My usual Monday Roundup columnist Will Vanlue is out on Cycle Oregon right now, so I’m stepping in to share some of the week’s best stories. Here we go…
– Urban traffic issues are often boiled down to a simplistic duality of either being too auto-centric or an all-out “war on cars”. The Greater Greater Washington blog posted a great explanation of why planning human-friendly cities isn’t anti-car, it’s simply “common sense”.
– Ever wondered why bike tires lose air so quickly while care tires don’t? Grist’s Ask Umbra column has the informative answer.
– You know how I love to critique and analyze media coverage… Well, in that same vein, Brooklyn Spoke does a masterful job breaking down how the sensational bike news coverage in New York City often doesn’t match reality (sound familiar?).
– As reported here in the past, Oregon has pioneered research into an alternative to the gas tax known as a vehicle miles traveled — or VMT — tax. The venerable Atlantic Cities blog takes a closer look at whether or not it’s a good idea.
– Fast Company featured a few photos of a nifty kids bike from Orbea (a Spanish company known for its high performance racing bikes) that grows as kids do.
– The Portland-made Kinn bike we profiled a few weeks ago has been dubbed “the iPhone of bikes” by Triple Pundit.
– And now there’s yet another round of statistics showing that people are driving less. Sightline reports that VMT in Oregon has dipped yet again and that “total vehicle travel on state roads and highways dipped to its lowest level since 1997.”
– The Paralympics in London were awesome this year. One of the many inspiring headlines is that former Formula One auto racer, Alex Zanardi, took home a gold medal in paracycling.
– With just 12 days before Portland’s new eastside streetcar line opens to the public, the Portland Mercury’s Sarah Mirk has a hilarious and must-read blog post that breaks down the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the end, she writes, “We’ve paid for it. We’ve built it. Maybe wondering whether the streetcar is a good or bad one is a moot point, since it’s already here. Let’s get out there and enjoy the damn thing like it just cost us $148 million!”.
– Metro, Portland’s metropolitan planning organization, reports that regional commuting stats show, despite planners’ aims to get people to move closer-in and have shorter commutes, long-range work trips from the suburbs into the city are still very common.
– Out in the eastern Oregon town of Madras, dozens of cows wondered onto the highway and 44 of them were killed when five big-rigs plowed right through them.
– Speaking of dangerous highways, Texas is pushing an 85 mph highway speed limit.
– In case you missed it, former BTA executive director and former volunteer Chair of the Bike Walk Vote PAC Evan Manvel has been hired by Seattle-based Cascade Bicycle Club to assume the role of Director of Policy, Planning and Government Affairs.
– Bicycling Magazine has published their picks for “Best Bike Shops” in America. Congrats to Sellwood Cycle Repair, River City Bicycles, Fat Tire Farm and Bike Gallery for making the list.
– A new report from The Netherlands shows that, even with their relaxed approach to helmet use, the rate of injuries to children while cycling is at an all-time low. Outspoken blogger, consultant, and anti-helmet guy Mikael Colville-Andersen is obviously pleased to share the news. He posted an English language translation of the report that opens with, “The debate about the safety of children on bicycles erupts frequently in the media. Usually it is implicitly assumed that children on bicycles are highly vulnerable. The figures indicate that this is not the case.”