Saving electricity on a Philly subway line (New York Times)
A long-standing problem: subway trains generate electricity when braking for stations. Up to now, there hasn’t been any where to store that electricity for use later. But the Philly-area transit agency SEPTA is working with a private battery manufacturer to store that power and use it later. The agency expects to save on its power bill, making transit just a little more green. Attentive readers know that taking trains results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change.
Storm brewing (The New Yorker)
Climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert takes President Obama to task for doing little lately to combat climate change — although, as she points out, he has visited the scene of several weather-related disasters this scene. By contrast, the Obama Administration has been encouraging more domestic coal and oil production as of late — perhaps, I would bet, looking toward next year’s election. On a somewhat related note, I think transit agencies should hit the “do something about climate change” angle harder in their marketing. Let people know they can still do something on their own. Also, check out this Wired story about a ‘solar tunnel’ that will power trains in Europe.
State Senate approves 3-foot passing law (LADOT Bike Blog)
The measure would require vehicles passing bikes on the left to give a minimum of three feet buffer to cyclists — which seems reasonable. Why would any motorist who is not a total moron want to give less than three feet? The vote was 27 to 9, and we’ll see what happens in the Assembly. Of course, I’m sure some motorists would say cyclists have no business riding in car traffic. I would be sympathetic to that argument but for one fact: there are many places where there is nowhere else to ride.
Rally held for Constellation subway station (Century City Patch)
Business leaders, homeowners and L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz held a rally Friday to support a station at Constellation and Avenue of the Stars for the Westside Subway Extension. The location, they say, is more in the heart of Century City than a station on Santa Monica Boulevard — and thus, in their view, would serve more potential passengers. Metro staff are in the midst of preparing the final environmental study for the project. As part of that document, they will recommend a station location for Century City. As many of you aware, Beverly Hills school officials and homeowners are advocating for a station on Santa Monica, as a Constellation station would likely require the subway tunnel to run under Beverly Hills High School. Although the tunnel would be deep underground, officials and homeowners say they have safety concerns and that the tunnels would interfere with development plans for the school.