The Monday Roundup: Robots in bike lanes, automobile supremacy, play-streets, and more

Welcome to the week.

Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

The deck is stacked: Every once in a while an article comes along that ties all the big threads together. This must-read piece by Greg Shill in The Atlantic perfectly explains why driving is so prominent in the United States and how an inter-connected system of laws guarantee “automobile supremacy”. (Delve deeper and read the academic paper that led to the article.)

Portland subway?: Our local transit expert is happy to see TriMet embarking on a plan that would put transit underground through downtown Portland.

Pros’ pleas: This week we had two former professional road racers — Chris Boardman in the UK and Phil Gaimon in the US — use their platforms to record videos about the need for safer roads.

Mythbusting: The always-worth-reading Peter Walker with The Guardian busts 10 common myths about cycling.

Speaking my language: Volkswagen wants into the personal mobility market amid claims of a “traffic collapse” that will spell the end of traditional cars in cities.

Activism works: Holding signs that read “Stop Killing Us!” and “De Blasio to Cyclists: Drop Dead,” a thousand New York City residents showed up to demonstrate against dangerous cycling conditions.

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More on NYC: The NY Times tells the story of why what was once one of the rising stars for cycling in America has lost its shine.

Driving is the new smoking: A major climate change committee in Ireland heard from cycling experts that the country needs not just “cleaner” cars but the political courage to dramatically reduce driving if they want to make environmental progress.

Don’t fear streets, play on them: Streets are for living in, not just traveling through — that idea is at the heart of an inspiring policy in a suburb of Montreal where 48 streets have been designated “free play zones”.

Not so fast: The business model of a new AI startup is to deploy autonomous delivery vehicles into cities using bike lanes. Hmmm.

Tweet of the Week: Our friends at @QAGreenways (an excellent account worth following) discovered one of Portland’s oft-overlooked phenomena.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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