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The Monday Roundup: Rep rips ODOT, slow scooters in DC, war on teen drivers and more

Posted by on November 13th, 2018 at 7:51 am

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

How men can help: “Try to be mindful of how you take up space, physically, verbally, and mentally,” was just on response reporter John Greenfield heard when he asked women how men could be better urban transportation allies.

Let’s make bikes: A college in Minnesota offers a bicycle fabrication degree. We need this in Portland!

1 million bike trips per day: That’s how many trips Uber says people in New York City would take if the company was allowed to deploy a 100,000 to 200,000 bike fleet.

Gravel racing boom: WorldTour racer Lachlan Morton is eyeing a 2019 season that will include gravel races — another sign that traditional road cycling events now have more competition than ever.

Bikes win in cities: Transport journalist Carlton Reid writes in Forbes that data from a courier company, proves that bicycle delivery staff deliver fresh food fastest.

Hi ODOT: U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio laid into the Oregon Department of Transportation in a letter published by the Register-Guard last week. He’s not happy with how one of their contractors is managing a work site in Eugene. Other tidbits in his letter is that the project ODOT is doing down there costs $18 million for one mile of highway (that’s almost twice the amount we spend statewide on Safe Routes to School each year), and Rep. DeFazio is against congestion pricing.

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War on teen drivers: National Motorists Association says high insurance costs are just another front in the urban planning world’s agenda to prevent people from owning cars.

Scooting and disability concerns: As Portland ponders a permanent e-scooter fleet (current pilot ends November 20), we can look to Tacoma for how the vehicles impact people with disabilities.

Scooting slowly: Washington D.C. plans to limit the speed of e-scooters to just 10 mph. If only we could be so bold with vehicles that actually kill and injure people on a daily basis.

Scooting for cash: Wired has a solid rundown of how cities are “milking” scooter companies for money to pay for better infrastructure and how it might pave the way for AVs.

Ford gets into micromobility: Spin, a company that at one time flirted with the idea of launching dockless bike share in Portland, has been bought by Ford Motor Co.

Fewer garbage trucks: Dangerous waste hauling trucks will be reined in under a new plan by NYC DOT.

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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. 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

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9watts
Subscriber

…last eight days.
😉

Eric in Seattle
Guest
Eric in Seattle

broken link in the “how men can help” story

Dave
Guest
Dave

I’m the furthest thing there is from a gun person or an NRA supporter–but I think I respect the NRA way more than I do the National Motorists’ Association. They really seem to want the unlimited right to drive damn the consequences or casualties.

Q
Guest
Q

Right versus the unlimited right to have guns damn the consequences or casualties.

BradWagon
Subscriber

How… how is the NRA any different? Just substitute “drive” with “own guns” in your sentence and its spot on for NRA.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Well, one thing is actually listed in the Bill of Rights and the other is just a modern convenience/privilege.

Disclaimer: I am not, nor will I ever be a member of the NRA, and I do not endorse them. I’m simply pointing out that there is technically a constitutional difference in the objects defended by each of the organizations discussed.

David Hampsten
Guest

Where does it say “guns” in the 2nd Amendment? I see “arms”, which can be translated in all sorts of ways, including the upper extremities of humans and IMO deadly horseless carriages. At the time I’m sure they meant swords, daggers, muskets, rifles, and probably even cannon, but they certainly left the phrase pretty broad and vague. If the “well regulated militia” includes tanks and armored motor vehicles, why exclude cars?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Well, when you describe it that way, I’d say the comparison is pretty spot-on.

That said, any time something starts with “The war on…” I just stop reading. I’m sure that opinion piece was filled with a bunch of nonsense, though.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

The rant on teen insurance costs was so bad it was fox-worthy. Gee, I wonder why the average cost of teen insurance is $3k. Could it be that the last two agents I spoke with about this were telling the truth when they told me that every single teen driver they insure gets into a costly collision in the first two years? Nah, it must be some conspiracy against “freedom”.

