Monday Roundup: Cars are awesome, the promise of Paris, 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.

Let’s copy Paris: The amazing rise of cycling in one of the world’s greatest cities has happened in large part because officials “massively amplified the supply” of safe bikeways, which led to induced demand for bicycling. (Le Monde)

Size matters: When it comes to lane widths, a few feet can make a big difference in safety outcomes, says a detailed new study from Johns Hopkins University. (Streetsblog USA)

Really? Really?!: One of the world’s most respected media outlets managed to publish a story praising cars while making no mention of their impacts on road safety or the environment. Tone deaf, yet fascinatingly revealing. (The Economist)

By George: A noted columnist for a major American newspaper penned a rant against “climate scolds” and said warnings about oil use are nothing more than a scare tactic and that smart people will figure out how to keep the fossil fuels coming. (Washington Post)

E-bike licensing: Advocates in NYC are fighting back against a bill from city council that would require licenses and registration for all e-bikes by telling stories of people who rely on them. (Streetsblog NYC)

ODOT burning through cash: For an agency that says it has to cut back on plowing roads because of funding problems, it seems like a very inconvenient truth that 1) they almost always choose the most expensive projects (freeway expansions) and 2) go way over budget on them. (City Observatory)

Pick your poison: The march toward mainstream awareness of tire pollution continues as the Environmental Protection Agency recently joined the chorus of concern that it’s not just tailpipe emissions that makes driving so terrible for our planet. (Slate)

Motorized malice, manslaughter, and murder: Several important insights in this article about how the U.S. legal system treats car drivers who kill people. (LA Times)

“Wild [bike] parking”: It would be a wonderful problem to have so many people biking and locking up on light posts and other unauthorized locations that your city needs to launch an education and enforcement program to deal with it. Dreamy. (Guardian)


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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Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
3 months ago

Really? Really?!: The first 1.5 paragraphs seems to paint a rosy picture of the little metal boxes killing us, but that’s as far as you get before you hit the paywall.

By George: Another paywall!

EP
EP
3 months ago
Mark Remy
Mark Remy
3 months ago
Reply to  EP

If it’s worth reading, it’s worth paying for.

Journalism costs money.

EP
EP
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Remy

Mark, I don’t have a problem with bypassing paywalls to occasionally read a linked/referenced article here, as it’s probably one article/source/year.

Do you pay for Bike Portland?

Matt
Matt
3 months ago
Reply to  EP

I made a similar reply to Mark and it was not published. I thought that was perhaps because I was implicitly discouraging paying for Bikeportland. So I find it intriguing that your comment (implicitly encouraging paying for BP) was published instead of mine…

Commenting on here is generally not a good experience and I’m leaning towards quitting.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago
Reply to  EP

Thank you very much for the link!!

But most of American suburbia more closely resembles Wichita, Kansas, and Greensboro, North Carolina, where drivers rarely face jams.

This is true. Our evening rush hour here in Greensboro rarely exceeds 20 minutes, for a city of 300,000 in a 1.6 million metro area that also includes Winston-Salem & High Point (the cigarettes are long gone.)

blumdrew
3 months ago

One fashionable concept among urban planners these days is the “15-minute city”, the goal of building neighbourhoods that let people get to work, school and recreation within 15 minutes by foot or bike. Many Americans may simply fail to see the need for this innovation, for they already live in 15-minute cities, so long, that is, as they get around by car.

I have to imagine whoever wrote this is being purposefully obtuse. The point of a 15 minute city isn’t that 15 minutes is a magical number, it’s that basic needs should be within walking distance. Because that makes a community more resilient, more sociable, and less environmentally catastrophic – among other things too.

qqq
qqq
3 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Scary. Next will be people citing the “15-minute city” goal as an argument against lowering speed limits: “Urban planners realize the importance having basic needs within 15 minutes of people’s homes. If you lower the speed limit on that road to anything under 40 mph, I won’t be able to drive to Costco in under 15 minutes”.

Then City Council members, who remember hearing about the “15-minute city” concept in a weekly update from planning staff, but don’t remember the details–will nod their heads and ensure people they won’t allow the staff to lower that speed limit, noting that not only will the 40 mph help these shoppers, it will also help preserve Portland’s reputation as a “green” city.

