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The Monday Roundup: Rideshare tax in D.C., smart city pitfalls, BMX in the Bronx, and more

Posted by on July 9th, 2018 at 10:54 am

**This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the inaugural Salmon Cycling Classic on July 21st. Register today for this local fondo that will offer routes in the quiet roads around Wilsonville and a cedar plank salmon dinner for all participants.**

Welcome to the week! Here are the best stories we came across in the past seven days…

Bike-cam portal: Police in the U.K. now have a central location where they can view camera footage uploaded by people who’ve captured crashes and dangerous driving via their on-bike video cameras.

Bend native in Tour de France: Ian Boswell is in France competing at the world’s most prestigious bike race. His mom says it’s the culmination of a lifelong dream.

The problem with Chris Froome: The UCI cleared the defending Tour de France champion of a doping allegation just days before this year’s event. Here’s why that was such a bad move.

Taxing rideshare trips: The city council of Washington D.C. has passed a 6 percent tax on rideshare trips from the likes of Uber and Lyft. Revenue raised will be spent to improve their Metro transit system.

Accessible cycling: When people who use adaptive bicycles like hand-cycles and trikes feel comfortable enough on your bikeways you know you are doing something right.

Motorbikes in bike lanes: A controversial new law in Denmark will allow a class of speedy e-bikes that can go up to 28 mph use existing bike lanes.

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Pros and cons of “smart cities”: Excellent article that uses real-life example of Google’s project in Toronto as a frame for the perils and potentials of high-tech “smart cities”. With Portland launching a traffic data sensor program, this is a very relevant issue.

Arizona’s tragedy: Article details the terrible state of traffic safety for vulnerable road users in Arizona, lays out how to fix the problem, then explains how Arizona doesn’t have the political will to do what it takes.

Re-connect with our streets: A NYT Opinion piece introduces us to the Ford Motor Company-funded National Street Service, an effort to re-imagine our streets as places for people, not cars.

Portland bike share crystal ball: It’s just a matter of time (and not that much of it) before Portland follows in New York City’s footsteps and launches an electric, dockless bike share system.

Give e-bikes a chance: The Urbanist says e-bike share could revolutionize mobility, so we need to stop hating on bikes with a free boost of energy.

PBS is drunk: Yes it’s a fact that people who walk while drunk are at greater risk of death in a traffic crash, but the topic deserves much more care in reporting than The PBS Newshour displayed in this unfortunate piece. Thankfully we have Streetsblog to set the record straight.

BMX in the Bronx: This great photo essay of the renown Mullaly Bike Park in the Bronx shows how it’s not just a place to ride, but a powerful community builder that offer vital access to cycling.

Nissan sucks too: Another automaker has been caught falsifying emissions tests. It’s mind-boggling how dishonest and craven car companies are in their pursuit of profits. This corrupt industry does not deserve the political respect it currently enjoys.

Easy bike camping: Let the PSU student newspaper show you how to get into bike camping on the “cheap and dirty.”

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

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91 Comments
  • John Liu July 9, 2018 at 11:29 am

    28 mph e-bikes in bike lanes, blasting by leg-bikes doing 8-15 mph. Not what I want to see in Portland.

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    • rick July 9, 2018 at 11:32 am

      It allows people to ride uphill without being passed by crazed people driving a car fast.

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      • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 11:57 am

        Not really, because the car has more power and will pass you, even if they have to speed.

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        • John Lascurettes July 10, 2018 at 1:03 pm

          That’s been my experience on flat ground on greenways. I’m definitely doing 20 on Siskiyou but and taking the lane (because you have to at that speed) and will often get passed by a “crazed motorist” who simply cannot abide by being behind a bicycle.

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          • Dan A July 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

            No doubt. I was passed by a driver in my own neighborhood yesterday on a blind chicane with parked cars on either side of the road at the same time that an oncoming vehicle was approaching. I was riding 23 in a 25, and the driver pulled up next to me in the middle of the corner, forcing me to stop behind one of the parked cars as they overtook me, and then they took the next right turn, about 100 feet up. So they forced me off the road and risked a head-on with a neighbor to save, oh, 3 seconds.

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    • BradWagon July 9, 2018 at 11:49 am

      I regularly ride my “leg bike” in the 20’s on sections of my commutes. Moving into vehicle lane and passing slower cyclists rarely an issue.

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      • SD July 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm

        “Moving into the vehicle lane” is the key.

