The Monday Roundup: Copenhagen’s Robert Moses, rent free wrenching, UPS quad-bike, and more

Welcome to the week.

Here are the most notable items our writers and readers came across in the past seven days.

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by Nossa Familia Coffee.

Copenhagen’s Robert Moses: Mikael Colville-Andersen shares a fascinating history of the highway megaprojects that once threatened to destroy the world’s most bicycle-friendly city.

What is this thing?: UPS is testing a strange new cargo vehicle that is used in bike lanes, has four wheels and is powered by a mix of electricity and human power.

Transgender decision: British Cycling has ruled that transgender athlete Emily Bridges, cannot compete in a national championship event due to their interpretation of regulations that allow discretion to, “guarantee fair and meaningful competition that displays and rewards the fundamental values and meaning of the sport”.

A must-listen: Don’t miss this excellent War on Cars podcast episode that brings in expert voices to analyze Ray Bradbury’s dystopian short story “The Pedestrian.”

The sky is falling: Drivers in this San Diego suburb are freaking out because the city striped an “advisory bike lane” that makes them drive carefully and with consideration for others. (Note: PBOT has long contemplated this type of design but so far has only used it in very low-traffic situations.)

Tactical urbanism in LA: “The city doesn’t keep us safe, so we keep us safe,” says a new group that earned national attention for painting crosswalks in Los Angeles intersections.

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Rent-free wrench: Leadville, Colorado needs bike mechanics so badly that one shop has offered free rent to entice one.

Bike-based books: Don’t miss this wonderful story about Portland’s Street Books, a library on wheels that rolls its services out to homeless people.

E-bike curious?: Tern’s new Quick Haul looks like the e-bike company will have another big hit to follow up its popular HSD model.

Wrong-headed: In a move that reeks of paternalism and misdirected, car-centric thinking, southern California city of Carlsbad has decided to introduce more stringent regulations and even fines on electric bike and other small EV users due to a concern over a rise in crashes.

Selfish parking policy: A city commissioner in the coastal metropolis of Miami, Florida, who was frustrated by people parking in front of his home said, “This is not a pedestrian and bicycle city,” before voting in support of zoning laws that will lead to more car parking spaces.

Tweet of the Week: Noted local bike advocate Clint Culpepper shared a video of the “protected” bike lane on NW Broadway.

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Thanks to everyone who sent us links this week!

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Hotrodder
Hotrodder
3 months ago

I’m old, so I might get pretty testy if UPS and other delivery companies started clogging up the bike lanes with delivery vehicles.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago
Reply to  Hotrodder

I have hopes UPS using bike lanes might mean communities like mine stop dragging their feet building cycling infrastructure. The all powerful bike lobby likely has nothing on whatever UPS has.

Chris I
Chris I
3 months ago
Reply to  Hotrodder

On the other hand, sharing these lanes with corporate users may encourage the city to actually keep them clear (cars, Fedex trucks, tents, etc).

EP
EP
3 months ago

Can I just create a nice, cush, city job for myself? I’ll just clean bike lanes, all day, forever. Maybe have an assistant, and a nice little setup with a pickup and a mini street sweeper. All paid for by the city and the PDX biz alliance. Sounds like a great gig, right?

Todd/Boulanger
3 months ago
Reply to  Hotrodder

It great that UPS is getting back to its eco-roots, but this is really greenwashing (or ‘brown marketing’ per UPS corp colors) as the electric vehicle highlighted in this article (and video) is not an e-bike…I could not see how the operators show were pedalling anything other than a marketing spin. [Tell me if I missed some small hand crank or other mechanism to meet the TfL regs.]

And yes, as a transport planner, I can see a future where ‘bike lanes” may evolve into multi purpose low impact lanes (MPILILs, say it 3x fast), but for now this vehicle should should stay out of the bike lanes until communities reallocate space future to make it safe for both. We will see if UPS introduces real pedal freight bikes as part of this last mile operations reboot effort.

