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The Monday Roundup: Money for e-bikes, Black urbanists you should know, secure bike routes, and more

Posted by on February 8th, 2021 at 10:19 am

From the seat of a bicycle: “There is something about watching the world go by, while getting a workout, that does something to your endorphins,” said photographer Geoffrey Hiller to the BBC after putting 5,000 miles on his e-bike while documenting a tumultuous year in Portland.

More projects, less process: D.C. is moving forward with legislation that would mandate protected bike lanes. Portland should take note.

Black urbanists: Put down Jane Jacobs and pick up these “11 Black urbanists every planner should know”: W. E. B. DuBois; Horace Cayton, Jr.; St. Clair Drake; Gordon Parks; John Hope Franklin; Samuel J. Cullers; Dorothy Richardson; Reverend Doctor Calvin Butts, III; William Wilson; Geoffrey Canada; Mary Pattillo.

Serious e-bike incentives: A bill in the California legislature would create a $10 million Electric Bicycle Rebate Pilot Project. Oregon should take note.

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E-bike tax credit: A California Congressman wants to amend IRS law to include an electric bike tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of qualifying bicycles.

New space, new riders: 6 in 10 users of new “pop-up” bike lanes in Paris are new riders — the same group Portland has been trying to attract for many years to no avail.

Cash infusion: The meteoric rise of Rad Power Bikes continues with a massive $150 million investment that will push the company even further into the hearts and minds of bike-curious Americans.

Police reform in NYC: A major move on policing reform in New York City would see a shift in crash investigation duties from the NYPD to the transportation department.

Re-thinking a freeway expansion: The Minnesota DOT and advocates are debating how — or if — to expand a central freeway in light of the climate change crisis of the present and the destruction of Black neighborhoods in the past. Sounds familiar.

Security of bike routes: I’ve spent some time on Capitol Hill in D.C. and was always enthralled to see how many bike riders used the hallowed paths, sidewalks and plazas next to the Capitol building to get around. It’s too bad new security fencing might close some of those routes.

— 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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Chris I
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Chris I

Anyone here have a long-term owner review of Rad Power Bikes? The price points are attractive, but the lack of standard parts gives me pause. 22×3″ tires? What?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/collections/electric-bikes/products/radwagon-electric-cargo-bike

Colton
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Colton

I would think it would make sense to have incentives for regular bikes that exceeds incentive for e-bicycles. Virtually any argument that can be made for e-bikes is at least as strong for regular bikes.

Champs
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Champs

Reading about attempts to expand I94 through St. Paul gets me wondering why we expect different social justice results from departments of transportation than the police. Is it really something you can weave into any fabric or are we going about this the wrong way?

John D.
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John D.

Some interesting bike news from the Cedar Mill area.

Three County Commissioners are pushing for better bike facilities on a project to realign NW Thompson Rd. The staff recommendation was stick to a 5ft bike lane, with a 2ft painted buffer with a 5-6ft sidewalk. County Commissioners Harrington, Fai, and Treece pushed back, and asked staff to look at an alternative that would keep the buffered bike lane in addition to a 10ft multi-use path. They highlighted the desire for safe-route to schools (this project runs through a residential area, right by an elementary school, and through a future park), they also highlighted the differing levels of comfort (for context, the road is being designed for 35mph speed).

https://cedarmillnews.com/article/road-news-february-2021/

Additionally, planning is continuing on the THPR Westside Trail bridge over Hwy 26.

https://cedarmillnews.com/article/park-news-february-2021/

Nadia Maxim
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Nadia Maxim

California may have a rebate for e-bikes while Oregon is still adding on an EXTRA tax for any bike purchase over $200. I know the bike tax is supposed to go to bike and pedestrian projects but it feeds the false narrative that cyclists don’t pay “their share” of taxes. How do we get rid of this tax?

https://www.opb.org/news/article/bike-tax-oregon-revenue-projection-2018/

Bicycling Al
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Bicycling Al

Very cool photo essay by Geoffrey Hiller. Thank you.

I’m curious about the photography equipment he used. What’s light and handy enough for biking around with and yet provides the capability and flexibility for professional photos? Did he backpack a whole camera set? What equipment do you use, Jonathan? What about other readers who ride & take pictures with more than a cell phone?

Thanks

citylover
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citylover

Please add Elijah Anderson (“Streetwise” and “Code of the Street”) to the list of Black urbanists to read – he’s a great writer, and how I learned about code switching and social structure of many black, urban communities. And what about Isabel Wilkerson (“The Warmth of Other Suns”)

https://sociology.yale.edu/people/elijah-anderson