Advocating, practicing and implementing multi-modal, eco-transportation to improve the quality of life in our cities in the new low-to-no carbon economy.
Lakefront Trail in September
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Advocating with Stories
Short stories of concentrating efforts and implementing changes for the better
Softening a Hard Curb
When planners had failed to provide a necessary soft curb for trail users, including walkers and bicycle commuters to smoothly transit from road to trail, it was time to take action...
And a Soft Curb with Anti-Shock Plates Appears
Writing emails to local transport committee members and city officials with photos and commentary, resulted in the appropriate and necessary upgrade to a soft curve with shock-absorbing dimples for commuters and other users to smoothly transit onto the commuter trail and not be forced to ride on sidewalks and private driveways.
Flooding Causes Bridge to Collapse
In our time of climate change, increasing events of extreme weather, including record rain falls and corresponding flooding cause many areas to be under water for extended periods of time.
As a result inferior materials are damaged beyond repair and at great expense to users and communities as well in terms of road closures, unplanned for repairs, injury, etc.
Intersecting smoothly and safely without danger
State-of-the-art pedestrian and multi-user grade fillings for railroad- track intersections (like the one above) should be made level with rail-tracks and provide a smooth, level and safe surface to walk, ride or drive over without significant stress or disruptions that may lead to falls, spills or unnecessary stress on legs, wrists, backs, bikes or cars, etc.
Uneven, deteriorating rail-track fillings at intersections are dangerous and should be replaced with safe ones like the one on top to avoid injuries or unnecessary stress.
Defending Against Injury
Drivers are no longer the only users of our roads
How to prevent accidents
*Be vigilant especially at intersections where most accidents occur. As you approach, scan counter-clock-wise from right to left starting from the right-turn all the way around or clock-wise paying special attention to all actors and how they may cause harm to better defend you; and
* Follow along on social media on various cycling websites to share successes and also sympathize and learn from others from time to time or read books by more experienced cyclists or riders;
*Develop and use all of your senses to defend. If you are taking the center of the lane as a vehicle and here a loud engine from behind, you may want to move to your three-foot shoulder if you have one to avoid being honked at or worse;
*If you are uncomfortable riding with traffic or smog, consider quieter auxiliary routes that you can develop with friends in one's community or online;
*Stay vigilant throughout your ride focusing on your line, line of sight and right to the road;
*Use infrastructure to protect oneself by riding next to buffers of various sorts from higher speed autos where possible;
*Keep your two-wheel friend in tip-top condition at all times, including checking tires, brakes and wheels before each ride to ensure that they are all secure and in proper condition before riding;
*Wear bright clothing or bio-motion gear that ensures you are seen by other road users and especially drivers;
*Use bright lights when riding at night and the more the merrier. Many places require bright front and rear lights. Rechargeable lights save on batteries. New wheel light technology also provides lighting without batteries using magnets;
*Wear a helmet properly to prevent injuries and offer peace of mind especially in road traffic; and
*Advocate for better infrastructure. Lack of safe infrastructure leads to accidents.
If you are in an accident, take control of the scene with acumen
*Practice not being angry and maintaining calm and focus. Yelling or becoming angry or afraid may cause you to forget defending you, including most importantly remembering the license plate number of the offender, and lose your defense;
*Check to see how you feel and if you are hurt anywhere and if so call or ask a witness for help;
*Memorize or write down the license plate of the offender if it's a driver in an automobile;
*Check for any witnesses who might have seen the accident and write down in some manner their contact information if you need to file a claim to cover medical or repair costs or more or to pursue a complaint and a sense of vindication; and
*Many cities also have websites where an offended victim can seek justice through filling out an online form with the details of the offense. Some forms have a call-back request option. However, authorities might not follow your indicated request.
Some cities issue formal written warnings or may also fine offenders based on your circumstances.
The new award-winning, independently written and produced book Cycling and Prolifics in Life @ 10K, which includes expert tips and guidelines for anyone, including cyclists and riders at all levels, multi-modal or eco-transportation advocates as well as hard-earned advice is well worth the smooth read in a changing climate.
The book is now in print from a US publisher in hardcover or as an eBook and is available for immediate purchase at the following link:
Greetings Fellow Passengers!
Please join 180 other petitioners in signing the petition to add a Direct-Passenger Rail Stop in Madison, WI as one smart way to improve our surface transportation in an eco-friendly manner at the following link:
We are receiving overwhelming support, including from regional newspaper editors, professionals, scientists, and anyone who remembers and values history and not repeating the same mistakes again and again.
With several new bills in Congress focusing on limiting emissions and capturing carbon for good, productive uses to benefit our society and new US studies from Stanford to Yale threatening trillions of dollars in losses from not complying with the UN climate change framework, the time is right to sign on and to lead positive change in sound, healthy eco-transport one good policy choice at a time.
The number of signatories to this petition continues to grow to 180 and counting...! Help us reach our goal of 200 signatories to declare victory by the end of the year!
Thank you for your stunning testimonials and short letters in support that were included in our latest grant application to provide direct-passenger train service to reduce emissions, etc.
View of Window from Direct-Passenger Train Station
Building change for the better one eco-friendly, multi-modal transportation policy at a time based on sound science and facts to protect our most precious resources of clean air, clear water and fertile and healthy soil.
