What I learned after riding my bike to work for three weeks By

AUTHOR Amy Graff  Thursday, May 9, 2019

After losing my parking space at work last month, I pumped up the tires on my 22-year-old Stumpjumper and made a plan to start biking to work.

I dreaded the first day when I would have to give up my comfortable commute with heated seats and NPR for a strenuous and cold ride under a blanket of San Francisco fog.

Now, I’ve got three weeks of the new commute on my wheels and I’ve learned the chill, with the wind blowing in my face as I speed down Market Street, is a refreshing way to wake up (though I still miss my news updates from “Morning Edition”).

In fact, I’ve found biking to work is actually life-changing. I’m in better shape without paying $50 an hour for a personal trainer and the added exercise and the decrease in stress from not driving has improved my mood.

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The Case for Separated Bike Lanes

Author Sarah Goodyear

The other day, Doug Gordon decided to try a little bike lane experiment. Gordon, author of the Brooklyn Spoke blog, placed red plastic Solo cups (yes, the ones you use when drinking from a keg) along the edge of a painted bike lane that is often blocked by parked livery cars and other drivers.

The conditions were hardly scientific, but these small plastic delineators, stuck to the roadway with duct tape, seemed to be pretty effective in preventing vehicles from entering the bike lane.

[W]hile using red Solo Cups may inspire a few jokes about Brooklyn hipsters and bike lane versions of beer pong, my little experiment did provide at least a modicum of evidence that very basic forms of separation can make big differences when it comes to defining road space for different users.

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The United States Needs a Universal System to Pay for Public Transit

Author David Zipper

I have a confession to make. I’m not proud of it, but my own laziness often drives my transportation decisions when I’m in a new city.

Case in point: I recently flew into Austin’s airport and needed to get downtown. I had a couple of smart cards in my wallet and a few transit apps on my iPhone, but none would get me anywhere in Austin. If I wanted to use public transit—something I generally like to do—I’d have to figure out how to buy a ticket for the local Capital Metro system. An advertisement in the airport invited me to download the Capital Metro app, but my lazy brain wasn’t having it. “Nope,” it said. “Too much of a hassle. Just grab a Lyft; the app is already on your phone.” And so I did.

The seamless convenience of private mobility services like ride hail is a wonderful thing when you travel. If you think about it, even taxis have interoperable payments across cities: you can use a single credit card (or cash) to pay any taxi. But if you want to use public transit when you’re on a trip, you’ll need to get a new app or a smart card that becomes as useless as a foreign currency when you return home.

Come to think of it, is there any product or service other than public transportation that requires you to manage a new way to pay when traveling to a different American city?

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Rail travel is cleaner than driving or flying, but will Americans buy in?

Author : Conversations

Transportation represents a large portion – about 29 percent – of U.S. emissions, and the share has been rising in recent years. Rail proponents often argue that investment in trains and public transportation is a key part of making transportation cleaner, and indeed, the Green New Deal calls for greatly expanding high-speed rail.

I’m a scholar of rail, and it’s clear to me that the quickest way to decrease greenhouse gases from transportation is to travel by train and move goods by rail instead of on the road or by air.

To explain why, it’s worth comparing rail to other modes of transportation on energy consumption and emissions, and to look at some of the developments that can make rail more widely used in the U.S. and less reliant on fossil fuels.

Energy and emissions profiles

Transportation by rail is a major part of the transportation system in most countries, including in the U.S., which has the longest freight railway system in the world with approximately 140,000 miles. Rail passenger services are essential in many areas, primarily in population centers such as New York and Chicago, and intercity rail has a significant market share in some corridors, such as the Northeast. Rail also offers long-distance routes connecting many smaller communities with each other and the large metropolitan areas in the country.

Read More: https://theconversation.com/rail-travel-is-cleaner-than-driving-or-flying-but-will-americans-buy-in-112128

Transit Raises Property Values, Lowers Poverty

Neighborhoods with transit access enjoy higher property values and lower poverty rates, according to a new study by researchers at Cleveland State University.

The study isolated neighborhoods in Cleveland that gained transit access after previously lacking it, using statistical modeling to control for other factors. The research team found that neighborhoods that gained access to transit saw property values rise by 3.5 percent and poverty rates fall by almost 13 percent after 10 years. Those neighborhoods saw overall employment climb 3.5 percent.

“RTA is fantastic investment for taxpayers,” said Obed Pasha, an assistant professor at Cleveland State and one of the studies authors. “Not only does it help lift people out of poverty, it helps revitalize neighborhoods.”

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority spends about $182 million annually in Cuyahoga County. Between commuting, rides to medical appointments, trips to school and consumer shopping trips, the study estimated the agency returns about $321 million annually in economic activity, the study estimated. That includes $23 million in annual savings for the Cleveland Municipal School District.

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