September 22, 2021
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Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes
California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation
Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025
The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road!
Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval
Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night
Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director
Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights
Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior
Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
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Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025 The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road! Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
Aug
2021
19

Will the bicycling boom survive after the pandemic?

Steve Cheseborough organized a ‘Pickle Palooza’ bike ride to celebrate two of his favorite activities, bicycling and pickling, “Rather than accept a corporation’s pickle, make your own. Rather than accept a corporate way of getting around by buying oil and cars and insurance, just get a bicycle.”

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

On a muggy afternoon in Portland’s Laurelhurst Park, musician and pickle enthusiast Steve Chesborough stands under a shady tree looking for cyclists. He’s nervous because he’s organized a ‘Picklepalooza’ bike ride under the Portland Pedalpalooza cycling program — and so far nobody’s turned up.

“Are you here for the pickling ride?” he asks two cyclists, who nod. “Oh good. This is it!”

As people show up he relaxes and explains that for him, bicycling and pickling are inextricably linked, “Rather than accept a corporation’s pickle, make your own. Rather than accept a corporate way of getting around by buying oil and cars and insurance, just get a bicycle.”

He’s not alone in his beliefs. More than a dozen people turn up for his ride, where they’ll have a pickle picnic and drop in on a couple of pickling businesses. The belabored point is that nowadays, people are jumping on their bikes for any reason. Over the last week, thousands have climbed onto the saddle to do everything from celebrating Star Trek, to crossing bridges and getting naked.

A biker dressed as Commander Data from Star Trek Next Generation holds up the Vulcan hand signal for "Live long and prosper," at Pedalpalooza's Star Trek ride in Southeast Portland, Tuesday, August 5.

A biker dressed as Commander Data from Star Trek Next Generation holds up the Vulcan hand signal for “Live long and prosper,” at Pedalpalooza’s Star Trek ride in Southeast Portland, Tuesday, August 5.

Hanin Najjar / OPB

Jonathan Maus the editor of Bike Portland said COVID-19 had everybody dusting off their bikes, “Here’s this thing we can use that can be safely distanced from other people, be a healthy outlet… So all the things that we know that bicycling is so great for, were actually tailor-made for the COVID era.”

At the height of the pandemic, the streets were so full of bikes, the city had to do something. It launched a ‘Slow Streets’ program and put plastic bollards and signs across 100 miles of streets to make them bike and pedestrian-friendly.

“They actually have come back now and fortified those additionally and made them more permanent,” Maus said.

An actual count of the number of bike riders is elusive. Traffic engineers tend to measure car movements, and the pandemic completely changed car and bike commuting. But Maus believes people who’ve embraced bikes during the pandemic, will stay in the saddle.

“Anytime the city does something to dramatically improve streets for people and limit car access…it’s hard to take them back because, guess what, people love having a healthier quieter, more humane way to get around,” Maus said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation just announced $55 million for pedestrian and bike improvements. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill also contains some big numbers for cycling.

But while Maus welcomes new money, he doesn’t think it’s enough to fundamentally change transportation

Jun
2021
26

Second bicycle shortage in 2 years hits sellers as COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end

Bicycle and sports equipment sellers are facing a second bicycle shortage after an initial shortage occurred in 2020 as manufacturers continue to struggle with high demand and COVID-19-related supply chain challenges.

Sales for traditional and indoor bikes, as well as bike parts, were up 75% to $1 billion in 2020 compared to 2019 as more people looked to outdoor activity amid the pandemic, according to June 2020 research from NPD, an industry analysis and advisory services group that helps retailers and manufacturers.

BIKE SHORTAGE CAUSED BY CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC LIKELY TO SPIN THROUGH 2021, SOME RETAILERS SAY

That trend has continued into 2021 U.S. retail bike sales grew 60% compared to the same period in 2020, according to NPD Sports Senior Industry Adviser Matt Powell. He told Fox News, however, that while he expects sales growth to slow in 2021 compared to last year, they “will remain well above 2019 results.”

“There are serious inventory shortages due to the surge in sales,” Powell said, adding that average bicycle selling prices grew 40% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2019 due to “a mix of more expens[ive] bikes as well as higher retail prices due to increased costs.”

