Tag Archives: Cool stuff

Speaking of funk…

A reader from Milwaukee sent me this interactive “smell map” of the NYC subway system. Eww.

She also sent this comment:

What someone should do is have a map where it lists at this stop you have to get the oatmeal cookies from this bakery, from the next stop there’s a place that makes the best doggie biscuits, another stop has a place that’s infamous for its half-priced Monday night sushi… or something of the like. Now that would be grand!

In fact, there is such a map. There’s even one (perhaps in need of …

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And while you’re at it…

Sign up for Slate’s Green Challenge.

Much of the discussion around climate change involves national and international policy–should the United States sign the Kyoto Treaty or increase auto efficiency standards? But even without major political or legislative changes, there’s a lot that concerned individuals can do to make the problem better. To that end, we’ve created the Slate Green Challenge–a straightforward program to evaluate and reduce your carbon emissions between now and the end of the year.

First, you’ll take a quiz to assess your annual emissions. Next, Slate and treehugger.com will put you …

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Ever been passed up at a freeway stop?

It appears a remedy has arrived.

I saw this at the westbound Montlake Freeway Station a couple of hours ago:

Picture

I’m hoping it’s one of many. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

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Speaking of all-time favorites…

My all-time favorite bus wrap:

'Donate your car' bus wrap
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Speaking of Morocco…

The Car-Free Cities site has an interesting study of the medina (pronounced medeena, and not to be confused with the wealthy suburb just east of us) in Fes.

Fes medina entranceMarket in Fes medina

Most Moroccan cities have medinas (old sections that predate European influence). I lived in one in Rabat (in the Oudaïa Kasbah) for most of the time I was in Morocco. Medinas are car-free because the streets are far too narrow to accommodate vehicles. They’re …

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“Slugging” goes high tech

Wikipedia defines slugging as, “a form of commuting that…combines a variation of ‘ride-share’ commuting and hitchhiking.” Essentially, folks who need rides stand at designated locations (near bus stops, for example), and folks who need riders (for the HOV lanes) pick them up. Personally, I’d prefer to ride with strangers in a government-sanctioned context, but if it works for other folks…

Slugging is very popular in cities like Washington, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. It happens occasionally in the Seattle area (it’s been happening at Overlake Transit Center for years), but it’s certainly not an established or common practice.

Yet.

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A sustainable Sunday

Sustainable Ballard FestivalThis afternoon, I headed over to Ballard (short walk+3+18) for the third annual Sustainable Ballard Festival. Sustainable Ballard is a nonprofit organization that has gained national attention for working to make Ballard the first carbon-neutral community in the nation.

Today was my first time attending the festival. I gave a short talk at the transportation tent and then spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the booths and learning from the other presenters.

Urban dsign booth

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Wednesday sighting

Busnerd saw this fancy, digital sign on the 48 today:

New 'stop requested' sign

Apparently, it shows the date and time until someone rings the bell to get off, at which point it alternates between the regular “stop requested” text and the date and time. Nice.

I’m hoping these signs will one day be capable of displaying other useful information: the bus’s status (whether or not it’s on schedule, for example) and the status of common transfer routes. And hey, for extra revenue, Metro could sell messages (birthday wishes, marriage …

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Wireless is working!

After a several-month hiatus, I’m back on the 545–apparently, on one of the coaches with free wireless. Today, it’s working fine. If I have to commute to the Eastside, this ain’t a bad way to do it.

And now, back to my book

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Old school meets new school

Buses may be old-school technology (rapid transit now, please!), but at least the folks running our bus system are embracing the future. King County Metro has won several national awards for its Web site, and it ain’t hard to figure out why. The site has a bunch of cool tools, including a video about how to ride the bus (seriously) and a trip planner. The latest is a real-time bus viewer called Tracker. Tracker lets you locate any route, anywhere in the city. This is useful if you’re (for example) leaving work and want to know …

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