Tag Archive for Transportation Secretary

New USDOT head wants agency to think small, just moving money around won’t cut it, and a call to keep Ojai bike lanes

Maybe there’s reason to be optimistic about federal transportation policy, for the first time in a long time, as new Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete talks with Axios.

And says it’s time to think small.

On ways the pandemic has changed transportation forever, Buttigieg said his department will be thinking more “micro”: “We think trains, planes and automobiles. But what about bikes, scooters — wheelchairs, for that matter? And getting around in a way that’s a little closer to home.”

Buttigieg goes on to add that roads aren’t just for motor vehicles, and calls out the need for pedestrians, individuals, bicycles and businesses to co-exist on the same roads.

So under the circumstances, maybe we can forgive him for the hopefully inadvertent implication that people on bikes somehow aren’t individuals.

Photo by Thomas Hobiger from Pexels.

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Speaking of USDOT, representatives from the Bike League, Safe Routes and Transportation for America say the usual approach of forming committees and shifting funds from one silo to another won’t cut it this time around.

Our organizations believe that putting advocacy efforts behind creating new agencies or interagency committees would be a cosmetic change no more meaningful than a bike sharrow painted on a four-lane 45mph road. At worst, it would take energy away from real change by creating a positive talking point when we should be creating a transformational approach to transportation. The urgency of the crises before us require more from us than “checking a box” and potentially undermining the very change we are seeking.

Instead, they say nothing less than a complete shift in emphasis to a Complete Streets approach and a radical reconsideration of how we get around will meet the moment.

For Americans to feel this change on the ground, advocates for active transportation, the environment, and equity need to look beyond retrofitting mistakes that make our roads unsafe for those outside of a car, more polluting, and less of a means of access to opportunity. While seeking a separate Active Transportation Administration (or a mobility or research agency) may sound like an innovative idea, we firmly believe that exiling non-drivers off to the jurisdiction of a separate administration will not create safe, convenient, and just mobility for people of all travel modes across the transportation system. We need to look at system-wide policy and spending changes that help address the bigger issues of safety, racial equity and climate change. We will be working with our partners to push the Biden administration and the 117th Congress to do just that.

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An Ojai bike shop calls for support for the new bike lanes on Maricopa Highway before tomorrow’s city council meeting.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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You won’t find it on SoCal bike calendars, but this Friday is International Winter Bike to Work Day.

Even though we usually have the perfect weather for it, unlike most of the places that celebrate it every year.

So mark it with your own pre-weekend ride to work, school, or wherever you have to go. Or just ride nowhere in particular, if that works better for you.

And drop a line to Metro and your local elected leaders to ask why we’re not doing more to promote year-round bike commuting right here.

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A woman from the UK writes a Twitter thread on how she went from anti-cyclist to a joyful one.

And offers some insights on how to get more women on bikes — and how not to.

https://twitter.com/SarahJ_Berry/status/1358462229880963084

It’s definitely worth the click to read the full thread.

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Here’s your chance to take a pretend virtual ride with LA’s own former national crit champ.

And by tomorrow, he means today, if you’re reading this on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Bicycling explains everything you need to know to get rolling on Zwift. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Yahoo version of the story this time. 

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The strip clubs may be closed — except, bizarrely, in San Diego. But clearly, strippers of a sort are still hard at work.

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The Department of DIY strikes again. Even if some people would prefer concrete to paint.

https://twitter.com/gazza_d/status/1358332901935431680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358332901935431680%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-february-2021-280743

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

No bias here. An Aussie news host calls people on bicycles “a menace to themselves and others,” insisting bike riders should be required to pay registration fees to hold them accountable for their behavior, and banned from major roads and pathways.

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

A Kansas man faces multiple charges for allegedly attacking a police officer, who was responding to an unrelated call when the man rode past on his bike and reportedly tried to get the cop’s gun.

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Local

The Malibu Times looks at Phil Gaimon’s latest shot at Everesting, and his choice of Trancas Canyon Road to make the attempt. Unfortunately, the effort failed when unusually warm weather forced him to abandon; no word yet on whether he’ll try again.

Middle Eastern models are wanted for an outdoor photo shoot riding ebikes and scooters in Santa Monica.

Mexican actress and singer Eiza González is one of us, even if she was a little unsteady on her bike while riding in Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange resident Diana Rodriguez pled not guilty to three felony counts for allegedly using her car as a weapon to deliberately run down her boyfriend as he was riding away on his bike; she also faces a pair of sentencing enhancements, as well as misdemeanor drug charges. A neighbor had to use a jack to get the car off him. Something tells me they may not be spending Valentines Day together this year.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man was killed in a collision after allegedly riding his bike out from an alley in front of an oncoming driver.

 

National

How to choose and install bike fenders for wet weather rides. Good advice for what passes for winter in Los Angeles, where all you have to worry about is getting a little wet. You can read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out. 

A Seattle bookkeeper has been charged with swindling $200,000 from an unidentified high-end mountain bike manufacturer – an amount that could easily bankrupt most bikemakers.

The bighearted employees of a Boise, Idaho gas station dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bike for their favorite customer, after noticing the bicycle belonging to the special needs man was wearing out.

A Minneapolis op-ed says bike lanes have made the city’s streets safer, as injuries have fallen despite an increase in bicycling rates.

A writer for Streetsblog New York says the solution to pedestrian injuries is to build more protected bike lanes.

A Pennsylvania bill that would legalize parking protected bike lanes in the state has been named after a pair of bike-riding women who were killed as a result of traffic violence on streets that didn’t have them.

Juli Briskman, the bike-riding woman who gained fame for flipping off Trump’s motorcade — then lost her job in retaliation — is now building bike lanes after winning election to the board of supervisors in her Virginia county.

Mardi Gras may be cancelled this year, but you can’t stop the spirit, as New Orleanians decorated their homes instead of floats to mark the day, making for an ideal self-guided bike tour.

 

International

Britain’s Independent examines eight of the best multitools to stuff in your pack for quick fixes on the road.

Munich residents will get their bike lanes back, after the city decided to make several popup bike lanes that were removed for the winter permanent, with plans to restripe them in the spring.

Looks like the Philippine’s Quezon City is serious about keeping drivers out of bike lanes, fining 616 motorists for blocking bike lanes so far this year.

A Kiwi planner offers a very brief argument for why people in her profession should just say no to Cyclist Dismount signs, because they does nothing to improve safety and most riders will just ignore them anyway.

Melbourne, Australia business owners say they’d rather have their parking spaces back and let bike riders fend for themselves on the busy street — even though just 70 spaces were taken out, and ten times that many people pass by on bikes every day.

Australian officials are searching for a Canadian man who disappeared while on a 200-mile bike ride last week; he was planning to take a mountain crossing locals insist is impassible by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Tom Pidcock set tongues wagging with a remarkable time of 13:25 for a 5k run during an off-bike training session, just five seconds off the British record and 50 seconds off the world record; he plans to repeat the run later in the week to confirm his time after it was challenged by several runners and triathletes.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel finally got the all-clear to resume training after his horrific crash in last year’s Tour of Lombardy, where he flipped over a bridge wall on a high-speed descent and tumbled down a ravine.

UCI says keep your damn forearms off the handlebars, too. Not surprisingly, pro cyclists aren’t thrilled with the new safety restrictions, including the ban on the Super Tuck position.

USA Cycling is using grant money to build diversity and inclusion in the sport from the ground up.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from police on your bike, try not to ride into a ditch. Why change tires for gravel when you can just zip new tread on?

And this is who we share the road with.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

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