I also thought it was amusing that they used the federal minimum wage even though a huge fraction of teens (most?) live in states with higher minimums. Then I considered the fact that in the ’70’s (slightly before the author’s good old days of the ’80’s) I was a straight A student teen driver working for about $3.00/hr. When I looked at buying my boss’ car, the quote I received for insurance was $1600. Doing the math and accounting for inflation, $3k/yr for today’s teens looks pretty good.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

It’s almost like car ownership for teens is a really bad idea, in general. Mass carnage aside, car ownership is expensive, with many teens basically working so they can drive. If only we had some sort of cost-effective, environmentally friendly way for fit young people to navigate our cities…

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Westview HS is apparently facing some kind of parking crisis from 800 kids driving to school. So the solution they are leaning towards is to try & create more parking.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

One of the reasons I will never live in Beaverton.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Not to mention the large staff. I think they have about 20 portable classrooms. Riding down 185th in the dark and rain does suck, I will say.

BradWagon
Subscriber

Heard today that county is evoking imminent domain in Salem Keizer school district to acquire 6 acres of land next to McNary HS to “make safety improvements to the school”. Aka, give students and parents more room to drive and park. County says they have “exhausted all other options”. lol, charge kids $10k a year for a parking pass, allot parking based on even-odd license digit/day policy and tow aggressively, waive some administrative fees for students that bike or walk…. all cheaper and more effective then paving a field.

Q
Guest
Q

Or the fact that most teenager who drive get their gas and insurance and car covered by mom and dad because mom and dad say you Have To Drive in order to get anything done.

David Hampsten
Guest

Unless you are unfortunate in your choice of parents, having been born poor to single working parents or even absent addicted parents, homeless, and/or a visible minority, as many teenagers are.

Just love that refreshingly clueless white middle class privilege on BP.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I think you completely misinterpreted his comment. Good virtue signaling, though.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

What is it about the comment that was specifically “white”?

9watts
Subscriber

Well, privilege maps well onto race in this country, and the pat assumptions about economic priorities and abilities in Q’s comment.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If it’s just a proxy for economic status, it would be better to just skip it and go straight to the real deal: it is a middle class perspective that parents will pay for the gas for their kids. Substituting race for class is, in itself, a pretty insensitive perspective, and only perpetuates harmful (and inaccurate) racial stereotypes.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Substituting race for class is, in itself, a pretty insensitive perspective”

But no one is doing that here in this conversation. David mentioned both.

“refreshingly clueless white middle class privilege…”

And his concrete examples were about poverty and its corollaries, neither race nor class. Leaving race out of the conversation altogether, even though I’ve learned here that you prefer that, seems unhelpful. I am not going to speak for anyone but know for myself that my thinking on this has been evolving rapidly over the past two years.

9watts
Subscriber

I should add that I think what is better than either leaving race out altogether or clumsily including it where it doesn’t belong is having conversations about this right here. So thank you for helping to sharpen my focus and understanding of this.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

So if the racial remark isn’t a reference to class, let me repeat: What is it about the comment that was specifically “white”?

BradWagon
Subscriber

That article was obviously written in a way that acts like it cares about kids from poor families. We all know it’s false that the ONLY thing stopping poor teens from driving is that their insurance is $400 more a year. Article is obvious lobbying for the middle/upper class and to stir up hollow outrage over some injustice that doesn’t exist. The NMA knows the vast majority of teen drivers are middle to upper class and they know the vast majority of those teen drivers have expenses paid for by mom and dad. Yes this ignores those in lower demographics but that conversation was never applicable here in the first place.

Matthew in PDX
Guest
Matthew in PDX

Every single time I’ve done research into some insurance company “rort/gouge” I’ve discovered that the reason insurance companies decline coverage for certain risks is that the cost is sky high. Insurance companies don’t provide liability coverage for certain breeds of dog, because they get lots of claims against policies because of those breeds biting people. Same with teen drivers, they’re very risky.

