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The Monday Roundup: Speeder crackdown, climate and Covid, bike boom, and more

Posted by on April 20th, 2020 at 11:21 am

The Monday Roundup is sponsored by WesternBikeworks.com, the local source for all your cycling needs.

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

Catch them speeders: A new enforcement detail has been created in London to focus specifically on high-risk speeders who are taking advantage of empty streets.

New Zealand’s pandemic streets response: Imagine living in a country where the head of transportation is a regular bike rider who steps up to subsidize bike lanes and sidewalks to create more safety and space during the coronavirus lockdown.

“Fragility” of car-dominant cities: The nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute says the coronavirus has exposed how fragile our auto-centric cities are and creates even more urgency to create places where cars are not needed.

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No car, no service: This past week we saw several examples of drive-thru health and other virus-related services that explicitly denied access to people without cars.

No tour, no cycling economy? In many ways, the Tour de France is the sun in the cycling industry ecosystem and some fear that if it doesn’t happen things could go sideways very quickly.

More pressure on Portland leaders: “I find it very insulting that our leaders think that we are unruly citizens who are going to start throwing block parties and licking each other’s faces because a street opened up,” said Portlander Sam Balto in this Portland Monthly article.

Seattle’s walking boom: Older people in Seattle are starting to walk more during the lockdown and the ones profiled in this article think their city should create safer streets so they can continue to do so post-pandemic.

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Making it stick: “Right now, we have an incredible opportunity to reimagine the future of cities…How can communities like the Bronx, which has one of the worst asthma rates in the state, go back to diesel trucks polluting the air?,” says an advocate from New York City in this article from E&E News.

Easier to change?: “When people see how much easier it is to breathe outside, I think it will make it harder for decision-makers to avoid taking steps to make this norm, not the exception,” quotes a researcher in this Fast Company article about dramatic declines in air pollution.

Climate and Covid: “We need to design the stimulus not only to help the U.S. economy recover but to also become more resilient to the climate crisis,” according to this op-ed in the NY Times.

Government that works: “Councils [in London] can now cut red tape governing temporary road closures. This could help people walk and cycle whilst social distancing,” says an article just published by the BBC.

Video of the Week: The great Clarence Eckerson of Streetfilms has footage of New York City streets before-and-after the lockdown and says, “Coronavirus has changed our streets and we need to heed those lessons.”

— 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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Zach
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Zach

Legitimate question: What will it take to convince Eudaly to create more bike lanes and open streets?

Dave
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Dave

I’m a bike business owner a (very) former racer, a racing fan and I say if pro racing dries up and blows away it will be no loss at all for participant cycling and in fact may be beneficial. Most riders’ bike use and cycling experience have as little to do with pro racing as……….as………..Donald Trump’s speeches do with reality. Racing consciousness gets in the way of practical product and as much as I hate worrying about perceptions, the average cager’s perception of cyclists in general. Maybe it’s a sport whose time has come and gone.

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

If she were mayor she could do it instantly.

But now if Wheeler does not like what she does he could yank PBOT from her.

Same thing governs the Rose Quarter I 5 expansion.

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

David Hampsten
The mayor hires and fires bureau directors and sometimes some of the other senior staff, as well as assigns bureaus to each of the other four councilors, but yeah, his or her power is pretty limited.Recommended 0

Depends on the mayor.

I’ve watched every mayor in council from Goldschmidt to Wheeler.

Most accomplished, Vera. She got many things done in her 12 years.

Power is in the office if the occupant knows how to use it.

As she remarked to me once while waiting for the streetcar, “Don’t forget the legislature!”

Ran that pretty well too, not at all like the present dingbats.

todd.boulanger
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todd.boulanger

Regarding the article on more seniors walking…I went out on Saturday sunset for a quiet walk in my old neighborhood and I could not believe how many people were walking around…folks I never used to see…there were enough clusters of walkers that I found it impossible to be socially distant without walking in the street or way into private property.

It got me thinking that for neighborhoods with sidewalks on both sides of the street – perhaps we need a national (international) adoption of only walking not he sidewalk that allows you to face traffic thus keeping flows in one direction to minimize “COVID19 Congestion” on sidewalks. This would reduce the stress especially for pedestrian that choose to not wear a mask at this point of the health emergency.