The Monday Roundup: Refugee rides in Berlin, backback biking tips and more

The Monday Roundup: Refugee rides in Berlin, backback biking tips and more


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

Biking refugee: “Soon I want to ride along the Berlin streets like the locals,” said a law student, pushed by warfare near her home in Syria to seek asylum in Germany, after a bike ride with a group of wecloming Berliners.

Highway origins: One hundred years ago this month, an auto-industry-backed road trip movie kicked off the 40-year campaign to build an interstate freeway system.

Backpack biking: If you must do it, here are two tips for doing it right.

Induced demand: Take it from California’s state DOT: new highways don’t cut congestion, they increase driving.

Predictive prevention: Microsoft scientists are developing software that can analyze video data in order to detect potential collisions before they happen. (In other words, they’ve figured out how to explain Vision Zero in a way that gets sci-fi fans excited.)

Bike architecture: The Guardian has a gallery of highlights from around the world.

Housing supply: A “tsunami” of 20,000 new apartments in Seattle are slowing rent hikes and might even start driving rents down in the central city where most new buildings are going up.

Walking awards: street-safety organizer Kristi Finney-Dunn, citizen activist Chris Smith, state Rep. Shemia Fagan, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon and Metro trail planner Mel Huie took home placques from Oregon Walks’ annual celebration and fundraiser.

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Self-congesting cars: If we allow self-driving cars to circle the block during a shopping trip or drive home midday, we’ll be need fewer parking spots but still jam roads horrifically. (Don’t miss the smart comment thread.)

L.A. bikelash: The city seems to be retreating slightly from its bike-network vision, despite continuing political support.

Highway removal: Syracuse, Birmingham, New Haven and Buffalo are the latest cities to consider it.

Driving myth: The idea of the car as “a kind of beleaguered chariot of the poor … just doesn’t stand five seconds of examination of the actual facts,” says London’s cycling commissioner.

Driving drop: Despite the recent rebound in driving prompted by the stronger economy and lower gas prices, miles driven per person remains back at 1997 levels.

Development cliches: Here are “nine things people always say at zoning hearings, illustrated by cats.”

Breathing pollution: When you bike out of your way to avoid auto fumes, the additional distance offsets some of the benefits of not being near cars … so lung-friendly bike routes would be both car-lite and direct.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

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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