Chris Boardman says only Lib Dems making firm commitment on cycling (but like ... - road.cc

Google News | Cycling - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 20:42

Cycling Weekly

Chris Boardman says only Lib Dems making firm commitment on cycling (but like ...
road.cc
Chris Boardman says he doesn't believe any of the three main political parties is providing the kind of top-down leadership on cycling that would transform it into an everyday activity carried out by “normal people in normal clothes.” Boardman, the ...
Parties present their cycle policies at first Big Cycling DebateCycling Weekly
MPs go head-to-head on cycling in pre-election debateBike Biz
Ministers to be questioned over cycle safetyThe Times (subscription)

all 4 news articles »
Categories: News

USA Cycling names 2015 Pan Am Continental MTB Championships Team

USA Cycling News - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 20:00
USA Cycling announced Monday the 20-member 2015 Pan American Continental Mountain Bike Championship cross-country and downhill rosters. The event will be held March 25-29 in Cota, Colombia.
Categories: News

It’s Decision Time for Polk Street – Join Us Tomorrow in Speaking Out for Safety

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 19:42

After three years, it’s decision time. Tomorrow on March 3, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors will determine whether to approve proposed plans for improving Polk Street.

The question we hope is on the top of the Directors’ minds is: Does the project meet the standard set by Vision Zero to prevent all traffic deaths and serious injuries?

We don’t think plans go far enough for safety. We believe that one of San Francisco’s most dangerous streets should get the strongest possible improvements to protect the most vulnerable people on it: significant pedestrian safety infrastructure, major intersection redesigns and protected bike lanes along its entire length.

The Mayor weighed in on Polk Street. Last week he told Streetsblog, “We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking.”

But safety must be prioritized over parking if we have any chance of achievingVision Zero. If the Mayor wants to lead on Vision Zero, he must prioritize safety above all else — and a data-driven approach — on Polk Street.

We need to send a strong message of safety to the SFMTA before they make their decision. Join us on Tuesday to tell the MTA Board you want the strongest possible safety improvements along the entire length of Polk Street!

SFMTA Board Meeting
Tuesday, March 3 at 3PM
City Hall, Room 400

If you can’t make Tuesday’s meeting, you can email the SFMTA Board today and ask them for plans for Polk that will truly achieve safety for all.

The post It’s Decision Time for Polk Street – Join Us Tomorrow in Speaking Out for Safety appeared first on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Categories: Culture

Community Cycling Center vows to continue New Columbia, Cully programs ... - BikePortland.org

Google News | Cycling - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 19:14

BikePortland.org

Community Cycling Center vows to continue New Columbia, Cully programs ...
BikePortland.org
The Community Cycling Center's 2010 report Understanding Barriers to Bicycling, based on interviews with dozens of residents of the New Columbia and Hacienda low- and mixed-income housing developments, is regularly cited around the country as a key ...

Categories: News

Taz Knight and how not to surf Todos Santos

GrindTV - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 19:00

Taz Knight’s recent GoPro clip on how not to surf Todos Santos has picked up the 18-year-old surfer many new fans. “I’ve been amazed by the reaction to the clip,” the British professional told GrindTV via a crackly line on the edge of the Seven Sisters region in the Baja California, Mexico, desert. “I just put it up because I thought it was mildly amusing. It’s probably the most anyone has ever seen of me surfing and I didn’t even catch a wave!” he laughed.

Knight is based in North Devon, England, but is using his gap year prior to starting a university degree in physics to chase the biggest swells he can find. After a winter trawling through Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales, he flew into the United States around Christmas ready for a six-month stint in Mexico.

“I bought a 1977 F250 Ford pickup off Craigslist in San Francisco and aim to drive through Mexico for six months,” he says. After being forced to rebuild the engine, he spent some time at Mavericks before heading south, where he surfed Todos Santos. It was here that he was caught by a set and forced to dive under six consecutive waves, surfacing only briefly each time before the next wave bore down. The resulting GoPro footage puts you very much in the same harrowing position as Knight, just with a bit more oxygen available.

He posted the video on Facebook with the comment, “I was unfortunate enough to get probably the biggest set of the day on the head. Only 25 foot or so, but with the power of the Pacific behind her, she sure can throw a punch.”

“I never thought I was going to drown,” Knight says. “I knew I was ready to handle those waves. It’s been nice to see it was mostly well received. All the older lads that pushed me into all the big waves when I was a kid have all been in contact and given me great support from back home.”

