Here are the news, views, and other tidbits that caught our eyes last week…
Smartphone bike lock: A half-funded new Kickstarter promises an app-activated U-lock that could decentralize bikesharing.
Should kids ride? Streetsblog reporter and mom Tanya Snyder digs into The American Academy of Pediatrics’ controversial recommendation to ride with young children only “in parks, on bike paths or on quiet streets,” and never with an infant under 12 months.
Lower fines, more citations? The bike mecca of Davis, Calif., just lowered first-time fines for lawbreaking bikers from $203 to $50 as part of an effort to get cops to write them more tickets.
Fatal pollution: Traffic fatalities are already the leading cause of death for people 5 to 24, but vehicle emissions cause even more premature deaths among people living near major roads, a new study finds.
Theft investigations: Danish police explain why they don’t bother trying to solve bicycle thefts despite 200 that happen per day.
Bike theft sting: In Ashland, Ore., which gets about three bike thefts a week, police are using electronic tracking devices to run a bike-theft sting operation.
“Don’t share the road”: “All the soft-ball pitching of our needs has failed to deliver streets that are safer,” writes local activist Hart Noecker in a much-shared polemic.
Citi Bike triumphant: The size of the bikesharing mother lode unearthed by New York City and Portland’s Alta Bicycle Share continues to grow. Streetfilms has a video showing just how popular biking has become in NYC.
SF bikeshare: Bay Area Bike Share, meanwhile, has just 700 bikes in SF and Silicon Valley (as many as Portland’s increasingly hypothetical system would get) and needs a corporate sponsor to grow, one advocate says.
Lottery prize: What would your town do if it won the lottery? A rich resident willed $150 million to the community foundation in Elkhart, Ind., population 51,000. Guess which vehicle they’re investing in.
Off-peak freight: After nearly being hit by a truck on his own bike, London’s Conservative mayor is rapidly rolling out plans to reduce conflicts between urban freight and biking.
Luxury bike: Another week, another $10,000 ultralightweight bike, this one from a “French luxury firm with its roots in the equestrian world.”
The undriving generation: The grease-loving son of an auto mechanic says he’ll stop recoiling from car ownership once cars are self-driving, emission-free and quick-charging.
Rahm on wheels: Chicago’s mayor rides bikeshare without a helmet. No one panics.
Puppet safety rap: Rhyming puppets make for an unusually palatable bike safety lecture.
Historical advocacy: Copenhagenize unearths a letter announcing a new nonprofit lobbying for protected bike lanes … in 1897.
“Being bike-friendly is an easy step to more business in Oregon’s booming bicycle tourism economy,” says Laura Crawford in a new Travel Oregon series about the business case for bike-friendliness, your video of the week: