The Monday Roundup: Bronzeville biking, mandatory reflection & more

The Monday Roundup: Bronzeville biking, mandatory reflection & more


Nice ride.
(Photo by Steven Vance.)

Posting will be lighter than usual today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Bronzeville biking: One of the most historically important African-American communities in the country is the test bed for a new multimodal advocacy program. Bronzeville, on Chicago’s inner South Side, already has two protected bike lanes and 15 bike share stations; now the city that was once home to Dr. King’s “Northern Crusade” is testing a program, designed by Portland’s Alta Planning, to make biking work better for Bronzeville residents.

Mandatory reflection: A well-to-do suburb of Milwaukee will now require every person walking along a street at night to wear reflective clothing or face a citation. They previously required it for people on bikes.

Vision Zero: New York safe-streets advocates are ecstatic, and the city’s media enthusiastic, about new NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order for a plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries in the city by 2024.

Road diet riots: Think “bikelash” is bad in the States? Burgos, Spain, has been “hit by five days of demonstrations and riots” touched off by an €8 million traffic calming project that also replaced free auto parking with paid.

“Drive safe”: Here’s a provocative print ad about the deadly objects most of us use constantly.

Reeves recalled: Longtime Hawthorne Bridge performer Working Kirk Reeves, who fatally shot himself in 2012, got more far nominations than anyone else (840) when TriMet asked the public for suggestions about who or what to name its new bridge after.

Forget commuting: Bike commuting is great, but Americans focus on it too much, argues Walker Angell. Even most Dutch don’t bike 10 miles to work; shorter trips are where the real potential is.

Walkable, bikeable LA: Shake your stereotypes of Los Angeles. Much of it was built in the 20s, when human-oriented urbanism was at its peak; its infamous highway system was actually an awkward retrofit. That’s why 20 percent of trips in L.A. County are made by foot or bike.

Odd crash: A 22-year-old Irishman’s mountain bike crash made the medical journals because it left him with a seven-week-long erection.

Fast-tracking bike projects: Obama-era reforms to the federal transportation department seem to finally be falling into place. The latest is an exemption for projects entirely within existing right-of-way or with less than $5 million in federal funding from being tied up in environmental review — a tactic sometimes used by people who claim that bike lanes increase congestion.

Kickstarting bikesharing: “The country’s only advocate-owned bike share system,” in Kansas City, Mo., just launched a campaign to crowdfund 10 zones of bike share kiosks over the web. Key prizes: two-for-one memberships in the system, at $65 each.

Bike thieves: A pair of bike thieves were caught on camera stealing a custom bike from outside the Central Eastside Lofts at NE Sixth and Davis. Police are looking for information.

Missing sidewalks: “Laurie Sitton uses Powell Boulevard every day. She uses the bike lanes in absence of a sidewalk. But she’s not on a bike. She’s in a wheelchair.

State transpo shakeup: One of the most influential backers behind the Columbia River Crossing is up and moving to Las Vegas.

Smart-car wishlist: The auto lobby is pushing for its priorities to be included in internet-connected cars. Can we get some of our folks on this one too?

Doctors and traffic safety: Streetsblog DC interviews a medical historian about the role doctors have played in pushing for more physical safety on U.S. streets.

Bikes vs. orchards: As Washington state considers following Oregon’s lead to designate some rural roads as scenic bikeways, it’s getting pushback from fruit growers east of the Cascades.

Federal transpo bill: House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) wants a new federal transportation bill by August.

“Density works”: 75 percent population growth; 26 percent job growth; 20 percent fewer cars entering downtown. The city is Vancouver, BC, and the way they did it was letting developers build lots of tall skinny towers that make it easier to live near their destinations, argues Dan Bertolet.

Faster passenger rail: People planning the very-long-term future of high-speed rail in Oregon have settled on using Amtrak’s current corridor to get through the Portland area. South of Oregon City, they’re down to two possible routes. Portland Transport has a great analysis of the winners and losers.

The end of “bike culture”: Writer Elly Blue predicts that biking in U.S. cities will be “kind of a boring thing in the next five years, actually. And that would be a good thing.”

The importance of bike culture: “It wasn’t bland marketing campaigns that got more people riding,” writes Hart Noecker in a rebuttal of sorts. “The strength of our movement lies in its diversity, not its normality.”

Decentralized bike sharing: Lansing, Mich., is the latest smaller city to try out a low-cost, low-visibility floating fleet bike sharing system using web-connected bikes.

Fatsuit biking: A London man and/or his son had an interesting idea for how to convince people in cars to give people on bikes more space when passing: make a video of him riding a folding bike in a fat suit.

Long-term bike parking: San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency has a new study of long-term bike parking policy that includes an overview of public bike parking facilities in 13 U.S. cities.

Singing bike: Finally, your video of the week is the teaser for a remarkable project: a 3:30 musical track produced entirely using bicycle components.

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

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