“Watch-Out” Roundabouts: More Efficient Than Stop Lights

The safety and efficiency of roundabouts has been hotly contested in countries that have been wary to embrace them, such as the United States. People have argued that roundabouts are more confusing than signal lights, and consequently lead to more frequent accidents. While it is true that roundabouts can be confusing for first-time users, officials argue that once people have …

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Efficient Planes Good For Business; Gas Guzzlers Get Left Behind

The airline industry is one of the nation’s biggest consumers of fuel – no surprise there – but new aircraft technology has dramatically improved planes’ fuel efficiency.  Besides drastically cutting carbon emissions, more efficient jetliners have proven critical for airlines’ financial bottom lines, and companies clinging to outdated technology are paying the price, as evidenced by this week’s American Airlines …

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Top U.S. Cities For Winter Bicycle Commuting

For bicycle commuters, continuing to pedal through the winter months can be a daunting task, especially if one lives in a northern city. Often the decision for winter bicycle commuting comes down to perspective: Is cycling a sport or a viable form of transportation that offers a multitude of advantages such as saving money and improving the health of the …

Electric Vehicles – Looking Back, Looking Forward At The Smithsonian

Bet you didn’t know that an electric car was the nation’s best-selling vehicle back in ’04.  1904, that is.  If you think the late 1990’s were the dawn of this technology, think again – electric vehicles have been around for over a century.  A new display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, part of their “America On The Move” …

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Gas-Free Commuting: Efficient And Amazingly Economical

Automobiles are a major source of pollution (no surprise there).  Cars also play a big role in our reliance on petroleum, which has its own environmental and socio-political baggage.  So reducing your time behind the wheel may be the socially responsible thing to do, but it literally has a more direct payoff too – namely, saving you a stunning amount …

Catalina Island: 14-Year Car Waiting List

Catalina Island is the only place in California where the number and size of road-going motor vehicles is regulated by law. For residents of the island who want to bring a personal car, this means signing up at the bottom of a 14-year waiting list. Tourists are not permitted to ferry a vehicle from the mainland, even for temporary use. …

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The Largest Car-Free Place In U.S.: Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island lies between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan within the Straights of Mackinac, a strip of water separating the peninsulas as well as connecting the Great Lakes of Huron and Michigan. This 3.8-square mile island is part of the state of Michigan and has evolved from a strategic commercial and military center into a modern resort with …

New Yorkers Asked To Suggest Bike Sharing Locations

A 600-station bike sharing system is slated to debut during the summer of 2012 in New York City. The network of 10,000 bicycles is being set up in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and future expansion into Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx is possible. New York City Bike Share is privately sponsored and operated. The NYC Department of Transportation regulates site …

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The Longest Car-Free Bicycle Routes In The Northeast

Car-free bicycle routes in the Northeast can be found on rail trails and local town greenways. With 392 open trails encompassing 3,233 miles, the Northeast region can rival the rail trails of the Midwest, where the rail trail movement began. With heavily traveled and traffic-congested roads, cyclists and other transportation advocates embrace the development of bicycle routes in this area.

Go Car-Free in DC and Save More Than $10,000 A Year

A recently-published study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) ranks the top 20 cities where going car-free will save the most money. Number 14 on the list is Washington, DC, which has nearly 200,000 car-less households already. The APTA’s report claims that the average DC resident would save $10,282 per year in transportation-related costs by giving up his or …

Dutch Electric Bike Sales Outstripping City Bikes

Electric bicycle sales are on the rise worldwide, and nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the Netherlands, where revenue from e-bike sales recently surpassed revenue from city bike sales. The Netherlands was the first nation to enact an official national bicycle policy, and the country has thousands of miles of bicycle paths and lanes. Bicycle parking is plentiful …

Bike Helmet Laws Discourage Bike Sharing

Bike sharing programs are sprouting up in cities across the globe. From Dublin to Minneapolis, Barcelona to Tulsa, and Washington D.C. to Hangzhou, China bike sharing has become a viable transportation alternative. After seeing the success of other U.S. cities, New York City is set to have a bike sharing up and running in April of 2012. However, one place …

Astrophysicist’s Technique Could Cut Plane Boarding Time In Half

Fermilab scientist Jason Steffen recently presented a creative and simple solution to a problem that affects hundreds of millions of people per year: inefficient airplane boarding procedures. Typically, airlines board in several zones, from back to front, one zone at a time. Though it may appear logical, this method is full of disorganization. Passengers in a given zone are all …

Longest Urban Bicycle Route In U.S. Sees Record Growth

The East Coast Greenway is an urban network of trails stretching 3,000 miles from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine on the Canadian border. Founded in 1991 by a group of trail advocates, the East Coast Greenway (ECG) began as a vision to provide cyclists and pedestrians with a safe and continuous, traffic-free route connecting 25 major cities along the …

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Enjoyable Travel Using Slow, Clean, Car-Free Techniques

Right now, I’m investigating a new travel technique, which I’m calling “Slow Daily Travel”. By going slow (traveling 1o to 100 miles per day), your journey can often become more intriguing and enjoyable. My technique involves traveling as far as you like each day, and then staying overnight in a hotel. The next day you repeat, until you reach your …

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Renault’s Solar Roofs Will Power The Equivalent of 15,000 Homes

Massive rooftop solar arrays seem to be popping up at an accelerating rate, thanks in part to cheaper, more efficient solar panel technologies and financial incentives in the form of rebates and stabilized energy costs.  Renault’s solar energy system at its French production facilities will dwarf most of the competition when it goes online next year.

High Speed Rail: Coming To A City Near You?

China is leading the world in miles of high speed rail lines with 2,813 miles in operation and another 5,312 under construction. Spain, France, and Japan are all vying for 2nd place. Germany and Italy each have around 600 miles of high speed rail. The U.S.? Zero. But that could soon change. President Obama’s proposed plan to funnel $53 billion …

Hyundai Sending Fuel-Efficient Hydrogen Vehicles To Northern Europe

Fuel efficient hydrogen-powered Hyundai vehicles will soon be cruising Scandanavian streets, thanks to a pilot program which aims to introduce them to the European market.  Government employees in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland will operate the test fleets of the FCEVs (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles) under the program announced this week.

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High Speed Trains In The U.S.: A Matter Of Efficiency

With the high speed rail debate officially jumping the tracks into the political arena, American citizens are left to sort through the onslaught of bureaucratic bantering which so often leads to misinformation. The question that’s causing tempers to flare on both sides is whether the government should be funding high speed rail projects across the nation. Many believe that high …

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World’s Largest Solar Roof To Power High Speed Rail Station in China

Efficiency abounds in China as the world’s largest building integrated photovoltaic project prepares to power the railway station where some of the world’s fastest high speed trains pass through. China Sunergy, a solar cell and module manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, has recently signed a deal with CEEG (Nanjing) Solar Energy Research Institute to supply the 7MW solar modules for …