Monday Roundup: Speeding, super capacitor, Sunset4All, and more

Welcome to the week. Hope you’re enjoying all the rain. Isn’t it magnificent?!

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

Tunnel vision: There’s new momentum for an I-5 tunnel instead of a bridge over the Columbia River thanks to two engineers who’ve built a life-like model of what it would look like. (Clark County Today)

Bike to the future: A French company has invented an e-bike that doesn’t need a battery and stores energy created by operation of the bike in an on-board supercapacitor and all I can think about is Doc and his flux capacitor from Back to the Future. (Euronews)

Our neighbors’ DOT: This article is an excellent breakdown of the tension between transportation leaders, elected officials, and state lawmakers about the future of highway spending in Washington — and it’s very similar to the dynamic we have in Oregon. (The Urbanist)

When selfishness trumps reality: Interesting findings from a AAA member survey reveals that — surprise, surprise! — a large percentage of drivers distort reality to support their behaviors. This information should add urgency for advocates to hammer these points home and for engineers and policymakers to get more aggressively anti-speeding. (Streetsblog USA)

The right to ride: New York’s highest court ruled that a man’s constitutional right to unreasonable search and seizure was violated because a cop stopped them based only on a visual suspicion of carrying a gun. It’s a fascinating case that gets at the heart of how using a bicycle can put people at greater risk of legal exposure. (Streetsblog NYC)

A wolf in sheep’s clothing? Activists say ODOT is intentionally hiding a massive, 10-lane freeway expansion for I-5 through the Rose Quarter. (City Observatory)

London’s quest for clean air (and fewer cars): I almost don’t want to share this out of concern that it will scare local politicians from moving forward with various congestion pricing plans, but I also feel it’s always better to know thine enemy and gird for coming policy debates. (Politico)

The struggle is real: This story about the effort to redesign just one stroad in Los Angeles reveals what is so bad (entrenched car-centric planning) and so good (advocates) in this transportation reform fight. It also introduced me to the term “dad-vocate” which I will immediately adopt and use frequently. (The Guardian)

Check out an e-bike (literally): Portland has great libraries and a bike share system. What if you could go to your local library and check out a pass that would let you try a Biketown e-bike for free? That’s what a library in Santa Barbara, California is doing. (Yale Climate Connections)


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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

37 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
blumdrew
2 months ago

The IBR debacle would be funny if it weren’t so depressing. After the catastrophic failure of the CRC project, our state DOTs got together for a new program… that is exactly the same as the old one. I don’t understand why the directors of this new debacle aren’t being fired for gross incompetence.

A tunnel is a far cheaper option that meets all of the requirements. But it wouldn’t require exorbitantly expanding 10 miles of freeway and rebuilding interchanges, so its a no-go for ODOT and WSDOT.

Time to write an email to my state legislators…

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

I am starting to feel like the tunnel is the way to go. Retrofit the newer of the existing bridges for light rail and bike/pedestrian traffic, then tear down the older one.

I will also be writing my reps today.

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

I’d rather put rail in the tunnel as well so that it isn’t impacted by bridge lifts.

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  Will

Good point. It could also be built to handle future capacity. Rail in the tunnel and one historic bridge for walking/biking. They could even make it kind a linear park like the high line in NYC. How cool would that be?

jakeco969
jakeco969
2 months ago

Pleasantly shocked such a big 2nd amedment win came out of New York. The case is even more shady than the Streetsblog implies.
https://casetext.com/case/people-v-rodriguez-4784
Rodriguez wasn’t doing anything wrong and was put in jail for 2 years for excercising a constitutional right. I’m glad it was corrected and his so called crime removed from his record. Hopefully he sues the city and NYPD.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Rodriguez wasn’t doing anything wrong

Unless illegally carrying a loaded firearm was wrong.

That does not justify violating his rights, as the court ruled the police did, so I agree that the outcome is correct despite the underlying crime.

PTB
PTB
2 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The 2nd Amendment is always being kicked around. SMH. Zero respect for 2A in this country.

Here’s a link to the text of the amendment in case no one has heard about this one.

https://constitution.congress.gov/browse/amendment-2/

BB
BB
2 months ago
Reply to  PTB

Where is well regulated militia?
Who is kicking it around?
Gun nuts have pretty much had their way in this country to the tune of 40,000 deaths a year.
‘They have surpassed cars.
‘Congrats.

PTB
PTB
2 months ago
Reply to  BB

Sorry, BB. I was being sarcastic but it clearly didn’t come across accurately. The second amendment gets wins all over the place so I was trying to mock the wording of the post I commented on.

