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Will Vanlue (Contributor) Posts

The Monday Roundup

Monday, October 8th, 2012

“Streets that prioritize biking and walking and include amenities like bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have been proven to boost retail sales by 10-25 percent.”
Statement by Transportation Alternatives

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– An article from Bill McKibben Rolling Stone discusses the terrifying new math of climate change and how we have over five times more carbon in current oil and gas reservers than scientists think we can put into the atmosphere and still have a “reasonable” chance to avoiding catastrophe.

– Tragic statistics from Los Angeles find that people who drive in the City of Angels kill people walking and biking at a much higher rate than the national average.
[Read more…]

Go behind the “SAG” van at Cycle Oregon

Monday, October 1st, 2012
Cycle Oregon SAGs

Bart Simpson and a shark fin adorn
two SAG vans in Ashland, Oregon.
(Photos by Will Vanlue)

Last month I spent a week volunteering on Cycle Oregon in one of their SAG vans. I get a lot of questions about what exactly a “SAG” is and what we do to support the ride, so I figured I’d share a bit more about my experience.

Even some people who have ridden Cycle Oregon for years, who’ve been lucky enough to avoid mechanical programs and fatigue and so haven’t needed a ride, have asked me how the SAGs work. And while the logistical details are interesting, there’s a whole other reason why I choose to volunteer in a SAG van year after year.

First, a little background on SAG vans and Cycle Oregon.[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup

Monday, October 1st, 2012

“…these data suggest that warning patients who are medically unfit to drive may reduce the risk of road crashes…”
Statement by researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– Local Portland businessman Chris King recently visited the White House to talk about the current state of domestic manufacturing.

– The Atlantic Cities shares the story of Em Baker, who is riding across the country with two friends to bring attention to “pointless bike deaths.”

– Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood probably should go back and check his numbers after he misquoted a statistic about pedestrian injuries by blaming 80% of victims in fatal accidents involving someone walking across a street.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup

Monday, September 24th, 2012

“…although traffic accidents remain a major public safety problem, the biggest killer of people ages 5 to 34, vehicle travel is far safer than it was a few decades ago.”
The New York Times

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how “Bicyclists of a Feather Flock Together” in their article based on a new book about the subject of “bike tribes.”

– It’s been a few months since the reauthorization of MAP-21, the national transportation legislation, but our story on the implications of giving local roads over to federal control is creating national concern about the impact of federal road design standards, and some people are asking whether or not it makes sense to have federally controlled transportation projects at all.

– An analysis by the New York Daily News says the delay to New York City’s bike share system is a “blessing in disguise” that will give the city time to further build its network of bicycle infrastructure but also suggests the city should cancel the current contract with Alta Bike Share and restart the search for a bike share provider.

[Read more…]

Exploring Ashland during the Cycle Oregon layover

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Turtle Time Glass

Inspired by Cycle Oregon’s visit, the
owner of Turtle Time Glass works
on a glass bike frame.
(Photos: Will Vanlue)

[BikePortland contributor Will Vanlue was a volunteer on the Cycle Oregon ride last week. This is his latest dispatch.]

Most days on Cycle Oregon riders travel from one community to another, spending just one evening in each town. But one day during each ride there’s a two-day layover that gives people a full day to explore the host community.

This year that layover day fell in Ashland, a town with vibrant and varied local businesses eager to welcome Cycle Oregon riders. Since many people chose to spend the whole day in Ashland, fewer people were out on course and fewer volunteers were needed to support them. That gave me a chance to explore a bit on my own.
[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup

Monday, September 17th, 2012

“Finding beer on a bike in Portland is about as hard as finding a duty-free shop in an airport.”
BikesnobNYC on the Hop in the Saddle book

Welcome back from the weekend. Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

Support for building more roads for cars is falling in America, according to a National Resource Defence Council poll (PDF), as more people recognize the need to improve other transportation options.

The New York Times highlights how few penalties there are for people who drive recklessly in New York City.

– Meanwhile, a person driving a car was found not-guilty of criminally negligent homicide after a collision in Texas that resulted in two people’s deaths. One of the victim’s family members said the ruling was, “kind of a shot in the bottom to the biking community… Why don’t they just put a big target on their backs? It’s just pathetic.”[Read more…]

ODOT, State Police go extra mile for safety on Cycle Oregon

Friday, September 14th, 2012

[BikePortland contributor Will Vanlue is on the Cycle Oregon ride this week. This is his latest dispatch.]

Plenty of cones help keep
things safe as Cycle Oregon riders
roll down Highway 97.
(Photos by Will Vanlue)

Cycle Oregon’s mission of helping the economies of Oregon’s rural communities keeps the route, for the most part, on quiet back roads with little motor vehicle traffic. However, there are occasions when there is only one road leading between communities giving people no other choice than to share the road with a large volume of motor vehicles.

There was one such situation this year when the route turned on to Highway 97, a major north-south corridor between Oregon and California, which regularly has traffic traveling in excess of 65 MPH.

Normally it’s a harrowing stretch to ride on a bicycle but for a few hours during the ride the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon State Police were able to turn it into a safe, pleasant, and -by some estimations- fun place for people to travel on bicycles.
[Read more…]

Bly’s Bikes welcome Cycle Oregon

Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Bikes in Bly

One of the many bikes rolled out by residents of Bly, Oregon
to welcome Cycle Oregon riders. The 25th anniversary of the ride starts today.
(Photos by Will Vanlue)

[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

“I’m try[ing] to catch up on my work and you know I keep my eyes on the road, but I’m a busy man.”
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford after being asked if he reads while driving

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– Amidst the controversy of the USADA’s decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles, donations to the Lance Armstrong Foundation have spiked.

– Per capita gas consumption in Oregon and Washington has dropped to a level not seen since the 1960s according to the findings of a Sightline Institute report titled Shifting into Reverse, which concludes the decline has more to do with decreases in personal vehicle travel and less to do with fuel efficiency improvements.

– A woman in Eugene is pushing to raise the driving age in Oregon after her son was killed by a 16-year-old driver saying we should instead, “Give [teens] bicycles to ride.”

[Read more…]

The Monday Roundup

Monday, August 27th, 2012

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by the 10th annual Harvest Century, a benefit for Community Vision, coming September 30th.

Here’s the news and other interesting stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– A surgeon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana got caught in gridlock while driving into work. Being late wasn’t an option, so she called a friend a few blocks away and borrowed a bike to pedal the rest of the way. A kids bike. Check out this awesome story.

– Leaked communications from the New Orleans Police Department show that officers were ordered to meet quotas for the number of people on bikes they stopped while on duty.

NPR‘s All Things Considered discusses the practice of setting up ghost bike memorials, speaking with Ryan Nuckle who helped found New York City’s Ghost Bike Project in 2005.

– The 7th Annual Brompton World Championships was held this past week in the UK and a new record was set in the event’s main competition.

[Read more…]