Drive Your Computer – Not Your Car
Modern technology has made it increasingly easier to conduct business from anywhere, yet as Christian Renaud, a Cisco executive, asks, “So why do people still hop on cross-country flights for two-hour face-to-face meetings instead of using rich collaboration technologies like video conferencing, voice over the Internet and virtual worlds?”
In spite of Albuquerque’s low-riding love affair, the city is trying to step up its public transit. It’s introduced D-RIDE, a free bus service that travels a popular circuit through the downtown area. The problem? D-RIDE covers all of six city blocks—which, by my standards, are short and totally walkable. (Planners might be wise to improve transportation throughout the city, instead of investing in a tiny and unnecessary upgrade. Then again, some free transit is better than none.) The D-RIDE also connects to the downtown transit center, where commuters can hop aboard after a ride on the new Rail Runner train.
On March 4th, thousands of cyclists gathered in support of biking at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. They threw their collective weight behind Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and his National Bike Bill, which “recogniz[es] the importance of bicycling in transportation and recreation.”
Put on Your Walking Shoes, Generate Some Power
It has become clear that we need to figure out greener, renewable sources of energy. Well, what if we could produce our own damned power? Walking’s about as carectomy-friendly as it gets. Below are some concepts in the works that will allow us to crank out some electricity while keeping healthy, happy, and pollution-free out on our strolls.
Obama Plans to Fight Sprawl, Support Peds As President
Democratic candidate Barack Obama has not only jumped aboard the pro-pedestrian and public transit bus—he's driving it. Obama’s campaign recently released a “fact sheet” that reveals his plans for "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure,” which relies largely on increasing pedestrian traffic and public transportation. As we have reported, cycling organizations are clinging to Obama as the only Democratic candidate who has explicitly encouraged bicycle transportation during the lead-up to the election.
The U.K.’s Channel 4 has begun broadcasting a television series that challenges Brits to ditch their choice mode of transport and start cycling, instead. Kris Murrin, the show’s host, is The Woman Who Stops Traffic. She crusades against traffic congestion, obesity, asthma, and pollution, and asks the English to lessen their dependence on cars.
Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has a variety of tactics up his sleeve to try to alleviate the escalating car-congestion in and around L.A. The most exciting bit of Villaraigosa’s traffic-targeting actions is his encouragement for Angelenos to “go Metro” and use the city’s mass transit system. Villaraigosa plans to lead by example; as The L.A. Times’ Emerald City column reported, the mayor committed to ride a bus, subway, or light rail-line at least once a week.
The limit to any plug-in electric or hybrid that is supplemented by grid-power is the plug. Even in the case of the hybrid that can rely on diesel firepower when the batteries run low, maximum efficiency occurs in electric mode. Rather than needing to constantly run back for a recharge, Hino, the heavy-duty vehicle subsidiary of Toyota, has developed a rather ingenious solution: wireless recharging.
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