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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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80 Comments
  • Carston Kenilworth June 11, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Oslo is in Norway, not Sweden.

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    • David Hampsten June 11, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      There’s also one in Minnesota, not that it matters.

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  • paikiala June 11, 2018 at 9:27 am
  • Champs June 11, 2018 at 9:41 am

    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.

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    • soren June 11, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      “instead of rational argument about its flaws and merits.”

      rational argument about the flaws and merits of astrology is also possible but that does not make such a discussion any more evidence-based than a discussion of the flaws and merits of vehicular cycling.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 2:41 pm

        And yet, despite all your denunciations, you still follow many of the practices of vehicular cycling. Why so concerned with the label?

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        • soren June 11, 2018 at 8:30 pm

          perhaps before telling me what i do and do not follow you might want to read the monday roundup link i was referring to.

          an excerpt from the “outside in” piece on forester and vehicular cycling:

          John’s talking points on this front are incredibly consistent, and involve a little bit of verbal jujitsu: there are the cringing gutter-huggers versus the cyclists who obey the rules of the road. This construction suggests that any cyclist who is intimidated by speeding automobiles is also breaking the law, which is not prima facie true. Nonetheless, John insists that these cyclists — who he also refer to as incompetent cyclists — are the only ones who want their own infrastructure.

          http://outsideinradio.org/shows/2018/4/26/stay-in-your-lane

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          • Pete June 11, 2018 at 9:56 pm

            Forester dogma aside, there are those of us who continue to use the term to apply to pragmatic techniques that we’ve grown to keep ourselves safe with by experience – we don’t have to prove anything to you with data. You’re welcome to see things in black and white, eschew LAB courses that teach much more than lane positioning (and don’t even use the term “vehicular”), and curse the powers that be for not throwing money at infrastructure that protects everyone who might possibly ride a bike from cars coming within reach of them. We’ll keep passing right-turning cars on the left, moving out of shoulders and marked bike lanes from time to time and “controlling” drivers from passing us too closely when unsafe.

            None of that means we don’t want more people (of all ages and ability) riding bikes, and we don’t all believe that bike lanes are the enemy and separated infrastructure the anti-Christ. Believe it or not.

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            • soren June 12, 2018 at 10:18 am

              pete, we kinda already did this once…but back by popular demand:

              1) riding with traffic.

              sidewalk riding and riding in fully separated infrastructure is something i fully support and the evidence that this mode of travel is less safe than riding with traffic is weak. moreover, this “rule” does not accommodate filtering, which is a norm in most urban areas. for example, due to the prevalence of bike boxes in portland it’s become a norm for people cycling to filter forward and position themselves in front of motorists at intersections. i approve!

              2) riding in the center (e.g. lane controlling) when lanes are narrow or for turning movements

              evidence that “hit from behind” collisions are less of a concern than collisions elsewhere is weak. lane positioning is also context and risk-tolerance dependent. imo, this oft-repeated “rule” has turned off countless people to cycling for transportation. fwiw, i almost never ride in the center of a lane (except for sidewalks and separated bike infrastructure). i personally tend to ride near the boundary of lanes. the evidence that being an edge-rider or gutter bunny is less safe than lane controlling is also weak (i do this fairly often too, depending on context and who i’m riding with).

              3) turning with traffic near the curb.

              this VC “technique” has fallen our of favor. even many VC-centric “educators” now urge people to make themselves as visible as possible when turning with traffic (via insertion or falling back to be maximally visible). i personally often turn right from the next lane over in order to avoid right hooks entirely (not recommended for the risk averse).

              4) merging across lanes to turn across traffic

              this is another “technique” that caters to risk tolerant folk and has turned off many people to utilitarian cycling. moreover, on busier arterials this can take longer than a two-stage turn and creates “hit from behind” risk. imo, the two stage turn should be the default “lef”t turn in any cycling education program.

              5) following the rules of the road.

              no one cycling does this. imo, cycling education should address which rules of the road are important, which should be ignored in a context-specific manner, and which should be frequently ignored. this is particularly true for major intersections where violating the rules of the road (e.g. shoaling cars or using a leading ped interval) is likely safer than riding legally.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 12, 2018 at 12:55 pm

                I’m starting to come around to your position on riding on the sidewalk. Screw pedestrians, right? Let them find their own place to walk.