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

I think you’re right that the 15 minute city model does produce these social benefits.

But I think you’re wrong that the writer was being obtuse.

Most of my family lives in a part of Chattanooga that has a lot of services and shopping nearby. They drive a ton, but usually pretty short distances. Traffic isn’t usually a problem, and their life seems pretty convenient!

Of course their health suffers from lack of activity, they are entirely dependent on driving, most local roads are unsafe on foot or bike, etc. These ills are obscure, though, relative to the obvious utility of driving that they personally experience.

Many people take the built world as a given (especially the distances between necessities), and then, reasonably, see automobility as the solution for their own transportation needs. They’re not thinking about the patterns of development and regulation that are the cause of that built world.

Put another way: I now live in Milwaukie, which is obviously a suburb. However, I happened to move to a house which is one block away from a grocery store. I had no idea how awesome that would be. I’ve lived in NYC and I never had it this good before!

When I was looking to buy a house, proximity to a grocery store wasn’t even on my radar, even though I’m clued into a lot of these issues. (I felt I was being picky enough, trying to find a house under a half million dollars, and yet within a reasonable e-bike commute of downtown Portland, where I work.)

So I think you’re correct that this whole edifice is shockingly brittle and unhealthy, but the selected quote is valid: to the average American, who hasn’t looked into the issue or lived any other way, cars are awesome!

I think the point is actually quite useful for those of us who advocate for a better transportation system: it can help us see the current system from the perspective of people who take car dependency for granted.

– Given that many people see cars as tools for personal success and freedom, is there a convincing way to point out the fragility and costs of car-dependence?

– Given the current, relatively unsafe state of most American roads, how can we possibly convince people that riding is better than driving a warm, dry car, surrounded by airbags and other safety systems?

– Given that most people aren’t truly in control of where they live or work (the housing market and job market often necessitate compromise), we should hold some compassion for people who see the ability to travel long distances in a car as the solution to their precarity.

blumdrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

No – the writer is being purposefully obtuse by conflating the 15 minutes of travel time as being the relevant criteria rather than the mode of travel/physical proximity to services. He is misrepresenting the goals and ideas behind designing for 15 minute cities for the express purpose of making a point.

to the average American, who hasn’t looked into the issue or lived any other way, cars are awesome!

I would strongly challenge this. In every city I’ve ever lived in – from Madison, WI to Columbus. OH to Nashville, TN to Portland, OR – “traffic was rough today” is a universal refrain. Every resident of every city thinks that somehow their traffic is particularly bad or that their state DOT does a notably poor job of road maintenance and/or traffic management.

The only ideological leap required is simply that these results (traffic, poor maintenance) are inevitable based on the way mobility is culturally and politically constructed.

we should hold some compassion for people who see the ability to travel long distances in a car as the solution to their precarity.

Yes, being compassionate is a good idea – but we should also frame that same ability to travel long distances as a source of precarity. Making a “cheaper housing in the suburbs” choice to move out of a centrally located city area might resolve some housing related precarity, but it just introduces a whole slew of different issues surrounding reliance on a car and lots of time being spent in transit.

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

I still disagree about your characterization of the Economist article: I don’t think it’s fair to say the author is obtuse (“annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand”), or is conflating the 15 minute time frame with the mode traveled, because the text literally reads “within 15 minutes by foot or bike,” in the description of the 15 minute city. That’s a very clear and accurate characterization of the ideal. I believe there is little chance of a reader misunderstanding, and it’s clear the language is not intended to mislead.

I think you’re onto something, but what you’re onto is called rhetoric! The author is seeking to change our minds with the comparison, and I believe that’s a fair point, not obtuse.

As to your other points:

First point:
“traffic was rough today”- well, you’re right and I’ll grant you that. Given that the many Americans live and work in urbanized environments, looking at things from the perspective of my retired parents’ suburban lifestyle is less relevant

Second point:
We are in agreement that building out suburbs, rather than dense infill, is a poor choice.

Third Point:
I think that, on this forum, there is too little attention paid to the kinds of working people for whom a car is really the only practical choice for purposes of commuting.

