No bicycling in NYC without a license? That's right, a new law -- apparently the first of its kind in the nation -- proposed this week by bike-bashing Bronx Councilwoman Madeline Provenzano, will carry serious fines and even jail sentences for violators who ride unregistered bicycles on city streets. And yes, there will be a $25 per bike registration fee. Way to encourage alternative transport in this crowded, congested, polluted town. What next? Licenses for rollerblades, skateboards, wheelchairs? How about my running shoes -- during peak traffic they're faster and more hazardous to fellow city dwellers than my beat up old Trek, any day.
NYC Critical Mass ride dampened by heavy police presence Critical Mass, A peaceful demonstration that takes place on the last friday of the month at hundreds of cities around the world. The gathering of hundreds to thousands of cyclists to stress the importance of nonpolluting transportation alternatives and promote the cycling community. Last night's critical mass was faced with a very heavy police presence (including 3 helicopters that followed the cyclists on the route). I was there and the police were peaceful, but perhaps necessary and the helicopters were just intimidating. The whole aura assumed there was going to be some type of crime. There type of people that take part in Critical Mass are generally the opposite of violent. It felt violating to be followed around, by not one, but three helicopters and hundreds of officers on scooters. The Critical Mass was being treated as if we just shot up a building or robbed a bank. The whole thing was stupid, and people got arrested for stupid reasons. Thanks NYPD the Judge said we could be there. 33, 47, whatever, it was too many.
Cat Stevens on NatSec watchlist. "A London-to-Washington flight was diverted to Maine on Tuesday when it was discovered passenger Yusuf Islam - formerly known as singer Cat Stevens - was on a government watch list and barred from entering the country, federal officials said... Homeland Security Department spokesman Dennis Murphy identified the passenger as Islam. 'He was interviewed and denied admission to the United States on national security grounds,' Murphy said, and would be put on the first available flight out of the country Wednesday."
Jesus Boots perfected! NYT: In the last 150 years, Americans have patented about 100 water-walking inventions. The first, in 1858, was by H. R. Rowlands, who lived in Boston, not far from where Mr. Rosen resides, in Newton, Mass. Most of the subsequent patents, Mr. Rosen said, are iterations of that same idea. "Unfortunately," Mr. Rosen observed, "none of them actually work."
New permeable pavement systems allow water to seep into and through the roadway surface, reducing run-off and recharging aquifers.
Having just returned to Paradise for a little visit, I am reminded just how cool this little place is (not that I needed much reminding *whimper*), and am looking for touristy things to do here without a car. While I was on my way up on the Pacific Surfliner train, a fellow rider told me about Santa Barbara Car Free. Awesome! Also props to CalTrans' alliance with Amtrak in California. The trains and service and overall quality of the passenger rail system is quite a bit different from what I've experienced thus far of the stuff handled by Amtrak alone.
Danny's Land: a blog of amusement park, ride theory and oddball transportation links.
Ping Pong Pang Pong ... (MIDI file). Archives of public transport departure chimes and announcements. From Japan, MIDI files [+] [+] (via Boingboing) and live recordings [+] [+] of various elaborate tunes (no I don't speak Japanese, just keep clicking the blue links until you hit an MP3!). European recordings [+]. The very excellent Shonen Knife used a sample of the Osaka subway chimes in their rockin' cover version of the Carpenter's 'Top of the World.' (WFMU archive here, click "Hear the show", song starts with Osaka chimes at approximately 15:23)
Neato Next Generation Truck Stops IANAT (I am not a trucker), so I had no idea trucks could just plug into truck stops complete with air conditioning, power, internet, satellite TV, etc. And the bonus is that these facilities are environmentally friendly since the truck doesn't have to be left running all night.
1.26 million people killed every year on the road or from subsequent injuries... ..Four Qld road deaths in 5 hours. 42,815 people died in 2002 in automobile crashes in the United States. Shouldn't these facts give us the resolve to explore a better solution to our transportation needs? I do not see the national debate that these deaths would evoke if the cause was different. Why are we numb to this?
R.I.P. Bay Area Transit Information Page, 1994-2003. The site, started by two Berkeley students, provided quick access to transit information in the San Francisco Bay Area, who later received funding for their efforts in 1996. Instead, it gets replaced by this abomination of web design. On the other hand, it is very unusual for a web site to keep the same user interface over the span of almost a decade. Already, there have been user interface rants, complaints about not finding information, sarcastic commentary, and a brief eulogy delivered from one of the original creators, and it hasn't even been the first day. Is content over style dead or are information sites like this (flash) the wave of the future?
One of my joys of going on vacation is to get off the interstate and collect a bit of an old historic road. In California over the weekend we managed to grab a bit of Hwy. 1 aka the Pacific Coast Highway past nature preserves, resorts and neighborhoods. Another goal is to do all of U.S. 50, the initial stages of which were reportedly surveyed by George Washington during his tour in the British Army. Wired has a nice article about how a journalist and a photographer ignored the advice of a Federal Highway Administration spokesperson to take a trip down Route 1 from Maine to Florida.
