Monday Roundup: Real protection, Blumenauer speculation, bike parking app, and more

Welcome to the week.

Here are the best stories we’ve come across in the past seven days — from sources you can trust.

Steal this idea! Boulder is doing something many of us in Portland have been dreaming about for years: Moving past flex-posts and tiny curbs for much more substantial protection. (City of Boulder)

Helmet reminder: Much of the narrative and conversation about helmet use when cycling in America is not based on fact or rational decision-making — it’s based on bias and emotion and it saps our focus from real problems. (Streets MN)

Tour de East Portland? I regret missing the Tour de Bronx while in NYC, but am still inspired by it. Imagine if Portland had a free, mass bike ride on major streets that allowed people to get out and meet each other and their city in a safe and fun way? (NY1)

Bike parking app: Love this idea from City of Atlanta where people can easily find if their destination has bike racks or not — and then giving folks the ability to request them necessary. (Urbanize)

Climate research from Oregon: If I sat on the Oregon Legislative committee for the Interstate Bridge Replacement and I-5 widening project, or the Oregon Transportation Commission, I would be sure to enter into the record this new research from Oregon State University scientists outlining the grave threat of climate change-induced catastrophes if we don’t seriously shift our paradigms ASAP. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)

About damn time: If I was a Californian I would be incensed that DMV and other government bodies waited until someone was almost killed by a driverless taxi before suspending their license. These companies should never be allowed to beta test on human subjects. (NPR)

Blumenauer retiring? According to various news reports, longtime Portland Congressman and founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus Earl Blumenauer is having serious conversations about his future. (Willamette Week)

Salmonberry > Stimson: A major Oregon timber company lost a court battle against the Salmonberry Trail. They tried to argue their rights were taken away by the trail easement going through their land, but the court said the rail-trail rights are embedded in the railroad easement. (Capital Press)

Pulling a Mapps: New York City safe streets advocates are flummoxed by a decision from Mayor Eric Adams’ office to re-open the public process on a bike boulevard project in Brooklyn. (NY Daily News)

How dangerously sized vehicles can make streets safer: Colorado lawmakers are seriously considering the concept of charging a higher registration fee for vehicles that weight over 3,500 pounds and using the money to invest in infrastructure to make streets safer. (Denver Post)

Video of the Week: Oh Montreal, how I love thee!! My favorite city in the world is the star of this video that should inspire Portlanders with its amazing urban space transformations.


Thanks to everyone who sent in links this week. The Monday Roundup is a community effort, so please feel free to send us any great stories you come across.

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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Phil
Phil
8 months ago

Jonathan, I think some of the links are not set up correctly. Denver post links to NY Daily news, Capital Press links to Denver 7, City of Boulder links to Streetsblog.

Lois Leveen
Lois Leveen
8 months ago

Presuming there’s a missing word in this phrase: “How dangerously sized vehicles can make streets safer” — surely you meant to write something like “how TAXING or RESTRICTING or (if we could dream up a real solution) ELIMINATING dangerously sized vehicles can make streets safer” …

Lois Leveen
Lois Leveen
8 months ago

HELMETS do make a difference. I agree there is much that can and should be done in terms of improving driver behavior and vehicle and road design to make streets safer. But the lead-in to the helmet article (“Helmet reminder: Much of the narrative and conversation about helmet use when cycling in America is not based on fact or rational decision-making — it’s based on bias and emotion and it saps our focus from real problems) does the very thing it cautions against. It sends us to a piece that is NOT based on fact. The author of the StreetsMN piece admits, “Now I’m no expert” — and he doesn’t bother to consult experts, either. There is ample evidence that bicycle helmets reduce the severity of injuries. See this, or this, or this (and that’s just what I found from a quick internet search) for loads of data on the value of helmets. That doesn’t mean we should ONLY care about helmets in terms of safety; we know our streets and motor vehicles are getting more dangerous by design, and that demands action. But we should NOT dismiss those who advocate helmet use as devoid of “fact or rational decision-making.” Helmets save lives and reduce the severity of injury.

BB
BB
8 months ago

There were 80,000 cyclists admitted to the ER last year in the US with head injuries…
Thats not emotions or bias, that is the fact.
You can argue all day long and wear one or not but facts ARE facts.
‘You are quite a bit safer wearing one.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  BB

The idea that acknowledging anything at all that people can do to make themselves safer is victim blaming or excusing bad drivers is pure hogwash.

