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bobdreamz Nov 29, 2013 2:55 AM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 6355852)

^ It looks like Jacksonville, Florida's Skyway people mover system below!

vid Nov 30, 2013 4:13 PM

Haha, it's so wee!!

M II A II R II K Nov 30, 2013 6:46 PM

Germany spends millions on animal-only bridges

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Germany is living up to its environmentally-friendly image by spending millions of euros on building bridges just for animals. Humans caught crossing them face a €35 fine. More than a hundred wildlife bridges are to be built in the next decade.


Busy Bee Nov 30, 2013 8:04 PM

Awesome! But wouldn't it be cheaper to run large diameter culverts under the roadway? Or would most animals naturally refuse to enter a tunnel?

zilfondel Nov 30, 2013 8:30 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 6358358)

You can find these all over Wyoming.
pic from national geographic

vid Nov 30, 2013 11:42 PM


Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 6358413)
Awesome! But wouldn't it be cheaper to run large diameter culverts under the roadway? Or would most animals naturally refuse to enter a tunnel?

It's easier to just put a concrete half-tube over a road and cover it with dirt. If you put the opening under the road, it will require structural support for the road and will fill with water when it rains.

amor de cosmos Dec 3, 2013 6:56 PM

Video Link

vid Dec 4, 2013 1:56 AM

I like how they turned Staten Island into Bowser's Hideout. :)

mousquet Dec 4, 2013 1:16 PM

Briefly, the EU's defined their main transit "corridors", that should prefigure the prospective continental HSR network.

Originally Posted by
2013/11/19 (NB: that US date format is smarter than the European)

Infrastructure - TEN-T

European Parliament backs new EU infrastructure policy

In the most radical overhaul of EU infrastructure policy since its inception in the 1980s, the European Parliament has today given final approval to new maps showing the nine major corridors which will act as a backbone for transportation in Europe's single market and revolutionise East–West connections. To match this level of ambition, Parliament also voted to triple EU financing for transport infrastructure for the period 2014–2020 to €26.3 billion.

Taken as a whole, the new EU infrastructure policy will transform the existing patchwork of European roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified trans-European transport network (TEN-T).


The new core network – the figures

The core network will connect:
  • 94 main European ports with rail and road links
  • 38 key airports with rail connections into major cities
  • 15,000 km of railway line upgraded to high speed
  • 35 cross-border projects to reduce bottlenecks


brickell Dec 5, 2013 3:45 PM

Miami gets back one of it's metromover stations. Officially reopened now.

The station, formerly known as Bicentennial Park Station, is near the northwest corner of Bicentennial Park and is one of the stations on Metromover's Omni Loop.
For more than a decade, city officials said the station remained closed, but with the renaissance of the Bicentennial Park area and the addition of the newly built Pérez Art Museum, as well as the upcoming Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Miami-Dade Transit invested approximately $2.4 million to renovate the station.

amor de cosmos Dec 7, 2013 6:33 PM

Video Link

Wizened Variations Dec 8, 2013 6:09 PM


Originally Posted by amor de cosmos (Post 6366910)

A few thoughts:

1. US metropolitan areas almost always have many governments that run component cities. Getting anything done on a large scale involves excruciating political maneuvering, often with power brokers content to leave "things" as they are. This makes large scale transportation change very difficult, and, when possible, tends to be compromised into mediocrity.

2. US cities with urban cores (or aspirations to have them) tend to concentrate too much on making small footprint downtowns vibrant show places of alternate transportation, and, even nearby surroundings are subordinated financially. Extending bus/bicycle/pedestrian only corridors several kilometers out from downtowns, IMO, would have a far greater impact on reducing vehicle use than bicycle, bus, and pedestrian trophy developments downtown.

3. When rail or BRT or monorail lines are extended radially from city center, each station area should be considered a mini-downtown with it's own radial network of extending a couple of kilometers from the station.

This, as pointed out in point 1, is extremely hard to do in 2013 (but it is slowly changing) as profit generating plans developed since WWII have almost always had car access as front and center. Too many stations are being placed next to huge parking lots and have little or no bus or bicycle planning outside the property station footprint.

