A Piece Of The Past, A Price In The Present: Paying For The Erie Canal

A Piece Of The Past, A Price In The Present: Paying For The Erie Canal

Business is growing for the New York State Marine Highway Transportation Company, according to co-founder Rob Goldman. His crew has found steady work towing barges of stone and sometimes oversized cargo like fighter planes along an expanded Erie Canal, also known as the New York State Barge Canal, that was completed in 1918.

“Let’s face it: a barge can’t deliver to your front door. A truck can,” Goldman admits. “But if we work with the trucks and we work with the rail, we can each be as efficient as possible and use as little fuel as possible because we’re efficient.”

New York’s entire canal system, including the Erie Canal, had revenues of $1.5 million in 2014 against $55 million to operate and maintain itself.

From Hansi Lo Wang/NPR.

Safe Routes To School Even More Important In California After Trigger Cuts To Budget

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It seems all those years of grassroots efforts to implement Safe Routes to School programs across California was not for nothing. As the state economy continues to stagnate, Gov. Jerry Brown instituted the trigger cuts that will wipe out Home–to–School Transportation (i.e., school bus services) in order to save $248 million.

Of course, not every school district can afford to not provide school bus services due to some Federal mandates, which mean they will need to cut from other programs in their already diminished school budgets to make up the difference.

[photos via Boston Child Brain Injury Blog | smithereen11]

Ecology Center’s “Refuel, Repair, Reimagine: A Series About The Future Of Bay Area Transportation”

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For this month of September, the Ecology Center is sponsoring a free series of events, “Refuel, Repair, Reimagine: A Series About The Future Of Bay Area Transportation”, to educate and enlighten residents about how to retrofit the current transportation systems to fit the needs of a sustainable future.

It all starts on Thursday, 8 September 2011 (7-9PM PST) with “From Auto-Cities to EcoCities: Examples from Around the Globe” that will include a slideshow and discussion with Kirsten Miller and Richard Register on EcoCities.

Other events include:

Thursday, 15 September (7-9PM PST)Post-Petroleum Transportation: Finding Your Best Alternative Fuel

Saturday, 17 September (10AM-NOON PST)Kids And Family Bike Workshop[1. FREE; but space is limited, pre-registration required.]

Wednesday, 21 September (6:30-8:30PM PST)The Confident Bike Commuter: Fixing Flats & DIY Maintenance

Thursday, 22 September (7-9PM PST)Smart Growth and Just Growth: The Quest For Equity In Transit-Oriented Development

The event will feature a panel (Catalina Garzon, Program Co-Director, Pacific Institute; Joel Ramos, Planner, TransForm; Bob Allen, Director of Transportation Justice, Urban Habitat; Evelyn Stivers, Field Director, Non-Profit Housing Association Of Northern CA; Margaret Gordon, Co-Founder, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative) that will discuss transit-oriented development and its implications on the Bay Area.

Saturday, 24 September (starts at 9AM PST)Moving Planet Mobilization: Berkeley Bike Ride, BART Gathering, and SF Parade

This event will feature three separate activities in celebration of Moving Planet, “a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis.”

Please Note: All events will take place at the Ecology Center located at 2530 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley; except for the Kids and Family Bike Workshop (EcoHouse at 1305 Hopkins Street, Berkeley) and Moving Planet Mobilization (Ashby BART).

Repair, Refuel, Reimagine  -Ecology Center

[photo via Curious Orange | image via Ecology Center]

Webinar: The Truth About Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)

BBD-New Tampa, Florida

As part of its new series of monthly educational seminars, the Transportation Equity Network is offering a free webinar on Thursday, 25 August 2011 (4-5PM EST) that covers the who, what, how, and why of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), including how federal legislation impacts them.

What are MPOs? MPOs are responsible for planning, programming and coordination of federal highway and transit investments ($$$) within metropolitan areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area (through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, or MTC).

Webinar Panelists:
-Katie Jansen Larson, Executive Director, Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU)
-Guillermo Mayer, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Advocates
-Robin Smith, Headquarters Liaison, FHWA Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty, US Department of Transportation
-Marc Brenman, Senior Policy Adviser, The City Project

Note: There are computer system requirements to attend the webinar: PC-based attendees require Windows 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server, and Macintosh-based attendees require Mac OS X 10.5 or newer.

[photo via New Tampa & Wesley Chapel, Florida]