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The Monday Roundup: Oh DeFazio, right turn rescission, Zwift scandal, and more

Posted by on October 7th, 2019 at 10:42 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the Chris King Open House. Coming this Saturday (10/12), the event is your chance to ogle the latest rigs from 18 custom bike makers from across the country while enjoying fine beer and food from the CK Cafe.

Welcome to the week.

I swear it’s not me pushing an agenda, there just happens to be a lot of anti-car stories in the news these days. I feel like we’ve reached a social tipping point — or at least a shift in the Overton Window — when it comes to questioning the dominance of driving in our lives.

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

Cars are death machines (her words, not mine): A powerful piece in the New York Times profiles a few of the many Americans whose lives have been forever altered by the most dangerous transportation mode every conceived and wonders why we still allow them to be operated so freely on our streets.

Stuff it FHWA: The feds say a rainbow-painted crosswalk in Ames, Iowa is dangerous and must be removed. City engineers disagree. Why on earth is the FHWA so opposed to painted crossings?

Portland’s not so bad: It felt good to get some perspective on Portland’s progress by reading what visiting experts took away from a recent study tour of our fair city (hint: they liked it).

Bike parking idea: A neighborhood outside London has a program where residents can request a secure, on-street, enclosed bike parking structure.

Hacked signs: “Cars Ruin Cities” was just one of several messages displayed on hacked road construction signs in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Another reason to drive less: LA Times article reveals that car tires are a major source of microplastics in the ocean.

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Oregon Senator oy vey: Republican Oregon Senator Herman Baertschiger thinks current climate trends are just a natural phenomenon and activism to stop it is just a way to scare people.

Oregon Congressman oy vey: We thought it was bad that Eugene’s Congressman Peter DeFazio didn’t support congestion pricing. Turns out he also prefers Hyperloop over high-speed rail, wants helmets on scooter riders, and thinks AVs are the future.

“Robo-doping”?: An indoor bike racer’s use of an souped-up bike was stripped of his e-sports title.

Track news: A relatively new velodrome in Boulder is on the chopping block as new ownership threatens to tear it down for good.

Right turn rescission: Did you know the Institute for Transportation Engineers rescinded right turn on red as a “recommended practice”. Seems like a big deal. Let’s ban it!

People spaces: Keeping with the national trend in questioning automobile supremacy in our cities, this Curbed article goes deep into the history of pedestrian malls in the U.S.

“Smart cars” aren’t: Another reason to be skeptical of “smart cars” being safer is that they still don’t work very well when it comes to avoiding humans.

Tweets of the Week: Two great reflections on why we should move past the auto age..

— 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

50 Comments
  • Avatar
    Jason H October 7, 2019 at 11:58 am

    I have been following Cameron Jeffers on YouTube for at least a couple years. He does come off as a little cocky sometimes, but he’s a genuinely enthusiastic cyclist and racer who gets a lot of people interested in cycling through his channel. Carlton Reid’s excruciatingly sensationalized headline, and your even worse tagline Jonathan are almost borderline slanderous compared to the actual facts of his case.

    First off it has NOTHING to do with taking any physical doping substances to cheat in Zwift/eSports racing events. “drug-soaked reputation” strongly insinuates this and is a little close to unethical reporting for my taste. Neither does it involve any use of bike on a trainer, “weight doping” (inaccurate reporting of weight in the software to gain a watts/KG advantage), or direct hacking of the software to misrepresent athlete power of physical measurements.

    Instead he is accused (and has taken responsibility for) of essentially a virtual equipment violation in a video game akin to simply borrowing a non-team issued bike in a regular race. Before he decided to race on Zwift competitively he took a shortcut through a simulator to earn an in-game reward of the Zwift “Tron Bike” which is a futuristic looking bike design with glowing hub less wheels. He did this just because he’s young and he thought the bike looked cool in the game. Normally this takes racking up 50,000 feet of virtual climbing in Zwift worlds to unlock. Once unlocked it is open to use in all Zwift riding and racing. The bike gives you virtual physics similar to other good virtual models of real-world aero bikes, and in fact isn’t even as fast as some bikes in-game such as a virtual Specialized Venge and Cervelo S5 that you can acquire much earlier in your game usage.

