Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on November 23rd, 2009 at 12:14 pm
Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:
– Over one third of US young people between the ages of 17 and 24 are unfit for military service — primarily due to obesity and poor health.
– The Netherlands may soon become the first European country to charge a kilometer tax (with higher fees for peak hours and more polluting vehicles) rather than a road tax.
– A must-read analysis by Chris Smith on what bicycle advocates need to do to go after the serious funding levels needed to bring Portland to the next level.
– Airplane travel is expected to be less hectic than usual during these holidays, as we hit the roads and the rails instead, due to the down economy.
– The day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday — a huge day for shopping and sales, but also the day of an annual push to ask people to unplug themselves from the grid, leave their cars in the driveway, and see if they can subsist on leftovers and long walks, without spending a cent.
– Google has opened up a call for municipalities and agencies to submit bicycle infrastructure data that has been formatted according to certain specifications, in a move hailed to be the precursor for an online bicycle trip planning feature.
– A comparison between Portland’s and Vanouver, BC’s approaches to addressing congestion on major bridges. We have the CRC project — they have a new bikeway and an effective road diet.
– A former student of Gordon Patterson, the popular Vancouver, WA science teacher who was killed while bicycling this fall, threw a carwash fundraiser for Patterson’s family recently — but allegedly used the money instead as bail for the man who killed him.
– At Portland Community College’s three campuses, students are bicycling more — to the point that existing bike parking is inadequate — and shuttle use is up by nearly half.
– Portland condo and apartment developers “may be sorry they spent $20,000 per parking spot” as new residents are increasingly seeking bicycle parking options instead. Meanwhile, a new parking colossus in DC sits nearly empty.
– An analysis of the potential effects of a major earthquake on Oregon’s roads and bridges does not paint a rosy picture.
– The Portland Spirit’s owner is concerned that global warming is set to cause such high waters that his boat will not be able to pass safely under TriMet’s new carfree Willamette bridge during the rainy season.
– The man who veered off the road into a couple on a tandem bicycle in Texas this fall, killing them, has denied allegations in a civil suit claiming wrongful death. No criminal charges have been filed.
– In other legal news, the firefighter in North Carolina who shot a guy in the head, supposedly out of rage that the man was bicycling with his daughter, has received an astonishingly light sentence.
– The debate is on in Australia over the issue of allowing (or requiring) people on motor scooters to use bicycle lanes.
– Six-lane freeways and no pedestrian amenities cannot stop the people of Brasilia from walking in a grassy area that serves, sort of, as the city’s central park.
– This anthropological slice of bicycle riding life on a California university campus questions the rationality of the “use of this animal.”
– A UK campaign to remind the world that the going is usually “quicker by bike” has been successful — if primarily amongst those who are already in the know.
– Make your own dynamo-powered USB charger, and an LED bike light to go with it!
– Video of the week: Streetfilms interviews political conservative William Lind about his strong support for rail transit and distaste for highway spending. Bicycle advocates might learn something.
Discuss away — and feel free to add your own links in the comments below.