M II A II R II K Dec 12, 2013 4:44 PM

Purify The Air As You Ride, With This Photosynthesis Bike

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What if a bike of the future could perform more than one function, earning even more efficiency brownie points? Answering that question, a group of Thai designers and engineers has developed a plan to turn the bicycle into a machine that actually cleans polluted air while cruising down the street.

- The air-purifier bike currently exists only in concept, developed by Bangkok’s Lightfog Creative & Design Company. In theory, its aluminum frame would run on a “photosynthesis system” that generates oxygen through a reaction between water and electric power from a lithium-ion battery.

- “We want to design products which can reduce the air pollution in the city. So we decided to design a bike because we thought that bicycles are environmentally friendly vehicles for transportation,” explains creative director Silawat Virakul in an email to Co.Exist. “Riding a bicycle can reduce traffic jam[s] in a city. Moreover, we wanted to add more value to a bicycle by adding its ability to reduce the pollution.”

- While the air purifier bike might exist comfortably as an idea, reality could challenge the ease of operating such a fleet. There would be the question of where to charge the batteries, for one, and where byproducts, (like sugar, perhaps), might go. Virakul acknowledges this much. Still, it’s a neat idea and less frightening than the contraption developed by Beijing inhabitant Matt Hope, who rigged an air purification helmet to his bike. We could also just wait until all city parks install electrostatic smog vacuums beneath the grass, too.


M II A II R II K Dec 14, 2013 6:31 PM

How America Gets to Work—in 1 Very Long Graph

amor de cosmos Dec 14, 2013 6:42 PM


Friday, December 13, 2013
A Conservative Utah Republican’s Path to Transit Enlightenment
by Tanya Snyder

Greg Hughes is the majority whip of the Utah State Legislature and the chair of its conservative caucus. He got a 100 percent score last year by the conservative Sutherland Institute, a Utah think tank. He also chairs the board of the Utah Transit Authority.

The man loves transit.

Hughes grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He said he always understood that public transportation has a place in a city of that size. In fact, he used it himself, as he didn’t have access to a car while he lived there. (Hughes attended college in Utah, so may not have been of driving age for much of his Pittsburgh residency.) But even at the time he joined the board of the UTA, he still thought transit didn’t make sense for Utah.

“As a conservative Republican, my opinion of mass transit was that it seemed reasonable — or a necessity — in Pittsburgh, but certainly in a state like Utah may be an over-subsidized social service,” he told members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Highways and Transit Subcommittee this week. “So I warned the mayors that if I was going to serve on this board they might not like what I had to say.”

He said he was able to bring a state official’s emphasis on fiscal conservatism to the board, but he also gained some valuable perspective:
[I] was able to understand a little bit better, in a state like Utah, where you see how quickly we’re growing, the absolute need we have to be multi-modal. When I sat every year and looked at how many roads we needed to keep in good repair, and how much expansion we needed for the population that was growing, I became agnostic in terms of mode.
It was fiscal conservatism itself that sold him on transit. Hughes just watched his state spend a billion dollars to expand a freeway, only to see that one of the $30 million interchanges is projected to be completely congested in six years. “How do we begin to pay for that, as a state?” he mused. “We have to have multi-modal.”

He’s started to preach the good news to his fellow conservatives, telling them, “If you like getting to work on time, you’ll love that 80 percent of the light rail commuters along our new line own automobiles and would have been in your way.”

Video Link

M II A II R II K Dec 16, 2013 4:16 PM

Public Transit Is Underfunded Because the Wealthy Don’t Rely on It

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Another report has come out in support of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), an innovative way to provide public transit at a low cost with dedicated bus lanes, stops, and schedules.

The study (PDF), from pro-transit group Embarq, found that BRT drastically reduced commute times, improved air quality, and cut road fatalities in congested cities like Bogota, Istanbul, Johannesburg, and Mexico City. And we already know that BRT is one of the most cost-effective public transit investments a municipality can make. The catch? In most cities examined in the report, those benefits only extend to low- and middle-class residents. (In Johannesburg, the poorest residents did not use BRT).

“Since the dominant benefit is travel time savings,” the study’s authors wrote, “the majority of benefits tend to accrue to the strata most represented by BRT users — typically lower- and middle-income.” --- While it’s great to have a system that improves transportation access for the majority of a city’s population, BRT’s mass appeal could — ironically — be a political concern that prevents its adoption, at least in the U.S. As Alex Pareene wrote in Salon, public transit often suffers because politicians and donors rarely rely on it. The results show in the states, whose existing BRT systems lag behind those in cities around the world.

