Welcome to the week. I hope you had a nice long weekend. Now it’s time to buckle in and move forward.
Let’s start with getting up to speed on the news. Here are the most notable items our writers and readers came across in the past
seven eight days…
Behind the popular and potent ‘Ban Cars’ mantra: War on Cars podcast co-host Doug Gordon explains the reasoning behind his language choices and what the war is really all about — and does it directly to car lovers via Jalopnik.
Robert Moses at the theater: A new play opening in London will feature Ralph Fiennes playing the influential 1950s NYC DOT director Robert Moses.
EV inequity: Scarcity of materials needed for batteries could push the price of EV cars even higher and make more efficient EV bikes even more attractive.
Real protection: After several high-profile collisions, Chicago officials say they will add concrete protection to all bike lanes by the end of next year. We need a similar plan in Portland.
Exposing ‘bike bros’: A San Francisco-based journalist says she is sick and tired of ‘radical bike activists’ who ‘take cities hostage’ with their anti-car positions and she plans to go on the offensive expose them to win the war on cars.
SUV fines: A German court has ruled that due to the inherently more dangerous design of some SUVs their owners can be slapped with higher fines for breaking traffic laws.
Coal roll penalty: A mechanic in North Carolina who sold thousands of kits to truck owners so they could “roll coal” (spew exhaust at will) has been busted and will serve a year in prison and pay $2.5 million in fines.
Carfree playbook: Wired has a great article on lessons learned from European cities on how to drastically reduce car use and create a healthier, happier city for all.
Public spaces, not parking spaces: The pandemic helped the Italian city of Milan turbocharge their efforts to change parking spaces to public spaces and they’ve created new parks and gathering places for pennies on the dollar.
Murder suspect caught: U.S. Marshals worked with Costa Rican authorities to arrest Kaitlin Armstrong, the woman who is the prime suspect in the killing of professional cyclist Moriah Wilson.
Thanks to everyone who sent in links this week.
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Thanks for the link to the Milan article. That city’s quick recognition of and response to the need for outdoor space in areas with limited green space is so much better than San Francisco’s failure to do the same. Not just failure, actually, but refusal.
16 months into the pandemic and and probably a couple thousand city worker, non-profit staff and volunteer hours of Zoom meetings, phone calls and email, San Francisco finally opened an “emergency” outdoor space in a neighborhood with 3,500 kids and about 7 1/2 square feet of green space per resident. The city gave us 1800 square feet, so each kid got bumped up to around 8 square feet of nearby outdoor space.
The link for the Wired car-free article points at the rolling coal article.
Thanks everyone for catching that. Links have been fixed.
Wait a sec, that “article” Battling the Bike Bros is the very definition of “fake news.” One person with website interviews one person with an opinion. So what?
Based on 12 (nasty) comments, the piece is a far cry from anything like “viral.”
OK I’ll grant you the writer-person does maybe deserve to be called “a reporter.” Her bio at U.S. News says Ms Sandberg ‘is a consumer finance expert and journalist whose work appears in U.S. News and many other top-tier news outlets. Sandberg has appeared on CNN, Fox and “The Dr. Drew Podcast,” and . . . KRON-4 News in San Francisco.’ Hmm…who wrote that bio?
This one doesn’t belong in the Monday Roundup. Just another bloviator.
I’m rather surprised you’re giving further exposure to Erica Sandberg’s op-ed here.
It’s important to hear the talking points of opposition to understand where they are coming from and be able to formulate arguments in a way that makes sense to their understanding.
This hypothetical Malthusian crisis would also make EV bikes far more expensive and, hence, unattractive.
This scenario would also benefit manufacturers of fossil-fuel burning SUVs/trucks/bikes and developers of methane-burning power plants (peaker vs battery storage). In particular, this type of celebration of battery scarcity seems to be influenced by soft denial of the importance of battery storage for sectorial decarbonization. The fact that this denial often comes from those who claim that riding an individual bike (or some other individual action) fights climate change is probably not a coincidence.
I don’t know that battery storage is absolutely necessary for sectoral decarbonization (there are other energy storage methods after all), but it will probably play an important role. I don’t know that I would call this a celebration, so much as an acknowledgement that an increase in the price of one transportation option will generally prompt people seek out another, cheaper one. It’ll be bad if that ends up being ICE vehicles, but neutral-to-good if it ends up being bikes, walking, or transit.
As the EIA and others report, there has been an explosion in Li ion battery storage system construction (Li ion batteries represent over 90% of new utility scale storage):
This anti-Bike Bros journalist would do well to enlist the help of Ted Cruz – if he’s not too busy protecting the world from Sesame Street characters.
Now when people tell Ralph Fiennes that they loved his portrayal of pure evil, he’ll have to ask, “Which one–Voldemort or Robert Moses?”