The Monday Roundup

Cheap car floodgates open; Republicans who ride; Cheap bikes from China; True nature of our road system revealed.

Good thing it’s sunny out. Here’s the news:

– India’s Tata Nano — the small, super affordable “people’s car” — has hit the streets and the showrooms.

– The US highway and trucking lobby has asked the federal government to make an “Eisenhower-like commitment” to new investment in the nation’s highway system.

– Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (Democrat from the Eugene Area) as chairman of the house subcommittee on highways and transportation could be well-positioned to implement a new kind of vision. But, he tells Jeff Mapes over a beer, “there’s no advocate for transportation” in the Obama administration.

– The bicycle industry continues to prove it isn’t entirely immune to the downturn. Cannondale plans to lay off 200 workers in a Pennsylvania plant.

– Meanwhile, industry leaders and advocates are speaking out against stipulations in a new consumer protection bill that would take many kids’ bikes off the market due to levels of lead in some of their parts. Many of these bikes are given free to needy kids.

– In other bike industry news, Portland’s own Vanilla Bicycles was featured, lustily in Forbes Magazine.

– The woes of the auto industry continue to grow.

– WorldChanging reflects on Oregon’s 2006 mileage tax pilot program.

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– Bicycling has always cut across party lines, points out the Utne Reader, pointing out that it isn’t only Green Party members out there riding bikes.

– Don’t pigeonhole celebrity basketball players either. The Phoenix Suns’ Louis Amundson loves his bike. So much.

– And finally last week, Project for Public Spaces finally revealed what we really knew all along — the US transportation system is actually a giant Ponzi scheme. “Roads are being built to nowhere, causing the need to build more roads…”

As always, add your own news, links, commentary, and calls to arms in the comments.

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