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BILL PROPOSES TO REINSTATE BICYCLE COMMUTER TAX BENEFIT
-> Smart Cities Dive reported a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives by Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, Vern Buchanan, R-FL, and Ayanna Pressley, D-MA, would reinstate and modify the bicycle commuter tax benefit. (Bicycle Commuter Act of 2019: http://bit.ly/2HsjHPj) It would change the benefit's structure to make it pre-tax, like for parking and transit benefits; would clarify that bike-share and electric bike-share options are eligible for the benefit; and would permit the bicycle benefit to be used with parking and transit benefits. The benefit was repealed in 2017 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. http://bit.ly/2HqqcC8

BILL PROPOSES USDOT PROVIDE JOBS ACCESSIBILITY DATA BY ALL MODES
-> The T4America Blog reported a bill was reintroduced in Congress that will provide transportation agencies with robust data to support smarter transportation planning that can better connect residents to jobs and services by all modes of travel. The Connecting Opportunities through Mobility Metrics and Unlocking Transportation Efficiencies (COMMUTE) Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Ernst (R-IA) and in the House by Congressman DeSaulnier (D-CA) along with Reps. Curtis (R-UT) and McAdams (D-UT). (S. 3491: http://bit.ly/2F4kKRC) It requires USDOT to create a competitive pilot program to provide 5 states, 10 MPOs, and 5 rural planning organizations with data sets to calculate how many jobs and services (such as schools, medical facilities, banks, and groceries) are accessible by all modes of travel. These data sets will also be made available to local governments and researchers. http://bit.ly/2FcUiFy

MCKINSEY: 3 SCENARIOS ON THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY
-> A McKinsey Quarterly article described 3 potential future mobility scenarios and details how public- and private-sector leaders can forge a strategy to make seamless mobility happen. (See full report: An Integrated Perspective on the Future of Mobility, Part 3: Setting the Direction Toward Seamless Mobility: https://mck.co/2JnCrBe) McKinsey modeled a set of short (fewer than two kilometers - 1.2 miles), medium (two to ten kilometers - 1.2 to 6.2 miles), and long (more than ten kilometers - 6.2 miles) trips. They differentiated between trips within the city business district and trips to and from the city and the suburbs. They also simulated the trade-offs that people make--for instance, deciding between a more convenient, but pricier autonomous shuttle, and a less convenient, but cheaper bus--and estimated how these decisions could affect congestion in 2030. They accounted for "induced travel"--the concept that when it is easier or cheaper to travel, demand tends to rise. [In each scenario and the 2018 baseline, McKinsey projects just 5% of passenger kilometers traveled per year via walking and biking.] https://mck.co/2JnugVB

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: UPDATED BIKE & PED SAFETY TECH ON VEHICLES
-> Bike Europe reported the European Parliament decided to drastically improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in Europe by equipping motor vehicles with up to date technical solutions. The European Cyclists' Federation reported that the European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee has supported a raft of vehicle safety measures in the motor vehicle General Safety Regulations; many having a direct impact on cyclist and pedestrian safety. (To be able to sell into the European Union single market vehicle manufacturers have to submit their new vehicles to rigorous testing procedures and the General Safety Regulations lays down mandatory safety measures to be included.) These technologies include an intervening Intelligent Speed Assistance; autonomous emergency braking; improved Direct Vision regulations for trucks; and a cyclists/pedestrian detection system for trucks. It has been estimated that these technologies could save 25,000 lives over the next 15 years. http://bit.ly/2U0NaFG

STREETS FOR ALL COALITION FOR IMPROVED MOBILITY & EQUITY
-> Smart Cities Dive reported during a featured SXSW session, panelists unveiled the Streets for All Coalition, a group intended to advocate for "improved mobility, equitable access and reduced car dependence in communities everywhere." (http://bit.ly/2U2jb0o) The coalition will share expertise and best practices to execute on a number of principles, such as supporting access to sustainable modes of transportation; advancing Vision Zero principles; protecting pedestrian rights-of-way and sharing data. It has not yet detailed the concrete ways it will execute on these goals. Founding coalition members include Bikemore, Bird, the California Bicycle Coalition, Circulate San Diego, the Climate Action Campaign, Forth Mobility, Monday Motorbike, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, Razor, Spin and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. http://bit.ly/2TZDSK8

CARFREE CENTRAL MADRID, SPAIN: RETAIL SPENDING UP + AIR CLEANER
-> Forbes and BBVA reported cities that want to boost sales in shops and restaurants should restrict access for motorists according to a new study. (Efectos Gasto Navidad 2018/19 Gran Vía Y Madrid Central: http://bit.ly/2FeeOpc, en español. Brief description in English: http://bit.ly/2FbaU0s) Madrid, Spain closed its central business district to cars for the first time during the 2018 Christmas period and an analysis informed by Spain's second largest bank found that, transactions were significantly boosted by the measure. The closure also had another benefit: cleaner air. The bank and the Madrid City Council analyzed 20 million anonymized transactions and discovered that the decision to limit road access to the city center by motorists led to a 9.5% increase in retail sales on Madrid's main shopping street, the Gran Vía. Emissions of nitrogen oxide fell by 38% in Madrid's center the first month the program was implemented, while carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 14.2%. http://bit.ly/2F5MtRW