We’re not talking about edge cases here:

  • co-parents who live on different sides of town and share child transportation duties,
  • contractors who work all over the metro area (I’ve done that myself),
  • people whose work schedule requires travel at night,
  • people who can’t afford to move every time they change jobs.

There are lots of people for whom the distance between work and home is baked into their life by forces beyond their control. I think we’d do a better job attracting these people to our cause if we could put ourselves in their shoes, which means acknowledging that a car can work well for them.

You write, “we should also frame that same ability to travel long distances as a source of precarity.” I think you have it entirely backwards: the problem is the necessity for that long travel, not the particular means! The problem is one of economics, demography, and geography, and for some folks, the only solution currently on hand is the automobile. I think it’s kind of tone deaf not to acknowledge that.

Thinking of this backwards creates confusion about the solution. Right now, it sounds like you’re arguing that people should view spending several hours every day biking long distances to commute, go to appointments, shop, and shuttle kids, as an improvement over spending far less time traveling the same distances in a car. That will make zero sense to many, many Americans.

Understanding this correctly will create clarity about solutions. I think people would be more receptive to messaging like:

  • The current built environment for housing, work, and services is not good, because it takes too long for people to get where they need to go, with or without a car.
  • We should build a world in which you wouldn’t even need a car very often.
  • There should be so much affordable housing that if you have to change jobs, you can easily find a place to live closer to your new worksite.
  • Every neighborhood should have childcare nearby.
  • Your child shouldn’t have to travel more than a mile or so to get to school.
  • There should be good jobs in every neighborhood.
  • There should be a network of clean, safe, and fast buses or trains that take you where you need to go.

Of course cars themselves do create negative externalities! But I think this a cart before the horse problem: we need to build communities that allow more people to live car-free or car-light, rather than try to convince them to take up such a lifestyle in the current, poorly developed community we have now.

Or, even if we can’t convince these people, the least we can do is acknowledge the difficult situation our development patterns have put them in, and acknowledge that a car can offer a better solution for that situation than our preferred transportation alternatives.

blumdrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

This probably comes down to strategic differences more than anything – though I appreciate the thorough response. But the author of the article is being obtuse by conflating 15 minutes of driving with 15 minutes of walking and/or biking and by using that as a way to refute the need for 15 minute cities.

I am of the opinion that cultural shifts are more practical, faster, and easier than built environment shifts. If we wait for the market, or planners, or whomever to provide your laundry list of goals we will be waiting forever. And while there are plenty of cases where cycling and transit are not practical, I think there are a fair few more where they are. Additionally, non-commute trips are probably something that deserves more focus (especially in the post-pandemic world).

Most Portlanders live within about a half mile from the nearest grocery store. But if you ask people why they drive to the store (rather than walking or cycling), they typically will talk about how many things they need to buy and carry. In my experience, most Americans view a grocery trip as a weekly “big haul”, where they maybe do all their shopping for the week on Sunday. Contrast this with how folks from Europe tend to view grocery shopping, where a few trips per week for less food has multiple positive benefits – from better access to fresh produce to reduced food waste. There’s an interesting (depressing) history of US-based food manufacturing firms manufacturing consent for processed foods from the 1950s onward which plays a role here too.

Is it necessary to focus on creating an entirely new world before starting small and trying to influence behaviors? I would posit that it’s easier to sell a lifestyle change like walking to the grocery store three times a week than it is to make any inroads on ending car-dominated design from the top down.

And that’s not to say that I don’t think the changes you have listed are necessary – they are. I just think that almost everyone (at least in the city of Portland) likely has changes they can also make in their life right now that would reduce the amount of driving that they do.

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Fair points all around. People are clearly influenced by lifestyle messaging, and there are lots of smaller goals that could build to a car free or car light life.

And you’re right that it’s good if we try to advance to a better world on every front available to us.

I will just say that, given the time penalty and public’s impression of the dangers of being a pedestrian or cyclist, engineering a larger shift in behavior would be a hard sell.

Personally, I have accepted the higher risk of serious injury while commuting on my bike, as well as the physical effort and discomforts of weather, etc.

