The Monday Roundup: A perfect street, Lance the victim, drunk driving progress, and more

Posted by on November 15th, 2021 at 9:53 am

Welcome to another wonderful Monday.

This week’s Roundup is made possible by Nossa Familia Coffee, a Portland-based company who gives 50 cents from every bag of their yummy Full Cycle blend to organizations working to build a healthier and more accessible community through cycling.

Now warm up your brain and review the most important stories from the past seven days, as plucked from the world wide web by our eagle-eyed editors and readers…

A plan for perfect streets: This amazing Curbed project hired designers and consultants to make real-world tradeoffs and innovations necessary to create a more humane New York City street. The lessons learned can be applied in many other places.

Universal basic mobility: What if government could level the transportation playing field by subsidizing transportation options for folks who can’t afford a car? Several cities want to find out (stay tuned for a story about a similar effort in Portland).

Tragedy in Illinois: A 10-year-old boy riding a bicycle was hit and killed by a woman driving a truck in central Illinois. The incident is being investigated as a homicide. The boy was Black. The woman who hit him is white.

EV-cars and the other stuff: T4 America says EV-cars are important for reaching climate goals, but we’ll only exacerbate inequity if we don’t balance them with things like public transit and bicycling.

Lance the sacrificial lamb: Lance Armstrong’s former team manager (who’s also serving a lifetime ban for doping) said performance-enhancing drugs were simply part of cycling culture in his era and that his superstar was merely a “perfect target”.

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Justice for the Waller 6: The lawyers representing six bike riders intentionally run over by a Texas teenager say the suspect has been taken into custody and charged with multiple felony crimes.

Battery recycling: Thanks to a partnership with a nonprofit recycling organization, the bike industry now has a place to put old e-bike batteries when they’ve reached the end of their lifecycle.

End of drunk driving? Advocates are touting a major win in the fight against drunk driving as the Biden Infrastructure Plan comes with a new safety standard that includes a mandate for in-car driver intoxication monitors for all new vehicles by 2026.

Racism and highways: Lest you think freeway expansions that take advantage of places where Black and other people of color live is a thing of the past, this L.A. Times story will show you it remains a major issue today.

Thanks to everyone who shared links this week!

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.

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janowaXbuildwithjoenuovorecordRacer X Recent comment authors
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janowa
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janowa

Stopped by Nossa Familia 7 Corners yesterday on my long ride and omg is their ginger cookie delicious! That and the coffee got us home and in good shape. Also picked up the 30% discount on a bag of their coffee. YUM.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Coal-rolling trucks should be removed from operation and be summarily recycled into something useful. Like anchors.

soren
Guest
soren

Universal basic mobility: What if government could level the transportation playing field by subsidizing transportation options for folks who can’t afford a car?

There is absolutely nothing universal about this (and this is great).

Directly subsidizing those who use a car because they struggle to afford other transportation options is an equally important policy solution to SUV/truck/(sedan)-centrism, ATMO

Jason Walker
Guest
Jason Walker

When other pro cyclists accused Lance of doping, he said that they were the ones who were cheating. Kind of like, “I’m not the puppet, I’m not the puppet, you’re the puppet.”

VS
Guest
VS

Lance not only did that, he viciously attacked anyone who raised a question. He taunted Greg LeMond for sharing that he had been molested. Yeah, that’s a really great guy who would use Greg’s history of being molested as a way to try and smear him. And then Lance used his role with Trek to trash LeMond’s bike brand and cause him financial harm.

And if this wasn’t all, Lance wasn’t just a user, but he was the king pusher of drugs in US postal. If you didn’t dope you got sent home.

This revisionist history of Lance as a victim is total crap. Lance is a malicious, win at all costs, horrible person. Cycling should stop making excuses for his vile nature.

soren
Guest
soren

Armstrong’s denunciation of Lemond and the dogpile that ensued also led to Trek dropping Lemond’s line of bikes and de facto blacklisting from the industry.

Jason Walker
Guest
Jason Walker

All true, yet despite my initial remark and your added observations, Lance remains my all-time favorite disgraced pro cyclist from Texas who was married to Sheryl Crow.

