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The Monday Roundup: Salt Lake’s Hawthorne moment, youth bike boom, predictable pedaling, and more

Welcome to the week. This feels like the week where we finally leave summer behind. I don’t want to jinx it or anything, but it sure would be nice to have some cooler temps and rain.

Before we get into the meat of another week, let’s get you caught up with most notable items found by BikePortland editors and readers in the past seven days…

DOTs gonna’ DOT: A neighborhood in Virginia is rising up against a car-centric highway widening proposal that the DOT falsely claims will improve safety by adding more lanes, and a recent protest included a march alongside a casket to make their points.

Pedaling and predictability: Covid enticed a New York City journalist to become an everyday bike rider and he found an unexpected benefit of cycling: always knowing exactly when he’ll arrive.

Distraction, Inc.: Because massive monster trucks, hot-rodding racecars, and record amounts of traffic deaths weren’t enough, this piece in Slate details how massive “infotainment” screens are the latest example of how the unhinged auto industry continues to lead with greed at any cost.

Echoes of Hawthorne: Ugh. “Salt Lake City’s transportation director said this project doesn’t need bike lanes because there are already options on neighboring streets.” We shudder to think that Portland’s decision to do the same thing on Hawthorne Blvd is influencing other city transportation staffers to make similarly silly decisions.

Park and bike: A school leader in the U.K. wants every student to learn to ride a bike and has introduced a “park and stride” program to encourage even families who typically drive all the way to school to park the car and take bikes for the final leg of their journey.

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Old projects, new risks: This story about an old road-widening project in San Diego that might be built despite current opposition, reminds me that it would be smart to have some sort of re-assessment clause in all project planning that allowed leaders and planners to make changes based on factors like community desires, public health, climate change, and so on.

No more local match: A new law in Illinois says that local governments no longer have to cough up a big chunk of cash to unlock state transportation infrastructure funding.

Youth bike boom!: National nonprofit People For Bikes reports a very sizable increase in the number of kids riding bikes thanks to the pandemic. Now that’s a silver lining.

The other big EV-car problem: Car charging infrastructure is an often glossed-over aspect of dreamy EV-car visions, which makes this piece from Aaron Gordon such a must-read.

Cleaner trucks in Oregon: Program director for Oregon Environmental Council says in an op-ed that our state needs stronger regulation to encourage cleaner trucks, vans and buses — which account for 25% of transportation GHG emissions despite making up just 10% of the vehicle fleet.

Slow speeds for thee but not for me: Funny how when BMW makes a play in the bicycle market they create a vehicle that comes with high tech speed-limiters on-board, but they have yet to do that with their cars.

Thanks to everyone who shared links this week!

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