Helmets may only help in a minority of crashes, but when they do help, they can prevent literally life-altering injuries.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to  BB

Is it a fact? (you might have included a citation)
If it is, it’s still a fact without context. How many of them were wearing helmets?
Here’s the crux of the issue: To conclusively prove how effective helmets are, you would need to hit people in the head with and without helmets, and measure the difference in head trauma. And CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) takes years to show symptoms and can only be proven during an autopsy. So there may never be full data to show what you think you’re showing by throwing a meaningless “eighty thousand” at the question.
Food for thought: It takes a stronger person to admit they don’t know something than to insist they do.

John V
John V
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

No. You wouldn’t need to do that. There is no (serious) debate on the efficacy of motorcycle helmets in saving lives. There is no (serious) debate on the efficacy of seat belts on saving lives. And in both of those, we didn’t have to subject humans to A/B testing with or without the protective gear. That’s not how almost any science works. Everything that gets measured requires some level of indirection, and this is entirely reasonable and possible to measure.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to  John V

Y’all (this applies to the two below replies as well), I’m not arguing against wearing helmets. I’m arguing against using statistics in a meaningless or deceptive way.

BB
BB
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

How far down some rabbit hole do you have to be to argue about the effectiveness of wearing a helmet while you get hit in the head?
Let me know when the NFL does away with helmets…
This is such a ridiculous argument.
How about you bang your head on cement and then put a helmet on and do it again?
Which one hurts?

bjorn
bjorn
8 months ago
Reply to  BB

I mean there are people who argue that helmet advances in the NFL actually led to an increase in head injuries and concussions because players were willing to lead with their heads in a way that no one ever would have without the helmet. The NFL no longer considers helmets to be the holy grail of concussion safety and has implemented tons of rules to change behavior to reduce concussions because helmets are ineffective at doing so.

ShadowsFolly
ShadowsFolly
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Maybe we should just outlaw bicycles. That would end the tiresome debate about wearing safety gear vs. not wearing safety gear.
Hey, it messes up my hair!

BB
BB
8 months ago

No it isn’t in any scientific circle….

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
8 months ago

There is a rational discussion to be held about helmets in the world – Both their benefits and the fixation of non-riders on them to the exclusion of all other topics of cycling safety.

This article wasn’t it. He lost me at the first sentence then it got worse with his little graph.

Is it really any surprise that a country like Finland with a massively lower rate of traffic collisions *period* should have a lower cycling death rate?

If you correct for that I’d wager you’d see something interesting – that as a percentage of the bike/car collisions that do happen there are *more* face/brain injuries in the cohort that doesn’t wear helmets.

Why do I say that? Because helmets are shown to reduce the risk of facial and brain injury in a crash.

The point is clear that reducing collisions saves lives regardless of your helmet status.

The people who fixate on helmets (pro or con) lose the big picture – safer roads save more lives than helmets ever will.

Mandatory helmet laws reduce cycling and make all of us less safe.

If you’re really worried about head injury, you should wear a helmet in the bathroom too – there are far more head injuries yearly in the john than on a bike.

dan
dan
8 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

That graph deserves to be in prison for offences against data visualization. He should have used column charts, the lines only make sense for a time series.

John V
John V
8 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

If biking was as popular as people going to the john, even considering the fact that nobody would be driving anymore, you would see a lot more head injuries.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

If you’re really worried about head injury, you should wear a helmet in the bathroom too

And when driving!

comment image

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/data/dist_death.html

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  BB

People who bike for sport or “recreation” tend to get injured at very high rates. I’m not sure what this has to do with transportation cycling on designated routes in Portland (a very safe city to bike in by US standards).

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

Wearing a helmet inside a motor vehicle will also reduce your risk of head injury, so I assume you do that too? And vehemently encourage others to do likewise?

Fred
Fred
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

That’s a straw man, Matt. Helmets can and do help prevent serious injuries. If you can wear one, you should.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Well then, Fred, I guess you will honestly tell us you wear a helmet every time you drive or ride in a car?

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  Fred

After “falls”, car crashes are the leading cause of TBIs in the US:
https://tpmblegal.com/most-common-causes-of-traumatic-brain-injuries/

So wear one in your shower, on your stairs, and in your car.

bjorn
bjorn
8 months ago
Reply to  Fred

It is not a straw man, if the only thing we should be doing to decide whether helmets should be worn in a situation is to count head injuries that occur in that situation then wearing a helmet in a car is far more important than when riding a bicycle.

