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Do Pastafarians count?

The fashion police in Canberra (Australia) will no longer require that Sikhs wear bike helmets:

Australians will no longer be fined for wearing religious headwear instead of a helmet while bike riding in Canberra, under new rules aimed at making cycling more inclusive. The exemption, which came into effect quietly in December, was introduced after a Canberra man wrote to ACT Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury with a problem.

“I am a big fan of riding bicycles and I used to have a bicycle when I was in Melbourne because as a Sikh boy I had exemption not to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle,” he said.

The decision brings Canberra in line with Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, which all have similar regulations in place. In NSW, the only state currently without a bike helmet exemption, members of the Sikh community have unsuccessfully lobbied state government representatives to have the law amended.

US Federal Law (and the courts) have increasingly taken a dim view on rules and regulations that infringe on religious freedom. I wonder if/when we see a court case on the constitutionality of bike helmet requirements.

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As Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg weaponized walking-while-black (otherwise known as stop-and-frisk).  This fact should normally preclude him from holding higher office, let alone earning the approval of Transportation4 America, a group which claims to speak on behalf of pedestrians. This is a shameful endorsement:

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Well ok then

If you are a police driving instructor, you can do anything:

A police driving instructor who clocked 122mph in an unmarked patrol car on the way to a private meeting was cleared of 11 speeding offences today.

PC Paul Brown, 48, also jumped red lights and used the powerful BMW X5’s sirens and lights intermittently during the 17-mile round trip to discuss his son’s education at a college.

But in court today, the officer claimed he was practising his driving skills to ensure they were “up to scratch”.

Anne Walker, chairwoman of the bench at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, said there was no agreed policy or rules for how police instructors should do their own training and record it. “We cannot be sure that Mr Brown did not undertake these two journeys while carrying out his own CPD (Continued Professional Development),” she added.

But Harry O’Sullivan, prosecuting, said the dad, a Norfolk Police driving instructor since 2016 and an officer for 18 years, had not been authorised to use the car for his training while driving alone to and from the college. “PC Brown was late for a meeting and drove the way he did, not out of concern to keep his driving up to scratch and perform CPD, but because he was late.

101mph in a 30mph zone…

Middle of Nowhere

BART’s low-ridership Warm Springs outpost always had that middle-of-nowhere vibe. But seeing tumbleweeds blow by adds a whole new feeling of remoteness.

So much for that Climate Emergency.

Last September, Mayor Sam Liccardo and the San Jose City Council adopted a Climate Emergency Declaration that was supposed to focus efforts to reduce the GHG emissions. It followed a similar declaration by Santa Clara County.  63% of San Jose carbon emissions are from automobiles, and yet

San Jose leaders want to squash an effort to divert transportation funding away from highways interchanges and expressway improvements and toward increasing public transit options.

The city council on Tuesday voted 7-2 to send a letter to the Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors urging them against shifting any money from the funding priorities promised to Santa Clara County voters with the 2016 transportation sales tax, Measure B.

With only about one year into using the 30-year funding source, Mayor Sam Liccardo said that it was too soon to have this conversation. “It is fundamentally disempowering to community and democratic processes whenever we engage in that much outreach and that much engagement and then within a year of us being able to spend these dollars.”

It is amusing that San Jose leaders only now care about adhering to voter promises in the transportation tax measure. Voters were previously promised better Caltrain, LRT, and bus service, only to have that funding redirected elsewhere. It is also strange to say it is “too soon” to have a conversation about funding priorities when VTA has just made cuts to bus service.

 

Los Angeles sidewalks are so decrepit that it took a class-action ADA lawsuit to force the city to repair them. One thing the lawsuit didn’t do, unfortunately, is to speed up the bureaucracy. In order to repair sidewalks, the city said it first needed a full-blown EIR study:

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CEQA, of course, does not require EIR studies for sidewalk repair. This is classic bureaucratic sandbagging.

Another mind boggling metric of our dangerous roadways: over 500 Americans are killed each year from cars crashing into buildings. There are over 3,600 serious injuries from such crashes. Federal road “safety” agencies don’t bother to measure the problem let alone propose solutions (which is probably just as well as they would have restaurant patrons wear helmets and bright colors).

So it is left up to private groups, such as the Storefront Safety Council, to highlight the issue and propose solutions.