When I was a teenager, comprehensive insurance for my car was prohibitively expensive, however, I could get insurance to cover the damage I would cause to others for a much more reasonable cost – which is what I did. I drove a beater, and if I had crashed it, I’d have walked away. This was in Australia with compulsory third party insurance (covers injuries to persons other than the liable driver) and universal health care, so the downside was manageable.

My younger brother was a teen driver, had a 5.0 liter V8; a work colleague of his was an insurance agent, so he got insurance through him. Unfortunately when he crashed into someone, it transpired that the work colleague took his premium but failed to forward the application to the insurance company until the crash. Of course the insurance company denied coverage – they didn’t write insurance for 17 year olds driving V8’s and the agent knew that. Hello small claims court.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Peter De Fazio is my Congressman and I generally adore him. However, he is simply wrong about the consequences of the work on I-105. While there are delays, they are relatively small and easily avoided. The surface streets are no more crowded than usual and, sadly, the bike paths are nearly empty.

I actually think the construction is a very good thing, not because I want to spend money on car-centered projects (I don’t), but because it is an application of inverse induced demand for as long as the construction continues. Reducing travel lanes creates temporary congestion that will at least temporarily reduce car trips. That congestion I see over my head on the bridge represents relief from the ever-expanding number of vehicle miles fouling my air, threatening pedestrians and creating noise pollution on all the surrounding roads.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

DeFazio is grandstanding. Why did he wait until two days after the election to criticize ODOT? We know the answer to that. What is not mentioned is that the letter was addressed to Tamey Baney, who has held the top position at ODOT for two days. She was so unpopular as Commissioner in Deschutes County that she did not even win her primary. She has no qualifications for her new job. Kate appointed her because she was an unemployed Democrat politician. Do you really think things will get any better in the next four years?

Let's Active
Guest
Let's Active

Tammy Baney has been an OTC commissioner since 2011. You are getting her mixed up with Julie Brown, who the Governor just named to the commission.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Love the NMA paranoia propaganda piece. Hilarious.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

It’s really disheartening to see so many articles and hear so many people opine on what a menace scooters (and bicycles) are. I found out the University of Oregon has put a six-month ban on e-scooters last week. They all express fear of collisions with people that will transfer minuscule amounts of momentum while accepting much greater harm from motorists. Funny how someone going 14 mph on a scooter is “zipping” but someone driving twice that speed is considered to be going very slowly. In the case of the UO, I see motorists daily who just push their way through intersections that are crowded with pedestrians. Is the UO considering banning cars from its core, as was done forty years ago? No, it’s banning e-scooters instead.

If people don’t want scooters on the sidewalks and bikes/scooters parked on them, perhaps it would be better to rein in the cars and replace car parking with secure scooter and bike parking rather than lament that some people are getting from A to B without creating the much larger hazard of using cars.

9watts
Subscriber

=Car head

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It might be different if cars were “zipping” along sidewalks and through pedestrian areas.

9watts
Subscriber

It happens. Quite a few people killed by someone driving on/onto sidewalks

BradWagon
Subscriber

Road with a sidewalk right next to it = pedestrian area.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Number of people killed by drivers driving on sidewalks each year: hundreds.

Number of people killed by scooters each year: zero.

Looks like cars are infinitely more dangerous, at least at this point.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Yes, yes. Leaving aside the obvious difference in sample sizes, we regard vehicles on the sidewalk as an aberration, rather than a typical mode of use.

9watts
Subscriber

But is ‘use’ the relevant comparison here? I thought we were discussing ‘injuries and deaths’ do to use of these (or any) piece of hardware on the sidewalk.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Is that what we were discussing?

9watts
Subscriber

If it is something else you should tell us.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Based on the data so far, it seems like we should allow scooters on sidewalks precisely because they are not a risk. My point in comparing them to motor vehicles, is that this mania around scooters is ridiculous. If we were concerned about pedestrian safety, we would do something about the motor vehicles that are actually killing and maiming thousands of pedestrians every year.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

There’s always mania around new things. It will pass.

