Cycling News: Bicycle Lobbying in Wash., D.C. = 0.281% of General Motor’s budget alone

Washington, D.C. transportation funding does not concern itself much with bicycles, yet. But political movements are starting at the grassroots level.

Washington, D.C. transportation funding does not concern itself much with bicycles, yet. But political movements are starting at the grassroots level.

Link Contriubted by Andy Mckee

There is a bicycle lobby in Washington, D.C., Politico.Com reports, but it is .281 percent of just General Motor’s lobbying effort, despite the worry over bicycle congestion expressed by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial department.

However, this modest $20,000 effort has earned bicyclists and pedestrians approximately 1-2 percent of the total U.S. transportation budget.

But cyclists in New York City have decided to get serious. StreetsPAC writes on its web site, “StreetsPAC supports candidates who demonstrate unwavering devotion to the expansion of traffic-calming infrastructure such as neighborhood slow zones, pedestrian plazas, and bike lanes; increased and improved transit access for all New Yorkers; more thorough crash investigations; and better enforcement of traffic laws.”

Change can be made more effectively at the lowest levels of government is the theory of the group, who distributes questionnaires to all candidates.

Doug Gordon, identified as a leader of StreetsPAC, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “”Your local City Council person may have more influence on safety and enhancement of your neighborhood’s streets than the mayor. If I see a street corner that I feel is dangerous in my neighborhood, I don’t call the mayor’s office first. I call my City Council members.”

 

News Alert: You’re invited to tour and help restore the Fullerton Fox Theater Saturday, June 22

Fox Theater Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have a chance to make your community a more interesting place 9 a.m. Saturday, June22, by joining volunteers working to restore Orange County’s original Vaudeville theater, writes Volunteer Coordinator Pat Shepard.

The Veggie Biker enjoys strapping a broom to his bike and throwing a tool belt into his pannier and pedaling over to make a few more improvements in Fullerton’s central landmark at Commonwealth and Harbor.

Shepard’s invitation reads:

“Because it’s been a while, there’s going to be another work party on Saturday, June 22nd, beginning at 9:00 a.m.  This time we’ll primarily work on cleaning up the auditorium, the lobby, and the courtyard.  We’ll also be doing some cleanup around the outside of the buildings, including taking care of some weeds that have sprouted up.  Of course, there always seems to be other stuff that comes up, as well.


Remember, no open-toed shoes, and if you have some work gloves bring them.

I hope to see you on the 22nd.  Please let me know if you can make it.

Thanks for your help.

Pat Shepard
FHTF Volunteer Coordinator
714-871-1081

My Commute: In Milwaukee, every sign post is a bike rack

 

Josh and his George's Big Dog Stand.

Customer parking is not a problem for Josh, who sets up his George’s Big Dogs hotdog and bratwurst stand four days a week outside Milwaukee’s National Hardware. The amateur kickball team member offers a grilled dog and toasted bun on his gas grill. Of course, he has three kinds of mustard and sauer kraut. His stand is next to two sign posts where customers lock up to grab lunch and shop in the hardware.

Almost every sign post in downtown Milwaukee has a bicycle locked to it.

Sign post bike rack close up

If every sign post is going to be a bike rack, Milwaukee decided they should be good bike racks.

Seriously! So the city embraced the obvious and has made many downtown sign poles bike racks.

National Hardware

National Hardware provides the Veggie Biker with all sorts of devices for adapting cameras to bicycles. One can find all the pieces to construct an apartment bicycle rack.

Men in coats and ties pedal down the streets and pull up to the nearest sign post, lock up, and go inside businesses. Of course, downtown is full of students from Marquette University, Wisconsin University and the School of Engineering commuting effortlessly up the hills and across the river bridges.

Of course, some poles seem to have bicycles permanently attached. There are bicycles that appear not to have been moved in months. Others, slowly disappear over time as parts are stripped away. However, the Veggie Biker observed the U-Lock and a cable meant never having to worry when you find your very own sign-post bike rack.

Abandoned bike

This forgotten bike has to be pivoted around the sign post each week by the person mowing the parkway. The basket if filled with empty cans and coffee cups.

 

Book Review: “Just Ride” promotes the Spandex-Free Zone of bicycling

Just Ride

Grant Petersen doesn’t think you need all that gear or all those gears in this guide for everyday people who ride every day.

“Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike” by Grant Petersen is a “just do it!” spandex-free guide to bicycling.

Petersen, a bicycle racer wants to encourage “unracers” to use their bikes as transportation and recreation, not a style statement. It is a reaction against the commodification of bicycling. You can hear his June 5 interview on the website for Lake Effects, WUWM 89.7 public radio, or read a summary of the interview.

In the interview by  AND , He busts three myths about cycling today.

  1. Lycra is a bicyclists’ best friend: Dress for comfort. Dress appropriately for your destination. Bike shops sells clothes to make money, not make you a better cyclist.
  2. Helmets aren’t invincible: There is not much difference, if any, between the $40 helmet and the $400 helmet when it comes to safety. They all have to meet minimum government standards. Petersen advises a helmet does not make you safe. It just softens the blows. Ride like you are not wearing a helmet.
  3. Eight is enough: When we were kids, we had three gears; then 10 gears. Now some bikes have 30 gears. But almost any urban topography can be conquered with 8 gears. (This goes along with the three-speed theory of life. We have 21 possibilities, but habitually use only three.)

WUWM reports Petersen lives in California and owns Rivendell Bicycle Works, a maker of steel bike frames.

NEWS ALERT! Temporary closing of Santa Ana Trail Saturday June 8, 15

santaanaleveeclosings-2

From: ConstructionHotline [mailto:ConstructionHotline@OCSD.COM]
Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 3:38 PM
Cc: Chong, Tanya; Cuellar, Raul
Subject: Orange County Sanitation District – Santa Ana River Levee Repair – Saturday Work

The purpose of this email is to notify you of upcoming scheduled Saturday work on the Santa Ana River Levee Repairs.  Work has currently been taking place Mondays through Fridays.  Saturday work is scheduled for June 8 and June 15 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  For more information about the project, please see the attached fact sheet.  It includes a notice of temporary closure of the bike and pedestrian trail.

We would like to thank you for your patience during this construction period. If you would like additional information, please call the Construction Hotline at (714) 378-2965 or e-mail us at constructionhotline@ocsd.com. For additional information on the Orange County Sanitation District please visit our website at www.ocsewers.com.

Thank you,

Santa Ana River Levee Repairs Project Team

Orange County Sanitation District

714.378.2965 | constructionhotline@ocsd.com

My Commute: Thieves continue cannibalizing locked bike

A Schwinn bike first spotted three days ago u-locked to a street sign in Milwaukee, WI, continues to be cannibalized by thieves, it appears. Unless the owner just wants to take it home one part at a time.

A Schwinn bike first spotted three days ago u-locked to a street sign in Milwaukee, WI, continues to be cannibalized by thieves, it appears. Unless the owner just wants to take it home one part at a time.

Thieves continue to cannibalize the carcass of the bicycle locked to a street sign that was featured in a post two days ago. The Veggie Biker really could use that luggage rack.

Stolen bike parts

Your bicycle can prove to be a sidewalk parts store for thieves. There’s a reason one U-Locks the frame and rear wheel to the pole, while running a cable from the front wheel, through the seat to the U-Lock.

Cycling News: New Yorkers discover bicycles are fashionable (Except for WSJ)

Link contributed by Vince Buck, Fullerton Bicycle Activist

Bill Cunningham is famous for riding his bicycle around Manhattan photographing fashion trends among New Yorkers for his “On the Street Column.” This week the trendy New Yorker is on a bike as a result of the new Citibank Bicycle Rental Program–citibike. In London, the rental bikes are  called Barclays Cycle Hire and sponsored by Barclays Bank.

But back to Bill and New York, the 80+ New York Times photographer. “For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns ‘On the Street’ and ‘Evening Hours,'” reads the promo for a documentary on him. “Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair.” Bill lives in a tiny apartment crowded with files of the famous, and his bike. “(His) only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace.”

Catch the trailer, but, better, download the movie from Neflix. It’s a five-star documentary.

But if you want to have a bad day and pass it on, listen to the Wall Street Journal’s “Death by Bicycle” editorial against bikes, a link contributed by James Mosher, a Maryland bike commuter. The WSJ catch phrase being, “New York is not London or Paris, or Amsterdam.”