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The Monday Roundup: Convercycle, anti-speeding tech, a climate warning and more

Posted by on December 17th, 2018 at 7:30 am

Happy Monday everyone. Are you ready for the “atmospheric river” on tap to hit Portland tonight?

If things get crazy outside, at least you’ll have some great stories to read. Here are the most notable items we came across in the past seven days…

A walking tipping point? This NY Times opinion piece about how cities are finally coming to their senses after decades of building only for cars is positively heartwarming.

More highway cops in Oregon: Looks like state lawmakers might reach a big deal to rebuild the depleted Oregon State Police this coming session.

Anti-people planters: No one is taking credit for a mysterious row of empty concrete planters on SW 1st under the Morrison Bridge that appear to be aimed at preventing people from sleeping there.

Getting rid of highway relics: Saying private cars in cities will be the “cigarettes of the 21st century,” NY Mag has some advice for how New York should deal with the aging Brooklyn-Queens Expressway: Demolish it and move on.

Nifty rig: The new “Convercycle” is a bike that converts from standard urban commuter into long-tail cargo bike.

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Climate change warning: Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown tells NPR that the threats from climate change are real and present and that most politicians are completely clueless about it.

Climate emergency: The mayor of London has declared an official emergency to battle climate change and is pressing other government officials for money and attention to deal with the issue.

Speed limiting tech: The EU is considering devices that would set the speed of cars to the posted limit and lobbyists for carmakers are fighting it.

Setback in Seattle: A judge has thrown up yet another roadblock on the path to closing the infamous “Missing Link” segment of the Burke-Gilman Trail, saying a recent study of the project didn’t do enough to analyze economic impacts.

Drinking and homicide: Utah wants to lower the legal BAC threshold to .05 instead of the national level of .08. The state also plans to introduce a new felony of “automobile homicide” if you drive recklessly while drunk.

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

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billyjo
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billyjo

You really want to be compassionate with the homeless, and letting them sleep under a bridge might sound like a good situation, but the whole thing just becomes a huge mess, and the people living there become a security issue for the parking lot. Who wants to park next to a huge homeless camp. Would you lock up your bike there?

Eric Leifsdad
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Eric Leifsdad

I have never wanted to shorten the longtail for the sake of ride quality. Fitting on a bus bike rack maybe.

It’s too bad you have to unload the cargo first, maybe something that converts from a longtail to a tallbike would be able to keep the cargo in place.

9watts
Subscriber

“personal cars in cities the cigarettes of the 21st century, offensive to most, beloved by some, and perennially hard to kick.”

Hear, hear.
And note that as written this would include EVs: Traffic jams, parking demand, risk to life and limb, to name just the most obvious, are not limited to the gasoline varieties.

eawriste
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eawriste

Thank you for posting the article on the BQE! Polly has mixed feelings about it as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yc8z4TanvM

278 reminds me of an equally awful and somewhat redundant road in Pland that will sometimes admit they want gone, but have no ability to do anything about. What would happen if that stretch of the BQE were removed? People would use the Carey tunnel. What if I5 were removed? People would use the 405.

B. Carfree
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B. Carfree

While I’m pleased to see that the governor’s budget calls for an expansion of our depleted state police, I’m disappointed that the legislature doesn’t seem inclined to dedicate funding out of the gas tax to state police patrols. This just exacerbates the free ride that motorists get. If we can’t get motorists anywhere near obeying the law on the roads we have, we shouldn’t be giving ODOT billions to build more roads, imo.

In his last months before being (rightfully) shoved out of office, Governor Kitzhaber proposed returning state trooper funding to the gas tax, but never followed through. We should also fund emergency medical response out of gas tax funds, since such a high percentage of the calls they answer involve motorists. Let’s stop externalizing the actual costs of our societal driving addiction.

B. Carfree
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B. Carfree

I remember Governor Moonbeam. He put a bicycle division into CalTrans. He was progressive and, while imperfect, was a leader ahead of his time. Governor Brown, by contrast, is an active enemy of bicycles. He wouldn’t even sign a simple safe passing law. It’s hard to stomach his holier than though commentary on climate change while he has actively caused so much harm in terms of transportation emissions.

As a young politician, he was great. He didn’t age nearly as well as many of us had hoped. However, one thing he did maintain was an ability to stubbornly ignore criticism, which can be a form of political courage. For all my disagreements with his position on cycling, I do respect him for bravely stating his positions. In many respects, Governor Jerry Brown will be missed.

B. Carfree
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B. Carfree

The judge who blocked the bike path in Seattle because of a possibility that there will be insurance premium increases might want to consider how large those increases will be if we don’t tame the GHG emissions of cars.

dan
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dan

Yes – I don’t necessarily want one myself, but it’s brilliant.

X
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X

The Convercycle–hmmm. The design looks interesting, it’s a clever use of the space frame for a cargo holder. I’m still skeptical though. I know somebody who would break that thing three times in a week but he can also weld.

Often the limitation of a cargo bike is not the maximum weight but the available volume and the maximum dimensions of the cargo. Also it needs a removable floor or a proper bag. Ride half a block and your wine is gonna go right through those paper bags.

Even when folded the Convercycle wouldn’t fit properly on a bus rack I think? Or it would block the other space.

If you need a transit-friendly folding bike, Brompton FTW.