Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on October 26th, 2009 at 11:09 am
Streetcar funding, ciclovias, contraflow cycle tracks, carrots and sticks, cycle speed bumps, pro-bike Republicans, anti-bike bloggers, a bike hearse, and rude drivers
– The National Resource Council has released results from a study conducted in 2005 on costs stemming from health effects of manufacturing cars and burning fuel. The result: $56 billion.
– The NY Times auto section has a long article on a growing trend in the U.S. — cutting back on car ownership, or going carfree entirely. Explanation of this trend is followed by an interesting look at how automakers are looking to cater to the carfree-minded.
– The US Senate is poised to pass a Climate Bill that includes 3% for clean transportation — a threefold increase over the version passed by the House.
– Portland Streetcar has just been okayed for $75 million in federal funding; the extension project has already begun construction.
– Bike-loving Oregon Republican Jason Atkinson has suspended his gubernatorial bid due to family health issues.
– Last weekend Baltimore became the latest US city to open up its streets for a ciclovia. People flocked to it and are clamoring for more.
– DC’s first cycle track is being installed this week, on 15th Street. (It’s contraflow.)
– Sweeping zoning reforms are aimed at making Miami more pedestrian friendly.
– The California Supreme Court has ruled that the state must return the $3.6 billion in transit money that it redirected to other uses.
– California will follow New Mexico’s lead in requiring anyone convicted of drunk driving (including first-time offenders) to have an ignition-interlock breathalyzer device installed in their car.
– A bike shop owner in South Dakota has followed Portlander Joe Bike’s lead in offering a two-wheeled Cash for Clunkers promotion.
– Toronto bike activists are doing actions aimed at thanking people who drive politely around bikes, including holding up signs and handing out thank-you cards.
– In North London, fourteen speed bumps have been installed with the aim of slowing people hurtling down the street on bikes.
– None other than Newt Gingrich has weighed in on the Saratoga Springs bike-to-school ban — he’s written the school district a letter urging them to let kids ride.
– A photo exhibit depicting 100 Los Angeles families who live without cars, many of them not by choice, has spurred discussion of mobility as a basic human right.
– On the Portlandize blog, some interesting analysis of a new helmet safety study.
– Volvo is developing a vehicle that is intended to automatically brake to avoid hitting a person who walks in front of it.
– A USA Today blogger asks: “Have motorists let bicyclists’ ‘rights’ go too far?”
– Meanwhile in Australia, a local politician sees cyclists as “nuisances,” and calls for licensing.
– Video of the week — “Drivers Behaving Rudely” from Streetfilms. Priceless.
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com