City shirks bikes and transit

I would only expect this in a city that does a terrible job of not putting its money where its mouth is. The Madison Plan Commission decided to forego any attempt to pursue the interests of the city’s bike and pedestrian and mass transit efforts in the interest of the mighty dollar. And Marcus, the developer who will build a large retail and entertainment mall on Madison’s far east side, is just as short-sighted as those on the Plan Commission that voted for it to drop the bike-ped and mass transit requirements.

This is the city that allows businesses to expand and doesn’t do anything for the surrounding infrastructure. We have busy four-lane roads with stop signs at its intersections. We have more traffic in front of our expanded grocery stores and malls than the roads were ever designed to handle. And yet we are supposedly one of the friendliest cities for bikes. Bullsh*t.

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On the eve of history

We are on the eve of an historical event. President-elect Barrack Obama will become the next President of the United States in less than 24 hours. The hope that he brings echoes the voice of the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life we celebrate today. It took 40 years for us as a nation to get to this point, all because of his work and his achievements. It is a momentous occasion to be a part of history.

This post is dedicated to Dr. King, President-elect Obama, and progress.

Ethanol in cold weather

When the whole ethanol boom started picking up steam a year ago, I viewed it with skepticism. But growing up in a state where ethanol was added to motor fuel as a means to reduce air pollution, I had already learned some of its other benefits. These include burns cleaner and works as antifreeze in fuel lines in colder weather. But some argue that vehicles do not get the same mileage with ethanol that they do with non-treated gasoline.

A Virginia Cooperative Extension report provides some interesting information about ethanol, although the data are only as recent as 2005. Despite the arguments for or against, ethanol is certainly welcome in my car today.