Obviously there is a meaningful number of people in the same camp, but we are the oddballs, the true edge cases of transportation. I think it’s helpful to remember that.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

A lot of people regard shopping as a chore, and don’t want to do it multiple times a week. That’s a lot of time and effort you are asking them to dedicate to a cause they are indifferent to.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Most Portlanders live within about a half mile from the nearest grocery store.

As someone who shopped primarily by bike for 30+ years, I now drive my EV most of the time. I very much miss shopping by bike but having had parts removed from my bike and having seen too many bike frames picked clean has convinced me that locking up my commuters at a grocery store is very dumb. I have been considering buying a beater bike that I will extensively scratch up and coat with dirt and tape but don’t have room to store this bike in my apartment building.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago

Size Matters: Apparently, according our local traffic engineer here in Greensboro NC, there is a federal requirement that the minimum lane width between the white lines must be at least 9 feet (and not from the center of those white lines). When our city repaves any major stroad they now put in 10-foot lanes (in reality 9.5 feet to 10.5 feet based on the centers of the white lines) as their SOP. On most state-owned NCDOT stroads within our city, the state will put in whatever the city mandates (often they’ll simply have the city do it with their machines and reimburse them afterwards), but on federally-numbered stroads and freeways will still put in 12-13 foot wide lanes, alas. Like many cities, the only time we can get new bike lanes is when a street is being repaved, so when our city lists the streets up for repavement, we spend hours talking directly with city engineers advocating for painted lanes on this street, buffered bike lanes and a road diet on that stroad, and sharrows on selected neighborhood cut-throughs. Speed pillows, speed humps, green lanes, and barrier-protected bike lanes are still rare out here and we have yet to get our first bike box, unlike Charlotte or Raleigh.

Nathan
Nathan
3 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

North Carolina roads are far superior to anything happening here in Oregon. Despite the few additions bike boxes per capita we have for us bike commuters and rec cyclists. We should be embarrassed here in Oregon and especially Portland. Was amazing driving and biking (using my dad’s bike) last month in NC, not dodging pot holes and low noise smooth freeways (appreciated while driving). As a bonus I did not have to dodge homeless camps, debris, and feces.

J1mb0
J1mb0
3 months ago

My biggest issue with the Economist article praising our car dependency is that they act like the 50% of those who now live in suburbs want to. We haven’t really built anything else for the last 70 years in the USA – it’s literally been illegal to. As a computer engineer most of the places I can work are way out on the fringes of our UGB and are 100% car dependent. Stuff like Orenco Station exist, sure, in a small bubble but look in any direction and you have car dependent suburbia that is insanely hostile to anything outside of car. To get anywhere outside of your “block” you end up on a 5+ lane monstrosity with heavy traffic trying to go 50+ MPH, trusting some paint to protect you from drivers who are probably on their phone. That and bunch of MAX stations that serve parking lots or empty fields. The worst was what they said about America suburbs being 15 minute cities by car already – overlooking the fact that a majority of them are also already [15 minute cities by BICYCLE](https://youtu.be/a4FOETC5oW4?si=QSw_FNAmUASCkd1F) as well. That is certainly the case for the majority of Tigard, at the very least. The issue is that getting around these suburbs outside of a bicycles physically feels wrong. Like you are doing something wrong. The amount of times your infrastructure just stops existing and you are thrust into a dangerous situation without any alternatives is really demeaning. It was not only built for the car, but it was also built to discourage any other transportation use.

What was great about that article was the mention that Wichita, Kansas and Greensboro, NC are car dependent cities without much congestion. I have been looking for examples of where car dependent planning actually managed to not have crippling congestion. I wonder how these cites stack up against the Strong Towns arguments.

blumdrew
3 months ago
Reply to  J1mb0

I can think of plenty more highway-centric cities that don’t have much traffic. Youngstown, Toledo, Fort Wayne, Dayton, and Sioux Falls come to mind. Now none of these cities are particularly large – which probably is why the traffic isn’t bad more than anything else (Youngstown in particular has massively shrunk since most of its freeways were built).

The Strong Townsian issue surrounding car-centric planning is not that it creates congestion per se (though it does to some extent) – but rather that it creates a region where there is a whole load of infrastructure to maintain which the municipalities may or may not be able to maintain.