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

But they never married. Only engaged. So you’ll need to find a different Texan cycling jerk who married Sheryl. πŸ™‚

Boyd
Guest
Boyd

The story about the 10-year old boy in Illinois is tragic. Our justice system is so shockingly broken. How can we as a society allow recidivist and unrepentant perpetrators of vehicular violence get away with violating drunk driving and traffic laws over and over again? It’s sickening and saddening that there are so many stories that are written each year about people that are killed by convicted or accused repeat drunk drivers, who should have been prevented from ever driving a car again. Operating a large, powerful motor vehicle is serious business, and we should treat it as such. Those that fail to take their responsibility to operate vehicles safely should be punished severely. The United States is an outlier among developed countries in terms of drunk driving rates and deaths per vmt. The fault lies with our blase attitude toward vehicular violence and our weak legal and regulatory system. We need to do better.

Michael Kinsley
Guest
Michael Kinsley

The whole time I was working on getting my license, as an excited 16-year-old in California, everyone kept repeating the mantra “driving is not a right, its a privilege.” But, it clearly is regarded as a right by most American adults, including those who enforce laws against drunk/impaired driving and deliberate vehicular mayhem. We really need to enforce the idea that driving is a privilege, and like other privileges it comes with obligations and responsibilities.

Watts
Guest
Watts

The whole right/privilege thing makes no practical difference to the question of how we regulate and prevent drunk driving. Rights too come with obligations and responsibilities.

On the plus side, I am now confident that I will live to see the end of this particular scourge. Bring on the robot drivers!

Boyd
Guest
Boyd

Vehicle automation systems are terrible at identifying objects when visibility is less than 100% perfect, and they are awful at reading body language or the intentions of pedestrians or human drivers. Automated vehicles only work effectively in situations where all of the other vehicles or moving objects are operated by automated systems that are using algorithms that are understandable and predictable to other machines. Otherwise they are terribly unsafe and inefficient (inefficient because they overcompensate for uncertainty by braking and slowing excessively, if not coming to a complete stop). Unless we are willing to live in a world where pedestrians and cyclists are physically and legally prevented from sharing space with motor vehicles, and where the vehicle operating space is regulated much more strictly than it currently is, robot cars are a terrible idea.

Be careful what you wish for. A world of automated vehicles is no place for bikes or people on foot.

Watts
Guest
Watts

A world of automated vehicles is no place for bikes or people on foot.

I believe they will be safer than human drivers (and may already be), so I predict the opposite. It’s not like the bar is particularly high. If they do increase the number of crashes with peds/bikes, they will be regulated/restricted, and/or the insurance will be too expensive.

Regardless, we’re going to find out.

X
Guest
X

If most motor vehicles are automated we can expect to have our communities divided by more limited access highways.

On the other hand, I’m encouraged that some recent motor vehicles appear to be detecting my presence on a bike since indicators appear on the wing mirrors. If the car’s system prevents a driver from hooking me even one time that would be great.

bArbaroo
Guest
bArbaroo

Let me ask, how many commercials/advertisements do you see daily that glorify drinking/partying or driving aggressively? It’s no wonder that there’s a mindset that drinking is cool, as is driving fast. Should we be surprised when people put these action together? Our attitude (as a society) is certainly shaped by that. I’ve lost 4 friends to drunk or reckless drivers (since 1990) so while I’m not surprised at the “blase” attitude, I am still outraged and it feels as though things are getting worse. I think we’re in need of a major cultural change and agree that focusing on the responsibility of driving needs to be part of that change. It would be great to see more car commercials promoting the safety a car provides for other road users instead of how fast that car can go from 0-60mph?

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

Let’s not forget the entire and wildly successful Fast and Furious franchise. Not only has this become the template for the epidemic of drifting and street racing but it killed its main star

X
Guest
X

Absolutely. This is a great example of a market-driven consumer society breaking down. People are able to buy machines for use on the open road that are designed and built to reach speeds two or even three (!) times any legal maximum speed. Pollution controls after initial sale are lax at best. Conspicuous illegal modifications are a commonplace.

Our idea of what is useful transportation needs revision. It should be illegal to accelerate to 60 mph in under 20 seconds. Car advertising should be banned in all media. Hate me if you like!

