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The Monday Roundup

Posted by on February 22nd, 2010 at 8:30 am

– What did the big quake do to Haiti’s transportation and urban infrastructure? And what was it like before? This photo essay tells part of the story.

– Federal funding has been withheld from a controversial light rail project in the Bay Area after local organizations filed a Civil Rights Act complaint stating that the project would result in increased fares and decreased service for low-income residents. See more details on the project’s history here.

– A federal judge in New York City has upheld rule limiting the number of people allowed to ride bikes together without permits to 50. The rule was created by the Manhattan police department in response to Critical Mass rides.

– Anchorage, Alaska is considering a bill that would mean that anyone riding a bicycle on a sidewalk or bike path would have to yield to cars at intersections (regardless of signal phase) and at driveways. Current city law requires the people in cars to yield.

– While there’s a chance that some cars may accelerate out of control, the greater danger still comes from people’s driving behavior.

– San Francisco is going all out for electric cars.

– The Pacific Northwest has the highest internet usage in the nation, and the Sightline Institute wonders what that means for transportation.

– In Dubai last week, city employees were asked to observe a Car-Free Day by leaving their cars at home. Municipal parking lots sat empty all day (though surrounding neighborhoods experienced a surge in demand for parking).

– Old photos show what happens when cities are given over too much to cars: Houston in the 1980s, Hartford before and after the interstate, both looking unfortunately similar to Rotterdam after the war.

– Video of the week: The latest StreetFilm captures a day in the bicycling life of Mike McGinn, the new mayor of Seattle. He rides 6.5 miles to work every day and his scheduler takes topography into account when planning his meetings and appearances.

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“A federal judge in New York City has upheld rule limiting the number of people allowed to ride bikes together without permits to 50. The rule was created by the Manhattan police department in response to Critical Mass rides.”

I’ve always wanted to lead a Critical Car Mass. Basically get all of us who normally ride bikes to drive cars and go drive around in a huge mob at rush hour with signs announcing what we are doing. In Portland at least putting 50% of bike commuters into cars for rush hour would make downtown and surround areas at least as much of a mess as any critical mass on bikes!

Maybe they’d make it a crime to drive more then 50 cars together… the other one!
Guest the other one!

Did anyone see the little comment on traffic in todays O in the editorial section. Bacically banks and goverment open=bad traffic, closed=no traffic.

How about if we take away their cars. “No Cars for Banks and Goverment”, Judge rules but free bikes? what do ya think


I hope that the Five Borough Five Borough Bicycle Club appeals this all the way up; nation could use a final ruling on the “bikes aren’t valid road users” issue.
If you want to have an extra effective Critical Car Mass drive through a 20 MPH school zone at 18-19MPH; from the profanity and evil looks you’ll have to wonder if you haven’t killed several kittens.


Re: The NYCity article:

Here’s a great quote:

“the report included the quote of one police officer who described it as scary, saying screaming cyclists threw things, revved their engines and lurched forward in a threatening manner toward pedestrians”

Ok. Question: are the cyclists in question bicyclists, or motorcyclists?

How does one “rev” an engine on a bicycle? By making “vroom vroom” sounds?



It can’t be said any better than this:

“This is another great success for cycling for which we can thank Critical Mass. Just to review, it’s always been perfectly legal to ride a bicycle in New York City. Moreover, nobody was really counting how many people were doing it at a single time. Still, a bunch of people decided for some reason that they needed to assert some rights that we already had, and thus Critical Mass was born. This in turn made the authorities question whether we should have those rights in the first place, and unfortunately the answer they came up with is that we shouldn’t. So basically, Critical Mass advocated for something that was already legal and in the process made it illegal. This is almost exactly like the “Seinfeld” episode where they get a sitcom pilot offer from NBC and George manages to negotiate their fee down. Nicely done.” 2/17/10

matt picio

david (#2) – Or we could allow telecommuting for all bank & government employees except those needed to directly interface with the public. It’s an idea, anyway.

re: roundup – sounds like it’s time for an appeal in NYC – where’s the limit on the number of cars driving together without a permit? The morning commute in Manhattan is a parade, right?

Alaska – if I go to Anchorage, you better believe I’m riding in the street. With all my friends.


bikesnob as usual does not know what he is talking about.

it was only after the republican party convention in 04 that the NYC police department unilaterally reinterpreted the existing parade permit ordinance to apply to any “recognizable group” of fifty or more cyclists, after failing to get the ordinance itself changed to say thirty. other avenues of attack — mass arrests, surveillance, even injunctions — were rejected by the courts. the tactic of redefining what constitutes a “parade” is simply another attack on free speech rights. okay as long as it is not the snob himself, i guess.

it remains the case that a critical mass ride by definition cannot get a parade permit, because there is no hierarchy and there is no pre-determined route. therefore the police can continue to harass and selectively prosecute massers.

the present decision:
rejects claims of selective enforcement and first amendment retaliation, despite testimony from NYPD essentially conceding these points, largely on the ground that CM as a legal entity does not exist . . .

if we all just quietly lie down, the police will take care of everything for us.


Hey thanks for covering AK. Bike Commuters of Anchorage are fighting this one. It really is an outlandish proposal and counter-intuitive. Common sense tells us less vulnerable vehicles yield to more vulnerable vehicles. Bikes yield to peds and cars yield to bikes and peds.


riding near a car driving in snow the bike really should yeild to a car that might have limited control