Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Auto culture pecking all the feed out of the economy, and due to get worse as deferred-maintenance chickens come home to roost.

 $21 billion over the next ten years to help close a backlog of deferred maintenance on our state's roads, bridges and ferries. That's in addition to the 9.5 cent gas tax increase passed in 2005, which has already been fully committed and bonded out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We Need More Public Transit

And Public Transit Needs Us

 ~ Why public transit?

Riffing on Stuart Smalley: It's good enough, it's smart enough, and doggone it, people like it!

Americans, regardless of political affiliation, support public transit. Everyone who takes public transit contributes to decreased congestion, decreased carbon emissions, and decreased oil/gas use. It's funny to think otherwise. Public transit riders also save money.

Public transit revitalizes communities and leads to economic (re-)development. People choose public transit if given a level of service that represents something close to a comparable choice. Public funding of public transit makes sense, and smart political leadership just gets it done. Unfortunately, others still don't get it.

The demographics in America are changing. The outer ring suburbs are dying and not coming back; both empty-nest Boomers and younger Millennials want to live in livable, walkable cities well-served by public transit where they don't even need to own cars.

Why support pubic transit? It's really rather simple:

Public transit: good, smart, and people like it.

Cross-posted to Chris B. Leyerle blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Survey: WA Residents Support Transit, Transportation Investments | PubliCola

Survey: WA Residents Support Transit, Transportation Investments | PubliCola: "Asked whether they “support or oppose more state funding for public transit and passenger rail” in general, 63 percent said they supported it, 30 percent opposed it, and 6 percent were undecided. In the Puget Sound region, 70 percent supported it, 25 percent opposed it, and 5 percent opposed it."

'via Blog this'

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tax Code Driving Incentives

Uncle Sam Subsidizes Cars, not Buses

Cartoon: Driver ironically complains about public transit subsidies, missing all those that enable him and his car
 ~ Think government is too big and spends too much money? You can write your legislator, sure. But if you have your own business, you could also take direct action to help the budget: leave your car in the garage and take the bus.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Streamline bus service celebrates 1 millionth rider - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle: News

NICK WOLCOTT/CHRONICLE Roberta Stevens, 80, steps off the bus at the downtown bus depot on Friday morning. Stevens was awarded a bouquet of flowers and a gift basket for being Streamline's 1 millionth rider.
Streamline bus service celebrates 1 millionth rider - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle: News: "Streamline, a Human Resource Development Council program, provides free public transportation to the Bozeman community. It was launched in August 2006 in partnership with the Associated Students of Montana State University."

'via Blog this'

Monday, November 7, 2011

Transit Riders Union [Seattle]

Transit Riders Union: "Why do we need a Transit Riders Union?

  • Deep bus service cuts were only narrowly avoided in King County…
  • Public transit is under attack in cities across the country…
  • Unemployment is rising and social services are shrinking…
  • The planet is warming and natural resources are dwindling…
  • The global economy is in crisis…"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Transportation funding: Transit systems drive our future | OregonLive.com

By Neal R. Peirce 
Transportation funding: Transit systems drive our future | OregonLive.com: "It's straightforward, argues the New York-based Regional Plan Association (RPA). Transportation, it asserts, isn't just a question of patching a few potholes or cleaning dirty subway cars. It's a matter of the national future -- whether our economy hums or shrinks, carrying our standard of living down with it.

Illustrating its point, RPA cites the case of America's top 10 transit regions, among them New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta. Collectively, the 10 regions represent a third of America's economic output and a quarter of our population. And they're projected to grow 26 percent --90 million people -- in the next 30 years. "

'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pledge to reduce driving and get your UnDrivers License

History | Undriving & Undriver Licensing: "Undriving™ was invented in 2007 within the innovative Seattle neighborhood group, Sustainable Ballard. Projects in this all-volunteer group arise where there’s passion, and one man who adamantly thought no one should drive a car was beating the drum in the group’s Transportation Guild. Yes, cars are a huge part of the climate crisis – but what could we do that was engaging, inviting, even fun? After months of discussion our founder coined the term Undriving – and the idea for the Undriver License™ followed closely on its heels. From there, the whole program practically designed itself!"