    It is the use of this Tron bike in the British virtual cycling championships, and Cams shortcut to earning it that are the sole source of his disqualification. Shortcutting to earn a legitimate in-game equipment reward is orders of magnitude different from what any reasonable person would imaging from reporting as virtual doping or hacking. Oh, and the ethical rules British Cycling wrote that Cam was DQ’ed on? They were written AFTER he had already acquired the virtual bike, so it’s an equipment violation that was retroactively applied!

    Should he have discontinued using that particular bike in-game once he began competitive virtual racing? Yes, absolutely. I’m disappointed in him for that clear lack of judgement. I even think that losing the virtual champions jersey is perhaps appropriate, but because these virtual championships are sanctioned by the British cycling federation Cam has actually received a 6 month ban from any real-world cycling events as well, which is just patently ridiculous that an equipment violation in a video game could have profound long-lasting effects on his career as a racing cyclist, which along with spurious, sensational reporting is tarring the reputation of the kind of good kid we need in our sport and activity. I’m sure the absolutist, zero tolerance zealots will arm flamethrowers and rave on that this is no different from being caught with vials of EPO, but it’s not, you absolutely know it’s not.

    Cameron’s side of this if you care to hear from him directly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk4tGTZ6TfY

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 7, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks for telling me about this Jason. I made a mistake in how I framed this piece and I shouldn’t have been so lazy and quick to judge this case. I’ve edited the headline and the blurb. Sorry.

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        Jason H October 7, 2019 at 12:46 pm

        I appreciate the contrition Jonathan. The headlines I’ve seen and the flaming on social media from all corners of the cycling-sphere I’ve seen all weekend just has me aggravated by the rush to judgement and willingness it seems to embellish beyond any relationship to the facts.

        I wish I hadn’t sounded as hot-tempered in the first couple paragraphs above to the original wording in the post. You do a fantastic job reporting and raising awareness of cycling issues in our area for everyone from racers to commuters to safety and climate advocates. I’d edit out the whiff of unethical journalism I called out if I could, that wasn’t really fair to you as it was mostly other reporting that frustrated me.

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      Austin October 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      Whoa – that is really interesting stuff (no sarcasm intended). Thank you for the info, I kept seeing headlines and thought it had something to do with a hidden motor or something.

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      middle of the road guy October 7, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      This was all covered pretty extensively on CyclingNews and the Guardian.

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      Chris I October 7, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      The complexity of this story comes off as fairly humorous to those of us with limited familiarity of this virtual cycling world. I knew that people were riding virtually, but had no idea that anyone took it seriously enough to have competitive races, especially considering how easy it would be to cheat in so many different ways.

      It’s all a bit sad, really. I wish we lived in a society where it was safe and socially acceptable to ride a bicycle outside. The booming popularity of virtual cycling seems to indicate that we are heading in the wrong direction.

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        middle of the road guy October 7, 2019 at 1:59 pm

        Chris I,

        it’s kind of crazy the lengths people will go to in order to compete in a game. I actually take the opposite approach – I add weight to my user profile to make the climbing more difficult in the virtual world.

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        middle of the road guy October 7, 2019 at 2:00 pm

        I’d like to further add, the virtual stuff really makes training more accessible in many ways. I can load a virtual climb of a massive mountain in Italy or France…something I cannot find here.

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        Jason H October 7, 2019 at 3:07 pm

        I know, I realized while writing that the complex details of the situation would probably sound quite absurd to anyone not very familiar with virtual cycling or the even more niche competitive side of it. It started as just a virtual training program, and the immersive 3D worlds were just a way to make indoor training less tedious. Of course like road bikes 100 years ago, or klunker downhillers 40 years ago, racers being racers they found a way to make it competitive and now people see it as a market to cash in on.

        Personally I just stick to the training/fitness side of using it and only subscribe to the Zwift program for 3-4 months a year. It’s only taking me off the road and trails on dark, wet dangerous days or if I were sick or had an injury. I agree it’s a shame some people are so afraid that they ride 100% indoors. But I think that some virtual riding and racing will introduce some riders who start there to venture out into the real world and experience the most rewarding terrain snd highest definition graphics you can get!

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      Jon October 8, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      An even more in depth analysis of the e-cheating case: https://cyclingtips.com/2019/10/the-weekly-spin-controversy-welcome-to-the-club-eracing/
      Sounds like he left some things out of his YouTube explanation.

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      Pete October 9, 2019 at 11:14 am

      Wait, is that a virtual podium girl e-kissing him on the cheek?