        The greater the speed differential, the more space the passer should allow the passee.

        I hope that this idea is apparent to everyone, including people whose first foray into cycling around others is on an e-bike that travels at 28 mph.

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      • John Liu July 9, 2018 at 7:03 pm

        The more “protected” the bike lane, the less ability to move into the traffic lane to pass anyone.

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        • BradWagon July 10, 2018 at 9:20 am

          Sooo wider bike lanes? Sounds good to me!

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    • B. Carfree July 9, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      It always amazes me when otherwise reasonable people insist that cars traveling at speeds below 30 mph are wonderful things that improve safety for all, but somehow think that people on bikes riding 20-30 mph are pure evil (modern-day scorchers).

      There was a time when my cruising speed on a bike was about 28 mph. I finished double centuries in under eight hours and arrived at my lab bench 25 miles from home freshly showered less than an hour after I left. Was I some hazard in bike lanes and on bike paths? No, because like all people on all bikes I had the ability to ride slower than my normal cruising speed and didn’t hesitate to slow down when the situation required me to do so.

      There’s more than one way to properly ride a bike. Just because someone else’s way differs from yours does not make it wrong. Just because you think you would never purchase an e-bike that goes over 15 mph doesn’t mean those who do, likely including yourself in another decade or two, are wrong.

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      • Champs July 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        You’ll find plenty of people taking turns at the front of the elite group ride or putting holes through paper at the shooting range. These people have safely and incrementally developed their skills over the years. Good responsible people, all of them.

        The equation changes when that power is at an attainable price and can be out on the street in a matter of minutes without so much as a second of training. I’d just as soon be nowhere near either of them. It only takes one.

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      • John Liu July 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm

        A cyclist who regularly maintains 28 mph for any significant distance is a strong, fit, experienced cyclist. He or she has put many thousands of miles on the road and has probably learned how to not crash into other riders, peds, cars. An e-bike rider who does 28 mph may be a total novice ready to plaster himself against an open car door or a pedestrian or a slower cyclist. The speed limit in many Portland roads is 20-30 mph. A 28 mph e-bike is a moped and belongs in the traffic lanes.

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        • B. Carfree July 9, 2018 at 10:03 pm

          1. While it’s true that I was a fit, strong cyclist, I regularly rode with people of similar speed who were but novices. They were simply good athletes who decided to ride bikes.
          2. Judgment and prudence aren’t necessarily the products of hundreds of thousands of miles in the saddle. If that were the case, why do we give people licenses to operate cars on our roads that go at much greater speeds without such extensive training. There’s a real disconnect in your logic here.
          3. If our infrastructure would fail an average Jane on an e-bike, perhaps it is the infrastructure that is to blame. Should we really be allowing door-zone bike lanes in this day and age? Should we really have bike paths that are eight feet wide with pedestrians?

          E-bikes are coming as surely as safety bikes came over a century ago and ten speeds marched in half a century ago. We can harass them with legislation or we can face the fact that they are a very useful substitute for car trips and jump in to make them work well. We can still ride our retro human-powered bikes, but we need to make room in our tent for more people.

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          • K Taylor July 10, 2018 at 1:25 am

            But being an athlete also implies a certain amount of nimbleness, alertness and skill. I used to do the Bridge Pedal every year and I always kept lots of distance from people at the starting gate because without fail, several would either roll clumsily into some barrier or just suddenly fall over for no apparent reason. These are the people I am worried about riding next to me on an e-bike at 28 miles per hour.

            I agree with you, e-bikes are coming, and that means we need to find some way to address this problem.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 10:09 am

              Fortunately, we already have some decent infrastructure for motorized vehicles.

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        • BradWagon July 13, 2018 at 9:23 am

          A cyclist who regularly maintains 28 mph for any significant distance should be riding on a continental pro team. Aside from closed course time trials, group rides or short sections of road with favorable conditions you just will not find anyone riding this fast of an average speed. The double loop around Sauvie island (dead flat, no traffic controls or tight turns) is 25 miles and the best times on Strava are recorded by arguably the cities fastest group ride where riders are drilling it in a paceline and even strong cyclists regularly get dropped… average speed? 28mph.

