Infrastructure

Problems of the Rich and Famous

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Partying in Hamptons Could Get Harder If One Village Has Its Way

I'm very curious about how municipalities on the East End of Long Island will balance the requirements of wealthy tax payers' entertainment and their impact on the environment. On any given summer day, it’s nothing to see cars lined up on residential roads as far as the eye can see. Shindigs with over a hundred people are common. The main reason why wealthy New Yorkers and others by properties in the Hamptons is to have the space to have big parties. Cracking down on residents by limiting the amount of guest they can have before they need a permit sounds a little risky. The municipalities and the businesses in the area benefit greatly from the steady flow of monied folks looking to have some fun. Upset that and those same people might choose to go elsewhere.

Could a tiny little creature save us humans?

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Scientists stumbled upon a plastic-eating bacterium

I’m looking forward to learning more about this plastic eating bacterium. All I know is that there is a massive area in the ocean filled with floating plastic waste. This waste has found its way into digestive systems of wildlife and ensnares aquatic animals constantly. The proper thing to do is to clean it up, but the problem is the cost would be astronomical and who would pick up the tab. Being able to naturally breakdown these elements might save us from burying ourselves in a mountain of plastic junk. It would be amazing for mealworms and waxworm caterpillars could save mankind.

Paper from Manure, That's an Idea I Could Stand Behind!

Watershed contamination

Instead of Using Trees, Scientists Are Making Sustainable Paper Out of Manure

Shout out to the scientist still out there grinding and innovating new ways to make out lives better. I understand it’s a bit of an uphill battle right now with under-funding of projects and all, but you are appreciated.

 

It gives me hope that they have found a use for elephant manure as paper in our everyday lives. The only problem is, I don’t think we have a big problem with elephant dung. If they could come up with other uses for animal wastes from food production that would be great. All I know is that some industrial pig farms have large ponds full of toxic excrement that overflow during floods, contaminating nearby watersheds.

 

You would think after figuring out how to go to the moon and the smartphone that we could come up with a sustainable way to deal with human and all livestock waste.

Environment: We Need Our Leaders to be Looking Forward

  

  

Time For a New Day

It's great to dream about the good old days. Back when our factories were cranking out products the world needed. We believed we had endless resources, and faced no cost for consuming them. After decades of black lungs and poisoned water supplies, we can now make coal a thing of the past. We don't have to blast off the tops of mountains and send poor laborers deep into the earth to keep the lights on. The thought of bringing back 'King Coal' whether it's clean or not, doesn't sound like a good idea any way you slice it.   

City Mayors are Making Bike Lanes a Priority

'Democratic mayors overwhelmingly prioritize biking, while GOP splits evenly' -Michael Andersen

It’s great news to hear that 1 in 5 city mayors put “bicycle friendliness” among top infrastructure priorities. Now is the time to put funds towards building safe biking networks. These new networks should connect existing parks and greenspace with new green infrastructure. Integrating proposed bike trails with public transportation systems would be ideal. I believe that by providing visually stimulating and safe cycling and walking paths in our cities we would get a lot more of our citizens outside and moving. 

America's most bonkers bikeway is in Clearwater, Florida

This is OK in a World Where People Ride Bicycles with Helmets

Amazing, some people think that this is adequate separation between cars and cyclist. I was thinking more like a curb with flexible bollards, but a train no matter how slow it’s moving or predictable its path is not what you want to ride a bicycle adjacent to. This is just wrong on so many levels. 

Transit Construction Costs Killing Progress

Americans Paying More for Less

Why can’t we build major infrastructure projects in New York and DC at a comparable cost to Paris and Tokyo? We can’t get the transit improvements that we need because of the astronomical costs of construction. We have the resources and millions of under and unemployed people who would be more than willing to do the labor. We should have the most beautiful and efficient transportation infrastructure in the world. 

Good News for Pedestrians and Cyclist

Shaking Title of ‘Boulevard of Death’

When I lived on Long Island, I remember regularly hearing in the news about pedestrians and cyclist being killed by cars. I always wondered why the City wouldn’t do anything about such a dangerous situation on such an important thoroughfare. If you’ve never been on Queens Boulevard, the best way I can describe it is as a freeway-like Main Street in a medium sized town. There are hundreds of high rise apartments and retail stores on long blocks that flank the boulevard, creating diagonal foot traffic patterns across it. I’ve witnessed groups of school aged kids and senior citizens risking their lives daily just go from their apartments to the bus or train station. Cyclist had to navigate multiple lanes of merging, speeding and worst of all parallel parked cars.

Well it looks like the City is finally taking action.  I know some you are saying to yourselves, “that’s New York, what does that have to do with anywhere else in the US or in the world for that matter”.  I think it’s important because there are similar situations in many suburbs in this country. Just about every suburb has a commercial strip that’s just as inhospitable as Queens Boulevard. There may not be as many pedestrians as Queens Boulevard because of population density, but there are a significant number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. I think our town planners should study and learn from methods larger cities use to reduce auto, pedestrian and cyclist conflict. New York City is a perfect lab for planners to see what works because it’s just like any other town or city, except it’s on steroids. 

Complete Streets Starting to Take Hold

Streets are for People First

After decades engineers are starting to buy into designing streets for people. If we want our streets to be vibrant and have businesses to thrive on them, we have to rethink our planning and design practices.