David Hampsten
Guest

Hello, Kitty – I think I see your point. In much of Europe the old central areas, both streets and squares, of many cities are essentially a shared space between cars, pedestrians, transit, bicycles, and all other modes, all of whom are required to move at a more careful pace than usual, but everyone has more or less equal access. Cars drivers passing through know they have to slow to a crawl, but they also know that if they obey the rules, they WILL get through and not be blocked. Pedestrians and bicyclists know that transit has a higher priority and generally they give way. It’s a bit like a ballet of different modes, each following certain rules.

The closest approximation we get in the US and Canada is a mall parking lot at Christmas (or Walmart on any given weekday) where everyone moves cautiously at 5 mph.

Q
Guest
Q

Cars “zip” over sidewalks through pedestrian areas every time someone chooses to use a driveway.

q
Guest
q

Yes, every car that parked in a parking lot today drove over a sidewalk twice.

I’ve used that fact to PBOT to argue for woonerf-type streets, where cars and people walking mix. PBOT told me it was too dangerous to not segregate people walking onto sidewalks.
People look at you like you’re crazy if you tell them thousands of cars drove onto sidewalks downtown today.

PS
Guest
PS

It was a small part of the “how can men help” article, but is this “man-shoaling” really a thing?

X
Guest
X

Shoaling is equal opportunity. More like commuting-on-my-road-bike shoaling.

Q
Guest
Q

Definitely equal opportunity and more of a nice-weather phenomenon. If you find yourself getting shoaled often, try riding in worse weather.

PS
Guest
PS

yeah, I guess I can see that from the, “commuting on my city bike, downhill or flat, less than 4 miles, in all my work attire, as long as the temperature is between 50 and 70 degrees and it isn’t raining” crowd.

Andrea Brown
Guest
Andrea Brown

Yes.

David Burns
Guest
David Burns

I’ve also heard from female bike-commuters that some male cyclists actively block (speeding up and/or swerving in front of) women trying to pass.

I cannot imagine how self-absorbed one would have to be, to impede someone else from getting where they’re going, just to avoid getting ‘chicked’, but apparently it’s a thing.

Jordan F
Guest
Jordan F

1000% yes. My personal best was being manshoaled by a guy on a janky hybrid (I was riding a custom road bike) who then lectured me for being in the “wrong” place in the lane. When the light turned green, he hopped onto the sidewalk and continued to ride on the sidewalk for almost a mile, right next to the bike lane on NE 47th. CHAPEAU, SIR.

Seriously, though, it happens all the time. It doesn’t matter if I’m in spandex on a race bike or jeans on my basket bike. Some dude always has to come around me at red lights.

PS
Guest
PS

Okay, so this is a good example, the problem is more that a dude goes around folks waiting, particularly women, and then those women who he misjudged then end up passing him. This is highly inefficient and the frustration is understood. In the instance where a dude goes around to the front, then leaves the line faster than anyone else would just be an efficient use of the bike box, right?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Maybe people are using the bike box wrong and not pulling to the front? In which case, it sounds like “plugging” rather than “shoaling”. Or maybe I should call it “man-plugging” if I want to make sure I virtue-signal by calling out the patriarchy.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

If anything, I’d say I get “shoaled” by women more often than by men. I find that guys are less likely to straight-up shoal, and more likely to delay getting to the back of a line so they can retain momentum and pass aggressively at the intersection (usually on the wrong side). Still annoying, although if someone does that to me and at least has the decency to keep moving fast in front of me I try not to mind too much.

On the route I ride in Portland, shoaling is rarely the commuter-on-road-bike set (of which I’m a member, and I don’t shoal). I’d stereotype shoalers as riding either very upright cruisers/city bikes, e-bikes (of any style), or fat-tired mountain bikes. From what I can tell, it also rarely has anything to do with actually wanting to pass the people they’ve shoaled; usually they’re either obviously trying to conserve momentum and thought the light would be green sooner, or for some other reason didn’t think they’d be stopping at the light. You can usually tell from the awkward, unplanned dismount they do when they stop.