Many local and national bike retailers are facing backlogged orders delayed into the fall and winter seasons.

Employees wearing protective masks work at the Trek Bicycle Shop in San Diego, California, U.S., on Friday, May 15, 2020. (Photographer: Sandy Huffaker/Bloomberg)

Bill Thayer, co-CEO and co-founder of Fillogic, a logistics services platform for retailers, said the supply-and-demand issue hitting the bicycle market right now is not just unique to bikes.

“Every retail store, no matter what they sell, are struggling to meet demand based on supply chain disruptions,” Thayer said. “Manufactured items that include formed components (aluminum, rubber, etc.) like bicycles are far behind because these components are often manufactured in one place and then fabricated/kitted in another.”

BIKE SALES SPIKE DURING CORONAVIRUS AS WORKERS GEAR UP FOR CYCLING COMMUTES

He added that supply chain issues manufacturers and retailers faced during COVID-19 have only snowballed as the country reopens.

“During the peak of 2020, [e-commerce] volume surged in the U.S. but many businesses were still closed,” Thayer explained. “Now that businesses have opened up and demand has spiked through all channels, these supply chain disruptions will last well into 2022.”

BIKE SHOP OWNER SAYS CORONAVIRUS BOOSTED SALES BY 50%

The costs of raw materials have increased as a result, leading the final sale prices of bicycles to be higher than they were last year or the year prior. 

Mario Veraldo, CEO of MTM Logix, which offers shipping solutions to U.S. and global companies, told Fox News that 87% of bicycles are produced in either China, India, Taiwan, Japan or the European Union.

A woman rides her bicycle on the boardwalk at Coney Island during the coronavirus outbreak in New York, during Memorial Day weekend 2020. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

“The issue with such concentrated production

Jun
2021
18

Pandemic wreaks havoc on school food service, transportation budgets

As school leaders across the region debated the best way to keep students safe during the covid-19 pandemic, budgets for food and transportation services largely went bust as both districts and outside companies were left with fewer bodies queuing through cafeteria lines or riding buses.

With schools bringing students back to the classroom at different rates — some welcomed them all back at the start of the year, while others followed a hybrid model of learning or went fully remote — impacts to food and transportation budgets varied by district. Several lost money on food service, and some saved on transportation.

“Overall, it really varied district to district, and my guess is we won’t have a full accounting of that until sometime this fall or early winter (when they can look) back over what each district did,” said Mark DiRocco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

However, a March report from the School Nutrition Association suggested that schools across the country served 1.7 billion fewer meals between March and November 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. That equated to a $2.1 billion loss in federal revenue for school meal programs.

According to the Virginia-based nonprofit, school meal programs in a typical year are funded by cafeteria sales and federal reimbursements for meals served. Programs often receive around $3.50 per meal, so to break even, organizations rely on a la carte sales and catering programs. School closures, however, largely slashed that revenue.

“We saw a huge financial impact for school nutrition programs,” said Diane Pratt-Heavner, spokeswoman for the School Nutrition Association. “It did vary from one community to the next a bit based on the extent to which they were able to make sure kids continued to receive their meals.”

Efforts were made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend free meals to all students throughout the pandemic, which allowed districts to provide drive-thru meal services while students learned remotely and, in some cases, permitted districts to deliver food to pickup areas.

The extension also allowed districts to serve food through the summer food service program, which provides a higher reimbursement rate compared to the national school lunch and school breakfast program, Heavner noted. However, while the cost of meals was largely covered, districts still incurred other expenses.

“Consequently, you still have to pay your staff to come in and prepare the meals, you have to pay for the delivery service to get them out into those sites in the community, so my guess is most of those districts lost some money in that regard and hopefully the federal stimulus money will help cover some of those costs going back to March of 2020,” DiRocco said.

Peggy Gillespie, assistant to the superintendent for finance and operations at Kiski Area School District, attributed lost revenues to the district keeping on the same number food service workers as in a typical year, even with fewer students in school buildings.