WALKABLE STREETS MORE ECONOMICALLY PRODUCTIVE
-> Strong Towns reported we've got data unequivocally showing that people-oriented streets are more economically productive than auto-oriented streets -- from big cities to small towns, from the heartland to the South. Urban3 (http://bit.ly/2HsLeAa) spends much of their time visiting cities and towns across the nation to analyze their tax productivity, comparing how much tax revenue is produced per acre in different areas. What they've consistently found is that compact, walkable places produce far more tax value per acre than auto-oriented places--and that holds true in communities across America. Check out images created by Urban3 that visually illustrate the tax value per acre of every plot of land in 4 geographically diverse communities and this pattern is evident in all of them: De Moines, IA; Layfaette, LA; Redlands, CA and Traverse City, MI. http://bit.ly/2HvN4jv

WE MUST CHANGE HOW WE TALK ABOUT PEDESTRIAN DEATHS
-> In considering the case of driver who killed 2 pedestrians, StreetsBlog USA asks what is the appropriate punishment for someone who unintentionally causes great harm with a car? People who kill someone with a car -- as long as they're not drunk -- are unlikely to ever face charges in the first place, much less be convicted or serve jail time. A 2015 Transportation Alternatives investigation found that less than 7% of drivers who caused a death in New York City were charged with vehicular homicide. (Justice Denied: Denied: New York City's District Attorneys Plead Out of Vision Zero: http://bit.ly/2HwXJKW) There is very little accountability for drivers. Meanwhile, pedestrians are faulted for not doing things that go above and beyond their legal requirements: like wearing bright clothing, or walking after dark. Furthermore, presumptions about the driver's behavior reflect a false dichotomy between intentional violence with a car and innocent mistakes, an "unavoidable accident." http://bit.ly/2HzVN4z

GOOGLE DOODLE CELEBRATES RAISED DOT BLOCKS
-> A recent Google animated Doodle celebrated Japanese inventor Seiichi Miyake, whose desire to help a close friend turned into an innovation that drastically improved the way those who are visually impaired navigate public spaces around the globe. In 1965, Miyake spent his own money to invent tactile blocks (or Tenji blocks as they were originally known) to help a friend whose vision was becoming impaired. The blocks come in two predominant types: one with dots, and the other with bars. The dotted blocks alert the visually impaired when they are approaching danger, and can often be found at the edges of crosswalks and railway platforms. The barred blocks provide directional cues, letting users know that they are following a safe path. http://bit.ly/2TPSPyz

WATCH ADVOCATES VENT BIKE LANE OPPOSITION TALES
-> CityLab reported bike-lane foes say the darnedest things. Advocates of enhanced bicycle infrastructure know this all too well. The latest short film by Streetsfilms' Clarence Eckerson asks advocates at this year's National Bike Summit outside Washington, D.C., to recount their most ridiculous tales of bike-lane opposition. Enjoy some of these head-scratchers -- including the classic, "If you build a bike lane, the terrorists will win." http://bit.ly/2TI13cJ, 5:01 minutes.

FEW E-SCOOTER INJURIES AT NIGHT OR IN CRASHES W/ DRIVERS
-> Mashable reported e-scooter injuries are on the rise and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to better understand how riders are hurting themselves as well as the severity of their injuries while scooting around town. Contrary to popular belief, most e-scooter-related injuries don't happen at night and don't involve collision with a car. The CDC's study, which will be released in the spring, showed fewer than 1% of e-scooter riders wore helmets. Similarly, the University of San Diego Medical Center's tracking of e-scooter-related injuries showed 98% of patients who got into accidents didn't wear a helmet, 48% of them were drunk, and 52% tested for substance abuse. http://bit.ly/2HusmRg

DOCKLESS BIKE SHARE DOESN'T THREATEN DOCKED BIKES
-> Forbes reported dockless bikes are complementing their docking elders in some cities, instead of--as some had feared--driving them to extinction. To serve the demand for bicycling you really have to have both of these modes working together. Dockless companies have discovered that electric-assist bikes are much more popular than pedal bikes, and charging can happen conveniently at docks. Hybrid systems seem to be emerging that allow users to leave bikes anywhere but find a more reliable supply of fully charged bikes at docks. http://bit.ly/2TWCGHj

CYCLING UNDERWATER: KENNEDY TUNNEL IN ANTWERP, BELGIUM
-> The European Cyclists' Federation reported the Kennedy Tunnel is a road and cycling tunnel under the river Scheldt in the south of Antwerp, Belgium. For drivers, it is a part of Antwerp ring-road. In the trans-European road network (TEN-T), it is a part of the North Sea - Mediterranean core corridor. For cyclists, it is the cycle highway FR10, connecting routes from Brussels, Gent and Boom. Car drivers traveling on the ring road usually do not even know there is a cycle tunnel next to the car tunnels. The entry for cyclists is difficult to notice from the motorway and better visible from city streets on both sides of the river. The cycle tunnel was built in the 1960s, so some of its features are clearly outdated. (http://bit.ly/2TUo7nT, photos)

CALL FOR SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROGRAMS TO TAKE SURVEY
-> The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is calling for Safe Routes to School programs to complete a 15-20 minute survey. By compiling this information, they will develop a better understanding of Safe Routes to School programs, identify areas that need additional support, and provide better resources and information related to Safe Routes to School in the US. They invite any local, regional, or state initiative, by whatever name, that takes action focused on getting more kids walking and biking safely to and from school to take the survey. http://bit.ly/2Hv7dGD
Deadline: April 19, 2019

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