No bias here.
Business Insider looks at the prospects for ebike tax credits and bike safety measures on Capitol Hill, and says, in effect, don’t hold your breath.
According to the magazine, Congressional Republicans are a long way from being convinced to do anything for bikes, especially in the GOP-controlled House.
Consider this from Susan Collins, often considered the party’s relatively moderate voice of reason.
“We’re over-subsidizing electric vehicles as it is now,” Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told Insider in the Capitol this week. “I don’t want to add to the unfairness of the current system where electric cars are free riders and don’t pay to help maintain our roads and bridges through a gas tax or any kind of surcharge.”
Then there’s the very wealthy Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who pans a new bill to increase bike and pedestrian safety and doesn’t want to subsidize rich people like him.
And thinks bike lanes only cause congestion.
“I’m not going to spend money on buying e-bikes for people like me who have bought them — they’re expensive,” he said. “Removing automobile lanes to put in bike lanes is, in my opinion, the height of stupidity, it means more cars backing up, creating more emissions.”
Never mind that he could afford to buy an electric jet without subsidies, let alone an ebike. And yes, that is a thing.
The problem is, too many of the rest of us can’t.
And never mind that the myth of bike lanes causing traffic congestion and emissions has been a favorite talking point on the right, when studies show bike lanes actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions as efficiently as highways create them.
The real problem, however, has little or nothing to do with bikes, or giving them a safe piece of the roadway.
According to The Insider,
The opposition to pro-bicycle policy has to be understood in the larger context of the culture war and conservative fears of Democrats’ climate-friendly agenda, said Tim Carney, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
“There is a widespread suspicion on the right today that liberals want to take away their way of life,” Carney told Insider. “This idea that the left knows there’s only one right way to live, it’s the way that we want to live and we’re going to force it on you. That is in the background of the mind of every conservative, and so when they hear more bike lanes, they think, ‘Okay, what is that code for?'”
Which makes the bizarre conspiracy theories surrounding the concept of 15-minute cities make more sense. Or at least as much sense as a completely whackadoodle conspiracy can, anyway.
But there may be some slight glimmer of hope, as Carney says to frame the story in terms of building safer and more interconnected communities for children and families.
“What parents need now is the ability to set their kids free and have them be safe,” Carney said. “Better bike safety, and better bike trails and lanes make life easier and more fun for your average suburban parents and for the kids. It also builds resilience and independence among kids, and makes us have fewer snowflake kids when they get to college.”
We can only hope.
You can read the story on MSN if the magazine blocks you.
Photo of US Capitol at night by Trev Adams for Pexels.
Today is Election Day in LA’s 6th Council District, in the special election to replace disgraced Councilmember Nury Martinez.
The LA Times has endorsed Marco Santana, while Streets For All split their endorsement between Santana and Antoinette Scully.
We are excited to announce our endorsement for the CD6 special election primary — we co-endorse both @MarcoforLA and @AntoinetteForLA and hope to see them as the top two candidates who advance to the general.
View candidate questionnaires: https://t.co/VH4BEls0OJ pic.twitter.com/zUujGZAQHs
— Streets For All (@streetsforall) March 9, 2023
So if you live in the district, get out and vote like your life depends on it.
Because it just might.
BikeLA, the bike advocacy organization formerly known as the LACBC, is looking for a full-time finance and HR manager.
And no, that doesn’t stand for Home Runs, even if it is baseball season.
No, they’re not there to help improve your aim.
Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up.
Seriously, this is effing gorgeous.
Artist: Yasushi Sugiyama pic.twitter.com/EX5mfVVHiU
— Cool Bike Art (@CoolBikeArt1) April 3, 2023
Call him the drum and bass Pied Piper.
A DJ with a bike-mounted sound system led hundreds of English bicyclists on a “mind blowing” ride through the streets of Bristol.
That was CRAZY thanks again and see you in Cardiff pic.twitter.com/ymC8unF1Sn
— Analogue Andy (@AnalogueAndy) April 3, 2023
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.
No bias here, either. A “flash mob” of angry anti-bike lane protesters blocked a new British bike lane by parking their cars on it.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A Visalia, California man wanted for several violent felonies led police on a bicycle chase as he tried to escape arrest, which only ended when he was struck by a driver while attempting to ride on a highway.
Bike bag brand Fierce Hazel designs their True Grit line of bags and pouches using sustainable repurposed fabric right here in LA, although they’re actually made in Vietnam.
Long Beach bike riders will have to cope with the closure of the bike lane on north side of E. Third Street between Linden and Atlantic avenues for a movie shoot tomorrow.
