Anti-bike bias and the law; Job sprawl; Carfree Mayor; Wheelchair rights; Bike parking crunch; Shrinking cities; Paving the planet.
Time for the Monday Roundup. There’s a lot of worthwhile news this week, so take a deep breath, get another cup of coffee, and pace yourself.
– Exxon Mobil had a great 2008, earning over $45 billion dollars in profits (in other terms, that’s 45% of the total net profits of all Fortune 500 companies.)
– A major oil lobbyist was found to have knowingly spread false information about the human causes of climate change.
– On Earth Day, Transportation Sec’y LaHood wrote on his blog about the importance of bicycling in reducing carbon emissions and revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods. LaHood has pledged to work closely with HUD, which oversees housing.
– Poland has passed a law criminalizing drunk bicycling, imposing the same penalties applied to drunk driving: up to two years in prison, depending on level of drunkenness.
– From the department of egregious bias: Two men on bikes are run down by someone in a Hummer in downtown LA. One is hospitalized. The responding police officer releases the man who drove the Hummer and harangues the injured men’s friends, telling them, “I would have done the same thing, and I carry a gun in my car.”
– In a similar vein, bike lawyer Bob Mionske’s latest column in Bicycling Magazine details a case in which an officer beats and tases two men — one a minor — after demanding they get off of the road.
– The O has a nice article about the surge in bike programs, bike activism, and just plain bikes over in Vancouver, Washington.
– Portland has been experiencing “job sprawl,” with the increased commute miles and car-dependence that comes with it.
– Tom Bates, mayor of Berkeley, California has taken the step of going carfree.
– The Irish government has announced plans to quadruple the country’s cycling modeshare by 2020.
– A fascinating NY Times article discusses “An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It.”
– Sausalito, California, experienced such overwhelming bike traffic last summer, mainly from tourists, that they are hustling to install more parking, signs, and come up with education and enforcement strategies to prepare for the coming season.
– In the Netherlands, the same laws apply if you are in a wheelchair or on a bicycle.
– How much of the world’s land mass is covered in roads? Lots of it.