'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Transit passengers to ride for free next week

Richard Hackett of Corvallis places his bike on the Linn-Benton Loop bus. Hackett rides his bike on the mornings he visits his father in Albany but takes the bus on the way back across the river. (Mark Ylen/Democrat-Herald)
Read more: http://democratherald.com/news/local/article_b942f994-eb2a-11e0-8010-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1ZVz0ddMF
Transit passengers to ride for free next week: "Passengers on most mid-valley public transportation systems can ride for free on regular routes during Try Transit Week Oct. 2-8, the city of Albany announced.
This year, Albany Transit System, Albany Call-A-Ride, the Linn-Benton Loop, and the Linn Shuttle will all be participating by offering free rides. Corvallis Transit System provides fare-less transportation year round."

'via Blog this'

Monday, September 5, 2011

Young people want #carfree lifestyle

Cities now compete on how well they plan for biking-walking-transit | Crosscut.com: "According to housing and location preference surveys, the younger crowd wants to be in the center of things — downtown. They want cafes, restaurants, entertainment, and other young people to socialize with. They want walkable communities with parks; they want bike trails; they want to bike to work; and they want transit."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yearlong [free] pilot bus route begins | Laramie Boomerang | Laramie, Wyoming

Yearlong pilot bus route begins | Laramie Boomerang | Laramie, Wyoming: "A pilot bus system designed to gauge interest in public transportation in Laramie began giving free rides at 7 a.m. Monday.

The Gem City Grand Laramie City Bus Route kicked off a yearlong pilot route on Monday with University of Wyoming (UW) and Eppson Center for Seniors buses giving free rides from the First Street Plaza to Wal-Mart."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bozeman, MT - fare-free transit a big success!

Streamline celebrates fifth anniversary | KBZK.com | Z7 | Bozeman, Montana: "Streamline celebrated its fifth anniversary today on MSU's campus and again downtown later in the afternoon.

Streamline's director, Lee Hazelbaker says, "We've come a million miles from when we first started Streamline."

When Streamline first began providing free-fare transit services in Bozeman it estimated it would have about 200 riders per day, now it is transporting more than 800 riders daily."

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trout Fishing in America? – Not So Much

Prospects not good for Western trout.

Climate change, by warming rivers and streams and changing patterns of flooding, will negatively impact four trout species in the western United States, according to a major study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

By 2080 Rainbow trout, the toughest and most resilient of the four species studied, will still decline in a major way because of changes in stream temperature, losing something like 35% in the size of their habitat. 

Brown trout and Brook trout spawn in the fall, and climate change is expect to intensify winter flooding which would endanger eggs laid then.  Streams experiencing such flooding would become unsuitable spawning grounds for these fish. 

The habitat of Brown trout is expected to decline by 48%, Brook trout by a gigantic 77%!

Cutthroat trout, a species native to the western United States, have already lost 85% of their range due to competition from introduced species.  By 2080 warming waters and increased competition from mainly Rainbow trout, will shrink their habitat a further 58%.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chris B. Leyerle: Money For Nothing

Chris B. Leyerle: Money For Nothing: "~ We are steadily hollowing out our country's core strength by refusing to tax ourselves to pay for anything, no matter the public interest. Here in King County battle is joined over whether to add a $20 yearly charge onto vehicle registration to provide funding for Metro, the Greater Seattle regional transit authority."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Scores Of Metro Bus Riders Urge King County Council To Save Current Service | The B-Town (Burien) Blog | Named "Best Hyperlocal Website" in the Northwest by Society of Professional Journalists

Scores Of Metro Bus Riders Urge King County Council To Save Current Service | The B-Town (Burien) Blog | Named "Best Hyperlocal Website" in the Northwest by Society of Professional Journalists: "“We need public transportation. Without it we are stuck,” said a blind person who relies on Metro. Others with disabilities, including one with epilepsy and another who suffered a stroke, said buses are essential for their mobility.
“Please don’t cut service to those of us who need it,” said another, making a special plea to maintain current Access van service.
A West Seattle resident who owns a car said he doesn’t object to the $20 fee, saying “it is a basic right to have public transportation in a metropolitan region of this kind.”"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hundreds testify against Metro Transit bus cuts | KING5.com Seattle