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      • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm

        That quite the false comparison there. What you really meant to compare are cars going under 30 MPH in the bike lane. That’s what this is akin to. Motor vehicles going under 30 MPH aren’t wonderful, they’re simply a little safer. And taking motorized 30 MPH vehicles and putting them into the bike lane doesn’t seem like a good idea. Now you’ve moved the dangerous speed differential into the vulnerable user’s area. Sure the vehicles are smaller, but they’re still a lot heavier than a standard bicycle. Seasoned riders usually stay out of the bike lane because it’s full of slow clumsy riders. So introducing those fast speeds with less experienced riders can lead to collisions.

        I’m not really sure why people riding bikes are ever in such a hurry that they want to go 30 MPH. That takes away a lot of the fun of riding.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm

          Many people travel for utilitarian reasons, and would gladly give up “fun” for a faster or easier trip.

          Powerful electric bikes occupy an interesting niche somewhere between bikes and motorcycles, perhaps around the same spot as a low powered Vespa.

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          • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 12:37 pm

            I only travel for utilitarian reasons. I don’t bike just to bike, or drive just to drive. I am going someplace. It just also happens to be fun.

            I used to drive everywhere. It was fun. Now it’s not, because I’m more aware than I used to be.

            We really don’t need to propel ourselves over 20 MPH. Save those higher speeds for closed courses or mass transit.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 1:10 pm

              People making trips of more than a few miles would probably disagree.

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      • BradWagon July 13, 2018 at 9:15 am

        lol. The winning OBRA time trial this year averaged 28-29 mph and covered 25 miles in ~52 minutes. So you regularly commuted across town the same average pace as the states fastest time trial rider does on a closed course?

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        • Ryan July 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

          I wasn’t going to call him out, but yeah… kinda skeptical of that being a “cruising” speed for anyone below a World Tour rider. Even for those guys I doubt that’s “cruising” if riding solo. I’ve got a cousin who’s an elite amateur triathlete at the olympic distance (has beaten quite a few pro’s, has a few course records, blah blah…). Even on his ultra-aero TT bike with his crazy looking aero helmet and deep wheels he’d be pushing pretty deep to maintain 28mph for more than a few miles.

          I want e-bikes to become more ubiquitous and affordable, and I’m happy that I’ve been seeing more people on them when I commute. Most seem to be slightly older/middle-aged folks or parents hauling their kids, and in general the ones I’ve seen are riding at reasonable speeds (I can still pass them). However, I can understand the trepidation about having relatively unskilled people riding significantly faster than others in the same small space. Even if they’re travelling close to car speeds, a newer rider may not feel comfortable moving into the auto lane, so may end up squeezing by and become just another object of stress/danger to other cyclists. Increase bike lane size so that – God forbid! – two cyclists can ride comfortably side-by-side and it would help a lot I think. Not to mention it would make it more reasonable for trikes or bike trailers to use the lanes without constantly having a wheel drop into a storm drain.

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    • Kevin Coughlin July 9, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      The speed limit on the greenway is 20 DAMNIT. That should be the MAX speed for all electrical bikes (and electric scooters) in Portland.

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      • rick July 9, 2018 at 5:22 pm

        Yes. However, the speed limits on car-crazed main drags on the westside are often 40 mph and some have absolutely no shoulder.

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        • matchupancakes July 9, 2018 at 7:50 pm

          Thank you for point this out, rick. I agree that e-bikes being limited to 20 mph makes absolute sense within Portland, but there are long distance commutes along long stretches of roadway outside of the core where higher speeds might be what is needed to get more people commuting in from the suburbs via (e-)bikes! TV Highway on the outer westside and SR500 to the north in Vancouver are places where spans (not all areas, just sections) have clear lines of sight that are uninterrupted with intersections and might just be an important part of the puzzle in getting people at the edge of the Metro onto their bikes and out of their cars.

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          • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 11:48 am

            No, we don’t want to continue to support the suburb. It needs to go, and electric bikes shouldn’t be the thing keeping it alive. There’s no good reason that all private transportation can’t be limited to 20 MPH on every road, including freeways. If you want to go faster you can use public transit.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 11:52 am

              There is no possibility suburbs will be abandoned in my lifetime; until they are, residents need a way to get around.

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              • 9watts July 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm

                “There is no possibility suburbs will be abandoned in my lifetime”

                Again – how do you know this? Because people won’t stand for it? What if their preferences to keep their suburbs isn’t something they or we will get to decide about? What if the continued viability of suburbs requires something we can’t guarantee will continue to prevail? In 1974 people had a preference for cheap gas and no lines at gas stations. Did their preferences carry the day?

                “until they are, residents need a way to get around.”

