The Monday Roundup

Time for the Monday news roundup!

Critical Mass vindicated; freeway and budget sinkholes; carfree cities go mainstream; James Dean

– NY Times columnist David Brooks’ rant in favor of sprawling suburbs sparked a large number of interesting letters to the editor.

– Obama has named Adolfo Carrión Jr. to head the newly created White House Office of Urban Affairs. Carrión, an urban planner by training from the Bronx, has mixed reviews but may speak up for bicycling as well as transit and urban density.

– The new Environmental Protection Agency director, Lisa Jackson, is making some sweeping changes. It looks as though California will soon be allowed to regulate truck and auto emissions — and the federal government may not be far behind.

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– Patrick Pogan, the NYC police officer who tackled a man from his bike during a Critical Mass ride, has lost his job. The incident was captured on video and was viewed online over two million times.

– Wired Magazine is the latest to say that “It’s time for cities to favor people, not cars.” The magazine’s blog also writes about a proposed “Hummer tax” in Massachusetts to help pay for road maintenance and transit.

– A long, sprawling, and awesome blog post at the NY Times titled “What’s the matter with California?” somehow manages to link together budget sinkholes, highway maintenance catastrophes, road rage, the political power of drivetime radio shows, and Don DeLillo. Good stuff.

– Finally, an extremely charming PSA featuring James Dean on the set of Giant urging kids to drive safely and keep the racing to the racetracks. “The life you might save might be mine,” Dean drawls, not so long before his tragic death in a car crash.

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Elly Blue (Columnist)

Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for since 2006. Find her at

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14 years ago

That videotape of the NY cop is surrelal.
I can’t believe he thought he could get away with that. Amazing.

14 years ago

Just imagine if someone hadn’t caught on video that cyclist getting tackled. He was clearly resisting arrest…

14 years ago

Actually, according to the article, he didn’t lose his job. He resigned to focus on the criminal charges and will be able to reapply to the department after.

Racer X
Racer X
14 years ago

At least he did not Taze the critical masser.

14 years ago

Some of the ironies of Dean’s death:
He was short sighted and did not wear corrective lenses.
He was travelling at over 90 mph in a brand new Porsche 550 spyder immediately before the crash. That was at least 30 mph above the speed limit.
He remarked to his passenger (his mechanic who survived) he doubted the vehicle that pulled out in front of him was going to stop.

.. ummm ..

What is this about defensive responsible driving?