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Use getting around to achieve your 2012 resolutions
It's January 5th and hopefully most of us have not given up on our 2012 resolutions yet.
Your transportation choices can be an excellent way to achieve your New Years Resolutions. Let's look at some of the most popular New Years Resolutions and see how transportation can provide a roadmap to success:
*Improve Health (get fit/lose weight, stop smoking and quit drinking): Your commute choice probably won't help you quit drinking or smoking, but it can definitely help you lose weight. In fact, an article the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that men who drove less lived longer.
If you want to lose weight or become more active, you can go to the gym, but between 37% and 80% of Americans quickly stop going. Instead of creating something else you need to do during the day, why not just change something - going to work - that you're already doing?
A study published in the American Journal of American Medicine found that those in Charlotte who began riding light rail lost weight. And if you really want a cardio workout, try biking to work (contact us for a free bike route plan).
*Get out of debt/save money: The average American drives 13,476 miles a year. According to the American Automobile Association's 2010 Your Driving Costs report, that translates to $13,058 a year. You could save over $12,000 by switching to TriMet (TriMet's All Zone Annual Pass costs $1012), not to mention the money you'd pocket by selling your car. Portland has Zipcar and Getaround for hourly rentals when you really need it. Not ready to give up your car? No problem. At over $3.75 a gallon, every drive-alone car trip you switch is cash in your pocket.
*Enjoy Life: Most of us do not find being stuck in traffic to be a life affirming experience. What if your commute involved reading a book, walking through your neigborhood or catching up with a neighbor? Transit and walking offer you that choice. You never know, you might even find love.
*More time with family: Walking, biking and riding transit with your loved ones is a great way to spend quality time together. Try shopping and going out to neighborhood spots that don't require a car trip. Watch this video for a little inspiration.
Current Score: Pdx 73, NYC 1
Portland may not have invented on-street bike parking, but I'm pretty sure we coined its name: bike corral. Simply put, bike corrals are groups of bike racks installed on the street instead of the sidewalk. While they come in all different sizes and styles, they've really caught on in Portland - we have 73 locations in the city (and Vancouver's got one too!)
Can bike corrals stop this
Now New York is getting into the on-street bike parking game (Brooklyn, aka "Big Portland," to be exact.)
Streetsblog.org posted a video story today about the new Brooklyn corral, explaining that the city's transportation department not only wanted to increase bike parking but wanted to improve visibility to tackle a crash-plagued intersection.
According to the article, the city thought about several different solutions to the problem but settled on the bike corral because it dramatically increased visibility for road users. It probably didn't hurt that bike corrals are very inexpensive compared to other transportation infrastructure projects.
If you want to learn more about Portland's 73 and growing bike corrals, visit the website.
A little extra scratch can get you a lot of bikeway miles
One of the most successful City programs for cost-effectively adding miles to the bikeway network is called “Missing Links.” The program, funded at a modest $50,000 per year has opportunistically and efficiently developed city bikeways in conjunction with other projects, particularly working with regularly scheduled pavement overlays. Between 2000 and 2007 the Missing Links program built 41 miles of city bikeways and added countless improvements to the bikeway network.
Just this week, PBOT engineer's are putting the finishing touches on a Missing Links project at 41st and SE Division. The intersection is part of the 40's bikeway, which includes bike lanes, Neighborhood Greenway treatments, and even a bridge and stretches from the southern boundary of the city all the way up to the Hollywood District. The 40's was one of the city's early attempts to use neighborhood streets near a major arterial (Cesar E Chavez Blvd) to give people bicycling a more comfortable alternative to the major traffic street.
41st and Division is one of those quirky intersections in Portland that doesn't line up. That's not usually a big deal on a Neighborhood Greenway, but because Division has so many cars the intersection jog makes it difficult to cross.
That's where Missing Links stepped in. Working with the City's Bicycle Coordinator, Missing Links was able to pay for the engineer and street treatments that were just installed. The improvements shave more than 10 feet off the distance a person bicycling will need to travel to cross the two traffic lanes and increases visibility for people biking and driving.
This intersection is just one of several projects Missing Links is working on. Many of them aren't quite as glamorous, such as a project to mark about 20 traffic signal loop detectors with guide stencils to help people biking activate a signal phase (for more on that, check out BikePortland's article).
What's your missing link? What crossing do you find difficult? Where could a little bit more of a bike lane make a big difference? Leave a comment or head over to our Facebook page and join the conversation.
41st and SE Division before
Intersection after improvements
(click to see larger image)
And here are some more shots of the new intersection design:
The BEST Awards recognize companies that exemplify ambitious and creative solutions for sustainability
Applications will be accepted until February 10, 2012 at 5 p.m.
The BEST Awards recognize companies that exemplify ambitious and creative solutions for sustainability while promoting social, economic and environmental equity for thePortlandcommunity.
The BEST Awards accept applications in three separate categories:
Applicants respond to a series of questions using narrative and data to describe their achievements. A jury of regional experts will select up to ten businesses or organizations to be announced as BEST Award winners at the evening celebration, which will take place April 25 at the Nines in downtownPortland. Ticket sales and event details will be available in February.
Companies within the Portland Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) are eligible to apply. The
PMSA includes these seven counties: Clackamas,Columbia,Multnomah,Washingtonand Yamhill counties inOregonand Clark and Skamania counties inWashington.
BEST Awards are presented by Sustainability at Work, a program of the City ofPortland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon, Metro, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Water Bureau and the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Please visit http://sustainabilityatworkpdx.com/recognition/best-awards/ to find out more and enter your business in this prestigious competition.
In his 1990 classic "U Can't Touch This," MC Hammer told his millions of listeners to "Stop - Hammer Time." And while that makes no sense it reminded me of riding the bus.
Because when you get to your stop and it's time to transfer things can get a little, well, funky - especially if you're not sure about the rules. Luckily the rules are pretty straightforward and TriMet has a webpage describing them.
Here's the quick version: Look at the time printed at the top of your MAX ticket or bus receipt - that's how long your fare is valid for. Generally, you get two hours to transfer which should be plenty of time unless you have a Doctor Jeff-like commute. Make sure you keep your bus receipt or validated MAX ticket to show when you board your next bus or train.
That covers most transfers, but if you are going between C-Tran and TriMet it gets a little tricky (funky?). The image below is from TriMet's website. It lays out how fares work between the two transit agencies.