In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: September 2007
This month’s Golden Transfer goes to Sustainable Ballard, a four-year old organization that promotes sustainable practices within its community, with the goal of making Ballard the “first US town [not to nitpick, but I thought it was a neighborhood] to become energy independent.”
As I mentioned in Friday’s post, this weekend SB hosted its annual sustainability festival in Ballard Commons Park. This year, they added something new: a fun, clever (and, I’m hoping, effective) program to get Ballardites (Ballardians?) out of their cars: Undriving …
Sustainable Ballard’s annual festival is happening this weekend at Ballard Commons Park (17, 18, 44). It’s all about celebrating sustainability and educating folks about how to “live more lightly on the earth.” Last year, I gave a short talk at the festival’s transportation tent about my experience living without a car. This year, SB’s making car-free advocacy a major focus of the festival, with “Undriving Ballard: A place for people to explore alternatives to car travel, and get inspired to make an Undriving Pledge.”
I’m going to be there, sharing some of my knowledge …
1) On September 21st, city residents across the country returned parking spaces to the people. From parkingday.org:
Conceived by REBAR, a San Francisco-based art collective, PARK(ing) Day is a one-day, global event centered in San Francisco where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks.
StreetFilms posted a couple of videos:
2) Sprawl counteracts fuel efficiency gains. From the Detroit Free Press:
An expected 59% increase in the number of miles Americans drive between 2005 and 2030 will outpace …
Yesterday, I hit up the tunnel reopening celebration at Westlake Park.
The first person I ran into was Josh, an old acquaintance from my college days who now works for the city. He was there representing the S.L.U.T.
Which reminds me: We haven’t had a discussion about this controversial transportation project yet. I’d be happy to entertain opinions now, if anyone’s interested. But I digress.
Next, I ran into my favorite transit planner, Jack, who was, per usual, ready with answers to all my “which route will …
Two middle-aged men, who are apparently acquaintances, are making conversation in the back of the bus. One of them takes a drink from a bottle of pop.
Middle-aged man #1: This tastes just like that orange ice cream we used to have back in the day–you know, with the cream in the middle? [Pause] “Want some?”
MAM #2: “No thanks, man.”
MAM #1: “Come on–have a taste! I don’t have any germs. Got a little cancer, but no germs.”
A third man, 10-15 years younger, gets on and joins the conversation. As the bus passes the new city hall, he …
A group of teenage boys in the back of the bus is discussing the Kanye-50 sales battle. Eventually the talk turns to battles at bit closer to home.
Teenage boy 1, to the rest of the group: “If you mess up my t-shirt or step on my shoes, that’s like pushing me in front of my girl: real disrespectful.”
Real Change editor Adam Hyla has an interesting article about the bus tunnel in this week’s issue. Apparently, some drivers are concerned that the light-rail-focused engineering adjustments are not ideal for buses.
The problems can be summed up by a measurement: 14 inches, the height from the light rail tracks embedded in the road to each station’s platform. That height makes for a nearly even transition between the floor of the trains (which don’t arrive until 2009) and the station platform.
But Metro’s diesel-electric hybrid buses ride lower than the trains. So, to make bus floors approximately the same …
Due to anticipated record ridership and higher than expected revenues, King County Metro Transit will extend service on the Water Taxi through the month of October. The extended service will be offered on weekdays only and serve commuters traveling between West Seattle’s Seacrest Dock and Pier 55 along the downtown Seattle waterfront. The Water Taxi had been scheduled to wrap up its 10th sailing season on Sept. 30.
“The value of the Elliott Bay Water Taxi was particularly evident during the …
Talk about a good reason for a bus wrap:
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Frida’s birth Mexico City converted some of their city buses into “Fridabúses” — moving shrines honoring the painter.
Frida just so happens to be one of my non-bus-related obsessions. (Be thankful you’ve been shielded from it for so long. My friends and family members haven’t been as fortunate.)
What I wouldn’t give to ride on one of those…
I’ve already mentioned two of the transit-related happenings that are scheduled for the 24th: the reopening of the downtown bus tunnel and the first day of operations for Microsoft’s Connector bus service. Now, we have another cool development to look forward to: new trains!
Today Sound Transit announced expanded Sounder commuter rail service starting September 24th that includes two new weekday round trips on the south corridor and one on the north corridor. The new south corridor trains include the introduction of a new “reverse commute” train that will run from Seattle to Tacoma in the morning …