Sunday, March 21, 2010

Car beats marathon runners by six minutes!

I decided to see if I could drive the marathon course in my car — street for street, turn for turn — during weekday morning rush hour, in a time faster than elite runners could run it on race day. Abraham told me those runners will finish the course in about 2 hours 8 minutes and that he thought I didn't stand a chance, adding that organizers had considered minting a T-shirt that read: "It's faster to run it than drive it."

Challenge accepted.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Orlando Taylor -- Free Transit saves more than it costs

But more importantly, they said it doesn't cost anything, just get on the bus and ride. That seemed odd, because I live in Washington and nothing is free there, so it didn't make any sense to me. Then I later heard in the conversation and determined that the city of Portland understood that it was cheaper for them in the long run to provide free public transportation in the downtown area than to have all the carbons emitted from autos, for example, and that it was in their health interests and their economic interests to encourage people to ride a bus, not to mention the fact that they saved a lot of money. Cal State Fullerton

Monday, March 8, 2010

While states go broke -- $400 billion wasted on biofuel scam

...A recent report by Rice University (Texas) found that the U.S. spent US$4 billion on biofuel subsidies in 2008 to replace a mere two percent of the U.S. gasoline supply. It estimates that this costs taxpayers about US$82 per barrel, or US$1.95 a gallon more than the retail price of petroleum fuel. By 2022, U.S. biofuel subsidies will have totaled US$400 billion, according to environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth. The EU is no better, giving around €3.7 billion (US$5.2 billion) in biofuel subsidies in 2007, aiming to replace 5.75 percent of transport fuel by the end of 2010.

On top of wasted taxes and higher food prices, biofuels make little environmental sense.

Production in the U.S. and the EU can release more emissions than it avoids. Nobel-Prize-winning chemist, Paul J. Crutzen, estimates that:

“For rapeseed biodiesel, which accounts for about 80 percent of the biofuel production in Europe, the relative warming due to N2O [nitrous oxide] emissions is estimated at 1 to 1.7 times larger than the quasi-cooling effect due to saved fossil CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions. For corn bioethanol, dominant in the U.S., the figure is 0.9 to 1.5...."TheChinaPost

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Coalition urges free bus passes for students in Bay Area

A coalition of social justice and transportation advocates announced a campaign Friday to press the Bay Area's transportation commission to finance free bus passes for intermediate and high school students. ContraCostaTimes

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seattle - New light rail - bike racks - no parking

Bike racks -- good. No parking -- good. Now, do like Bogotá and have fare-free feeder buses.