This case is weird as hell. He was illegally carrying a gun, a cop pulled him over and found the gun. But if he had been driving he wouldn’t have been pulled over, continued to illegally carry the gun and that would be ok? I’m an idiot so I’d love to know what I’m missing. I’d love to live in a gun free society. I hate guns.

jakeco969
jakeco969
2 months ago
Reply to  BB

“The Oregon Constitution protects the right to bear arms. Article 1, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution states: “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defense of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.”

Not just the US Constitution, but the Oregon one as well.

BB
BB
2 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The 2nd amendment is only in the constitution to protect slave owners and most good historians recognize that.
It was uphold by 19th century racist courts and “precedent” and a ton of lobby money keeps it in place to this day.
The Oregon constitution is laughably racist so of course it did.
Gun nuts and MAGA people are inexplicable to me but they exist in large numbers unfortunately…..

jakeco969
jakeco969
2 months ago
Reply to  BB

Insular educational views, lots of insults and not much else to contribute to an adult conversation about abused rights. Oh, and I forgot the playing of the racist card (multiple times) pretty early in the discussion.

BB
BB
2 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Spare us.
No insults and the only rights being abused are the millions of us who have to through metal detectors at every public event, have to worry about every child who goes to school, have to think about all this crap so you and the rest of the MAGA and NRA crowd can have your lethal toys.

jakeco969
jakeco969
2 months ago
Reply to  BB

I honestly hear you. I too am exhausted by the Eloi who live their lives without regard of the sacrifice decades of men and women have given only so the Eloi can mouth off against guns and violence , the very things that have kept us as a nation and people safe. Who somehow believe that the world’s turmoil will never come to these shores because we are so rich and powerful, completely forgetting or not understanding why and how we became rich and powerful.
If you want to see actual genocide, racism/tribalism, real and current slavery, brutal misogyny and a litany of other horrors humanity inflicts on itself you should live in the world for a bit outside the rich first world parts of the globe. Skip your favorite exotic resorts and everyones favorite Nordic countries and get out into the world a bit. Be sure to refuse the protection of guns while you’re there, cause guns are bad.
But no one will and instead will continue to think things are rough and tough and on the verge of some theocracy/dictatorship right here in ‘murica.

Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Sir, this is a Wendy’s.

jakeco969
jakeco969
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

It is indeed 🙂

PTB
PTB
2 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

JFC, Eloi…ha. Where are you going on vacation?? Sudan? The DRC? Afghanistan? What are you talking about??

“”” so the Eloi can mouth off against guns and violence , the very things that have kept us as a nation and people safe.”””

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  BB

The Second Amendment is actually more of a holdover from the English Civil War of 1641-1660, even the strange wording is from that period – Cromwell and so on. Keep in mind that many colonists were decedents of exiled political leaders and rebels from all over Europe, but particularly from England, Scotland, and Ireland. The “well-regulated militia” refers to Parliamentarian forces, especially the New Model Army, versus the royalist Cavaliers who included a lot of foreign mercenaries.

The wording never actually says “guns”, it says “arms”. Oklahoma was eventually able to get swords banned, and muskets which were common in 1787 when the constitution was approved are rare now, as are cannon. I dare say there will eventually come a time when AR-15s and AK-47s will be rare museum pieces.

The period from 1649 (when King Charles was executed) to 1787 was only 138 years, a much shorter period than say from our civil war to now, so it was still sort of “fresh” on the constitution writers’ minds, our so-called founding fathers.

Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

I look forward to the near future where the minimum level of home protection will be a small fleet of explosive kamikaze drones. Protected by the 2nd amendment, of course.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Armed with organic biodegradable carbon-neutral hydrogen-emitting nano-tech thermonuclear supercapacitor micro-warheads, of course.

stephan
stephan
2 months ago

Regarding the article on Washington’s DOT, it seems like they are way ahead of the curve compared to ODOT.

For instance, WSDOT’s secretary Millar stated:

“Solving congestion by adding capacity to the system, it’s not economically possible, it’s not geographically possible”

and this:

WSDOT followed up with an official recommendation to evaluate any new projects for increased vehicle miles traveled, including the impact of induced demand

I want to see ODOT coming out with such statements!

blumdrew
2 months ago
Reply to  stephan

Right, but WSDOT is also currently adding capacity to the roadway system in metro Seattle to “improve regional mobility” – in SR 167 or the various interchange reconstructions on I-405. Plus they are partners on the IBR program..

