The Monday Roundup: Best street changes, smarter traffic tickets & more

The Monday Roundup: Best street changes, smarter traffic tickets & more


The former “boulevard of death” in New York.
(Photo: NYC DOT)

Welcome to the last week of the year, which is always one of my favorites as a reporter.

Unless we see a lot of breaking news, expect posting to be a bit slower than usual this week, and more focused on the big picture: where Portland biking has come in 2015 and where it’s headed next.

But as always, we’ll start with the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Best street transformations: Streetsblog’s annual online contest includes inspiring work from Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles, New York City, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

Smarter enforcement: If you want to change driving behavior, don’t throw the book at a few offenders — instead aim for punishments that are “swift, certain, and fair.”

Construction walkways: Seattle’s new law forbidding building projects from making people walk in the street has taken effect. Bike lane rules are coming next.

Smartphone mount: Here’s an $18 accessory to put it on your handlebars.

Surreal transportation: The “cult classic” comic strop The Bus (1979-1985) is worth a few brain cells.

Carrots vs. sticks: Why haven’t U.S. biking capitals like Portland and Boulder seen larger shifts to biking despite decades of investment? “The crucial component that’s missing is that we’re not implementing any policies that disincentivize driving,” one scholar calculates.

Sticks vs. carrots: Stockholm already charges people for driving into the city center; now it’s considering paying people to bike as a “reverse congestion charge.”

Stick/carrot math: If you simply calculate present and future costs the way Copenhagen does, it turns out that bike trips are far more valuable to society.

ID requirement: An Australian state will quadruple no-helmet penalties and require adults to carry photo identification whenever they’re on a bike.

Pulling over: Sonoma County, Calif., just reclassified bikes as “slow moving vehicles” like tractors, requiring riders to pull over if five cars line up behind them.

Transportation rights: Overinvestment in freeways compared to urban transportation is a civil rights violation, the NAACP’s legal arm argues in a Maryland lawsuit.

Weaponized tokenism: “I used to be a bike advocate,” writes Dana DeMaster of Saint Paul. But then she realized that “The vision was decided and my role was to give my womanness, my ‘non-threatening otherness,’ stamp of approval.”

Migration destinations: In a healthier economy, Americans would generally be moving to more economically productive cities. Instead, they’re moving to less productive ones, seemingly because real estate in the most prosperous cities has grown so expensive.

Vegas killing: A woman living in a Portland-registered car in Las Vegas deliberately steered it twice into crowds of more than 100 people on a sidewalk in the Strip, killing one woman and wounding 35.

Car-wash ban: A Minneapolis suburb declared an “emergency moratorium” on new auto-related businesses in an effort to boost walkability.

Infrastructure highlights: CityLab looks at the country’s projects to watch in 2016.

Stratified transportation: Let’s stop fretting about Google buses and Ubers creating a “two-tier” transportation system. We’ve already had one of those for 100 years.

2015 in review: At NRDC Switchboard, Deron Lovaas assesses the year in transportation policy.

Free ridership: Public transit use in Houston is up 11 percent after a cost-neutral network redesign led by Portland firm Jarrett Walker and Associates.

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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