March/April 1996, p.17

Auto-Free World

AND DON'T SCRATCH THE FENDERS
LONG BEACH. CALIFORNIA: The new Long Beach Commuter Bike Station will make it easy for cyclists to connect with Blue Line trolleys into Los Angeles. Bikers will be able to leave their bikes with valet parking attendants, who will take care of the rest. The $230,000 station will also boast 150 sheltered bike parking spaces, available for a fee of $1 a day, which will also include a trolley token. For those who want to spend more time at the station, they will find changing rooms, bike repair, and maybe even a cappuccino bar.
-Bike Network News

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PRESIDENT SKATER
WASHINGTON, DC: Ever since a two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Ave was closed off for security reasons last summer, people on wheels have flooded the new car-free space in front of the White House. Even President Clinton noticed: "On weekends now, the whole Pennsylvania Avenue lie is just flooded with people. They're riding bikes. They're skating. They're skateboarding."
-Wall Street Journal

THIS WOULD BUILD A LOT OF BIKE LANES
BOSTON: The newly opened Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston, connecting the Southeast Expressway to Logan Airport, cost eight billion dollars to build. It does not include a sorely-needed rail link.
-Civil Engineering News

CITY OF LIGHTS TO CITY OF BIKES
PARIS: Paris became more bicycle-friendly recently when it created bike lanes across the city. Pressure has been building to improve access for cyclists since a wave of strikes shut down the area's bus and rail services for more than three weeks in November and December, clogging streets with cars, bicycles, skateboards, and roller skates.
Two out of three Parisians say they want exclusive cycle lanes and 90 percent say they want some roads closed to traffic on weekends and reserved for bicycles and pedestrians.

SIMON WOLFF, 1957-1995
LONDON: Simon Wolff, a noted toxicologist and foe of traffic and pollution, died suddenly late November. A pioneering scientist, he told Parliament that "the switch to diesel now taking place may well be a large-scale experiment in lung cancer." He was chair of Archway Alert, a citizens group that fought road building and expansion schemes in north London. Ominously, his death appears to have been caused by complications from a respiratory tract infection. He will be missed by campaigners for sane transportation policies everywhere.
-Tri-State Transportation Campaign

THE HIDDEN COST OF SPRAWL
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: The noted community designer and builder Peter Calthorpe compared the daily activities of ten year-olds in a small Vermont town to those of kids living in the suburban sprawl of Orange County. The Vermont kids spent much more time playing outside, while the California children watched four times as much television.

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CHAIN REACTION
NORTHERN ITALY: At least eleven people were killed on February 12 when 300 cars smashed in a chain reaction after a fogbank descended quickly on the main highway between Milan and Trieste. Trucks jackknifed and cars burned in gasoline-fed flames after the fog enveloped the road, on which most vehicles had been moving at about 80 mph.
-Daily News

HOV LANE RETREAT
LONG ISLAND: New York State decided recently to allow all drivers to use carpool lanes On the long Island Expressway during the middle of the day. Pressure from motorhead State Senator Norman Levy of Merrick led State DOT Commissioner John Daly to open it the lanes to all drivers, despite their design for use by cars with more than one occupant. This retreat is part of a national trend of returning carpool lanes to general use, thereby expanding highway capacity and increasing congestion.
-News day

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