                Again – preferences.
                People in Joplin, Missouri needed a hospital and a school and their houses on May 23, 2011 as much as they needed them on May 22. But this need had precious little bearing on the situation as we know.
                Your theory—and it is a familiar one—is that in America we make our own facts, solve whatever problem presents itself, meet needs and preferences with our economic might. But all of this requires continuous access to the materials and fossil energy we now with increasing desperation are forced to dig up around the world. As these materials get more expensive, harder to find, transport, refine, run out, we will no longer be able to throw our weight around as your theory presumes.

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              • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 12:39 pm

                They’ll never go away if we keep enabling them.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 1:08 pm

                Not because “people won’t stand for it” or because “we keep enabling them”, but because the people who live there will continue to live there (you think they will just walk away from their homes, which represent the life savings for many people?).

                While it this is not an impossibility, it would take a huge change of circumstance to make it happen, and will, without doubt, be catastrophically expensive for the entire country.

                I know you think an event of that magnitude is on the horizon. I don’t share your view on that, and it’s unlikely you’ll convince me. If you’re right, our entire society will be radically transformed, and, at that point, anything could happen, including governmental collapse or nuclear war.

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              • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm

                The people can continue to live there. That doesn’t mean they have to remain suburbs forever. The problem now is that we can’t create mini pocket cities because of building restrictions that don’t let us build tall office towers wherever they’re needed. I don’t think the people will move out of the suburbs. I think the city will move into the suburbs. Thus the need for many individual people to travel a long distance quickly is decreased.

                We don’t need to enable faster vehicles, we need to enable smaller/denser cities.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 2:34 pm

                You assume people will live and work in the same suburbs. This is not the case today — people commute from Gresham and Vancouver to work at Nike, and that’s not because of building codes. It may be because a spouse works elsewhere, or people have family and community ties and don’t want to move to Hillsboro. Yours is a neat model (as was the model of people living in the suburbs and using sleek highways to get into the city for work) but I see no evidence it will play out as you imagine it will.

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              • PS July 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm

                Don’t want to make a judgement about your age, but your phrasing does sound like you are anticipating the remainder of your lifetime to be a significant time period, therefore I totally agree with you. As some others have responded, transportation costs are part of the equation, but hardly the driving factor to, anecdotally, all the people I know. The driving factor is education, and Portland schools are garbage relative to almost all the suburban schools in every direction you can go from the city. As long as that stays that way, and it will, due to PERS, over capacity and inept leadership, and the cost differential (property tax, housing costs, etc.) stays where it is, it will take very very expensive gas and tolls to impact the desire of people to live in the suburbs.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 2:37 pm

                >>> your phrasing does sound like you are anticipating the remainder of your lifetime to be a significant time period <<<

                I certainly hope so!

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            • Middle of the Road Guy July 10, 2018 at 3:36 pm

              Why not 5mph?

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              • 9watts July 10, 2018 at 7:45 pm

                Ivan Illich, famously, suggested a universal 15mph speed limit.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 9:01 pm

                And was, unsurprisingly, ignored.

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      • B. Carfree July 9, 2018 at 10:07 pm

        Shall we also only allow motor vehicles to operate if they are governed at the speed limit of the roadway they are on? That is what your argument would have to be, if you’re going to be consistent and not just hate on e-bikes.

        Hmm, you might just be on to something there. Cars that aren’t governed at residential street speeds (20 mph) would have to park at the end of the freeway. This would be quite nice from my point of view (in the saddle, of course).

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      • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 11:50 am

        I wish all the greenways here were 20 MPH. Maybe they’ll update the signs now with the new 20 MPH law across the city.

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    • encephalopath July 9, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      ORS 801.258 “Electric assisted bicycle.” “Electric assisted bicycle” means a vehicle that:

      (5) Is equipped with an electric motor that:
      (a) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts; and
      (b) Is incapable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of greater than 20 miles per hour on level ground.

      If it goes faster than 20 mph it’s not a bicycle anymore and you may run into the possibility that it would be governed by the statues covering 801.345 “Moped.” or 801.348 “Motor assisted scooter.”

      If some enterprising police person decides to call the 28 mph ebike a moped you could get cited for not wearing a motorcycle helmet or for using the power assist on bicycle infrastructure where only human power is allowed for mopeds (ORS 811.440).

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      • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 12:08 pm

        Ummm, OK. Not sure why you posted that. This isn’t Denmark. And they changed the law. So our existing law isn’t relevant, twice. They could easily change our law to allow more powerful electric bikes. Right now they’re mopeds, just like Denmark’s were before July 1st.