Caltrans released a five-year progress report on the state transportation agency’s first-ever statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan, including developing active transportation plans for each of the agency’s 12 districts. Although I can write that report in just two words — not enough.
This is who we share the road with. Heartbreaking news from Orange County, where an allegedly stoned driver jumped the curb in Los Flores and drove up o the sidewalk, killing an infant boy in his stroller while seriously injuring his parents. Thanks to Larry Kawalec for the link.
Encinitas is beginning work on a two-way cycle track on the west side of Coast Highway 101, along with traditional bike lanes on either side of the road for higher-speed bicyclists, with work expected to be completed by June.
San Jose’s mayor and police chief got on their bikes to promote public safety and refocusing on basic city services, including housing everyone on the streets. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass rides a bike, as does LAPD Chief Michael Moore, so maybe we could get them both on bikes sometime.
San Francisco is scheduled to approve plans for a highly contentious two-way, center-running cycle track on Valencia Street today, which has been very unpopular with bicyclists.
Streetsblog explores the new curb-protected bike lanes currently taking shape on Oakland’s Telegraph Avenue, which barely survived efforts to kill them last year.
Bicycle co-op and community advocacy organization Rich City Rides has started a $6 million capital campaign to raise funds to buy its Richmond location and three other buildings; the owner has given them until the end of June to raise the money. So if you have an extra million or two lying around, they can use the help.
Forbes makes their picks for the best bike locks. And wouldn’t mind if you bought one, so they could make a few bucks.
A writer for political site Outside the Beltway badly misses the point as he considers yesterday’s very Shoupista piece in The Wall Street Journal arguing that America has too much parking, concluding that it’s too pro-developer, and that Americans need their parking spaces. Never mind that everyone who doesn’t drive subsidizes free parking for those who do, in the form of higher rents and home prices, and inflated retail prices to cover the cost of building and maintaining massive parking lots.
Portland is hiring a polling company in an effort to learn why bicycling rates have dropped significantly in what is largely regarded as one of the country’s most bike-friendly cities.
That feeling when a bike rider is struck by a semi-truck driver by surprise, in Surprise.
Congratulations. Oregon says it’s legal to briefly cross the centerline in a no passing zone to get around an obstruction on the right side of the roadway. And yes, you’re the obstruction.
A Chicago driver finally faces charges for aggravated driving under the influence in last June’s death of an 83-year old man who was killed while riding his bike around a nearby forest reserve, like he did almost every day.
New York is marking Earth Day by banning cars, at least temporarily, and opening the streets to people, with seven signature and 23 community-organized Open Streets locations throughout the city.
Virginia authorities are offering a $15,000 reward in the hit-and-run death of a 70-year old former Commonwealth’s Attorney — the equivalent of a district attorney — who was run down by a driver while riding his bike.
Even nature is out to get us. An unsuspecting Virginia bike rider was lucky to escape without serious injuries when a large tree branch broke off and fell on him, as a door cam captured the crash.
Tragic story from Mississippi, where an Air Force Wing commander’s 30-year career didn’t prepare her for the trauma she experienced when she and two friends were run down by a driver on the last day of a bike and kayak race across Florida that injured her, and killed one of her teammates.
There’s a special place in hell for the Scottish bike thief who stole a bicycle from an 11-year old boy at a playground, then flashed a gun at a Good Samaritan who tried to get it back.
A Philippine fundraising ride will mark the 81st anniversary of the brutal WWII Bataan Death March, following the route traveled by American and Filipino soldiers captured by the Japanese.
A new Aussie study confirms that women face many barriers to bicycling that keep them from riding, not the least of which is access to safe infrastructure.
Life is cheap in Australia, where a sleeping driver got a whole two years behind bars for fleeing the scene after dozing off and slamming into a man taking part in a group training ride — but could get out after just nine months.
Cycling Weekly offers five things they learned from Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, including that 23-year old Brit Fred Wright can ride with the big dogs.
British cyclist Ethan Hayter took the opening stage of the Tour of the Basque Country in an uphill sprint to the finish.
Russian Petr Rikunov won the first stage of the “prestigious” Ho Chi Minh City Television Cup Vietnamese stage rage.
Here’s video of the Tour of Flanders crash caused by Polish cyclist Filip Maciejuk we mentioned yesterday. Oops.
— Cycling out of context (@OutOfCycling) April 2, 2023
Now you, too, can take a bike tour of Taiwan without leaving Indiana. Who needs puncture-resistant bike tires when you’ve got tennis balls?
And never buy a bike helmet at a garage sale. Or morph a story about bike helmets into a completely different topic without warning, for that matter.
Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.
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