Making the connection – Part 3: Public transit: At a loss without it

Transit is interesting in that it consists of both railway- and roadway-based modes – trains and buses. It’s also interesting because of a seemingly unending debate over what mode is better – buses or trains. In my view the debate is pointless because each plays an important role and serves a purpose by filling a … Read more

Making the grade – Part 1: American infrastructure report card: Rails

Unless a recluse, there is nary a single American who is not affected by infrastructure in some way. Infrastructure consists of things like bridges, dams, levees, pipelines, ports, railroads, roads, schools, transmission lines, waterways and more. And, how is American infrastructure faring? In a Mar. 19, 2013 press release, the American Society of Civil Engineers … Read more

Will California’s second-tier HSR cities reap big-city rewards sans certain big-city headaches?

At the California Progress Report, in “City, County Growth and High-Speed Rail Development a ‘Two-Way Street,’” I wanted to know if the California high-speed rail project was going to affect growth – development, land use, transportation – around stations and, if it is going to, how. I wrote: “In search of answers, I consulted the … Read more

Secondary Organic Aerosols alive and well in fossil-fuel-combusted engine exhaust

In the Nov. 15, 2012 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s “Airborne particles smuggle pollutants to far reaches of globe” news release, Mary Beckman wrote: “Floating in the air and invisible to the eye, airborne particles known as secondary organic aerosols live and die. Born from carbon-based molecules given off by trees, vegetation, and fossil fuel burning, … Read more

Fresno long on short commutes

In the blogpost “‘Mega-commuting’: taking driving to new lengths,” provided is a brief but accurate description of what a ‘mega-commuter’ is. I wrote: “The term applies to anyone who commutes 50 or more one-way miles to work from home and spends 90 or more minutes in traveling between the two. It’s ‘a new Census demographic … Read more

More carbon-emissions cutting in aviation called for

The managing of aviation’s two-percent-global-carbon-emissions contribution was the subject of a Feb. 26, 2013 International Air Transport Association (IATA) press release titled: “Aviation Needs a Global Agreement on Market-Based Measures: But Long-term Solution is Technology, Operations and Infrastructure.” As I understand things, governments have been asked by IATA to come to agreement on a global market-based-measures … Read more

CATS: Photocatalysis process helps render some toxic air contaminants harmless

Number 16 in the Clean Air Technologies Series. With the inhalation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) – smog’s two main components – there is risk of asthma attacks being triggered, delicate lung-tissue-damage being caused and bronchitis and pneumonia being contracted. Now imagine if there was a way to completely rid the … Read more

Performance enhancement – Part 3: Transit buses to the rescue?

Texas A & M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) Associate Research Scientist David Schrank, and Senior Research Engineers Bill Eisele and Tim Lomax in TTI’s 2012 Urban Mobility Report state: “Improving transportation systems is about more than just adding road lanes, transit routes, sidewalks and bike lanes. It is also about operating those systems efficiently.” Yes indeedy. … Read more

Road block – Part 2: ‘Parkways’ are for parking on or are they?

Each year, California population increases by 400,000 people. That’s a growth rate of roughly 1 percent per year. The number of people living in California currently is approximately 38 million. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board (ARB), in 2000 state population reached 34 million, state-registered motor vehicles totaled 23.4 million and … Read more