There are other reasons why car-centric planning is broadly bad outside financial solvency, but evidently in Portland even the financial insolvency of our city bureau of transportation is not enough to even consider the impacts of car-first maintenance and operational procedures.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago
Reply to  J1mb0

As a former 17-year resident of Portland Oregon who has been living in Greensboro NC now for 8 years, and totally bike/transit dependent (I never learned to drive), I won’t say that Greensboro is just like Portland – they have very little in common. I do miss Portland’s literary culture and Powell’s City of Books, the nearby mountains, the vibrant walkable downtown, and the nicer bike facilities – but I’ll be frank with you, I do wish I had moved out here sooner. People here in Greensboro are simply nicer and more friendly. I almost never worry about right-hooks while bicycling. There are homeless here, tents even, but they tend to be concentrated only in certain out-of-the-way spots, a bit like Portland when I first moved there in 1997. The cost of living and rents are a fraction of Portland’s. You have to leave your bike unlocked outside for a week before it gets stolen. I have 4 train connections each way to Charlotte & Raleigh, plus two routes to Washington DC, Philly, & NYC (and literally a midnight train to Georgia.) Our downtown train station is not as big as Portland’s, but like Portland’s it is beautifully renovated (1926) and tied directly with the city bus shed (ours is a hub-and-spoke system) and Greyhound. We also have there our regional inter-city public bus system, PART (Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation) with $2.50 service to Winston-Salem, High Point, Carboro/Chapel Hill, Durham, and several smaller cities, something Portland sorely lacked. And like half of Portland, about half of Greensboro has no sidewalks nor reliable public transit – SW Portland and East Portland is as crappy as anywhere in suburbia, something that uninformed Strongtownian inner Portlanders seem to frequently and conveniently “forget”.

Nathan
Nathan
3 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Wish I could convince my wife to move to NC with me! I’m jealous!

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

I’ve got family in Greensboro. Nice town!

But HOW IS THE SKIING???????

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

I admit the mountains here are a joke for those of us from the West Coast – North Carolina’s Mt Mitchel is the highest peak on the East coast at 6,800 feet or so, people here are impressed by the tundra on top, and yes there are winter ski resorts up in them thar hills, even in NC, VA, & WV, but even the Great Smokies aren’t much higher than the Olympic Mountains or the Coast Mountains, let alone the mighty Cascades. On the other hand, the Blue Ridge Parkway gives one a good view of what few mountains are out here, a 2-lane rural highway that passes through no towns for hundreds of miles in an otherwise dense part of the country – imagine a roadway that follows the Pacific Crest Trail but with bridges and overpasses too low for semis.

Personally I like Virginia more than NC, much more liberal and lots of wonderful independent cities, but like Portland I can’t afford to live there. Charlotte VA is the Boulder of the East Coast – huge public university, nice pedestrianized old downtown, super rich student population, so-so bike facilities, and good public transportation. Roanoke is cool as well. Excellent subway service in Northern VA – there’s even another Greensboro near Tyson’s Corner – and Richmond has BRT, plus lots of rail-trails throughout the state.

High Peddler
High Peddler
3 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Not sure where being “much more liberal” has gotten Portland.

J1mb0
J1mb0
3 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Thank you for this really good summary of living in Greensboro car free. I absolutely understand about the people being friendly and nicer – on bicycle tours I would notice this as well. Some places had no infrastructure but were pleasant to ride through – the people were kind and patient. Others, people were absolutely crazy and looking for an opportunity to vehicular manslaughter. That makes all the difference.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
3 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

something that uninformed Strongtownian inner Portlanders seem to frequently and conveniently “forget”.

I think you are being far too charitable here, David.
.
Most “Strongtownians” simply don’t give a crap about the people who live in metro neighborhoods that don’t have sidewalks or reliable transit.

Iconyms
Iconyms
3 months ago
Reply to  J1mb0

Pardon the pointed sounding question but as a computer engineer why can’t you work remotely?

Damien
Damien
3 months ago
Reply to  Iconyms

Pardon the pointed sounding question but as a computer engineer why can’t you work remotely?

If it’s anything like my and my fellows-in-the-industry’s experience: C-suite narcissism.

