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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on December 14th, 2009 at 10:43 am

Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:

– The EPA has ruled that “greenhouse gases threaten the health and welfare of the American people.” Electricity generation and vehicle emissions are listed as the two leading causes.

Cities for Cycling, an initiative that will change the way road design regulations work, celebrated its official launch in Washington, DC last week.

– After a bike lane was removed by the city from a Brooklyn neighborhood after residents made a stink, unknown parties went in at night and repainted the lane. A protest ride along the corridor last weekend was attended by 15 “mourners” on bikes and a huge line of police vehicles.

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– NYC’s new bike access law went into effect last Friday; now any building with a freight elevator must allow employees to use it to bring their bikes up to their offices.

– New England states have formed a coalition to pull together the logistics and funding for creating a high speed rail corridor in the Northeast US, earning praise from DC.

– In Philadelphia, two experimental bike corridors have been deemed successful and may become permanent.

– In Seattle, traffic infractions that end up killing someone on a bike or on foot rarely result in more than a fine. Elsewhere in the state of Washington, though, a man was sentenced to a year in prison for ramming someone’s car in a road rage incident.

– As London faces fines for not meeting its air pollution reduction goals, the mayor is considering making some high-pollution streets temporarily car-free.

– Are bicycle highways coming to the US? And even if they’re a possibility, should they be a priority?

– On an LA blog, a heated discussion of whether or not race has anything to do with bicycling.

– The folks behind WalkScore are hoping to use their clout and software skills to encourage public transit ridership through aiding the spread of open data and the development of apps.

– How many people bicycling, for how long, does it take to power a five minute shower? You may be surprised. Meanwhile, at the Copenhagen climate conference, a Christmas tree is decked out with pedal-powered lights.

– Are Portlanders the “biggest wimps ever?” Bike Pittsburgh read our cold weather coverage, and wants to know.

– Two videos of the week jumped out at us — one in which a bike mechanic in Kenya demonstrates his set of handmade tools, and another interview with people on the street in Amsterdam about why they love (or hate) cargo bikes.

– We don’t really think of ourselves as “outdoor media” here at BikePortland, but this conversation is interesting to anyone closely following the downward spiral of Big Publishing and the rise of smaller, niche media.

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Duncan Watson
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The NYC bike lane thing is just insane. Pure pandering by the local government, it won’t have the intended effect, it was just done to pretend to care about the Bedford Jews’ claim. I don’t understand the calculus, trading reduced safety and a potential cost in terms of human life for what exactly?

The NYC bike access law is a step in the right direction, and though there are loopholes, eventually they will be addressed and plugged.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

that video of the bikes being chased by meter maids is the funniest thing I eever saw. Kind of like a 3 yr old trying to escape from the ice cream truck.
How come they didn’t pull over? It’s a felony to try and evaid a police officer

El Biciclero
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El Biciclero

“The EPA has ruled that ‘greenhouse gases threaten the health and welfare of the American people.’ Electricity generation and vehicle emissions are listed as the two leading causes.”

Go electric cars! So much for zero emissions…

jim
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jim

how much carbon is produced by the coal plants to power those electric cars? more than 1/2 of our power is from coal. they shouldn’t be tearing down the dams which are our good source of clean energy

Oldairhead
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Oldairhead

Do my CO2 emmissions as a cyclist add to global warming? I ask only because I do not commute and cycle mainly as a recreational activity. I ride apporx. 5000 miles per year and all of my cycling is non-essential and only for my personal enjoyment.

BTW: Drive a Hybrid, help support strip mining.

wsbob
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wsbob

In this past Sunday’s NYTimes magazine, there was also an interesting little item about the state of Virginia’s recent move to “…severely limit cul-de-sacs from future development”. I tried to locate the article on the Times website, but had difficulty, which is why I’m not providing a link to it. Author of the piece is Clay Risen.

It’s a short piece, but gives a good, simple summary of how this particular residential development feature came to be, it’s strengths and weaknesses, and how they’re increasingly being seen to day as barriers to connectivity between residential and other vital areas in communities.

Virginia’s putting some teeth into this effort too. Developments that don’t comply won’t get state provided maintenance and snowplow services.

Donna
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Donna

Wow, a slice of the Taliban in Brooklyn.

justgetout&Ride
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justgetout&Ride

Sorry portlanders but you get my biggest “wimps award” Its really not very cold here. Since when do you need to dress in full rain gear and a balclava when its around 50 out and its not raining. Its really funny. Hey at least your out there though and not driving.

Chris
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Chris

#5 Jim:

According to PGE, in 2007 only 38.9% of the power supply mix came from coal generation.

In 2008 and 2009 PGE reduced that percentage even more, but they haven’t published the percentages yet to reference.

(Source: http://www.portlandgeneral.com/residential/your_account/billing_payment/basic_service.aspx)

Ryan G.
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Ryan G.

@ Anonymous, #3: Meter maids are not cops.

@ justgetout&Ride, #9: I agree, there’s no need for all that when it’s 50 and dry. But when it’s 13 degrees (without the wind chill), and I’m getting to work with icicles in my beard, I think we can call that cold. Granted, it’s not Pittsburgh, or Alaska (where I grew up), but it’s cold. You might want to check your facts before you criticize next time.

jim
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jim

nationally we get more than 50% of our power from coal. at different times of the year we purchase or sell power to/from all around the country

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Ryan G.

Maybe you didn’t see the NYPD on the sides of the little trucks chasing after the bikes. I was waiting for the clown with the shovel to come along after the parade

jim
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jim

gotta crank up the coal plant to keep the prius on the road

El Biciclero
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El Biciclero

Well, hybrids don’t suck from the electricity grid, they just “support strip mining” (as was mentioned above in #6). But, the much-ballyhooed “plug-in” hybrid, or any all-electric vehicle will pull electricity from sources that are “leading causes” of GG. And hydro power isn’t without its environmental costs, either.

You can’t get something for nothing, which is what all the energy talk is about these days. Whether you support strip mining, coal burning, oil consumption, biodiesel–or even solar, tidal, geothermal, or wind–there is no free lunch. There is only the matter of whether we serve rice and lentils for lunch rather than bacon and donuts.

jim
Guest
jim

those hybrid batteries cause enviromental catastrophies in canada and china,
It seems odd when you see old pictures of steam engines chugging away pouring out black smoke from the coal that it seems so archaic because our deisel/electrics arn’t so dirty, but when you think about our country using coal for making our electricity – are we still in the 18th century? maybe we should be investing big chunks of money in refitting those coal power plants with more modern controls? I don’t know too much about those plants and how they are fitted at this time. I remember seattle has an old steam plant that they only will fire up in case of emergencies and they have to pay a lot of epa fines when they do. I don’t know how dirty boardman is?