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    • Chris I July 9, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      People already ride gas-mopeds in bike lanes in The Netherlands, so I don’t see how this will change much.

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      • BikeRound July 9, 2018 at 6:30 pm

        Actually, in Amsterdam at least gas-powered mopeds are no longer allowed in the bike lanes.

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        • bendite July 10, 2018 at 10:08 pm

          They may not be allowed, but I was just there a few weeks ago and there were a lot of scooters in the bike lane and no one fussed. I did see two people walking in the bike lane once, and there was fuss.

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        • USbike July 10, 2018 at 11:00 pm

          Slowly but surely, more and more places are (finally) trying to do something about the mopeds in the Netherlands. They really are obnoxious. The smell and the noise alone are bad enough, but then you often have speeds that are way too high. But it’s becoming more and more popular in the country and the fact that the government is finally doing something about it tells me that it’s starting to really have a negative affect on the cycling. This conversation is now started to happen more openly. A few years back, if you tried to speak out against it, you would be accused of just complaining too much, or just hating on scooters or perhaps even being anti-immigrant or anti-something, as a disproportionate number of people using them are from non-Dutch backgrounds. It’s starting to reach the boiling point in the bigger cities.

          But the general problem of these polluting guzzlers are not going to go away anytime soon here, I don’t think. Even if all cities and towns banned the snorfiets (slower ones with blue license plates) from bike paths, you would still have to allow both these and bromfiets (faster ones with yellow license plates) to share the cycle paths outside of cities, whenever the adjacent roads for motor vehicles exceed the legal speed of these motorized two-wheelers.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty July 9, 2018 at 11:34 pm

      I’d like to drive my electric quad cycle (made by Tesla) in the bike lane; I’m willing to keep it under 28mph. Should be fine, right?

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  • 9watts July 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    On the subject of drunk pedestrians, it might be worth revisiting the lively conversation we had here some time back in response to a guest article by AJ Zelada (which I can’t find even with google – anyone else more successful?) in which some of us took the perspective on display in the Streetsblog piece, that focusing on the BAC of pedestrians killed by people driving cars was fraught.

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    • John Lascurettes July 9, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      I love that every single comment (at this time) on the PBS News Hour piece is taking them to task for sloppy reporting, many pointing to the Streets Blog article or other sources. I await their correction/retraction.

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    • soren July 9, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      IMO, “conscientious and defensive drivers” are a far, far more serious social problem than drunk pedestrians. After all, “conscientious and defensive drivers” severely injure, maim, and kill others relatively often while drunk pedestrians almost never harm anyone other than themselves.

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      • canuck July 9, 2018 at 1:10 pm

        This idea that they only hurt themselves is cr@p. There is still a driver who has the nightmare of having killed someone through no fault of their own. If you think that has zero impact on someone’s life you are kidding yourself.

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        • 9watts July 9, 2018 at 1:12 pm

          “…through no fault of their own.”

          Interesting.

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        • 9watts July 9, 2018 at 1:24 pm

          Before going there it seems worth spending a bit of time exploring the share of those pedestrians killed or maimed by someone in a car that was not their fault (my guess, the vast majority). We can all imagine a scenario—however rare it may turn out to be in practice—in which the person-in-car had no ability to avoid killing him, but I don’t think it salutary to make blanket statements that extrapolate from that hypothetical and I’m quite certain very rare scenario, ODOT and PBOT statistics notwithstanding.

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        • soren July 9, 2018 at 2:14 pm

          amazing false equivalency.

          the anguish of the friends and family of the ~1.3 million people killed each year by people driving is far larger than that of the much smaller number of people who are affected by killing a pedestrian through no fault of their own.

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          • canuck July 10, 2018 at 7:08 am

            So those people’s feelings don’t count. Your hatred for drivers is beyond the pale. People are people. If you don’t want blanket statements applied to bike riders because of prejudices, don’t apply blanket statements to a group based on your prejudices.

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            • q July 10, 2018 at 9:04 am

              Nobody said their feelings don’t count.

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        • B. Carfree July 9, 2018 at 10:14 pm

          I’ve dealt with drunk pedestrians many a time while operating commercial rigs inside cities. It’s not so hard to avoid hitting them if you pay attention to things outside a tiny cone in front of you.