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    SuWonda October 7, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    YES on banning ‘free right turns’ !!! Donwtown Portland needs this immediately. In my entirely unscientific observations, if car is blocking the crosswalk with a green pedestrian signal it’s a driver trying for a free right, a driver who failed to make the free right or someone on their phone not paying attention to the blocked intersection as the light turns yellow. At the very least free right turns should be prohibited from 7am-7pm

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      Johnny Bye Carter October 8, 2019 at 11:15 am

      I’d like to start citing these people for violating ORS 811.550 (6) since stopping in a crosswalk is illegal.

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      q October 9, 2019 at 10:35 pm

      I’m also a big fan of no right turn on red, at any intersection with pedestrian activity, when I’m DRIVING. I won’t turn if I think the light may change soon and there are people waiting to cross, because I don’t want to be turning just as someone steps out in front of me. It’s also not easy–or really possible–to be looking left for people crossing late who are heading towards me, and also trying to look right to make sure nobody’s stepping into the crosswalk I’m about to turn into.

      But meanwhile, drivers behind will be angry and honking if you don’t turn, because they aren’t seeing or caring about pedestrians. The prohibition on red-light right turns takes all that conflict away.

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    Noel October 7, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    It’s my understanding that ‘right on red’ is governed by the Energy Policy & Conservation Act of 1975, and the requirement of State Energy Conservation Plans to include this policy:

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/6322
    (See Section C: Mandatory Features of Plans)

    I imagine this was an attempt at limiting idling as a clean air effort.

    I believe states are only eligible for federal funding for conservation programs if they have this policy. So, it’s unlikely for states to change the right turn on red law unless that requirement were updated at the federal level.

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      Noel October 7, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      But – I imagine the ITE recission could help states make the case that this policy is not ‘consistent with safety’.

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      GlowBoy October 8, 2019 at 4:56 am

      If we ban RTOR, can we get an exception for bicycles? Seems stupid for us to have to sit at a red light to turn from one right-side bike lane into another right-side bike lane, when there are no pedestrian conflicts. Careful what you wish for, folks.

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        El Biciclero October 8, 2019 at 1:51 pm

        I’ve often wondered, “if I turn right from one bike lane into another, have I even entered the intersection?”

        After reading the definitions of “bicycle lane” and “intersection“, it appears as though curbs make the difference. Since a bike lane is “adjacent” to the roadway, i.e., not a part of the roadway, then if an intersection is where two roadways meet, bike lanes wouldn’t be included. However, the definition of “intersection” states that if there are curbs, then the intersection includes anything bounded by the extended curb lines, which would include bike lanes. If there are NO curbs, then the intersection is bounded by extension of the “lateral boundary lines of the roadways”, which would seemingly NOT include bike lanes.

        According to ORS 811.260, “[a] driver facing a steady circular red signal light alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, then before entering the intersection.” (emphasis added).

        Does this mean that as long as I am turning from a bike lane into another bike lane, adjacent to roadways that have no curbs, stop lines, or marked crosswalks, I can make a right turn at a red light without even stopping?

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          GlowBoy October 10, 2019 at 2:08 pm

          I’ve always assumed that even if I’m right-turning from a bike lane into another bike lane, I am at least entering a corner of the intersection. In most cases you are still passing through two crosswalks to do it.

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            El Biciclero October 10, 2019 at 3:18 pm

            My question and “analysis” are somewhat facetious, but they do point up problems with the legal wording and definitions used in our laws. For example, according strictly to the definitions as given in the laws I referenced, a driver need not stop at an “intersection” until they have crossed the bike lane, as long as there are no curbs, marked crosswalks, or STOP lines. Generally (I know, eyeroll…), definitions that describe use of the highway by bicycle operators are contradictory and create unnecessary ambiguity that can be used against bicyclists in any situation. For example, a bicycle is considered a “vehicle” for the purposes of the ORS, the “roadway” is that portion of the highway that has been improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder, and bicycle lanes are adjacent to the roadway. So have bicycle lanes been improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel? Yes, if bicycles are vehicles, making bike lanes part of the “roadway”. Yet they are not part of the roadway if they are “adjacent to” the roadway. In court cases, it can make a difference whether or not a bicyclist was traveling “in the roadway”, or had “entered the intersection” at the time of some unfortunate event. Given these definitions, either side can argue either way, and there is enough wiggle room for the bicyclist to get consistently short-changed by a biased legal system.

