Monday Roundup: Ugly bike infra, bus stop bollards, ‘traffication’ and more

Welcome to the week. Here are the most notable stories our writers and readers have come across in the past seven days…

Wait, before we start, how about a round of applause for Cyclepath Bike Shop (NE MLK Jr. Blvd and Brazee) for being a financial supporter of BikePortland?! Thanks Cyclepath!

cyclepath bike shop

Distracted driving sentence: A Florida man got a 30-year jail sentence for using his phone while driving after it resulted in the death of a young boy; but is it a ‘win’ for traffic safety advocates and will it serve as an example to others? (Streetsblog USA)

Bike boom status: Bike share is plugging along in major U.S. cities and the Covid-era bike boom is proving to have some staying power. (Bloomberg)

Cycling and politics: Fascinating to see how a rightward shift in government in Berlin has impacted the progress of bike advocates and their efforts to re-allocate road space away from car drivers. (The Times UK)

Bus stop bollards: This article is from 2019 but after my op-ed on the killing of Jeanie Diaz last week where I called for protected bus stops, I thought it was notable that a transit provider in Las Vegas installed large steel bollards at 20 bus stops as part of a pedestrian safety pilot program. (RTC Southern Nevada)

Bikes belong: This story validates my belief that until safe cycling networks exist, all state should change vehicle laws to make it clear that bicycle riders are allowed to use sidewalks and crosswalks (except in some very specific situations and locations). (Mother Jones)

Insult to injury: A bike rider in Eugene was given two citations — one for riding the wrong way on a one-way street, another for failure to obey a traffic device — after they were involved in a collision with a dump truck. (KATU)

Time to get tough: I love the framing and thinking behind this op-ed and feel it could easily apply to the automotive industry, where it’s time to take off the kid gloves and force companies to be responsible for the impacts of their products. (L.A. Times)

Framing safety: We’ve reached the point in our traffic culture dystopia where people who choose sensibly-sized cars are being fear-mongered by automotive media because of people who choose absurdly-sized ones. (The Drive)

School cycling safety: This team of advocates in Calgary came together to write reports about the safety of bike routes for 10 different schools to raise awareness of various infrastructure issues. (Calgary Herald)

Congestion pricing lawsuit: You can bet that local DOT officials are following this fight between New York and New Jersey, where the former wants to move ahead with traffic fees and the latter says it’s unfair and the sky will fall if they do. (Bloomberg)

Traffication: Latest episode of The War on Cars podcast examines yet another front in the war cars and their drivers are waging against the planet: the threat they pose to wildlife. (The War on Cars)

Ugly infra: This story from Denver resonates with me because some of the plastic post projects PBOT is installing are indeed quite ugly and I could see a Portland neighborhood playing the same card. (Westword)

Next level security: A new outfit in the UK will act as your private bike theft recovery security force, as long as you have a GPS tracker installed. This reminds me of Portland’s Timberwolves Cycle Recovery group. (Cycling Electric)


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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Trike Guy
Trike Guy
8 months ago

Insult to Injury?

I’m sorry, but just because we’re on bikes doesn’t mean we suddenly get to ride any which way we want.

If you’re going to ride in the street, ride the right way.

If you’re going to cross an intersection – do it properly.

If you run into somehing way bigger than you because you chose not to do these things – you’re the problem, not the driver of the vehicle.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
8 months ago

In my experience “add insult ot injury” where the subject is a person (or people) is most often used when the injured party is wronged in some way.

I realize that it’s correct to use it in other contexts, just my gut reaction is based on the context I’ve so often seen it in.

Which, of course, leads to my tirade against the legion of fools on bikes who don’t believe they’re bound by the rules – such as the pair coming the wrong way down the Harmony bike lane at 0 dark 30 the other day.

To add insult to injury, the lead rider complained about my light as we passed each other – an StVZO light that I didn’t have time to dim before I had to take evasive action.

🙂

(wasn’t trying to pick a fight or anything)

TedG
TedG
8 months ago

I am curious, why did you include that story in your post and why did you use the tag line “Insult to injury” and?

Carrie
Carrie
8 months ago

One of the really frustrating justifications for the I-5 bridge widening is to “accommodate the size of modern vehicles”. Somehow the tiny streets everyone was using in Italy in May haven’t been widened to accomodate vehicles — vehicles were designed for the space (including the smallest functional dump truck I’ve ever seen — way smaller than my neighbor’s F-150 and more functional).

Ryan
Ryan
8 months ago
Reply to  Carrie

Yeah, when I was stationed in Aviano there were a lot of service members that had their big pickups shipped over with them, only to soon realize that the pickup was worthless for driving around over there and ended up buying something like a small, used Fiat for the vast majority of their travel. The wide wing mirrors were especially susceptible to damage as the majority of buildings there are made of stone, so no matter how tough they thought the truck was they were still coming off worse if they clipped a house or shop while trying to navigate through towns (had a few coworkers find this out the hard way). And this was nearly 20 years ago, American pickup width has only increased since then.

