Tag Archive for Build Back Better

Fed ebike credit dies with Build Back Better plan, and Lime CEO says it’s the cars littering out streets, not the scooters

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It looks like there won’t be a federal ebike tax credit in your stocking this year, after opposition from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin doomed Biden’s Build Back Better bill for this year.

If not permanently.

At least California residents can look forward to a $10 million ebike tax incentive program going into effect sometime this coming year.

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He gets it.

The CEO of Lime tells Time it’s not ebikes and scooters that are littering our streets, it’s all the cars.

Thanks to Chris Giza for the heads-up.

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The war on cars may be myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.   

A Houston councilmember tries to have it both ways, walking back criticism of bike lanes as being too in tune with the needs of bicyclists, to the detriment of drivers, then saying his complaints about bike lanes still stand.

Welsh dirt and pedal bike riders were warned to be careful, after a man suffered horrific neck injuries when someone sabotaged a bike trail by stringing barbed wire over it at neck level. As we’ve said before, anyone who does something like this should face terrorism charges, because there is a clear intent to injure others to frighten people off their bikes.

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Local

ActiveSGV celebrated the season with a test ride of the new ebikes coming to the San Gabriel Valley’s bikeshare system next year, along with a ride to observe a 100-year old Christmas light tradition.

 

State

A 57-year old dialysis patient rolled into San Diego to finish the final 1,800 miles of the New Hampshire to California recumbent ride her son was on when he was killed by a Mississippi driver three years ago.

Congratulations to Santa Barbara for their newfound status as a Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community.

San Francisco advocates say they’ve been patient long enough, and want the protected bike lanes and intersections they were promised before Covid shut everything down.

 

National

Nice move from Yuma, Arizona, which has installed a public sculpture honoring a local Special Olympian along a local bike path; the bicycle used by 49-year old Charles E. Cheatham will stand as a memorial to the athlete, who passed away earlier this year.

Police in Glendale, Arizona ask for the public’s to catch a hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider, just one day after the fatal crash; meanwhile, police in Amarillo, Texas just waited until the weekend was over. Unlike the police in a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name, who prefer to wait until the trail grows cold, for reasons known only to them.

Chicago advocates’ warnings of increased danger for people walking or riding bikes if a new Amazon warehouse was approved have come to pass, after a bike lane was erased to make room for a turn lane for the convenience of their drivers, dumping bike riders into traffic without warning.

New York’s mayor elect has selected the longtime chair of the city council’s transportation committee as the new head of the Department of Transportation. He gets high marks from the city’s bike advocates. 

Gothamist says outgoing New York Mayor De Blasio gets praise for starting Vision Zero, while critics complain he didn’t go far enough. Sort of like another big city mayor and future ambassador to India we could name.

New Orleans plans to focus on improving safety for bike riders and others on the streets next year, after the worst year for traffic deaths in the Crescent City since 2014.

 

International

Bike Hacks considers why bike jerseys are so expensive these days.

British police have made a trio of arrests in the home invasion robbery that terrified pro sprinter Mark Cavendish and his family last month, charging a 30-year old man and two 27-year olds for the break-in; no word on whether any of the items stolen were recovered.

Good news about former Italian F1 driver and Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi, who is finally home from the hospital, 18 months after he suffered severe head injuries when he was hit by a truck driver while training on his handcycle.

Over 200 people in Santa suits turned out for an annual bike ride in the Bosnia-Herzegovina city of Mostar yesterday; the four-mile ride was open to anyone with a bicycle and a Santa hat.

 

Competitive Cycling

The three kings of ‘cross will be going head-to-head-to-head four times in the week between Boxing Day and the day after New Years, which really needs a better moniker.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to whip out a gun while stealing a bike from Walmart, at least steal a better bike. Now you can ride gravel without ever taking your bike off the rollers. Or going outside, for that matter (scroll down).

And that feeling when you get your stolen bike back before you even know someone took it.

Which is another good reminder to register your bike.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Feds say bike with a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you, new Bike League report, and CD13 mobility debate

Evidently, the feds want you to wear a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you.

The recently passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill contains a provision intended to speed up the use of beacons to help autonomous vehicles identify people walking and biking, which has presented problems for their developers.

Here’s what Carlton Reid has to say about it.

An easy to miss part of the Act also formalizes the acceptance of so-called “vehicle to everything” (V2X) technology that, on the face of it, promises enhanced safety on the roads for pedestrians and cyclists…

This states that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office and the Federal Highway Administration, will “expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts focused on incorporating bicyclists and other vulnerable road users into the safe deployment of connected vehicle systems.”

While it might improve safety from autonomous vehicles, those “vehicle to everything” beacons really just shift carmaker’s responsibility for designing and building safe vehicles onto literally everyone else.

It also continues the current automotive hegemony, in which everyone else has to live in fear of the big, dangerous machines. And indefinitely delays the desperately needed transition to transit and active transportation.

But no big deal, right? It’s only the future of our cities and the planet we’re talking about.

