Bike News Roundup: Bike share’s anarchist roots

It’s time for the Bike News Roundup, a list of some stuff floating around the web lately that caught our attention.

First up, Grist dives into the anarchist roots and capitalist evolution of bike share:

Pacific Northwest News

National & Global News

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19 Responses to Bike News Roundup: Bike share’s anarchist roots

  1. Joseph Singer says:

    I have never seen anyone use a bike-share bike with a helmet. Never. Not once.

    • Dave says:

      I counted over several days commuting along the Burke – about 1 in 20.

      • AP says:

        And how did the cyclists’ failure to wear a helmet affect you?

      • Law Abider says:

        And how did the cyclists’ failure to wear a helmet affect you?

        They clearly care so little for their own safety that they are willing to break the law. Which means they for sure don’t care about my safety while we are sharing a multi-use facility.

        So I have to be more alert to their actions which leaves less capacity to be aware of other things going on around me.

      • Nick vdH says:

        @Law Abider: That’s insane. Riding a heavy bike on the Burke-Gilman at 10 MPH is a perfectly safe activity without a helmet. We know this because we have tons of data and case studies. Looking at the Netherlands alone should be evidence enough. Do you think one is irresponsible if they don’t wear a helmet while walking on a multi-use trail?

      • Law Abider says:

        @Nick: Just using the same, bizarro logic as the anti-helmet crowd. Feel free to refute it.

        Riding a heavy bike on the Burke-Gilman at 10 MPH is a perfectly safe activity without a helmet. We know this because we have tons of data and case studies.

        *Citation needed* I know of the fatally flawed Melbourne study linking helmets to a decline in cycling. I know of another flawed report from England (?) that somehow arrives at the opinion that helmets are killing people.

        There IS the 1989 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, which shows a vast reduction (85% to 90%) in head and brain injuries. That alone should be justification for wearing a helmet.

        Do you think one is irresponsible if they don’t wear a helmet while walking on a multi-use trail?

        No. Human bodies are designed to brace themselves and avoid head injuries when falling from a standing position.

      • AP says:

        Right.

        Where would the internet be without brilliant arguments like that one?

      • Law Abider says:

        @AP:

        I don’t expect you to refute my bizarro logic, which was meant to be tongue in cheek, but feel free to debate my valid arguments, where I back them up with facts and studies.

        This is where the anti-helmet crowd typically breaks down. Their argument boils down to the pseudo-libertarian “a few people don’t want to wear helmets, so the law shouldn’t make them”.

  2. Southeasterner says:

    Another plug for the Seattle Transit Blog post on SDOTs deadly incompetence on Beacon Hill –

    https://seattletransitblog.com/2018/08/23/school-safety-beacon-hill/

    Unbelievable that we are openly putting kids lives at risk to save drivers from a few seconds in delay. Is Trump the interim head of SDOT now that Goran is fully checked out?

    Speaking of Trump, why is it taking Durkan longer than Trump to appoint key leadership positions to keep our city functioning? As a Seattle resident it feels like we are constantly getting sucker punched by the national “conservative” right hooks and the local “liberal” left jabs.

    • RossB says:

      >> why is it taking Durkan longer than Trump to appoint key leadership positions to keep our city functioning?

      She had to replace a lot of positions. Police chief is obviously the highest priority (of every mayor) and she seemed to have done a very good job. Both the rank and file as well as reformers love the new police chief (that isn’t easy).

      SDOT was a mess, and it took time to figure out how much of a mess it was. The original head resigned, and I would imagine she figured the old head would be fine for a while. Then she discovered how messed up the agency was (https://crosscut.com/2018/08/after-cronyism-accusations-sdot-promises-do-better-employees). Those sort of systemic issues lead to really poor results. One of the big issues is the MoveSeattle fiasco, which has blown a hole in every project the city wanted to complete.

      She has formed a committee to look for a new head. Hopefully someone from outside can step in and clean up the department. I’m sure there are good people doing good work inside, but when you have a dysfunctional culture, I think it is best to get someone from outside to shake things up.

  3. Matthew Snyder says:

    On the topic of disposing of former shared bikes, did Seattle ever find a buyer for the old Pronto equipment? The most recent update I could find suggests that they’re still sitting in storage.

    Is there anything constructive we could do with these bikes instead of just letting them sit around in a warehouse indefinitely?

  4. asdf2 says:

    What do we do if we discover an Ofo bike left behind months after Ofo has packed up and left town? Who picks it up? What if the bike is found in a hard-to-get-to place, like a hiking trail, nowhere near a road.

    • veganbiker says:

      asdf2 – there is an ofo bike in Carkeek Park about 3/4 of the way down the Pipers Creek trail, before the orchard. I doubt that anyone except maybe the Parks Dept will move it

  5. Matthew Snyder says:

    Erica C. Barnett is reporting this morning that Andrew Glass Hastings is leaving (has left?) SDOT, and is being replaced by his deputy, Christina Van Valkenburgh. With the organization seeming so adrift, it’s maybe not surprising to see shake-ups and high profile departures. But with no incoming director in sight, it’s hard to see this as anything but more bad news for biking, walking, and transit.

  6. veganbiker says:

    asdf2 – there is an ofo bike in Carkeek Park about 3/4 of the way down the Pipers Creek trail, before the orchard. I doubt that anyone except maybe the Parks Dept will move it

  7. RossB says:

    I wrote an essay which I referenced in an email to the mayor regarding the streetcar project: https://seattletransitblog.com/2018/09/03/mobility-alternatives-to-the-ccc/. It is basically a more detailed set of ideas based on this argument: https://seattletransitblog.com/2017/10/19/replace-ccc-better-bus-service/

    Hopefully the mayor will get more emails and calls explaining how stupid and unpopular the streetcar is, and she can put the money into better bus service.

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