The Monday Roundup: Christchurch’s post-quake bikeways, China’s perverse incentives & more

The Monday Roundup: Christchurch’s post-quake bikeways, China’s perverse incentives & more


A rendering of the Promenade,
a rebuilt street in Christchurch.
(Image: Christchurch Central Development Unit)

— This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Abraham Fixes Bikes, that great little bike shop on N Williams and Fremont.

Happy Labor Day! Posting will be lighter than usual today in honor of jobs well done. Whatever you’re working on these days, take a moment today to be proud of it.

And now, your regularly scheduled roundup of the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Bike-friendly rebuild: “You shouldn’t have to have an earthquake for this to happen,” says a transportation engineer from Christchurch, New Zealand, about his city’s return to its biking roots.

Chinese incentives: In China, people are regularly caught on camera deliberately backing their cars over people they’ve already injured, including young children and seniors. The reason: if you injure someone, you support them for the rest of their life, but if they die you’ll often get off.

L.A. riders: “We want to show people we’re not your regular cannabis consumer,” a 25-year-old co-founder of Los Angeles’s Kushtown Society nighttime bike club tells the Guardian of his group’s fast 60-mile rides. “We’re active and athletic.”

Hidden danger: Another week, another article about the supposed risks of biking that fails to consider the risks of doing nothing all day except sit in a variety of chairs.

Cargo bike cost: They cost more than you want them to, but the reasons make sense.

Old vs new: The BBC raced an amateur on a 30-pound cork-braked 1914 two-speed against a pro on a 15-pound carbon-fiber 22-speed, but you have to be in the UK to see the whole episode.

Quality of life: The people of Washington County’s Aloha neighborhood want “bikes, beer and brews” too, says Kody Harros of its business association, but it’s hard to get either without sidewalks and decent bike lanes.

Congestion solutions: The Texas Transportation Institute’s annual fantasy that the next highway lane will be the one that never fills up (also known as its Urban Mobility Scorecard) is as dumb as ever.

Red means stop: Seattle’s Vision Zero plan includes banning right turns on red at 10 downtown corners that saw 140 turning-car collisions in the last three years.

Paint ain’t enough: When you ask people how comfortable they’d be on different sorts of streets, adding a protected bike lane to a four-lane commercial street has seven times the benefit of adding a painted door-zone lane.

Better Census: Our best data source about U.S. biking is seriously flawed. Here are five ways it could improve.

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Self-driving systems: “As it turns out, what looks chaotic and random on a city street to the human eye is actually fairly predictable to a computer,” the head of business operations for Google’s Self-Driving Car Project tells advocacy group Bike Austin.

Self-driving challenges: Their main safety problem seems to be sharing the road with human drivers.

Unequal modes: “Flimsy, slow and distracting bikes” “don’t belong on busy city streets,” a conservative Boston Globe columnist informs us.

Florida safety: The state’s upcoming complete-streets implementation plan will encourage both narrower general travel lanes and protected bike lanes.

Underdog heroes: Portlanders Joe Biel and Elly Blue have started publishing a series of short films about remarkable bike advocates around the world. Streetsblog USA has a set of teaser clips.

E-fare transit: TriMet’s push to eliminate paper tickets over the next few years has riders’ advocates worried.

Collision settlement: The family of a Vancouver 11-year-old killed in 2012 by a left-turning bus won a $2 million settlement from C-Tran.

And your video of the week is a profile by regional governent Metro of one of Portland’s front lines for both street improvements and gentrification: the diverse Jade District at SE 82nd and Division. If this doesn’t give you a solid dose of dread, you’re a few steps ahead of us.

— If you come across a noteworthy 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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