CART Newsletter, Winter 2008

Announcements

CART Quarterly Meeting - CART chooses new name, Dr. Ted Grossardt to speak

CART will hold it's quarterly meeting on March 19th at 6pm at the Clifton Center (directions). 

We will discuss renaming CART. 

The speaker will be Dr. Ted Grossardt, of the Community Transportation Innovation Academy and the Transportation Systems Management Graduate Certificate Program at the Kentucky Transportation Center. 

This meeting is free and open to the public.

Mayor Jerry needs to hear you value Public Transportation!

To all CART members:

Your opinions about public transportation and light rail need to get on the Mayor's radar.  Please consider going to on of the Mayors' Community Conversations in your neighborhood and raise the issue with the Mayor.  Raising the issue with TARC does no good - they know already.  It's the Mayor who is the bottleneck.  The next Mayor's Community Conversation is tonight, February 18th, 6:30pm at Atherton High School, 3000 Dundee Rd.  Check this page for other times and locations.

 

Green Energy Roadshow tours Kentucky

The Kentucky Solar Partnership is presenting workshops on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building.  The roadshow is stopping in Morehead, London, Owensboro, and Covington.  Please visit kysolar.org for details.


Local News

 

Buy Electricity?  Buy Hydroelectric.

CART member David Coyte, along with his partners Dave Brown-Kinloch and Bob Fairchild, have been hard at work repairing the Mother Anne Lee hydroelectric plant on the Kentucky River.  The fruits of their labor are available through LG&E: you can buy their green power.  According to LG&E the average customer is buying 97% coal, 2% natural gas, and 1% hydroelectric.  By buying their green energy you switch that to 100% hydroelectric.  This is a concrete step you can take to reduce carbon emissions and move our country and our region towards sustainable power.

More information: eon-us Green Energy.

 

Illinois Passes Potent Complete Streets Law - Kentucky Considers Same

According to the National Complete Streets Coalition:

"In near-unanimous votes, the Illinois House and Senate have overridden a gubernatorial veto to adopt a statewide complete streets law.

"The new law requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to include safe bicycling and walking facilities in all projects in urbanized areas, and is a victory for the movement to create complete streets that serve the needs of all road users. It is effective immediately for project planning and required in construction beginning August 2008.
"

Meanwhile Sen. Katie Stine (R-Northern KY) is sponsoring SB 145 in the Kentucky legislature to bring all-modes planning and design to the bluegrass.  However, as currently written the bill has no meaningful requirements - it merely asks the transportation cabinet to consider including pedestrians and cyclists in their street designs. 

Since this is already the official "Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel Policy" of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the bill would not result in any new engineering.  CART urges the Kentucky Senate to consider a forceful complete streets policy.


World Beat

 

TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit in Bogotá, Colombia

This is a video of how Bogotá (pop 7m) turned away from an urban automobile expressway system and instead retrofitted a BRT system that is arguably first in the world.  If you've ever wanted to see what "BRT really is", this is it.

Play YouTube Video

View video at youtube.com

Oil Officials See Limit Looming on Production

Wall Street Journal - Nov 19th, 2007 - Page 1, Column A

A growing number of oil-industry chieftains are endorsing an idea long deemed fringe: The world is approaching a practical limit to the number of barrels of crude oil that can be pumped every day.

Some predict that, despite the world's fast-growing thirst for oil, producers could hit that ceiling as soon as 2012. This rough limit -- which two senior industry officials recently pegged at about 100 million barrels a day -- is well short of global demand projections over the next few decades. Current production is about 85 million barrels a day.

You can read the full article through the WSJ Paywall or here

Since oil demand traditionally grows exponentially, we're likely to see an exponential growth in oil prices or an end to economic growth.  The article also can't conceal its dislike for the people whose predictions are coming true -- you can read a good rejoinder at The Oil Drum.

Bicycle Helmets Stigmatize & Kill?

The bike helmet article on Wikipedia details the ambiguous evidence that helmets provide real crash protection. In summary, the measurement methods are not conclusive.  For example, they don't control for age of the rider.

An explosive article in the British Medical Journal then goes on to show that bicycle helmets hurt bicycle safety. They change perceptions of a safe activity into something dangerous. This is backed up by statistics, e.g. Australia had a staggering 35% drop in ridership after they adopted a mandatory helmet law. 

Combine this with the fact that bicyclists are safer in numbers. Through curve fitting, they're actually able to extrapolate the number of traffic casualties caused by fewer riders. Plus then they throw in the public health impact of people retreating into cars over bicycling. They cite the study that shows that for every 1 year lost to traffic casualties on bikes, 20 years are gained due to better air quality, fewer ped casualties, and better fitness. The conclusion is that bike helmets kill more than they save.

Louisville currently has a mandatory helmet law that only effects children in metro parks. 

On a personal note the author supports other's choice of headwear, but himself would not venture forth without a helmet.  This is partially from anecdotal evidence that helmets help, but also due to the stigma - especially in court - for not wearing a helmet.

Sweden uses Subway Body Heat to Heat Offices

When a quarter million commuters pass through a subway station, there's a lot of waste heat, so much so that it becomes an alternative energy source in its own right.  The hot air heats water which will warm a nearby office buiding.  Link.

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