Nobody’s perfect, but when it comes to the types of radical policies that make urbanists drool, it almost always feels like they’re coming out of France. Well, we’ve got another one as France took a step towards incentivizing—in a major way—citizens to swap their vehicle for an electric bike.

From Streetsblog USA, via Reuters:

In a preliminary vote late last week, the French National Assembly voted to expand its cash-for-clunkers program to include pedal-assist bikes in addition to electric cars, offering erstwhile motorists a grant of €2,500 ($2,975) to buy an electric bicycle if they trade in a gas-powered vehicle at the same time. A spokesperson for the French Federation of Bicycle Users, Olivier Schneider, applauded the government body for actively investing in mobilité territoriales vertueuses —or “virtuous forms of transport,” as the French refer to sustainable transportation beyond electric cars — and for recognizing that “the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number.”

The article goes on to note we’re at least starting to see efforts like this here stateside, even if they are limited in scope.


Continue Reading Tax credits for ebikes make too much sense

I love Seattle. I love it so much. I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. I also tend to be a bit defensive. When people criticize the things and places I like, I jump. Can’t help it.

With Sinclair Broadcasting’s KOMO 4, our ABC affiliate in Seattle, debuting the trailer to their sequel to Seattle is Dying—a news program so into shaming those most vulnerable that FOX News picked it up—I had a lot to say. Others I respect did as well.


Continue Reading Seattle is not dying, and we all want the same thing

The crowd present for the first Saturday at a just-opened public park in Seattle was about what you’d expect. For one, bike parking was in high demand as my fiancée and I rolled our Radwagon ebikes up to Fritz Hedges Waterway Park on Seattle’s Portage Bay. Ours were third and fourth Radwagons—a Subaru Outback in bicycle form—inside about a 25-foot radius.

“This is really nice,” an older man in flannel shirt said to his significant other as they strode out the metal dock overhanging the water.

“We need more of these,” she responded.


Continue Reading New parks are awesome, obviously

I am an excitable person. Getting me going on a particular subject can be a regrettable experience for whoever made such a mistake. I’ve come to acknowledge this. The subject could be Mariners prospects, my favorite neighborhood brewery, progressive politics or Williams’ 1995 classic pinball adaptation of Dirty Harry.

Or it could be my bike, as happened the other day. Picking up beer at my favorite neighborhood brewery. But that’s another post.

This is that excitable rant about a bike.
Continue Reading Ebikes are an urbanist’s dream—and my dog’s, too