Knight, who has represented Great Britain at the Under 16 and Under 18 levels, is now heading into the Mexican desert for three months to find more waves and continue his impressive big-wave education. “Hopefully the next clips will feature me riding a few massive waves, not getting smashed by them,” he says.

More from GrindTV

10 best female surfers to follow on Instagram

Dean Morrison fights back over Superbank crowds on Australia’s Gold Coast

A morning with big-wave surfer Maya Gabeira

The post Taz Knight and how not to surf Todos Santos appeared first on GrindTV.com.

Categories: Culture

Community Cycling Center vows to continue New Columbia, Cully programs despite grant cuts

BikePortland - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 18:30
Bike Hub opening at New Columbia-9 The New Columbia Bike Hub opens in 2012, offering basic bike repair tools, assistance and equipment loans in the North Portland development.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In 2008, Portland’s nonprofit bike shop kicked off an initiative to be known for more than reliable used bikes and Christmastime giveaways. And it succeeded.

The Community Cycling Center‘s 2010 report Understanding Barriers to Bicycling, based on interviews with dozens of residents of the New Columbia and Hacienda low- and mixed-income housing developments, is regularly cited around the country as a key piece of research about the ways bicycling decisions vary by race and ethnicity.

Last fall, the League of American Bicyclists opened their report “The New Movement: Bike Equity Today” with a summary of the CCC’s findings and the programs they spawned: a free community bike shop hub and bike skills course in New Columbia, and a family bike-fun group at Hacienda.

Take Back the Streets Ride-9 Take Back the Streets ride at New Columbia, August 2014.

After a few years, bicycle culture is clearly on the rise in both spots. Last summer, responding to a series of violent incidents in Portland, a few men involved with the New Columbia area approached the CCC for advice. Its organizers helped them create a widely attended Take Back the Streets ride through North Portland. Last November, we covered the Dia de los Muertos ride promoted by Andando en Bicicletas en Cully, the Hacienda-based family biking group, and Mujeres en Movimiento, another new Latina-led bike group in Portland.

helmet fit A group ride from Hacienda to a Dia de los Muertos party in Northeast Portland.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

ABC has also succeeded in getting funding for secure bike parking to eventually be retrofitted into their development — something residents there had named in the 2009 interviews as one of their main reasons for not using bikes.

We rely on financial support from readers like you.

But those and other CCC programs have been largely powered by government grants, and for one reason or another since 2011, those grants have dried up, at least for now.

CCC CEO Mychal Tetteh, a former manager of the CCC bike shop, returned to lead the CCC in the midst of that trend, in 2013. He said in an interview Sunday that the CCC grosses about $1 million a year from its Alberta Street bike shop, $250,000 to $300,000 from individual and corporate donations and (as of 2011) $380,000 or so from government and foundation grants and contracts.

But in the last four years, that $380,000 has fallen to $80,000. The Portland Children’s Levy, the federal Jobs Access Reverse Commute program and (as of last week) Metro’s Regional Travel Options program have all cut their support for CCC programs.

Last week’s loss of the Metro grant creates a $75,000 gap in the CCC’s budget starting July 1. That includes most of its staff support for both programs.

Bike Summit Lobby Day on Capitol Hill-18 Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh, center.

Tetteh said the New Columbia and Hacienda programs have become “core” for the CCC and will continue no matter what.

“These are fundamental to the success of the Cycling Center going forward,” he said. “We’re committed to continuing the work that we do that’s nationally recognized. … This includes our commitment to our partners at New Columbia and Cully.”

Tetteh said he thinks the best long-term source of new funding for the CCC is government programs that aren’t specific to bicycling.

But he said that although the CCC is in some ways an “outlier” within the bicycle movement, sone of the biggest obstacles to CCC funding are the same “stigmas” that hold back other parts of the bike movement.

“If you’re sitting around the table and you’re making a deicison about a funding stream and in the back of your mind you think a bicycle is a toy and not a tool, then we still have a lot of work to do,” Tetteh said. “You’ve got to have a lot of inside game in a lot of different places to make that happen.”

Tetteh said that as Portland continues to grow and its population becomes more and more dominated by non-natives, it’s becoming more important for active transportation advocates to present their arguments in broadly appealing ways.

“We’re not necessarily having messages that are really appealing to people who sit in traffic all day.”
— Mychal Tetteh, CEO of the Community Cycling Center

“Traffic isn’t going to get any better,” Tetteh said. “Active transportation folks like us, we get it. [But] we’re not necessarily having messages that are really appealing to people who sit in traffic all day.”

