Posts filed under ‘transportation’
New York isn’t widely known as a “green city”. It’s overshadowed by Seattle, San Francisco and a host of European cities that have high-tech recycling programs and fancy compost bins, but the Big Apple is getting greener every day. Here are some of the cool green things that have been happening in New York lately:
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer recently released a document called “Food in the Public Interest,” which outlines a groundbreaking plan to improve human and environmental health in the City and puts a strong emphasis on promoting local food systems, farmers markets and urban gardens. A Brooklyn Healthy Food Campaign is also underway to promote expanded food access in the borough, plus there’s a Brooklyn Food Conference coming up in May. Finally, a Food Co-op has just opened its doors in the South Bronx, and there are about a half dozen other planned co-ops in various stages of development in Brooklyn.
In the past couple of years, New York has added over 100 miles of bike lanes in its car-dominated streets, and recently I’ve noticed the addition in my own neighborhood where a few main thoroughfares have been painted with bike-friendly stripes. New York has the largest hybrid-electric bus fleet in North America, and although Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC effort to switch over the City’s entire taxi fleet to hybrids and electric cars by 2012 was shot down in court, there has still been a noticeable increase in hybrid taxis on the road. The Toyota Prius has also gotten pretty popular in town, and I feel like every time I go out I see one cruising around.
New York has the country’s largest recycling program, which requires all residential and commercial buildings to recycle paper, metal, plastic and glass. In 2002, the recycling program was essentially shut down due to budget problems resulting from the September 11th attacks, but recycling was restored in 2004 and in 2008 the City recycled over 6,000 tons of trash per day, up by about 700 tons daily from 2007. (more…)
It’s almost time to get on the road and drive upstate to my aunt’s farm for turkey day, and I expect nothing less than a traffic nightmare and a facefull of CO2. But I can’t complain, because that would make me a big hypocrite. Yes, friends, I admit it: I have a car. (insert screeching breaks noise here)
And what’s worse, it’s an SUV (be it a small one – a Honda SUV). The thing gets about 28 miles to the gallon on the highway, and I don’t take it to work, and I share it with boyfriend and my two sisters, but still. It’s a car, and I live in New York, and I should at least have a Hybrid, right?
So, that’s another thing that brings convenience and guilt to my not-so-green life. It makes my stomach turn a bit just thinking about it, but I’ll have to get over that because I’m expected to consume about 27 lbs of turkey and other holiday fare over the next several days and nausea would hinder me severely.
Drive safe, everyone.
Last Friday I rode my bike to work for the first time in months. It was a beautiful fall day – sunny, breezy and perfect for biking, and it made me wonder why it’s been so long since I’ve ridden. Then I remembered why:
1. I’m lazy and it’s been hot out.
2. I got hit by a car a couple months ago and my bike was totaled. Look:
To the lay eye, this bike probably doesn’t seem that bad off. If you look closely, however, you’ll notice that the front wheel is a wavy as a potato chip, and it’s jammed back against the (bent) bike frame. Apparently this is what happens to bikes when they’re hit head-on by a black Chevy SUV.
The frame was damaged beyond repair, which was a sad realization for me because this bike belonged to my mom when she was my age. Sniff. So I finally got around to buying a new bike last week. It’s a 1973 Schwinn Varsity with brand new breaks and new grip tape (thanks, boyfriend), as well as the seat from my old bike which is plush and comfy. Check it out:
It’s not fancy, but it’s certainly yellow, and it gets me where I need to go.
Riding bikes is the most efficient way for a human to travel, because on a bike it takes very little energy to cover a large distance at a fairly fast pace. Bikes are amazing machines, and it makes me happy to see that more and more New Yorkers are using them for their commutes. But in New York, and everywhere else, it’s important for bikers to protect themselves. Here are some tips that help us stay alive: (more…)