Tour de Lab September 1st

The Monday Roundup: Trump’s tariffs, SMILE lanes, language matters, and more

Posted by on May 13th, 2019 at 9:33 am

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

But first, a word from our sponsor: **This week’s roundup is sponsored by our friends at Treo Bike Tours in eastern Oregon, who encourage you to book your all-inclusive, dream cycling vacation today.**

Thanks, Trump: The trade war with China has begun and that means a 25% increase on imports from China that will include many bicycles and bike parts, a price increase that could “devastate” the industry.

The Economist knows: One of the world’s most respected publications offers a sober look at the massive subsidies propping up Uber/Lyft and private car use, and reveals the reckoning ahead as those subsidies begin to vanish. And what if Uber/Lyft put their weight behind congestion pricing as a way to keep their services price-competitive?

Freeway folly: Years after wasting $1 Billion to widen a freeway in Los Angeles, traffic has gotten… wait for it… worse.

Language matters: Outside magazine takes a dive into a topic near-and-dear to our hearts: How law enforcement and the media influence the public’s perception and understanding of crashes.

Oakland’s freeway fight: Seems like we’ve reached a point where it’s becoming more acceptable for politicians to question the primacy of urban freeways. This is a very good thing.

Cars instead of trees: Instead of removing car storage space, New York City will remove dozens of trees to make room for a new bikeway next to Prospect Park.

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Activism works: A councilmember in D.C. has introduced The Vision Zero Omnibus Act that would make protected bike lanes mandatory, prohibit right-turn-on-red, empower people to enforce bike lane laws, and more.

Revolution is coming: New York City transportation activists are some of the smartest, most dedicated in the country. They’ve done the research and have decided to wholeheartedly embrace e-scooters and the “micromobility revolution” as a key strategy to take back the streets from car drivers.

Scootless (no more) in Seattle: E-scooters are coming to Seattle and city officials recently hosted staff from the Portland Bureau of Transportation to seek advice.

SMILE Lanes: A University of Oregon planning professor asked his students to come up with a new name for “bike lanes” that reflects the need to welcome scooters and other devices into the space. They came up with Shared Micromobility Integration Lane with Emergency access, or SMILE lanes. (LIT Lanes is another one we like.)

Who breaks laws more: A new study from the Danish Cycling Embassy says bicycle riders break traffic laws at a far lower rate than car drivers.

Video of the Week: Author Peter Walker posits that while it’s annoying that some bicycle riders break traffic laws, it’s really more a distraction from much larger road safety problems:

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

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90 Comments
  • Avatar
    bikeninja May 13, 2019 at 10:36 am

    The bigger question for me than,how much will tariffs hurt the bike industry?, is how did we get to a place where this is an issue? Many years ago when I was a kid in a blue collar part of SW Portland all the kids rode US made Schwinn’s or Huffy’s. Why was this affordable then, but not now? Have the earnings of the average worker dropped so much this worker can only afford a bike made at slave wages? Has economic or monetary policy made it so it is no longer affordable to make basic things here in the U.S. that an ordinary person can buy? We better figure this fundamental question out as this trade war is just not a manifestation of the person in office, but the inevitable outcome of a rising power clashing with the once dominant power on the world stage.

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      John Lascurettes May 13, 2019 at 11:09 am

      An over-simplified, flippant, but non-judgmental answer: the WTO. It has its plusses and minuses.

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      soren May 13, 2019 at 12:03 pm

      Seattle turning to Portland for advice on e-scooters is really funny.

      The Portland Bureau of Transportation has continued its open hostility towards micromobility by levying absurdly high fees and enforcing ridiculous levels of scooter scarcity.

      A personal anecdote:
      I attempted to rent a scooter in order to give someone lessons. Due to the fact that only a couple of hundred scooters are available for this second “pilot” it took us tens of minutes to find a scooter. After ~7 minutes of “practice” we were charged $4.15. The reason for this sharp increase in price over the last pilot? New PBOT fees designed to destroy the utility of scooter use for anyone who is not wealthy (e.g. “equity”):

      *$80 per scooter fee
      *$0.25 per ride fee
      *$0.20 right of way fee

      Also please note that PBOT only charges Uber and Lyft a 50 cent per trip fee despite their disastrous negative externalities: https://bit.ly/2JhpKqH.

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        soren May 13, 2019 at 2:22 pm

        and that obviously should not have nested (for some reason the comments section gets stuck on the last post attempt — even after a refresh).

