The Monday Roundup: Blind-spot spotlights, demonizing fat and more

The Monday Roundup: Blind-spot spotlights, demonizing fat and more


Danger zones, spotted.
(Image: Jimmy Beam Downlights)

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you Mountain Shop (NE 37th and Sandy), Portland’s oldest camping and outdoor gear store. If you’re curious about bikepacking, check out their full studio of new bikes, gear and rentals.

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

Truck safety: A new trucking product could circle rigs with downward-pointing lights that tell people biking where they’ll be invisible to the driver.

Marketing biking: A Vancouver bike lover who describes herself as “fat” has some “free tips” for active transportation advocates: “Stop using the ‘obesity’ scare word. It makes you look like smug a-holes.”

Autonomous cars: “Google cars drive like your grandma — they’re never the first off the line at a stop light, they don’t accelerate quickly, they don’t speed, and they never take any chances with lane changes,” writes one Mountain View resident who sees them in action regularly.

Vision Zero: The top two priorities in European traffic safety programs are speed reduction (including, crucially, reducing speed differentials), followed by street design. Plus other on-the-ground insights.

Cargo trikes: They’re faster than trucks for many urban trips.

Unintended messages: via Yehuda Moon.

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I've often wondered if my intended message of "determination" is received as "just lunacy"

— Yehuda Moon (@YehudaMoon) June 4, 2015

Parking cost: If your residential building has a multi-level parking garage and charges people less than $225 a month to use it, then your rent is probably helping subsidize everyone’s parking.

Top cop accusations: One of many odd incidents that seem to have led the city of Cornelius to relinquish its police department last year: the former chief’s shouting match with a father and daughter riding bikes.

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Bike share repairs: Bike-share operator Motivate took the unusual step of flying 12 mechanics from sister shops in Chicago and D.C. to New York City for a graveyard shift to work through Citi Bikes’ 900-bike repair backlog. “Former Citi Bike manager Alta Bicycle Share allegedly prioritized ‘quick fixes’ over long-term repairs,” writes Gothamist.

Bike share boost: Motivate has scored a deal to expand Bay Area Bike Share from 700 bikes to 7,000 by 2017.

Against sharing: “At least the brand’s marketing team knows to embrace the sociopathic demographic,” writes AdWeek about a new Taco Bell commercial that complains about, among other things, too many people riding bikes. (Which is, of course, a pretty awesome complaint for bikes to provoke.)

Air pollution: It takes much less to kill you than we thought.

Road rage: A London coffee chain owner recieved ridicule and boycotts after being filmed stepping out of his SUV to scream at people biking near him.

Engineer’s lament: Something in American society or psychology leads us to fixate on statistically meaningless automotive malfunctions while failing to save lives with proven tools like speed cameras, writes Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker. “But the chief factor is not what we drive; it is how we drive.”

Obama’s bikeway: In DC, Pennsylvania Avenue’s bike lanes have been upgraded from buffered to protected.

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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