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Traffic-snarled LA goes bike-wild with 1,600 miles of lanes

The Backbone Bikeway Network proposed by the L.A. Bike Working Group was incorporated into the city's master plan for 1,680 miles of new bike lanes.Graphic: LA Bike Working GroupThe cab driver who cut off Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa when the mayor was riding his bicycle last year may have done the city a huge favor. After the incident, in which he fell from his bike and broke his elbow, Villaraigosa started talking a lot more about the importance of bicycles to the city's future. And on March 2, he signed a kind of astonishing bicycle master plan, which had …

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How bicycling will save the economy (if we let it)

This is the first column in a series focusing on the economics of bicycling. Imagine getting a $3,000 to $12,000 tax rebate this year. Now imagine it coming again and again. Every year it grows by around a thousand dollars. Imagine how this would change your daily life. Sounds like a teabagger's wet dream, but it's actually a conservative estimate of how much you'd save by ditching your car, or even just one of your cars -- and getting on a bicycle instead. Car-centric conditions don't always make it easy to choose the bicycle. Communities designed exclusively for motor vehicles …

Read more: Biking, Cities

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Car plows through Critical Mass ride in Brazil

"It was not an accident!"Graphic: Massa CríticaLast week I wrote a post asking the question, "Why do people in cars hate people on bikes so much?" On Friday night in Porto Alegre, Brazil, there was a horrific manifestation of the type of rage I was referring to. During a peaceful Critical Mass ride on the city's streets, a driver suddenly accelerated through the middle of the crowd at high speed. Riders piled up on the car's hood before being thrown to the pavement. Amazingly, no one was killed. Eight people were taken to the hospital. If you choose to do …

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Your guide to a great green weekend in Portland

Portland's swanky Sapphire Hotel.Photo: Sarah Gilbert Can you think of a greener city than Portland? Nope, didn't think so. The City of Roses occupies a warm, squishy spot in the hearts of many a biker, climate hawk, and nature-lovah. We asked you to share your fave local breweries, organic cafés, and green hangouts, and compiled your best ideas into a car-free guide to a great green weekend in Portland. Friday night Click to enlargeFrom the Amtrak or Greyhound station, arm yourself with $2.05 and follow these directions to the Portland Hawthorne Hostel (they work if you're coming from the airport …

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Why do people in cars hate people on bikes so much?

If you've ever been behind the wheel of a car, you've felt it: The dead certainty that everyone around you is a complete idiot who should get the hell out of your way. If you've spent much time riding a bicycle, you have been the target of that wrath. And without the protective metal-and-glass bubble that shields drivers (mostly) from each other's anger, it's easy to feel the hate. A horn honked in your ear by someone zooming past, an insult shouted out a window, the grit kicked up in your face by someone passing too close -- just to …

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Do you live in one of the nation’s ‘smartest regions for transportation’?

You might not see much similarity between More people walk to work in Boston than in any other city in the country.Photo: Steve MinorYolo County, Calif., with its open farmland and small cities, and the densely packed streets of New York City. But both are on the Natural Resource Defense Council's list of "America's Smartest Regions for Transportation." The list is a result of a study done by the NRDC's Smarter Cities Project, in collaboration with the Center for Neighborhood Technology: The study... compares and profiles U.S. cities based on public transit availability and use; household automobile ownership and use; …

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You’ll want to be BFFs with the Bicycle Film Festival

Do you have sick tricks, some kind of awesome human-powered art vehicle, or just a great story to tell about a bike? Then you should submit a short film to the 2011 Bicycle Film Festival, an international, multi-city push to showcase the cultural significance of biking. To get inspired, watch BFF's compilation video of films from the past 10 years of the festival: Put together your own 10-minute Bike of Frankenstein, The Bike-Fast Club, or A Street Bike Named Desire, and submit it by April 1, 2011 for a chance to get screened in some of the festival's 27 cities.

Read more: Biking, Living

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TreeShagger: 10 great green date ideas

Don't need no car to take me on a date. (Photo by Sara Hurt.)

Welcome to TreeShagger, our new column on green dating. If you've got green dating questions, send 'em our way!

So Valentine's Day came and went, and you're in the doghouse since you couldn't get a reservation at Olivebee's Factory? Cheer up, smuckers! Lean in close for some non-obvious, mostly cheap green date ideas, many of which I've tested for you myself. These aren't "green" in the sense that you're eating hummus and watching An Inconvenient Truth outside on a blanket made of stars -- boooring! -- but they're low-impact, legitimately fun things that don't require buying crap. Bonus points if you bike, bus, or walk! Ready?

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Cyclists shouldn’t ‘share the road,’ they should have their own

A physically separated bike lane in Vancouver, B.C. Looks nice, right?Photo: Paul KruegerIt's long been the most controversial issue in bicycling: Should people on bikes ride in traffic with cars, using the same infrastructure and following the same procedures (a style of riding known as "Vehicular Cycling")? Should we ride on the sidewalks and off-road paths, with pedestrians? Or should we have our own place to ride that's designed specifically for bicycling? Like Goldilocks, we've tried all these options. Riding with faster, heavier cars is hard on us. Riding with slower, roaming pedestrians is hard on them. Only when we …

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San Francisco descends into self-parody with a bike for every personality

Oh, San Francisco. You with your flowers-in-the-hair and bikes for every person. 

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