Even in densely populated and traditionally liberal cities like New York and Minneapolis, politicians neglect transit. And “because they don’t know or interact with or receive checks from people who rely on it every day, there’s almost no hope for cheap, efficient mass transit options anywhere,” Pareene wrote.

Indeed, the Embarq report echoes the public transit wealth gap, and cites that most BRT systems are often paid for by tax revenue collected from those who may never ride it. Bogota’s famed TransMilenio was financed by increased gasoline taxes, and all the systems required both substantial investment and support from municipalities. But the Embarq report also showed that BRTs benefited cities with environmental and productivity gains more than they strained financial resources.


M II A II R II K Dec 18, 2013 4:28 PM

The Most Walkable Cities and How Some Are Making Strides

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Walkable Cities Map:



Many localities across the country are continuing to push policies and planning initiatives aimed at making communities more walkable. Recent census figures depict a wide variation in commuting habits among the nation’s urban centers, showing some have done much more than others.


electricron Dec 19, 2013 1:12 AM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 6378314)
The Most Walkable Cities and How Some Are Making Strides

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Walkable Cities Map:

Not surprisingly, university towns top the list.

M II A II R II K Dec 29, 2013 10:31 PM

Is green U.S. mass transit a big myth?

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As part of my research for an article on robotic cars and how they change so much of the world, I've been looking into the energy use of various forms of transportation.

What I learned about public transit in the USA shocked me. I've been a fan of public transit, taking it where it's practical for me, and feeling green about it. That transit is a significantly greener way to get around than private car travel almost goes without saying in our thoughts and discussions.

Disturbingly, this simply isn't true. I started by pulling out various numbers on the energy used per passenger mile of various forms of transportation. These numbers can be found in places like the U.S. government bureau of transportation statistics figures and the Dept. of Energy Transportation Energy Data Book (Especially table 2-12). I've also found tables broken down per city.

These studies express transit energy efficiency in terms of BTUs per passenger-mile. The BTU is the English system unit of energy, and it's equal to 1055 joules. With perfect conversion, there are 3413 BTUs in a kw/h. To turn BTUs/mile into miles per gallon, you divide into 125,000, the number of BTUs you get from burning a gallon of gas. Here's a useful table.

A "passenger mile" is taking one passenger a mile. If it takes 10,000 BTUs to take a vehicle with 10 passengers for one mile, that's 10 passenger miles, and 1,000 BTUs/passenger-mile. For solo vehicles, passenger miles are just miles. The figures below are for the DoE's average passenger loads over the entire USA, unless noted as solo or for a specific district.


True "well to wheels" analysis includes more factors:

• Energy to make and recycle cars and transit vehicles. For typical cars that's 120 million BTUs, or about 15% extra over a 150,000 mile life-cycle. I don't yet have figures for transit vehicles, however I expect them to do better than 15%. Even if it were zero, the results can't get worsened by more than 15%.

• Energy to build and maintain roads (for cars and buses) and tracks (for trains) or both for street cars. This is significant though in many cases it is already expended.

• Energy to extract, refine and ship fuel, both to cars and diesel transit, and to power plants making electricity for electric transit. For gasoline, this is about a 22% surcharge. I don't yet have figures for the energy cost of mining and shipping coal, or extracting and piping natural gas for electricity. Again, this worsens the results at most 22% for the cars, trucks and diesl buses, but the real penalty is going to be less.

• Variations in the average passenger load of all the vehicles, including the cars, which make some systems highly efficient and others terrible. Likewise, some cities have higher passenger/car figures and others lower. These are, except where noted, national averages.

• The fact that sometimes transit trips require more miles (changing lines) and sometimes fewer miles (private right-of-way).

• Data released this year which slows a slight improving trend for the buses, bringing them slightly ahead of the cars. (This varies from year to year.)



Heavy Rail Energy Efficiency

Light (Capacity) Rail Energy Efficiency

feepa Dec 29, 2013 11:18 PM


Originally Posted by zilfondel (Post 6358437)
You can find these all over Wyoming.
pic from national geographic

and they've had these for 20+ years in Alberta (Banff National Park)

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