The Monday Roundup: Black women heroines, GoPro vigilante, fake bike commutes, and more

Posted by on January 10th, 2022 at 9:25 am

Happy Monday everyone.

This week’s Roundup is brought to you by Nossa Familia Coffee, who reminds you that a portion of the sale of every pound of their Full Cycle roast goes right back into our community.

Here are the most noteworthy items our writers and readers came across in the past seven days…

Just accept it: I think Portland could learn from this clever, five-stages-of-grief framing of the imminent shift away from car-centered cities.

Resiliency: The colossal breakdown of major driving corridors due to last week’s severe winter storms is Exhibit A on how fragile a transportation system is when it’s based almost entirely on moving single-occupancy vehicles.

Confronting cycling’s whiteness: Learn about the transformative work of Brazil’s Lívia Suarez, whose Casa de Frida has become not just a welcome space for Black and brown bike riders, but the hub of an influential movement that’s helping make biking better in her hometown.

Metro on climate: Don’t miss this breakdown of what City Observatory’s Joe Cortright calls Metro’s “failing” climate strategy, which claims the agency need to act much differently if they plan to cut emissions in a significant way.

Filmed by bike activism: The Guardian has a closer look at a British man who has used a helmet-mounted camera to report over 1,000 drivers to the police for a variety of infractions.

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Metro council candidate: Ashton Simpson earned coverage in the Willamette Week where he shared his frustrations over what he sees as inequitable investment in east Portland that continues to lead to too many deaths and injuries.

The Great EV Imbalance: A Portland-based writer points out in this Wired article that the current financial incentives for e-bikes aren’t nearly robust enough — and shares some delicious quotes about why our heavy focus on EV-cars is very flawed.

$216 million for bike plan: The Italian city of Milan hired a Dutch consulting team to create a bike plan that will spend big to reach 20% cycling mode share by 2035.

Fake it till you make it: The Washington Post extols the virtues of a “fake” bike commute to help with your mental and physical health in our working-from-home era.

Influence of social media: An event that asked would-be participants about their social media reach spurred veteran racer Geoff Kabush to question the cycling industry’s allegiance to influencers.

Tesla tunnel snafu: A must-read breakdown of how Elon Musk’s tunnel loop in Las Vegas broke down with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Thanks to everyone who sent us links!

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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Watts
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Watts

The colossal breakdown of major driving corridors due to last week’s severe winter storms is Exhibit A on how fragile a transportation system is when it’s based almost entirely on moving single-occupancy vehicles.

What solution does this incident point to? Buses and would be equally stuck, and Amtrak has 14 hour delays even without snow. I suppose on the bus, at least, you can eat your fellow passengers if things get dire.

Is this an argument for more convenient local and regional air travel? Hyperloop? A network of snow-proof Boring Company tunnels? SpaceX point-to-point rocketry?

Chris
Guest
Chris

I95 made all the news but I think there were major issues for all forms of transportation. My understanding is that parts of Amtrak shut down. You would have to check local news sources to see how local transit did. If it happened in Portland both light rail and busses would have issues.

https://wset.com/news/local/virginia-senators-press-amtrak-for-answers-on-passengers-stranded-in-winter-storm

Mike
Guest

I now do a “fake” bike commute most days since I used to bike to work everyday previously. What’s nice is that in the colder months I can move my “commute” to lunchtime for a more pleasant ride! I still mostly bike the same route I used for work because it is close to my house and I can easily vary it based on how much time I have to spend riding.

Crayon
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Crayon

I like the idea of using a GoPro to record bad drivers, but I hope he’s not wearing a helmet just for the interview.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

The Vegas Loop article reminded me of a 40 minute video (now two years old) which breaks down why the Boring Company and Hyper Loop are ridiculous. Thanks to that video, none of the article’s details surprised me. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dn6ZVpJLxs

Bikefilm
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Bikefilm

Thanks for the post. RE Filmed by bike activism- what’s the deal in PDX/Oregon? Will police respond with citizen video?

Opus the Poet
Guest

Mikey and his camera show the potential for a different kind of traffic policing with much less chance of escalation leading to deaths. Just put the cops on bicycles and have them ride around recording everybody and then fining the ones breaking the law and sending the recordings to the courts of the crimes committed. How many serious road crimes does the average plod catch per year? Not as many as Mikey and his GoPro.

Boyd
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Boyd

That or use fixed roadside cameras. But it only works if the cars have identifiable license plates, which is not a given, and if you can prove that the vehicle is being operated by the registered owner (which is an extremely difficult hurdle that has been thrown in the way of reasonable and equitable enforcement in the state of Oregon by ostensibly well meaning judges).

Matt Meskill
Subscriber
Matt Meskill

This needs to change. Make the owner of the car responsible for who they let use their car.

Watts
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Watts

Speeding tickets and their ilk seem fundamentally different than a parking ticket because they show up on your driving record, with the potential to lead to suspension of your license to drive, whereas parking tickets essentially disappear after they’ve been paid.

If you want to cite someone for running a red light, you need cite the person who ran the red light, not their spouse or parent or friend.

We have mechanisms for compelling testimony; let’s use those if we need the owner to attest to whom they lent their car.

SolarEclipse
Guest
SolarEclipse

When some of the worst driving offenders in my neighborhood have no license plates it’d be difficult to find the owner and with the police not enforcing traffic laws anymore it’ll remain that way.

ROH
Guest
ROH

I love Mikey’s persistence but in the US we are not quite as civilized and I have no doubt that he would be shot by one of our road ragers.

Mike
Guest

Not to mention that most places here are not set up with laws/tools to use submitted video evidence. I ride with a camera and only submit the worst/most dangerous incidents and at best I’ve had the police contact the driver to issue a warning (which is not nothing, and I hope acts as somewhat of a deterrent).

Jim Chasse
Guest
Jim Chasse

I had a chance to take a 1 on 1 ride with Ashton this summer to view sidewalk projects that won’t be built in in outer NE. I saw the passion needed for east Portland representation on Metro. He tells it like it is. I’m in.

Charley
Guest
Charley

This is a journalistic nitpick:

It looks like Lívia Suarez’s work in Brazil is awesome! But I really don’t like the headline of that article:
“Black women heroines put an end to whiteness of cycling.”
The secondary headline explicitly relates this to cycling in the USA: “Mobility justice movements in the US take notice.”

I find framings like this so dismissive (or merely ignorant?) of the vast number of Black people who ride bikes, and have done so for over a century. It’s also odd that the author or publisher chose a headline that both overstates the impact of Suarez’s efforts (like, if she’s ended white supremacy in “cycling,” that’d would be bigger news; the reality is that her work is important because it is chipping away at still-extant racist structures) and understates the long history of Black people on bikes.

Anyway, it’s cool work she’s doing. I just don’t think the headline does justice to her work, or the Black activists and riders who preceded her.

X
Guest
X

Metro on Climate: Metro enters the lair of Smaug wearing a cloak of invisibility from the Dollar Store®.