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              • soren June 12, 2018 at 1:25 pm

                criticism of those who ride on sidewalks because they do not feel safe riding in the roadway is both un-empathetic and somewhat classist. and especially so given that sidewalk riding is very common in portland’s marginalized communities where there is either no bike infrastructure or sub-par bike infrastructure.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 12, 2018 at 1:52 pm

                It’s less classist than saying you, the more powerful, the faster, the stronger should take the sidewalk from people who have no other place to go.

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              • Paul June 12, 2018 at 5:12 pm

                Most sidewalks don’t have any pedestrians on them. You can ride for miles without encountering one sometimes. When pedestrians are encountered, there is usually plenty of space to pass them safely.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 12, 2018 at 5:48 pm

                It probably depends where. On outer Powell, there’s usually plenty of pedestrians around.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 12, 2018 at 5:49 pm

                Though I guess they’re not on the sidewalk…

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              • Pete June 12, 2018 at 6:06 pm

                You’re missing my point, and seem to be arguing semantics. I’m not espousing what works for everyone, nor am I providing evidence of anything other than what’s worked for me (and apparently others).

                The techniques have a common name, which seems to hit a hot button with you. At the very least it invokes qualifiers that you’re attempting to discount others’ experiences with. Yes, they are context and risk-tolerance dependent. Then again so is the simple act of mounting a bike for many people.

                1) What is this “bike box” you speak of? They have no such thing where I live. We do have sidewalks, but if I made a practice of riding on them I’d be embedded into many a front quarter panel.

                2) When I trawled gutters, I got right-hooked… frequently. When I started hand signalling and timing gaps and taking the lane at intersections, the right hooks went away, the right-turning cars got uncorked, and horns blew far less than I thought they would. I don’t think drivers got more courteous. The more I rode the more this ‘technique’ became intuitive… purposeful even… long before they brainwashed me in a VC class.

                3) Turning near the curb is required here in Cali. Get too near the curb and drivers will pass you, even when they know you’re turning too. You already know that, and I bet your lane positioning and mine don’t differ.

                4) and 5)… I pity the fool applying hard and fast rules to all situations. When I taught, the two-stage left turn was given equal weight in the arsenal. Things I believed were ‘common sense’ had to be explicit, because people without experience first look for a prescription. Whether I merge across lanes, or box a left, depends on traffic density, number of lanes, position of the sun, BAC, stoplight timing, mood, and wild-ass guess if the signal will even detect me there.

                If Forester doesn’t agree, then c’est la vie.

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  • BradWagon June 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Re: Children’s Books…

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

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    • David Hampsten June 11, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      Richard Scary’s 1965 “Busy Busy World” has fewer cars and more “other” modes, including subway, bicycles, barges, boats, airplanes, gondolas, and lots of walking. It was my favorite book when I was 5 or 6.

      Another good one from the same period (1966/70) is Asterix In Britain, complete with a double-decker omnibus pulled by oxen in the “square mile” of downtown Londinium, “It’s a Goad-Assisted Two-ox-power Numerous Quartus run by Londinium Transport”, along with chariots, horse carts, pedestrians, the Beatles, and Roman legionaries recovering from being served warm beer and boiled beef with mint sauce.

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  • soren June 11, 2018 at 9:53 am

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

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    • B. Carfree June 11, 2018 at 10:47 am

      I’d love to know how I can ride from A to B without using VC-based skills. Until and unless we’re going to either ban cars, rebuild our entire road system or, as some would love to do, remove bikes from the tool-kit of transportation options, we’re all going to be riding VC for the foreseeable future. (Of course most of us don’t ride strictly VC, but I’m rounding off.)

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      • soren June 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

        as an unrepentant bicycular cyclist, i’ve never used vehicular driving skills. bicycular cycling was developed long before motorists came to dominate our roadways and even longer before forester began promoting “bike driving”.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm

          What are the specific vehicular cycling skills you’ve never used? You’ve never taken the lane? Used the left lane to turn left? Ridden outside the door zone, if it meant occupying space “reserved” for vehicles?

