Top down

I've been thinking about how cycling and skateboarding cultures are different, and I have the impression skating has never embraced top-down hierarchy in the same way bike advocacy has. Reading Peter Flax's interview with Effective Cycling founder John Forester, I realized that Forester is just as concerned with being at the top of the hierarchy as traditional bike advocates; he just disagrees about how to get there.

3-D map of Oakland police beats with colors showing percentage of Black stops of bikes and pedestrians in each beat, with height showing the number of stops in the beat. Highest bars are in Fruitvale, most black in West and East Oakland

Racially-biased policing in Oakland (updated with 2018 data)

Rachel Swan (SF Chronicle) recently published a story about police bias in Oakland, including newly-available data from 2018. Overall, OPD stopped a lot fewer people in 2018, but even after accounting for that, the number of Blacks stopped dropped more than other groups. Eberhardt suggests that the reduction in stops represents a move towards "intelligence-led" policing. I don't see how the data supports her assertion. In 2018, 31% of all the stops are listed as "IntelligenceLed", while in 2016-2017 that number was 29%; a small change, certainly not enough to account for a 30%+ drop in the total number of stops. Looked at on a beat-by-beat basis, you can see that the reduction in stops was broad across the city, but the biggest drops came from West and Deep East Oakland.

Richmond Bridge bike path opening

The big event this weekend was the opening of the Richmond Bridge bike path. Najari killed it with his remarks at the ribbon-cutting, and I enjoyed the path more than I expected to. A lot of that was the energy of the event, where there were at least 1,000 cyclists. The few times where I was riding more or less solo, the isolation and noise of the bridge felt a bit oppressive; I think on an average day noise and smell will be real issues. But it's better than another car lane.

Chart showing fatal crashes in Vision Zero cities from 2011-2018, gradually rising about 20%.

Revisiting a bad idea

My posts earlier this year suggesting that Vision Zero's communications strategy of amplifying safety risks might be counter-productive received a little bit of attention. I wanted to revisit the analysis to include the 2018 data from both the ACS and FARS, and to address some methodological criticisms.

Community-rooted partnerships

Aidil Ortiz, the lead organizer of Untokening Durham, came into city planning work from a background in public health, and he perspective reflects that somewhat unusual path. In addition to doing great work organizing the event, she gave probably my favorite talk of the conference, about her work on community engagement for the Durham Belt Line, a rails-to-trails greenway project on the outskirts of downtown. Her session was fantastic, and also relevant to Oakland's bike plan (and, I hope, others).

Collective concern

I had a fascinating time at Untokening Durham. I am reflecting on of some of the great sessions and conversations I had, especially with Aidil Ortiz, Aya Shabu, Oboi Reed, Josh Malloy and Bonnie Fan. But my most prominent memory right now is of riding to dinner.

Nerdiness and privilege

After my post about the Oakland Rideout, Twitterer Dianne Y. called out my characterization of the event as over-analysissand #plannerdy. Regular readers know that over-analysis is kind of what we do here at the Bike Lab. And being a city planning nerd is not merely a fact, it's an aspiration. But she also challenged me as writing about disadvantaged groups from a privileged perspective, and I wanted to think about that question.

BARTable by bike article series

My advocacy philosophy has always been to model cycling as an everyday activity which does not require special skills or equipment. Anyone able-bodied can do it. One of my tools is the Bay Area Bike Rides web site, which I created in the early 1990s when cycling in the Bay Area was predominantly a recreational activity. Now, thanks to a connection with Mariana Parreiras (station access manager for BART, and Oakland BPAC commissioner), I'm going to be contributing articles to the BARTable web site on BART-accessible bike rides and events. The first one just went up, highlighting this coming Sunday's Niles Canyon Stroll and Roll (September 22). 

Oakland Rideout 2019

Last year I ran into the Oakland Rideout by accident. This year I'm a little more connected, so I heard about it ahead of time and went down to the Beastmode store to check it out. Man, what a spectacular event.

Scraper Bikeway mural day

This weekend the painting work for the Scraper Bikeway on 90th Avenue finally got started. It was a nice event, and it's great to see the community and city support for an innovative space in Deep East Oakland.

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