Politics as usual

Thank you to all who contacted your Senator regarding the mandatory sidepath law in S.1813. In case you missed the earlier update, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unamimously approved S.1813, the MAP-21 highway authorization bill. The bill goes to the Senate floor. Details about the process and further opportunities for your involvement are below the weekly collection of bike news.


Carry your girl in a messenger bag. Copied from Chicks & Bikes, but I don’t know where he ripped the image off from originally.

Carry girlfriend in messenger bag

Cycle Dog attends the Oklahoma Bike Summit. His dry, just the facts reporting, and the Op-Ed. He mentions one of Adventure Cycling’s new ventures to attract new, younger members, which is Bike Overnights or what the some of us call S24O (for “Sub 24 hour overnight”) trips.

Frank Peters from Newport Beach attended the California Bike Summit where the Alliance for Biking and Walking talked up active transportation.

Speaking of the Alliance, please an advocate, organization, or business for a 2012 Advocacy Awards.

Elly goes randonneuring in the rain and enjoys the ride.

Ride a bike, save lives.

More to going “Dutch” than having cycling infrastructure.

Campy announces electronic shifting. (Did I already mention this one?)

Greater Greater Washington: Streetcars and bikes can work together. That’s my experience in San Jose, CA, where the trolley rights of way are de-facto cyle paths in parts of downtown. Denver, CO, not so much, where aggro light rail operators don’t hesitate to run down anyone who dares tread on their right of way.


Drafting the train

Submit your race face video or photo for a chance to win prizes from Three Legs Cycling.

Kent’s been posting lists of good books about bicycles.

Soma photo contest. Deadline November 20.

Punitive damages allowed in case where cyclist killed by texting driver.

Woman dies in avalanche while skiing; husband found guilty of manslaughter for failing to equip wife with avalanche beacon!

Loving The Bike and cold weather cycling in *ahem* Texas.

Industry Outsider: Cobra Tire Tool

Cycle & Style: Rapha performance roadwear for women (and a giveaway!)


More about S.1813.

Senate Bill 1813 or “MAP-21″ is the highway spending authorization bill that includes a crazy mandatory sidepath law for certain roads under Federal agency jurisdiction. Beginning last spring, staffers from the offices of Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) have hammered out the details of this bill. Boxer and Inhofe introduced MAP-21 last Friday to the Senate. Monday, it was sent to the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, which Boxer chairs and Inhofe is the senior minority party member. After a short hearing in which Democratic members had opportunity to bleat (and then quickly withdraw) their objections for the benefit of active transportation advocates, the committee unamimously approved the bill, which now returns to the Senate floor.

The Senate will next refer this to other committees for their actions, and then when it finally returns to the Senate floor after all that your Senators will have opportunity to add their amendments. The biggest blocker right now: there’s a $12 billion shortfall between spending authorized by MAP-21, and the actual amount of money in the Highway Trust Fund. The ideas that have been floated include robbing Medicare to pay for transportation, or using the general fund to cover this shortfall.

After that, the bill gets sent to the House of Represenatives, where the politics are messier and uglier than the more genteel Senate. After the House gets through their changes, the whole pile gets sent to a conference committee to sort out the differences, and both chambers vote to reconcile the changes.

The League of American Bicyclists says the Federal road bike ban is now on their radar and they’re tracking progress of S.1813 is it winds its way through the hands of our elected officials. They promise to get the word out when it’s time to tell our elected officials our opinions on MAP-21 and the proposed mandatory sidepath law.

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Streetsblog DC has more details about this morning’s Senate Committee hearing, and Transportation For America looks at the wonky big picture of what MAP-21 will mean for American transportation planning over the next few years should S.1813 become the law of the land.

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