Oregon’s auto industry is booming: Is that a good thing?

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 23rd, 2018 at 12:59 pm

Good news?

How can Oregon make progress in its fight against car abuse when cars represent one of the largest sectors of our state’s economy?

It feels good for Oregon bicycle advocates to talk about “bikenomics,” but the truth hurts: our state’s auto industry is a behemoth that casts a very long shadow. According to an article published Sunday in the Portland Tribune, there was $10.6 billion in new vehicle sales in 2016 (the latest year figures are available). That amounts to a whopping 17.9 percent of all retail sales statewide.

As the Trib story says, auto dealers are celebrating a “banner year” as they ready for their biggest moment — the annual Portland Auto Show held at the Oregon Convention Center this weekend.

Here’s more from the Trib piece:[Read more…]

National study on risks of speeding shows Portland is on the right track

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 2nd, 2017 at 2:44 pm

When Portland Bureau of Transportation management and staff heard about the new safety study focused on speed released by the National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday, their reaction must have been. “It’s about time!”

The report is making waves in transportation reform circles for its strong tone against the scourge of speeding and what should be done about it. The NTSB looked at crashes from 2004 through 2014 and found that speed was listed as a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes. That led the NTSB’s Acting Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt to say, “You can’t tackle our rising epidemic of roadway deaths without tackling speeding.”

Here’s more from the NTSB press release:[Read more…]

Google says self-driving car can predict gestures, movement of bike riders

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 28th, 2014 at 11:25 am

Scree grab from new Google video showing
how their self-driving car can avoid a
bicycle rider.

Google released an update on their self-driving car project today that put a special emphasis on the cars’ ability to detect and maneuver around bicycle riders.

While driverless cars have had widely publicized success in their ability to navigate open roads and freeways, dealing with urban traffic is a whole different ballgame. In today’s update, posted on their official blog, Google says they’re well on their way to “mastering city street driving.”

Here’s more from the blog post:

Jaywalking pedestrians. Cars lurching out of hidden driveways. Double-parked delivery trucks blocking your lane and your view. At a busy time of day, a typical city street can leave even experienced drivers sweaty-palmed and irritable…

[Read more…]

In new ad, Scion sees bike riders as obstacles in a fight

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 11th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Humans on bikes are just obstacles
in a fight you must win, says a Scion ad.

Toyota-owned car brand Scion has unveiled a new commercial for their latest model. In an urban setting, they equate driving with a boxing match where the car is dubbed “King” of the road. Unfortunately, Scion includes a scene with people riding bicycles and refers to them as “obstacles” and then shows the cars zoom by them dangerously — all in an effort to “roll on to victory with the path of least resistance.”
[Read more…]

MSNBC: Teens falling out of love with cars

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 5th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Bike lane in action

Teens are looking past cars these days.
(Photo © J. Maus)

An interesting article published on today touched on a trend we’ve been hearing about for a while now — that today’s teens aren’t as excited about getting a car as their parents were. Here are the stats via MSNBC:

The percentage of new cars sold to 21- to 34-year-olds hit a high of nearly 38 percent in 1985 but stands at around 27 percent today… Just 31 percent of 16-year-olds had their license in 2008, down from about 42 percent in 1994.

[Read more…]

Editorial: Audi ad pokes fun at bikes, bus

Avatar by on September 29th, 2009 at 10:30 am

“Truth in Engineering” is the Audi motto. But their new ad stretches that slogan to the limit, promoting its new, supposedly fuel efficient vehicle, the A3 (it’s supposed to get 24mpg 34mpg).

[Read more…]

Car recall spoof in NY Times Special Edition

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 17th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

[via Cyclelicious]

Here’s an entertaining bit of guerilla marketing. Check out the recall notice below that appeared in the recent New York Times Special Edition (a face edition of the paper).