Tetteh said Portland deserves to be more than a mediocre transportation town, and is in the “goldilocks zone of the goldilocks zone” as a place where bicycling has huge potential to keep growing.

So the CCC will find some way to continue its programs helping marginalized Portlanders use bikes in their daily lives.

“The urgency that we carry in the delivery of our mission means that we can’t sit around, we can’t hang our heads, if we don’t get funding,” Tetteh said. “The work has to continue.”

Want to help the CCC a bit while having a good time? Come to its Transportation Trivia event Tuesday evening at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, 2250 SE Water Ave at 6 pm. $10 at the door buys you a beer and a chance at trivia glory; bring a card or checkbook for optional donations to help the CCC.


The post Community Cycling Center vows to continue New Columbia, Cully programs despite grant cuts appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Categories: Culture

Study: 103.7 million Americans ride bikes

VeloNews - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 17:22

Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com

Bicycling participation among Americans is substantially greater than initially thought, according to a new study released Monday.

The U.S. Bicycling Participation Benchmarking Report, commissioned by PeopleForBikes, indicates that 34 percent of Americans age three or older rode a bike at least once in 2014. For comparison, the same study found that 40 percent of Americans ran or jogged outside last year.

Previous studies had pegged U.S. bicycling participation much lower. The 2014 National Sporting Goods Association data indicated a bicycling participation rate of only 12 percent.

“We’re happy and excited about the methodology, because frankly we’ve always been frustrated with existing traditional bicycle participation reports,” said Tim Blumenthal, PeopleForBikes’ president. “They would either focus on recreational riding, or some, like the U.S. census, exclusively on transportation riding, and this one is comprehensive.

“This gives us a platform, a base, from which we can ask the same questions again and again over time and determine trends and have confidence in the findings.”

Fifty-seven percent of those who rode a bike last year did so for recreation.

However, the study also found that 48 percent of U.S. adults do not have access to a bike at home, and 52 percent worry about being hit by a car while riding.

“A lot of Americans ride bikes, but unfortunately from our point of view, most or many only ride occasionally,” Blumenthal said. “Thirty percent rode five days or less, and a pretty big number rode only once in the last year.

“There’s tons of potential. If we can address the concerns of those millions of people, a lot more people are going to ride bikes, and that’s going to be good for the business, good for safety, and good for the country.”

The research was commissioned by PeopleForBikes and conducted by Breakaway Research Group, which surveyed 16,193 U.S. adults for the study.

The post Study: 103.7 million Americans ride bikes appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Categories: News

Stoked on Fixed Bikes 20.

Lockedcog - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 17:19

Crazy to think that Stoked on Fixed Bikes has hit issue number 20 and the new release is good as ever. From the London Bike Show to a solid interview with the always cool Innes Brun you better bet this ones worth the click through. Lots of other goodies packed in the pages so peep the full issue here!

 

 

Categories: Fixed

Citing environmental concerns, City says no to mountain biking at River View Natural Area

BikePortland - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 17:10
Riding and working at Riverview property-1 Allowed until March 16th.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A memo released today by Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish, laid out a new future for River View Natural Area.

And that future, we’re sorry to report, does not include mountain biking.

The City of Portland does not think that mountain bike riding is compatible with their conservation goals and says all biking at River View must cease on March 16th. This is a stunning blow to off-road bicycling advocates who had set their sights on River View as a key trail-riding area that would also feature a family-friendly skills course.

The memo references several environmental concerns that led to the decision, including endangered fish species that rely on the 146-acre parcel’s seven streams that flow into the Willamette River.

Here are the key parts of the memo:

riverviewquote1 riverviewquote2 riverviewaqauote3 riverviewquote4 We rely on financial support from readers like you.

Deferring advocates to the Off-Road Cycling Plan isn’t likely to assuage their frustration — especially since many of them see the plan itself as nothing more than a stall tactic that is unlikely to result in new singletrack riding opportunities.

The Portland Parks & Recreation bureau (which Fritz heads up) and the Bureau of Environmental Services (run by Fish), teamed up to buy the 146 acre wooded parcel in May 2011. Since the day the sale went through, off-road biking advocates have assumed the area would be developed to include bike trails. People have been riding the dirt trails at River View for several decades, and it seemed that, especially after being snubbed at Forest Park, mountain biking would be a natural fit at this location.