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      Jon May 13, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      Based on what I have read it looks like someone putting together iPhones or bike frames makes something like $3.60 per hour in China. As soon as Apple or Specialized can find 1,000,000 people here in the US that are willing to work for $4.50 per hour for 12 hours a day and live in a dorm room then all that work will be heading back to the USA. I don’t see that happening within my lifetime. At this time no legal resident is going to work for those wages especially when the average disability payment from the government is around $1200 per month . If you don’t want to compete on per hour wages you had best get training or education so that you can work for in a higher added value job. That is why the US exports aircraft, other complex high added value items, or farm products that take large capital outlays to harvest.

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    BradWagon May 13, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Cannot dislike “SMILE lanes” enough.

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      9watts May 13, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      Isn’t SMILE Lane redundant, like ATM Machine?

      Another reason not to like it: syntactically likely to lead to annoying verbal redundancy.

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        John Lascurettes May 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm

        It’ll be redundantly repetitive.

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        Glenn II May 13, 2019 at 2:24 pm

        So, SLLAVR lanes?

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      bikeninja May 13, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Another Ironic reason to call it a Smile Lane is in Honor of the Legendary Beach Boys Album “Smile” which was begun by Brian Wilson in 1966 but not completed until 45 years later. As we all fear this seems to be the timeline that PBOT is on to give us fully protected “Smile” lanes .

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      q May 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      I think I can make you hate “SMILE lanes” even more. Imagine the PBOT public service videos–with a City Commissioner wearing a helmet and reflective vest, standing with a bike in a bike lane, saying “Ride your bike today and put a SMILE in your day!” Then PBOT or the County can distribute free reflective vests with that slogan on them, handed out by smiling employees saying, “We put a SMILE in our day today. Put one in yours! Remember, it’s not a Bike Lane, it’s a SMILE!”

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 13, 2019 at 5:34 pm

        Thank you; I just crossed ipecac syrup off my shopping list.

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        John Lascurettes May 14, 2019 at 10:21 am

        “You’d be prettier if you SMILEd more.”

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          q May 14, 2019 at 12:57 pm

          OK, that’s even worse than mine.

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      mark May 13, 2019 at 5:36 pm

      Something like ‘Love Day,’ but not so lame.

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    BradWagon May 13, 2019 at 11:59 am

    A quick reaction to the title of that video: I’m sure some do, and rightly so. And not only does it not matter but that kind of mentality shift is the only way cycling will ever push past the extreme minority currently in American culture. The laws won’t change unless we push against and past them.

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    Toby Keith May 13, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Actually, Thanks Trump! We’ve been flooded with cheap foreign crap for years. Chris King, here I come.

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      JeffP May 13, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      Exactly; now perhaps US manufacturers will begin to find ways to mfr more economically and competitively in the states? Perhaps the highbrow marketing will lessen as well and address Bikeninja’s first post – not everyone needs the top of the line to get their kids on bike?

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        Toby Keith May 13, 2019 at 1:41 pm

        Well I’d agree stuff like Chris King is far from necessary (or affordable) for everyone. The good thing is there are lots used parts floating around out there. I’m sure some people on this forum have never bought new components.

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        BradWagon May 13, 2019 at 1:43 pm

        Top of the line, maybe not. But nice enough that 90% of people would say “For a kids bike?!”, I would argue is ultimately needed for bicycles to be reliable and high enough quality to be taken as a serious transportation method. I spent $150 on a balance bike for my kid instead of a POS from _____ big box store and everyone who sees it comments how its actually a good bike. My son and daughter and likely their younger cousins will all use it and it won’t break. He learns to lean it up nicely in the garage and not leave it outside, I never have to fiddle with it… You get what you pay for and most people seeing cycling as a novelty because they spend as little money as possible on them. Even a kids bike shouldn’t be thought of as just a toy.

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      soren May 13, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      “We’ve been flooded with cheap foreign crap for years”

      The vast majority of my bicycle components come from Taiwan which, unlike the USA, is a pluralistic democracy with universal healthcare, public higher education, a growing public housing system, and a strong labor movement. I personally prefer this “cheap crap” to that produced by a proto-fascist banana republic.

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        Toby Keith May 13, 2019 at 3:00 pm

        Alright soren we get it already. Down with USA!

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          Chris I May 14, 2019 at 9:19 am

          Blind national pride and ignorance got us where we are today. Thanks for sharing.

