Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

The Monday Roundup: Free cars, e-bikes in the forest, indoor cycling outbreak, and more

Posted by on October 19th, 2020 at 10:35 am

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

Give them good cars: This article from Fast Company might give enlistees of the War on Cars pause. It speaks to an issue I think about a lot: How do we make good decisions in the transition between where we are and where we want to be.

Whose streets?: The pandemic and an entrenched bias against bicycles by police in a major city in India have forced a major debate about how to best utilize road space.

Bikes in the forest: Not to be outdone by the Department of Interior (who just released new electric bike policies) the U.S. Forest Service is seeking public input on how to regulate battery-powered bikes on their land.

Great news: An anti-tax activist’s effort to cut car-tab taxes raised by lawmakers to pay for transportation infrastructure was struck down by the Washington Supreme Court.

The indoor cycling bug: Indoor cycling is all the rage, but please promise me you won’t do it indoors with a bunch of other people like these unfortunate Canadians did.

Advertisement

Less driving is key: T4 America has a new report to add to your toolkit that lays out how land-use and transportation are essential to the climate fight.

Driving while Black: New PBS special examines the role of driving and cars on the life of Black people in America.

“Jaywalking,” ugh: Sort of infuriating that in 2020 advocates like author Angie Schmitt and urban planner Charles T. Brown are still fighting against a concept created by the auto industry to get non-driving people out of the way.

Car culture: This is a fascinating look at the very popular trend of fast and loud cars and their owners and fans who meet up late at night and do crazy stuff. Focus is on New York City but the same thing happens a lot in Portland too.

A welcome image: This week’s New Yorker cover is fantastic and they even shared a fun interview with its creator, R. Kikuo Johnson.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

33
Leave a Reply

avatar
8 Comment threads
25 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
18 Comment authors
Mike HealeyLynnXRiveloBicycling Al Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
capthaddock
Guest
capthaddock

The subsidized car thing is a classic example of how our systems have worked to disenfranchise BIPOC and the poor at all levels, and thusly create self-reinforcing outcomes. In any other scope, I would absolutely oppose such an idea in general (which is not to say I oppose anti-poverty programs), but given how hard it is to commute by bicycle or bus in meaningful timelines (anything more than 30 – 45 minutes), even more so if you’ve got kids in school and your work places are widely dispersed. All of this to say, I think here in the U.S. while automobile ownership is a poverty trap (car ownership is so expensive when it comes down to it) and yet given how long *edit* and/or difficult */edit* it can take to commute *edit* by bus / bicycle */edit*, it only makes sense to have some kind of program like this in place.

Steve Hash
Guest
Steve Hash

I could not be more excited for the potential of off-road eBike access, but I am concerned about Class 3 bikes (pedal assist up to 28 mph) being allowed.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

New Yorker cover: I must confess to being a bit worried by the person carrying their hot coffee in their left hand, biking in a crowd while crossing the bridge.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Car Culture: Yeah, we get the same thing here in Greensboro NC, plus the loud motorcycles, pretty much from sundown to 3 am every night, especially after the colleges reopened but had all their classes online. Students no longer need to attend classes, so why sleep at night? And yet the bars and nightclubs are closed at 11 pm per state Covid-19 restrictions, so there’s about 3-4 hours of impromptu street parties. And of course we get police and ambulance sirens until 3 am too, adding their noise to the mix.

Pandemic or no pandemic, the public needs outlets to burn off their energy or angst, and if the local authorities ban all the usual outlets, then humans will find alternatives, usually very loud and harmful ones at that. It was interesting how few participants in the NY Times article were wearing masks or social distancing.

Erin M.
Guest
Erin M.

I’d love to see widespread subsidization of e-bikes for low-income people that live in cities. Pedal-assist bikes have the potential to make cycling much more useful, accessible and conventient for loads of people, while still having huge environmental and health benefits. And they’re much cheaper than cars, making it easier to reach a larger number of people.

todd/boulanger
Guest
todd/boulanger

In the article on Jay Walking: “Prior to the emergence of cars in cities, no such concept existed;” but “Jay Driver” was created to describe the tsunami of poorly trained / uncertified motor vehicle operators once private cars became affordable and widely available in the 1910s/1920s…also when the States organized their first Department’s of Highways (DOTs) and gave the new profession of traffic engineers card blanch to set the tone of the discussion started by the car companies.

Remember to tell that to the ‘Jay driver’ who threatens you with their car and tells you to get on the sidewalk.

Bicycling Al
Guest
Bicycling Al

R. Kikuo Johnson’s artwork is amazing. Here’s another bike related one I found.

https://www.rkikuojohnson.com/#/new-gallery-3/

Rivelo
Guest

Electric motorcycles in the forest? Ugh.