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The Monday Roundup: Bad modeling, respect the land, WFH FTW, and more

Posted by on August 31st, 2020 at 10:25 am

Welcome to the week. Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days.

Bad modeling: Vice takes a deep dive into the “broken algorithms” that create traffic models that dominate transportation politics — and why we should stop using them.

Racism in transit: An excellent overview of how transit agencies perpetuate systemic racism in everything from how they design their buses and trains to which routes the vehicles take.

Local retail climate: Bike shops are busier than ever in Portland but product shortages have made it hard for some to fully capitalize on the moment.

Troubling legislation: Micromobility advocates are worried that a bill regarding liability insurance being considered in California would effectively kill bike and scooter share.

Just say no: Transportation reformer Joe Cortright lays out his case against the $5 billion transportation funding package Metro hopes voters will approve in November.


Zero deaths: It’s not often we see the words “simple” and “end traffic fatalities” in the same sentence, but Strong Towns thinks they’ve have the magic formula.

Cargo bikes FTW: More major mainstream exposure for cargo bikes, which are booming in popularity thanks to the pandemic, addition of electric motors, and various other factors. (Don’t miss the part where they use my photo without permission, payment, or credit!)

E-bikes = more biking: Newly published research found that, “People who purchased an e-bike increased their bicycle use from 2.1 to 9.2 km per day on average, representing a change in bike as share of all transport from 17 to 49 percent.”

More space needed: There’s an effort afoot in NYC that reminds me of conversations we’ve had about the Hawthorne Bridge: People are calling on the DOT to make one outer lane of the Queensboro Bridge available to people on foot.

About the land: This call to respect and acknowledge native lands by an Indigenous mountain biker is beautiful, powerful and timely.

Health of micromobility: NACTO has completed a comprehensive count of bike and scooter-share rides across the country and the huge numbers show the crucial role these modes are having on urban transportation.

WFH tea leaf: In one of the clearest signals that commute habits will be forever altered by Covid-19, Pinterest just terminated a deal on a 490,000 new office in San Francisco.

Cars are the problem: Berlin was one of the first places to aggressively install pop-up bike lanes during the pandemic. Unfortunately a rise in single-occupancy vehicles (due to fears of public transit) has contributed to more fatal bike collisions than last year.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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Hello, KittymarkRoberta RoblespositivistKyle Banerjee Recent comment authors
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Kyle Banerjee

Regarding the e-bike article,

At follow-up, 25 percent of the e-bike owners reported to have owned it for less than a week, 20 percent between one and four weeks, 28 percent between 4 and 8 weeks, and 28 percent more than 8 weeks

There are other serious selection bias issues. Drawing conclusions from this is more than a stretch.

Regarding unauthorized image use, embedding a copyright statement in the EXIF or IPTC metadata within things you post might help. Maybe it’s in there before you upload, but I didn’t see anything when I downloaded a couple images off your main page


My fingers are crossed *extra* hard that one day we will get some competent transportation and urban planners within Metro- and people listen to them.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten

Berlin pop-up lanes: I’m sure it has more to do with translating German to English, but I find it interesting that such a progressive newspaper as the Manchester Guardian would refer to truck/bicycle crashes as “accidents”, repeatedly.


The vast majority of recent peer-reviewed studies find that people who work from home tend to have higher vehicle miles traveled (VMT) than people who drive to work.

A few examples:


Aloha Jonthan – mahalo nui loa, for sharing NACTO’s Health of Micromobility report for 2019. We at Biki Bikeshare had been long anticipating the release of it. (Made our day to see that Honolulu is still listed in the top 6 systems in the USA.)

The next NACTO report for 2020 will be interesting…what wth COVID19s shut down of many scooter services and the remaining dockless bike systems. [I doubt any shared micro mobility system will have more trips in 2020 than 2019…except perhaps for Citi Bike.]

Joseph E
Joseph E

Re: CNN Article “ Don’t miss the part where they use my photo without permission, payment, or credit!”

Have you contacted CNN Business? I hope they will pay for use of the photo. Please keep is updated and let us know if you need help from the community.


O-live also had a pretty interesting article about local bike shops and how they’re not benefiting from the bike boom as much as you might imagine. There was one comment that they make money from bike sales, not service, which is 180 degrees the opposite of what I had always assumed.


Re: Cars are the problem

I found it interesting that the increase in bicycle fatalities with Berlin’s new protected bike lanes shows the danger of intersections. Nearly all of the fatalities they cited in the article occurred at places that allowed for motor traffic to turn across the bike lane. Protected lanes promote a false sense of security for the riders who use them. It frustrates me that PBOT is a cheerleader for protected lanes while failing to acknowledge the true danger of intersections.