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Saturday, December 20 2014 @ 10:23 AM UTC
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US Transportation System Revealed to be Giant Ponzi Scheme

Biking Elsewhere

Roads are being built to nowhere, causing the need to build more roads.

Much of the wealth invested in the US transportation system has disappeared. The Obama Administration's Government Accountability Project has revealed that Americans have been paying into a system of transportation that has actually been stripping wealth from communities and degrading the American quality of life for decades. While the findings are a shock to the country, the Obama administration is using this crisis as an opportunity to shift investment into a new system of transportation.

The transportation investments, meant to help get people to places they want to be, have created places where no one wants to be.

Gary Toth, Director of Transportation Initiatives at Project for Public Spaces, confirmed the anomaly while reviewing State DOT proposals for stimulus funding. He found that much of the money was not actually improving access for Americans. "Much like drug addiction, investments in high speed highway capacity led to a temporary high but were quickly followed by a craving for more," said Toth. "Each addition of road capacity created sprawl and degraded the very destinations the system is meant to connect people with. In the end, the funding was simply supporting driving more and more and accomplishing less and less."

The scheme has even sucked children in, making it impossible for them to get to school without investing in the system.

Toth said he became suspicious after examining all the money that had gone into the transportation system over the last fifty years, and realizing how little had come out of it. "All that money, and things just became worse!" he explained.


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Biking Elsewhere-> According to a Feb. 25th news release, \"INRIX(c), the leading provider of traffic information, today released its second annual INRIX National Traffic Scorecard, revealing a 30 percent decline in traffic congestion in 2008 during the peak periods on major roads in urban America. Overall the report found that 99 of the top 100 most populated cities in the U.S. experienced decreases in traffic congestion levels in 2008 as compared to the prior year...

\"The report cites turbulent fuel prices and a struggling economy as sources for a consistent decline in overall traffic volume. Detroit, where the jobless rate climbed past 21 percent in 2008, saw the second largest decrease in congestion nationwide. Additionally, Riverside, Calif., which ranked third-highest in the nation in foreclosure activity during 2008, saw the highest drop in congestion of the nation\'s larger regions...\"
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Biking Elsewhere-> According to a Mar. 26th news release, \"Funding is now available to communities interested in making their environment more \'walkable\' for residents. The Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) is seeking proposals from up to 10 communities or neighborhoods to pilot test the use of a newly developed guidebook on how to improve pedestrian safety in neighborhoods. Each selected site will be provided $2,000 as well as technical assistance from pedestrian safety experts.

\"Only government agencies and other not-for-profit organizations and neighborhood groups (such as PTAs, homeowner\'s associations, advocacy groups, etc.) are eligible to apply. Project funds are not payable to individuals. HSRC will conduct a pre-award conference call on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1 PM ET to offer applicants an overview of the RFP as well as answer questions from applicants.\"
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Student Bicycle Essay Contest

Biking ElsewhereUS$100 In Prizes

SUBJECT: Your essay may be on any aspect of bicycling (history, touring, racing, commuting, role in society, learning, teaching, etc.) *

ENTRY: Essays should be in English, legible and 2-3 pages. Entrants can base their paper on interviews, research, and/or personal opinion.

Girls and boys from all countries are encouraged to participate. You need not be a bicyclist. All essays become the property of the International Bicycle Fund. Decisions of the judges are final.

A. Age 8 and under, US$20.00 (up to half of the entry may be illustration).
B. Age 9-12, US$30.00
C. Age 13-16, US$50.00
Additional prizes may be awarded.

DEADLINE: Entry must be postmarked by 1 May and arrive no later than 15 May, each year.

* Among the reasons for bicycling are ethics, health, fitness, aesthetics, economics, enjoyment, mobility, access and the environment. There are hundreds of possible topics. Here are some suggestions: environmental benefits of bicycles, making my town more bicycle-friendly, bicycling and my (my family or friend), why people bicycle, bicycling and health, history of bicycling in my country, important aspects of safe bicycling, bicycle tourism, famous people who have bicycled and why, famous bicycle rides, unique uses of bicycles, teaching someone to bicycle, etc. Original topics are encouraged. Chose the topic that you can write the best essay on.
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Biking in Maryland[Note $52M Available to Maryland that could be used for bike lanes and trails.]
-> In a Mar. 30th note, Gabe Rousseau, the FHWA Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager, wrote, "I wanted to let you know of a new funding opportunity that includes walking and bicycling facilities as an eligible activity. It's the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. The DOE Block Grant funds are available 'to assist State, local, territorial and Tribal governments in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, total energy use, and improve energy efficiency in all sectors.'

