The Monday Roundup: Ford’s haunting safe-driving campaign, an LED U-lock and more

The Monday Roundup: Ford’s haunting safe-driving campaign, an LED U-lock and more


This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Walnut, the Portland-based leather goods maker whose new Travel Dice set is perfect for taking along on your next bike tour.

Are you ready for an industrial-strength jet of bike-related links? Good, because a torrent of interesting articles caught our eyes this week.

Distracted driving: Ford’s Instagram-themed “Don’t Like and Drive” campaign is haunting and effective.

The last highway bill? “Within the next five years, how we drive, where we go, and even the number of cars we use to get there is going to change forever.” That’s Gizmodo on the new five-year federal transportation bill.

Self-driving buses: A Swiss startup is on it.

Brakeless biking: Japan’s Keirin races are “the most extreme sport you’ve never heard of.”

Rear-light U-lock: Amazon is selling two in one for $18.

Parking scarcity: It might actually be more important than transit to transit-oriented development.

Racing numbers: Tour de France victor Chris Froome has released three datasets about his body in an effort to prove that he really did win the race.

Fault and recovery: If you were injured in a traffic injury and think it wasn’t your fault, you heal less rapidly.

Bike count: The first global study of its kind estimated that world bike ownership halved from 1981 to 2012.

Interchange honored: The Inland Empire chapter of the American Planning Association gave its 2015 Urban Design Award to a two-acre freeway interchange.

Urban revival: In the country’s 50 largest metro areas, the population of 25-44-year-old college grads is growing three times faster downtown than in suburbs. The most sophisticated effort I’ve seen to explain why sorta comes up empty.

Cycling deaths: While promoting a new book about football, writer Gregg Easterbrook argued that sport is ethically clean because more people die while biking.

Automated intimidation: A Google patent for self-driving cars includes the ability to “decide whether to slow down, stop altogether, or communicate a warning to pedestrians.”

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Biking with age: The number of Americans over 50 who’ve biked in the past year is up from 16 percent to 20 percent since 2011.

Signal priority: Copenhagen is experimenting with RFID chips on bikes that give them green lights.

Earbud outcomes: Wearing headphones while biking probably puts you at more risk, but probably not at more risk than driving with the radio on.

Grid safety: Wide, looping post-1950 streets are three times deadlier than narrow pre-1950 grids.

Sharrows defended: A Dutch engineer says they’re mostly useful on streets where overtaking is difficult.

Carless dating: “Taking a girl out in high school was rare,” says Los Angeles biking advocate Tafarai Bayne in a brief interview about race and biking. But if he were in high school these days he thinks he might do better. “I was a bit ahead of my time when I think about it.”

Dangerous areas: Auto fatality rates in the Dakotas and elsewhere are higher than Chicago’s murder rate.

Cycling personalities: Here are 10 athletes on wheels worth knowing. Oh yeah, and they’re all female.

Capital steps: “A fundamental prerequisite for the prosperity and livelihood of a city is that its pedestrians must be able to traverse the city,” writes Salem-based comedian Eric Alexander Moore in a lament about walking in his city.

Vision Zero: The City of Eugene has formally joined the movement.

“Liberal” urbanism: Smart-growth policies often involve deregulation. So why are they popular on the left but not the right? Because liberals are often the sort of people who enjoy cities, basically.

Bike definition: In his reply to some garden-variety bike bashing, a British member of Parliamant charmingly described a bike as a “green car which can run on tap water and tea cakes and, moreover, has a built-in gym.”

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.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

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