Photo by swanksalot (yes, that's right)
It's Independence Day in the USA, so let's have a look at what cyclists down there are doing. Looking south once in a while (at least once a year) can give hints as to what ideas our politicians might be willing to try next.
Detroit is going to start licensing bikes (not the cyclists)
Bicycle owners will pay a $1 fee per bike, to receive a registration number, which can be placed on the bike. The license will be valid for five years.
Officials said enforcement will remain relaxed until Aug. 4, to allow bicycle owners the opportunity to register their bikes without penalty.
Hopefully this idea doesn't cross the river.
South Carolina passed long awaited laws related to cycling. It's now illegal to harass a cyclist. I guess it's even more illegal than it used to be. There are now details in the law about throwing things at a cyclist or yelling at a cyclist. Explaining why these laws are needed is Dave Moulton's Bike Blog:
South Carolina is unfortunately seventh in the nation when it comes to cycling fatalities, a horrible record. It saddened me when my local paper, the Post & Courier, printed this story on Monday and many hateful comments from readers were posted.
Washington DC's bike share program is getting attention from the Wall Street Journal
The idea is simple: Cities set up lots of “stations” with hundreds or thousands of standard-issue, three-speed bikes around a city. Registered users grab a bike, swipe a card, dodge traffic jams and spiraling gas prices, and drop off the bike at another station—all for a modest fee. Outdoor advertising deals with third-party companies help finance the whole project.
Green Bay has launched a modest bike share program.
The city has spray-painted donated and unclaimed bikes a bright green so they are easily identified. Initially, 20 have been placed in six downtown bike racks.
Anyone can take a bike - free of charge - and the city just asks that they are returned at the end of the day.
Must be a friendly town. However the young program has hit a few snags.
A few weeks ago, a cyclist was killed in Chicago when a motorist opened a door in front of the cyclist. Chicago police charged the motorist immediately under a state law that covers opening a door into traffic.
In the same city, Barack Obama went for a bike ride. The media tries to make into a pivotal moment like when John Kerry went windsurfing (or kite sailing). But people seem to think riding a bike is kinda normal. Fancy that.
Long Beach, California is spending $330,000 on two bicycle boulevards to cross the city.
The grant, made through the county Department of Public Health, will be used to hire a mobility coordinator and to plan the new boulevards -- streets that give preference to bicycles through the use of traffic circles, medians, bulb-outs and other elements. One will go east-west, and the other north-south, according to city officials.
Also in California, we find the story of a kind man who likes to ride his bike. It's a nice story to put you in the right mood for the weekend.
Mathes said he believes in keeping things.
Jokes. Love. Bicycles.
“I don’t like to throw anything away that’s valuable. We’re very careful with gasoline, electricity, water,” he said. “We try to make things last. We’re real conservatives unless you’re talking politics.”
Keep your eye on that country. I hear they're in for some change.