"'Eligible activities' include 'Development of infrastructure such as bike lanes and pathways and pedestrian walkways.'"
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Coffee Lessens the Pain of Exercise

Biking ElsewhereThat cup of coffee that many gym rats, bikers and runners swill before a workout does more than energize them. It kills some of the pain of athletic exertion, a new study suggests. And it works regardless of whether a person already had a coffee habit or not.
"What we saw is something we didn't expect," Motl said. "Caffeine-naïve individuals and habitual users have the same amount of reduction in pain during exercise after caffeine (consumption)."
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A Reason to Ride and donate to Movable Feast

Biking in Baltimore[A letter from Movable Feast to one of Baltimore Spokes friends:]

When we meet our clients, they are caught in a vicious cycle where disease thrives. They are sick. They are poor. Many are alone. We work to reverse this downward spiral by feeding them, caring for them and creating hope.

This year, we are pairing each of our Riders with one of our clients. Our hope is that you will feel a personal connection to this ride and to Moveable Feast by knowing that you are making a real difference in the life of a specific person.

The client you’ve been paired with (initials only): A.T. is a 55 year-old African American female who is anemic and living with AIDS in Baltimore City . A.T. is blind.

Please know that by reaching your fundraising goal of $1,200 that you have provided this person with three nutritionally balanced meals a day for a whole year. You should take great pride and comfort in knowing that thanks to you, this individual will receive the nutrition that they need to fight their illness. You’ve made their lives a little easier, a little better – and you’ve given them hope.

From all of us at Moveable Feast – thank you!
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Webinar: "Shared Lane Markings/Sharrows"

Biking in MarylandWhen: April 15, 2009
3:00 to 4:00 pm Eastern
Online registration is available until: 4/15/2009

The Shared Roadway Marking ("sharrow") has been accepted in the California MUTCD and proposed for inclusion in the next federal MUTCD. It is becoming a popular addition to the bicycle engineer/planner's toolbox. Learn more about sharrows at a one-hour webinar scheduled for April15, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

This webinar will feature Mike Sallaberry, a registered traffic engineer who has worked in San Francisco for nine years, first with the city's Bicycle Program and then with the Traffic Calming Program. Mike will provide information about placing and installing the marking on a variety of street types, and will present findings of the San Francisco-sponsored experiment, showing what the marking was and was not able to accomplish. Mike will give examples of less-obvious situations where sharrows can be used to address design challenges where other markings, signage, or facilities are inappropriate or insufficient. He will also discuss installation and maintenance of the marking, inlcuding the variety of materials available and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
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Follow the Money -- A New Direction for Transportation in Maryland

Mass TransitPanelists:
Secretary John Porcari, Maryland Department of Transportation
Michael Burke, Projects Director for U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin
Ilana Preuss, Outreach and Field Director, Transportation For America
Klaus Philipsen, ArchPlan Inc.

When Thursday, April 02, 2009
4 PM - 6 PM

Where Pier 5 Hotel
711 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202
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Thousands of students may lose their bus ride to school

Biking Elsewhere[Baltimore Spokes: This article brought up memories of the time a school bus passed me just to stop and pick up kids, drove 200 feet to stop and pick up more kids then 200 feet later made a left turn into a school. I really have to question \"all the money saved\" by not building sidewalks and make roads inhospitable to bicycling traffic so we need to bus or drive kids anywhere they need to go.]
Lake County School Board members were briefed by transportation officials Monday on the potential savings the district could see if it stopped offering busing for students who live within two miles of school.
School officials said the district could save approximately $2.7 million a year by eliminating 34 bus routes.
Chairman Kyleen Fischer said she was concerned about the risk students faced while walking to school.

District officials said they identified 23 hazardous walking areas within the two-mile radius of 10 elementary schools. Students living in those areas could be eligible for busing. However, those areas could be eliminated if the municipalities add sidewalks or lower speed limits.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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