X
X
8 months ago

An errant bike rider isn’t news in Portland or Eugene. It’s very unfortunate that the person got hurt as a result of ignoring traffic laws but not surprising that they were ticketed.

What interests me here is that a major media outlet went out so far out of their market to cover a story with so little impact on their viewers. What was the point? Were there no motor vehicle collisions involving vulnerable road users in Portland?

It’s also curious that the website posting is illustrated with what may be a file photo of a bike rider on a street with nothing to indicate that they are doing anything illegal or dangerous.

Champs
Champs
8 months ago

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Just imagine if the strongest argument against delineator wands isn’t that they are “demonstrably ineffective” or “plastic garbage,” but that they are “ugly.” Behold that irony!

EP
EP
8 months ago
Reply to  Champs

Also ridiculous that they complain about the little plastic posts, but not the giant, ugly road they’re stuck to!

EP
EP
8 months ago

If you want to be safer in a collision in the U.S. where many vehicles are large and heavy, it’s best to go with the flow and get one that is large and heavy. This statement has a plethora of implications of course, but that’s what the IIHS data suggests.”

If only our government could somehow do something (ANYTHING?!) to reverse the direction of this!

X
X
8 months ago

Clicking down through the Westword article, “Ugly Infra”, I came across another article about the Denver e-bike rebate program. If I read this correctly, it looks like the estimated increase in bike use after rebates costs the city about a buck a mile.

There are layers of assumptions in that number, including that the bikes disappear after one year of use. It’s a paper napkin number that is in the ballpaprk based on my experience. A person can operate a bike for much less than a dollar a mile so the potential leverage from this type of public investment is huge.

buildwithjoe
8 months ago

The 30 year prison sentence for the killer is too soft.

The texting driver killed and had 5 years of freedom before his trial. Seventeen months after the crash he was arrested then out on bail instantly. Lock him up until he dies. He drove and used the app store to download the excel mobile app while driving and had used it up until the accident.

I bike 100 miles a week to work and I see so many drivers active with both hands or one hand swiping away at games or other app gestures while driving. I have front and back cameras and it really does not pick up the crime. Too many people have illegal dark tinting and cameras can’t pick up the high contrast lighting. Ride a bus and you can see this everywhere.

The most alarming thing ( but very expected ) is that police do not collect phones as evidence after a crash, nor do they even seem to have a system to collect any evidence. We don’t need cops for this. We need civilian crash expert authority to show up to any crash with an ambulance.

It would look something like this: >>>> Sir, the driver you rear ended ( T-Boned, sideswiped etc) is going to the hospital. We suspect distracted driving and we will be collecting your car and your phone. If you attempt to reset your phone now or remotely you will be convicted of tampering with evidence. Is (503)555-1212 your cell number? We suggest you contact an attorney or our office website frequently asked questions. Your car and phone will be returned to you as soon as we collect data from the car computer and phone activity logs.

Look at the case of death pedestrian Ben Carlson of Portland. He was mowed down while standing on the Burnside sidewalk and the cops did not cite him the day of the crash and they never cited him with anything ever. I spent months and years after the crash constantly calling the police traffic division and reporters and the DA trying to get answers. Then finally after 2 years the DA said no charges will be filed by them or the police.

At a bare minimum everyone can agree the driver who killed Ben failed to maintain his lane of travel. I asked the DA and police to apply this citation and they refused.

Just recently a cop got hit and lived. This failure to maintain a lane citation was easily given out by cops at the location of the crash:

Quoting the Portland police who charged a driver with leaving the lane and six other road statues. ORS

The driver was issued citations for driving under the influence of intoxicants, no operator’s license, driving uninsured, unsafe passing on the right, failure to obey a traffic control device, failure to drive within the lane and careless driving contributing to an accident. link

Quoting Streets blog:

“Over the course of grueling, seven-year legal battle, forensic investigators ultimately determined that Andriotis had been so distracted by his phone for so long at the time of the crash that he had actually accelerated into the family’s SUV in front of him in the moments before impact, failing to notice the taillights of roughly three miles worth of cars stopped in traffic directly in front of him. While he wasn’t sending text messages — a deadly behavior that wasn’t fully illegal in Florida until 2020 — the Scherers said he had done “just about everything else” with his phone that day, including making multiple calls, getting directions, paying a credit card bill, surfing the web, and even downloading and opening the Excel spreadsheets app. Excel was still open on Andriotis’s phone in the instant before impact; he did not attempt to swerve.”