The Monday Roundup

Posted by on May 25th, 2009 at 11:05 am

Intextication, carfree streets, LaHood strikes back, bike parking manners, bike-up apartments, funding woes and roads, reporting on crashes, and more.

News roundup, Memorial Day and state budget crisis dual edition.

– The big news in transportation this week was Obama’s announcement of stricter mileage and emissions standards for new cars.

“A vibrant U.S. train industry would employ more people than car makers do now.”

– New York City has begun returning swathes of Broadway to the masses. Streetsblog has reported that the first phase of the pedestrianization of Broadway around Times Square has begun, and the streets are already full of life.

– There’s serious talk of doing something similar on Market Street in San Francisco.

– Discussing federal policies that promote alternatives to cars, Transportation Sec’y Ray LaHood said that they are “an attempt to coerce people out of their cars” and that furthermore “the only person I’ve heard object to this is George Will.”

– The Obama administration is continuing Bush’s policy of promoting toll roads, and the idea of a mileage tax is apparently still kicking.

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– The Oregonian reports that in the absence of funds to build as many new roads as they wish, traffic engineers are seeking what they call less traditional solutions to improving car traffic flow, like widening roads and adding roundabouts and u-turns.

– Meanwhile, another Oregonian columnist thinks it will be best for the budget if schools cut back on bus service and let each family transport their own children to school.

– Over the weekend the O editors printed their opinion that it is right and necessary that HB 2001, the state’s new giant transportation package, should focus only on road maintenance and expansion, despite what “environmentalists and the bicycle lobby” might think.

– In the Washington Post, a look at the high personal costs in time and money associated with poverty, including the significant difficulties of getting around and getting ahead without a car.

– Tom Vanderbilt has written a thoughtful piece on how news media covers car crashes, elucidating many of the subtle and not so subtle pressures and biases that determine what gets covered and how. Well worth downloading the full two page article, particularly for the final column.

– A writer in the SF Bay Guardian describes the wilder side of bike culture blossoming all over the U.S., much of it originating in Portland.

– Boris Johnson, mayor of London, had a close call caught on film while riding his bike on city streets.

– From NYC: “Midtown cyclists routinely break law, study finds.” This study coincides with the release of Transportation Alternatives’ “Biking Rules!” street code.

– We’re still texting while driving. Even where it’s illegal.

– A plea for parking etiquette at Portland’s crowded bike staples.

– A look, in Vienna, at apartments specially designed for people who ride bikes.

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Mr DeJerkMatt PiciojohnnaomiHart Recent comment authors
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Hart
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Hart

I still can’t believe LaHood is a republican.

naomi
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naomi

In that London mayor clip.. that truck driver was going WAY too fast and how did he think he could make it between the cyclists and row of parked cars? That guy needs a month or two in jail to ponder his actions. What an utter moron.

john
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john

wait, there is a bicycle lobby!! and outsiders think they are making a difference!! wooooooo!!!! ok ok sarcasm aside that is great news that people outside the cycle culture are finally seeing that there is a bicycle lobby 😛

and good on LaHood, either he has seen the light or somebody is shining a flashlight in his eyes, either way i will take it!

Matt Picio
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I still can’t believe LaHood is intelligent and promoting REAL options. This guy is proof that past affiliation is not an indicator of future policy.

Ray LaHood is restoring my faith in federal government.

Oh, and that quote about only George Will objecting is the best quote since Biden called Cheney “the most dangerous Vice President in the history of the United States”.

Mr DeJerk
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Great efforts in NY and SF. It’s about time Portland takes that route, as well. But, for that to happen, one thing is certain: cutting the budget for public transportation won’t help.

As for the success of non-motorized streets, my hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, closed it’s biggest avenue in 1972. It was during a military dictatorship, so they didn’t have to ask permission to business owners, they just transformed the street into a huge sidewalk over a weekend (when the businesses were closed). It was (almost) an instant hit, and Rua das Flores has become the heart of the city since.