Gillespie noted the district is “in a loss

Jun
2020
15

Pandemic leads to a bicycle boom, and shortage, around world

Pandemic leads to a bicycle boom, and shortage, around world
In this Tuesday, June 9, 2020 photo, Harvey Curtis, left, discusses repair plans with customer Jack Matheson outside Sidecountry Sports, a bike shop in Rockland, Maine. Matheson is looking forward to getting his 40-year-old Raleigh back on the road. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Fitness junkies locked out of gyms, commuters fearful of public transit, and families going stir crazy inside their homes during the coronavirus pandemic have created a boom in bicycle sales unseen in decades.

In the United States, bicycle aisles at mass merchandisers like Walmart and Target have been swept clean, and independent shops are doing a brisk business and are selling out of affordable “family” bikes.

Bicycle sales over the past two months saw their biggest spike in the U.S. since the oil crisis of the 1970s, said Jay Townley, who analyzes cycling industry trends at Human Powered Solutions.

“People quite frankly have panicked, and they’re buying bikes like toilet paper,” Townley said, referring to the rush to buy essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer that stores saw at the beginning of the pandemic.

The trend is mirrored around the globe, as cities better known for car-clogged streets, like Manila and Rome, install bike lanes to accommodate surging interest in cycling while public transport remains curtailed. In London, municipal authorities plan to go further by banning cars from some central thoroughfares.

Bike shop owners in the Philippine capital say demand is stronger than at Christmas. Financial incentives are boosting sales in Italy, where the government’s post-lockdown stimulus last month included a 500-euro ($575) “bici bonus” rebate for up to 60% of the cost of a bike.

Pandemic leads to a bicycle boom, and shortage, around world
In this May 20, 2020 photo, a bicyclist wears a pandemic mask while riding in Portland, Maine. A bicycle rush kicked off mid-March around the time countries were shutting their borders, businesses were closing and stay-at-home orders were being imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic in which millions have been infected and nearly 400,000 have died. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

But that’s if you can get your hands on one. The craze has led to shortages that will take some weeks, maybe months, to resolve, particularly in the U.S., which relies on China for about 90% of its bicycles, Townley said. Production there was largely shut down due to the coronavirus and is just resuming.

The bicycle rush kicked off in mid-March around the time countries were shutting their borders, businesses were closing, and stay-at-home orders were being imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus that has infected millions of people and killed more than 450,000.

Sales of adult leisure bikes tripled in April while overall U.S. bike sales, including kids’ and electric-assist bicycles, doubled from the year before, according to market research firm NPD Group, which tracks retail bike sales.

It’s a far cry from what was anticipated in the U.S. The $6 billion industry had projected lower sales based on lower volume in 2019 in which punitive tariffs on bicycles produced in China reached 25%.

There are

May
2020
8

The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Forcing Cities To Rethink Public Transportation

As parts of Europe and the United States begin to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions and allow people to go shopping, visit relatives and return to work, public officials are facing a new conundrum: How can people travel safely in crowded cities?

Italy is poised to serve as a major test case. On Sunday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that many restrictions on daily life will be eased starting next Monday, but he warned that people would still need to avoid large gatherings, maintain social distancing and wear masks in certain circumstances.

“If we do not respect the precautions, the curve will go up, the deaths will increase and we will have irreversible damage to our economy,” Conte said in a televised address to the nation. “If you love Italy, keep your distance.”

People walk to the San Giovanni metro station in Rome on April 24 during a three-hour testing period of new measures designed



People walk to the San Giovanni metro station in Rome on April 24 during a three-hour testing period of new measures designed to reduce congestion on public transportation, April 24.

Some 2.7 million Italians are expected to return to work next week, with 15% of them anticipated to use public transportation, according to Italian authorities.

Thus, government officials and business leaders are scrambling to develop protocols to allow people to move about freely without triggering a surge in coronavirus infections.

Under new guidelines that are being considered, the number of people allowed on buses and trains is likely to be restricted. Markers will be placed on the ground in metro stations to enforce social distancing, and camera systems and personnel will be deployed to help count passengers and prevent overcrowding, according to HuffPost Italy.