BB
BB
8 months ago
Reply to  bjorn

You have responded about 5 times in the negative as far as helmet use is concerned.
Don’t Wear A Helmet!
Not one person has argued that you should be forced to.
Just Don’t, no one cares.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  BB

Actually, there are quite a few people who seem to care. Many localities have helmet laws for adults.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago
Reply to  BB

I wear a helmet when I bicycle – I personally feel naked without one, not that being naked is anything to be ashamed of, it’s just a piece of clothing I choose to wear when I bicycle.

In 1986 I bought my first helmet, for a bicycling class at the University of Oregon in Eugene, a Brancale hard shell from 2nd Nature. The class was fun and it fulfilled a one-credit physical education requirement at the university. I’ve been using various helmets ever since then.

My current favorite helmet is a pale pink POC that I have both my front and rear lights strapped on. A lot of people wave to me because they think my front light is a Go-Pro – I wave back. It’s the same shade of pink as the symbol for breast cancer awareness, so I get a lot of complements from women of all ages, plus they aren’t used to seeing guys wear pink.

I have no illusions that my helmet will help me if a car hits my side or rear – it wont. I have hit my forehead numerous times on the pavement (face plants) over the years and I’ve always been glad to have a good helmet on my head. The one time I was near death in the hospital, it had nothing to do with bicycling and so the helmet was utterly irrelevant, but my recovery from that incident has everything to do with cycling and so I continue to use my helmet, even with joy, to remind me that I’m still alive, not quite dead yet…

I don’t preach to others to use a helmet. I admit I once did in the past, but everyone needs to make their own choices. I will say that people I know who do regularly wear a helmet tend to be cautious and defensive bicyclists, but I cannot say if the are cautious because they have a helmet, or that they have a helmet because they are cautious bicyclists.

When we have community bike rides, we try our best to make sure kids under 16 are wearing helmets (legally they have to here in NC but try telling that to an inner-city kid whose neighbor was recently killed by bullet in a drive-by) and get adults to sign waivers (by the mere act of signing a waiver, most adults will make an extra effort to wear a helmet – guilt is a great tool.) And when we have a group of 20-40 bicyclists all wearing helmets, everyone seems to bike more cautiously and respectfully of each other and act non-aggressively and with kindness and consideration to each other. We’ve noted such rides are very popular with women and with older adults – by requiring helmets and signed waivers, they often feel that other basic rules of decent conduct are also implied – no racist remarks nor aggression is tolerated by anyone, bikes need to be in working order, no one will fall behind the sweep, and so on. Is this just in NC that we do this, or is it universal?

John V
John V
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

I’m not entirely sure it actually would make you safer. Cars have seat belts and airbags. The helmet wouldn’t do anything at best, might interfere with the airbags and head positioning at worst. A bicycle has no such thing and in almost every crash, you’re dropping a human head from about 5 feet up onto what is most likely concrete. This isn’t a similar scenario.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  John V

“I’m not entirely sure it actually would make you safer. ”

Unlike race cars with their 4+ point safety harnesses, I’m not sure that a greater mass affixed to your neck would actually be helpful with 3-point auto seatbelts.

bjorn
bjorn
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I agree, anyone who is even thinking of discussing a helmet mandate for leaving the house regardless of mode should also recognize that 3 point harnesses are bs and don’t even get me started about how few commuters are using H.A.N.S. devices. Look if you are going to the mailbox you damn well better be wearing the red man suit, this is about safety man. https://www.galls.com/redman-xp-instructor-suit

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Funny how professional automobil racers are required to wear helments…

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Funny how professional automobil racers are required to wear helments…

Yes, and full safety harnesses, and fire retardant suits.

It’s almost like they’re doing something different than commuting to work.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Just as injuries associated with sport cycling and recreational cycling are not the same thing as the risk of commuting on safe designated bicycle routes to work.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  John V

Head injuries in motor vehicle crashes often come from the head hitting the window, A-pillar, or other solid structures in the car. This is why newer cars have curtain airbags. Objects flying around the car can also impact the head. A helmet will absolutely make you safer in a crash, which is why racing drivers wear them.

And falling from 6ft while riding at 15mph will see less force on your head than a car crash at 60mph. The acceleration (deceleration) experienced will be significantly higher for the driver.

