I just came across two old Disney clips appropriate for carectomy patients. The first, Magic Highway USA (video below), is a 1958 television episode that looks toward the future of American transportation. Once you dig past the kitschy sci-fi aspects, this auto-pian vision terrifyingly reveals the values which have led us to our current predicament.
If New Yorkers are already paying $10 for a dirty martini and over $1000 a month for a cramped studio apartment, what’s a few more dollars for a MetroCard? At least, that seems to be the attitude of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in the face of mass protests and petitions by straphangers to stop an impending fare hike that finally passed early this week.
Ok, well perhaps not “wild.” The Copenhagen Cycle Chic blogsite is a celebration of women astride their trusty steeds. The site’s tagline: Bike advocacy in high heels, from the world’s cycling capital. The content ranges from cycling information with fashion style to poetry.
What’s unique about Erick and Rachel Cave’s decision to dump their car is that it was born of simple economics. The couple was sick and tired of dumping endless money into their aging Volvo for repairs, insurance, and fuel. They hadn’t ridden on bikes in about 20 years and they lived in southern California – a place more reliant on cars than perhaps anywhere in the country. Nevertheless, they bought some simple, practical bicycles for themselves, an attachable trailer bike for their daughter, and a cargo trailer.
Sustrans, a 30 year-old nonprofit in the U.K. that advocates sustainable transportation, last week won The People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway. The purpose of the Giveaway is to fund projects which positively benefit “health, the environment, education and charitable purposes to improve communities and the lives of people most in need.” Citizens vote on the project they deem most worthy of the grant. Sustrans’ Connect2 project emerged triumphant, defeating three other finalists.
While we prefer bike messengers—or even carrier pigeons—to couriers that rely on cars and trucks, U.P.S. looks like the lesser of car-powered, package-delivering evils. (Something to keep in mind when shipping gifts during this consumer-driven, holiday season.) A recent article by the New York Times Magazine applauds U.P.S. for taking steps to make the business more eco-friendly, namely by changing delivery routes and eliminating extraneous turns.
I love multi-tasking. I’m also drawn to the impractical but eye-catching – especially concerning bikes. Well, Philipp Drexler’s Bikefast fits that bill perfectly. It’s a to-go food tray that clamps onto your bicycle’s handlebars.
In the concrete jungle, off-road vehicles are obnoxious. But, deep in the wilderness, they’re even worse. So-called “sports motorists” (a terrible misnomer, if by “sport” they mean manhandling a gearshift) show their appreciation for nature by polluting brooks and streams, eroding soil, emitting toxic gases, and killing rare plant species—and probably live critters, too.
The Charles River Conservancy has proposed making a portion of Boston’s Storrow Drive car-free on Sunday mornings. Unfortunately this busy east-west boulevard paralleling the Charles River won’t become a permanent thoroughfare for bikes, skaters, joggers, and walkers: but it’s a step in the right direction.
In a recent article, Eco Chick nailed one of the most common pitfalls of “environmentalists” – the practice of buying a greener product, assuming the purchase will help to solve global warming and our environmental predicament.
A community in Freiburg, Germany has turned an eco-fantasy into a living, working model of sustainability from which we can all take a lesson. The Vauban, a 94-acre, car-free community on a former military base, was built to counter urban sprawl and offer families the same quality of life they’d get in the suburbs. (We’d argue that the quality of life at the Vauban sounds superior to that in a sleepy ‘burb. It’s big city living, but with abundant greenery and bikes-only traffic. Does it get much better?)
Two videos from YouTube (below) prove the point: relying on cars for transportation is bad for people’s health. Typically the unhealthy aspects of driving relate to lack of exercise, pollution, global warming, lots of pavement, and dangerous SUVs maiming everyone in their paths. Here we take a glimpse at another unhealthy driving-related affliction: road rage.
Can free public transportation save the world? That’s been a question bandied about in many circles, and was the subject of one of Carectomy’s first posts. The city of Hasselt, Belgium, is well past the debating stage. In fact, this past July the city celebrated its 10th year of free public transportation.
We’ve all heard it before: regular aerobic activity is crucial to our good health. What better way to get regular exercise than to incorporate it into our daily lives by walking or cycling? A new book, entitled Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100, takes the health benefits of cycling one step further. Not only is the regular exercise a must for long-lasting bodies but, according to authors Roy Wallack and Bill Katovsky, a cyclist’s longevity is enhanced through the "physical and mental challenges, relaxation, achievement, adventure, variety, social interaction, …and fun" biking brings with it.
Most of us have heard about the Slow Food movement, an Italian-based endeavor to “counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.” We’ve even blogged about Slow Cities, which look to bring a sense of community back by, in part, getting cars the heck out of the way. The next logical step is to apply the “slow” mentality to road trips. Rather than a whirlwind tour guided by an overstuffed checklist of places to see, why not spend time in one locale, enjoy the cafés and local hangouts, and take a peak behind a place’s veneer?
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