Welcome to the week. Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…
Power of presence: Brooke Goudy tells Singletracks.com how difficult it is to be the only Black woman in mountain biking groups and how representation is crucial if the bike industry wants to see more Black women take up the sport.
Kids and cops: A program in Santa Barbara gets police officers and kids on bikes together to help build relationships and understanding.
Air quality politics: Five automakers have now joined a lawsuit in California that binds them to emissions rules that are stricter than what the Trump Admin requires.
The theft barrier: A major barrier to biking in American cities is lack of quality and secure bike storage — a problem illustrated in this NY Times piece about how theft fears coupled with the bike boom have left many needing a better place to park.
Motor vehicle menace: An excellent deep dive from the Boston Globe on “America’s blind spot” details the myriad ways our failure to regulate car and truck drivers makes our streets so much more dangerous.
Cars are the new guns: “In the same way as the National Rifle Association has mandated the right to own and carry weaponry, vehicle manufacturers have stressed autonomy and focused responsibility on the driver, not the manufacturer,” says Sandy James Planner for Pricetags.
Make them permanent: Research from Germany reported by Forbes estimates that the quick-build cycleways that have popped up throughout Europe in response to coronavirus could lead to $3 billion in public health benefits.
Big trucks suck: This Onion headline is tremendously dark because it’s based on an absolutely tragic and preventable phenomenon. Author Angie Schmitt says 50 kids a week are backed over in their own driveways.
Not satire: Leaders of a town in Wales have rejected plans for a cafe built along a path because it’s too far from…. car parking.
Keep hope alive: After a planned freeway project in Los Angeles County was defeated, there’s a possibility the funds could instead be routed to a high speed rail line.
Ride to the race: The self-sufficient, anti-corporate and carbon-sensitive ethos of this GB Duro ultracycling event is absolutely beautiful on multiple levels — especially given how much professional cycling is the complete opposite.
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Re Cycling w/ Cops: How about rather than kids meeting with people that will tell them how to stay out of the way of drivers we pair them with someone that will teach them skills to navigate actual roadways, not the park MUPs. And rather than the cops discussing how to stay safe, maybe pair them with drivers that have been ticketed and give them some out of vehicle experience instead.
On the subject of passenger rail, Amtrak will be reducing the frequency of long distance trains from daily to 3x per week starting in October. A 60 percent capacity reduction will decimate the financial performance of these trains. It’s part of the agenda of Amtrak’s current management team of airline executives to destroy the organization from within. The House already passed HR2 that includes funding to maintain daily service. That bill awaits an uncertain future in the Senate. Here’s news about that from the end of July. https://www.railpassengers.org/happening-now/news/blog/house-passes-amtrak-relief-nothing-yet-from-senate/
Thank you for the link. Amtrak’s rural long-distance trains are very popular even with Republican senators. Unfortunately, this House legislation is part of a larger package of stuff the Republicans in the Senate oppose (and the Democrats in the House already knew they opposed). So if the both houses introduced legislation specifically aimed at Amtrak as a single piece, rather than bundled with housing, defense, etc, I’m sure it would pass; but as long as both parties continue to act like 5-year-olds in the playground, Amtrak will continue to die a slow death.
I am impressed that anyone can still bothsidesism our current dysfunctional situation.
I’m sorry to say that it’s going to be the same divided government no matter who gets elected/reelected, as only a third of the Senate have races to run, and incumbents nearly always win their seats. The same old crap. As House Speaker Tip O’Neil once said, “All elections in America are local elections.” How your (or my) governor handled Covid-19 may hurt their chances for reelection, but it’s probably not going to affect our congresspeople and senators very much on their reelections. As for the two old white guys, good luck to them.
I’m actually fairly impressed also.
With so many people partaking in emotional thinking and blinded by dislike for the “other” side, it takes an objective mind to be able to look at things dispassionately and rationally. Totally getting harder and harder to do.
Hats off to David for his ability to keep things in perspective.
That doesn’t really make sense to say a reduction in service will decimate the financial performance. Just like most public transit systems, long-distance Amtrak trains require a very large operating subsidy. And like most public transit systems, the reason to keep subsidizing it is because we think it’s a valuable public service, not because we expect it to “perform” financially. Anyway, we agree that this is a bad move, but it’s simply untrue that cutting the number of trips will cause some sort of financial death spiral. That would only be true if the service was expected to cover its own costs. That’s never been true for the long-distance trains.
The Theft Barrier: NYTimes has a paywall that prevents me from stealing, I mean reading, their content.
Yes, I hate reading articles on that site. You either have to delete all your nytimes.com cookies or open it in a private/incognito browsing window.
We are all victims in some way.
I pay for The NY Times and it is worth it. Not only because the “Old Grey Lady” provides serious journalism and that supports fleets of journalists who root out the facts around the world but also because the Times’ columnists are very smart people giving serious thought to the issues of the day. The Sunday magazine has long reads and as a whole the knowledge I parted by the Times is true and comprehensive. I am glad to support such an enterprise.
If you want free content Fox, Facebook, Sinclair (KATU) and this blog should satisfy your inquiring mind. You get what you pay for.
100% agree, I never lament when I see my monthly NY Times billing. I literally saw aloud, “well yeah, got my moneys worth on that!” I do Sunday paper which of course also comes with digital access (and ability to share those rights with like two others). Paper reading materials for the week, and more online content than I could possibly get through.
I also subscribe to their crossword app, but now we are getting off topic.
Honestly, I’m mad at the NYT for giving Captain Bonespur the time of day. They cover him like a serious politician, which grossly misrepresents what he is. He should be covered like those sovereign citizen nutjobs. TLDR, I prefer the Guardian to the NYT.
You can usually just google the article and read it through google and the paywall doesn’t apply in that case. You also get a certain number of free articles per month. Good journalism is worth paying for, in my opinion, but I’m glad they offer some limited free options.
When I first moved to Portland back in the 90’s the local mountain bike club was PUMP (Portland United Mountain Pedalers). It organized week night rides and weekend group rides at the local trails. This group eventually became the NWTA. It was founded by Theo Patterson, a black mountain biker. I rode with the guy almost every Wednesday night on the group ride and on many weekend rides. I’ve never seen any overt racism or “micro-aggression” and I know everyone in the group back then respected Theo but as white guy I am sure there are things I don’t see or notice. Personally I’ve always felt that someone that shared my biking passion was part of my “tribe” regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political views. I’ve got a lot more in common with the average cyclist than I do with the average white person.
Well, I had no idea that California plans its transportation projects out over 40 years in the future. What is even the point? For all they know, Las Vegas won’t even exist as a tourist destination in 2067.
That really jumped out to me, too. That is some really long-range planning!
RE: Ride to the race.
One of the best parts about living in inner N/NE is being able to pedal to PIR to race Short Track and Trophy Cup races. Such great events and so much fun to cruise up to the track after work, race, then pedal home – perfect evening for the beer league racer that just want to get out for the competition with friends, solid work out and mid to rear pack finish – perfect!
Backing over children is why Congress and USDoT mandated backup cameras on 2018 and newer vehicles.
Since there’s a mandatory screen there anyway, manufacturers figure it only makes sense to add other functions as well, and that has been a big driver of the growth in automotive infotainment.
If “Cars are the New Guns”, then are lifted pickup trucks the AR-15s of the automotive world? I certainly see enough with AR stickers on the back window…