Morning Links: Catching up on road raging drivers, e-scooters news, older bicyclists and self-driving cars

We’ve got a lot to catch up on this morning. 

So pour yourself a big cuppa joe, settle in for awhile, and let’s get right to it. 

Photo by Kevin Menajang via Pexels.com

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging British driver got two years for punching a bike rider who had the audacity to complain about a too-close pass, knocking him into the path of oncoming traffic.

Caught on video: A road raging Aussie driver slammed the side of his SUV into a bike rider, knocking him off the roadway, then got out of his car and tossed the victim’s bike into the bushes.

It also goes the other way. A Portland man claims that after he cut off a bike rider while pulling into a parking garage, the road raging rider tracked him down, went to his home and slashed all his car’s tires, leaving a note on his windshield reading, “You were so easy to find, Mark. You should drive more carefully.” A commenter says that’s more evidence that entitled cyclists are real, and not helpful.

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Once again, e-scooters are in the news.

The LA Times gets it, with an even-handed editorial saying e-scooters could be an invaluable addition to the transportation system, but providers need to do so in a safe and responsible manner.

A New Zealand newspaper says let’s not be too quick to slap regulations on e-scooters.

And Peter Flax writes that instead of seeing e-scooter riders as the enemy, bike riders should welcome them as allies in the fight for safer streets.

………

Speaking of Flax, he hit the trifecta in today’s news, with a second piece noting that painted bike lanes offer little physical protection — and virtually no legal protection. I’ve long argued that bike riders should enjoy the same unquestioned right-of-way in bike lanes that pedestrians are supposed to enjoy in crosswalks, but too often don’t.

And finishing out today’s Peter Flax news, an Akron OH columnist takes offense at a bike rider from Los Angeles — or anywhere else — poking his nose in the city’s business, even if it’s to defend the concept of road diets from someone who doesn’t quite seem to get it.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

An 85-year old bike rider remains a pillar of the Waco TX bicycling community, after nearly 30 national championships and several state and world titles.

The incomparable French cyclist Robert Marchand came out of retirement to take a lap on the country’s national velodrome at the ripe old age of 106.

………

Then there are the driverless vehicles of our near future, which should be an improvement on the distracted driver ones we currently have.

Or maybe not.

A Berkeley-based urban planner says self-driving cars ain’t gonna solve our transportation problems.

And a team from MIT crowdsources the tough question of who self-driving cars should kill; you may not want to be an old criminal in the autonomous future. Or a cat.

………

No bias here. A writer for the Sacramento Business Journal apparently thinks he’s writing a witty little satiric piece on how to be a successful Sacramento pedestrian.

See if you can find even a modicum of wit here, because I certainly can’t.

2. See if you can intimidate someone riding one of those ubiquitous arrest-me-red bicycles into either running into you or sloppily avoiding you, thereby wobbling out of the designated bike lane and into the path of a car.

You see, bicyclists don’t believe they’re on a two-wheeled deathtrap, which, if it collided with a German shepherd, would see the dog emerge triumphant (though not happy about it). Instead, bicyclists believe they’re pedaling in a bubble, a challenge even to fans of physics. They believe they can control their scrawny vehicle, not knowing that lithe pedestrians can usually flee the scene of an accident more easily than bicyclists can — unless the bicyclists are more motivated than the pedestrian to do so, possibly due to their having a record of DUI arrests, which also would account for why they’re riding bicycles, not driving their recently totaled automobiles.

 

All I see is someone who doesn’t seem to understand what he’s writing about, and apparently doesn’t care enough to ask anyone.

………

Megan Lynch forwards a reminder that there are many kinds of distracted driving. Some cuter than others.

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Local

Los Angeles Magazine explains the meaning of every proposition on the November 6th ballot.

Los Angeles Walks invites you to honor the victims of traffic violence at the LA observance of the International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 18th at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

LA is still trying to deal with the problem of cut-through traffic caused by Waze, which road diets and bike lanes unfairly get blamed.

Nice story from Long Beach, where bighearted police dispatchers pitched in to buy a new bike for a 14-year old boy after his was stolen.

The rebuilt Broadway corridor Complete Streets project in Long Beach should be finished by the end of the year.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority has received a $75,000 grant to provide bicycle-skills training and bike and pedestrian safety.

A Redlands paper looks at the projects which would be lost if Prop 6 passes and the gas tax increase is repealed.

Over 200 bike riders turned out for the annual Victor Valley Bicycle Tour.

Sad news from Santa Clara, where a 49-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by a bus driver while riding in a bike lane.

In a pilot project, San Francisco will install a new protected bike lane on dangerous Valencia Street next year, as quickly as possible using existing materials; the idea is to speed up implementation of Vision Zero projects. On the other hand, new protected bike lanes on the Embarcadero appear to be on the slow track.

San Francisco Streetsblog offers a roundup of what Bay Area advocacy groups have to say on Props 6 and 10, as well as local propositions.

Bike riders in San Francisco’s famed Castro District donned high heels and wigs to protest Prop 6, along with a congressional candidate’s comments that “people would be forced to bike and take trains, and that wouldn’t work for her because of her ‘hair and heels.'”

