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The Monday News Roundup

Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on May 10th, 2010 at 9:36 am

Here's the news that caught our eye this week:

- An attempt to cap the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has failed. Meanwhile the government's lack of increased regulation on other drilling projects is under fire, and a ban on drilling off the west coast is under consideration.

- In Portland, one woman's efforts have succeeded in preventing trucks from idling for hours outside her low-income apartment building.

- Remember the kids who make scraper bikes in Oakland? There's a beautiful and inspiring new film about them.

- The ethanol lobby is questioning an auto industry study that has found that gas containing ethanol damages car engines.

- San Francisco has its first green bike lane.

- Malmö, Sweden is naming and plotting its off-road bike paths so they can be navigated by GPS.

- Change is coming to the most unlikely places: Des Moines is moving ahead with strategies to reduce car use.

- One reason change comes so slowly is that road builders follow an antiquated set of car-oriented design standards. Here's one attempt to rewrite them for walkability and bicycling.

- A new study explores ways that the U.S. can emulate the greater bicycle and pedestrian safety records of some European cities.

- Need some uplifting reading? Check out the Stolen Bike Registry's stories of recovered bicycles, some years after they went missing.

- Budapest, Hungary has the biggest Critical Mass in the world, and it was on Earth Day this year. Check out the video.

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  • rj May 10, 2010 at 9:41 am

    as a former Iowan, I have to say I'm unoffended and in agreement with your Des Moines statement :)

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  • buglas May 10, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I wish I had gotten this link to Elly in time for her to consider including it in the story: a gentleman is walking across Oregon in an effort to raise the highway speed limit across the state.

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  • A-Dub May 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

    as a former Iowan, I'd like to know why this is surprising. Des Moines is milder than Minneapolis yet we wouldn't be surprised to hear that Minneapolis was developing a similar project. Broad generalizations aren't helpful.

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  • Seager May 10, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Also, Iowa has RAGBRAI, the largest bike ride in the world.

    But lets not forget that we all moved away for a reason. :)

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  • Adam May 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Good luck to Des Moines. I came from to Portland from there just 4 months ago. They face enormous structural and cultural obstacles to reducing trips made by motor vehicle. I don't think I knew one person that used anything other than a car as their primary mode of transportation (myself included). Heck, downtown Des Moines seems to have more parking garages than actual buildings.

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  • Steve B. May 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    review/comment on the USDOT's strategic plan:
    https://dotstrategicplan.ideascale.com/a/panel.do?id=8329

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  • spudboy May 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Here's one reason people are surprised that Iowa is looking into reduced car usage: http://www.cfscofiowa.com/

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  • Michael, Portland Afoot May 10, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    All right, all right, that's enough Iowa-bashing for this week, kids.

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  • resopmok May 11, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I think the study's conclusions should be briefly repeated: "The team learned that many of the countries studied have established an urban street user hierarchy that gives the highest priority to walking, biking, and public transit."

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  • rj May 11, 2010 at 8:33 am

    man spudboy's link is depressing.

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  • Pete May 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Very cool video on scraper bikes - Baby Champ seems like a cool dude marching to his own beat. Oakland is a tough place but very diverse and gets a bad rap. The Oakland hills provide some of the most beautiful rides in the bay area, with great views and scenery.

    I hope he realizes his dream of a 'green' center in East Oakland!

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  • mbsf May 12, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I liked the article about idling, one of my pet peeves. I have wild dream about actually grabbing the car keys and tossing them somewhere... hmmm - the face of the driver when they come back!

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  • Spiffy May 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

    that Budapest video was awesomely inspiring...

    however the story was kind of sad... but it seems like with that kind of public outcry the government should soon be making changes for better cycling...

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