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            Toby Keith May 14, 2019 at 5:12 pm

            Hey Chris, if not Taiwan, what utopia do you call home? And thank *you* for sharing.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 13, 2019 at 3:54 pm

        And it’s virtually pollution free!

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        Jon May 13, 2019 at 7:52 pm

        Taiwan has very similar democracy, press freedom, economic freedom indices as the USA. It scores worse than the USA on the global corruption indices. It
        does better than the USA in GINI scores. I have relatives that live there. It is a wealthy country dependent on the USA to keep itself independent from China.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index

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        Pete May 14, 2019 at 12:35 pm

        Over 8K miles on my ‘cheap’ Taiwanese carbon frame (which hangs next to one of the last handmade-in-PA alloy Cannondale frames… built up with Taiwanese parts). Taiwan’s political agenda emphasizes environmental conservation and renewable energy; I can attest China is a known thief of American IP (including directly from the renewable energy company I work for – in my role I’ve seen it firsthand).

        Taiwan elected a progressive female President. China, on the other hand, is ruled by a dictator who is laughing that a US President who’ll need to kiss American ass to get elected soon enough thinks he has enough leverage to wage a trade war that will soon hit Americans’ pension funds and consumer goods prices.

        Fortunately China still needs soybeans.

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      Stephen Keller May 13, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Best ask Chris King who supplies their steel and aluminum bits.

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        hotrodder May 13, 2019 at 6:38 pm

        Have you been through the Chris King factory?

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      Johnny Bye Carter May 14, 2019 at 10:13 am

      I love tariffs. I’ll be happy when they’re high enough to equal the cost it would be to make it in the US. Meaning keep increasing the tariffs until we’re paying US minimum wage and production costs. We’ve been exploiting slave labor for too long. Keep tariffs low on things that aren’t available in the US and can’t be made here. That would mostly be rare earth elements.

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    Jim Lee May 13, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Pile of escoots outside Cleveland High School.

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    Dan A May 13, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    The officer in that video is PC Mark Hodson, of West Midlands Police fame.

    They are leading the way in the UK with a traffic enforcement philosophy of cracking down on those who would cause the most amount of harm to others, ie, non-VRUs.

    They have a ‘road harm reduction team’ (WMPRHRT), and Mark Hodson helped start a cool project to cut down on close passes:

    https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/news/video-shows-shock-close-pass-driver-latest-prosecuted-wmp-cycle-safety-scheme

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty May 13, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    RE Years after wasting $1 Billion to widen a freeway in Los Angeles, traffic has gotten…

    The question is not whether traffic has gotten better or worse after the project, but did it get better than in would have been without the project (and did it change enough to justify the cost and disruption)?

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      9watts May 13, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      Only if we skip over the by now well known fact of induced demand,

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 13, 2019 at 1:44 pm

        Induced demand is not a magic force that causes all road projects to immediately become worthless. In this case, the cause seems more likely to be “demand” combined with a lack of better alternatives.

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          Middle of the Road Guy May 13, 2019 at 1:49 pm

          induced demand! induced demand! induced demand!

          Seems like a parrotted response to most any road project.

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            9watts May 13, 2019 at 2:16 pm

            Perhaps you folks don’t understand how induced demand works?

            It is very much like your derisive characterization suggests. Lots of things work like this. Well intentioned ‘fixes’ don’t necessarily fix anything if you zoom out, and often make the problem worse: curbside recycling, CAFE standards, energy efficiency are all milder versions of this perversity, where the focus was on the wrong level/missed the larger context.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 13, 2019 at 5:30 pm

              If you’re arguing that LED bulbs “induce” us to use more electricity, you’re going to have to provide a citation.

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                9watts May 13, 2019 at 6:49 pm

                The literature on the Rebound Effect, Jevon’s Paradox, etc. goes back decades. My very first academic paper was on this subject 24 years ago. Wish I still had a copy.
                Here is a lively introduction to the topic with lots of what we used to call hot links.
                https://www.factory-magazin.de/en/news/item/artikel/bound-on-rebound-new-factory-magazine-rebound.html

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 14, 2019 at 5:21 pm

                I looked through a couple of those links, and could find nothing that made the case that we’d be using less energy if not for increased efficiency. It would be an interesting finding if the data supported it (we all enjoy counter-intuitive results), but I don’t think it does.