            Even in cases where the definitions are clear, as in “roadway” is the traveled portion of the highway “exclusive of the shoulder“, and bicyclists, in the absence of a bike lane are to ride as close as “practicable” to the curb or edge of the roadway—yet are considered by many to be operating illegally if there is a paved shoulder that is not a bike lane, and they are not using it for their “vehicular travel” (which a shoulder is not “improved or designed” for).

            Don’t get me started on the right-side-only assumptions of ORS 814.420, and the growing use of left-side bike lanes…

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      Pete October 9, 2019 at 11:20 am

      This was my understanding as well, and at one point in time someone here pointed to the federal code verbiage that requires states to have ‘provisions for automobile drivers to turn right on red lights after stopping’. While states may have repercussions for doing away with it, cities are at liberty to ban it, such as New York City has done (and SF is considering).

      https://www.sfexaminer.com/the-city/sf-explores-banning-right-turns-at-red-lights

      https://laist.com/2019/05/30/what_would_happen_if_if_la_banned_right-on-red.php

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        GlowBoy October 10, 2019 at 2:11 pm

        My understanding has been that North Dakota (except for Alaska, about as opposite NYC as you can get) also bans RTOR statewide.

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    Bike Guy October 7, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    If we didn’t have cars, we wouldn’t need ’em.

    Glad to see the op-ed in the NYT. Couldn’t agree more.

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    soren October 7, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    European Vision Zero advocates:

    * Extensive research and intense lobbying spurred the EU to make “smart” speed limiters and “smart” automatic emergency braking mandatory for all vehicles by 2022:

    https://ecf.com/news-and-events/news/eu-mandatory-vehicle-regulations-pave-way-great-leap-cycling-safety

    USAnian “Zero Vision” advocates:

    American Auto Association study says that smart VRU systems are not worth doing and I believe them.

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    bikeninja October 7, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    The failure of automatic braking systems in the real world is certainly an impediment to the vision of self driving cars taking over. In addition, a careful study of Boeings problems with the 737Max are also a cautionary tale with regards to the problems of handing over control to autonomous systems. I have followed this in detail and the interaction between money saving, response to sensor failures and software choices is scary and this is on a piece of equipment that costs hundreds of millions. The tradeoffs of safety, reliability and redundancy that will have to be made to create an economical self driving car are truly terrifying. I think we better give up this thinking that self driving cars will fix our traffic and safety problems and just get rid of the dirty and dangerous things now.

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      Fred October 8, 2019 at 6:48 am

      Please don’t use the Boeing 737 MAX as a reason to avoid autonomous systems. The systems work just fine if done correctly – the 737 MAX is an example of a system done incorrectly. I’ll still take a well-engineered self-driving car over some person looking down at his cellphone.

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        Chris I October 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm

        Right, because if the world’s largest aircraft maker can make a mistake, we shouldn’t assume that car companies can make similar mistakes, right?

        Car companies prioritize profits over everything else, just like Boeing. They also don’t invest nearly as much into R&D, and have very little experience with automated systems at this stage. The 737 MAX is exactly why we should be really worried about augmented driving automation systems.

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          soren October 8, 2019 at 5:06 pm

          Expensive Nader-like regulation of sociopathic car companies by the EU has nothing to do with “profits”.

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      soren October 8, 2019 at 11:33 am

      The AEB pedestrian and cyclist detection systems mandated in the EU were specifically designed to detect pedestrians and cyclists. They are nothing like the AEB systems currently being installed in the USA. They also have @#$% all to do with “self driving”.

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    Chris I October 7, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    DeFazio needs to get primaried next time around. That guy is clueless.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 7, 2019 at 2:58 pm

      Have you heard of Doyle Canning? She’s running against him in 2020

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        Tim October 7, 2019 at 8:04 pm

        I’m not a fan of Rep. Defazio. But last I looked the district he represents doesn’t include PDX.
        Maybe worry about the politicians closer to home, like the ones YOU actually vote for??

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          B. Carfree October 7, 2019 at 8:26 pm

          DeFazio chairs the transportation committee and represents a big chunk of Oregon, including much of the south coast. That’s rather close to home for people who vote in PDX but likely ride all over and are impacted by the bills he allows to move through his House committee.

          Besides, in case you haven’t noticed, political parties in smallish states like Oregon tend to be rather club like. If Peter is successfully retired by a young primary challenger, it’s likely to change the tune sung by all D politicians in the state.

