Lots of news this past week, so let’s get right to it…
Infra bill passes: A tidal wave of federal funding for transportation will start hitting state and local governments thanks to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that finally passed the House and will be signed by President Biden.
MUTCD reform: With new infrastructure money in play, the engineering manual used by the FHWA (the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or MUTCD) to set street design standards will be even more influential. Check out this Urbanist article about how an effort to update it with key bike/ped safety innovations seems to have been pushed aside.
Don’t overlook bike parking: A secure and functional place to park bikes is often overlooked, even in the bike-friendliest cities. That needs to change says Streetsblog in this excellent breakdown of the problem.
Biker beacons in Biden Bill? Forbes says a provision in the new infrastructure bill could require bike riders to wear microchips that communicate with AV-enabled cars. (FWIW it’s definitely not a sure thing and I personally don’t think it would ever happen.)
Empire State Trail: The new, 750-mile rail trail in New York State looks splendid.
Biking and enforcement: A massive investigation by the L.A. Times found that police used minor bicycle laws to stop-and-search riders and did so in a way that reveals disproportionate focus on people of color who live in lower-income areas.
E-bikes booming: Despite a lack of infrastructure to use them on and a lack of government subsidies to purchase them with, e-bikes are more popular than e-cars and the boom is likely to continue.
The promise of Mayor Wu: Boston has elected a mayor that unabashedly supports the Green New Deal, has impeccable transportation bona fides, and is an outspoken advocate (and user!) of public transit and bicycling.
Try it, you’ll like it: Smart cities will do whatever it takes to encourage e-bike adoption one way to do it is an e-bike lending library.
Bike trains on NPR: Here’s the story behind a viral Twitter video of hundreds of kids in Barcelona biking to school together in a “bicibus”.
Deadly hazard: Police say a man riding a bicycle on Highway 101 in Lincoln City likely crashed into a road sign prior to being found dead on the roadway.
Noisy cars: The state of New York is the latest to pass a fine for loud auto exhausts in a bid to tamp down on noisy cars and street racers.
Traffic cameras, good: “The more automated the process, the less discriminatory it is,” says urban planning commentator Matthew Yglesias in a new essay that advocates for more traffic cameras.
Research beat: A new paper sheds light on how the “kindermoord” and other social protests in Amsterdam in the 1970s led directly to government influence that beat back motordom and led to a cycling renaissance that’s the envy of the world.