Monday Roundup: Why women win, Houston’s carfree main street, and more

Welcome to the week. Yes I realize it’s Tuesday. Hope you had a good Juneteenth. Here are the most notable stories our writers and readers have come across in the past seven days…

This week’s Roundup is sponsored by Gorge Pass. Get a ticket-to-ride transit for you and your bike in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge for just $40!

And now, let the Roundup begin…

A wonderful machine: Here’s to hoping this video of that delightful protected bikeway making machine used in Santa Monica is making its way around offices at PBOT and ODOT! (Streetsblog LA)

Houston: “We solved a problem”: Houston business owners loved a carfree main street experiment enacted during Covid so much, the city has decided to make it permanent. It’s downright embarrassing that Portland hasn’t done something like this yet! (Chron)

Safer big rigs: An in-depth investigation revealed that side underride guards on trucks save lives, yet federal regulators dragged their feet in mandating them due to concerns from trucking companies. (ProPublica)

Culture always wins: Glad to see national traffic safety leaders finally coming to terms with the fact that throwing money at “safer streets” will never be enough to reverse our epidemic of deadly driving. (Smart Cities Drive)

Drive less: This short and sobering bit of reporting underscores a fundamental necessity going forward: Cities must do more to reduce vehicle miles traveled. (NY Times)

High(er) cost of parking: This new policy in a town near London will charge higher parking fines for cars that emit more pollution. Seems like a brilliant way to make people pay their fair share. Wonder if we could do this based on vehicle size? (Guardian UK)

Women are just tougher: Turns out that women are making a routine of beating men at the ultra-endurance Race Across America, and it might have something to do with their innate ability to endure pain. (The Guardian)

Good idea: Many people don’t bike in Portland’s central city due to theft fears, so a program in Vancouver (BC) that offers bike valet service with a human attendee would make a lot of sense. (Vancouver is Awesome)

Screw your ‘single file’ sign: Bike activist hero Charles Komanoff explains his annoyance with a sign on a popular recreational route that tells cyclists to “ride single file”. (Streetsblog NYC)

Cost of cars: File this devastating story about leaking underground gas storage tanks under the myriad reasons why we must start making car users pay more for the vast negative impacts of driving. (Grist)


Thanks to everyone who shared links this week!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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pierre delecto
pierre delecto
11 months ago

It’s very amusing that this terminally anti-EV blog highlighted a NYT newsletter piece that claimed:

Electric vehicles will make a difference…

PS: EVs are, of course, not an alternative to driving less but this technology is at the same time absolutely essential to decarbonization.

PPS: I also believe that USA will fail to achieve its pathetic decarbonization goals (NDCs) due to the inherent narcissism and xenophobia of american culture.

Chris I
Chris I
11 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

This is BikePortland, not ClimatePortland. Is the mass adoption of EVs good or bad for cyclists? Every vehicle on the road getting 25% heavier is going to be more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.

Myth Dispulsion
Myth Dispulsion
11 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Anti-EV to be extremist anti-car is like engaging in gross climate OD, is anti-adult.

Some of these kids do other silly stuff, like typical shallow anti-US name-calling.

EVs do not have to be an alternative to driving less, as there’s no need to drive less, but EVs result in less driving anyway due to limited energy and slow charging.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
11 months ago

RAAM is brutal. Sleep deprivation is only the tip of the iceberg. Like all ultra events you become calorie limited and your stomach starts having huge issues. Maria Parker in both her RAAM (3k for the Cure) and 24/12 hr record rides had serious issues keeping food down at different points.

Sandy Earl is riding right now (60-69 age group) solo – she seems to be resting a bit more than Maria did or Leah is now. She’s been stopped/off bike for 29 hours compared to Leah’s 23hrs – Leah also has a higher average speed and is 400 miles out front of her.

(I’ve ridden with Sandy and Bill at some OHPVA events in the past so naturally I’ve been cheering her on).

I’ve known a few folks who’ve done the solo RAAM event – I’m pretty sure you’ll never see me do it 🙂 Somewhere around 5 hours on bike, about where I become calorie intake limited is where I stop having as much fun.

Myth Dispulsion
Myth Dispulsion
11 months ago

Mr. Maus, vehicle length could be used to charge for curb-side parking, “footprint” (area covered by the vehicle) for parking in lots and in garages, at least at ground level. Vehicle weight (as I note, GVWR) could also come into play in garages, too.

An easy way to do it is legally and technically to charge the vehicle, not any person who is responsible for actual payment. We’re already able to have vehicles identified by license plate or transponder, and why not additional VIN-related or vehicle type information someday? Standard dimensions, weight — done. The same thing could be done with variable-rate roadway tolling and area or zone charges like city or metro boundary “congestion charges” or entrance charges.

Parking spaces are often undersized. One response is to get rid of them.

P.S. Komanoff was weird, as he often is, with the RIDE SINGLE FILE remedial ed

Todd/Boulanger
Todd/Boulanger
11 months ago

Regarding “The Cost of Cars” article…there is a recent example of a similar chronic pollution issue that “emerged” locally when an old Vancouver property dynasty tried to sell a building for redevelopment…the anecdotal story (word on the street) is that they/ business owner were surprised to find out that the old gas station (1930s/ 40s) in ‘midtown’ had a leaking waste oil tank…they were scratching their collective heads as to when the last time it was ever emptied…it was ‘magically never full’. Huh!? Go figure.