          Two stand out for me: A late-night drive through downtown Corvallis in which four drunk pedestrians literally fell out in front of my truck when my light was green. I saw them long before they fell into the street and wasn’t even moving when they hit the pavement fifteen feet in front of me. That saved us all a bunch of trouble.

          Another time, I was driving a crew of people home from an out-of-town chess tournament. I stopped because I saw a man staggering along. He lurched right into my stationary van. It turned out he was a friend of the players I was hauling.

          There have been other non-events over the years. I really can’t imagine hitting something that moves as slowly as a drunk unless I’m distracted or drunk myself. I suspect the trauma that people who run over other people feel is the guilt that is natural from knowing your mistake killed someone.

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        • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 12:14 pm

          If it’s really a nightmare then you’re no longer a driver because you can’t stand the thought of getting back behind the wheel.

          So yeah, I’m not buying your story.

          In driver’s ed we’re taught to avoid obstacles such as drunk pedestrians and kids/dogs darting out in front of you. Most people seem to forget these lessons and just drive as fast as they can without killing themselves.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty July 9, 2018 at 11:38 pm

        People who commit suicide aren’t harming anyone but themselves, right?

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        • soren July 10, 2018 at 7:44 am

          the context of my comment was clearly physical harm:

          severely injure, maim, and kill others relatively often while drunk pedestrians almost never

          but thanks for all the straw!

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 9:46 am

            almost never “harm anyone but themselves.” But of course they do. Your definition of harm is overly narrow.

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            • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 12:17 pm

              Thanks for agreeing with him.

              You just said that “of course they” “almost never” “harm anyone but themselves.” That’s what he also said. So yes, you’re both right.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 1:14 pm

                No — I was adding the words omitted from the quote. I do not dispute that drivers injure and kill far more people than pedestrians do, but I do dispute the idea that a pedestrian who is injured or killed because of their own actions harms only themselves. That simply isn’t true.

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              • Middle of the Road Guy July 10, 2018 at 3:40 pm

                HK,

                I think it boils down to “victim blaming”. Some people simply cannot admit the victim might have made their situation more risky.

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  • Dave July 9, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Re Arizona: This is what causes me to believe in fighting crime with crime–jurisdictions with increasing pedestrian fatalities should legalize car theft and vandalism until VZ is achieved. Give drivers’ property no more regard than drivers give other road users’ lives.

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    • Johnny Bye Carter July 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Legalizing the destruction of the car I drive ever few months because somebody that drives everywhere every day killed somebody seems like a severe over-reaction. But it’s common sense gun law.

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  • Matt Meskill July 9, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Regarding the Froome story: “It’s hard to imagine any other pro cyclist getting this kind of free pass.” In fact I believe Froome is in the majority. Many pro cyclists have tested high for salbutamol and been cleared like Froome has. The difference is we don’t know about it because their cases weren’t leaked to the public.

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    • Pete July 9, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      I found the way that article written to be terribly biased. Salbutamol is commonly available, varies widely in dosage based on inhaler brand, and difficult to regulate while using to ease symptoms of breathing difficulties (not just asthma). It’s effectiveness depends on many physiological variables, so it’s no surprise the “innocence” test is difficult to recreate.

      I’m not writing this to defend him, but the article is clearly meant to indite Froome rather than vindicate Ulissi. It’s not like we’re talking about EPO or blood transfusions. They make it seem like a blatant conspiracy of rich against poor (not that Froome or Sky may be completely innocent on the ‘persuasion’ front…).

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    • John Liu July 9, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      Froome uses a salbutamol inhaler to control asthma, a confirmed medical condition that is likely exacerbated by his profession (look up exercise-induced asthma).

      The UCI permits a certain daily dose of inhaled salbutamol, and specifies a level of salbutamol in urine above which the cyclist has to show that he did not exceed the permitted dose. Laboratory studies have shown, prior to this case, that cyclists who take the permitted salbutamol dose and then undergo extended strenuous exercise and dehydration will often (about 50% of the time) have salbutamol urine levels above the specified level. So in those cases, the cyclist has to show he didn’t exceed the permitted dose.

      In this case, Froome rode the Vuelta, a three week Grand Tour that involves levels of exercise and dehydration far more extreme than can be replicated in any labratory study. He used his salbutamol inhaler daily as he always does. On one of those 21 days, his urine salbutamol level came back above the specified level. That triggered the requirement that he show he didn’t exceed the permitted dose. Which is what Froome’s medical and legal team proceeded to do. WADA (the anti-doping body) agreed with the evidence and the UCI terminated the proceeding.

