Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

The Monday Roundup: LeBron in LA, a $920 ticket, saved by an e-bike, and more

Posted by on July 2nd, 2018 at 9:16 am

Welcome to the week. Our sponsor today is NW Connector, an alliance of bike-friendly transit agencies that make getting to the coast a breeze.

Here are the most important stories we came across in the past week…

Your secret bike-bus-adventure weapon. NWConnector.org

Saved by a battery: Author and framebuilder Lennard Zinn was faced with a choice: stop riding or get an e-bike. His story will help you understand why e-bike shouldn’t be a dirty word.

The King in the bike lane: This perfect LA Times editorial welcomes new NBA superstar LeBron James to town, and implores people to avoid hitting him with their cars.

Epic advocacy win: Happy for our comrades in New York City — and for our planet — that beautiful Central Park is now carfree.

Fewer cars in Paris: Oh look, when a big city has a mayor who makes bicycling a priority and introduces more regulations on driving, the result is less auto traffic, more biking, cleaner air, and so on.

New York’s slimeball senator: Brooklyn Republican State Senator Marty Golden is a repeat speed limit offender who’s using his legislative power to get rid of the cameras that caught him.

It gets worse: Five moms of kids who were killed by reckless drivers were arrested during a protest of Golden’s stance on the speed camera legislation.

Lose the labels: I repeat: How people choose to get around does not define who they are or what they believe in. Please stop judging and labeling people based on the vehicle they use. Thank you.

Advertisement

“Mini-Hollands” work: London’s experiment with aggressive bicycle infrastructure updates in a few boroughs has resulted in not just more people bicycling — but even more people walking. And interestingly, researchers found that the proportion of residents with a positive view of cycling also increased.

Bike-friendly CBD: Floyd Landis, the former professional road racer who had his Tour de France title stripped over drug use violations, plans to expand his Floyd’s of Leadville products with three locations in Portland.

On second thought: California’s $5 billion transportation package is up against a challenge at the ballot box with a Republican-led effort to reverse a new gas tax and several vehicle-related fees. So far Oregon has been able to avoid a similar fate.

Banedoggles: USPIRG’s latest look at highway megaprojects does not pull any punches, saying they are wastes of money that don’t reduce congestion and siphon funds from more pressing transportation needs.

Passive-aggressive policy: Oslo faced backlash for a proposed car ban in their central city so they plan to do something more sneaky: Take away all the parking spaces.

Latest helmet research: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab just released new safety ratings for 30 bicycle helmets.

Last-mile by bike: To deal with demand for deliveries, a London-based company has launched a fleet of electric cargo bikes to whisk packages to their destination.

Shame on NHTSA! The story of deadly SUVs and how the federal government looks the other way while people (especially lower-income people of color) are hit and killed by them at an alarming rate and while corporations reap huge profits from selling them is unfortunately not surprising.

$920: Police in New Orleans pulled a man over for biking the wrong way on a street and when they were done writing up his ticket it included several charges that added up to a fine of $920.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

57
Leave a Reply

avatar
12 Comment threads
45 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
21 Comment authors
Matt9wattsKevinEl Biciclerosoren Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

My wife was trying to get me to accompany here to a convention in New Orleans this fall. I think I will pass on going there as long as they have the type of draconian bike laws in place described in this article.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Re: the NHTSA SUV article–recommend that everyone read “High and Mighty,” by Keith Bradsher which is a 2002 history of the SUV and zoology of SUV drivers. Scary, sobering and at the same time a delightful read.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Thank you for referencing Leonard’s story. I developed atrial fibrillation during a dehydration episode in 2010 which has recurred at least four times, and I learned it is not uncommon for cyclists and endurance athletes. I’ll definitely pick up a copy of “The Haywire Heart.”

soren
Guest
soren

i found it ironic that the piece on e-biking focuses on recreational riding. imo, the real promise of e-bikes are that they can help normalize cycling for transportation and, hopefully, make bike culture largely disappear.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

The sponsor, NW Connector, seems useless. It gave me no results to get to Seaside or Tillamook to/from Portland, even trying different times and dates. This is a route shown on their map. Now I know not to use them.

