Good news, bad news, traffic gossip, and inspiring photos
– If you only click through to one of these stories today, make it this one: Streetsblog manages to make the mechanisms of federal transportation funding fairly understandable, explains why the last federal transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU) is inadequate, and outlines what is needed for the new bill being drafted to make sense. This is about as important as it gets.
– Also on the federal level, Representatives Oberstar and Blumenauer (both of bike caucus fame) are calling for a mileage-based car tax. The White House has shot down the idea, but the idea seems to be picking up steam.
– Several European cities have announced that they will sign the Charter of Brussels this spring, which commits them to ensuring cycling makes up 15% of their mode share by 2020, as well as improving traffic safety and combating bike theft.
– “Sorry, Portland.” Good Magazine thinks Montreal, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and Miami, among others, also deserve top billing as bike cities. One criterion in which Portland fails is participation in Critical Mass.
– The US Senate is concerned about the dangers posed by the quietness of electric vehicles. The proposed Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 will require the government to conduct a study to discover if there is a correlation with increased pedestrian deaths and injuries, particularly for the blind.
– Zipcar is expanding into the government sector, helping municipalities trim down their fleets through their on-demand technology. At the same time, Obama has asked the government to invest in 17,600 new US-made vehicles with higher than average fuel efficient standards.
– Continued funding for the design phase of the Columbia River Crossing is on the rocks in Salem.
– Utah’s hit and run laws DUI are extraordinarily lenient. If you aren’t caught til the alcohol or drugs have left your system, you’re unlikely to be charged for more than a misdemeanor, even if you’ve caused a fatal crash.
– BikePortland’s close calls reporting tool and forum topic have their counterparts for four-wheeled vehicle users. Tom Vanderbilt describes these bad-driving message boards for Slate.com, saying, “What traffic lacks…is gossip.”