      Salbutamol proceedings are not that uncommon, they are supposed to be handled privately – which is unlike how positive drug tests are handled (EPO, HGH, etc). In this case, someone – possibly in the UCI or even in the British Cycling Federation – leaked the information, so the case has been tried in the court of public opinion, by commentators who know little about the topic and have no knowledge of the facts of the case. Such as the article linked to by BP.

      Most of the commentators seem to be using the case as a way to throw shade at Sky and Froome for being a rich cycling team who spend a lot on lawyers and medical experts, which is fairly silly. The man has won the Tour de France four times, he is the best GC rider of this era, of course he and his team will hire the best lawyers and experts. Yes, very possibly a less successful rider wouldn’t have such resources, but they wouldn’t have as much at stake either.

      Salbutamol is one of those drugs that could in theory be a modest performance enhancer, but you’ve have to use it at such dosages and frequencies that you wouldn’t get just one reading above the specified level in a 21 day GT – you’d be blatantly setting off alarm bells every day. In the real world, it is not a practical way to dope.

      Another aspect here is that the UCI/WADA rules on salbutamol have severe and known problems. They don’t account for the dehydration that endurance cyclists (and athletes in some other sports) experience, because they were based on studies in swimmers. Crazy but true. http://www.sportsintegrityinitiative.com/scientist-whose-studies-backed-salbutamol-rules-says-flawed/

      “A scientist behind studies that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) used to develop its urinary salbutamol concentration limits to indicate prohibited use of salbutamol has told The Times that the rules are flawed and could lead to false positives. Professor Ken Fitch of the University of Western Australia and a member of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Medical and Scientific Commission for 28 years, carried out studies in swimming, upon which WADA based its rules that use urinary salbutamol concentration to try to distinguish between prohibited and permitted uses of salbutamol.

      He told the newspaper that amongst other things, his studies did not take into account changes in the concentration of urine, indicated using ‘specific gravity’ readings, because in swimming, factors such as dehydration are less of an issue. He also explained that he has opposed WADA in salbutamol cases because of this, and had filed an independent expert report in the Chris Froome case. Froome was cleared by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and WADA earlier this week.

      “They have accepted that the salbutamol you take and the level in your urine do not necessarily correlate”, Professor Fitch told The Times. “They should have accepted it years ago. The sport with the highest prevalence was swimming so that’s who we tested. But what happens after an hour of swimming? A full bladder. Cycling for five hours is completely different, you have little but quite concentrated urine. And a major error with our studies was that we did not measure the urine for specific gravity.

      “From those studies came the threshold, which WADA increased to the 1,200 decision limit, but it was based on a false premise. The studies were never performed with the aim of finding the amount of salbutamol in urine after inhaling the allowable quantity. As I had a major role in these decisions, I acknowledge my error… I feel quite concerned about cases like Chris Froome.”

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    • Al July 9, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      There’s ample evidence that Team Sky is abusing TUE’s.

      I feel bad for Froome actually because I think he’s just following orders. He’s under contract. He’s simply doing what he’s told and it’s going to taint his record and reputation eventually. I want to like Froome but I can’t stand Team Sky, not the riders, the organization.

      The sport still has a lot of growing up to do. “Doping” is changing. It’s more subtle and complicated than outright EPO or blood transfusions, traits which suit a large well financed team. Team Sky owns the sport in a much different way than Lance did. Lance was a bike selling phenom. Pretty much everyone commercially involved in the sport knowingly believed his lies. It’s different with Team Sky. They’ve lawyered up and are doing everything by the book much the same way that oil companies are compliant with the law while they destroy the planet.

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  • NC July 9, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Someone start a GoFundMe for LeBron to buy him a bike that fits him.

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    • Pete July 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      Apparently he’s not riding his “King James” – at one point LeBron owned part of Cannondale:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbNO5eAs8uU

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    • B. Carfree July 9, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Maybe we should fund some reading comprehension courses for the LA Times article author. He certainly doesn’t understand the provisions of the California Vehicle Code that pertain to bicycles. He could also do with learning about the hazards of the door zone.

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  • q July 9, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Poor article about drunk pedestrians, for all the reasons people have said.

    Also, couldn’t it be that some people are walking drunk because they are responsible enough to not drive? Making walking safe enough that it can be done by a drunk person could reduce drunk driving. Leaving it unsafe punishes those responsible enough to walk instead of drive.

