In this guest post, So Cal resident Duran Valdez crunches the numbers on his bike commute and finds that he has saved almost $1,000 this year. He didn’t even have to ditch his car to achieve those savings; they came solely from reducing how much he drove, and therefore the amount he paid in gas, repairs and vehicle depreciation.
To top it off, he’s lost 10 pounds this year from all the exercise. Valdez wonders towards the end of his post why more Americans don’t make biking part of their daily travel routine. My short answer: Most American city streets are designed to accommodate only cars traveling at high speeds, and bike infrastructure is often scarce, making bicycling an intimidating proposition for many individuals.
Senate introduces fix-it-first bill to save crumbling U.S. roads (Infrastructurist)
Transportation reformers have long complained that the Federal Government has been too eager to pay for new highways and roads, without setting aside funds to help local governments with their upkeep. The result is that our highways are in a rather sad state. The American Society of Civil Engineers — who admittedly have a stake in better funded repair work — gave American roads a D- in their latest report card.
But that could all change: Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced a “fix-it-first” bill, which would establish standards for road quality and hold state governments accountable to meeting them. It turns out to be a very cost effective approach, too. Delaying maintenance until a road is in really bad shape can lead to more expensive repairs than paying much smaller sums on upkeep, more frequently.
Transit agency weighs a digital upgrade for aging subway cars (New York Times)
The upside of having a century old subway system like New York’s is that it has had time to expand its reach over the years. The downside? Old school technology like hand-cranked display signs on some of the “vintage” subway cars. However, the New York MTA is determining the feasibility of making tech upgrades to some 1,700 cars. One such improvement would be automated recorded station announcements — like Metro Rail has — to replace announcements by train operators. Though some lament the loss of that human touch, one NYC transit advocate points out that he’s never heard a recording make a mistake.