The Texas Transportation Institute released their latest figures on which cities are the most congested, and how many hours per year the average person spends in traffic. Or you can read The Big Picture. I find it amazing that New York City isn't in the top 25 cities. The reason being is that New York City has an excellent public transportation network. Even some Politians are realizing that public transportation is a better bang for the buck.
Transportation around the world is a huge database of photos focusing on two topics: transportation mode and geography. From bullet trains to dogsleds and camel caravans to tramways, - browse by location or by topic. Also related: One of the best transportation museums in the world is the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz in Lucern, Switzerland. (via booknotes)
Move over Segway! Sir Clive Sinclair, who invented the first pocket calculator (retailing at only £79.95 + VAT in 1972), the ZX80, and the ZX81 with its massive 8K operating system, is promising an update to the Sinclair C5 that will compete with the Segway.
This Guy in Minnesota just got laid-off and he's spending his time following around Bush's economic team on their tour of the upper midwest as they share their "upbeat outlook" on our nation's economy. He's following their tourmobile with his own tourmobile and has been chasing them around in parkinglots and at fast food places. He finally cornered the Treasury Secretary whose advice to the job-seeker was to "just wait." What's your economic reality? Is it closer to the sunny optimism of the big shiny tourbus, or the laid-off reality of the homemade minivan? (Check out the particularly funny bit about how he stumbled on the entire press corps only when he was looking for a dumpster.)
Congress to bicyclists: get a car! A new transportation appropriations bill would eliminate $600 million of annual federal funding for "transportation enhancements" (more info here), such as bike paths and walkways, while increasing funding for highways. Is this a proper reflection of U.S. transportation habits, or just a scheme to deprive alternate transportation of much-needed funding?
NYCRoads.com is an exhaustive history of the expressways, parkways, and river crossings that shaped metro New York over the last century and a half.
2fast, 2furious, 2...something. This gallery of tricked-out Japanese big rigs defies description.
Once again its Bike to Work Week (now) and Day (tomorrow). There are at least 40 reasons to ride to work. Obviously, riding a bicycle is good in many ways. This isn't just for out of shape Americans, either. Will you be out there on a bike tomorrow?
The superconducting Magnetically-levitated Linear Motor Car is a most promising high speed transportation system in the 21st century. Mechanics and future benefits of Maglev trains.(video) [more]
More senseless killing, boys and girls: an Arson in a South Korean subway. "With 135 people injured, many seriously, and at least 90 people listed as missing, officials say they expect the death toll to rise much higher." This will, no doubt, help in stabilizing the region.
Roundabouts are growing in popularity, in Utah of all places. It's a good thing there's a website and an official government guide to teach us how to use them, because we really suck at driving.
"This car isn't meant to be an SUV, a mini-van, or a sedan" ... becuase, of course, it's a station wagon (the body type that dare not speak its name), albeit a sleek new Chrysler Pacifica, now starring in double-page spreads in your finer magazines. The Europeans have never stopped making great wagons, but its been a while since anything less apalling than the Taurus Wagon came out of Detroit or Tokyo.
Riding the dog gets some folks home to loved ones or care takers. For a few, the bus is home. Reno News and Review's Deidre Pike takes a look at Reno, Nevada's Homeless Evaluation Liaison Program (HELP). Other cities have taken notice, and have begun to consider similar programs modeled after Reno's.
last year i saw the land rover, yesterday i saw the boot bus. while it looks to be in support of a small commercial site, the bus is a 'grassroots' adventure to document and share information gathered during their endless journeys in a VW bus. feel free to share your favorite 'common-man' travel resource.
It's fun to watch your tax dollars put politicians in office. "Cheney has been the White House road warrior this year, hauling in more than $22 million for Republicans in 74 campaign appearances"
Maglev begins testing at 4 miles per hour. Once testing is completed next month this could be the future of transportation. (if this 3 station maglev system is a success) A top speed of 40 mph now, on longer distances the speed can be over 200 mph.
UAL asks for a 2$ billion loan from the Feds. And it looks like AMTRAK will get their couple hundred million bucks as well. Transportation seems to be a losing proposition all over. So where's the bailout for the cruise lines?
U.S. Supreme Court rules on searches of passengers on public transportation. In a decision that could aid the government's anti-terrorism efforts, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can question passengers on buses and trains and search for evidence without informing them that they can refuse.