Chris I
Chris I
3 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

Note that they are launching these in London: a city with extremely congested roads and congestion pricing. If you check Youtube for “London Bike Commuting” videos, you will see that much of the city can be traversed much faster on a bike during peak periods. I think their goal is to reduce delivery times by taking advantage of “open” lanes in the central city.

Bill Stites
3 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

Truck Trike supplied UPS with eTrikes for the US market from 2016 – 2018. The total was around 10 units: 2 in Portland, 1 in Pittsburgh, 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, 2 in Seattle, 2 in Washington DC, etc.
Dropping 1 or 2 units in an entire urban market? It is my opinion that they never were interested in a true modal shift, even where it was most practical [dense urban environments].

What’s your definition of greenwashing?? This is mine.

PS
PS
3 months ago

Re: Carlsbad

Can you possibly imagine having a police force that is not stretched so thin on drugs, shooting/murders, and general mayhem, that they have the time and resources to collect 2+ years worth of data on a relatively innocuous issue and then implement a change in an effort to improve the quality of life for the residents of the city?

I would argue that calling their regulation “paternalistic” is pretty hyperbolic, as it would appear that the riders of these devices are having a difficult time self regulating. Interestingly enough, it is not paternalistic at all to suggest cars can accelerate too quickly, not stop fast enough, are too big, etc. If the riders there are anything like the riders here, where apparently standing on a gyroscopically stabilized single wheel on a bike path at 30 mph is perfectly fine, it is unsurprising they have had issues. Beneficially, they released their data, which indicates, a 62% increase in e-bike and other e-mobility device crashes between 2020 and 2021 and another 21% increase this year if things stay on pace, which is conservative since they haven’t even had summer yet, which one would conclude to be a very busy season for bike paths in southern California. Further, the injury rate for cases the police hear about is 88% and the riders of the bikes are at fault 72% of the time. If they showed it was only the e-rider getting hurt, that would be great to hear and maybe suggestive of paternalism with this regulation, but I doubt many riders are calling the cops on themselves when they get hurt, so it is pretty natural to assume the people getting crashed into and hurt are calling the police. So, if that is truly paternalism, we could use a heap of that up here to work on improving things.

Champs
Champs
3 months ago

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I rode the protected lanes on NW Broadway without some kind of problem. It’s usually cars parked in the wrong place, but occasionally it’s the mixing zones, which seem to be the alternative to right hook zones.

Years ago, Minneapolis put bike lanes down the median of Hennepin Avenue, a central city artery much like Broadway. They solved some common issues like mixing and visibility but were not very popular. But then again, what is?

qqq
qqq
3 months ago
Reply to  Champs

That Culpepper tweet isn’t surprising if you look at how subtle the differences are between what’s there now (bike lane, according to the video’s pavement symbols) and what was there recently (curb parking with bike lane street-side of it):
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5249849,-122.6775218,3a,83.8y,237.59h,83.38t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1selbhBflBnNmV3v3fBXd3yw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The new design in the video still has a parking kiosk, a 2-hr. parking sign, no continuous yellow on the curb to indicate no parking (there are still even the white tick marks and short yellow bars on the curb that used to delineate parking spaces). The “arrow” in the bike lane looks exactly like the old white line that separated parking spaces from the old bike lane, except for a tiny point (at 0:05 in the video).

I’m not excusing the driver, but the fact Culpepper said they were shaken up and apologetic means they were probably at least somewhat confused. PBOT should have been much clearer with its design. PBOT couldn’t even be bothered to remove the parking kiosk from a side of the street with no parking? It may be clearer in person, but I’m actually questioning my comments about it not being legal parking, because it looks like it’s both a parking area AND a bike lane in the same space.