Italy’s transport ministry has suggested that electronic ticket machines will likely become standard, with hand sanitizer dispensers installed nearby. Trains and buses will be disinfected regularly, and the way passengers board and exit vehicles and stations will be adjusted. Moreover, a key goal of any plan will be to spread out daily commuters in order to reduce congestion.

Already, new measures are being tested in Rome. During a three-hour testing period on Friday, only 30 passengers were allowed into stations every three minutes at two of the city’s metro lines, and the number of passengers on each train was capped at 150, HuffPost Italy reported. On the train platforms, blue stripes with small dots indicated how far apart passengers needed to stand. Passages connecting the two lines were closed to prevent people from crossing each other and creating crowds.

A man rides a bicycle on an empty Corso Garibaldi, a main road in the center of Milan, on February 26. In response to th



A man rides a bicycle on an empty Corso Garibaldi, a main road in the center of Milan, on February 26. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the city plans to increase bike lanes and pedestrian paths and discourage car use.

In addition, many cities are hoping to encourage people to use alternate forms of transportation. Bologna has requested support from the federal government for the purchase of e-bikes and electric scooters, for example, and Milan has unveiled an ambitious plan to remake

May
2020
5

Business is booming during pandemic for nonprofit bike shop helping everyone get a bicycle

TAMPA, Fla. — “The whole world wants bikes right now!”

It is safe to say Jon Dengler is the hardest-working man in Tampa’s University Mall right now.

The eerily-silent shopping center still hosts at least one bustling storefront: WellBuilt Bikes.

The shop is a nonprofit repurposing donated bikes and helps anyone get wheels, no matter their financial standing.

“I’ve been joking all week that our racks look like the toilet paper aisle!” says Dengler, who has a small dedicated staff helping him.

Business is booming at WellBuilt right now.

Well Built Bikes 2

WFTS

People without access to transportation are a big part of the clientele. Dengler says bus riders worried about the coronavirus are coming into the store for a safer alternative.

“And then we have all those people who are stuck in their houses and simply want to get outside for some exercise,” Dengler adds.

WellBuilt offers all bikes for all people.

“We also have people who need repairs whether they can pay or not,” says Dengler.

Bike donations are needed now more than ever at the community shop.

“We need bikes that are ready to roll!” says Dengler.

All bikes that come into the shop and roll out of it are sprayed down and sanitized for maximum safety.

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Apr
2020
30

COVID-19 and plant closures: The automotive industry’s response to the pandemic

Ferrari factory

Closed.


Ferrari
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the world, automakers are taking extreme measures in the form of plant closures to halt the spread of COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes. The situation remains fluid as more European companies suspend work and US automakers extend shutdown periods.

Here are all the automakers and companies that have elected to halt production in the US and Europe so far. Information on Detroit’s Big Three begins our coverage, followed by all other shutdowns organized by the date automakers announced them. We’ve also compiled a full list of automakers returning to work with plants restarted in some capacity.

Ford

Ford shut down all European and North American production on March 19 to help combat the spread of COVID-19. While Ford intended to reopen facilities and restart production on March 30, the company on March 31 delayed that goal indefinitely. However, it plans to start ventilator production at one of its US facilities on April 20. Production of Ford vehicles and engines across the pond is expected to resume on May 4 at the soonest.

General Motors

GM joined Ford on March 18 in announcing a total suspension of all North American production starting March 19. The automaker said it would pull its facilities offline in a “cadence” and each plant would receive specific instructions. GM hasn’t made any announcements regarding when its plants will resume normal production, but it is building ventilators and masks at two US GM facilities. The automaker made the decision to build personal protective equipment on its own before the Trump administration forced it to do so by invoking the Defense Production Act.


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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

FCA joined Ford and GM on March 18 in announcing it would suspend all North American operations to help stop the spread of COVID-19. While GM and Ford haven’t established new dates to restart production, FCA told Roadshow on April 7 it now plans to bring workers back on May 4. An FCA spokesperson originally told Roadshow the automaker’s Italian plants could open on April 14, but as of April 15, the company said it will continue to follow guidelines from the Italian government. The country will remain in a lockdown state until May 3, which leaves a production start at least a few weeks away. The automaker will evaluate other European plants in the coming weeks.