J1mb0
J1mb0
3 months ago
Reply to  Iconyms

One of my primary responsibilities is hardware integration on systems with 5+ mil parts list. Can’t put one of those systems in my home office – it wouldn’t even fit. Sometimes I work from home when I have a task that requires focus and I can do at my home office.

Don’t get me wrong – prepandemic WFH was a life goal. But after 2 years of WFH, I am kind of over it. Being in person with my coworkers scratches some human social itch. Plus I overall love my commute, as long as I don’t drive.

Don’t get me wrong, there is some C-suite narcissism as well. But WFH is not for everyone either – and judging from the traffic not much of a transportation solution or savior either.

Nathan
Nathan
3 months ago

As I’ve mentioned on this board prior, I’m a cyclist and what i consider 50% bike commuter, yet I’m fed up of the rabid anti-car agenda from many bike activists. Every Oregonian could scrap their car tomorrow and e-bike for life but given the infinitiamially small fraction of the population we are this will have negligible impact on climate change.

Additionally investing on essential car highway infrastructure and safer biking lanes are NOT mutually exclusive. There are countless examples of grift, financial mismanagement and misappropriation of city/county/metro programs that could too be going to building safer and better bike infrastructure. JOHS, Portland Clean Energy Fund, $12 Million/yr on ‘Police Accountability’, the MultCo Pre-K program that the WWeek recently reported on, $30 Million+ for the city council re-org, 9:1 “Small donor matching” for any local/state political candidate. The list goes on.

Highway infrastructure spend is one of the few things that could actually help generate more money for the state!

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

So, since any individual effort is worthless no one should make the effort?

A built environment that requires cars has so many negative effects that it’s unlikely you could have come up with a worse solution to transporting human beings around.

It only gets worse as you get more people – the requirement for all that pavement pushes them ever farther away from their destinations.

When I was born in 1967 there were ~198 million people in the US.
Those people drove 960 billion miles that year.
avg. = 4,850

In 2022 there were ~333 million people
These people drove 3,260 billion miles
avg = 9,790

So, people are spending twice as much time in cars (to their detriment).

For people below median income a car is a large financial burden (2nd highest monthly expenditure behind rent) – but they need it now more than ever.

More pollution, more congestion, more deaths.

But yeah, being against continuing down that path is somehow so unreasonable as to be considered “rabid”.

Frantic? Desperate to change a doomed path? Yeah.
Rabid? Not so much.

Iconyms
Iconyms
3 months ago

In terms of tire pollution – isn’t that going to be an issue with bicycles as well?

Steve C
Steve C
3 months ago
Reply to  Iconyms

It would probably be much less for the same reason that bicycles do nearly no appreciable wear to roads, while heavy suvs and trucks tear up roads at much higher rates than small cars, let alone bicycles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_power_law

With 8 billion people, doing anything every day is going to have an effect, almost be definition a large effect. But here we’re talking about immense differences in those large effects.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
3 months ago
Reply to  Iconyms

Weight and velocity.

1/10-1/20 the weight at 1/4-1/2 the speed = vastly less particulate from brake pads and tires.

blumdrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Iconyms

The tire is the vector through which forces are exerted for cars/trucks/bikes. More momentum (because of greater mass and/or greater speeds) means more force required to stop/start, which means more physical wear on the tires. A typical 2,000kg motor vehicle moving at 20 m/s (~45 mph) requires way more force to stop than a 100kg bike/human system moving at 10 m/s (~22 mph). Even if a bike can stop 2x faster – say in 2s instead of 4s that’s 500 N of force for the bike versus 10,000 N of force for the car. Again, since this force has to be eventually exerted by the tires and brake pads we are looking at 1/20th of the wear on the tires – without taking trip length and preference into account.

Iconyms
Iconyms
3 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Yea – seems like a tax / incentive type thing based on weight would be good then. I guess that’s one more pro for EVs over gas as well – less brake pad emissions…

M
M
3 months ago

The two guys who deliberately ran over and killed the cyclist in Las Vegas in August were charged with murder. It happens occasionally.

Steve C
Steve C
3 months ago
Reply to  M

They filmed it and laughed as they killed him. Also he was a retired cop. Shouldn’t matter but it does.