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Monday, October 05 2015 @ 07:28 PM UTC


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New Report Finds Drivers Pay Less Than Half the Cost of Roads

Biking ElsewhereVia U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund

The new report comes with just a month left before expiration of the federal transportation act, and with the federal Highway Trust Fund on the brink of insolvency. Revenues from gas taxes and other user fees this year are expected to come up $16 billion short of the level needed to maintain current federal transportation spending, leading to the need for urgent congressional action.

“Congress is stuck in an endless loop,” said Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst at U.S. PIRG and coauthor of the report. “Either Congress will have to raise gas taxes to the high levels that would be needed to fully pay for the costs of highways or it will have to admit that the ‘users pay’ system no longer exists and needs to be reformed.”

“Congress faces important choices about transportation,” Baxandall continued. “Playing make believe about where our transportation dollars come from shouldn’t be an option.”

General taxpayers at all levels of government now subsidize highway construction and maintenance to the tune of $69 billion per year – an amount exceeding the expenditure of general tax funds to support transit, bicycling, walking and passenger rail combined.

Regardless of how much they drive, the average American household bears an annual financial burden of more than $1,100 in taxes and indirect costs from driving – over and above any gas taxes or other fees they pay that are connected with driving.
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It’s Time to Stop Sharing the Road

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes:Read this in light of Baltimore County Bike Plan expansion.]

Via Rebel Metropolis

You’ve heard it ad nauseam: Share the Road – a mantra adopted much by cyclists and not at all by motorists. It’s become a passive petition: vulnerable bicyclists begging for enough street space to not be run over and killed from drivers largely indifferent due the empathy-crushing confines of the metal machines they drive. Even worse, groups like Please Be Kind to Cyclists have taken this kind of Stockholm Syndrome to absurd extremes, using language that would embolden any bully, ceding them power over their pleading victim.

The PC urban professional crowd you see on their corporate sponsored, helmet-required tours will shun assertive language and cling to a vocabulary of non-confrontationalism. For them, reputation and obedience are more important than responding to clueless motorists and their lethal driving habits with equal and opposite force. Whether in the streets or in our ongoing discourse, the tendency is to back down, to let the oppressor define the rules of engagement and debate. That kind of power dynamic has gotten us basically nowhere.

The burden of mortality is always on the person riding a bike, yet the burden of responsibility for using a car to kill or maim a person virtually never falls on the driver. If that pisses you off, it’s time to start acting like it. We’ve come to a point where all the soft-ball pitching of our needs has failed to deliver streets that are safer. Asking for permission to ride without fear doesn’t work – motorists don’t care, or they can’t hear you. It’s time to start adopting principles of two-wheeled liberation.
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America's Cities Are Still Too Afraid to Make Driving Unappealing

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes:l wanted to note that when l lived in Brooklyn, NY and midtown Manhattan all three modes of transportation took the same amount of time so traveling by car was the last thing you wanted to do. People use whatever mode that is well accommodated.]
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Traffic Accidents Top Cause Of Fatal Child Injuries

Biking ElsewhereBy Brenda Wilson, NPR

Nearly a million children worldwide die every year as a result of unintentional injuries, and the biggest killer is traffic accidents, according to a report from the World Health Organization.
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Bristol to install CycleEye on buses

Biking Elsewhere"CycleEye has been developed to reduce the growing number of cyclist collisions and casualties across the country."
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Biking Elsewhere-> One of Portlands most interesting tech startups is about to move into its next phase: attempting to recruit thousands of local bike users to become rolling bikeway evaluators. Knock Software, the company that is simultaneously contracting with the City of Portland on an experimental piece of hardware that aims to radically lower the cost of counting bike traffic, is also setting out to convince 10,000 people to install its mobile app by the end of this summer. The offer: put the free app on your phone, give each bike trip a quick "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" as you complete it, and the city will be able to parse massive numbers of such trips into data that can rapidly improve Portlands streets.
Knock founder William Henderson said in an interview that the combination of instant real-time bike counts (gathered by Knocks small, low-cost sensors) and real-time user evaluations (gathered voluntarily from people who install Knocks upcoming app, which is called Ride) would completely change the citys ability to prove that its biking improvements are making a difference.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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End of the car age: how cities are outgrowing the automobile

Biking ElsewhereBy Stephen Moss, The Guardian

Gilles Vesco calls it the “new mobility”. It’s a vision of cities in which residents no longer rely on their cars but on public transport, shared cars and bikes and, above all, on real-time data on their smartphones. He anticipates a revolution which will transform not just transport but the cities themselves. “The goal is to rebalance the public space and create a city for people,” he says. “There will be less pollution, less noise, less stress; it will be a more walkable city.”
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It's time to scrub the word accident from our reporting when it comes to car crashes and collisions

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I think this is significant because it comes from a car centric site, even drivers are getting sick of the carelessness of other drivers. So the big question is how to get people to take responsibility for their actions? Even if someone is "just" changing the radio station, drifted out of their lane and killed someone. The take away message should be that they should have waited for a better time to change radio stations. And most certainly the message should NOT be it was just a accident.]
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Harvard Study: Better Police Reports On Bike Crashes Could Save Lives

Biking Elsewhere"Cities, towns, planners and private businesses can’t move forward building safer cars and safer bike environments until they learn more precisely how bike accidents happen. Is a truck’s wide turn to blame? A taxi door opening at the wrong time? These seemingly small details of crashes are critical, says Anne Lusk, a research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health."


"After studying hundreds of hopelessly low-tech police reports used to record bike accidents, Lusk and her colleagues are making a nationwide plea: They’re calling on police in all states to step into the modern era and improve reports on crashes involving vehicles and bicycles. Currently, Lusk said in an interview, the details on crashes are handwritten and drawn by police on paper, with few bicycle-specific codes or diagrams."
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Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I would also add Glympse to this list to let others see your location as you ride. The interface is a bit quirky and you have to search for "Copy to clipboard" if you want just the link to share via some thing other then a text message but it works and gives my family some peace of mind when I go out for a bike ride. Or it helps to see when I might arrive back home or some meeting place.]
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