    And in the case in the article where purportedly many of the people getting killed walking on the highway are drunk, are they getting killed because they’re drunk? Or are many of the ones getting killed drunk because the highway is so unsafe for people walking that only drunk people dare to walk there?

    The drunk walkers are not the problem.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 10:12 am

      Well stated.

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  • Matthew in PDX July 10, 2018 at 9:05 am

    B. Carfree
    Shall we also only allow motor vehicles to operate if they are governed at the speed limit of the roadway they are on? That is what your argument would have to be, if you’re going to be consistent and not just hate on e-bikes.Hmm, you might just be on to something there. Cars that aren’t governed at residential street speeds (20 mph) would have to park at the end of the freeway. This would be quite nice from my point of view (in the saddle, of course).Recommended 1

    With the almost universal inclusion of GPS within cars (even if they don’t have navigation), I can see a time in the not too distant future when motor vehicle manufacturers are told they have to limit their products to the legal speed limit. Although, given the spineless way most legislatures roll over and bite the pillow for auto manufacturers and motor vehicle operator lobby groups, maybe I’m dreaming.

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    • Chris I July 10, 2018 at 10:23 am

      It will never happen. Because freedom.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 11:54 am

        You almost make it sound as if freedom is a bad thing.

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        • Matthew in PDX July 10, 2018 at 2:15 pm

          I interpreted it differently – infringement of freedom is the catchall reason to oppose anything you don’t find palatable, e.g. I am an American, I am free, therefore I can walk into a crowded theater and cry fire, even if there isn’t one.

          Individual freedom often has to be curtailed to serve the common good or public interest, and we elect representatives and senators to determine what is in the public interest. Personally, I think most elected representatives cower in the face of lobbyists and are not prepared to stand up and say, for example, that automated traffic enforcement is in the public interest (because it reduces the cost of traffic enforcement, but by increasing the level of enforcement increases compliance with the laws the legislature has passed).

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          • ktaylor July 10, 2018 at 3:42 pm

            Americans have a bad habit of allowing ‘freedom to’ to ride roughshod over ‘freedom from.’

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 6:11 pm

              Freedom in America has always been squarely framed in terms of limitations on governmental power. For example, the government can’t limit political speech, but a private entity can. Freedom from governmental interference is critical to a free society, but it does create challenges to building a more socially just society.

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              • ktaylor July 10, 2018 at 10:09 pm

                Agreed! I was thinking more in terms of aholes. America tends to come down strongly on the side of the ahole to do whatever he pleases and sneers at whoever’s freedoms are being trampled by his unfettered aholery.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 10, 2018 at 11:33 pm

                Where is it written that you have any freedom from aholery?

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              • ktaylor July 11, 2018 at 8:00 pm

                Well, there are nuisance laws…

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    • Pete July 11, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Once upon a time, in the early days of cruise control, there was a maximum governed speed that manufacturers were restricted to set to (55 MPH). It was around that era that speed governors on cars were proposed, and decreasingly thereafter an absolute maximum speed limit (it was proposed at 90 MPH at one point in time, IIRC).

      Fast forward to the modern era of ‘ludicrous’ buttons, and you’re more likely to find federal code prohibiting states from banning right-turn-on-red laws…

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  • bendite July 10, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    B. Carfree
    It always amazes me when otherwise reasonable people insist that cars traveling at speeds below 30 mph are wonderful things that improve safety for all, but somehow think that people on bikes riding 20-30 mph are pure evil (modern-day scorchers).There was a time when my cruising speed on a bike was about 28 mph. I finished double centuries in under eight hours and arrived at my lab bench 25 miles from home freshly showered less than an hour after I left. Was I some hazard in bike lanes and on bike paths? No, because like all people on all bikes I had the ability to ride slower than my normal cruising speed and didn’t hesitate to slow down when the situation required me to do so.There’s more than one way to properly ride a bike. Just because someone else’s way differs from yours does not make it wrong. Just because you think you would never purchase an e-bike that goes over 15 mph doesn’t mean those who do, likely including yourself in another decade or two, are wrong.Recommended 14

    Wow! cruising speed at 28? Uh huh. Chris Froome wins Protour time trials at 31 mph. Just take it a notch above cruising and you’ve got yourself a pro contract.

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    • Brian July 11, 2018 at 8:40 am

      Maybe his bike computer was set to BMX wheel size?

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