For The Discerning, Segway-Hating Man About Town: Hammacher-Schlemmer's fantastic Unexpected catalogue is full of classy transportation devices, among countless other fascinating products, with prices to suit all pockets. The Two-Person Submarine is a snip at $62,900 but claustrophic types are well catered for too. There's the Zem 4-person bicycle for $6,499.95; the One Person Helium Balloon for 20K, the popular All-Terrain 2-Person Hovercraft; the very European Vespa motorbike; the extremely enticing Danish Police Runabout at only $5,999.95; the sexy little Amphibious Car for $9,995.95 and many, many more outlandish and distinctive vehicles, from 7 Person tricycles(for you, 16K)to a wooden '54 wooden Mercedes 300SL. For more sedentary gentlefolk, there are Feline Drinking Fountains, Impervious Unbreakable Chip Trays and, for only 25 bucks, a Barbershop Hot Lather Machine. Fancy anything, Madam or Sir?
Lane Splitting 101. Do you ride? Do you commute on your bike? Are you insane enough to split lanes? Or... Do you drive? Do lane-splitting bikes piss you off? Do they give you heart attacks?
Would you fly with them? Having the information, whatever you think it proves, would you get on the plane to find out what's behind it?
Pigeons Ride the Subway!(NYT Link) This reporter found truth behind a New York urban legend, train riding pigeons. Any weird stories of urbanized animals in your area?
ULTRa set for take off in Cardiff! Urban Light Transport is finally here, and trials are under way in Cardiff, Wales for these four passenger driverless cars. It is estimated that the cost of implementation ($60m) will be 1/3 to 1/2 of that of a comparable light rail system.
Lo! Behold the power of the internet!
That'll teach the guy to put sharply-worded messages on his own property. The nerve of some people.
That'll teach the guy to put sharply-worded messages on his own property. The nerve of some people.
The Freeway Firing Line - "Caltrans workers often have to dodge objects thrown by irate drivers." How angry do you have to be to roll down your window, grab a beer can and throw it at a highway worker? Has anyone here been on either end of this?
Trains and boats and planes. As the international environmental elite flies around the world attending conferences on global warming, earth-friendly toilets, whale saving, etc., these guys pause and figure out that jetting around kerosine-guzzling aircraft makes them part of the very problem they are trying to solve. So they travel to their next conference overland. Good start, fellows. Beyond warming up the air (actually a good thing, if you ask me), jets degrade the environment by needing to be served by city-sized airports, with all their attendent horrors, and by being damned noisy (I'll never forget the lovely silence that followed the air lockdown following 9-11). Besides walking to work, how else can conscientious eco-types put their money where their mouths are?
California Governor Announced that there is a credible threat against the bridges of the state of California. Including the Golden Gate Bridge. The attacks are likely to take place between the second and ninth of November, during rush hour.
Cronyism, alive and well in Boston - departing Massachusetts Port Authority (the authority that oversees Boston's Logan Airport) executive director Virgina Buckingham has been given quite the golden parachute...in the form of a $175,000 severance package. This, uh, outrage puts Gov. Jane Swift in tight spot...
Passenger train collision in Utah. Reports from the US say two trains have collided in the state of Utah. I hope this has nothing to do with Tuesday...
Transitinfo.org has been around for years, but doesn't seem to have been posted here yet. It lists schedule and fare information for several dozen public transportation agencies in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. It's not too flashy, but it's one of the most quietly useful websites I've found. For those of you who don't live in and around San Francisco: are there websites like this for other regions?
I guess we'll walk. Much of eastern Canada is currently in the grip of one of the worst summers for smog on record, and a recent poll showed that 58 per cent of Canadians support the idea of limiting car use on smoggy days. However, just 37 per cent said they were willing to pay more taxes in order to improve public transportation.
"I think the potential of the small-plane technology revolution is to make small planes seem more reasonable to people below the millionaire class," says James Fallows, author of Free Flight, a book in which Fallows advocates the use of safe next-generation compact airplanes to act as air-taxis, thus offering the masses an alternative to the hub-and-spoke system of air travel.
I just want to know when I will get my hoverboard. On July 6, 2001 Transdimensional Technologies, LLC will unveil the next evolutionary step in propulsion. A small prototype "lifter" will rise to the height of four feet without an engine, moving parts, conventional thrust, or propellant. Application of this technology is possible within one year, and a vehicle that is lifted and propelled by this force is possible in three years. Video clip here.
Yet another rail crash in the UK, and trains are still not back to normal in the wake of the last one. It will be interesting to see how this increases road travel, something the country clearly isn't prepared for.
Presenting the no-gasoline, no-pollution, no-engine personal flier Hydrogen peroxide is used to fuel individual rocket motors at the tips of helicoptor like rotors.... James Bond eat your heart out :)
Compressed Natural Gas is much more cleaner than diesel, the dual-fuel engines run quieter and you get lower operating costs. It's certainly very promising, and the technology is already widely implemented from busses to vans to trucks. However, changing a truck to this system can be costly, especially for small fleets. With this and the lack of fueling stations across the nation, do you still think this might be a good option for the future?