Hundreds testify against Metro Transit bus cuts | KING5.com Seattle: "BURIEN, Wash. -- More than 300 people packed the Burien City Council chambers Thursday night to voice their opposition to proposed Metro Transit bus cuts.
The King County Council must now vote on whether to approve a $20 car-tab fee, which would prevent deep cuts to bus service. A vote is scheduled for Monday. If six council members vote yes, the fee will pass without a ballot measure. If only five vote yes, then the issue will go before King County voters in November."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Obama Admin To Whitebark Pines: Drop Dead | ThinkProgress

Obama Admin To Whitebark Pines: Drop Dead | ThinkProgress: "The Fish and Wildlife Service determined Monday that whitebark pine, a tree found atop mountains across the American West, faces an “imminent” risk of extinction because of factors including climate change."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Adapting to the New Climate Normals

The new climate normals for the United States, compiled by the National Climatic Data Center and reset every decade, have moved up the average temperatures 0.5o F (approx. 0.3o C).  This reflects the ongoing effect of climate change on the United States, and has practical implications for gardeners, and the like.  Some plants can survive better now than when the country had cooler nights.  Some pests flourish in the warmth.  Cold-loving trees are beginning to sicken in their southern-most ranges.  As the climate normalizes at new levels, it will require preparation and adaptation.

In fact, climate change has made our coming era the Era of Adaption, an era already heralded in the USA by shifting temperatures and reacting ecosystems.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Republicans Prefer That Flood or Storm Take America by Surprise

This is from Science Insider:

In February 2010, NOAA announced its intention to create a parallel entity to its National Weather Service that would issue long range climate forecasts about future weather conditions such as severe storms, floods, and droughts…. Those actions don’t sit well with the Republicans on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Why the Republicans want the American people to be unprepared for fire, flood, drought and storm remains unclear.

Friday, June 24, 2011

“Just Take The Bus!”: Disability and Car-centric City Planning | nominatissima

“Just Take The Bus!”: Disability and Car-centric City Planning | nominatissima: "For the sake of disability rights, a better community, and a reduction in how much gasoline is consumed, communities should consider how they expand, how cities are planned, and the practicality of having all of the businesses in the city and the residences in suburbs which require driving to and from to get to the city. There is truly no need to have such a wide-set city with poorly maintained sidewalks and bike routes and such a huge distance between houses and businesses."

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Rural People of Highway 12 — Fighting Goliath [#tarsands]

The Rural People of Highway 12 — Fighting Goliath: "The Port of Lewiston, State of Idaho, and Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil Canada are working to convert Idaho’s stretch of U.S. Highway 12 from a Scenic Byway and All-American Road to an industrial truck route for the transport of gargantuan loads of heavy equipment. Combined Imperial Oil, ConocoPhillips and Harvest Energy plan to ship 274 megaloads in 2011, loads that exceed by far the size and frequency of any oversize shipments in the past."

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Empire Has New Clothes, Maybe

In a recent Care2 post by Beth Buczynski, I learned that, in the face of energy shortages, the Japanese government is urging button-down business-types to dress for the heat rather than turning up the air conditioner.  Some of the said business-types are howling in dismay.

They really have no reason to howl.  Business, the way it’s been explained to me, is all about adapting to the marketplace.  If the marketplace says that in the face of shortages energy must be put to rational uses, how rational is it to use electricity to cool people down who are hot only because they are overdressed for the weather?

If business is to adapt to an overheated world with ever-rising energy costs, it must dress for the weather also.

Or, since air conditioning is going to become ever more dear, they will be faced with a culture where the air conditioner is turned off anyway, and the smell of business is the ambience of overheated men in sweat-stained business suits toiling oily in their cubicles.



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Going solar in the Pacific Northwest

Is solar technology practical in the Pacific Northwest?  Well, the region gets more sunlight than Germany—which is already aggressively pursuing solar—so, yes.  But if you are a homeowner wanting to incorporate solar energy, there are a number of things to consider.  Whether your geographic location and the configuration of your roof is suitable for solar, for instance.  And the upfront costs are considerable:  $25,000 to $40,000 installation costs are standard.

