22 October 2008

One of the best ways to save on transportation costs is by not going anywhere

Conservation shouldn't stop with the products that we use (or don't use), or with our increasingly precious resources. Conservation can also extend to how much we travel and how much we NEED to travel. Case in point, this article on Treehugger about working from home. It seems to me like the most efficient trip is the trip that we don't need to take. Which is why working from home makes so much sense, even if your boss does not currently agree:
Megan suggests at Planet Green, "Let your boss know that green telecommuting is a growing trend, that eco-smart bosses and workers everywhere are giving this carbon-footprint-shrinking solution a go, and that you'd like to hop on the emission-reduction wagon."
And if your boss doesn't respond to this eco-idealist talk, remind them that working from home would probably reduce overhead in addition to your company's carbon footprint. The technology exists to allow a LOT more people to start working from home, but we haven't really embraced it yet. Isn't it time?

18 October 2008

The Bicycle Commuter Act

Expect me to leave this up for a few days.

Buried in my Google Reader the other day was the news that the bailout, er, "rescue" bill actually included a great tidbit called "The Bicycle Commuter Act". According to this post on the newly minted Green, Inc. blog on the NY Times, House Resolution 1424 includes SEC. 211. TRANSPORTATION FRINGE BENEFIT TO BICYCLE COMMUTERS, and what it boils down to is this:
"Starting next year, employers who provide bike parking, bathing facilities, tune-ups, or other support for bicycle commuting, can deduct up to $20 a month per participating employee from their own taxable income."
So forgive me for getting a little excited, but this is pretty awesome, right? Like, at least they acknowledged bike commuters...I mean, it still pales in comparison to the $115 credit for using public transportation, but baby steps to progress. Have a look at the full link on Green, Inc. above to find out who you should thank.

I love this picture from the NY Times of the dude in his suit on his bike.

16 October 2008

Feeding me information

When I bring information to this site, there are a number of other blogs from which I get it. Many of them are posted in the links on the right, but just so we're clear, I will give them a shout out right now:
  1. Treehugger. I can't think of a better blog on environmental issues today than Treehugger, and they always seem to have the best posts on biking and other transportation issues. I encourage anyone to check it out.
  2. Blogdowntown. A blog about, uh, Downtown LA, of course.
  3. Curbed LA. This blog discusses many aspects of our urban environment, including real estate and new architecture. Oh and the Metro line.
  4. Inhabitat. This is the blog that has Transportation Tuesday, so we don't have to.
Also here's some news about the Downtown Regional Connector that will allow seamless transfer from the Gold Line to the Blue and Expo lines. As Curbed put it, "it sounds like something a grown-up city would have. "

12 October 2008

My dream

I had a dream last night about this blog. I dreamt that I met the bloggers of Curbed LA and they started chatting me up, and then I told them that I had this blog, but I didn't know how much longer I would be able to maintain it because I'm getting so busy with school and I just didn't have time. And the bloggers of Curbed (in my dream it was called "Current") told me to keep it up as long as I could, that it was important and needed to be done. Shortly thereafter, I woke up.

It has been nearly two weeks since I posted here, and that I had a dream because I felt guilty about not posting means that the lack of blogging is both my fault and a true indication of how crazy my life has become. As a graduate student I have responsibilities I have to attend to, and between those and watching the intense market turmoil of the past couple of weeks, I am rather amazed I remembered to eat. But here I am now ... and like the mythical bloggers at Curbed in my dream, I do think this blog is important. Los Angeles is going to reach a critical point in the near future where it's going to have to decide what it wants to be, and although transportation isn't all of that decision, it's a large and vital part of it. People are going to have to work together if they want a Los Angeles that functions as well as many other American - or even global - cities do.

So I'm going to keep blogging here as long as I'm able, but in the meantime, I would still love other contributors to share their experiences. I'll let you know if any further solutions to society's problems appear to me in my dreams.