The Monday Roundup: Race and safety, anti-theft petition and more

The Monday Roundup: Race and safety, anti-theft petition and more

crosswalk crossing

Unequal rights.
(Photo: Portland State University)

Here are the bike links from around the Web that caught our eyes this week:

Race at the crosswalk: Twice as many Portlanders drive past a black person at a crosswalk than drive past a white person, new research found.

Bike theft petition: Bike-software maker Project 529 has launched a petition asking Craigslist and eBay to make it harder to fence stolen bikes by requiring serial numbers on all bike listings.

Firefighters vs. safety: Too many fire departments are “prioritizing fire truck access in a way that makes streets less safe for pedestrians and other users.” CityLab (the site formerly known as Atlantic Cities) thinks there must be a better way.

Bike fashion: Women’s fashion site XOVain has brought on a writer who’s focusing entirely on bike-fashion howtos.

Distracted biking: Wearing earbuds, talking on the phone or texting while biking makes you more likely to bike dangerously. Wearing a single earbud doesn’t affect behavior — but it does impair your ability to locate the direction a sound is coming from.

Bicycle socialism: Sweden’s second-largest city has an interesting solution for reducing auto traffic: they’re lending residents bikes for free.

Bikes as bivalves: One year in, the “most important” benefit of bike sharing in New York City is that they make the streets safer for everyone by calming traffic, “like bivalves helping to clean a polluted waterway.”

Building for biking: “The main difference between Boston and Jacksonville is not sidewalks, trails, ‘complete streets’ policies, or crosswalks” — it’s their real estate development patterns. It’s time for biking and walking advocates to focus on urbanism, writes BetterCities.net.

Thriving startup: U.K. children’s bike maker Islabikes, whose U.S. headquarters is in Portland, says it’s growing fast and planning to expand again.

Salem bridge: The City of Salem has “crafted a delicious double-bind” for its new highway bridge by piling possible neighborhood mitigation measures into a growth management grant that it might not get.

Reinventing parking: If your city is going to allow microapartments, then it’s got to be ready to change its social contract around auto parking, says David Friedlander.

Dirty air: Bike commuters inhale seven to nine times more benzene than a car driver on the same route.

Preventable deaths: The death of a boy who was holding his father’s hand in a New York crosswalk when a left-turning taxi smashed into them is a parable for our unsafe streets. (The driver will face no criminal charges.)

Cognitive dissonance: “Expressions of wonderment have been heard as to why the runners of the automobiles have not been arrested for sending their carriages along at so reckless a rate,” the New York Times wrote in May 1899.

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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