          Where do you draw the line between the way you ride and vehicular cycling?

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          • soren June 11, 2018 at 1:09 pm

            the concept of “taking the lane” is absurd. why should i “take” a lane and who exactly am i “taking” it from?

            i ride where it is safe and convenient to do so and, often, pay no attention to what automobile or bike “drivers” designate as a lane. for example i often dare to ride in between lanes, in the so-called “gutter”, on the sidewalk, and sometimes even on urban grass or dirt.

            the absolute horror of person on a bike moving freely through urban space!

            as for the maneuvers in forester’s famous book, there is nothing novel about those. they were all taught well before he was born.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm

              The concept of “taking the lane” is absurd, or the use of the verb “take” is? Whatever you want to call it, if you ever occupy the entire traffic lane, you are doing exactly what you deny ever having done. You are vehicular cycling.

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              • soren June 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm

                “if you ever occupy the entire traffic lane, you are doing exactly what you deny ever having done. You are vehicular cycling.”

                A response straight out of the Gospel of the Two Johns.

                a-MEN.

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            • Daniel June 11, 2018 at 2:22 pm

              The word “take” has 20 accepted definitions in Merriam-Webster, and it’s pretty clear from the context that this one is as follows: “to adopt, choose, or avail oneself of for use”. You can take the next right, you can take a lane, you can take a walk; not sure why you’re feigning ignorance here.

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              • soren June 11, 2018 at 3:50 pm

                thanks for the clarification on the uses of the verb take. in the context of vehicular cycling, “taking the lane” has a very narrow meaning. when i take a nap i am not nap controlling.

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            • dwk June 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm

              You pretty much describe what I would call vehicular cycling.
              What exactly is your point?

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              • soren June 11, 2018 at 7:49 pm

                1) this entire discussion thread refers to a piece on john forester and vehicular cycling: http://outsideinradio.org/shows/2018/4/26/stay-in-your-lane.

                2) i would suggest that you may not understand what “vehicular cycling” means (in this context) if you believe riding in the “gutter” (known as edge-riding in VC circles), riding on sidewalks, or riding in bike lanes is “vehicular cycling”.

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  • bikeninja June 11, 2018 at 10:10 am

    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.

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    • soren June 11, 2018 at 11:39 am

      none of these things were unique to forester or his ideology. i would hope that no one believes that forester invented hand signals or the practice of changing lanes to make a left turn. forester packaged absolutely standard practice into an automobile-centric ideology that was incredibly attractive to the largely-male road warriors of the 80s and 90s. i know this because i started cycling for transportation on a daily basis in 1973 (2 years before “effective cycling” was first published).

      a truly tragic result of forester’s automobile-centered ideology is that generations of people cycling bought into the idea that that people *SHOULD* drive their bikes like motorists, that people *SHOULD* “share” the road, and that people *SHOULD* be subservient to motordom.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm

        Vehicular cycling is not about subservience.

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        • soren June 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm

          opposition to dedicated cycling infrastructure is the basis of VC ideology. this is, by definition, subservience to our automobile-centric built environment.

          and don’t take my word for it here is one of forester’s numerous pieces where he voices opposition to bike lanes:

          http://www.johnforester.com/Articles/Facilities/biklan03.htm

          bike snob’s take on forester’s video tutorial is also very relevant to your comment:
          http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-joy-of-vehicular-cycling.html

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 1:54 pm

            Vehicular cycling is not a religion. It is a way of riding safely in an urban environment.
            You can practice it when it suits you without adopting any particular ideology.

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            • soren June 11, 2018 at 2:16 pm

              if it’s not a religion then why are you repeating a VC “mantra” without providing any evidence to support your claim? fwiw, you will never find me claiming that “way of riding X” is safer than “way of riding Y” because there really isn’t much evidence for these kinds of claims.

              moreover, vehicular cycling or “bicycle driving” has always been more than a “way of riding”. it is a movement rooted in hostility to bike infrastructure. in fact, forester’s entry into bike advocacy came about when he was ticketed for riding outside of a bike lane in 1971. VC is essentially the result of one man’s multi-decade anti-bike lane temper tantrum (see the link above).

