Transport - Dec 7
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I Want to Ride My Bicycle
Deric Gruen, Sightline
Bicycling is my primary way to get around town, and that’s how I like it. It liberates me from the stress of traffic congestion, saves me a ton of money, and feels great... about 90 percent of the time.
I’m not saying I haven’t had my share of flat tires or moments of misery and exhaustion. But if I’m healthy and I don’t have a major mechanical problem, I’ll probably get there on my bike.
As the days grow darker and wetter people seem to have difficulty understanding why I’m on two wheels. And lately, I’ve been getting more offers for rides.They come from well-intentioned friends, who make sincere but seductive suggestions to get me off my pedals and into their smooth leather-seated, climate-controlled automobiles.
Sometimes, I’ll bike across the city to meet a friend. But when we say adieu and they find out that I’m on a bicycle, there's a moment of awe, followed by a wave of concern spreading across their face.
“Wow, you biked here?” they'll ask, as if I'd just swum the Straight of Juan de Fuca.
Then they make the proposition: “So, do you want a ride?”
No, I’m fine thanks
“Are you sure?”
I'm sure. And honestly, it’s really not a big deal. Roughly 2 percent of all trips in this city are made on bikes and they're made by people just like you and me. While I appreciate my friends' offers, I genuinely prefer to ride my bike.
Deric Gruen, intern extraordinaire, is the newest addition to Sightline's research team. He's already hard at work on Cascadia Scorecard 2007.
(6 Dec 2006)
NSW Symposium: Future Frameworks for Regional Railways
The Relocalization Network
A 'Future Frameworks' symposium to be held in February 2007 in New South Wales, Australia, will explore the capabilities and frameworks for sustainable regional rail. ...This conference will be of interest to all who are concerned about the development of sustainable, integrated regional transport systems.
The aim of the Symposium is to explore elements of a regional rail framework,
• Emerging practices in small-medium enterprise (SME) rail
• Developing models of regional governance
• Programs that facilitate partnerships between government, communities and SMEs’
• Capability building
• Alliances in logistics
• Measures to balance road/rail transport and promote chain efficiency
For event details, see www.csu.edu.au/research/ilws/news/frameworks.htm
(9 Dec 2006)
U.S., EU Square Off on Airline Pollution
Honor Mahony, Business Week
If the EC includes aviation in pollution control regulations, Washington may put up a legal fight against what it calls trade rules violation
The EU is set to put itself on a collision course with the US later this month when it announces long-expected plans to include the aviation sector in its pollution-reducing scheme.
Washington is waiting to see if the European Commission includes the controversial idea of imposing the scheme on all flights using European airports, including American carriers, rather than just limiting the scheme to European domestic flights.
Under the plans, to be revealed by environment commissioner Stavros Dimas on 20 December, there will be a cap on CO2 emissions meaning airlines would get a certain number of pollution allowances each year.
If they use up their allowances they would be obliged to buy carbon credits from other airlines - pushing the prices up for consumers who will in effect be directly paying for the damage flying does to the environment.
An impact study carried out by the commission suggested ticket costs could rise by up to €40 for long-haul flights
(5 Dec 2006)
Related from Deutsche Welle: Germany Supports Caps on Airline Carbon Dioxide Emissions.