Trains and bicycles: A winning combination. Bicycles and trains: The epitome of modern-day transportation

The two oldest modes of mechanized land transportation are also two of the best – still – even after all these years. Not surprisingly, it is the train and bicycle we are talking about here. The latter, about 180 years1 in the making and the former, 20 years the bicycle’s senior; about a generation difference.2 … Read more

North Bay Area passenger rail is back, BIG time – 2

The wait has been long but a wait well worth it. The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District, or SMART for short, has announced that beginning on Aug. 25, 2017 SMART passenger train service will commence, stating that it has been granted the all-clear from the Federal Railroad Administration in regards to rail passenger service being … Read more

High-speed trains + autonomous electric vehicles or HSTs and no AEVs: What will it be?

High-speed trains have been part of the landscape, a fixture, if you will, since 1934, with Pennsylvania Railroad’s (PRR) model GG1 electric locomotive whose top speed was 100 miles per hour and for a non-electric, Union Pacific’s M-10001 diesel-electric trainset, its maximum velocity, a reputed 120 mph. Certainly not to be overlooked were the many … Read more

New L.A. freeway-adjacent homes getting air filtration as way to reduce indoor particles

Picture what it’s like living next to or very near a busy expressway, freeway, highway, motorway or turnpike for your entire life or if not that, then a goodly proportion of it. I would assume some of you reading this can directly relate. The sound of trucks barreling past all hours of the day and … Read more

eMission control: Technology, science, policy crux of the matter

The effective reduction of air pollution will hinge on three factors: technology, science and policy. Not surprising since it is through technological innovation, scientific discovery and policymaking, mainly, that pollution in our air is present. It’s not rocket science, you know. So, let’s take rocket development, since I brought rockets up, for example. And, in … Read more

Proposed New York-to-D.C. vac-rail tunnel: ‘Down-to-earth’ or ‘pie in the sky’?

Have you heard? Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, has this idea about boring a tunnel on the eastern seaboard between the Big Apple and D.C. Its purpose? Transporting people between the two cities and in 29 minutes, no less. Proposed too are stops in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland, based on what I understand … Read more

Why an emissions-cutting ‘one-size-fits-all’ tack won’t work; how a diversified corrective course-of-action plan can

There are two primary reasons for emissions reduction: through means coming from without such as through regulation and enforcement or employing a market-based mechanism like cap-and-trade; and due to voluntary (internally motivated) action. I have arrived at the conclusion that there is no one best approach to emissions mitigation. Adopting a multi-lateral strategy to fix … Read more

‘Cities100’ resource: Treasure trove of econ.-, environ.-, health- co-benefit info.

There are resources and then there are resources – such that prompt sitting up and taking note. “Cities100: 100 solutions for climate action in cities,” a Sustainia, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Realdania collaboration, now this is a resource! “Cities100” is a document that, in very clear terms and concise and structured form, provides … Read more

The thing about Valley smog, the ‘muck’ stops here

Oppressive is how San Joaquin Valley, California summertime heat can be. Temps of 104, 105, 106, 107 and higher aren’t uncommon. Heat as high as that becomes more than a bit uncomfortable and gets old rather fast the longer those triple-digit temperatures hang around. When that happens, talk about such in these here parts seems … Read more

World transport emissions on the rise; putting the trend in reverse

A growing population means increased mobility; no ifs, ands or buts about it. It’s a given. Mobility – or more precisely, locomotion – is nothing more than place-to-place moving. And, mobility, at its most fundamental level, is no more complicated than putting one foot in front of the other. But there is more to mobility … Read more