Even city staff were publicly open to the idea. In August 2012, Emily York, a policy coordinator for Commissioner Fish, said biking and conservation efforts could co-exist. “Our team is open to those two things happening at the same time,” she said, “they’re aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Portland’s legions of off-road biking lovers have been pushing the city for years to provide more access to close-in trails that don’t require local residents to drive up to an hour away just to ride.

To help make the case that mountain bike access should remain once River View got developed, volunteers have donated many hours of their time at several work parties to clean up the area and restore and maintain existing trails.

Just last year, the Northwest Trail Alliance came out with a plan to build six new bike trails and a family-friendly skills area.

We’ll have more on this story later this week. Download the memo here (PDF).

– Learn more by browsing our River View Natural Area story archives.


The post Citing environmental concerns, City says no to mountain biking at River View Natural Area appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Categories: Culture

Don't forget Winona … Adventure Cycling releases Bicycle Route 66 maps - Bicycle Retailer

Google News | Cycling - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 17:00

Don't forget Winona … Adventure Cycling releases Bicycle Route 66 maps
Bicycle Retailer
MISSOULA, Mont. (BRAIN) — Adventure Cycling Association has released its Bicycle Route 66 map set, charting the course for cyclists to travel the famous corridor from Chicago to Los Angeles on roads appropriate for cycling, including sections of the ...

Categories: News

Don’t forget Winona … Adventure Cycling releases Bicycle Route 66 maps

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 16:59

MISSOULA, Mont. (BRAIN) — Adventure Cycling Association has released its Bicycle Route 66 map set, charting the course for cyclists to travel the famous corridor from Chicago to Los Angeles on roads appropriate for cycling, including sections of the historic highway. The 2,486-mile route is covered in a specially designed six-map set, allowing cyclists to tour the whole thing or ride a few sections.

“The vision for Bicycle Route 66 is the same as the original vision for Route 66, which was to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities,” said Ginny Sullivan, Adventure Cycling’s director of travel initiatives. “Bicycle Route 66 will be a perfect choice for traveling cyclists looking to explore the American heartland's natural beauty, history, and funky out-of-the-way places.”

The design of Bicycle Route 66 involved collaboration between Adventure Cycling, cycling organizations, government agencies and tourism bureaus already working to bring cycling to Route 66.

Spanning eight states, the maps feature turn-by-turn directions, detailed navigational instructions, elevation profiles and services cyclists will need along the route. “Now cyclists can explore at their own pace the surviving pieces of architecture, abandoned bridges, landmarks, businesses, and historically important communities from the golden era of U.S. Route 66,” Adventure Cycling stated in a release.

The maps sell as a set of six for $88.50 or individually for $15.75 each.

For more information about Bicycle Route 66 and to purchase maps, visit www.adventurecycling.org/bicycleroute66.

 

Categories: News

No Word on Whether Trucker Who Killed Mathieu Lefevre Will Keep License

Streetsblog New York City - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 16:52

More than three years after the crash, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles held a hearing today to determine whether to take action against the truck driver who killed cyclist Mathieu Lefevre. But Lefevre’s family will have to wait on a DMV decision.

Mathieu Lefevre. Photo by Chieu-Anh Le Van via Support Justice for Mathieu Lefevre

Lefevre, 30, was killed just after midnight on October 19, 2011, while riding his bike on Morgan Avenue in Brooklyn. As Lefevre approached the intersection of Morgan and Meserole Street, Leonardo Degianni, who was driving a 28-ton crane truck and traveling in the same direction as Lefevre, ran over Lefevre while turning right. Degianni did not stop at the scene, and was identified as the driver after police found the truck parked a block away.

It took a lawsuit and a lot of well-earned negative publicity for NYPD to share information about the crash with Lefevre’s family. NYPD concluded Degianni was unaware he struck Lefevre based on video of the crash. Detective Gerard Sheehan, the crash investigator assigned to the case, also apportioned some blame to Lefevre in his report. Though Degianni did not signal before turning and Lefevre was riding legally, Sheehan said Lefevre “should not have been passing on the right side.”

Lefevre’s family asked Charles Hynes, then the Brooklyn district attorney, to review the case, but Hynes declined to press charges. Degianni was eventually ticketed for failing to signal and careless driving, but the DMV threw out the tickets.

