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Betraying the Planet

Health & EnvironmentNew York Times Op-Ed Columnist PAUL KRUGMAN
But if you watched the debate on Friday, you didn’t see people who’ve thought hard about a crucial issue, and are trying to do the right thing. What you saw, instead, were people who show no sign of being interested in the truth. They don’t like the political and policy implications of climate change, so they’ve decided not to believe in it — and they’ll grab any argument, no matter how disreputable, that feeds their denial.

Indeed, if there was a defining moment in Friday’s debate, it was the declaration by Representative Paul Broun of Georgia that climate change is nothing but a “hoax” that has been “perpetrated out of the scientific community.” I’d call this a crazy conspiracy theory, but doing so would actually be unfair to crazy conspiracy theorists. After all, to believe that global warming is a hoax you have to believe in a vast cabal consisting of thousands of scientists — a cabal so powerful that it has managed to create false records on everything from global temperatures to Arctic sea ice.

Yet Mr. Broun’s declaration was met with applause.

Given this contempt for hard science, I’m almost reluctant to mention the deniers’ dishonesty on matters economic. But in addition to rejecting climate science, the opponents of the climate bill made a point of misrepresenting the results of studies of the bill’s economic impact, which all suggest that the cost will be relatively low.

Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?

Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.
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Long Island NYSDOT Office Kills Pedestrian Safety Program

Biking ElsewhereLong Island has the two most dangerous roads in the region for pedestrians, the Hempstead Turnpike and Sunrise Highway. Respectively, 15 and 12 pedestrians perished on the roadways between 2005 and 2007, continuing a long-term trend of Nassau and Suffolk Counties having some of the most dangerous roads in New York.

But the numbers didn’t stop NYSDOT’s Long Island regional office, Region 10, from eliminating its Local Safe Streets and Traffic Calming Grant Program. The program, established in 2000, provided $2.7 million a year for pedestrian and bike projects throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties (see MTR # 292). It has paid for over 40 projects in towns including Oyster Bay and Great Neck.

No public announcements related to the program had been made since 2006, so MTR recently inquired about the projects the program has funded.

In response, we received an email from a Region 10 spokesperson that said the program was “under review” (read: eliminated) but that it had succeeded in “providing examples for municipalities to emulate on their roads” (read: towns should pay for pedestrian and bicycle projects themselves).

The most troubling part of the communication was the reasoning behind the decision, which demonstrated a complete misunderstanding of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), the federal program authorized under SAFETEA-LU that funded the local safe streets grants. According to the spokesperson, these funds “can only be used on roads on the federal-aid highway system” and “require a 20% local match.”

In fact, the HSIP funding guidelines say that “funds may be used for projects on any public road or publicly owned bicycle and pedestrian pathway or trail … the Federal share is 90 percent, except that the Federal share is 100% for certain safety improvements listed in 23 USC 120(c).
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Then & Now | Street Fight

Biking Elsewhereimage
Interesting contrast how New York City once nibbled away sidewalks to make room for cars and now they are closing roads to make room for pedestrians.
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In desperate need of help

Cyclist\'s Yellow PagesSorry to bother you but my life has come to a crossroad; move out of state to get a job and leave Baltimore Spokes or try to stay and continue bicycling advocacy. It is hard for me to toot my own horn but since I have received some comments that what we do here at Baltimore Spokes will be sorely missed if it were to stop, so I write this appeal; if you are aware of job that would give me some flexibility to attend meetings and/or an economical place to stay (at least for a short term basis) please contact me.
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Bike routes to Artscape

Biking in Baltimoreimage
[Note there is parking in Druid Hill Park and you can bike the Jones Fall Trail down to the Festival.]

Riding your bike to Artscape?  Check out the NEW Bike Parking Zone sponsored by University of Baltimore.


Ride your bike to Artscape, and park it in a safe location – the festival’s dedicated Bike Parking Zone (Maryland Avenue between Oliver Street and Mt. Royal Avenue).  Volunteers from the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee will be on-hand to keep things organized, and all bike parkers will receive a goody bag loaded with treats and give-aways. 

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Let velocity drive your volume!

Cyclist\'s Yellow Pagesimage

Let velocity drive your volume!

There's one more reason to be excited about iPhone 3.0

Skiing, mountain biking, or just driving in your car... no longer are you a slave to your iPhone's tactile volume control. Adaptunes allows you to set a minimum and maximum volume preference for whatever moves you. The faster you move, the louder your music gets. Come to a stop and Adaptunes will dim your volume low enough for you to communicate with those around you. And that's just the basic stuff... we have big plans for the future. Adaptunes will have many features that will excite you.

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You want to get a ticket or dontcha?

Biking in Baltimore[Baltimore Spokes: I am placing this in the Bike Baltimore section as we recently had a cyclist doored and the police refused to write a ticket because "he was not a motor vehicle" and is now experiencing difficulties trying to get his damaged bike replaced by the insurance company. Calls to our Police Liaison have yet to be returned, so perhaps sending them a copy of this might solicit a response.]

Tuscon Bike Lawyer writes about the typical cyclist experience following a bike vs car collision:
A cyclist gets hit by a car, and is lying in the pavement dazed. Assuming the cyclist is not suffering a serious injury, the officer will then try to determine fault. As I have written many times before, “carhead” tends to point toward the cyclist being at fault.

If the officer determines the cyclist was at fault, he will then often give the cyclist a choice: you can leave here and forget about all this, or you can stay and get a ticket. Which do you pick?
I've never been threatened with a ticket, but the first time I called the police, the motorist was very clearly at fault: she completely blew through a stop sign without slowing; I escaped with my life because I did an emergency swerve but I still got a glancing blow and a damaged bike.

I was riding completely legally on a residential street with almost no traffic, but witnesses and the responding police officer all lectured me about my bike riding, and the cop made it very clear that my call was a huge imposition of his time.
Law enforcement's reticence prompted Colorado cyclist advocates to lobby for a law requiring law enforcement agencies to take bicycle accident reports.
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UPDATE - RAAM at Mt Airy Bike Shop - Sat. June 27, 2009

Biking in MarylandIf anyone is interested in seeing the finale of the RAAM (Race Across America the riders will be riding (staggering after a week of steady riding?) through Howard County over the next couple of days -- two leaders tonight (6/25) and most of the rest of individual riders and teams over Friday (6/26) and Saturday (6/27). Mt Airy Bike Shop and Odenton are rest stops and finish line is in Annapolis. Status can be checked on the RAAM web site: <a href=""></a>;
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Ozone levels reached up to Unhealthy (code red) in Baltimore, MD.

Health & Environmentimage
Come on now get out of that single occupancy vehicle!!! Think how nice it would be to be out on a bike with a nice breeze blowing keeping you cool and reducing that ozone.
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Pedalpalooza Bike Kiss-In

Biking Elsewhereimage
The Bicycle Kiss-in...what better way to show the world how much fun riding a bike can be? Slogans included:

"Liplock Not Gridlock"
"Sucking Face Instead of Sucking Gas"
"If You Were Biking, You'd Be Making Out By Now"
and the great: "My Other Ride is a Bike!"

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