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          Mike October 8, 2019 at 3:14 pm

          Yeah! Only people from Portland should read this blog. And they should only be worried about their politicians. And only their air and water too!

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        Mike Quigley October 8, 2019 at 5:33 am

        Doyle is a community activist/lawyer who wants to tackle climate change, and supports bicycling/pedestrian infrastructure. DeFazio is bankrolled by Big Timber and Big Oil, although he’s a lot better on environmental issues than most of ’em. The real issue is getting rid of the “old guard” in Congress. And until that happens nothing else will change.

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          Chris I October 8, 2019 at 8:43 am

          Based on his comments in the above article, it sounds like Uber/Lyft are also funding him. The fact that he argues for ZERO regulation on App-Taxi companies is very telling.

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    Fred October 7, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Here’s a terrific article about what Swiss engineers are doing to privilege mobility for all over driving SOVs:

    https://www.citylab.com/perspective/2019/09/urban-planning-zurich-public-transit-street-design-traffic/599011/

    This article made me realize how privileged motor vehicles are in the US!

    Maybe for next week’s roundup?

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    Al October 7, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Re: the microplastics from car tires article, I imagine this extends to bicycle tires as well, albeit probably at a slower rate. Have you found anything similar on the subject? I recall seeing an article about Continental(?) working on a non-petroleum based tire

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      turnips October 7, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      dandelion rubber. they call it taraxagum. I guess that’s not the worst pun I’ve seen in commerce…

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      GlowBoy October 8, 2019 at 5:03 am

      Of course the microplastics-from-tires issue would apply to bicycle tires and bus tires too. Shifting from cars to other vehicles won’t eliminate this problem, but would drastically reduce it.

      Stroller wheels too! We took our first child out for long nightly walks around the Brooklyn neighborhood, literally wearing out the wheels on our stroller in the process. We estimated that we put about 1000 miles on it in the process. But that discharged almost infinitely less microplastic (not to mention CO2 and Benzene, which hadn’t been eliminated from Oregon’s gas at the time) into the environment than driving the little one around to induce sleep – which a LOT of American parents are known to do.

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    Toby Keith October 7, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Fear tactics to extract $$$. Someone get Greta on plane back over here immediately!

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    Asher Atkinson October 8, 2019 at 12:56 am

    Re: ‘smart cars’ aren’t….

    My headline would be more like ‘nascent safety technology already significantly effective in entry level cars’.

    There a lot to consider in the study. Key points for me are that it is limited to four cars from the prior model year. It doesn’t include VW/Audi, Volvo, Subura, Ford, and Mercedes to name a few others known for safety. Yet with this small sample of ADAS equipped cars in ‘optimal’ daylight conditions, 4 in 10 direct forward collisions when the car was traveling at 20mph were prevented. In ‘challenging’ situations (child darting out between cars when approached at 20mph and acknowledged to be beyond the response abilities of drivers) 11% of collisions were avoided and an additional 25% had the impact speed reduced by 5.6mph.

    In the scenarios I mention, the results are no where near perfect. Perhaps this is not good enough for armchair critics who want perfection at the onset, but I see this as an astonishing feat.

    When setting averages aside the study reveals a $24k Honda Accord stopped 4 out of 5 times at 20mph, while a $40k Tesla 3 barely slowed. So clearly some systems are more effective than others. But, importantly, some are highly effective in limited scenarios. This fact makes me excited, not skeptical.

    We gush over the hard fought installation of a few blocks of plastic bollards while poo-pooing the fact that 300,000 new Honda Accords will replace unassisted and dismally ineffective vehicles in the US this year. These Accords will join about 15 million other new cars in 2019 that need study, but represent incremental and significant improvements over what they replace, regardless of current limitations.

    Couple this with the fact ADAS technology has cost the automotive industry billions in speculative investment, it required thousands of mission driven engineers, and in about four years it is already common on entry level vehicles without much increase in cost. To me that’s nearly a miracle.

    Safety advocates should applaud this technology, rather than dismiss it. It is working today, its deployment asked nothing of you, and it costs nothing to the tax payer. Fast, effective, and free – why the pouting. We need is more of it, and especially with uniform testing standards and sticker printed results applied to all vehicles. Focus on achieving that instead of groveling for modest and unmeasurable infrastructure improvements from dysfunctional local government if real and broadly distributed results are the goal.