At this morning’s “safety hearing,” DMV administrative law judge Marc Berger heard testimony from Sheehan, who basically repeated the conclusions contained in the NYPD crash report. Berger also reviewed video of the crash, and accepted photos of the scene as evidence.

Berger questioned Sheehan on key details, such as the number and position of the mirrors on the truck, and whether in Sheehan’s opinion Degianni should have known he hit a person on a bicycle. Sheehan at one point indicated he believed Degianni should have seen Lefevre, had he used his mirrors properly, but said police could not determine if Degianni had passed Lefevre prior to the collision. Though the investigation found Degianni made contact with Lefevre on the driver’s side of the truck, Sheehan said drivers of large vehicles often say they didn’t detect running someone over.

Berger did not render a decision today.

Today’s proceeding was a vast improvement over the 2014 hearing when Berger asked the driver who killed Brooklyn pedestrian Clara Heyworth for his analysis of the crash scene. But the DMV adjudication process is still biased to favor motorists who kill people.

First, the DMV is supposed to convene “safety hearings,” like the one held today, within a year of a crash. But DMV doesn’t hold hearings for all fatal crashes, and many are delayed. At one point Detective Sheehan remarked that it had been three-and-a-half years since he’d seen the truck that Degianni was driving, so he didn’t remember exactly what it looked like. This kind of time lag can hinder the investigative process, as memories fade and investigators move to other jobs.

Berger came prepared for this hearing, with notes on the crash and Google images of the scene. But he didn’t know the DMV had tossed Degianni’s tickets, or why, until Sheehan told him. According to Sheehan, a DMV judge dismissed tickets issued to Degianni because some involved parties didn’t show up for the hearing.

Drivers can represent themselves or bring attorneys to safety hearings, but deceased victims can’t speak for themselves, and no one may testify on their behalf. The Lefevre’s attorney, Steve Vaccaro, was permitted to question and clarify some of Sheehan’s conclusions, but only because Berger allowed him to do so. Erika Lefevre, Mathieu’s mother, was not allowed to speak until the hearing was officially adjourned. Her testimony will not be factored into the DMV’s decision, and there is no record of it. Degianni, who declined to testify, and his attorney left the room before Lefevre read her statement.

Degianni’s attorney repeatedly noted that his client was not charged or convicted with a crime. This tactic exploits a justice system that fails to penalize drivers for killing people and then leaves victims’ loved ones to look to DMV as the last hope for accountability.

Ultimately, the measure of the DMV hearing process is how effective it is at keeping dangerous drivers off the roads. In January, another DMV judge listened attentively to testimony from police, watched heart-rending footage of a fatal crash, and announced that he would decide the case in private. He took away the license of the driver who killed 3-year-old Allison Liao for 30 days.

Categories: Culture

Ferocious waterspout slams beach in Brazil

GrindTV - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 16:48
spout3

Beachgoers scramble for cover; video screen grab

People enjoying an idyllic day at Brazil’s Candeias Beach were sent scurrying for cover Sunday as a ferocious waterspout spun ashore and raged across the sand.

Raw footage of the event in Guararapes, Grande Recife, shows palm trees bending, and umbrellas and chairs hurtling across the beach as terrified beachgoers scrambled to find safer ground. (The first video shows the waterspout as it’s hitting the beach, and the chaos; the second shows the funnel cloud’s approach.)

Though some reports implied that people also were tossed by powerful gusts, it remained unclear at the time of this post whether the brief storm caused serious injuries.

“It was scary,” Vanessa Quechua, a local resident, is quoted as saying by NE 10. “It picked up chairs, umbrellas… even a small child was thrown by the strong wind. Many people came running and screaming for help.”

The waterspout–the marine version of a tornado, complete with funnel cloud–developed as two complex storms approached the region.

Talitha Sampaio, another local, described the phenomenon as a “small tornado at sea” to News 9 Australia. “I was in Jaboatao, looking toward Recife, and there was a dark cloud. Suddenly, the clouds cleared and came here… and looked like a whirlwind into the sea from the sky.”

spout4

Waterspout approaches; video screen grab

Meteorologist Edvania Santos, of the Pernambuco Water and Climate Agency, said of the two storms: “The two bring more humidity and dense colds. This may have contributed to the occurrence of the phenomenon, because they generate strong winds. From the videos I’ve seen, this is a waterspout.”

To be sure, it was a day at the beach these people will not soon forget.

The post Ferocious waterspout slams beach in Brazil appeared first on GrindTV.com.

Categories: Culture

Huntington Beach: Surf City becomes Snow City?

