you ride there make sure you have plenty of reflectors on your bike to avoid an expensive citation.

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

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Carston Kenilworth
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Carston Kenilworth

Oslo is in Norway, not Sweden.

paikiala
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paikiala
Champs
Guest
Champs

Oslo is in Norway.

Meanwhile, it’s a shame that the vehicular cycling discussion has become about people’s feelings instead of rational argument about its flaws and merits.

BradWagon
Subscriber

Re: Children’s Books…

“In the end, the street is renamed ‘Walker Road.'”… Doh! City of Beaverton getting clowned in children’s books now…

soren
Subscriber

VC may be RIP at planning conferences but it’s certainly not dead in Portland.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

A lot of the VC arguments make sense. I was just a kid back in the 70’s bike boom and remember cycling all over Tigard and never heard of anyone getting hurt or killed even though we didn’t have any bike infrastructure to speak of. Perhaps acceptance of VC was the answer this question that always vexed me. Or maybe everyone I knew was just lucky.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I wonder what’s really going on with the Montreal law. My first reaction was that it feels like a knee jerk response to something or it might have been deliberately designed to harass certain groups.

However, Montreal’s own figures show only a tiny minority of bikes (including bikeshare) complying. Maybe they feel like they have a general nighttime visibility problem among and this is their way of trying to encourage a population shift.

The requirements seem totally out of touch with reality as it’s very easy for something meeting the requirements to be ineffective while other configurations could be noncompliant and simultaneously very effective. None of my bikes have any reflectors and I ride in the dark all the time. I’d say the same of most cyclists I see in the worst weather in the dark who are also quite visible.

Riding in the dark is very safe from a visibility perspective. Much safer than bright sunlight (particularly when everything is wet) which is one of the underrated visibility and safety challenges cyclists face.

BradWagon
Subscriber

Shocked!.. Absolutely shocked that the article under “Don’t ride like a jerk” is 100% about cyclists riding “too fast”.

The article itself discusses people riding too fast for crowded areas or people that are irresponsibly riding too fast to stop if a pedestrian “suddenly steps out”. All of which is valid… although per the norm here it just gets boiled down to “Riding Fast = Being a Jerk”.

Here’s an idea: Don’t design infrastructure so that cyclists have to navigate through an area of meandering pedestrians that “should be expected to step out at any time”… is the same being expected of car drivers awareness? Sounds like a poorly designed space if you’re expecting the entire city center to be a wide open plaza.

Final part that really got me: “Travelling over 10mph is simply not acceptable.”… lol you do want people to actually ride bikes for transportation right?

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Regarding the geography of driving deaths: The study was conducted using 2013 data. That happened to be just before Oregon saw a massive rise in roadway deaths. We have moved from the low rate of roadway death club (green on their map) to the moderate (yellow) and will soon be in the high zone (red), if we’re not already there.

So, what changed? Did we suddenly become less urban? Did Oregon suddenly become less affluent? One certainly can’t blame the influx of people, since they are coming mostly from states with lower rates of roadway death.

I think perhaps there’s more going on than the study looked at.

BikeRound
Guest
BikeRound

While you may have some valid points, we also expect drivers to drive at appropriate speeds for the environment based on the same types of arguments that were made in this article. For example, in a city the speed limit may be 20 mph because a driver needs to be aware that a pedestrian may step into the roadway at any moment. Further, while better biking infrastructure is much needed, in many cities having the city center be a wide open plaza with a speed limit of 10 mph is entirely reasonable.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Concerning today’s round-up sponsor: I was simultaneously pleased the Cycle Oregon is doing its weekender at the UO and disappointed at the routes. The Eugene area has some absolutely amazing cycling, but CO missed it. I think the problem is that CO is insistent on trying to have it all, short “family” rides coupled with longer more scenic rides. That’s a tall order, especially with the doughnut problem (inside the city things are fine (the hole in the doughnut), well outside it things are fine (outside the doughnut), in between, not so much (the dough of the doughnut)).

Ah well, this inspires me to reach out to an operation near Eugene to see if it will host a future weekender that would showcase some of the better cycling in the area. Nothing like putting oneself into “put up or shut-up” mode. 🙂

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

As for the Lime initiative for “helping” unbanked users access their system, good idea, but I just tried to use the system but their partner does not yet have Lime entered into the system.

David Hampsten
Guest

His controversial views aside, John Forester’s book “Bicycle Transportation” inspired me to take bicycle advocacy seriously, as a lifelong professional pursuit. Until then it was just a hobby, but in 1997 I found a 2nd edition at Powell’s Technical Bookstore soon after I moved to Portland. I agree with the comments about the lack of scientific accuracy in his work, but that just further inspired me to do better as I was working on my MURP at PSU, to find better data and draw conclusions of multi-variate regressions and GIS analysis of the data.

Later, of course, I discovered budgets and politics and that GIS+data was a tool to be cynically manipulated, that “truth” was what you convinced others of, etc.

X
Guest
X

Dear London: If people on bikes are the biggest hazard that is in fact a win. Dear Portland: If we reach anything like 25% bike users, the Last Mile of our trips will be under 10 MPH. That’s nothing to do with fast long distance commuting. If only Portland were a big pedestrian plaza between I 405 and the river! Buses, essential delivery and the Tube excepted naturally.