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Sunday, June 26 2016 @ 05:07 PM UTC
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Study: States wasting billions on highways

Biking ElsewhereBy Keith Laing, The Hill

"The study "details how despite America’s massive repair and maintenance backlog, and in defiance of America’s changing transportation needs, state governments continue to spend billions each year on new and wider highways," according to the group, which typically pushes for more transit investment."

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/266278-study-states-wasting-24-billion-on-unnecessary-highway-projects
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Translated - Victims of road violence

Biking in MarylandVia my Inbox

After reports began to circulate last week of a gruesome hit and run in the Fill in the Blank neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, people started asking the usual questions about the cyclist at the center of the attack: Was she drunk? Was she running red lights? Did she say or do anything to provoke the attack? Does she have a history of “aggressive riding"? Maybe she got what she deserved for slowing drivers down….

As Baltimore City Councilwoman Tell Itlikeitis sees it, all of these questions are code for 'How can we blame this cyclist for the act of violence committed against her?' So in a recent appearance on CNN, Tell Itlikeitis didn't just call out the victim-blaming language people are using to describe the case — she completely shut it down.

Speaking live with anchor Pamela Brown on Wednesday, the councilwoman highlighted the public's tendency to respond to hit and run assault cases with questions about victims' behavior, calling the typical reaction to violence against cyclists "not appropriate."

"There needs to be legislation, there needs to be strategy, there needs to be implementation as well as enforcement," Cumbo said. "Every cyclist in the city of Baltimore should feel safe, whether they are coming home late at night, early in the morning, coming from a party or going to work extremely late."

Like clockwork, Brown immediately fell into the trap of blaming the victim, asking Tell Itlikeitis for more information about the cyclist's behavior the night of the alleged attack. "Law enforcement sources have told CNN that this alleged victim in this case was riding in the middle of the lane, slowing traffic and yelling at cars that came too close," Brown said. "What can you tell us about that?"

Tell Itlikeitis responded, without missing a beat:
"I would say that that's typical of just what I spoke about — that individuals often talk about the cyclist; they rarely talk about the individuals who actually committed the crime. Those are the individuals that need to be focused on right now." She continued:

We shouldn't talk about whether she should have been even riding a bike, we shouldn't talk about whether she was properly dressed, we shouldn't talk about the time in the evening that it happened. That is too typical of the situation of how we discuss hit and runs in the city, the nation and, really, the world. We need to focus in this situation on those individuals that committed this heinous crime, and what were the bad decisions that they made all throughout the day.

Tell Itlikeitis response reiterates what anti-cyclist assault activists have been saying for a long time, evidently to no avail: The only people responsible for hit and runs are drivers, not victims. Regardless of what they wear or how much they ride, where they were riding or how many others ride with them, cyclists are never "asking for it." Victims of hit and runs are called "victims" because perpetrators commit criminal acts of violence against them, the same reason victims of burglary, battery and murder are called the same thing.

As Tell Itlikeitis went on to tell Brown, victim-blaming tends to go hand-in-hand with other cultural ills — specifically, institutional racism, anonymity and classism — in giving perpetrators the sense that they can act with impunity.

"A lot of it is neglect," she said. "[The alleged hit and runners are] thinking that because they're anonymous in their car, that no one really cares what they do in this community. There will be no repercussions."

But classism, arrogance of might-is-right, and cultural neglect aren't the only types of ignorance that contribute to our right to drive culture. Our willingness to blame victims and protect car drivers also allows affluent college students and star athletes to commit assault with the sense that they might just get away with it.

Tell Itlikeitis is saying otherwise. Before signing off, she made one final point about violence against cyclists, a guide to change the way we think and talk about hit and runs.

"We're discussing this matter," she said, "because we want to let individuals know: Whether you are on the bridge to East or West Baltimore or Downtown or wherever, all people on bikes matter — and we're here to make sure that message is sent loud and clear."
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EVALUATING ACTIVE TRANSPORT BENEFITS & COSTS

Biking Elsewhere-> "Evaluating Active Transport Benefits and Costs; Guide to Valuing Walking and Cycling Improvements and Encouragement Programs" (http://bit.ly/18TNjbm) describes methods for evaluating the benefits and costs of active transport. Benefits include improved personal health for users and decreased environmental impacts for society. The report also discusses ways to increase walking and cycling activity, and concludes that many active transport benefits tend to be overlooked or undervalued in conventional transport economic evaluation.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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The “Pedestrian Menace” and Vision Zero messaging