GrindTV - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 16:47

Surfer stretches in a blanket if hail in Huntington Beach. @latimesphotos hotos pic.twitter.com/Kx4MHDBk4z

— Allen Schaben (@alschaben) March 2, 2015

Surf City—also known as Huntington Beach, California—turned into a winter wonderland Monday morning thanks to a cold snap and a dumping of white stuff that many were calling snow, though officially it was pea-sized hail.

“I don’t know where the line is between hail and snow, but it sure looks like snow to me,” Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Mike Beuerlein told the Orange County Register, adding that the sand was covered in snow.

Beuerlein told the paper he’s only seen snow on the sand about three times in 34 years with the department.

The white stuff piled up on the beach, streets, pier, and sidewalks, catching residents off guard as Surf City became Slush City with people building snowmen and doing angels in the “snow.”

Snow in Huntington Beach! pic.twitter.com/fwRlgmdoz2 — Huntington Beach PD (@HBPD_PIO) March 2, 2015

#snow day in #HuntingtonBeach , I’ve never seen this before!

A photo posted by Daniel Hughes (@danielsup) on Mar 2, 2015 at 1:24pm PST

I swear I live in so cal #HB #SurfCity pic.twitter.com/kC59TRfEoA

— Laura B (@LauraB_Azt4Life) March 2, 2015

“Everyone is freaking out,” surfer Sumo Sato told the Orange County Register. “Main and PCH is packed with snow.

“It’s just freaky. Get your snowboard.”

A National Weather Service spokesman confirmed to the Register that it wasn’t snow, but pea-sized hail, as many commenters on social media were pointing out.

Still, Snow City has a good ring to it. But then again, Boston owns that title.

Follow David Strege on Facebook

More from GrindTV

Ferocious waterspout slams beach in Brazil

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Wakeskating icon rides odd lines near Sarajevo

The post Huntington Beach: Surf City becomes Snow City? appeared first on GrindTV.com.

Categories: Culture

How the Lure of Spending Keeps Dumb Highway Projects Alive

Streetsblog New York City - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 16:25

Decades ago, Ohio officials drew a line on a map — the Eastern Corridor, a highway for commuters living in Cincinnati’s eastern suburbs. No matter how much time has passed and how little sense it makes to build that highway today, that line can still seem like destiny.

 Village of Newton

This is the message from the village of Newtown about the Ohio Department of Transportation’s $1.4 billion Eastern Corridor highway plan. Image: Village of Newtown

The Eastern Corridor began as a 1960s vision for a highway connecting bedroom communities in mostly rural Clermont County to downtown Cincinnati, roughly 17 miles away. There is not much appetite for it: As soon as Ohio DOT dusted off its plans and started laying the groundwork to build this $1.4 billion project in 2011, communities along the corridor revolted.

The project lives on anyway. Last week, it seemed like state legislators were poised to reject the highway, but the thought of turning down a big construction project — no matter how wasteful and unwanted — was too much for some lawmakers to bear. The Eastern Corridor remains a looming possibility, a case study in how highway projects can develop a nearly unstoppable political momentum.

The outcry against the Easter Corridor has been growing since the moment ODOT told the public what it wanted to build. Along almost every section of the planned road, residents, neighborhoods, and whole towns tried to stop the project.

The most fiercely opposed sections involve rerouting State Route 32 through Newtown and Mariemont — two small, relatively affluent inner-ring suburbs. The road would cut through the heart of tiny Newtown, where the leadership is adamantly opposed, saying it will destroy the town’s business center. In Mariemont, it would ruin a park referred to as the South 80.

The Eastern Corridor also calls for a poorly-conceived rail line, expected to cost as much as $600 million and draw as few as 3,000 daily riders. The region’s rail advocates oppose it, calling it a waste of money.

Even farther away suburbs are not exactly thrilled about the highway. Andersen Township Trustee Russell Jackson told the Cincinnati Enquirer that “nobody in the local communities really sees this incredible benefit to building this thing.”

There are pockets of support for the project, including rural Clermont County, but overall, public opinion against the Eastern Corridor appears to be strong enough to sink it. Jason Williams at the Enquirer wondered last week if it was “on life support.”

Republican State Representative Tom Brinkman, elected by an eastern district of Cincinnati that will be affected by the road, attempted to put the whole thing to rest with legislation that would ban state money from going toward the Eastern Corridor. It was both a principled and rational political stance. After all, Brinkman prides himself on his fiscal conservatism, and the people who voted for him hate the project. ”I am representing constituents who say, ‘We don’t want to tear down our communities,’” he told the Enquirer.

