The Monday Roundup: Finnish urbanism, cities defying DOTs and more

The Monday Roundup: Finnish urbanism, cities defying DOTs and more


Helsinki plans to add 250,000 residents by 2050 by
creating a “networked” transportation system
that would make a combination of modes more useful
than car ownership.
(Renderings: Helsinki Strategic Urban Planning Division)

Happy holidays! Things will still be a little slower than usual on BikePortland this week but we’ll have new posts each day this week. To start things off, here are the bike links from around the world that caught our eyes:

Finnish urbanism: If your children become urban planners, it looks like they’ll be taking study tours of Helsinki to see how it’s done.

Civic disobedience: Is your state’s DOT blocking cities from making their streets safer, fairer and more prosperous? Then your city’s DOT should take a lesson from the gay marriage movement and start making changes without permission, argues Transport Providence.

The Oregonian vs. “Climate Change”: The state’s largest newspaper has decided that “climate change” (the quote marks are theirs) isn’t worth writing editorials about because it isn’t an Oregon issue. (As Oregon Business noted, “it is unclear whether the Oregonian will cover the carbon tax debate expected to take place during the 2015 legislative session.”)

Yellow jacket power: Should “high-viz” doubters eat their hats? A Danish study just found that yellow jackets with reflective stripes cut auto collision risk 48 percent.

Close-call database: This is one of the slickest attempts we’ve seen to build a national database for bike safety hotspots. (You can log in with a Strava account.)

Transportation progress: CityLab has a pretty good roundup of the major developments in transportation this year, including the Copenhagen Wheel e-bike retrofit and the spread of Vision Zero.

Gas price plunge: As of Dec. 22, the national average gas price had fallen every day for 88 days straight, a record — but public transit ridership is still rising, at least for now. (Biking trends are harder to measure, of course.)

Autonomous car: Following on its May model of a self-driving car, Google now has its first working prototype.

Biking deaths up: The number of people who died on bikes inched up 1.2 percent in 2013 to the highest absolute number since 2006. But that doesn’t account for ridership that Census figures suggest is continuing to inch up, too.

Southern urbanism: The latest city to focus on using biking improvements to avoid choking on future traffic is Charleston, SC.

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