Sad news from Pittsburgh, where a bike rider was killed in a collision on Friday.

A local paper offers a survival guide to biking in not-so-bike-friendly Santa Rosa. Meanwhile, a Santa Rosa writer says yes, bicyclists pay their own way.

 

National

People for Bikes has developed free tools to help calculate the economic benefits of bicycling to communities.

A former bike racer writes about the relatively new, mostly urban phenomenon of rideout culture, in which teenage bike riders swarm the streets, while performing stunts and darting in and out of traffic — a practice guaranteed to leave drivers and city officials frightened and apoplectic.

A new device raising funds on Indiegogo promises to end bike theft by installing a GPS tracker on your bike to alert you if anyone moves it.

Portland community members investigate a bike chop shop in a homeless camp, and discover a young girl’s bike that was registered with Bike Index.

UPS is testing out cargo ebikes for deliveries in Seattle, with the help of the University of Washington.

The LA Times says now that it’s cooled off, the new bikeshare system in Las Vegas is the perfect way to see the city.

North Texas bike riders give up on the Dallas area’s congested streets, and turn their hopes to an unbuilt network of offroad bike trails.

A grieving mother biked the entire length of the Mississippi River to honor her 22-year old son, who drowned there.

That’s one way to get attention. After an Indianapolis bike rider was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver, he somehow managed to make it up to the governor’s mansion get get help.

DC promises to double the amount protected bike lanes in city over the next six years by building another ten miles of protected lanes — which works out to a measly 1.67 miles per year.

A Navy pilot in Virginia used his bike to overcome the depression that that nearly claimed his life.

Atlanta plans to stitch a network of old freight rail lines into a 22-mile walking, cycling and light rail beltway surrounding the central city.

Bicycles are changing the way people in New Orleans get around, as the city has worked to build out an effective bike network. Seriously, if they can boost bicycling in New Orleans, with its high heat, bugs and humidity, just imagine what we could do with LA’s much gentler climate.

 

International

A “lifelong, avid cyclist” says the new bike lanes in Victoria, British Columbia are nothing more than an expensive vanity project that inconveniences motorists, while sitting empty most of the day. Pretty much like most streets, which are packed at rush hour, and far overbuilt the rest of the day.

A Canadian man who’s losing his vision due to a progressive eye disease turns to bicycling to stay mobile and keep in shape.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says what we really need is safe infrastructure, not a bunch of bike helmet scolds.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where an Uber driver faces a maximum $2,000 fine in the death of a bike rider.

London continues to show the US how it’s done, with plans to pedestrianize half the streets in the historic city core, while reducing speeds to 15 mph and expanding protected bike lanes and the city’s cycle superhighways.

A smile-inducing London-based pedicab company is attempting to crowdfund the equivalent of nearly $200,000 to expand their ped-assist taxi service throughout the city.

A Welsh website considers the bizarre death of bicyclist and MI-6 spy Gareth Williams, whose death was originally ruled an accident — even though his naked body was found padlocked inside a suitcase.

Bike riding is going upscale in India.

Here’s your guide to riding a bike on your next trip to the United Arab Emirates — including a spin around the Abu Dhabi F1 track. Making race car noises while you ride is optional.

Three Kenyan students have developed a solar powered, all-wheel drive, all terrain ebike that can also produce enough energy to power a home for three days.

And you thought your potholes were bad. A Kathmandu bike rider was killed when his bike fell through an open manhole cover.

This is who we share the roads with. A New Zealand driver plows through a family of ducks crossing the road, despite the best efforts of a bystander to protect them. The video is graphic, heartbreaking and sickening, so be advised before you decide to click on the link.

The ancient Vietnamese city of Hội An is planning to increase the number of non-motor vehicle zones, and boost bicycling for both locals and tourists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France route has been officially unveiled; Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas kind of like it, especially the climbs.

Elite cyclist Evelyn Sifton discusses finding acceptance in fixed gear racing after coming out as trans.

 

Finally…

Next time you encounter a polite driver, give ’em a big palm smile. When you have 4,999 bike riders, and still can’t get in the Guinness book.

And bikes are perfect for the coming zombie apocalypse and other disasters, natural and otherwise.

 

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    That UPS delivery bike and trailer looks over build. It looks as long as a big car. Why they didn’t look to their fleet of electric assist trikes here in Munich or use one of these devices. The box is on wheels and is delivered by truck. The bike picks up the box by the hooks on the box and can pedal off. Back door opens for loading and unloading. Much shorter and doesn’t have the problems associated with pulling, parking and backing up a trailer.

    https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPiWWm9QeFEBnZBQOMJ5p0QWwT875XKDXF9zeWo

    https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOEYahNSuz8G7qLNos-lYmobwOrG7Y5eF7nnksD

    https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNpI9Ys5_gxIKxLS7jruPgjM-hVY0OVckNIN8t3

    Here is an article. It is in German but Chrome does a reasonable translation if asked.

    https://www.logistra.de/news-nachrichten/nfz-fuhrpark-lagerlogistik-intralogistik/9681/maerkte-amp-trends/city-logistik-rytle-strebt-mit-cargobike-konze

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