9watts
Subscriber

The E-bike article raisers a lot of issues for me. I think it would be instructive to interrogate them.
Let me start with this series of questions.
(1) Is it possible, desirable for every ambulatory person in the world to have shoes?
(2) Is it possible, desirable for every ambulatory person in the world to have a bike?
(3) Is it possible, desirable for every ambulatory person in the world to have an ebike?
(4) is it possible, desirable for everyone in the world to have a car?

My answer to (1) and (2) would be yes. I think we can and should afford the materials, energy, infrastructure, and planet to supply those to everyone. They offer fantastic returns to scale, arguably improve life for just about everyone, are cheap to make and repair almost indefinitely.
My answer to (4) is an unequivocal no. It is none of the things in the above list.

Which leaves us with (3). Can our planet afford An ebike (never mind the titanium one in this article) for every man, woman, and child? I think not. There are somewhere technological, material, energetic thresholds which we cross at our peril. Each technology has costs, requires materials and infrastructure that we know we are running out of, depleting at untold cost to everyone, but more directly to those who are poor, live downwind, or in countries that supply us with ‘our’ resources. How much is enough? How much is too much? Who decides?

The sentence in the article which clinched it for me, was this one:

“Without the motor, I would have to go super slowly and stop every time my heart rate spiked again, or I would have to call somebody to come and take me home.”

I’m sure the people in the Congo who are digging up the rare metals that go into our high tech gadgets totally understand this man’s dilemma.

I’m sure many of you see this differently.
Have at it.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

On second thought: This is why democracy doesn’t work.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

Banedoggles: Oregon wasn’t mentioned. Does that mean the I-5 Rose Quqarter expansion isn’t so bad?

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Leonard Zinn’s article is interesting, but to use it as advocacy leaves out a key fact: his medical situation is rare and what he needs is so specialized that it hardly makes a general case for e-bikes.

What will actually happen is this: the well heeled will “ride” ten thousand dollar ebikes that are increasingly indistinguishable from non-e-bikes. Without putting in the discipline and grinta to actually be strong riders, they will let money buy them speed.

The fundamentally democratic thing about recreational roadie-type cycling is that hard work and suffering will always trump expensive gear. The talented rider with sneakers and a hand-me down bike will leave the poseur on his carbon fiber aero Venge for dead every time. No longer, when the guy with the $7,000 e-bike merely has to dial up turbo mode to mockingly hang off the front, heart rate smugly supine and brow untroubled by persipiration.

Alas, intervention by frame pump, Breaking Away style, is no longer possible, and trying to stick a CO2 cartridge in his spokes will merely lose you a finger. In ten years, we won’t be riding actual bicycles anymore, they will all be high tech lithium fueled mini motorcycles, and anyone showing up to a group ride with a quaintly manual bicycle will be treated like a low rent interloper, doomed to get spat out the back door like the servants taking out the trash.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Well, there is data on ebikes replacing car trips – it’s self report survey data, but it’s data:
https://www.bicycling.com/news/a20049844/ebike-study-car-trips/

My family has several e-cargo bikes, we live on a big hill, we haul kid and groceries. I have a similar, but less extreme/dangerous heart arrhythmia, and without the wattage to go quickly up the hill, I’d use a car a lot. As it is, I’ve driven our car once in the last 4 months. My wife was never a bike person until she got a bike with a motor, now she also barely drives our car.

Still, the number of ebikes is still statistically insignificant compared to the number of cars, so it’s not like the stats would show up as a reduction in overall vehicle usage.

I think motors on bike share bikes is going to have a big effect – even if it doesn’t mean more people riding them (but it probably will), it means the people that do ride them will expand the radius for which they see a bike as the solution to their transportation problem…and that reduces car trips.

Audrey
Guest
Audrey

This pearl clutching that e-bikes will somehow disrupt the natural order of fit men in spandex who road race is pretty narrow. E-bikes are making bike commuting a reality to people who may have obstacles that otherwise would exclude them. Parents (most often women) doing kid drop-offs. People with disabilities, older people, people who don’t have an hour to huff and puff to work each day…

I shouldn’t have to stay in the car to make sure I don’t upset any men who don’t want to be passed by a woman with two kids in tow.

Matt
Guest
Matt

John Liu
e-bikes for utility riding have the potential to enable much longer bike commutes and more bike uses.

Dead on. Allowed me to start biking to work, 40 miles per day within a reasonable time. Use assist heavily on the way in to cut down on sweat, then get my heart rate up on the way home for the exercise.