                If your argument is really that some efficiency gains are consumed by providing greater utility, you’re probably right, but I doubt it’s a causal effect, and, even if it was, we’re still better off for the increase in utility and the overall lower consumption.

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                9watts May 15, 2019 at 8:04 am

                “… the overall lower consumption.”

                I missed that part.
                Of course that is the assumption, but rarely evident when you actually look.

                Efficiency is not about lower consumption, just as CAFE stds. are not about lower consumption or curbside recycling is about reducing municipal solid waste. All of these are about fiddling with the ratios. Of the possible outcomes to this game-with-a-ratio, absolute reduction is but one, and the least common. Electricity consumption, fuel consumption, municipal solid waste had all, last time I checked, been increasing, notwithstanding the hype and enthusiasm around these policy approaches. And typically the per capita rate has also increased.

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              soren May 14, 2019 at 11:16 am

              “energy efficiency are all milder versions of this perversity, where the focus was on the wrong level/missed the larger context”

              http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/average-household-electricity-consumption

              Perhaps what’s driving the USA and Canada’s absurdly high electricity usage is not “fuller utilization of a cheaper resource” but rather subsidy of expensive resources. One might even call this allocation of energy in the USA…drum roll…inefficient.

              Jevon’s paradox also argues that we can’t make cars more efficient because everyone will simply drive their Prius more! Of course in the USA and Canada sales of efficient vehicles have entered a terminal tail spin and ‘Murricans are buying expensive and inefficient SUVs like there is no tomorrow.

              https://cleantechnica.com/files/2018/07/Toyota-Prius-Hybrid-US-Sales-2000-2017-V2-.png

              IMO, the love affair many environmentalists have with Jevon’s paradox is simply another example of USAnian dogmatic exceptionalism. The rest of the world may be able to conserve energy but the only option for us – oh so special – ‘murricans is to return to our idyllic machine-free agrarian roots.

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          PDXCyclist May 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm

          This is the same debate you all (not the same people except Middle of the road person) have over and over in the comments section lol. The fact is that road widenings increase VMT more than population growth would have increased road use otherwise, so yes, controlling for population growth, widening a road still causes more traffic than would have otherwise been present.

          Here’s an example of a report. There’s others too that control for population growth if you use Google Scholar. I only say this because it seems pointless for people to go back and forth in the comments section.

          Brookings Institute report: The most obvious reason traffic congestion has increased everywhere is population growth. In a wealthy nation, more people means more vehicles. But total vehicle mileage traveled has grown much faster than population. From 1980 to 2000, the total population of the United States rose 24 percent, but total vehicle miles traveled grew 80 percent because of more intensive use of each vehicle. The number of vehicles per 1,000 persons rose 14 percent and the number of miles driven per vehicle rose 24 percent. Even without any population gain in those two decades, miles driven would have risen 47 percent.

          Yes, other reports and studies exist. No I’m not going to do all your homework. Feel free to use Google. Yes induced demand may not be the only factor causing congestion. It is however a significant contributor. Can we set some ground assumptions we agree on so the comments section is a productive discussion instead of back-and-forth “no you’re wrong” comments? Or if you disagree at least provide a reputable citation and excerpt to make it a fruitful discussion.

          https://www.brookings.edu/research/traffic-why-its-getting-worse-what-government-can-do/

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            9watts May 13, 2019 at 4:40 pm

            Yes! Thank you!

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            El Biciclero May 13, 2019 at 5:37 pm

            “The fact is that road widenings increase VMT more than population growth would have increased road use otherwise”

            I’d also be interested in how road widening affects/effects local population growth. Don’t wider roads make undeveloped land more attractive for developers? Then aren’t those new developments attractive to people who want a newer home, and are willing to (now) drive farther to their same job? Is this where statistics meets differential equations?

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              Chris I May 14, 2019 at 9:26 am

              They absolutely do. If you enable shorter SOV commute times, more sprawling car-dependent housing will be built. People typically underestimate commute times, congestion, and commuting impacts on quality of life, but when the cases are extreme enough, even irrational people will consider other options.

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        Middle of the Road Guy May 13, 2019 at 1:48 pm

        Induced demand does not mean a need isn’t being met. Sure, congestion may be the same but at least there is more capacity.

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          9watts May 13, 2019 at 2:19 pm

          Except that need which you invoke is not fixed, is dependent on many variables, including available road capacity.

          Demand for cell phones similarly isn’t independent of the infrastructure, the devices, the monthly plans.