Resopmok
Guest
Resopmok

There was a time once when “leap-frog” was a game children used to play for fun.. but seriously, shoaling is a thing, and frankly I would’t he surprised it hard data supports the idea that men do it more than women. Commenters have already stated a few reasons people do it – to get to the front of the line, to conserve momentum – but perhaps a better question, is it really worth the rise in blood pressure of personal ire? Riding around angry is more dangerous for yourself and other road users as it takes away your ability to focus. Also, if you get shoaled and the rider is actually faster, what’s the real harm? If they are slower, maybe it’s with saying something at the next intersection, after passing them again..

People do lots of rude things in public everyday whether they realize it’s rude or not. I try to be kind and gentle to other road users, but I even shoaled a car yesterday because their lane position suggested a right turn, though they didn’t have their turn signal activated. Turns out they were going straight and I had positioned myself off their front left quarter. Given the opportunity, I would have apologized..

TLDR: shoaling can be annoying, but at least it’s not dangerous. Is it really worth picking a fight over?

Matt
Guest
Matt

> A college in Minnesota offers a bicycle fabrication degree. We need this in Portland!

Does UBI Portland not count?

https://www.bikeschool.com/

Jordan F
Guest
Jordan F

I mean, I guess he “left” the lane faster than me, but only because he hopped up on the sidewalk instead of continuing in the lane… He was not faster than me.

Anyway, that’s not the issue. The issue is that it’s annoying (and shitty) when men pull in front of women at stoplights because the men ASSUME they are faster than the women. Faster riders don’t have a right to be at the front of the line/to go as fast as they want all the time, and truly quick riders should know how to pass slower riders.

soren
Guest
soren

“Faster riders don’t have a right to be at the front of the line”

I agree but in my experience bike box rage is also an issue in Portland.

Some Portlanders feel that it is the height of rudeness to bypass a long line and occupy an empty bike box (or empty space on the left). In fact, a person biking once chased me down and screamed unintelligible things at me because they were so enraged at my use of a bike box. (I bypassed the bike lane entirely and entered the bike box from the larger lane.)

Given how many intersections have bike boxes or the new crosshatch buffered areas, this is not a trivial misunderstanding/conflict.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It’s in fact the height of correctness.

soren
Guest
soren

I agree that treating crosshatch buffers as bike boxes is ILLEGAL but also still the height of correctness. 🙂

https://imgur.com/a/4Xv1cjP

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Is it also shitty when men pull in front of other men because they assume they will be faster?

9watts
Subscriber

Not quite as bad.

David Hampsten
Guest

I personally find it very annoying. Yes, I’m a middle-aged big fat ugly dude sitting upright (at the “height of correctness” as Hello Kitty so humorously puts it) on my slow generic bike, but do you have to be an asshole with your custom-looking fast bike and block my access to cross the street? Of course, I’ll feel differently if some errant car driver illegally flies through the red light and hits you first, complete with a hanging dice tag that says “born to raise hell”…

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Yes. I have never caught up to someone at a light who wasn’t slower than me, and I still wait to pass when we’re moving and it’s safe to do so. I just think it’s rude to pull around someone who is stopped and stop in front of them.

Defazio climate change
Guest
Defazio climate change

Will Defazio and the dems join trump on a big climate crushing freeway bill in the name of infrastructure? Do his constituents in Eugene support this?

Ps
Guest
Ps

Yeah, I don’t get this. If you’re offended because someone passes you and correctly assumes they are faster than you, that is on you. I am not going to sit in bike traffic worried about making sure I don’t offend anyone, so I can later pass in the traffic lane.

mark smith
Guest
mark smith

Interstate 105 should have never, ever been built. First off, it’s not interstate. It’s a high speed monstrosity designed to move people around with no connection to others. It should be ripped out for a surface street and allowed to have houses and business build around it. It’s garbage. Glad Defazio highlighted this pork barrel highway so someone can get it on their radar for tear out.