Traffic volumes on State Route 32, proposed for widening and relocation as part of this project have been dropping, according to the Village of Newton.

Traffic volumes on State Route 32 have been dropping, according to the Village of Newtown.

But the Eastern Corridor still has one thing going for it that all highway projects do: the promise of a lot of spending. Democratic State Representative Denise Driehaus, who represents a different part of Cincinnati, said at a finance committee meeting last week that she hated the idea of southwest Ohio “losing” money.

The fear of missing out on highway money prevailed, and the project staggers on. The southwest Ohio delegation agreed to give the state of Ohio until March 31 to decide whether to continue the project — and if ODOT decides to kill it, the money will be reserved for that part of the state.

The episode is a testament to the power wielded by ODOT: the power of the purse. Not only does ODOT have the final say over whether the highway gets built, but elected officials aren’t even willing to challenge the agency if it means “losing money” for their area.

Making matters worse is that ODOT is effectively broke. Ohio hasn’t raised its gas tax in 10 years and has no money to spare on transportation, yet state officials always manage to spend huge sums on highway projects.

In order to plug Ohio DOT’s budget gap, Governor John Kasich sold state lawmakers on bonding $1.5 billion against future turnpike revenues [PDF]. At the express demand of northern Ohio lawmakers, all of that money was reserved for their part of the state. And because ODOT still sees itself first and foremost as a highway builder, all of it will be pumped into new highway capacity, even though northern Ohio is losing population.

In the next two years, gas tax revenues are expected to come up $1 billion short against the state’s road construction plans, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Meanwhile, Ohio continues to scandalously shortchange transit, with the state committing just $8.3 million per year, or less than a dollar per resident per year. The additional $1 million the state recently added to its transit budget amounts to 1/1,400 the cost of the Eastern Corridor.

Categories: Culture

Out of Africa: MTN-Qhubeka's model may change pro cycling - velonews.competitor.com

Google News | Cycling - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 16:15

velonews.competitor.com

Out of Africa: MTN-Qhubeka's model may change pro cycling
velonews.competitor.com
Editor's note: This is an excerpt of an article from TheOuterLine.com. In it, Steve Maxwell and Joe Harris examine the unique approach that MTN-Qhubeka takes to organizing and operating a pro cycling team. The South Africa-based MTN-Qhubeka team has ...

Categories: News

Silca expands countertop display options

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 16:02

INDIANAPOLIS (BRAIN) — Silca has expanded options for its wooden countertop displays and is offering retailers a seasonal margin boost on the sets with its “Spruce Up for Spring” program.

Silca's handcrafted wooden wine box-style display was initially used as POP for CO2 cartridges but is now also offered in options to include EOLO CO2 regulator kits and Silca’s NFS ProBlend lube.

“We noticed that certain dealers were moving significantly more EOLO kits, and one particular dealer had sold four times more NFS lube than any other.  What we learned in all cases was that the dealers had reconfigured our countertop boxes with a mixture of EOLO and lube, which significantly increased sell-through.  We love learning from our dealers and are thrilled to be able to share these learnings with the entire dealer base,” Silca president Josh Poertner said.

In addition to the new configurations, Silca is offering a limited-time margin boost on the display sets. For details, contact Silca at sales@silca.cc or (317) 964-0592.

Categories: News

Roche understands Contador’s motivation to take on Giro-Tour double

VeloNews - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 15:50

Nicholas Roche admires former teammate Alberto Contador's ambition for the Giro-Tour double. Now riding for Team Sky, Roche (shown here in a 2013 Tinkoff training camp) feels Contador needed a new challenge. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

Nicolas Roche has an interesting take on Alberto Contador’s run at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France double.

Not only did he ride two seasons alongside the ambitious Spaniard in 2013-14, but also his father, Stephen, was only one of seven riders to have matched the feat, when he won the Giro and Tour (not to mention the world championships) in 1987.

Roche, now racing with rival Team Sky, said he understands Contador’s ambitions.

“It’s great to see that he’s aiming for the double. Alberto is someone who likes to prove he can do the impossible. He’s won nine grand tours [seven after disqualifications from the 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro], so winning one more or one less isn’t going to change that much for him,” Roche told VeloNews. “Doing something that people is say is impossible, that’s a good challenge for him. He finds motivation in that.”