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm

                I take the lane because it’s usually the safest way to ride, not because I read some book by a guy who barely registers on my consciousness (which I haven’t). I don’t use the left turn lane to turn left because of some religion, I do it because it works.

                So what mantra am I repeating?

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              • soren June 11, 2018 at 5:17 pm

                the mantra:
                “It is a way of riding safely in an urban environment”

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 7:34 pm

                If it’s not safe, why do you do it?

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              • soren June 11, 2018 at 7:57 pm

                i almost never conform to the techniques popularized by john forester in his books “effective cycling” or rebranded recently as “cycling savvy”. that being said there are some basic maneuvers that are wrongly attributed to VC, that have absolutely nothing to do with VC.

                if your interested in a history of cycling technique that is not marred by the anti-bike lane absolutism of VC ideology i strongly recommend this book:

                http://www.industrializedcyclist.com/ArtofCycling2ndEdition.html

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              • soren June 11, 2018 at 7:58 pm

                your=you’re

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 8:28 pm

                From Wikipedia’s article on Vehicular Cycling:

                In Effective Cycling, Forester introduced what he calls “the five basic principles of cycling in traffic”.

                * Ride on the road, with the direction of traffic.
                * Yield to crossing traffic at junctions with larger roads.
                * Yield to traffic in any lane you are moving to, or when you are moving laterally on the road.
                * Position yourself appropriately at junctions when turning — near the curb when turning off the road on the side you are travelling on, near the center line when turning across the other side of the road, and in the center when continuing straight on.
                * Ride in a part of the road appropriate to your speed; typically, faster traffic is near the center line.

                Whether Forester took these ideas from others is not important. Nor is whether he put them in a book with a bunch of philosophy or ideology, or whether he hated bike lanes, or had a moustache like John Bolton.

                What matters is that this is all good advice in most cases, and you can follow it without having to adhere to any particular set of beliefs.

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            • soren June 11, 2018 at 10:49 pm

              that wikipedia summary is not accurate. when forester urges people to “ride with traffic” he means ride in the roadway instead of using sidewalks or bike lanes.

              a better description of EC and VC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_Cycling

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 12, 2018 at 2:52 am

                There are plenty of other sources that cite similar summaries and likewise omit the advice to avoid bike lanes. There seems consensus it was not core to his philosophy on riding. The more I look into what he said, the more it seems his work is a formalization of pretty much exactly what I do. If anything, you’ve changed my view on Forester from him being a zealot in a religious war I barely knew existed to someone who really understands how to ride safely in traffic. His rigor contrasts with those who advocate riding whichever whatway they want, rules and common sense be damned.

                And while I didn’t read (and don’t plan to, because I really don’t care) his seminal paper on bike lanes (such as they were in the early 1970s), I did see it contained lots of citations, data, and evidence supporting his view. He does not come off as the deranged demagogue you portray him to be.

                https://thecce.org/traffic-skills/five-key-traffic-principles/
                http://www.wright.edu/~jeffrey.hiles/essays/listening/ch4.html
                http://www.johnforester.com/BTEO/ectraining.htm

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          • GlowBoy June 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm

            Right. VC as a set of techniques – how to ride in traffic – is essential.

            VC as an ideology – that everyone should ride in traffic – is bankrupt.

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        • Chris I June 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm

          You may not want it to be, but that is exactly what it does. If everyone practices VC, you need no dedicated space for cycling, no efforts at traffic calming for speed reduction. Why do anything for cyclists if they are all just riding with the cars?

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          • Kyle Banerjee June 11, 2018 at 2:59 pm

            Why not ride with the cars if you can do this safely? The roads are already there.

            Subservience is accepting your place on very limited and inferior facilities rather than with everyone else.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty June 11, 2018 at 3:18 pm

            That doesn’t even make sense. If everyone is riding on the sidewalk, why do you need bike lanes? If everyone is riding in the door zone, why do you need bike lanes? If no one is riding, why do you need bike lanes?