John V
John V
8 months ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

Yeah that article was annoying. The graph says almost literally nothing, it’s just showing that people die a lot in the US on bikes and also wear helmets. You can learn nothing about the efficacy of helmets from that information, you might as well argue helmets are dangerous (which, oddly, they did a little bit of at the end).

The only point they made (also backed up by nothing at all) was that helmets are not “designed” to protect your head in a collision, which is complete nonsense. It doesn’t make any difference if your head hits concrete or a car, to your head. The helmet will offer the same amount of protection.

And I’ll note, I have been in one collision with a car, and you know what happened after I hit the car? My head hit the ground. My head, as far as I can recall, never actually hit the car. And I think it’s easy to see that in most car collisions, the next thing that happens is the rider hits the ground.

bjorn
bjorn
8 months ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

Helmets aren’t designed to be effective when a driver hits you with a car, they may mitigate some of the damage, or they may not but far too many people think they are a panacea and they clearly are not. More people get head injuries while inside a motor vehicle but we don’t seem to even suggest that those folks should have been wearing helmets.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  bjorn

“we don’t seem to even suggest that those folks should have been wearing helmets.”

Does that mean that we should not suggest bike riders wear them? Maybe we should stop mandating hardhats in construction sites because cars are more dangerous.

I just don’t follow the logic.

bjorn
bjorn
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

It means that the folks who are suggesting mandating bike helmets aren’t pro bike safety they are anti bike. I usually wear a helmet when I ride, but I also recognize that mandates make us all less safe and find it ridiculous when someone wants to talk helmets when someone is hit by a driver because bike helmets are not designed to mitigate a collision with a driver. I feel pretty confident that if you gathered up all the folks who want to “suggest” that bike riders wear helmets as the best way to improve bike safety that you’d have pretty much universal opposition to requiring them to wear a helmet while driving.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  bjorn

Who is mandating helmets for bike riders? I didn’t see that in the story or comments until you just slipped it in.

I am pro-helmet, pro-bike-safety, and pro-bike, and I see no conflict between any of those positions. What happens in other domains does not seem relevant to the issue of whether wearing a helmet on a bike is a good idea. We clearly agree it is, judging by our actions.

And since you wear a helmet on your bike, why don’t you wear one in a car if you really think it is even more important? Your actions suggest you don’t really believe what you’re saying.

Even if wearing a helmet in a car did make sense, it doesn’t seem relevant to whether wearing one on a bike is the right choice.

So many people here claim they want safety at the forefront of every decision, whatever the cost, then dismiss the idea of socializing helmets, a very cheap way to get an important increment of safety.

I really don’t get it.

PS Helmets can help when hit by a driver, especially if that driver knocks you off your bike and you land on your head.

 
 
8 months ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

I think too much of the discourse here has been focused on cyclist/driver collisions. Helmets are useful in far more situations than that, such as crashes involving potholes or the like. Anecdotally speaking, I know far more people who have been riding their bicycle and crashed on a pothole or the like than I do who have been in a collision with a driver.

And it’s no coincidence that the only people I know who have had traumatic brain injuries from such crashes were the ones who weren’t wearing helmets, while the ones wearing helmets made it out with no head injuries beyond mild concussions.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to   

And it’s no coincidence that…

Objection: Assumes facts not in evidence. It could very well be a coincidence. Yes, I will die on this hill of upholding scientific rigor.

 
 
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

It would be completely unethical to run a controlled experimental study here, so we have to make do with observational studies. If you want experimental proof, you’re never going to get it.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

There is ample evidence that bicycle helmets reduce the severity of injuries.

And as noted in the meta-analysis you cited (the only peer-reviewed study) this risk reduction is correlated with cycling in higher-risk areas or due to collision with motorvehicles:

The relative benefit is found to be higher in high-risk situations and when cycling on shared roads and particularly preventing severe head injuries.

A large percentage of cycling in the USA and some other regions is associated with sport and recreation, which are likely to be far higher-risk activities than cycling on designated transportation routes in an urban center. When I raced bikes, I wore a helmet. When I bike on arterials/highways, I wear a helmet. When I toodle along on safe designated bike routes, I tend not to wear a helmet. Am I just being emotional and biased? Perhaps.
.
The authors of the meta-analysis also note that there is statistical evidence of bias in existing studies and that this is due to the fact that only studies that are significant are likely to be published.
.
PS: It’s ironic for someone to claim arguments against helmet use are based on emotion while shouting in all caps.

blumdrew
8 months ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

Helmets surely reduce the risk of head injury in a crash, and they do that reasonably well. But they also have negative effects on cycling ridership and serve to de-normalize it. This is well documented in New South Wales in the 1990s where “the greatest effect of the helmet law was not to encourage cyclists to wear helmets, but to discourage cycling”.