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          9watts May 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm

          #metoo does not mean a need isn’t being met. Sure, sexual violence may be the same but at least there is more awareness.

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          paikiala May 14, 2019 at 10:02 am

          Transportation is a need. Driving alone is a want. Roads for cars, typically with one person in them, is about as wasteful of limited tax revenues as you can get.
          Putting something you want (convenience) ahead of what others need (safety) is excessively selfish.

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        bikeninja May 13, 2019 at 2:51 pm

        Induced Demand is just a recently observed corollary to Jevons Paradox. This is a well known phenomenon in environmental economics that dates back to the 18th century. Jevons paradox is that when you make a machine or process more efficient its operation becomes cheaper so it applies to more things so it becomes more widespread and thus as a result of the improvement in efficiency, energy use as a whole goes up. Induced demand is that same thing with traffic flow substituted for efficiency.

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          9watts May 13, 2019 at 4:53 pm

          Yes. Precisely.

          Which is not to say there isn’t a cottage industry dedicated to smearing Jevons.
          Our local freeway apologists Would fit right in with them.

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      9watts May 13, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      “…did it change enough to justify the cost and disruption?”

      Surely you jest.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty May 13, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Only 5% of Danish cyclists break the law? That finding definitely does not hold in Portland!

    (Though I am confident the finding that drivers violate the law more frequently than cyclists does hold true; they put in far more miles (so more opportunities to break laws), they roll stop signs just as frequently as cyclists, and they are much more likely to speed.)

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      John Lascurettes May 13, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      Note, that 5% figure refers to when they have bike-dedicated facilities. The figure goes up where they have to share space with cars. Seems natural.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm

        True, but even without facilities, the figure offered was less than 15%.

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          John Lascurettes May 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm

          Their “no facilities” are probably still a lot better than ours — as is the hostility from drivers who are presumed at fault first in VRU collision cases. Just a hunch.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 13, 2019 at 1:55 pm

            Do you really blame hostility from drivers for bike riders breaking traffic laws?

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              John Lascurettes May 13, 2019 at 2:11 pm

              Sort of. The oft-cited reason for going on red on a bicycle is safety. It was eve used in that video in this roundup. If riders feel less directly threatened by drivers, then they’d feel less need to jump lights and so forth (not that some wouldn’t do it no matter what). And in the case of the Danes, yes, it is directly related because they said the most common rule breaking was riding on sidewalks when there were no separated facilities.

              The most frequently recorded transgression was bicycling on the sidewalk. Rule breaking by cyclists was twice as numerous in smaller cities which, in Denmark, have fewer cycleways. The new study had almost identical results to an earlier one carried out by the consulting firm Copenhagenize.

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                John Lascurettes May 13, 2019 at 2:19 pm

                From the video:

                The people that do jump red lights sometimes it’s because of the fear they have of something that’s perhaps happened to them previously, they might have had a close call with a vehicle they’re trying to get away from, they might well be on a [sidewalk] for that same reason as well. But most of the time, it’s a safety and it’s a self-preservation thing.

                Now, how prevalent do you think using a car for aggression is in the U.S. vs Denmark? One has a presumption of innocence for the driver plus a system that favors them in investigation. The other presumes a driver is at fault when injuring a VRU unless they can prove otherwise. So, yeah, I think it makes a difference.

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              Chris I May 14, 2019 at 9:30 am

              Absolutely. I choose to knowingly break the law several times in the area of 181st and the I-84 offramp, on down to Sandy Blvd in outer-east Portland. The designated bike connections put you in direct conflict with high-speed, distracted traffic flying off the freeway offramp. It is much safer to go against the light when you have a gap in traffic, cut through private parking lots, etc to avoid the 3ft wide bike lane next to 5 lanes of fast traffic with plenty of opportunities for left and right hooks. There are many places around the city where following the letter of the law will put you in greater danger.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 14, 2019 at 11:06 am

                Resorting to such an edge case demonstrates that the general argument for blaming drivers for bike riders breaking traffic law stretches credulity. The vast vast majority of cases of riders violating the law is a calculation that the increase in convenience outweighs the increase in danger and the increase in perception that cyclists are scofflaws.

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                John Lascurettes May 15, 2019 at 9:33 am

                It’s an influence, not the only influence.

