Posted in Alternative transportation, Biking, Cars, Climate Change, consumerism, Economics, Environment, EVs and hybrids, government, Passenger rail, politics, pollution, product design, Technology, Transportation, tagged alternative transportation, cars, cycling, Mass transit, non-motorized transportation, passenger rail, SUVs on May 3, 2012 |
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I am still amazed at the number of people who continue buying gas hogging SUV’s like Navigators and Tahoes. There are very few, if any, justifiable instances where these vehicles are practical, especially for family use.
To me, those who continue to purchase new ones are more than selfish, they are unpatriotic. Therefore, I think these gas hogs should pay through the snout for buying such vehicles and the money be used to help build a more eco-friendly infrastructure for passenger rail, mass transit and non-motorized transportation such as bicycles.
My proposal would be to levy a $100 surcharge on the purchase of any new fuel-inefficient SUV or car and $50 on the purchase of used ones. The money generated would remain in each state to use in conjunction with other funding sources for non-highway infrastructure projects that enhance passenger rail, mass transit, and non-motorized transportation options.
So, what do you think of this idea? Please don’t give me any libertarian BS propaganda. The moronic actions of selfish persons certainly do adversely impact the lives of selfless persons.
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Posted in Alternative transportation, Biking, Cities, civics, civility, Climate Change, Diversity, Economics, Environment, Health care, Land use, Love, Passenger rail, politics, pollution, Poverty, Transportation, tagged community, cycling, land use, NIMBY, place, transportation, walking on November 19, 2011 |
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Attended a fantastic collaborative meeting of local advocacy groups this morning. During the conversation, a positive term was coined, YIMBY or Yes In My Back Yard. Given the number of links to the term on the net, apparently this was not the first time the term has been used…which is a very positive sign.
Instead of people being so negative about progress and new ideas, how about being positive…for a change? Does not matter whether it is a new bike trail behind your subdivision, a new mixed-use development, more transit or passenger rail service, or giving a wasteful four-lane road a diet into a three-lane road, there are many good ideas that deserve fair consideration and support.
It’s time to put the greater good ahead of being so damn selfish. Save your the NIMBYism for truly bad proposals, not ideas that can improve community health, increase exercise and fitness, reduce obesity, lower our carbon footprint, improve bike-ability and walkability, increase diversity, grow the economy, and enhance our sense of community pride. Be a YIMBY…being positive never felt so good.
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Posted in Alternative transportation, Cars, Climate Change, deregulation, Economy, Environment, government, Passenger rail, Transportation, Travel, U.K., tagged passenger rail, transportation on November 17, 2011 |
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How dare Congress consider eliminating high-speed rail. A “modern” nation (I’m beginning to questions whether we qualify for that status anymore) must support all forms of transportation, especially rail which is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly form for trips under 1,000 miles.
I smell money-grubbing privatization advocates here. Guess what folks, it don’t work! The United Kingdom has experimented with privatized passenger rail for years and found it does not save money.
Please call, write, email, text, Twitter, or Facebook your representatives in Congress and tell them you support high-speed passenger rail and that you are against cutting its funding. You might also indicate that you would rather them cut subsides to oil companies or to highway construction.
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Posted in Alternative transportation, Economics, Economy, Europe, Passenger rail, Transportation, Travel, tagged AMTRAK, passenger rail, rail, USA on November 6, 2011 |
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Posted in Alternative transportation, Economics, Environment, Passenger rail, States, Transportation, Travel, tagged AMTRAK, Chicago, Indy, passenger rail, transportation, travel, USA on October 4, 2011 |
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I had the sincere pleasure of riding AMTRAK for the second time this year over the past weekend. This time it was from Indianapolis to Chicago on the “Cardinal” and then from Chicago to East Lansing on the “Bluewater.”
Dawn near Lafayette, Indiana
Both legs of the train trip arrived within 10 minute of their scheduled time and were very restful and enjoyable – fell asleep at one point during both legs (never did see Crawfordsville, Indiana). Saturday’s sunrise over West Central Indiana near Lafayette was (see photo above) spectacular. The five-hour layover in Chicago allowed me to spend a glorious autumn day walking about the heart of the Windy City. The sunset with a harvest moon reigning over Michigan was equally spectacular to the sunrise earlier that day. Factor in the $46 price for the total trip and you would be hard pressed to find a better travel deal anywhere on the planet.
One of the best parts of the trip were my fellow rail passengers and the friendly people who work for AMTRAK. The woman seated next to me between Indianapolis and Chicago was en-route to Quincy, Illinois from her home in Huntington, West Virginia to see her ailing sister. The heartfelt conversation taking place in the seats behind me about America’s declining position in the world and the unjust disparity between rich and poor in our nation would have made for a great internet discussion topic.
During the second leg of my journey, happiness was abounding throughout my train car as we all learned that Michigan State had defeated Ohio State 10-7. My apologies to the automakers, but that kind of community celebration does not happen in one’s passenger car.
Folks in both Illinois and Michigan should also be commended for the well-maintained stations and the smooth condition of their tracks. Lafayette, Indiana’s historic station was also well maintained. The tracks between Rensselaer and Dyer, Indiana could use some upgrading to increase train speed and reduce travel time. In addition, Indianapolis should act soon to modernize its facilities at Union Station. It is ridiculous that there are no escalators available to provide access the tracks above the waiting area. Instead, you must lug your luggage (wonder if that’s were they got the word lug from?) up several flight of stairs or compete for the use of one elevator. For my hometown to have progressed so far, in so many ways over the past few decades, and still have antiquated passenger rail facilities was quite a disappointment and surprise.
It is my strong recommendation to anyone traveling in the United States to serious consider taking AMTRAK – the great service, great people, great prices, and great fun are all part of the package. Isn’t the journey supposed to be half the fun of the adventure anyway?
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