There are individual reasons to wear a helmet, but you should be cautious in mandating it – either from a moral or legislative standpoint. The NFL mandated helmets a long time ago, but American football players are generally less safe from head injury than their Aussie Rules and Rugby helmet-less cousins because of long term rules and behavioral changes in the sports. I would even caution advocating for helmet use, if only because so much more of the danger is posed by cars and unsafe infrastructure and that’s where the most time, effort, and energy is needed.

Steve C
Steve C
8 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

generally less safe from head injury than their Aussie Rules and Rugby helmet-less cousins”

This is what I thought too. But I’m now not so sure.

While intentional head to head hits are not as common. Because rugby has more hits per game and players tend to play much more often, pro rugby has a higher incidence of head injuries.

https://www.florugby.com/articles/6745817-rugby-vs-football-which-is-more-dangerous

“As for rugby, Stewart said studies had shown that the force and number of head impacts in a professional rugby and American football match were “pretty” similar.
“But professional rugby players are training through the week, contact training still, playing 30 matches a season … and the season almost never ends now. Potentially, professional rugby is stacking up even more problems than any sport we have seen.'”

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/dec/13/football-and-rugby-facing-flood-of-claims-over-head-injuries-warning

SilkySlim
SilkySlim
8 months ago

That driverless taxi story out of California was pretty insane. For starters, it wasn’t like the driverless vehicle hunted down a pedestrian like a terminator… “The incident involved a woman who was first hit by a human driver and then thrown onto the road in front of a Cruise vehicle.”

Which brings me directly to my second point: how safe (or how much safer) do driverless cars need to me to allow them to roam the streets? Just a little better than humans (reminder: who constantly speed, and drink, and get distracted by insta)? 50% better in fatalities caused per mile? 90%?

You can probably see where I’m leaning. Once these are demonstrated to be just a bit better (I’ll go with 40%!), I’m pretty down with it. Especially for a purpose like a taxi which is even more likely to be preventing a drunk human from havoc.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to  SilkySlim

It made me wonder whether the computer “saw” the pedestrian before they were struck by the other vehicle; and whether a human driver in its place would have seen them. Because “that pedestrian is in a precarious location” is definitely something I register when driving my car, and I slow way the eff down or come to a stop when I witness it.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

definitely something I register when driving my car

Unless you don’t because you’re on your phone, or you’re drunk, or you’re high, or the sun is at the wrong angle, or you’re ruminating on something that happened earlier, or you’re rocking out to that Aerosmith song on the radio (and, admit it, it probably wasn’t one of their old actually good songs) or you were checking out the attractive person on the sidewalk, or you simply just didn’t see them.

Humans are definitely better drivers when it comes to slowing way the eff down or stopping completely when they should.

PS You can be sure that Cruise will update their software so this situation won’t play out again (as will all the other companies), in much the same way you learned from the freak incident I encountered yesterday. You did learn from my experience, right?

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I’m not sure what your point is exactly; but since you wrote that in the second person (” *you’re* on your phone, or *you’re* drunk…”), I will let you know that *I* don’t use my phone while driving, nor drive intoxicated. I will admit that I’m human and do make mistakes sometimes, but I’ve never injured anybody with my car. And I am that driver who annoys the “normal” drivers by never exceeding the speed limit and coming to a complete stop at every stop sign.

SD
SD
8 months ago
Reply to  SilkySlim

Companies will argue that driverless vehicles just need to be as safe as drivers and that the benefits from driverless are more than only safety. However, safety is a moving target, and they will compare their products/ systems to the worst places in the US. With better policy and street design we could make human driven vehicles much safer, as demonstrated in many places. Similarly, strict policy around driverless cars could also set a high standard for safety. These companies will always push back on safety to increase profits like the current automotive companies do very successfully.

