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The Monday Roundup: Bike lane ROI, SUV insanity, emissions map, and more

Posted by on October 14th, 2019 at 10:45 am

This week’s roundup is sponsored by Portland-based personal injury law firm Forum Law Group.

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

Bike lane ROI: A new study published by BMJ found that spending a paltry $1,300 to add bike lanes to New York City streets has the public health equivalent of one more year of life at full health for every resident. That’s an insanely good ROI!

Latest on CRC 2.0: The Columbian checked in on the state of a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River and reports that BRT might be part of a grand compromise.

Beyond cars: I’ve been overjoyed lately with how “ban cars” has shifted from activist fringe to mainstream. Case in point: This NY Times piece on the success of the 14th Street bus-only lane says banning private cars in Manhattan is “less inconceivable” these days.

SUV insanity: Germany is leading the way in calling for the end of dangerous, gas-guzzling SUVs.

We should copy this: The City of Amsterdam is using cheap and simple methods like one-ways, narrowing, and barriers to further restrict car use in its city center.

“Controversial”? Really?: Bike Snob offers some excellent perspective on the current state of bicycling in America and how, like the Internet in 1998, it has potential to be so much more.

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Our “Stop Kindermoord” moment: Author Peter Norton takes a dive into a relatively unknown anti-car, traffic-safety movement in America in the 1950s. (Interesting to read this a few days after a 10-year-old boy was hit and killed by a truck driver while biking to school in Vancouver.)

What we see: The Oregonian’s Andrew Theen shared a bunch of interesting and worrisome things he’s come across on his daily bike commute — and the inner conflicts they stir in his mind.

Beyond two wheels: There’s no reason why cycling shouldn’t feel more open and accessible to people with disabilities. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Emissions map: NY Times published a detailed map of car and truck emissions for major American cities. Per person emissions are down 22% in Portland since 1980 and are up by 14% per person in Seattle by comparison.

Tweet of the Week: The BBC took a look at air quality on a typical school drop-off trip:

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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9watts
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Per capita emissions declines are OK, but we need to keep in mind that what really matters aren’t ratios (relative metrics) but the absolute reduction in emissions.

9watts
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“How “ban cars” has shifted from activist fringe to mainstream.”

Let’s see how long it takes for this to become acceptable here in the bikeportland comments. There has (at least in the past) been an outspoken contingent who delight in abusing anyone daring to suggest this.

Mick O
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Mick O

I don’t know about anyone else, but I vastly prefer 1998 Internet and dearly hope that bike lanes never become anything like 2019 Internet.

PDXCyclist
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PDXCyclist

For CRC/ I-5 bridge, opting for BRT is not ideal because the bus will be back in mixed traffic on both Washington and Oregon sides. With a dedicated rail ROW, it will be much faster and a more appealing mobility option.

It would be a poor use of planning to make it BRT only.

At least make it light rail plus BRT on the bridge so CTran and TriMet can both benefit. Then past the bridge, light rail can diverge and buses can go back to mixed lanes or shoulders.

Champs
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Champs

Germany can go after the SUV, but if its biggest automaker is greenwashing Dieselgate with electric cars bearing the slogan “dream bigger” then something’s got to give. I don’t think it’s going to be the increasing elderly and obese populations giving up easier trucklike boarding heights, much less cars themselves.

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

The Dutch idea of the “knip” that does not stop access by motor vehicles, but only through traffic is most ingenious!

Where could we use those in PDX?

EP
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EP

That Vancouver crash is tragic. Sounds like the boy rode into the path of the pickup, who didn’t have a stop sign. The guy driving the 4×4 Dodge Ram pickup truck was taking his child to school. There’s a lot of truth in that old driver’s ed bit about driving like a kid is going to run out of a driveway into the street, or ride through a stop sign, at any moment, especially in a neighborhood. I worry about the ever-increasing number of ever-larger pickups on the roads we all bike on. Survivability goes way down when you’re hit by that large and high of a vehicle. Drivers, slow down and stay safe.

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

Back to the CRC and the “compromise” proposal to swap out CTRAN BRT for LRT…I wonder how the new FEIS (or DEIS) will rank the current BRT that cannot reach its main downtown station (old 7th Street Transit Mall) because of ice / snow events? The current service to this station is also often blocked by bridge congestion traffic cascading as tailbacks into the City’s core and blocking this station. I assume the new CRC project would mitigate these issues for – at least for the first few years – but it is still more common problem with this mode as deployed in this region vs. LRT with dedicated “lanes”.