The Monday Roundup: Carfree, ‘Curbee’, car abuse & more

The Monday Roundup: Carfree, ‘Curbee’, car abuse & more

The “Curbee” footrest in action.
(Photo by Steven Vance/Streetsblog Chicago)

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

Cycling and social mores: Women in Afghanistan are seeking symbolic equality by the simple act of riding their bicycles. “For us, the bicycle is a symbol of freedom… We’re riding because we want to, because we love to, because if our brothers can, so can we.”

From crooked to carfree: Famous Lombard Street in San Francisco is now carfree on the weekends. And despite howling critics, the trial run went quite smoothly. What Portland streets could be improved by being carfree on the weekends?

An early American bike celebrity: Billie Fleming took to cycling in the 1930s and became famous for her adventurous and record-breaking endurance rides. One of her sponsors, Cadbury, paid her with 5 pounds of chocolate a month. She died this year at the age of 100 and her obituary is full of inspiring tidbits.

Vision Zero progress: A coalition of activists, advocates, and elected have made impressive progress on Vision Zero in New York City. Last week Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of bills to improve traffic safety.

Treating car abuse: Our problem in America isn’t cars, it’s that we use them way too much. While not seen as a deadly addiction, car abuse is exactly that. Now a doctor in the U.K. is treating car abuse patients with the same tactics used to treat drug addicts.

Bike share up, car use down: A new study published in the August 2014 edition of Transportation Research shows that most bike share systems lead to a significant decrease in auto use (vehicle miles traveled). However in at least one system, London Bike Share, auto use actually went up.

Bike share for everyone?: As bike share systems mature into bona fide public transit systems, cities want to make sure the bikes are an appealing option to all residents — regardless of social/cultural/economic/ethnic backgrounds. The Washington Post delved into how Capital Bikeshare is handling that issue.

$2.4 million award in dooring case: A woman in Philadelphia won big following a 2012 dooring incident, despite the jury finding she deserved 21% of the blame.

Transportation and civil rights: A report from a recent conference on civil rights leadership puts a fine point on the topic of equitable infrastructure investments. And as this Wired article points out, the point is being heard on Capitol Hill as Congress debates a new transportation bill.

Rest and respect in Chicago: It might seem like a small thing, but bicycle footrests make a profound statement: that a city respects its bicycle riders. In Chicago, Streetsblog’s Steven Vance worked with the city to install the “Curbee,” the nation’s first bicycle footrest.

Free auto parking is bad, here’s why: Vox has published a very helpful and clear explanation of why free parking is bad public policy.

Roads #1 cause of adolescent deaths worldwide: The World Health Organization’s latest report on adolescent health found that “road traffic injuries” were the leading cause of death in 2012 for people 10 to 19 years old. An estimated 330 young people die from injuries sustained in traffic every day.

What future do we want for Portland?: With our population expected to grow to three million people in the next 20 years, the way we choose to manage our transportation infrastructure will have an immense impact.

Non-helmeted rider causes stir in bike safety ad: A PSA by Cycling Scotland attracted attention because some of the riders were filmed not wearing helmets. The ad was initially banned after complaints from pro-helmet advocates, then that decision was overturned because there’s no law requiring helmets to be worn.

Kickstarter of the Week: We’ve all seen those balance bikes kids are riding these days. How about taking it one step further? The Jyrobike balances itself, which means it’s great not just for teaching kids to ride but also for kids with developmental disabilities. The project has raised over $165,000 so far, smashing its $100,000 goal with three days to go.

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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