This tech will not save us from ourselves. Collectively, we have to choose safety, and that applies to any transportation system. Putting the control of our streets in the hands of a few powerful corporations is a losing proposition.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  SD

“safety is a moving target, and they will compare their products/ systems to the worst places in the US. ”

Far more likely, manufacturers of automated cars will have a laser focus on safety because every time someone is injured in a Cruise, the parent company is going to be sued. Unlike Ford or Honda, this gives the automated car companies a huge incentive to increase safety at every margin.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  SilkySlim

Except that the Cruise car initially stopped, and then pulled to the side of the road with the pedestrian trapped under the car. Something that only the most sociopathic of human drivers would do. Absolutely unacceptable.

bjorn
bjorn
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

and then they tried to cover it up…

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

“Something that only the most sociopathic of human drivers would do.”

Unfortunately, there are many many examples of people being dragged by cars after a collision, all with the human driver at the helm.

And unlike the sociopathic (or drunk or unaware) human drivers, Cruise will work very hard to never do this again.

Do you really trust the sociopathic, drunk, and unaware human drivers more than the engineers at Cruise?

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

It’s not that I don’t trust the engineers at Cruise, it’s that I don’t think the technology is ready. The car clearly didn’t know it had a person trapped under the car, which means it can’t know that without adding sensors. Given the outside chance of this scenario, I don’t see them adding it. I’ll take my chances with the human drivers.

And clearly Cruise can’t be trusted, because they covered up the incident. This is why they had their license pulled.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

I don’t think the technology is ready

It’s not ready, which is why deployment is so slow and measured. But the data does suggest it is already safer than human drivers, at least in the limited areas it’s being tested in.

But Cruise knows that if there is another freak accident and someone else gets stuck under a vehicle, their goose is cooked. So they may well add a sensor, if that’s what’s needed.

they covered up the incident. This is why they had their license pulled.

I agree that is highly problematic. But the revocation demonstrates that the CA government is paying close attention.

John V
John V
8 months ago

Those curbs in Boulder look awesome. Both visually and functionally. It’s crazy to me that this is “innovative”, as if this took some real brain power to come up with.

Some may complain that they’re not full Jersey barriers. They probably wouldn’t stop a head on collision with a F-6000 mega duty truck, but that’s not the kind of thing that actually happens in real life most of the time. It’s more like a car or truck wandering in, or just being slightly over the line that I’m worried about, and I think these look robust enough to redirect something like that. They’ll also mess up your truck so it has that nice financial incentive.

Like I’ve said before, it’s annoying and disingenuous for PBOT or others to talk about what these cost citing replacing every mile of infrastructure with it. What we need is these tall curbs in strategic places, a few here and there in particularly dangerous places would be great. For starters at least.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago
Reply to  John V

…Boulder will be the first city to bring concrete tall curbs to the United States.

Such inane phrases remind me of visiting Europe and how every single community boasts of having the greatest biggest tallest cathedral – at some point we all know it’s hype – and your point about Jersey barriers (and related California barriers) bring to mind how many US cities have had such barriers for decades protecting sections of bike lanes, some cities have even added art and texture to their barriers years ago. But naturally if you have the ego of a small isolated planet like Boulder Colorado you’d never know that…

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
8 months ago

I believe that the only real danger to the average cyclist is being hit by a car, and bike helmets are not designed to help you in that scenario.

I guess no cyclist has ever gone down due to black ice, railroad tracks or debris. And after colliding with a motor-vehicle, no cyclist has gone on to strike their head on the ground in the secondary collision.

Good to know that I’m unique in my experiences.

Daniel Reimer
8 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

I guess no pedestrian has ever slipped on black ice, tripped on railroad tracks or debris. And after colliding with a motor-vehicle, no pedestrian has gone on to strike their head on the ground in the secondary collision.

Helmets work, but the focus needs to be creating environments that make it safe enough helmets aren’t required.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

but the focus needs to be creating environments that make it safe enough helmets aren’t required

Why do we need to focus on just one thing? Until the world is covered in Nerf, we’ll still need helmets.

John V
John V
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

pedestrians usually don’t walk 10-20 miles per hour.We don’t have that environment NOW, which happens to be when I am, so helmets make sense NOW.I think the harm is small enough (for now) that mandating helmets doesn’t make sense, and I’m not going to shame anyone who chooses not to. If, to you, fashion is more important than a marginal, but real, safety difference and it would mean the difference between riding or not riding, go right ahead. But I would strongly encourage everybody to wear one, and anybody arguing against the use of helmets is doing people a disservice.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Reimer

I don’t disagree with the last sentence, but his *first* sentence was pure and unmitigated canine fecal matter.