They may be saying those things (and that’s good), but I don’t really see compelling evidence that they are following through.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Even NCDOT and VaDOT says such progressive crap, but they generate huge amounts of money for the new freeways they are constantly building – both expect Oregon to eventually cancel the RQ and CRC2 projects and both states will eagerly compete for the resulting unused federal monies available.

Al Dimond
Al Dimond
2 months ago
Reply to  stephan

Millar can say stuff like that, but his statements are just recommendations to the legislature. If the legislature says, “Another round of freeway expansion,” the legislature gets it.

X
X
2 months ago

The right to ride:
“A good officer would really just need to follow [the bike rider] around and if they saw him violate one of the many provisions of the (vehicle and traffic law),” –they could legally pull him over.

That’s the problem with murkily written legislation like Oregon’s ‘side path’ law which requires a bike rider to use nominal bike infrastructure despite its adequacy, continuity, or state of maintenance and repair. Police officers have extensive discretion on which laws to enforce (or not enforce!) and they can draw on that discretion to find some reason to pull over just about any person at any time. The officer can put a person in traffic court pretty much at will and their word alone constitutes the preponderance of evidence in that court.

Happy Guy PDX
Happy Guy PDX
2 months ago

“When selfishness trumps reality: Interesting findings from a AAA member survey reveals that — surprise, surprise! — a large percentage of drivers distort reality to support their behaviors. This information should add urgency for advocates to hammer these points home and for engineers and policymakers to get more aggressively anti-speeding. (Streetsblog USA”

Humans being humans wouldn’t bike riders be just as likely to distort reality or are they blameless in all their actions?

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  Happy Guy PDX

A poorly behaved bike rider can only get themselves killed. A poorly behaved driver can wipe out an entire family. Please don’t do this “both sides” bs. We have a culture of dangerously driving too fast that absolutely needs to change if we are going to make any progress on reducing the carnage of our transportation system. Do I think that people should bike safely, be predictable, and follow the rules? Absolutely! But don’t pretend like the societal harm for not doing so is anywhere near the harm caused by irresponsible drivers.

Happy Guy PDX
Happy Guy PDX
2 months ago

“New York’s High Court Rules in Favor of Protecting Cyclists’ Constitutional Rights “

So if a cyclist has 2 sawed off shotguns strapped to his legs the cops can’t stop him because if he was in a car they wouldn’t see the guns? This seems like a stupid decision.

jakeco969
jakeco969
2 months ago
Reply to  Happy Guy PDX

“was arrested by cops who claim they spotted something “bulky” in his pants. The object indeed turned out to be a gun, which led to Rodriguez’s eventual conviction.“

They couldn’t see what it was. Anyone would have seen sawn off shotguns which if they are sawn below a certain barrel length are illegal without further paperwork ie short barreled shotguns.
Which of course is an unfortunate bit of gun control from 1934 that doesn’t seem to have put a dent in organized crime.

Happy Guy PDX
Happy Guy PDX
2 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Not if they’re in a car. And now that seems to be how police must view heat packing cyclists and pedestrians in NY. Oi vey.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago

Virtually every electronic device you’ve ever seen has contained multiple capacitors. The mere mention shouldn’t conjure images of science fiction.

Steve C
Steve C
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt

True, and some electric cars already use capacitors for quick re-gen and power. But it’s cool they’re trying new things with e-bikes. Not sure it’s worth the complication, but it could be nice.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt

These aren’t just capacitors; they’re supercapacitors.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Just like in Back to the Future, right?

PTB
PTB
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt

That was the flux capacitor.

X
X
2 months ago

ODOT can’t get a budget right even when their intentions are out in the open. If they cop to 1.9 billion dollars that means 2.5 at least.

In spite of regulatory hitches, widespread public opposition and court challenges they are grinding away at this thing. The cost keeps going up but there’s no amount of public money that would change the course of the agency because a healthy cut of the total will go into building the ODOT bureaucracy. They’d probably be OK with tolling, if I remember correctly it was estimated that the cost just to start it was $250 million.

I’d be less annoyed by the Rose Quarter Boondoggle if they’d put some of the cash and concrete into dedicated express bus lanes and on-ramps. (It might even be a wash if they left out the unbuildable caps). Seattle transit has those–big buses with signal priority onto dedicated on ramps that have a straight shot into an HOV lane. It’s a design that would mesh well with CTRAN and it could be pretty palatable to Clark County commuters.