maxD
maxD
3 months ago
Reply to  qqq

qqq, this such a fair criticism, and indicative of too much of the PBOT bike infrastructure: it is barely sketched in! It would have taken very little additional effort to install a robust, clear design when the lanes were re-configured. Getting something fixed will likely mean the project gets added to infinite backlog of maintenance projects. This is illustrative of what<IMO, is core problem with PBOT: They have no mandate to create cycle infrastructure. It is tokenism and never a priority. They never design or follow-though on something enough to make it work. Look at Naito- still not open for bikes, Gideon Bridge- ANOTHER busted elevator, Blumenaur Bridge- not open yet and ZERO connections, Willamette Bike lanes- unceremoniously end, Greeley- southern connection just peters out into a single curb ramp, and on and on and on. Why is bike ridership decreasing? Every single bike project is only completed to a 60%-85% level. This means every single bike project has inherent flaws, gaps, dangers. A new cyclist trying to follow some of this poorly marked, disconnected infrastructure is likely to get lost or experience a conflict like Clint videoed and be less likely to cycle again. Someone driving might have a scary close call due in part to the infrastructure being basically illegible and decide that cycling too sketchy to try. If we want cycling to take off, we need PBOT to design and build COMPLETE bike infrastructure: connected, legible, consistent, safe an direct. They do it for cars, they could do it for bikes.

Matt
Matt
3 months ago
Reply to  qqq

In defense of the driver, I agree with your points; but in accusation of the driver, I will point out: No matter how the road is marked, that driver clearly swerved in front of Culpepper as if he didn’t exist. I see a failure to maintain situational awareness by the driver, which can lead to any manner of collision.

qqq
qqq
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Yes, definitely it was poor driving. Having a cyclist right there didn’t stop them from veering into his path. But then again with PBOT, if it was clear there was no parking, they wouldn’t have had any reason to do veer over there.

Matt
Matt
3 months ago

I do not envy those whose job it is to decide on the rules for transgender athletes in gendered sport.

The eBike Store
3 months ago

In the US (and in Oregon) the legal definition of electric bikes does not permit them to have more than 3 wheels. If they go less than 15 mph, then they could legally pass as ‘mobility devices’. Under current legal framework, unless they get an exemption, 4 wheelers are not permitted.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
3 months ago

Thanks for posting that – I was pretty sure that was the case, but I couldn’t find supporting info before my break was up 🙂

FDUP
FDUP
3 months ago

Advisory bike lanes are a cousin of sharrows. Some advocates dislike them but I think they have a place in the toolbox. Too bad PBOT is too timid to use these types of treatments effectively or work with DMV to educate motorists regarding cyclists’ right to the road.

Spokes too soon
Spokes too soon
3 months ago
Reply to  FDUP

It is possible to get a driver’s license without ever reading any of the rules, guidance for pedestrians and cyclists be damned. Just answer C for every question on the knowledge test (this literally succeeds sometimes). For the skill test, just wing it and dont hit anything. Drivers are allowed to make numerous mistakes on both tests and still pass. Most of the required knowledge isnt even tested for. Sadly this is the case across most of USA (possibly every state?), I guess we decided there is no need for prevention when there are lawyers and paramedics to clean up the mess.

Matt
Matt
3 months ago

I got my Oregon DL without ever reading the Oregon Driver Manual. Passed the written test with points to spare. I did read the Manual afterward to see what else I might have missed. The biggest surprise was the ban on U-turns at signalized intersections unless expressly allowed (I came here from California where U-turns are *allowed* at signalized intersections unless expressly *prohibited*, so pretty much the opposite law).

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent)
Editor
Reply to  Matt

Hi Matt, I don’t know how old you are, I’m in my 60s. So I don’t know what CA is like now, but back then you had to sit through a semester of drivers ed. At that tender young age they drilled in things like stopping at stop signs—kind of like Clockwork Orange w/o the Beethoven.

To this day, my eye starts to twitch when I see drivers blow through stop signs.

Contrast this w my son’s experience getting his first DL in Oregon—what a joke.

SD also rivaled Singapore for police presence—CHP, SDPD, County Sheriff, Border Patrol. You didn’t even think about disobeying a traffic law, or littering. They materialized out of know where and nailed you w a stiff ticket.

Matt
Matt
3 months ago

I did have to take (classroom) driver’s ed, earned my learner’s permit (written test), then had to complete (on-road) driving school, and then of course a road test at a California DMV. But when I moved here, the Oregon DMV clerk told me that any state’s driver’s license is sufficient to swap for an Oregon license by passing the OR written test alone. It does seem too easy.