November/December 1995, p.17

Auto-Free World

NEW YORK, NY-Is New York City a world leader in transportation? The answer will be clear next summer when the ink dries on "A World Study of Urban Transport Systems," which will compare London, Paris, Tokyo, and New York. A book, to be published by the London Research Center, should reveal how the Big Apple's infrastructure and funding stack up to those of the other great capitals.

WASHINGTON-The Secret Service has begun patrolling the streets near the White House on $2,400 Trek mountain bikes. The space-age white bikes with black wheels sport 24 gears, a Secret Service seal in the middle of the frame, a black handlebag with the tools of the trade inside-which the agents refuse to discuss-and a midframe shock absorber for off-road pursuits. The bike officers trained for a week, learning how to shoot and tackle from the bike. Trek sold the bikes to the Secret Service for only $300 each.

WASHINGTON, DC-For all the warnings and campaigns about drunken driving, most teenage drivers involved in fatal accidents are not drunk. In fact, it's much more likely that a young driver crashes because of recklessness or inexperience.  Only 5 percent of all 16-year-olds involved in fatal crashes nationwide in 1994 were found to be legally drunk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

BOSTON, MA-Tom Magliozzi, co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Car Talk," bikes to work. "Sure, cars give us freedom," he says, "but as Benjamin Franklin said, "There is no such thing as freedom without responsibility." He suggests limiting the number of cars on the road. As for his own commute, he says, "I bike to work."

MONTICELLO, IN-Worshippers at Sunday services here don't even have to get out of their cars. Interdenominational services held at a drive-in theater feature preaching through speakers that attach to car windows.

PARIS-This past July, the French ministries of environment and transport held the first ever Bicycle Day in the City of Lights. As part of a larger effort to bring bicycles hack to the streets of Paris, officials opened six miles of the city's most beautiful boulevards to bikes. Cyclists of all ages pedaled down both banks of the Seine free of wild-eyed motorists and hazardous exhaust fumes

EDMONTON, ALBERTA-A fifteen year-old entrepreneur has opened a bicycle parking and storage center in Downtown Edmonton. Mike Nigro, a high school student, offers secure bike storage for $1 an hour, $2 a day, and $50 for the whole winter at Pedal 'N Park, which also boasts bathrooms and changing rooms. He's contemplating adding showers and lockers.

Read the latest news about this issue.