TX: Local News Items
"Royal Riders Against Driving" Bike Shop.
Part of the shift towards a less car-centric
culture includes the rise of non-commercial,
community-based bike shops where cyclists can go to
use tools or get help in fixing their bikes. The
Bike Project pioneered that concept in Austin,
with two local shops serving the public. Now the
Royal Co-op, one of nine houses in a student co-op
housing system called ICC,
has opened its own shop to serve the 187 ICC
members in West Campus. For now the shop is
scheduled to be open from 2-5pm on Saturdays, and
might broaden its hours if they get more volunteer
Gets light rail
Tacoma, Washington is the latest
city to get light rail. The electric trains (which
originally disappeared from the city in 1938) will
provide a fast and comfortable alternative for
citizens tired of being stuck in traffic and
searching for parking. (more)
rejects fuel economy improvements. To no
one's surprise, the U.S. senate recently rejected a
proposal to increase the fuel economy of the
nation's automobiles, which reached its best level
in 1988 under President Reagan and has been
declining steadily since then. (To those who want
to lay all the nation's problems on Bush Jr., we
note that Clinton was no friend of fuel economy
either. Fuel economy declined over his eight-year
watch as well.) (more...)
set to eliminate bicycle funding. Wait,
it gets better. Congress is getting ready to cut
all bicycle, pedestrian, and trail projects
from its Transportation Enhancements budget. That's
right, down to zero. At the same time, a
subcommittee voted to increase highway spending to
$34 billion, $5 billion more than even Bush asked
for. Transportation groups are encouraging citizens
to contact their representatives to tell them to
save bike/ped funding. (more
from Rails to Trails | more
from America Bikes)
runs stop sign and kills motorcyclist.
It's always amusing, if sad, when
law-makers break the law. U.S. Rep Bill Janklow
(R-SD) recently ran a stop sign and killed a
motorcyclist. A one-time, honest mistake? Hardly.
Troopers allege that Janklow was speeding to the
tune of 71mph. And this isn't the first time. In
the early 80's law enforcement threatened to take
away his license because he had so many speeding
tickets, and he was cited 12 times for speeding
between 1990 and 1994. News reports in South Dakota
say he's been involved in seven previous accidents
in the past 10 years, one of them resulting in
So why is Janklow still allowed to
be on the road? Here's one reason: In the early
80's he'd been warned that he could lose his
license for speeding, but then as governor
signed a law exempting speeding violations from
the point system used in South Dakota to track bad
drivers. And with no penalty other than a small
fine, there's nothing to keep Janklow -- or other
drivers -- from speeding. As
Janklow himself said: "Bill Janklow speeds when
he drives -- shouldn't, but he does. When he gets
the ticket he pays it, but if someone told me I was
going to jail for two days for speeding, my driving
habits would change.
Of course, if all this wasn't
damning enough, the fact that Janklow refuses to
resign his congressional seat tells us everything
we need to know about how much responsibility he
takes for his bad driving.
Like U Mean It" airs nationally
Susan Kirr & Rusty Martin's
46-minute documentary about bicycle culture airs on
the Trio cable network Sunday Oct. 5th at 11am
and 5pm CST. The film focuses on people and
activities in Austin, Texas but will be of interest
to anyone interested in bike culture. Highlights
include the police's failed attempt to stop
Critical Mass, Amy Babich's one-woman
letter-writing campaign, the Yellow Bike Project,
and more. The film moves quickly and is rather
on the film)
This is the most amazing product
we've seen in a while. They're computerized lights
you attach to your spokes that generate fabulous
designs as the wheels spin. We hope to start
carrying these on BicycleSafe.com soon. In the
meantime, check out the pictures
and video at HokeySpokes.com.
Medical Association is about to release a
226-page guide to help doctors determine when their
elderly patients are no longer fit to drive. This
comes on the heels of an octogenarian driving into
a market in California in July, killing ten people
and injuring dozens of others, although the guide
was in the works before that. While this might be a
step in the right direction, a more effective
solution would be tougher re-licensing and
re-testing requirements by the states' Department
of Motor Vehicles -- for drivers of every age.
Having lived in Austin's West Campus I tend to fear
younger drivers at least as much as older ones,
though it's admittedly easier to test whether an
older driver has lost physical ability than whether
a younger driver is going to intentionally drive
like an idiot once they get behind the wheel.
Long-time readers of this newsletter might remember
the genius who totaled
his pickup right outside my house while I was
putting the newsletter together a few years ago. Of
course, as we mentioned in an article above, U.S.
Rep. Janklow has a 20-year history of reckless
driving and no one took his license away.
bike to work
BusinessWeek recently ran a
positive article about bicycle commuting.
Notable was that they profiled several CEO's who
bike to work. Who would have thunk it?
makes you fat
New research shows the obvious:
People who live in suburbs where it's hard to get
around by any means other than driving are likely
to be fatter than those who live in traditional
cities with an infrastructure that supports
article | Reuters
(Haiku for Cars)
Most of us are familiar with
haiku, the Japanese poems about nature in the form
of 7, 5, and 7 syllables. Now Brooklynite Aaron
Naparstek has come up with "Honku",
poems with the same structure about cars and
traffic, featured on his website and in his book,
Honku: The Zen Antidote to Road Rage.
While many of the honku point out
the problems of car-owning and car-driving, its
purpose is definitely not to be in indictment of
the car culture. Rather, it seems largely to be a
vehicle for motorists to bond with each other about
their frustrations with traffic and parking. For
- There are only three
- types of drivers - the insane,
- the morons, and me.
- LAX pick up
- Danté never mentioned
- tenth circle of hell.
- My Ford Explorer
- on a never-ending quest
- for a parking spot.
On the other hand, many others point out the
absurdity that accompanies the car culture:
- Gruesome hit and run
- fatalities up ahead
- how awful - I'm late.
- April signs of spring -
- nesting doves, blossoming
- blood-spattered roadkill.
- The forest's burning
- but don't worry - we've still
- the Toyota Sequoia.
And there are many that we can
- If you really love
- America, hang that flag
- on a bicycle
- The air in Houston -
- too darn thick to breathe but
- sunsets look pretty
- Gas-guzzler flying
- little American flags -
- the Saudis thank you
Of course we can't let this
one go without offering a few of our own:
- How to avoid a
red light ticket? Hit cyclist
when running the light.
- We must obey laws
to gain motorists' respect?
Drivers break laws too!
- Monster S.U.V.
He rides around so proudly.
Really small penis.
all, thanks for reading!