The Monday Roundup: SUV tax in France, scary streets in Bogotá, too many bikes in Amsterdam

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

Tax on heavy cars: The French government has responded to pressure from climate change groups and the World Wildlife Fund to pass a new tax on heavy SUVs that weigh over 1,800 kg (3,900 lbs).

How bad is the big SUV problem? Check out this review of the new obscenely and dangerously large Cadillac Escalade by an automotive writer who called it “The most stressful experience I’ve ever had.”

Grids are cool again: Bloomberg Citylab reports that easy to navigate street grids are starting to win back favor over curvy cul-de-sacs in suburban Texas.

Self-enforcing streets: Before we take traffic stops out of the hands of armed police officers, we must create streets that enforce the laws themselves through things like design and automated cameras.


Where we work: Now that so many more people work at home it’s more important than ever to create “15 minute neighborhoods” where people can take care of everyday needs while using cars as little as possible.

Vehicular violence: The Oregonian found that a retired Portland police officer intentionally drove his van into a person on foot and then fled the scene during a protest back in June.

Cars as weapons a national problem: Researchers at the University of Chicago who analyzed months of protests have found over 104 incidents of vehicular violence where drivers drove into crowds, partially fueled by online memes that make light of the behavior.

Too many bikes: Oh to live in Amsterdam, where their big traffic safety problem is too many bikes on bridge railings so they’ll install flower bouquets to keep them away and create more room for bikes in what used to be car parking spaces.

Bad news Bogotá: More people using bicycles on the streets of Bogotá has been met with more harassment and now some riders are girding for self-defense and even carrying weapons.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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