Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:
– Another voice has joined the chorus pointing out that the federal government can create more jobs by building public transit rather than freeways.
– The 2010 Winter Olympics will be in Vancouver, BC, and the big question on the minds of many is how to handle transportation, with private cars seen as one of the least desirable parts of the mix.
– Here in green, dense Portland, the numbers show that most households still own and use a private car. What’s going on? A blogger tries to wrap his head around that in light of Portlanders’ fairly low transit use and walking rate, and eventually points his finger at the city’s massive amount of subsidized street parking.
– Speaking of parking, have you ever looked down at I-84 from the 12th Ave overpass at 5:15 and contemplated what a terrible commute that must be? Well, it’s far from the worst. Here’s a ranking of the nation’s worst gridlock spots.
– Desk jockeys and car commuters take note! No matter how much exercise you get during the rest of the day, sitting down all day is terrible for your health.
– The city council in Geneva, Switzerland, has voted to make almost 200 roads in the center city car-free.
– In bike-heavy Groningen, Netherlands, researchers have issued the results of a study on the effects of cell phone use while cycling.
– Many US American suburbs are anything but wealthy — and the challenges of serving their residents with transit are as difficult as the neighborhoods are sprawling.
– In Washington, DC, the city recently removed the ghost bike memorial for 22 year old Alice Swanson from the spot in DuPont Circle near where she was killed in a right hook crash; shortly afterwards 22 new ghost bikes materialized in the vicinity.
– A law to create greater penalties in traffic deaths of “vulnerable road users” is back on the table in New York State.
– From San Francisco, an inspiring memorial of pro-transit, anti-freeway activist Norm Rolfe.
– Also in SF, bike counts are way up since 2006 despite the three-year ban on building new bike infrastructure that was only lifted in recent months.
– Aaron Naparstek, founder and editor of Streetsblog, is moving on after building an empire of livable streets activist journalism.
– St Helena, the remote island to which Napoleon was once exiled, is now the place “where Ford Escorts go to die.”
– Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for — a roundup of freak tricycles from around Portland and the internet. Yeah!
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com