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

Of jalopies, steam locomotives and reality T.V./movie-making

Now I know I’m not gonna win any popularity contests by my writing this or earn any awards, for that matter. But, because the Air Quality Matters blog is all about “discourse for all interested in all things air-quality related,” nothing here in this regard is off limits; nope, not even this. So, with that … 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

Outmoded transport model in need of neoteric change

Transportation: Is it all it can be? Not even. How do I know? Consider the evidence: Motor vehicle over-reliance. The consequent attributed casualties to vehicle crashes galore. Tailpipe exhausted emissions in excess and the impact of such on health and wellbeing. Also, congested and gridlocked traffic is way, way overboard. Need I say more? We’ve … Read more

Time that air-pollution awareness get its deserved due

Air pollution. Who can deny its existence? Not you, not I, no one! Air pollution, though not something you can hold or feel, it is nevertheless real. However, big-picture-wise, air pollution gets paid hardly any mind at all – barely registering a blip on the planet’s radar screen of most-pressing issues. It seems as if the … 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