Happy President’s Day to you all. Here’s the roundup for this week:
After the jump: Scientists call for fewer roads; pimp your ride; environmental racism; transit news; and the masked rider speaks!
– President Obama is creating a panel, rather than appointing a single “car czar” to oversee the auto industry bailout and reform process.
– Streetfilms interviewed bike-friendly US Rep Earl Blumenauer of Portland, and the Oregonian picked it up. In the video, Blumenauer urges bicycle activists to “keep the pressure on” Obama about federal transportation spending decisions this year. Meanwhile, at least one voice in the media is calling for stimulus dollars to be put into bike boulevards.
– The Portland Tribune calls Alta Planning principal and former Portland bike coordinator Mia Birk the “Bike Queen” of Portland, and talks about her work, through Alta, on trying to turn Dallas, Texas into a bicycle city.
– Scientific American has joined the growing chorus pointing out that more roads and more traffic control cause more congestion. Why? Because of “selfish” driving behavior.
– The automatic transmission for the bicycle has arrived: Shimano has introduced a battery-powered derailleur, so you can shift gears by simply flicking a switch.
– The Oregonian reports that Trimet is planning service cuts on bus and MAX lines due to the down economy.
– There’s an extremely cool new google maps mashup out there — the Transit Shed shows you every where you can go using TriMet within a certain time from a point and departure time of your choosing.
– Browne Molyneux on the Bus Bench has posted photos of a “literal demonstration of environmental racism” in the transit system.
– In Britain, the idea of carfree housing developments is being debated at the government level as a potential strategy to combat childhood obesity and “boost play.”
– “Rider Spoke” is an interactive art project in which participants ride their bikes around a city and discover hidden stations where they can record their thoughts and listen to those of others.
– Self conscious about the mountain bike you ride all over town? Maybe you need to take a cue from Queer Eye for the Mountain Bike Guy over at Totcycle, who has pimped out his old bike with fat tires, a baby seat, and all sorts of nice utility-biking bling.
Yes, I am him. And I do exist. I simply extend a kind hand to those in need.
I know several people have benefited from my benevolence and have decided to blog about it. But I offer this ideal instead.
Reach out to others in need. Smile often and say “Hi” to people on the street. Be the act of kindness you’d like to receive. Wave at motorists who acknowledge you on your bike.
And if I do stop to offer assistance to you, please do not ask me my name. I prefer to remain anonymous.
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com