However, the installations pay off over time, they are very, very good for the environment and there are a number of government incentives—both state and federal—that the homeowner can tap into.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Free transit advocate was injured by auto, now transit dependent

To Whom it May Concern:

  I a person with a traumatic brain injury, I can't drive do my disability. I have other forms of transportation. I would rather
take the bus, it is therapeutic for me
to be independence, I make new friends
and get more exercise by taking the bus.

  As of August 2011 Route 203 is going to
be cancel. It is tearing me apart know many Individuals that Depend on Route 203 there is a lot of Disabled and Elderly, Routes 200 or 205 just will not work.

  I am on the State Brain Injury Waiting  List, last month I had add too my needs transportation I can't afford Paratransit $3.00, I like to go to different fabric and craft stores I can't go on the fix route, I
can't even go to fabric store in my own
city. I really enjoy my Independence.

  Every time UTA as change day bus     routes are cancel it put the burden on     local governments (increase for Senior Transportation and meal on Wheel) and   the State of Utah. Individuals are Happier Feel Better with who they are if they can
be Independence.

  I have done a new article The Benefits of Having a Good Bus System! I would like too Challenge Everyone to Park your Vehicles become a Pedestrian and start taking the Bus. Click on my Blog below Thanks.

  Thank You!
 Tammi Diaz

Catmeow Public Transit 

UTA to dump some routes, change others | The Salt Lake Tribune: "UTA is cutting, shortening or combining bus routes countywide to pay to operate the new Mid-Jordan and West Valley City TRAX lines that are scheduled to begin operation on Aug. 7, the day that the bus system changes will also take effect."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gas Fracking Will Turn Your Tap Water on Fire

Does gas fracking cause contamination of drinking water.  Yes, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The process causes mainly methane gas to seep into drinking water supplies.  What the study can’t say is how widespread the water contamination already is country-wide.

The good news with gas fracking is that you’ll never need your stove to heat your tea.  Just set your tap water on fire.

The bad news is that you can’t drink the tea.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lawsuit Launched Pushing Oregon to Fight Climate Change

The public trust doctrine says that the state holds certain resources in trust for everybody and has a legal obligation to protect those resources.  A legal complaint about to be filed against Oregon alleges that the state has failed in this trust by failing to act decisively to rein in climate change.  Climate change endangers basic resources like air and water for children and their families.

The complaint is part of a multi-state, federal and international legal effort.

From Wetland to Runway to Wetland Again

When they decommissioned the Naval Air Station at Seattle’s Sand Point, they asked the local community what they wanted to do with the land.  One of the things the community wanted was their old wetlands back. 

Planning for the project began in 2001.  Now, in the Magnuson Park wetlands—reclaimed from the tarmack—tree frogs and eighteen species of dragonfly flourish, along with swallows, teals, flickers, red-tailed hawks and 70 species of plant.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oregon is the 9th Greenest State

Vermont is first, coal-burning Ohio is worst, and Oregon is ninth. 

An Earth day analysis by 24/7 Wall St., using 49 measurements from 27 different sources, tried to rate the states according to their environmental impact, activities and policies.  Oregon rated ninth overall.  According to the report,
Oregon does exceptionally well both in policy and alternative energy. In the Pew Center on Global Climate Change’s list of state energy-saving programs, Oregon has the second-most, behind only California. The state also produces the second-most hydroelectric energy, and the eighth most non-hydroelectric alternative energy, mostly from state wind farms.

Read more:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Proposed Washington State solar plant wilting under money difficulties

A $300 million solar photovoltaic plant, the Teanaway Solar Reserve, slated to be built in Central Washington is running into money troubles and may not happen. 

They have been supported by generous tax incentives from government and some guaranteed business when completed, but that doesn’t seem enough now to put them over the top. 

An attempt to get an even better deal from governments was skuppered after environmentalists objected to changing the law merely to benefit one company.

        See Future of proposed solar-power plant looks dim - Seattle Times