The Monday Roundup: Mandatory hi-viz, the ‘love affair’ meme and more

The Monday Roundup: Mandatory hi-viz, the ‘love affair’ meme and more

People on bikes-34

Mandatory? Really?
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

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

Mandatory high-viz: A bill requiring every bike user to wear reflective neon and carry a government ID has attracted six co-sponsors in the Wyoming legislature.

PR campaign: The phrase “American love affair with the automobile” dates to a 1961 TV program. Underwritten by the auto industry and narrated by Groucho Marx, it framed the then-controversial demolition of neighborhoods to make way for freeways and parking lots as the normal challenges of marriage.

Normalized danger: “You press a pedal and two tons of metal lurches down the city avenue; you pull a trigger and twenty enemies die; you waggle a button and cities burn,” reflects Adam Gopnik, who recently learned to drive at age 58. But zooming in concert down a road is also “civilization itself.”

What could go wrong? Tesla’s new electric sports car has an “insane” button that lets you accelerate from 0 to 60 in three seconds.

Policy begets culture: Dedicated pedestrian signal phases improve safety overnight, but it’s the cultural changes that follow, 10 to 15 years later, that will make Vision Zero possible, says New York City’s TransAlt.

Responsibility claimed: Nobody else in the media seems to be reporting this yet, but Seattle’s mysterious decision to throw the ball across the one-yard line last night has been explained:

Coincidence? According to this masterpiece of a pregame BuzzFeed post, Seahawks lineman Michael “I bike all the time” Bennett had the 7th nicest butt out of 48 in the Super Bowl.

Culture war: D.C.’s conservative Free Beacon newspaper added the label “government waste” to its story about the National Institutes of Health offering its employees a $20-a-month bicycling subsidy.

Gas-tax rebuttal: Don’t raise the gas tax to keep up with inflation, say the Koch brothers. The real problem is “projects that have nothing to do with roads, like bike paths and transit.”

London bikeway: Mayor Boris Johnson has retreated slightly from a plan that would have added 16 minutes to driving times in order to build a six-mile bidirectional protected bike lane through London’s central city. It’s down to six minutes’ delay after narrowing the lane to 5 feet wide in a few spots.

Desert highway: The Adventure Cycling Association is asking for help getting bike access on Interstate 40 between Needles and Barstow, Calif.

Bike share equity: A Philadelphia-based project is setting out to incubate and spread the best practices for making bike sharing more useful to marginalized folks.

Two approaches: How much imperfection are you willing to settle for? That’s the difference between an incrementalist and a completionist.

Car-free bridge boom: Ten years ago, it was rare for a new bridge in the U.S. to even include bike lanes. Now the age of the biking-walking bridge has arrived.

Bike-detecting cars: The front seat of Jaguar’s experimental “Bike Sense” car will reach forward and tap you on the shoulder to let you know if someone is pedaling up behind you.

Misanthropy machines: The fundamental difference between driving and everything else, writes Bill Lindeke, is that when you’re in a car, other people make you sad, and the rest of the time other people make you happy.

Importing pollution: As California’s standards for truck emissions tighten, the owners of 350,000 high-pollution diesel rigs are looking to sell them, with Oregon as a top target.

Waterfront trail: West Vancouver’s path along the Columbia is repaired after four years of work.

Perverse calming: Narrow “pinch points” designed to slow people’s driving usually work, but they also make people feel unsafe biking, a British academic says.

Lifetime sport: Almost 90 years after fleeing pre-Depression Oregon, Octavio Orduno has died: “the oldest cyclist in Long Beach, if not the world.” He was 106.

And your video of the week is a bicycle-powered snowplow designed by a man in Lincoln, Nebraska:

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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