Biking ElsewhereVia BrooklynSpoke

"Even Polly Trottenberg told pedestrians “we all have a role to play” in making our streets safer, a comment she had to walk back. None of these things are what Vision Zero is about. But when the message is that everyone is in it together, those who are inclined to discount the awesome responsibility that comes with operating a multi-ton vehicle might think it’s awfully unfair that pedestrians who cross against a signal or who walk into the street with their eyes buried in a smartphone — even with the legal right of way — aren’t doing their part. “Come on, buddy! Take out the earbuds and pay attention! Be part of the solution, not the problem!”"

http://brooklynspoke.com/2016/01/12/the-pedestrian-menace-and-vision-zero-messaging/
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Driverless cars still confused by cyclists: Renault CEO

Biking ElsewhereVia CNBC

...
"They don't respect any rules usually," Mr Ghosn said.
...


http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/08/driverless-cars-confused-by-cyclists.html

[B' Spokes: I can't help but think what most drivers think the rules for cyclists are: "Cyclists must stay out of the way of cars, even when there is no room for them to be out of the way." - So yeah, when the rules are not well known and we have to go to court to fight of misunderstandings of the law and what is safe, this is the result. Everyone for themselves!]
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ST. PAUL, MN: POP UP MEETINGS PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

News you will not see in Maryland-> The City of St. Paul, MN’s Pop Up Meetings (http://bit.ly/1TpatPH) uses a decorated Ford Transit van to visit parks, busy intersections and festivals bringing public meetings to people, particularly those whose voices many not typically be heard at a traditional public hearing. The pitch: Take a short survey, get a free ice pop—even in November. During Summer 2015, more than 1,000 people filled out a survey at one of the pop-ups. About 70 percent had never been to a city meeting before. http://bit.ly/1M1pr8w

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

[B' Spokes: I think this is a great idea because those most interested in attending a single meeting are those apposed to the project. This way those who the project will help/hurt have a good say about the outcome.]
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CALTRANS: INCREASING CAPACITY UNLIKELY TO RELIEVE CONGESTION

Biking Elsewhere-> Transportation experts have repeatedly found that building new roads inevitably encourages more people to drive, which in turn negates any congestion savings—a phenomenon known as "induced demand." The California DOT (Caltrans) has linked to a policy brief outlining key research findings from years of study into induced demand (Increasing Highway Capacity Unlikely to Relieve Traffic Congestion: http://bit.ly/1NDk01a). What’s significant about the Caltrans acknowledgement is that induced demand creates something of a mission crisis for transportation agencies that spend most of their money on building new roads. http://bit.ly/1PErt4h


from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

[B' Spokes: And I'll repeat "What’s significant about the Caltrans acknowledgement is that induced demand creates something of a mission crisis for transportation agencies that spend most of their money on building new roads."... That is to say just like Maryland. :/ ]
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MEXICO CITY SUPERHERO WRESTLES FOR PEDESTRIANS

Biking Elsewhere-> The traffic light turns red at the busiest pedestrian crossing in Mexico City, used by around 9,000 people every hour. Tonight, a driver stops his grey Peugeot exactly on the crossing where the masses are trying to pass. A masked man dressed in black, his black and white striped cape, flapping behind him goes to the car, flings his cape over his shoulder, and pushes the Peugeot backwards to make space. "My name is Peatónito, and I fight for the rights of pedestrians," he says. http://bit.ly/1MTyv6k

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Six New Trail Projects for the Next 10 Years: Making Baltimore Competitive to other Northeast Metros

Bike PathsVia Comeback City

"Right now, Baltimore has a handful of average to good trails, but mostly they are one-offs, with little relation to one another. Imagine if I-95 didn’t connect to the 695 Beltway and 695 didn’t connect to I-83 or 795. These highways by themselves would be useful, but the connected network is exponentially more beneficial. Over the next decade, the Baltimore region should connect its primary trails. It should also develop a few marquis trails that show off the beauty of our city, watershed, and region. Here are six projects that would create the backbone of a connected regional trail network reflective of our affluent region."

http://comebackcity.us/2015/12/15/six-new-trail-projects-for-the-next-10-years-making-baltimore-competitive-to-other-northeast-metros/
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But but speeding in my car is my right as an American!

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: DC is trying to raise traffic fines and I found this coverage interesting.]

"When asked how the District came up with the proposed fines, Dormsjo pointed to at least nine other states that have a maximum speeding fine of at least $1,000. Nationally, the median fine for the most dangerous speeders is $500. In an earlier interview, Dormsjo said that upping the penalties is key to leveling the playing field in a region where the District’s “fine regime is the weakest.”"

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2016/01/fines-likely-to-increase-less-than-proposed-in-vision-zero-regs.html

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