Here’s the bike-related news from around the world that caught our eyes this week:
Parent arrested: A Tennessee dad was arrested this month after being told he couldn’t pick up his children from school on foot; he had to wait in the line of cars with everyone else. For some reason, this upset him.
Red lights for speeders: If you’re speeding on this Philadelphia road (and almost everyone is) you’ll activate a red light up ahead.
Ride info on your glasses: “Strava for Glass makes it easy to track your rides, visualize your progress, and challenge your friends,” says Google, “all while keeping your hands on the handlebars.” It’s one of the first five apps for Google Glass.
Cars as prosthetics: A man walking across the world for National Geographic contrasts the “spacially crippling” effects of “Car Brain” with the experience of walking and its “natural, limbic connections that reach back to the basement of time.”
Fitness warning: “We are under-exercised as a nation. We look, instead of play. We ride, instead of walk. Our existence deprives us of the minimum of physical activity essential for healthy living.” That’s
“>John F. Kennedy in 1961.
Bad traffic predictions: Private toll roads are in a slump around the country as projected traffic never shows up. (WSJ paywall)
Washington transportation priorities: Though the state’s new transportation bill is CRC-free, in general it’s the exact opposite of what people want.
NYC’s principles: The country’s most progressive transportation agency lays out five rules that guide its work.
Person-protected lanes: This cleverly protected bike lane in NYC doubles as public seating.
Oakland backpedals: Oakland has removed an NYC-style car-free plaza after its planning director, citing objections from “property owners and businesses,” said it had failed to attract people. Asked for data, she said she had none. A manager for the downtown association said a few businesses opposed the plaza but most liked it.
Gentrification and inequality: “Gentrification debates will go nowhere as long as they ignore capitalism,” writes Bill Lindeke in a piece reflecting on how to improve cities when investments like sidewalks are seen as a step toward displacement. “Gentrification is our word for how money controls our cities.”
Toronto mayor: Crack-smoking Rob Ford, brought to you by suburban perceptions of a “war on cars.”
Grim suburban future: “At best, suburbanites take a huge hit on depreciating houses; at worst, they’re stranded in decaying neighborhoods,” speculates Chicago Magazine in a nicely written piece that tries to explain some suburbanites’ fury about bike transportation. Added bonus: the photo captures an emotion on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s face that scientists have described as something akin to happiness.
Illegal parade: A former Portlander who dared to approach a Minneapolis police car on his bicycle and tell them that they’d turned in front of him at an earlier intersection says the officers charged him with “unlawful parading,” a moving violation, because he’d pedaled into the intersection on a green light.
Get off my lane: With some California authorities misapplying the state law that requires bikes to ride as far to the right “as practicable,” there’s a new push to repeal the “FTR” law.
Hope for Los Angeles: One good thing about our second-most-car-dependent city is that its obvious failure to move its people efficiently is inspiring interest in other ways to do so.
More distracted driving: As many predicted when we learned that traffic deaths increased for the first time in years, distracted driving is climbing fast — distracted-driving-related deaths of people on bikes are up 30 percent in five years. For people on foot, it’s up 50 percent.
Tall bike tale: Unfortunately for the Internet, this story about a New Orleans tallbiker getting tangled in power lines is satire.
Decentralized bikesharing: Social Bicycle’s free-floating, stationless bikesharing could bring outlying neighborhoods more of a good thing.
Let bikes ignore reds: That’s the most interesting of eight “radical” ideas for improving UK bike safety.
Biking language: The word “cyclist” may be making biking more unsafe,” writes Gizmodo’s Alissa Walker.
Constant danger: “When you are on the street, your life is in someone else’s hands,” Esme Brauer, 11, said at a Brooklyn safety rally last week to protest five NYC children dead in five weeks. “And most of those hands are on the steering wheel.”
“Bike Lane Wars”: There’s nothing quite like a funny takedown of an absurd anti-bike-lane argument. Wash Cycle provides.
Mayor helps biker: Incoming Seattle Mayor Ed Murray got out of his car to help a woman who’d crashed while riding her bike.
In your video of the week, one of the country’s most interesting urbanists interviews video visualization pro Spencer Boomhower, one of Portland’s most interesting transportation advocates.