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                idlebytes May 15, 2019 at 10:13 am

                HK so when provided with an actual example of where a rider might choose to break the law for safety you apply the label “edge case” and then make a generalization about all the other instances of cyclists breaking traffic law with nothing to back it up. That seems a bit hypocritical. Does every cyclist have to list every light they go through and why to convince you it’s possibly a matter of safety too? I mean you didn’t provide anything to support your assertion.

                I don’t know about you but getting out in front of cars that may want to turn right or where bike lanes are quite narrow feels a lot safer to me then waiting for the light and getting passed in an intersection too closely or right hooked.

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                Dan A May 15, 2019 at 11:12 am

                I was driving in downtown yesterday to pick up my wife, and stopped at a red light, where I needed to make a right turn. A cyclist pulled up next to me, so I stayed put instead of trying to turn on red. He surveyed, and then rolled through the red light, which made it a lot easier for me to turn afterwards. It worked extremely well.

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                q May 15, 2019 at 11:59 am

                That’s why when I drive, I also like the signals that allow pedestrians to walk first, and I like the “no turn on red” intersections. I don’t like trying to turn right on a red when people are standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross, or on a bike to my right waiting to go straight when the light changes. I can’t simultaneously look right to be sure they’re not moving, look up to be sure the light hasn’t changed, and look left to make sure the street’s clear, all while turning. But some drivers behind me hate that I’m delaying them by not turning on red.

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                soren May 15, 2019 at 4:00 pm

                Signals that allow pedestrians to proceed before the green are called “leading pedestrian intervals” and have been repeatedly shown to reduce serious injuries and fatalities for both pedestrians and cyclists. However, in Portland it’s illegal to use them when cycling. This is one of many examples where following the law is less safe than being a scofflaw.

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                Dan A May 16, 2019 at 11:57 am

                soren, you’ve convinced me to start taking advantage of these. I have one on my commute down Park Place out of the zoo, and it’s nice to have a little cushion between my bike and the cars behind me.

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                q May 16, 2019 at 12:18 pm

                What possible reason is there that bikes can’t go with pedestrians on those signals? Other than people driving think it’s not fair?

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                q May 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm

                I mean that bikes shouldn’t be allowed to go, since it’s illegal. Why not legalize bikes being able to proceed with people walking?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 16, 2019 at 12:38 pm

                That would be my preferred solution. It has the nice bonus of being easily framed as a safety issue, rather than a “bikes wanting special rules” issue.

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                Dan A May 16, 2019 at 2:47 pm

                It would be a win-win. Not sure what argument could be made against changing the law here.

                While I’m in the confessional, I also regularly lane split here:

                https://goo.gl/maps/2fDsNBZ3h97ZqrHT9

                The right lane is right-turn only, and the bike lane is right-turn only, but I’m trying to cross the road and ride up onto the sidewalk for crossing the Steel Bridge. The best place for bikes to be positioned here is right between the two lanes, which is out of the way of drivers and out of the path of right-turning vehicles.

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                soren May 17, 2019 at 1:31 pm

                In many cases safety-oriented scofflaw behavior is to the advantage of motorists who no longer have to wait for people cycling to cross (e.g. riding through on an LPI, splitting a right turn lane, using pedestrian infrastructure to make turns from a travel lane, jumping a light idaho stop-style, moving in front of vehicles at intersections etc).

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              Johnny Bye Carter May 14, 2019 at 10:34 am

              “Do you really blame hostility from drivers for bike riders breaking traffic laws?”

              Absolutely! Hostility from drivers is the main reason more people don’t bike.

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              El Biciclero May 15, 2019 at 4:44 pm

              If not outright hostility, then certainly inattentiveness or incompetence, and if not that, then just a cavalier attitude toward gambling with the safety of other people to “win” some time advantage, which is usually on the order of seconds saved—which seconds are usually then promptly lost at the next traffic control. The “house” (traffic controls and traffic itself) always wins, but gamblers gonna gamble, especially if it’s with somebody else’s, um, assets.

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              El Biciclero May 15, 2019 at 5:08 pm

              BOOT (Bicyclists Out Of Traffic) lanes?
              Forced User Confinement lanes?
              Dedicated, Easy-Access, Traveling Human lanes?
              Subservient User Contrition and Kow-tow lanes?
              Second-Class Riding or Even Walking lanes?
              Second-Class Riding And Parking lanes?
              Dedicated And Not Great Extravehicular Riding lanes?
              Discontinuous, Ubiquitously Misleading Bike lanes?