Kia

Kia on March 24 said it would suspend production at its manufacturing plant in Georgia starting March 30. The shutdown will last two weeks, and includes a previously planned suspension to retool for new vehicles. The automaker originally planned to restart production on April 13, but named April 27 as the new target date. Kia did not immediately return a request for comment to learn if manufacturing operations has restarted.

Apr
2020
29

The safest modes of transportation during a pandemic, ranked

Using public transportation like the subway, a train, or bus can make it difficult to social distance or avoid touching shared surfaces.

subway coronavirus gloves

A person wearing gloves on a public subway train in New York City.

Braulio Jatar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media/Getty Images


Due to subway line closures and fewer people on the subway, it may be easier to maintain distance between yourself and other passengers.

However, crowded subway cars, trains, and buses can quickly become a hotbed of contaminants due to high foot traffic and riders touching, sneezing, or coughing on shared surfaces.

In order to attempt to curb this, the MTA in New York City has modified its schedules for the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad, and strategically planned its subway line service during “peak” travel times.

“I understand people are trying to get somewhere, but no one should be getting on a crowded train,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told local station NY1. “Spread out throughout the train, [or] wait for the next train.”

If you do have to travel using public transportation, be sure to wear some sort of face covering, use the least-crowded bus or subway car as possible, avoid touching shared surfaces, sanitize your area if possible, and don’t bring your hands close to your face. Travelers should also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash their hands after exiting the bus or train.

The CDC also recommends that instead of touching shared surfaces with bare hands, travelers should use a disposable tissue or even a sleeve to cover their hands or finger if they must touch something while traveling.

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Apr
2020
18

Largo bicycle shop sees businesses booming amid pandemic

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Dan Block has been getting quite the workout lately. Block owns the D & S Bicycle shop on Walsingham Road in Largo and the coronavirus has him working overtime.

“It’s been crazy. Everybody that got their bikes that they’ve had them,” said Block, who fixes those bikes regularly. “Or they buy them at Walmart and they want them assembled, and hey, I’ll do that.”

Dan Block has owned a bike shop in Pinellas County for 42-years and remembers the last time there was a boom in business like this one.

Block explains with the gyms and beaches closed, there are few places to go work out and now many choose to take a bike ride.

Block specializes in bike rentals and sells a few used bikes on the side, but lately, he can’t keep any used inventory in stock.

“I’m limited choices right now,” said Block. “I don’t sell my rental fleet because that’s counterproductive.”

A viewer sent in a picture from a local big box store where the bicycle shelves were nearly empty.

Mary Lou Heym just bought her new bike. She winters in Pinellas County and spends the summers up north. She too is struggling with finding ways to occupy the time.

“Well I think everybody has the same idea,” said Heym. “You can’t sit inside and watch the news all day. That would make you crazy.”

Block says he appreciates the business, but after several weeks of working 80-hour weeks, he would like a break reminiscing on the last time there was a surge like this, but he was a bit younger then.

“When they first opened the Pinellas Trail,” said Block. “Everybody and their brother was getting out their bikes that they hadn’t ridden in years.”

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Apr
2020
15

Lithia Dodge in Billings changing vehicle shopping amid COVID-19 pandemic

Some auto dealerships in Billings are making it easier for customers to purchase vehicles by eliminating the first few months of payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Austin Saylor, general manager of Lithia Dodge in Billings, says that the company has taken an approach aimed at convenience for customers, while also avoiding them coming into the dealership to buy cars.

The dealer has videos posted online where customers can take a virtual tour of vehicles. Customers can also schedule remote test drives where a vehicle is dropped off at the customer’s location and completely sanitized before being driven.

“I would say the majority of the whole transaction, the customer hasn’t even come into the dealership,” says Saylor.

Lithia Dodge has implemented new payment programs that push payments back for up to six months on new vehicles, allowing buyers to avoid that initial hit to their wallets during the pandemic.

“The best thing that has come out of this, is the dealer, the manufacturer, and the banks coming together to push those payments,” says Saylor.

If any families who need vehicles have been affected financially by COVID-19, they should ask their local dealers about payment plans and options, along with their lenders.

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