Bike News Roundup: Man dies after crashing on Toronto streetcar tracks

It’s time for the completely overdue Bike News Roundup! As always, this is an open thread.

In honor of Portland, my host city for the weekend, we’ll kick things off with a video about how they installed their bike counter before Seattle did (seriously, it’s coming soon, I’m told).

Portland Adds Nation’s First Bike Counter to Hawthorne Bridge from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Pacific Northwest News:

Halftime show! A $60 cardboard bike?

Izhar cardboard bike project from Giora Kariv on Vimeo.

National & Global News:

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6 Responses to Bike News Roundup: Man dies after crashing on Toronto streetcar tracks

  1. Steve A says:

    You are aware that it may well be safer to jaywalk than to cross legally? Of course crossing without looking is an entirely different matter.

  2. Al Dimond says:

    That crosscut article on pedestrians and jaywalking has to be one of the most confused and confusing articles I’ve read. Maybe the author should quit psychoanalyzing and start communicating effectively.

    • Doug Bostrom says:

      Actually I thought he managed to articulate a lot of the amusement and confusion I’ve felt when negotiating intersections here in Seattle, in all modes spanning from biped to wheel-gripping couch potato.

      Moving back to Seattle from Atlanta required a massive recalibration on my part; in particular I’ve always thought of myself as a scrupulous and conscientious driver but Atlanta’s lackadaisical modes had nonetheless begun to take root in my behavior. As with our so-called traffic congestion, things may look bad to us on paper but the reality on the ground in such places as Atlanta when it comes to transportation-related social comportment is something else entirely.

  3. Doug Bostrom says:

    Re unfortunate cyclist who was killed after becoming entangled in streetcar tracks:

    “…carrying a bag of food on his handlebars.”

    Call me a cold-hearted bastard but: help make your own good luck by not crippling your agility with pendulous bags? Still, that’s speculation on my part because the only witness who can tell us exactly what happened is dead.

    Not a bad article overall. Some will object to the obligatory helmet checkbox but after all, that’s another part of making one’s own luck. Streetcars are part of life in Toronto, tracks are common, tracks used versus unused is not necessarily germane to the topic.

    Sounds like a prime case for an intensive and permanent public awareness campaign for Toronto cyclists, possibly including necessarily repetitious signage.

    • Doug Bostrom says:

      Come to think of it, ultimately the best solution to this would be flange-free rail wheels. Removing the requirement to enjoy or make good luck in order to have a future is always good. Can it be done??

    • Al Dimond says:

      Surely you’ve heard that thing everyone says about the Netherlands, that they design their bike facilities to be something that a grandmother carrying two bags of groceries could use? They have streetcars there, too.

      I went to college at the University of Illinois; while I was there there wasn’t a proper grocery store on campus (despite the proliferation of high-end high-margin retail… these days Green Street feels like B-Square, it’s ridiculous) so if I needed produce to ward off scurvy I had to either bike out along the highway or take the slow, infrequent bus out to a Meijer on the outskirts of town. I could get two little bags into my basket and sling two more over the handlebars. You have to ride slow so the bags don’t swing into the wheels.

      And I was a pretty privileged kid. So… maybe some thought needs to be put into bike facilities around streetcars. Like we’re doing by the FHSC.

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