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          • GlowBoy June 12, 2018 at 2:50 pm

            “If everyone practices VC, you need no dedicated space for cycling”

            I don’t understand this comment at all. Even if every cyclist practices VC, that doesn’t make the road safe to be on. Drivers are going to respect us just because we boldly take the lane.

            I practice VC when I’m on a street without bike facilities and have no other choice, but on any street with >25 mph car speeds or any significant volume, I would MUCH rather have a bike lane than try to mix it up with two-ton steel projectiles.

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            • GlowBoy June 12, 2018 at 2:51 pm

              Oops, meant to say “Drivers are NOT going to respect us just because we boldly take the lane.”

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  • Kyle Banerjee June 11, 2018 at 10:24 am

    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.

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    • GlowBoy June 11, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      I have some of the most conspicuous bikes on the planet, and I’m not sure they’re compliant with the Montreal law.

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  • BradWagon June 11, 2018 at 10:27 am

    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?

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    • Kyle Banerjee June 11, 2018 at 10:52 am

      In Portland, separated infrastructure such as BN, the Esplanade, Willmette Greenway, etc is typically designed in a way that only allows slow cycling.

      In the time I’ve read BP, I can’t say I’ve ever seen support for infrastructure that would be a good idea to ride fast.

      Quite the opposite in fact with significant disdain for those who suggest covering more than trivial distances requires a reasonable pace.

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      • colton June 11, 2018 at 11:22 am

        Yeah, as a person that rides for transportation as opposed to recreation, I read the “Traveling over 10mph is simply not acceptable” and laughed. I think 80% of the riders I encounter ride between 12-15 MPH.

        Two huge incentives to ride a bike are eliminated when riding below 10 MPH:
        1) Getting someplace in a reasonable length of time. Most of us have a limit to how far we will ride, but that’s actually based on how long it takes, not how far the distance is. The slower we go, the fewer trips are taken by bike because we reach that limit sooner.
        2) Being able to offset some fitness activities. Riding at 10 MPH or below isn’t much of a fitness activity for most people. For a year-round rider not pushing a heavy bike (ie cargo) or kids, it’s not likely to even raise the heart rate substantially.

        And finally, it kind of wrecks the argument that e-bikes are going to save the world. I can’t remember a single time I’ve passed an e-assist bike. Ever. They are almost always going 18-20 MPH, I’m guessing. I can’t imagine what doubling someones commute time would do to discourage them from using their e-bike.

        Of course there are times and places bikes must slow down or avoid altogether. Waterfront districts on a sunny day, special events, campus? Sure, that makes sense. MUP at 6 in the morning along the freeway? What’s the purpose, there’s nobody there to notice anyway.

        Suggesting a blanket 10 MPH speed limit on bikes seems over the top and is likely to discourage biking in the very group of people replacing their drive miles with bike miles.

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        • BradWagon June 11, 2018 at 12:16 pm

          Agree. I commute and try and make it count for exercise / training when I can by riding 17-18 mph average. Even a 10 mile commute towing my sons trailer I hold about 14. Suggesting people can’t or even worse, shouldn’t, ride faster than 10mph automatically gives people the impression that cycling is a novelty.

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      • Alex Reedin June 11, 2018 at 11:33 am

        Well, I guess we all have our own incomplete memory of the world. I can recall people commenting about Williams being too narrow to allow for passing and comfortable social riding; the Willamette Greenway being super slow because of turns, narrowness, sharing space with peds, and bumps; people decrying how many stop signs there are on Greenways; and people saying that too much driving on Greenways was a problem because faster cyclists end up stuck behind the cars who are stuck behind slower cyclists. And that’s just off the top of my head. No, they’re not laying out an ask for fast infrastructure, but it’s clearly something people care about.

        And, all the fast infrastructure I’m interested in is just like the slow infrastructure, except better, more expensive, and taking up more space. Wide protected bike lanes rather than just protected bike lanes. New bike paths with a separate space for people walking, and without a stop sign at every street, rather than just new MUPs. Given that we’re not even getting the politically easier slow infrastructure at a decent rate, why bother asking for the fast infrastructure a bunch? It’s like dreaming of a pony.

