Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 18th, 2020 at 9:41 am
Welcome to the week. Today’s roundup is sponsored by Rev Nat’s Cider, now offering easy, same-day home delivery of yummy cider, beer and hard seltzer!
Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…
Boom time: “It’s fun, freeing, socially distant and good for you – no wonder bicycle usage has soared across the US,” says this good overview in The Guardian.
Streets are the new parks: What people in cities need for the foreseeable future is more space and streets have a lot of it that’s being wasted on one type of road user (car drivers). “Dynamite the asphalt, sod the land, plant trees and flowers, and do not look back,” says this provocative piece in The Atlantic.
Go beyond white, able-bodied males: This article in Forbes says if cars are to truly become guests in our cities, reformers must make sure that riders of bikes and scooters reflect the demographics of the entire community.
Biking in Europe: The Washington Post surveys how many major European cities are adapting to the pandemic era by giving bicycle riders more protected space.
E-bikes booming too: A bridge closure in Seattle is stoking a switch to e-bikes for many commuters.
Eat in the street: Bicycle riders could soon have another thing competing for street space as many cities (including Portland) begin to consider allowing cafes and restaurants to set up dining tables in traffic lanes. The Urbanist calls them “carfree streateries“.
Touchscreen dangers: The Economist highlights research into car “infotainment” screens that makes it clear stricter regulation (and maybe more old-fashioned knobs) are needed to avoid potentially deadly levels of distraction.
The real threat: Hopefully this new research finally puts the nail in the coffin of the “distracted pedestrian” myth that’s survived for way too long already.
“Everesting” trend: The idea of Everesting, 29,029 feet in one haul on the same section of hill has been around for years; but with pro racers unable to compete they’ve latched onto it with a new fervor and records are being set left and right. The latest is 7 hours, 42 minutes by MTBer Keegan Swenson.
Keep them riding: “Cycling and scootering should be as straightforward as taking the subway,” says this NY Daily News story on the need for “micromobility highways” as cities open back up.
Does Portland need this?: Interesting and promising new transportation reform group called Better Streets Chicago seems to me like a nice mix of Better Block PDX and Bike Loud PDX.
Choose your side: Will our cities become choked with more car users or be opened up with more bicycle and scooter users? The moment to dictate this future is “exceedingly rare” says this Slate writer, and “The stakes for cities could scarcely be higher.”
Tweets of the Week: Great mayors of great cities show us what mobility leadership looks like…
One reason so many Parisians are riding bikes these days is because their mayor Anne Hidalgo is an unabashed supporter and rider herself. When’s the last time a Portland City Hall denizen put out a public message while riding a bike? Modeling matters.
Paris Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo riding her bike to work… in the rain…. encouraging "all those who can ride a bicycle" to favor this mode of travel. 🚲
She’s doing her part by installing 400 miles of protected bike lanes across Paris.
— Jonathan Berk (@berkie1) May 11, 2020
And the London Mayor Sadiq Khan is talking massive carfree zones:
COVID-19 will fundamentally change the way we travel around our city.
That’s why today, @TfL and I are announcing our plans to make central London one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city in the world, increasing walking and cycling and improving our air quality.
— Mayor of London (gov.uk/coronavirus) (@MayorofLondon) May 15, 2020
Mayor Valérie Plante announces 37 miles of fully separated bike lanes and 23 miles of “pedestrian corridors”:
#COVID19 : Cet été, nous proposons à la population les Voies actives sécuritaires, qui feront de Montréal une ville agréable et sécuritaire où tous pourront se déplacer en respectant les règles de distanciation, redécouvrir leur ville et encourager nos commerçants. #polmtl pic.twitter.com/nXEySrnmJE
— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) May 15, 2020
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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