The Monday Roundup: Catching distracted drivers red-handed, counterfeit bikes & more

The Monday Roundup: Catching distracted drivers red-handed, counterfeit bikes & more

The late Jake Owen.
(Family photo)

Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Distracted driving: If your advocacy for making streets safer needs a jolt of energy, you should read the first three paragraphs of this story about a proposed Maryland law that would make it easy for police to check whether people involved in car crashes were using the phone at the moment of impact.

Fake bikes: The world of counterfeit branded bicycles sold online is dominated by “very sophisticated organizations who launder money they gain from drug dealing, from prostitution, from slavery,” the mainstream bicycle industry warns.

Tolerating danger: “The Federal Highway Administration’s proposal on safety performance measures allows states to fail to meet half their own safety targets without consequences.”

Bike heroine: It’s the 100th birthday of the oldest Dutch advocacy group for separated bike infrastructure. Its leader was a woman, but her husband’s name had to be on all the documents because women weren’t allowed to perform legal actions.

Stop digging: As the federal highway trust fund gets ready to start bouncing checks this summer, more than half of states’ road spending still goes to construction rather than maintenance.

Technocracy is not enough: “Unfortunately now we not only have to focus on doing things right, but also we need to focus on doing the right things,” says Gil Penalosa of the challenge facing the world’s mayors. The brother and collaborator of Bogota’s most famous mayor now runs the Toronto-based nonprofit 8-80 Cities.

Monstrous game: If you haven’t seen T-Rex and Utahraptor reflect on the nature of driving yet, you really should:

Automotive history: Collector’s Weekly brings the story of the automotive takeover of U.S. cities, and its recent retreat, to amateur history-lovers.

Seattle greenways: As Portland has nearly eliminated neighborhood greenway funding, Seattle is ramping theirs up — though it’s only expecting to add 6.2 miles this year, compared to Portland’s 18 miles at its 2010 peak.

New leaders: National advocacy group PeopleForBikes has chosen six new cities where its Green Lane Project will help build protected bike lanes over the next two years: Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Seattle. Portland spent the last two years as part of the first round of six.

Better barriers: A horrific auto crash at Austin’s South by Southwest festival prompts The Atlantic’s Sarah Goodyear to consider how cheap it is to protect temporary pedestrian plazas with portable steel posts.

The freeway wishlist: It’s “pretty common” for a big local project, especially a big local freeway project, to be shelved as “buildable but not fundable.” That’s what the Columbia River Crossing is, for now.

Third bridge? The drive-a-lot community is assembling its Plan B for the failed freeway deal. Is the drive-less community ready with theirs?

Bikeshare application: Paris’s bike sharing system has given the city a new tool to use in high-pollution emergencies: it can make all bikeshare rides free for a couple days.

Finally, the British Automobile Association takes a creative tack on the public service message (“If you don’t use your mirrors, you don’t know what you’re missing”) in your video of the week:

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