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        • Kyle Banerjee June 11, 2018 at 12:50 pm

          The road system that is already there does a decent job of allowing a wide variety of speeds. Walling off the cyclists rather than just providing lanes eliminates this option for those who actually use their bikes to cover the sort of distances people use cars for.

          Fully separated infrastructure has to be really wide to be safe and I can’t think of anywhere that has a lot of people that would qualify. What fully separated infrastructure do you think is safe for fast riding when there are others of mixed abilities around?

          Willamette Greenway shouldn’t be slow because of turns, it’s because it’s shared with peds, dog walkers, kids, and slow riders. Doubling the width of it (as if we need to pave over more of what little green is left) would not eliminate those issues. Even when bikes have their own space, you can’t go fast unless there’s enough room for a clean pass. BN, Moody, wherever — it’s not safe for fast cyclists to blow by slow ones even if many choose to anyway.

          Anyone who doesn’t feel safe passing on Williams might be better off staying at the speed they are. Passing is not hard on that street.

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      • BradWagon June 11, 2018 at 12:29 pm

        “In the time I’ve read BP, I can’t say I’ve ever seen support for infrastructure that would be a good idea to ride fast.”

        Maybe I’m not very consistent but I know I’ve talked about converting 4 auto lane roads into 2 autos and 2 bike lanes before. Not this weird road diet with expanded bike lane and planters / car parking between auto lanes, etc… just point blank, set jersey barriers between the two auto lanes and giant bollards at cross streets, boom, nice, wide protected bike lane, street parking be damned. Maybe this works better in suburbs with fewer intersections and street front businesses but even main roads in town could benefit, even if it means closing smaller cross streets.

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      • Dan A June 11, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        “In the time I’ve read BP, I can’t say I’ve ever seen support for infrastructure that would be a good idea to ride fast.”

        You must be scrolling past my comments.

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      • X June 13, 2018 at 4:26 pm

        I’ve supported the Sullivan’s Gulch Trail, which would be a route useful for long distance commuting, athletic training, touring cyclists, people riding their dirt bikes to Gateway Green–etc. Of course it would need a side path, gravel chip or similar, clearly signed for walkers and runners, or it’s just another MUP. Actually I’ve said that Portland needs a grade-separated bike “freeway” in four directions at least running to the edge of the UGB, but I’ll take whatever crumbs of pie-in-the-sky I can get.

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    • John Lascurettes June 11, 2018 at 11:03 am

      I’ll stop riding my bike over 10mph in the road when jogging is outlawed and cars no longer exist.

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    • Daniel June 11, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      I don’t think they do want people to ride for transportation there, to be frank. They’re picking a number so low that it effectively makes cycling less efficient than walking; even the slowest riders can usually get a bike up to 10MPH, so saying that should be the speed limit is just saying “you’re better off walking”.

      The real question – why would a statement like that get posted here, of all places, with the implication that riding over 10MPH is “riding like a jerk”? Call me a jerk then, the only place I’m going to ride under 10MPH is if I’m forced to do it on a sidewalk somewhere.

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    • soren June 11, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      “Sounds like a poorly designed space if you’re expecting the entire city center to be a wide open plaza.”

      the horror of a city center being a wide open plaza.

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  • B. Carfree June 11, 2018 at 10:44 am

    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.

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    • Chris I June 11, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Rural areas have seen similar increases in road deaths. It is still more dangerous to drive on rural 2-lane roads than it is to drive on any of the roads in Portland. By a big amount.

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  • BikeRound June 11, 2018 at 10:54 am

    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.

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    • BradWagon June 11, 2018 at 11:09 am

      The article refers to London’s entire “Square Mile” from what I can tell… which is certainly not a wide open plaza. It’s just the main downtown area that has major roadways and even two way, fully protected cycle paths in spots. It’d be like saying nobody should ever ride their bike faster than 10mph down Better Natio or the Stark/Oak bike lanes because people may unexpectedly step out mid block.

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      • soren June 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm

        the square mile is short hand for the city of london. it’s an area in the urban core of metro london that roughly corresponds to the boundaries of the medieval city:

        https://goo.gl/maps/ydS37H2h1kt

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    • Alex Reedin June 11, 2018 at 11:49 am

      I don’t see a good argument for 10mph biking that article. Is that the limit for driving? If the driving limit is higher, why does the bike limit need to be lower?

