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not in my subaru outback

Liberal NIMBYism: the most despicable form of hypocrisy?

Prospect Park's new bike lane is worse than airborne weaponized AIDSPhoto: shannonvsimmsIn staunchly liberal enclaves all over the country, citizens who profess to progressive environmentalism in the abstract are thwarting local efforts to increase the sustainability of their immediate environment. Whether it's suing over bike lanes in Park Slope, Brooklyn, or blocking a bus rapid transit system in Berkeley, Calif., the children of the summer of love appear to have grown up, grown old, and grown immune to the needs of their descendants. Ryan Avent, online economics editor for The Economist, says that there is something even more damaging to the environment …

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How We Roll

Live Twitter chat: Can bicycling save the economy?

Making statements like "bicycling will save the economy" sounds like pure hyperbole, and our bike columnist Elly Blue nearly nixed the idea as too out-there. Then she started looking at the numbers. And what she found is that bicycling turns out to be a tremendously reasonable salve to many of our current economic woes. The best part is we can do something about it without waiting for government policy and funding to catch up. In a live Twitter chat, Elly took questions about the ways biking can positively transform communities. A replay of the chat is available below:

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On their own two wheels

In post-quake Tokyo, bicycle transport is newly popular

A new bike commuter? Maybe.Photo: Byron KiddIn the aftermath of Friday's earthquake, which disrupted public transit, residents of Tokyo are turning to bicycles to make the trip to and from work. That's the word from Byron Kidd, who blogs at Tokyo by Bike. I had seen him tweeting after the quake about an increase in bicyclists and a lot of activity at bike stores, so I got in touch with him to ask him to tell me more. (He's also been tweeting pictures of riders he's seen, like the one here. Click on it to see more.) Here's what he …

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How we roll

Tearing down urban freeways to make room for a new bicycle economy

This is the second column in a series focusing on the economics of bicycling. Here's one way to fund bicycle infrastructure: Stop building freeways in cities. Better yet, tear down the ones we already have. Cities are starting to catch on that becoming bicycle friendly is one of the best investments they can make. Cities are also starting to realize that removing freeways makes more economic sense than maintaining or expanding them. In the last year, with the help of federal and state funding, cities like Baltimore and New Haven have been demolishing the "highways to nowhere" that have divided …

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Lane change

Opposing bike lanes is bad politics and bad policy, says Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)Photo: Thomas Le NgoGiven the inflamed debate that's going on in New York right now over bike lanes in general and one bike lane in particular -- on Brooklyn's Prospect Park West -- I wanted to get some perspective from the eminently reasonable Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). Founder and cochair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, Blumenauer is a dedicated bike commuter who has been working for years to improve bike infrastructure in his hometown of Portland. "It's all about choice," said Blumenauer by phone this morning. "In too many communities, people have to burn a gallon of …

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entitle and registration

Economist wants to dynamite New York’s bike lanes, is told to stuff it by The Economist

What the hell, do you not see that a guy needs to park his Jaguar? Jerks.Photo: Chris GoldNew Yorker economics writer John Cassidy thinks bike lanes should be bulldozed so that he has a place to park his Jaguar for free in Manhattan. His argument, in brief: the theft of perfectly good roadways for biking is economically unsustainable car oppression. Not surprisingly, this has generated a lot of fuss -- not just among the groups he mocks in the piece, like humorless bikeophiles and snooty Park Slope co-op members, but also among serious economists. Who are perhaps being a little …

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print on demand

Your next bike could be made out of nylon and 3D-printed at home

Okay, so this isn't something you can do with your home printer ... yet. But this gorgeous hunk of bike might represent the new wave of bike manufacturing. It's made using 3D printing technology, which adds nylon powder in thin layers to achieve the desired shape. In this case, that shape can be perfectly tailored to the rider -- and the nylon rivals aluminum in lightness and steel frames in strength. Plus, it looks so futurey! Read more: "3D-Printed Bike," MAKE "Bicycle material is 'grown' from high strength nylon powder," Eureka

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New Jersey, on the other hand...

Where do the greenest commuters live? Not Portland

New Yorkers on the evening commute.Photo: Mo RizaQuick: Who are the loneliest commuters in the nation? That would be the residents of Southgate, Mich., where 91.6 percent of workers drive alone. The city with the most pedestrian commuters? That's Ithaca, N.Y., where 41.8 percent of commuters walk  to work (particularly impressive given upstate New York's brutal winters). Meanwhile, no one in Sun City, Calif., apparently walks to work. (Not too surprising, as the Southern California suburb is a master-planned retirement community.) Those are some of the thousands of data points on Americans transportation habits mined by FindTheBest, which might described …

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Back-pedaling

Rep. Anthony Weiner tweets that he was ‘joking’ about ripping out NYC bike lanes

Rep. Anthony WeinerPhoto: Nadia ChaudhurySo Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) says he was just kidding around about ripping out those New York City bike lanes. Here's how The New York Times reported Weiner's remarks in a recent piece about New York City's transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan: "When I become mayor, you know what I'm going to spend my first year doing?" Mr. Weiner said to [Mayor Mike] Bloomberg, as tablemates listened. "I'm going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes." Weiner is considered one of five serious contenders in New York's next mayoral election. This morning, …

Read more: Biking, Cities, Politics, Urbanism

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Fit to be bow-tied

Rep. Earl Blumenauer burns calories instead of fossil fuel — and loves it [VIDEO]

In honor of National Bike Summit Week, Politico’s Patrick Gavin takes a ride with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-Ore.), the bikingest guy in Congress. In a video interview, the bow-tie-sporting congressman -- who is founder and cochair of the Congressional Bike Caucus -- explains why he’s been riding his bike to work for the past 15 years: I have burned hundreds of thousands of calories ... I’ve never been stuck in traffic, I’ve never had to look for a parking place, and I’ve saved thousands of dollars. It’s kind of a win-win-win, burning calories instead of fossil fuel. Also, when you …