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      Chris I October 8, 2019 at 8:52 am

      The issue is that these driver assist systems are increasing distracted driving, which increases the likelihood of crashes in the first place. We are at a dangerous stage in automation, where systems have partial functionality. They seem to work just fine seeing large objects in good weather, but do not function well in poor weather, or with smaller objects (pedestrians, cyclists, children). Just as we saw with the 737 MAX, partial automation can be deadly in untrained hands.

      https://www.automotive-fleet.com/278764/driver-assist-tech-can-increase-distraction

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        Johnny Bye Carter October 8, 2019 at 11:35 am

        Pilots have had partial automation for a long time.

        The difference is that they’re held to a strict liability standard.

        We could easily have huge safety improvements in getting drivers to pay attention by forcing them to have real consequences for their negligence. It’s still the wild west out here.

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        Asher Atkinson October 8, 2019 at 11:49 pm

        The link supporting the assertion that driver assist features are increasing distracted driving refers to an online survey completed by 1,057 owners of normal cars, compared with interviews of 15 owners of ‘high tech’ cars, meaning cars with driver assist features. Responses of the 15 owners were extrapolated to conclude they are 4-5% more distracted than the 1,057 baseline drivers, self reported to be distracted up to 39% of the time.

        I’m not a statistician, and I may misunderstand the methodology, but isn’t a single response from a pool of 15 weighted at 6.66%? Regardless, let’s assume the survey has statistical rigor and indeed there is a 5% increase in drivers ‘feeling’ distracted with ADAS on board. Does this slight increase completely negate the limited, though measurable, mitigations these systems can achieve for the 44% population of distracted drivers? Keep in, the study measures performance, and is not survey of feelings. It found a select entry level car today can eliminate direct forward collisions at 20mph 80% of the time. It found the same car can eliminate, or significantly reduce, collision impact in the ‘child darting’ scenario (where distraction is largely irrelevant) 80% of the time at 20mph and 20% of time at 30mph. Admittedly, I’m cherry picking the results, but my point is to show what is both possible and on the road today.

        Impressions that we are at a dangerous stage of automation misreads how innovations around safety progress. There is not some infliction point where results shift in trend from good to bad. Rther there is a consistent trend from good to better. Progress in incremental, not abrupt. Aviation, as you cite, never went though a dangerous stage in safety, it has only seen steady incremental improvement in deaths per passenger mile over decades. Car safety for those in and around follows a similar path. Car companies are achieving results, not vision zero committees, and I want their current offerings replacing older stock on the road ASAP, regardless of distracted driving concerns. Rather than vilifying car companies and being skeptical of the safety innovations they create, I suggest we understand and embrace the technology and direct significant energy at making it a larger part of the solution.

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    GlowBoy October 8, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Are velodromes endangered? There’s an article here about one in Boulder at risk, and of course there’s no guarantee that Alpenrose will keep going long-term. Here in MN the National Sports Center velodrome just closed, with the site to be redeveloped by a local school district. Is there a larger pattern here of velodromes located on historically underused real estate now giving way to development?

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 8, 2019 at 9:59 am

      velodromes have always been endangered. it’s a tough business model. and this is america, where cycling is widely disrespected in public/politics which makes creating a business case for velodromes that much harder.

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        Al October 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

        While I agree with both posts, I would point out that the Boulder situation differs a little from Alpenrose because the Denver metro area will still have a velodrome after the Boulder one closes. If Alpenrose were to close, the closest velodrome to the Portland metro area would be in Redmond, WA, a 4 hour drive away. Residents of Denver would still have access to the velodrome in Colorado Springs about an hours drive away.

        It’s time these facilities are publicly financed the way baseball diamonds or skate parks are. Baseball diamonds especially are idle most of the year unless you count people letting their dogs off leash in them.

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          Pete October 9, 2019 at 11:30 am

          Imagine if local cyclists could bully Beaverton by threatening to move to Las Vegas if they didn’t act to save Alpenrose (like what the Raiders and A’s have done with Oakland)?

          Sigh, one can dream.

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    ChadwickF October 8, 2019 at 10:59 am

    We’d take 2 of those bike lockers & put them right outside our house.
    Anyone keen to figuring out how to work with the city to bring these to Portland neighborhoods? Seems like there would be need for something like this here. I’m down to volunteer some of my time. Thanks.

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