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The Monday Roundup: Law-breaking philosophy, WePark, Baltimore blues, and more

Posted by on May 6th, 2019 at 11:04 am


This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by the Community Cycling Center, who invites you to their 25th anniversary Momentum Gathering this Friday May 10th!

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

Safely breaking the law: This excellent piece from David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington says that not all traffic laws are equal and pretending it’s safer for bicycle users to follow them is spurious.

Car storage is too cheap: WePark is a new initiative that aims to highlight the value of curbside real estate (a.k.a. on-street parking) and how absurd it is to give it away so cheaply to private car storage.

Bad Baltimore: When a politician says bicycling infrastructure must “work for all,” you know you’re about to get shafted. RIP Baltimore protected bike lane.

Welcome, scooter comrades: Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance is welcoming e-scooters with open arms in hopes the new two-wheelers can join their fight against auto users for more dedicated roadway space.

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L.A.’s new bikeway: Los Angeles has opened up a two-way protected bike lane on a major downtown street.

Mode shift goals are no longer enough: The world’s most iconic cycling city has announced plans to completely ban diesel and gas-powered vehicles by 2030.

Racing’s “Unicorn Prince”: Noted sportswriter Jason Gay has written a profile of the greatest bicycle racer of the current era: The incomparable Mathieu van der Poel.

Traffic injustice: A methodology that connected police data on traffic crashes to hospital records showed that older, lower-income, and people with black/brown skin are more often victims of traffic violence in San Francisco.

Protection matters: Not sure if we’ve shared this yet; but it bears repeating: New research shows the importance of physical protection (not parked cars, not paint) when it comes to bikeways.

Typical selfishness: Authorities in Germany have seized 120 high-end supercars that were allegedly racing on open roads at speeds up to 155 mph.

E-bikes for the win: I would love to see what would happen on our streets if we had access to high-performance, dockless electric bikes that could go 30 mph. How about a pilot of these PBOT?

— 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 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

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turnips
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turnips

e-bike link isn’t right.

bikeninja
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bikeninja

I think this fuzzy line between ebikes and electric mopeds is a problem. There is nothing wrong with either one, but at some point an ebike becomes an electric moped and should be driven in the car lanes only and not parked in bike parking. The other day I locked my bike up next to an ebike with a giant vertical battery behind the seat post ( just like the NYC delivery bikes). The pedal drive train looked it was just for show . It had about a 30mm bottom bracket, a stamped front cog, and tiny molded pedals that looked like they came off a kids trike. It was an electric moped with a fake bike facade.

Champs
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Champs

At 20MPH, you’re an elite sprinter, a faster-than-average cyclist, and extremely unlikely to have a fatal traffic collision. Just a thought here, but it seems like our bodies and brains are only evolved for the kind of speeds that humans can run.

Whatever good there is in a 30MPH e-bike, it is hard to imagine it outweighing the bad.

CaptainKarma
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CaptainKarma

Sorry e-bikes fans, it’s time for Motorized Bicycles to be licensed, registered, and insured. I can imagine a fair number of these belonging to persons who don’t own a car, therefore are not insured for liability, at all. I can also imagine a mamma and two babies in a stroller using the bike path on Powell (no sidewalk available) getting cut down by someone using the bike lane at 30 mph. I’m going to begin lobbying city, state & federal reps.

q
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q

The 30 mph ebikes certainly present complications for classification, where they should ride, etc. due to their speed. But it seems like the complications and problems arise if they’re viewed as bikes. That is, I’ve never had a problem with 20 mph ebikes in a bike lane, or going past me when I’m walking my dog on the Willamette Greenway Trail. But I don’t think 30 mph ebikes should mix with people on a trail in a park, or in a busy bike lane. You could theoretically have a 20 mph speed limit for them in those places, but I’m not sure that would work.

But if they’re on the street, as a replacement for a car, why not? The extra 10 mph is significant because it means people can ride in the lane on most streets, like a moped, scooter (Vespa-type), etc.

Basically, they seem worse than bikes but better than cars.