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Posts tagged "transportation"

I filmed this chaotic scene in Hanoi, Vietnam recently. Watch the guy in the tank top (far right) cross through without a hitch.

Driving in Japan.

Asker majam Asks:
What are your thoughts on this project? solar-roadways on IndieGoGo site? (no links allowed...) I find it quite inspiring!
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hi Majam,

Nice to hear from you again. I’ve seen the Solar Roadways project on several enviro-sites and it seems the media is eating it up. They even picked up an endorsement from Republican Senator Mike Crappo (R-ID), which I found most surprising:

Keep in mind, Solar Roadways started in 2009 with a $100k grant from the Dept. of Energy. Solar Roadways already had their day in the media spotlight back in 2010. The now-closed blog Infrastructurist panned the idea as "dubious" and "batshit crazy" based on a few thumbnail calculations using basic transportation engineering standards required to build roads. 

Solar roads are and enviro-media darling, that’s for sure. My take is that there might be a few test roads built, but overall the idea is impossible at this point. It would cost tens of trillions of dollars to build at tax-payer expense. Dozens of policies, thousands of laws, and countless transportation and engineering standards would have to be rewritten (and pass congress). All 50 states would have to voluntarily change their transportation regulations. Not to mention the public objections, lobbyists, and litigation that would add decades of delays.

For those inspired by new technologies like solar roads, you have to answer the basic policy questions: What are the procedures to change transportation laws? How would you get congressional support? What does it take to change one rule (never mind hundreds of rules for solar roads) at your state’s DOT? Inspiration often times has to respond to, and outlast, very serious objections…



Highway to the Arctic Ocean, built on melting permafrost, slices through dozens of streams, ponds, and lakes. Why? In anticipation of the Arctic north thawing from climate change giving the Canadian government an edge on extracting natural resources.

Expose’ of this new highway boondoggle at The Globe and Mail.

This overpass helps bears cross a highway in Canada.

Bear hair study in Banff proves animal highway crossings work

For three years, researchers from Montana State University spent their summers collecting bear hair. The samples, collected on both sides of the 50 mile stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway that cuts through Banff National Park, prove what the researchers had suspected: wildlife underpasses and bridges were helping enough bears move back and forth across the highway to keep the populations healthy.

The Trans-Canada Highway stretches nearly 5,000 miles acrowss the country, rolling through each of the nation’s 10 provinces and connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The 100 miles that pass through Banff National Park is a blip in the entire stretch of highway, but a potentially deadly obstacle for the wildlife that live in the park. Demand for a bigger, faster road system prompted a widening of the highway in the 1990s. During construction, engineers lined the highway with fencing and built underpasses and bridges for animals to cross, with the theory they would reduce collisions and provide animals safe passage. However, the decision was controversial as there was little data to backup the hunch.

High Country News

What happens when the power goes out in a big city? 19 photos of the Northeastern Blackout 2003.

Traffic deaths: cities vs boonies. Guess which infrastructure design kills more people?

Via Planetizen

The system delivers your online purchases to the rail stations and buses that you’ve used in the last 21 days.

If you have not used Metro or regional transit in that time frame, you will need to touch your card to a SmarTrip® target at a faregate, fare vending machine or bus farebox to let the system know where to deliver your products. You must then wait one business day if you touched a target at a faregate or fare vending machine or two business days if you touched a target at a bus farebox.

If you try to pick up your product at a rail station or bus, and it’s not available for you yet, please try again at the same rail station or the same bus line the next business day.

The system can store up to four product load instructions at a time for a single smart card. After those four products have been loaded to your card, the next group of up to four product load instructions will be issued and will be available to load to your smart card.

In other words, if your “SmarTrip” Metro Card doesn’t work after adding money to it, “Meh, just go away and come back tomorrow. Might work. Might not.” 

This really is an answer in Washington, DC’s Metro FAQs section. My Metro Card is connected to an account online. I added money to the card thinking - silly me - that I could use the Metro Card at the metro station. Nyyyyyyyope!

I can only use the card at stations I previously traveled through - maybe possibly thank you come again. Makes absolutely no sense. Worst metro system on planet Earth




A revolutionary new traffic system without traffic lights

Double traffic circle.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits the Federal Government. Recent analysis concluded that Obama (well, actually “the Federal Government”) should aggressively fund infrastructure projects, including electricity grids, water supplies, and transportation networks.

The aim is to make the nation’s infrastructure more resilient to climate change (e.g., stronger and tougher), thus saving nation’s taxpayers billions in emergency spending.  

The scariest airport on earth serves Mount Everest in Nepal. Click through for more

Politicians uninterested in helping fix the situation, leaving repairs to emergency funds. And endangering the public…

NPR’S Scott Simon introduces the topic (on the audio version) with this somber revelation: “[C]hances are 1 in 9 that a bridge you drive over has been deemed structurally deficient, or basically in bad shape, by the federal government.” Worse yet, “there is no consensus on how to tackle the problem or pay for proposed solutions”.

In the aftermath of the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge, NPR’s Brian Naylor interviews Barry LePatner, a New York real estate and construction lawyer and author of Too Big to Fall: America’s Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forwardthat analyzed the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, Minn. in August, 2007.