The Culture of the Automobile and its Effect on Our Lives
What: An SDOT-sponsored talk by Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez, authors of the recently released Carjacked. Here’s a synopsis of the book:
Carjacked is an in-depth look at our obsession with cars. While the automobile’s contribution to global warming and the effects of volatile gas prices is widely known, the problems we face every day because of our cars are much more widespread and yet much less known — from the surprising $14,000 that the average family pays each year for the vehicles it owns, to the increase in rates of obesity and asthma to which cars contribute, to the 40,000 deaths and 2.5 million crash injuries each and every year.
Carjacked details the complex impact of the automobile on modern society and shows us how to develop a healthier, cheaper, and greener relationship with cars.
When: Friday, August 6th, 3 PM – 4:30 PM
Where: Bertha Knight Landes Room, City Hall: 600 5th Avenue
How much: Free!
I’m embarrassed to admit (especially given the reviews) that I’ve had this book on my nightstand for several months, and I’ve only managed to read the first few pages. (I received a publicity copy shortly after Busling was born, and it got lost in the new-baby shuffle.) It is my intention to read at least a few chapters before attending the talk. I’ll share my thoughts here after I finish it.
Off the Chainring Tour, Seattle Edition
What: A traveling bikestravaganza! Join Elly Blue and Joe Biel for an “evening of bike talk, bike zines, and short movies about transportation activism! We’ll share ideas and inspiration about bike stuff in Portland, in your town, and in other places. Our focus is on bikes but also the big picture: buses, trains, walking, freeways, cars, housing, affordability, what works and what doesn’t.”
When: Saturday, August 14th, 7 PM – 9 PM
Where: Ada’s Technical Books: 713 Broadway East
How much: $3 – $10, based on ability to pay
More good stuff from the alt transpo capital of the universe. If Nerd and I can sucker my dad and/or one of my brothers into babysitting, we’re there.
UPDATE, 8/4: Metro Employee Historic Vehicle Association (MEHVA) Snoqualmie tour
What: “A leisurely 4-hour scenic trip [on an old-school bus!] to the historic and charming small town of Snoqualmie where you can ride the train from the restored depot built in 1890, visit the scenic spectacular Snoqualmie Falls or have a picnic lunch.”
When: Sunday, August 15th, 11 AM
Where: Tour departs from 2nd Ave S. & S. Main
How much: $5 (Free for kids 5 and under)
We’ve got a lot going on in the next couple of weeks (more on that later), but I’d really like to make it to this. A train ride and the falls? Chicklet would be beside herself.
August Regional Transit Task Force meetings
What: The RTTF is a group of citizens and elected officials appointed by the County Executive and charged with “identify[ing] short-term and long-term objectives for transit service investment. [The task force] will formulate a service implementation policy based on those objectives” by September 2010.”
In other words, Metro is facing huge cuts, and the County is looking for input about the most fair, least disruptive way to make those cuts. They’re also looking for help developing strong implementation policies for future (fingers crossed) service additions.
When: Thursday, August 5th & Thursday, August 19th, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: Mercer Island Community Center: 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island (You can take the 550.)
How much: Free (unless you count your tax dollars)
I didn’t mention this task force when it was formed earlier this year, mostly because I’m a member (as one of three rider representatives), and I try to keep my community involvement separate from this blog. In this case I’m making an exception, because the recommendations of the group (if they’re adopted by the council) are going to affect bus riders in every corner of the county.
The task force meets twice a month (schedule here), and there is time for public comment at the end of every meeting. If you can’t attend, you can find meeting materials and notes on the RTTF website.
Rainier Valley Summer Streets
What: Rainier Valley’s version of the city’s Summer Streets series.
Come out and watch the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade then stay and play in the streets afterwards. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and lasts about an hour. After that, the streets open up for people to enjoy. Dine at local restaurants, make art, find out about urban gardening and learn how to fix your bike. Seattle Children’s is sponsoring a kid’s obstacle course and there will be skateboard demos with free helmet give-aways. There will also be cultural activities like learning how to write calligraphy and making star lanterns.
When: Saturday, August 21st, 11 AM – 3 PM
Where: Rainier Ave South, between South Brandon and South Alaska
How much: Free!
So going to this. Again.