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                El Biciclero May 15, 2019 at 5:11 pm

                Well, dang it. Reply once, reply forever, it seems.

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    SD May 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    While we are changing bike lanes to something else, let’s change “lane” to “street.” This is more in line with the goal of separated infrastructure and drops the notion that active transport takes place in accessory “lanes.” If an Uber, delivery truck, ODOT sign or one of the other frequent objects is blocking the “street,” it is conveyed more clearly that they have obstructed traffic in a significant manner.

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    q May 13, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Bike lane? SMILE lane? Based on what I just saw while going past all the new striping on NE Halsey, the public has made their choice on what to call them:

    PARKING LANE

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    Jim Lee May 13, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    At 26th and Clinton count the number of cyclists who roll the four-way stop–octagons and flashing reds–versus the number of motorists doing the same.

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      Johnny Bye Carter May 14, 2019 at 10:39 am

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!

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    Glenn II May 13, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Not too crazy about the rendering in the Oakland/I-980 article, where a freeway cut is replaced by the equally despotic and inhuman modernist/brutalist “towers in the park” design that’s well past its shelf life but inexplicably remains everyone’s default architectural ambition…. BUT, that little detail aside, I’m excited to see whether they can pull off removing a freeway in California.

    Also worth a look is the linked article that lists 10 “freeways without futures” including ours truly: https://www.cnu.org/highways-boulevards/freeways-without-futures/2019

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      John Lascurettes May 14, 2019 at 1:07 am

      The Bay Area has removed more intra-city freeways than we have – both the Cypress Freeway in Oakland and the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco after the Loma-Prieta quake. Neither was rebuilt. And that article was wrong — I-880 was already there (but it did get widened later). Everyone thought the Embarcadero’s removal would lead to more traffic nightmares, but it was the exact opposite. First it removed an urban blight and one of the worst obstructions of one of the greatest views in the city, and the traffic never got worse.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty May 15, 2019 at 12:48 am

    Oakland’s Freeway Fight: The photo of the current highway shows 5ish lanes of traffic; the photo illustration of potential replacement buildings looks great, but the rendering at the bottom shows a post-highway replacement with a subway and 7 lanes of surface streets plus 2 lanes of parking (and nary a bike lane in sight). Is this what questioning the primacy of highways looks like?

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    q May 17, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    soren
    In many cases safety-oriented scofflaw behavior is to the advantage of motorists who no longer have to wait for people cycling to cross (e.g. riding through on an LPI, splitting a right turn lane, using pedestrian infrastructure to make turns from a travel lane, jumping a light idaho stop-style, moving in front of vehicles at intersections etc).Recommended 2

    Quote of the week for me. It turns the “bikes should follow the same rules of the road drivers do if they want to ride on our roads” stance upside down. DRIVERS are better off if people riding bikes DON’T follow all the same rules.

    It’s a simple observation that’s obvious once you read it. And it’s at the heart of so many issues.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty May 17, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      This may well be true, but getting people to understand this requires that they be rational, which few of us are. We are wired to resent others getting an “unfair advantage”, even if we derive some benefit as well.

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      El Biciclero May 18, 2019 at 10:38 am

      This is definitely true, and I’ve tried to convince my motorist friends for years that bike lanes are there to help them by “keeping bikes out of the way”. If road-makers could be convinced of this (which they likely already are), the danger would be that we fall into the trap of making motorist convenience the sole motivation for separated infrastructure. When what we want is infra that lets bicyclists (or scooters, or what-have-you) travel with relative ease, safety, and efficiency*, motorists usually only care that the non-motorized are “somewhere else”, and don’t care about the quality of that place, as long as they don’t have to pay attention to it.

      If we focus too much on herding non-motorists out of the way onto substandard (i.e., most existing) infrastructure, rather than providing “world-class” (whatever that means) infrastructure (and legal structure), then we’re still losing while allowing the motoring public to call us ungrateful, whining babies.

      *my formula for efficiency is roughly e = v*d, where v is velocity, and d is “directness”, where “directness” = 1/”circuitousness”. I don’t have to go 20 mph on a 15-ft shortcut that saves me a quarter-mile of circuitous routing, but I don’t want to go 8 mph on a route that is parallel to a street with a 20- or 30-mph speed limit. I definitely don’t want to be confined to 8 mph on a route that forces a lot of out-of-direction travel (unless it saves me time spent at signals or provides some other benefit).

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