Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on April 19th, 2010 at 9:12 am
Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:
– Some European airports are beginning to resume flights today, after four days during which no air travel to or from Europe was possible due to clouds of ash from an Icelandic volcano, heavily disrupting global trade, particularly in perishable goods. Some stranded travelers have found creative ways to get around, including one impromptu bicycle parade.
– In Paris, the battle against the “unacceptable hegemony of the automobile” will soon result in the removal of much of the expressway that runs along the Seine. It will be replaced with a smaller road, parks, and a botanical garden on a barge.
– Toyota denies breaking any laws in its handling of the sticky-accelerator recalls, but has agreed to a $16.4 million fine for “failing to report known safety problems.”
– The Economist scrutinizes Portland’s emergence as a model city for bicycling and livability, and suggests that more sprawling cities like Houston or Atlanta may be on a path to sustainability that takes longer but keeps rent more affordable.
– China is hoping to transform its economy through the rapid expansion, now underway, of its high speed rail network.
– The criminal trial begins today in the case of the NYC police officer who shoved a Critical Mass participant off his bike and arrested him for assault. The charges were dropped and the officer fired when a video of the incident appeared, and he is now on trial for falsifying records, among other charges.
– It’s becoming harder for police to crack down on meth labs as people are starting to build easily hidden, portable, and disposable set-ups in their cars.
– An urban planner discusses his vision of every neighborhood containing a small grocery store.
– The rolling, collapsible cart used for groceries, laundry, and other pedestrian cargo needs is finally getting the attention it deserves as a part of the urban transportation mix.
– Casual carpooling, which is what you call hitch hiking if you sport a suit and briefcase and are motivated by savings on tolls and transit fares in the Bay Area, has a particular set of unspoken rules. Here they are.
– What does it mean for a family to live carfree? It must be a bit like growing up in the country, one blogger speculates.
– A list of “the 10 freakiest urban ecosystems on the planet” is full of interesting adaptations in city life and infrastructure. And in that vein, the “19 most complex and dangerous roads in the world” are fascinating to look at.