Tour de Lab September 1st

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on August 24th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Incentivizing proximity; transit cuts; greener buses; high speed rail; Portland in the news; and how block parties can change the world.

Here are some of the news stories that caught our eye in the last week:

– Highway projects nationwide are on hold indefinitely as it becomes less likely that Congress will pass a transportation funding authorization this year.

– What would get more people on bikes? More bike parking.

– U.S. politicians are beginning to embrace the idea of — and federal funding for — high speed rail. Meanwhile, China invests $300 billion in its own system.

– It looks as though the Cash for Clunkers program might really be over.

– Washington, DC is considering using part of its federal stimulus money to offer a $3,000 incentive for residents to move closer to work or transit.

– A study has found that homes with higher walk scores tend to have higher values.

– Trimet is experimenting with a new kind of cooling system that it hopes will save fuel on hot days.

– Transportation For America has issued a new report on the impact of transit cuts in American cities in the midst of a recession, and is asking the public for stories of how transit cuts have affected their lives.

– Amtrak is considering putting its new high speed rail line through Lake Oswego rather than Oregon City.

– Portlanders we’ve recently covered are making the news nationally — the local mom whose Twitter complaints convinced Burgerville to let you bike through its drive-throughs is profiled in USA Today. And a local shop’s spin on the Cash for Clunkers program has been making the rounds as well, most recently in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

– The surprise front runner in Seattle’s mayoral primary is a bike enthusiast, and has campaigned at cycling events.

– The Boston Globe writes a glowing feature about Portland’s bike-orientation.

– Block parties are good for neighborhoods.

– If there were no more cheap oil, what would happen to the suburbs where spread-out development and big box stores might no longer be so viable? Check out the winners of a recent design contest with this premise.

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4 Comments
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    jim August 24, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    What is the most popular color for a bike? If I were to paint a bike for resale what color would you want?

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    Pete August 24, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Red.

    While we’re off-topic, here’s a cool video of “artistic cycling”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b36Yi-Pb1wM

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    wsbob August 25, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Re; Monday roundup item: ‘- Amtrak is considering putting its new high speed rail line through Lake Oswego rather than Oregon City.’

    I see nothing in that article suggesting that the proposed rail improvements will be equipped to handle high speed rail service…which is fine by me, because I’m not a big fan of the loud, whooshing trains. It does though propose to be faster…no actual top speed mentioned in this article:

    “The length of the 124-mile trip between Portland and Eugene is currently two hours and 35 minutes. It could be reduced by 40 minutes on the OE track.” Rebecca Meyer/Portland Tribune

    The other good thing about the proposal, is that the line to be used, the old Oregon Elecric Line, will be re-electrified, eliminating the need for dirty, smelly diesel fuel.

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    wsbob August 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    “Meanwhile, China is investing over $300 billion in high-speed rail through 2020…”Alex Pasternack/treehugger.com

    Same article mentions the U.S. $8 billion high-speed rail plans. If it had been China that went to war in Iraq instead of the U.S., the U.S. might have a bigger figure to invest in improved rail service.

    Seems though, that China is taking this kind of spending a bit far. China dams the Yangtze River, creating the world’s largest man-made reservoir, obliterating miles and miles of natural landscape and along with it, the sites of centuries old human habitation, wildlife and plant life. Now this huge high speed rail network. I wonder if these projects are really good for anything but China’s seemingly single minded effort towards being the dominate world power.

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