Here are the best stories we came across last week…
Smog-eating bikes: We always hear that “bicycling improves air quality,” but this is something completely different.
Boston’s “Clueless” Mayor: Marty Walsh is taking heat from bicycle advocates in Boston because of comments he made radio show that included this zinger: “You can’t be running across the middle of the street. You’ve got to understand — cars are going to hit you.”
Media response: A Boston Globe op-ed columnist responded to Mayor Walsh’s comments with: “If you’re driving in a crowded city, it’s your job not to hit anybody.”
Activists response: Boston has a vibrant bike scene and activists there responded to the Mayor’s comments by placing comic cutouts in bike lanes.
The e-MTB takeover: An e-bike industry rep made the bold claim that battery-powered mountain bikes will soon outnumber those without power.
Sneaker subsidy: Free parking is evil. One form it takes is when people get free parking at work. Legislation in DC would require that employers who do this must offer to pay the equivalent amount in cash.
Not a new idea: When people call this bus-only stuff a “war on cars,” help them remember that prioritizing mass transit over single-occupancy vehicles has been enshrined in American planning since the 1950s.
Slowly but surely: We need to move faster to upgrade bike access in America; but the gains we’ve made so far have already paid big dividends according to a new study of infrastructure in 10 cities (including Portland).
Biking while black: This is a good rundown of recent headlines and enforcement statistics that makes a compelling case that police unfairly target people of color when they are riding bicycles in certain neighborhoods.
Time Square (planning) tragedy: An account of the “not unusual” vehicular assault in Times Square from Streetsblog NYC.
Dooring death: We don’t hear about fatalities from dooring very often, but it unfortunately still happens.
Louisville boondoggle: Oh look, a state spent $2.4 billion (with a “b”) on new highways and all they got was a bunch of empty pavement.
Protection on the cheap: Don’t ever let a politician or agency staffer tell you protected bike lanes are too expensive. People for Bikes has a rundown of some quick-and-dirty options.
The power of one: One woman in Calgary was so convinced bicycles would change children’s lives that she set up shop in her kitchen, fixed up over 100 of them, and gave them to those in need.
In debt to a car: As home loan regulations have tightened, America’s debt has flowed to the wild west of auto loans — and it’s the people least able to afford that are driving around in debt.
Beastmode Mass: We need more sports stars like Marshawn Lynch. The NFL running-back led a huge bike parade through the streets of Oakland on Saturday.
“Close pass mats”: Police forces in the UK are embracing a novel way to educate themselves and the public about close-passing laws: Large mats with true-to-scale measurements.
Thanks to everyone who flagged articles this week.