The Monday Roundup: Self-defense with a bike, Tokyo bike culture and more

The Monday Roundup: Self-defense with a bike, Tokyo bike culture and more


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

Bikes as weapons: A 1901 magazine article about how to use your bicycle as a weapon against criminals spent the first 113 years of its life waiting for its illustrations to be turned into animated GIFs.

The Tokyo model: Tokyo has just 7 miles of bike lanes but a 16 percent mode share and almost everyone uses a bike. How on Earth do they do it?

Cash for commuting: France is experimenting with paying people to bike to work — 54 cents a mile.

A helmet truce? If any person alive could “end the helmet wars,” it’d probably be Bicycle Quarterly’s Jan Heine. His latest essay probably won’t succeed, but might deserve to.

Privilege and biking: Barb Chamberlain of Spokane makes a usefully comprehensive list of all the privileges that helped her start bike-commuting — none of which had to do with infrastructure.

MADD against driving: CityLab’s Somer Mathis points out how odd it is that the hugely effective group Mothers Against Drunk Driving has never advocated for public transit or ride-hailing services.

DC dreams big: Washington DC’s new transportation plan calls for a 72-mile network of protected bike lanes, an anti-congestion charge on downtown cars and much more.

Mandatory high-viz? A lawyer who specializes in helping people avoid penalties from auto collisions says people should be required to wear high-visibility clothing while walking at night.

Digital high-viz: A $50,000 contest is looking for ways to use networked smartphones to “keep pedestrians safe and alert.”

Safe Citi: One year after a Rutgers professor predicted that with Citi Bike, NYC fatalities would triple, nobody has died on a Citi Bike at all. Of 8.75 million trips, only 25 have ended in the ER.

Bike share annoyances: A funny video reminds us that bike share hardware is still sorta hard to use.

Bike share vs. bike shops: In Manhattan, the popularity of bike sharing seems to be hurting sales of low-end bikes. (It’d be interesting to compare the trends in cities that have had bike share for longer.)

Street fee numbers: A local traffic engineer looks very closely at the way the city’s proposed street fee would charge businesses based on trips, and concludes that it does OK.

The trouble with turn lanes: Turn lanes “give drivers the idea that they have a right to turn without people getting in their way,” and that’s an idea that has no place in a city.

Rush-hour race: The Seattle Times organized a race among bike, bus, taxi, UberX, Lyft, car2go and a private car. Bike was cheapest, but UberX was fastest.

Indiana vs. bike culture: A bike backlash may be stirring in one of the country’s most unexpected biking boomtowns: Indianapolis.

Better bike counts: The Rails to Trails Conservancy is funding a 12-city effort to create lots of really solid counts of biking and walking on paved paths.

Palm Springs revival: In Leonardo DiCaprio’s new hometown, “the sight of snowy-haired Cadillac drivers is giving way to that of millennials crusing the streets on vintage bikes.”

Sidewalk biking: Alta Planning’s Christopher Kidd calls out California’s confusing jigsaw of sidewalk-biking laws.

Bike seat banned: Alta Bicycle Share has ordered a DC family to stop selling a child seat that attaches to Capital Bikeshare bikes.

French ingenuity: Occupied Paris had tandem-bike taxis.

Finally, one of the unluckiest muggers in South Africa is the unintentional star of your video of the week, which comes from a helmet-top GOPRO:

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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