The only way I might be willing to wear a beacon when I ride is if, and only if, every car on the road is required to have a compatible warning sensor.

Even if every last one has to be recalled and retrofit.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels.

Will even little kids like him have to be beaconize just so carmakers won’t have to program their damn killer cars to see them?

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Meanwhile, Streetsblog takes a look at what’s in the infrastructure bill.

And what’s not.

Like Biden’s promise to fix existing streets and highways before building new ones.

Politico also reported that the bill shelved the “fix-it first” promises that President Biden made when he ran for the White House.

“The House-passed surface transportation bill would have prioritized this kind of ‘fix it first,’ and also would have made states measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” the outlet reported. “But the House bill got sidelined in favor of the more bipartisan Senate version over the summer.”

The bill continues the decades-old focus on highway funding, with $300 million to be allocated to the states for pretty much whatever the hell they want to do with it.

Which in most cases means more induced-demand inducing highways and interchanges.

The bill also includes a modest $39 million in transit funding, though the article notes more transit funding is included in the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better bill currently stalled in the House — when and if it ever passes.

California is in line for an extra $5.8 billion in highway funds over the next five years, but will have to compete with other states for a share of the $11 billion in safety funds for bicycling and walking budgeted in the bill.

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For the first time in eight years, the Bike League has issued a new report on the current state of bicycling.

The new report from the League of American Bicyclists, titled Reconnecting to the New Majority, is intended to reflect the changing demographics surrounding bikes, to “ensure that all people – particularly Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) – have access to safe bicycling, and further progress actions that promote equity in bicycling.”

Among the key findings,

  • More people of Latin heritage are riding bicycles, while fewer Black people are;
  • Bicycling deaths have increased significantly since the 2013 report, disproportionately affecting people of color;
  • Potential interactions with police are a deterrent to bicycling for people of color and younger people.

And as with virtually every other report on the subject, it shows that more people would be willing to ride if they had better infrastructure and safer places to park their bikes, along with better bicycle training.

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Streets For All is hosting a mobility-focused debate for the candidates vying for Mitch O’Farrell’s seat in CD13 next week.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

If a roadway is so wide that you need a sign telling drivers it’s not a traffic lane, it’s more than wide enough for a road diet. And protected bike lanes.

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While Los Angeles has forgotten all about the groundbreaking mobility plan that was supposed to transform the city, Barcelona is busy forging ahead with a post-car future.

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Clearly, Scottish bike rider care about the climate and the future of our earth.

Maybe someday, we can get LA’s bike community to care that much about anything.

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Madame Curry was one of us, along with her husband.

More proof that she really was a genius.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457211209069912071

And maybe it’s just me, but this looks a lot like the original railing at Palisades Park, overlooking the 101 and the Santa Monica pier.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457435610659139590

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Here’s one good deed for the day.

A Brazilian man on a bike stopped traffic so an elderly woman could get across the street safely.

https://twitter.com/GoodNewsMoveme3/status/1454151785023778823?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1454151785023778823%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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A billionaire Conservative British Parliament Member may be a “keen cyclist” who just bought a new bike, but he’s no fan of popup bike lanes. Especially making them permanent.

https://twitter.com/ldnparks/status/1456322436031467523?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1456322436031467523%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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You don’t have to understand German to get this one, as a driver wants to fight a group of bike riders, apparently just for being.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

You’ve got to be kidding. A witness followed an alleged drunk driver in Santa Cruz, who admitted to fleeing the scene after intentionally running down a bike rider. But they can’t press hit-and-run or vehicular assault charges because they don’t have victim, because he left the scene, too.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail, after an apparent anti-bike terrorist planted 60 sharpened metal spikes on a Tahoe multi-use offroad trail. When and if they find the person responsible, they should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; spikes could seriously injure or kill a bike rider or hiker who falls on one, or has a tire blow out while riding downhill.

A Greeley, Colorado letter writer argues that the city’s bike lanes are under utilized, because they’re not swarming with people on bikes at the exact times he happens to drive by.

Ugly confrontation on a DC street, as a bike rider taps on the trunk of a car parked in a bike lane, and also blocking the wheelchair curb cut at the intersection, and asks them to move, to which the driver and his passenger take no end of offense for having the audacity to touch his car.

No irony here. A British city councilor who threatened to paint over a set of bike lanes herself is furious when someone painted them back themselves.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Culver City police are looking for a bike-riding robber who stole a man’s bicycle at gunpoint while he was riding on Sawtelle Blvd near Braddock Drive last month, claiming the bike belonged to the gunman’s friend.

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Local

Metro is moving forward with plans to finally extend to LA River bike path roughly eight miles south, from Elysian Valley through Downtown Los Angeles to the City of Maywood; the agency will hold a pair of virtual public meetings on November 13th and November 17th to talk about it. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the link.

LADOT’s Connect the Green program is intended to calm traffic and create safe connections along neighborhood streets designed to help people bike and walk safely, with less stress. Which sounds a lot like reinventing the wheel just to come up with the already approved network of Bicycle Friendly Streets mapped that were out in the 2010 bike plan.