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

Yes, and people with no skill ,training or talent (much less, social conscience) are trying to do stunts suited for professionals

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Our justice system is so shockingly broken.

It’s working as intended, its just that we, as a society, are pretty okay with people hurting others with their cars. Most car wrecks don’t even generate tickets.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Maybe I’m missing something… but in this case how is race related to this tragedy? See the Roundup post above. It’s not mentioned in the linked news article or video (other than photos provided in the video). Yes depending on the charges brought or how justice is administered there could a lens for racial bias being applied… but that’s not even mentioned as an issue to date in the case… so I’m unclear why it was added to the post here.

Mike Quigley
Guest
Mike Quigley

Really, does anything make sense in the Land of the Free anymore? It’s outright crazy not to enforce vehicle laws when enforcement is so easy and could be hugely profitable for government coffers. Cut taxes! Enforce traffic laws!

Racer X
Guest
Racer X

Yes, the “Waller 6” case would be very interesting academic study in how cyclists are treated at a crash scene by responding police if not for the sad [avoidable] tragedy of multiple vehicle threats by this driver that led to this physical attack on the 6 cyclists…but the press and DA have added to it by reporting local PD “mishandling” the case possibly to family connections.

The weapon in this case was a truck with modified emissions system – advertised for sale in Houston with aftermarket EGR/DPF DELETE modification before the crash. http://www.Deanmotorcars.com [No longer for sale.]…

I doubt the driver learned how to ‘roll coal’ with the family’s ‘work truck’ in “drivers education” class. But then again this may be a problem BIGGER than Texas and the TxDMV…due to COVID a lot of official MV inspections and in person driver certifications have been halted…most likely this youth driver either went through a TxDMV “approved” 100% on-line course* [even with the Impact Texas Teen Drivers video requirement] or was trained by his parent(s) in how to drive safely and with respect, etc. on public roadways.

I pray that the Waller 6 recover quickly, but the crash trauma may never allow them to ride comfortably in peace and share the road with any drivers.

*Since the world of drivers education for youth drivers has changed greatly since we all did it, I am including a sample of services on the market in Texas:
https://driversed.com/texas/drivers-ed/
https://www.dmv.org/tx-texas/teen-drivers.php

Racer X
Guest
Racer X

I missed this during my first read…but the Bike Law blog has an earlier post – on Waller 6 – with even more critical description of how the traffic crash scene / ‘crime scene’ was ‘poorly handled’ by the local PD.

https://www.bikelaw.com/2021/10/waller-bike-crash/

It is good reading on what to [sadly] think about now if a similar event occurs to you or your group ride and the responding officers do not seem to be doing their best to document what happened (victim interviews, etc.). Plus checking your medical insurance, life insurance and if you need to enrol in supplemental coverage during the next open enrollment period (now?!)…especially if you do not have car insurance (like many of us).

And another sad drunk driving event but affecting Atlanta Pedestrian Planners…
https://www.bikelaw.com/2021/10/drunk-driver-runs-over-atlanta-transportation-planners/

buildwithjoe
Member

Bike Portland should do an entire story on the Waller Texas police department and compare that to the similar actions of Portland Police.

Quote of Waller County elected D.A. Elton Mathis said that,

β€œThis case was not handled appropriately by the investigating agency. PERIOD. Despite being encouraged by the Texas Department of Public Safety to treat the scene as a crime scene and to contact the D.A.’s Office for advice on how to proceed, the investigating agency chose not to do so.”

I keep witnessing cars mow down pedestrians. The most recent was 92nd and Flavel where a teen girl in a crosswalk was mowed down and the cops let the driver drive away. The driver seemed possibly drunk to me. After the driver left the cops started to talk to witnesses.

I’ve seen 2 other car drivers mow down cyclists on Clinton. The drivers had a stop sign and the cyclists did not have a stop. In both cases the drivers talked to cops and then drove off without a ticket.

There is literally no action and no words from any of the people who party about transportation at the Alice Awards. Nothing from the Street Trust. Nothing from Bike Loud, Nothing from Oregon Walks. I contacted them all several times. I also contacted them when Ben Carlson was mowed down while walking on the sidewalk. He was killed and the driver Douglas James Walker of Beaverton was never cited.