      Also, the article carefully avoided stating that bike/ped collisions were actually a serious safety hazard. It said that people perceived danger, and that the collisions were increasing, but nothing about the actual amount of injuries from bike/ped collisions. Is it 1% of the number/severity of car/ped or car/bike collisions? 10%? 50%? Somehow I suspect it’s a lot closer to 1% than 50%.

      Certainly, there’s a good argument for bike speed limits in some places. But, *It feels dangerous to people and the bike/ped collision danger has rapidly increased from an infinitesimal percentage to a slightly larger infinitesimal percentage!” doesn’t fit the bill to me.

      “Make sure your biking doesn’t endanger others or make them feel uncomfortable. You should bike slower at peak hours in the Square Mile.” seems like a much more appropriate message to me.

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      • BradWagon June 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        Agree Alex… I think this is what always gets me about saying that cycling fast is inherently rude or dangerous. People may perceive it as being dangerous or rude but they often have no knowledge of my skill, the precautions I am taking even at speed or my mentality and readiness to yield to others when necessary. Also good you expanded on the point of the actual speed limits more than I did.

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        • Alex Reedin June 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm

          I dunno, I’m kind of in between. I do think having people be comfortable walking around is important, just like it is for biking. I just need to be convinced that A) the City has done what it can through infrastructure to decrease bike/walk conflict and B) people’s perceptions of biking presenting danger to walkers more than cars present to walkers aren’t a phase of adjustment and release of bias that will end. What do people in say Copenhagen think about bike/walk conflict?

          I just have in mind someone walking around and walking into a crosswalk against the light. “That bike almost HIT me!”
          “Yes, but you stepped in against the light and didn’t look to see traffic in the bike lane; the person was close by and headed towards you. Would you do that for a car lane?”
          “Well, of course not! Do you think I have a death wish?”

          (Note: I know bad bike behavior is a thing. I’m just questioning whether it’s important/dangerous/inherently discomfiting enough to warrant a PSA campaign in a city with a low biking rate like London or Portland. And whether the City of London has given a good justification for it.)

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          • BradWagon June 11, 2018 at 1:40 pm

            Yes, obviously there needs to be a balance point. When someone walking on a wide MUP will move off onto the grass/dirt when I go by I can’t help but wonder what there perspective may be that makes them think me riding past them 3-4 feet away is worth moving over even further. I’m always tempted to say something like “you’re fine, I’ll yield if I ever need more space”…

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        • Kyle Banerjee June 11, 2018 at 1:15 pm

          Expecting someone to trust your skill is unreasonable and inherently rude even if you’re fully prepared for whatever they might do. This is equivalent to dog owners who let their well-trained dogs just run up to people, animals, and kids. I say this as someone who is good at handling large dogs and who is comfortable both with speed and close riding including light contact.

          Staying safe is all about riding, walking, and driving with the assumption that everyone else is an idiot. While there are some very good cyclists in the PDX area, there are many more really bad ones and I don’t want them anywhere near me.

          If someone rides close to me without knowing what kind of cyclist I am, I assume they have bad judgment and don’t want them anywhere near me. Good skills and bad judgment is still a bad rider.

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          • BradWagon June 11, 2018 at 4:29 pm

            That’s actually not what it’s equivalent to… but thanks!

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            • Kyle Banerjee June 11, 2018 at 5:59 pm

              You’re right.

              Such a dog will be friendly which will be clearly signaled by dog body lingo and owner will also indicate there is nothing to worry about. Entitled cyclist who expects a stranger to take it on faith that they have skills and judgment will probably not put out that vibe.

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  • B. Carfree June 11, 2018 at 11:01 am

    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. 🙂

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  • Todd Boulanger June 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    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.

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    • David Hampsten June 11, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      We’ve been bugging LimeBike to come up with a scheme like this for quite some time, as their main NC facility here in Greensboro is next to a major homeless day shelter.

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  • David Hampsten June 11, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    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.

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  • X June 13, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    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.

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