Metro presents a self-guided bike tour of Little Tokyo and the Arts District, as well as offering discounted Metro Bike passes to anyone with a Golden State Advantage card (EBT).

Evidently, Eagle Rock isn’t the only place fighting over the NoHo to Burbank bus rapid transit line, as Burbank debates removing parking spaces to make room for it on their end.

 

State

Calbike offers a recap of this year’s wins and losses at the state legislature, while taking Governor Newsom to task for vetoing the stop as yield bill, as well as the bill that would have legalized crossing the damn street, due to a lack of vision and relying on false information.

Colleagues remember Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, saying her legacy will be tremendous; Chan was killed in a collision while trying to walk her dog across one of Alameda’s most dangerous corridors. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

San Francisco debates what to do after the cops bust a pair of bike thieves with 20 previous arrests between them, as the city’s DA pursues criminal justice reform. I’m all for criminal justice reform. But just how how many second chances should career criminals get?

A judge rules that felony charges are merited against a Davis bike thief who snatched a bait bike valued at $1,700, well over the $950 threshold for felony theft. Yet the LAPD still can’t use them, thanks to a City Attorney opinion that bait bikes could be seen as entrapment.

 

National

Streetsblog says it’s time for America to get serious about bike parking, noting that a key part of the $290 million plan to make the city 100% bikeable is a commitment to build 130,000 new places for bicyclists to store their bikes at the end of their ride.

USA Today recommends renting an ebike or taking a guided ebike tour on your next vacation, while the Wall Street Journal recommends buying a light one you can actually carry — if you can actually get past their paywall to read it.

Bicycling recommends the 20 best gifts for bike riders that will “truly enhance” their rides. After all, who doesn’t want to find chamois butt cream in their stocking? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Bicycling also rates 22 road bikes you can buy right now. And for a change, prices starting at less than $500. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

CityLab reports on VanMoof’s stolen bike hunters, who fulfill the company’s promise to find or replace any of their ebikes that get stolen in the first three years after purchase — as long as you pay their $398 fee.

An Oregon man was found dead after apparently crashing his bicycle into a traffic sign placed in the roadway. Which is exactly why temporary signs should never be placed in bike lanes, on highway shoulders or on the right side of the traffic lane.

A Washington man used his Apple AirTag to find his stolen ebike, and snatched it back from the dozing thief himself after the cops failed to show up.

Hats off to this 80-year old Illinois man, who has fought the effects of Parkinson’s for the past 45 years by riding a bike, even if he has to do it indoors.

An Ohio columnist calls on a hit-and-run driver to turn himself in, after the primary suspect insists he hit a deer, rather than killing an 18-year old man riding a bike.

A Boston woman faces charges for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike while she was driving distracted, allegedly blowing through a stop sign while she was FaceTiming with someone as her kid was crying in the backseat. Although the kid wouldn’t have been that big a distraction if she had actually been paying attention to what she was doing.

The New York Times rides every inch of the state’s new 750-mile bike route stretching from Manhattan to the Canadian border.

A New Orleans woman can look forward to spending the next 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a young father riding a bicycle, along with a handful of drug charges.

A Louisiana appeals court tossed the 90-year sentence given a convicted drunk, speeding driver who ran down a group of bike riders attending a Mardi Gras parade, killing two people; the court sent the case back for a new sentencing hearing because the judge didn’t give a reason for imposing the maximum sentence.

 

International

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is one of us, which we learned the hard way after he needed surgery on his lips following a fall of his bike; Shapps credits his helmet with preventing a more serious injury.

Nothing like watching a bike thief use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle outside a UK shopping mall in broad daylight. And simply ignoring it when challenged about it.

A Jewish military hero’s grave was reconsecrated after he was mistakenly buried as a Catholic; the Austrian native served as an interpreter and bike messenger for the British in WWII, riding his bike under heavy fire to get a medical team for an ambushed commando unit, then persuading an entire company of Nazi soldiers to surrender.

After a Russian spy somehow fell — or was pushed — to his death in Berlin, his case is tied to the murder of a former Georgian rebel commander, whose killer used an ebike and e-scooter in an elaborate escape plan.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as Road.cc recommends exploring the natural beauty of Montenegro’s Balkan Black Mountain state.

Around 32,750 people took park in Dubai’s annual open streets event, enjoying a few precious carfree hours on a ten-lane, skyscraper-lined superhighway.

Over 130 bike riders from multiple countries raised $30,000 for Cambodian orphans.

An Aussie driver has been fined for driving with one hand while ghost riding a bicycle alongside the car with the other.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary 7-11 cycling team nearly missed out on its first Tour de France in 1986 when Ronald Reagan’s bombing campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi threatened to derail their entire season.

 

Finally…

When you think e-foldies, the first name that comes to mind is…Honeywell? That feeling when a four-year old rides a unicycle and a balance bike better than I do on two wheels.

And here’s one way to get drivers to slow down.

https://twitter.com/BikeThisCity/status/1457158982347284480

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

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