Contador is trying to become the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Giro and Tour in the same season. Only seven riders have achieved the feat in cycling’s long history. Many consider the double too difficult in today’s peloton, but Contador is trying to defy the prevailing logic.

Roche also said times have changed since the day when his father was racing in the 1980s. He said today’s peloton is much deeper and competitive, making the elusive double even more difficult.

“Yes, my dad did it. Those were different times. Now, the general level is much higher, and the way the racing [is] much different,” Roche continued. “Back in the day, you had 10 or 15 guys who were winning all season long. Today, there are 30-40 guys who can win races. Not the Tour. Realistically, there are only three or four who can win the Tour, but every other race, there are 30 to 40 guys who can win.”

Roche, of course, won’t be cheering for Contador. Since joining Team Sky for 2015, he will be firmly backing teammates Richie Porte and Chris Froome to win the Giro (though Roche won’t be racing there) and Tour, respectively.

Roche will be supporting Porte at Paris-Nice, and then riding a full spring classics campaign with a heavy focus on the Ardennes, before building for the Tour, and later, the Vuelta a España.

“I’m really enjoying my time so far at Sky,” Roche said. “I am looking forward to be in good shape, to give even more.

“I had a bit of an infection early on this month, and it took me out a bit. I did a great winter, so it’s a question before the legs come back. My plan is to back up Richie and G (Geraint Thomas) at Paris-Nice, and I know that I am in much better for in the second part. Slowly but surely, no panic.”

Roche also had a front-row seat to the clash between Contador and Froome at the recent Ruta del Sol. Both were gnashing their teeth to win, with Froome edging Contador by just two seconds to take the overall.

“Alberto showed that he was already close to his top. It’s not because you win the Ruta that you’re going to win the Tour in a few months’ time,” Roche said. “I think it’s great that Alberto is going for the double.”

With a wink, he left it at that, wordlessly saying whom he truly wants to win come July.

The post Roche understands Contador’s motivation to take on Giro-Tour double appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Categories: News

Rory Lancman Worried NYPD Charging Too Many Drivers for Injuring People

Streetsblog New York City - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 15:50

This is pretty rich. In a city where hundreds of people get hurt by drivers who fail to yield each month, City Council Member Rory Lancman is concerned that police are “overapplying” the new Right of Way Law, which has been used all of 20 times since August.

Rory Lancman

In a February 17 letter to NYPD traffic chief Thomas Chan [PDF], Lancman asked how police determine whether to file misdemeanor charges or issue a civil penalty under the new law, and how they are trained to make that call:

Clearly the failure to yield alone is insufficient to support a charge under the law unless the “failure to yield and/or physical injury” was “caused by the driver’s failure to exercise due care.”

As it happens, Bill de Blasio touched on this subject in his testimony to the State Senate last week. Here’s his explanation of how NYPD applies the “due care” standard — basically, if officers determine that the crash could have been avoided, they will file charges:

Senator, the law that was passed by the City Council, which I signed, makes clear that when an individual fails to yield to pedestrians where they should — the pedestrian has the walk sign and they’re crossing the street and there’s still a crash, and in this case, what the law dictates is, if there is serious injury or fatality and if the officers on the scene determine that it was an avoidable injury or fatality, they are obligated to pursue an arrest. If the officers determine that it was unavoidable, meaning something happened that no driver could have possibly foreseen or responded to in time, they have the option of giving a summons… If the officer believes it was 100 percent avoidable, that is an arrest situation.

Officers with the Collision Investigation Squad are trained to determine whether a driver should have avoided a crash. Only about 20 investigators work at CIS — not enough to handle all of the failure-to-yield collisions in the city. Last October, Chan told Streetsblog that NYPD is looking to train precinct cops how to enforce the new law as well, and that the department is being very deliberate about implementing a clear standard:

Right now, it’s running through the course of channels, the legal bureau within the police department. And then ultimately, we will touch base also with the DA’s offices, because again, we want to make sure that we get it out there, and we get it out there correctly, because it’s a very important law that will make an impact out there. Again, with 35,000 [police officers], we don’t want to get variations, different interpretations, and that’s part of why it’s important for us to make sure we get our people on board and get it done correctly.

Lancman, it should be noted, voted for the Right of Way Law. Now that the law is being enforced, we’re seeing how deeply the commitment to protect people with the right of way runs among the city’s lawmakers.

Categories: Culture
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