Posted in Beyond Parking on Feb 01, 2011
The reauthorization of the next surface transportation bill is starting to heat up as the new congress gets back to business. The Senate recently held a hearing to discuss the bill, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has committed to getting it passed.The legislation has the long, winding name "The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users." That's SAFETEA-LU for short. It's a funding and authorization bill that governs U.S. federal surface transportation spending. President Bush signed it into law in August 2005. It expired in September 2009. Co...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Jan 13, 2011
For a guy who gave up his car at the beginning of the year, the snow and ice that has shut down Atlanta this entire week was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because getting in a car means taking your life in your hands. Unlike cities that get lots of snow every winter, Atlanta simply isn't equipped to scrape and salt even the major roads.It was a curse because the walk to MARTA today in 18 degree temperatures on icy sidewalks was treacherous. Bus service was shut down for two days, and is gradually ramping back up. The rail lines are running with moderate delays. My commute has taken...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Dec 23, 2010
Ever since I spent a month without my car as part of Zipcar's Low-Car Diet promotion, I have been seriously contemplating getting rid of my car altogether. Well, my New Year's resolution for 2011 is that I am going car free, sort of. I am selling my car, and we (my wife and child) will become a one-car family. This is both exhilarating and scary at the same time.Exhilarating because of the possibilities:walking moregetting more exercisespontaneous interactionbiking moreseeing something interesting on MARTAlistening to more music (I do not have a car stereo)helping the environmentshowing my dau...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Dec 09, 2010
Some fun transportation videos for the holidays.
Posted in Beyond Parking on Nov 11, 2010
The 11th Annual Golden Shoe Awards were held last night at Dahlberg Alumni Hall at Georgia State University, and I want to thank PEDS as well as all of the winners. Maria Saporta, an iconic local journalist, emceed the event along with PEDS President Sally Flocks. Together, they bestowed the highest Pedestrian honor to seven organization/individuals:Pedestrian Friendly Research Atlanta Regional Commission, Claudette DillardPedestrian Friendly Research Atlanta Regional Commission, Talya TrudellPedestrian Friendly Journalism WXIA-TV Commuter Dude J...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Nov 08, 2010
The next time you fly into Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, look down on the suburban landscape. The rows after rows of homogenized housing clear cut out of the landscape are mesmerizing. I have often wished I had a camera handy so I could take a picture. Well, artist Christoph Gielen has done just that.He took his camera 6,000 to 10,000 feet above the suburban landscape to capture images of how suburbanites live. Gielen wants his images to not only intrigue, but to make people think about where and how they live.Check it out in "America's suburban sprawl elevated to ariel art" by Ma...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Oct 19, 2010
The effort launched by Lanier Parking Solutions to return the electric streetcar to Atlanta is a go. U.S. Congressman John Lewis announced this week that the U.S. DOT has agreed to grant the City of Atlanta $47 million to help build a streetcar line connecting the convention district, downtown hotels, and major tourist spots. Itâ€™s the culmination of seven years of work that began with Lanierâ€™s founding of Atlanta Streetcar, Inc. in 2003. This is the first step toward Lanier's vision of a complete streetcar system linking downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead. The streetcar will spur ec...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Oct 01, 2010
I am entering the third week of my low car diet and feeling pretty good about it, even with the dramatic service changes that MARTA (Atlanta's public transit system) made last week. If you have not heard, due to financial constraints on September 25 MARTA discontinued nearly 40% of its bus service, reduced frequencies for the rail service and shut down ride stores, bathrooms, and other amenities. The bus I sometimes used (it came once every hour) from Grant Park to the King Memorial Station was eliminated. Now, no matter what, I have to walk the 3/4 miles to and from the MARTA station each day...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Sep 20, 2010
The first week of my ZipcarÂ® Low Car Diet has come to an end, and so far, it has been quite a rewarding challenge. I have logged numerous miles via transit (bus and rail), pedestrian and carpool. MARTA has been the true champion as its Route 16 has twice come in handy: when I needed to get home from Emory University, and when I went from home to the Carter Center.My feet have also carried me a long way. I have walked to bus stops, MARTA stations, home and even dinner. I must have logged more than 10 miles on foot alone.Finally, I have to give props to all my colleagues and friends who have...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Sep 14, 2010
Well, today is the first day of my new diet, the "Low Car Diet," sponsored by Zipcar, the carsharing service. I pledged to give up my vehicle for 30 days and find other ways to meet my transportation needs.I have been a Zipcar member (formerly Flexcar) since Lanier brought it to Atlanta four years ago. Until now, however, my personal car has been my primary mode of transportation, especially during the week. It seems when you have a car, you drive it, even if other options are available. It is like having a big piece of chocolate cake placed in front of you after every meal. You just eat it...