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The Monday Roundup: Transgender champion, inspiration from Paris and Calgary, scooter lawsuit and more

Posted by on October 22nd, 2018 at 11:57 am

Here are the most noteworthy stories we came across in the past seven days…

Transgender champion: Rachel McKinnon won a national championship on the track. Some say it’s unfair because she’s transgender. Learn more about her in this Q & A posted by VeloNews.

E-cargo bikes are the future: New Forbes contributor (and veteran bike industry writer and author) Carlton Reid has an excellent update on how electric cargo bikes hold vast promise as urban, last-mile delivery vehicles.

Cars as a safe space: A recent survey from furniture giant IKEA found that almost half (45%) of Americans go outside and sit in their car “to have a private moment to themselves”.

Paris leads on carfree cities: A massive effort to get unnecessary cars and trucks out of the city is being taken on by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Here’s more on the potential of that vision and why the politics are so hard.

Ride-hailing = congestion: A study by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority found that Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft accounted for a whopping 50% of congestion in San Francisco between 2010 and 2016.


Inspiration from Calgary: Portland could learn a lot from Calgary where a carfree bridge laid the foundation for a successful, quick, and relatively cheap network of protected bike lanes.

Portland is a “smart city”: Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded the City of Portland $2.5 million to fund “smart city” projects that fight congestion and climate change.

Vehicular terrorism: Citylab delves into the disturbing trend of using automobiles as weapons of mass destruction and offers examples of how to prevent the attacks without making walking and biking worse.

Teach the reach: The UK Highway Code plans to add more instruction to improve the safety of bicycle users — including the use of the “Dutch Reach” which requires using your far hand to open your car door to prevent “dooring.”

Scooter lawsuit: Three plaintiffs who claim to have been hit by scooter users while walking have filed a class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles against Lime, Bird, and other scooter companies for what they call “gross negligence”.

No lane is safe: The fact that someone sandwiched their sedan in a green-colored, physically protected bike lane is a great example of why we need more carfree spaces in cities.

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

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FTW bike racerBradWagonAndrew KrepsGlowBoysoren Recent comment authors
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I certainly hope that if the class action scooter lawsuit is successful then the same standards will be applied to the auto industry as to the lack of care in protection of pedestrians. This would apply especially to the promotion and sale of lifted pickups and Suv’s that are clearly a deadly hazard to all vulnerable road users. If we allow the makers of 25 lb scooters to be sued out of business while allowing the proliferation of 5000lb death machines we are truly a civilization destined for the dustbin of history.


Because rental cars have been around for quite some time, laws regulating liability are well established. The only reason I can see this lawsuit taking a different course is because the e-scooter industry is not a political force on par with the auto industry.


The Ikea survey reminds me of how I have often used a bicycle–and I’m probably not alone there.

David Hampsten

Jonathan, your byline for Ride Hailing = Congestion is misleading. The story says that ride hailing accounts for 50% of the increase in traffic congestion, not 50% of the total.


I sampled Calgary’s bikeway network 2 years ago, and was impressed. Kudos to a city supposedly dominated by the oil industry (the logos of companies like Shell and BP unapologetically gleam from the tops of their downtown skyscrapers) for getting this done.

Overall the on-street bike lane network isn’t as good as Portland’s, but Calgary had more protected lanes than Portland at the time, and they mostly seemed to work well. And the off-street bikeway network – over 500 miles of it, IIRC – blows away Portland’s (as of course does the network here in the Twin Cities).

Asher Atkinson
Asher Atkinson

Re: Dutch Reach

This is a human solution to a problem technology is already solving for us. ‘Exist assist’ where an approaching vehicle or cyclist is detected and a warning issued when the door is opened, is quickly finding its way into new cars. Teaching safer practices is always welcomed, but I’m more optimistic about technology that takes humans out of the equation.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree

The odds of a car door opening as I pass by are small. However, since the downside of being doored is so large, it won’t matter to me whether they go down by ten-fold or not. I can’t get doored if I’m not in the door zone, so I won’t be there.

A better use of funds and energy than attempting to train drivers to not open doors into cyclists would be to remove all door-zone bike lanes.

Andrew Kreps
Andrew Kreps

Ok I have to laugh at the Oregonian’s caption “Bike traffic along Southeast Water Ave “- I see one bike and, at minimum, 17 private motor vehicles.


From interview with Rachel McKinnon:

“This study showed there is absolutely no relationship between testosterone in terms of performance in males.”

“Also, we have evidence, thanks to Dr. Joanna Harper, that when you take someone who has a given level of endogenous natural testosterone, and you reduce that — through such things as like hormone suppression therapy, or the loss of a testicle, or menopause — when you lower someone’s natural testosterone their performance goes down.”

Soooo which is it? Does natural testosterone have “no relationship” or “when you lower someone’s natural testosterone their performance goes down”?

One thing that maybe there has been research into but I would find interesting is seeing if trans women could compete at an elite male level before any hormonal transition to female. If someone were an unremarkable athlete against a male field but then brought themselves within the testosterone limits of female competition and now are a world champion that would be suspect to me. For example: there are local racers that identify as female or gender binary but have in no way transitioned physically from male. They obviously race in the Open (or traditionally “male”) races and are quite successful regionally or even nationally in the past. Now, if they were to transition via hormone therapy and suddenly jump to being significantly more competitive against women nationally or even internationally…. that is what I am wondering could provide some insight to what it seems is a not well understood area of performance (based on this article and other recent Olympic rulings).

I try and reserve judgment on this but some of her outright claims regarding significance or rather insignificance of testosterone as a performance indicator were surprising to me. She brings up sports where the performance gap is falling yet these sports are much more endurance based than sports like weight lifting or sprinting. Her arguments regarding other natural advantages in sports like height which in my mind is too simplistic and a bit of a stretch that I think harms her arguments credibility.