2016 best of the blog

December 20, 2016

Sarah Braker, communications manager

We cover the issues that matter to you most, from protected bike lanes to politics to business and everything in between. Here are some of our most popular blog posts from 2016, in case you missed them.

Drive to survive

?I doubt distracted, texting and angry driving are going away soon. I have trouble imagining that law enforcement resources will be fundamentally reallocated to monitor and ticket these behaviors. So what are the solutions? How do we make riding on the road safer? This is a crucial question with no one, easy answer.?

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Bicycles are instantaneous teleportation devices, says science

?For every additional 75 minutes a week that you spend on a bike (that is, for every 11 minutes per day) you generally increase your lifespan by six months.?

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Surprise: protecting bike lanes can cut the cost of brand-new roads

?Not only are protected bike lanes by far the best way to make biking a pleasant transportation option for shorter trips ? sometimes they can also significantly cut the cost of constructing new roads from scratch.?

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Portland is first U.S. city to make protection the default for all new bike lanes

?Last fall, Oregon’s largest city created another new policy. Effective immediately, every time Portland road designers recommended a bike lane, they would need to make it a protected bike lane ? or else explain why not.?

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The feds just made it easier to fit bike lanes on streets

?For federally funded non-freeway streets with traffic speeds below 50 mph, only “design loading structural capacity” (how much weight a bridge can bear) and “design speed” (how fast traffic is expected to be able to move safely) are now tightly regulated. The change, which came after a months-long review and comment period, was effective immediately. Among other things, this will make it much easier and cheaper for cities to stripe safer, narrower auto lanes and add protected bike lanes on projects that use federal money.?

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Why the Missouri bicycle flag bill is not as funny as you think

?Missouri representative Jay Houghton (R-Martinsburg) recently introduced legislation that would require bicycles to be equipped with 15-foot tall orange fluorescent flags when traveling on certain roads within the state. This bill has quickly inspired an array of responses illustrating its total lack of feasibility (not to mention the outright dangerous side effects of complying with the law).?

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Has the ideal low-cost bike lane separator finally been found?

?Every common bike lane protection option has drawbacks. Plastic posts collapse. Precast curbs are complicated to install. And lots of the other options aren’t mountable by an ambulance or garbage truck. Now, Austin thinks it might have found the grail. Or you might call it the Goldilocks of bike lane protection: not too flimsy, not too pricy. It’s a pre-cast concrete ‘button.'”

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Bikes aboard

?For $20, riders can make a reservation for their bike and carry it on board a specially redesigned baggage car, eliminating the need for boxing bikes or making complicated shuttle and rental car arrangements.?

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Bikes belong on main streets because bikes are not primarily for commuting

?Americans use bicycles in the same situation they use any other tool: whenever it’s the right tool for the job. These days, lots of U.S. cities and towns are trying to make bicycles a more useful and appealing tool. But people sometimes forget that the best way to do this is to make bicycles a useful tool for many jobs ? not just commuting to work.?

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How to keep riding from ruining your relationship

?Couples are encouraged to have separate interests, but when yours is time-consuming and expensive, it can lead to arguments, frustration and maybe even the end of the relationship. But it is possible to devote yourself to your bike riding passion and not leave your love life in tatters. Skeptical? Here’s how one couple did it.?

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