The Monday Roundup: Troubling Texas teens, greener Google Maps, friendly honks, and more

This week’s post is sponsored by Showers Pass, who reminds you to drop by their big Warehouse Sale this Saturday from 9am to 1pm.

Welcome to the week.

Please take time today to honor Indigenous Peoples Day and think about the people who first settled — and continue to live — on the land your ride through (see the map above).

Green Google Maps: The company has announced that this week their service will show the travel mode option with the lowest estimated carbon emissions and will even default to the cleanest option if/when trip times are comparable. This just underscores the need for Google to update its algorithm to account for the faster speed of e-bikes!

Gavin’s gaffe: California’s Governor chose to veto bills that would have decriminalized jaywalking and allowed bicycle riders to “slow-and-go” at stop signs.

Bike sales remain strong: According to NPD Group, e-bikes grew by “a whopping 240%” during the 12-month period between July 2020 and July 2021 in just one of many bright spots in demand for bikes and bike accessories.

Troubled Texan teens: WTH is wrong with Texas teens and using cars as weapons? Just a few weeks after a boy seemed to purposely run over a group of bike riders, another Texas teen fled from police after doing doughnuts then hit and killed three valets.

More on that coal-rolling Texas teen: This bicycle law firm published a scathing article that lays bare the anti-bike bias in the city of Waller, Texas, and shows that the victims in the case are likely to continue to face unfair treatment from law enforcement, the media, and the legal system.

Poo-pooing plastic: The Mayor of Jersey City made waves last week when he announced his intention to replace plastic wands with concrete jersey barriers in order to provide more “substantial protection” for bike lanes. Your move Ted Wheeler!


Cheaper e-bikes: A cool collab in Corvallis sees a power company, economic development officials, and bike shop owners converge to put a $60,000 grant for e-bike subsides to work.

Honk if you love me: Great news! According to a recent survey, it appears that drivers in both Seattle and Portland are starting to like the idea of courtesy honks more, a thing that’s common in other countries and that, in my opinion, could be a boon for bicycling safety and culture. Communication between drivers and bikers could be greatly improved if people shed their reflexive anger to all types of honking.

The Biden Effect: I had no idea Trump had the White House Capital Bikeshare station removed, but I’m very pleased to hear that Biden has brought it back.

How’d they do it?: Fremont, California is a rare city where a Vision Zero proclamation seems to have actually led to tangible and significant progress in reducing crashes and a massive shift in what streets look and feel like.

What people want: Here’s one way to do it: “A citizens’ initiative calling for a ban on private car use in central Berlin would create the largest car-free urban area in the world.”

Death by 1000 shortcuts: According to this KOIN article, PBOT is struggling to stem the flow of shortcutting drivers who use Waze and Google Maps to fly through neighborhood streets just to save a few minutes.

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