The article is beyond worthless.

A Grant
A Grant
8 months ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

Agreed! Pedestrian helmets for everyone!

Fred
Fred
8 months ago

Montreal, how I love thee!! My favorite city in the world…

Um – that would be PORTLAND. 😉

Matt
Matt
8 months ago

I mostly liked the helmet editorial, but the one graph in it is an abject failure–using a line graph where the X axis is a country. It implies there’s a meaningful midpoint between “US” and “Finland”, for example. This should have been a scatter plot. The visual display of quantitative information seems to be a dying art (science, though).

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago

Tour De East Portland? We actually did that one year, I think it was in 2011 or 2012, we had 150 riders, police escort, many elected officials, corking, EPAP sponsored, BTA helped out, the works. I think we started from Ed Benedict Park at SE 104th & Bush, rode on the I-205 path. I can’t remember the whole route, Curly would have a better idea.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago

About Damn Time! They really ought to ban cars driven by humans for the tens of thousands deaths and millions of serious injuries they cause every year…

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
8 months ago

Bike Parking App for Atlanta: Atlanta is one of those numerous US cities that has an extraordinary lack of any bike parking throughout most of the city, except near touristy spots and universities. This app demonstrates such oceans of no bike parking as much as it identifies gaps where it’s most badly needed. When I biked to Mary Mac’s Tea Room in July, a very popular Southern Soul Food eatery, I had to lock my bike to a no-parking sign, at the corner of US 78 (Ponce De Leon) & Myrtle Street NE. On the plus side, Atlanta proved to be a lot safer to bike in than I had expected, very hilly, an excellent subway, and quite interesting – certainly worth a visit.

socially engineered
socially engineered
8 months ago

Motor vehicle collisions are a common cause of traumatic brain injury, often leading to disability and death. When do we start requiring drivers to wear helmets?

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html

BB
BB
8 months ago

I have no idea why people here cannot seem to grasp the concept of risk management.
No one ever said that helmets prevent all injuries or even close.
Life is filled with the choice of what risk to take and Yes, if you want to lesson risk you could wear a helmet while driving.
Is this concept that hard to grasp?
Don’t wear a Helmet while cycling, I could not give one rats ass whether you do or not.
And Yes, the risk of injury riding with no helmet on a bicycle is not that great.
That being said if you want to LESSEN your risk of head injury, you should wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.
Geezz this is hard…..

socially engineered
socially engineered
8 months ago
Reply to  BB

I have no idea why some people here cannot seem to grasp the concept of a “joke”:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
Reply to  BB

That being said if you want to LESSEN your risk of head injury, you should wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in a car

Fixed that for you..

bjorn
bjorn
8 months ago

It is past time to eliminate all tax breaks for timber companies that aren’t actively enabling active transportation on their lands. If you want tax breaks you need to provide something of value not just clearcutting vast swaths of land and often taking the money gained through tax breaks out of state.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  bjorn

Or the public could just buy the land and not clearcut it and allow anyone to use it for recreation.

Wren (Max S)
Wren (Max S)
8 months ago
pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Wren (Max S)

Good riddance.

Helmets save lives
Helmets save lives
8 months ago

Here’s a true story for you. My friend was riding his bike on a side street in Walla Walla one day in 1993 when we were in college. A woman in a car was stopped at a stop sign. My friend had no stop sign. He made eye contact with the driver. As he rode through the intersection, she drove in front of him. His bike’s front wheel hit the left fender of the car. He flew over the car’s hood and slammed onto the ground on the other side of the car, which stopped as he flew over the hood. My friend’s head hit the ground very forcefully, so forcefully, in fact, that the bike helmet he was wearing split open. My friend was fine, save for a few cuts. That helmet probably saved his life.

Matt
Matt
8 months ago

And we know it’s a true story because it begins with the phrase “Here’s a true story”!

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt

I got a better one – another triker was riding an offroad trail. Being on a trike (no chance of falling over) and away from cars he decided to go “sans helmet”.

While riding this nicely wooded path he saw a deer cross in front of him, then another very close in front of him.

Then the 3rd tried to jump over him, caught him in the head and knocked him silly – fortunately no concussion though.

Not saying you should wear a helmet because of deer – but I certainly make sure I know which way the ones on the riverfront trail are jumping!