Reality in Transportation
Today more people in the US now die from air pollution than from car accidents.
People in the US are now the most obese on the planet.
Car-centric planning is no longer the solution to the happiness and prosperity of our citizens, especially in larger towns and cities, in the spirit of 2020.
Realities of global warming in the 21st century demand smart, intuitive eco-friendly transportation solutions with low-to-no carbon emissions as well as independent civilian environmental oversight in transportation that at present causes more than 50 percent of global warming through absurdly high carbon emissions.
Building Emission-Free Infrastructure
Leaders ignoring Sound Science and Good Public Transportation Policy
While riding my bicycle through southern Wisconsin last summer, I learned more about the tragedy regarding efforts to bring a civic-landmark train-stop with service to Chicago back to Wisconsin's capital and second largest city, Madison.
The current governor, ignoring sound and progressive policy, had temporarily rejected federal funding in 2009 that would have provided a direct-passenger rail stop in Madison with service to Chicago and the East Coast and Minneapolis to the West Coast as well as critical infrastructure upgrades for other parts of the neglected state.
The economic impacts are also well-known and vital in terms of creating many good-paying new jobs in the region, increasing property values near corridors, easing congestion and offering another way to Chicago for area residents who do not have cars or do not wish to travel by car or by carbon-polluting bus.
Many value the open spaces of that trains provide along with unfurling views of the countryside and landscape.
Since then the highly apathetic and unresponsive lame-duck governor (from a Milwaukee suburb) has led efforts to bring 20 Amtrak runs from Milwaukee, WI to and from Chicago but still zero runs from Madison to Chicago or Minneapolis or anywhere despite the fact that current state statutes authorize the state to not only promote direct passenger rail with a direct-passenger rail stop in the Madison area but also to develop it in a more timely manner.
WI as well as other states needs to open up highly corrupt and backward and biased procurement procedures in transportation in the spirit of 2020 and defer to more efficient and more knowledgeable pro-bono contractors with proper remuneration and acknowledgement for services rendered to improve infrastructure.
It is once again time to reverse new increases in carbon emissions caused in part by such policies.
MBS, along with decision-makers, is working with various private passenger-rail actors and the state to correct this grossly unfair and poor public policy blunder in terms of per-capita expenditures, etc. and offer improved service to the state's hard-working tax payers.
We are also demanding that Governor Walker do everything in his power to expedite the process on his way out of office in fairness to all hard-working taxpayers that have been duly inconvenienced and have had to sacrifice additional time and personal resources on their own commutes.
Thousands of Madison area residents would benefit from a direct-passenger rail stop with service to Chicago Metra Commuter Rail as many do not own cars or have only one car or are forced to take an unnecessary bus trip 45 minutes to local Amtrak service.
It is high time for a new way to Chicago from Madison in the spirit of smart, interactive efficient low-to-no carbon infrastructure for the 21st century.
It is time for policy makers to take to heart the needs of millennials and others in the era of global warming that demands eco-friendly solutions to protect our most precious resources of clean air, clean water and environment.
We are gaining momentum from important Amtrak expansion precedents in the Northeast and California.
Amtrak Chairman Richard Anderson and staff are now in receipt of my latest book, including advocacy and facts, as well as petition results and resolutions with economic impacts from the City of Madison, Madison area residents and other interested parties to secure this infrastructure and service within the next year or hopefully sooner.
Nevertheless, our readership's unrelenting support is appreciated through signing on to our petition as well as complaining to your local officials to expedite the service for hard-working taxpayers that need a new, eco-friendly way into Chicago in the spirit of 2020.
Metra Commuter Rail board members, chief executive officer and chief of operations are also now in contact with MBS to expedite this service in the coming year.
Share your opinions to change policy
Prevent thawing and raining from freezing into dangerous ice and protect transport users
Dear County Parks Director,
Yesterday morning on my commute to my place of employment, I was appalled to find CC coated in ice due to poor maintenance practices by the many staff that "take care" of the trail.
Late last week there were above freezing temperatures in the area and light rain and thawing of snow. I washed the rain and slush off with a shovel in my driveway to prevent ice from building up. Your staff had not done that along CC in some manner and as a result under the recent snowfall the asphalt surface was covered in very slippery and dangerous ice.
This is extremely dangerous for the many trail users that use and need the trail for health purposes, etc.
Please take care to see that thawing is dealt with in such manner immediately to prevent dangerous and harmful conditions for users, including using electric brushes, etc. In this way, we would not need to use salt or sand that pollutes our lakes and streams.
Eco-Commuter Benefits are More than Fair and Should Be Paid by Employers
Dear Editor: CapTel, a federally funded company with a call center in Research Park, provides captioning services to the hearing impaired. It uses images of bicycles in marketing material related to alleged innovative moments of their parent company.
Bicyclists are seen by many as highly tech-savvy, production-oriented employees and are considered to be the backbone of such an economy. On a summer’s day at the call center, upward of 12 to 15 bicycles are parked in bicycle racks.
Cyclists are healthier from riding regularly, require less medical care, and are more fluid and more productive in their work.
However, after having ridden to this company every workday for about four years to fantastic reviews, I had not received monthly $20 commuter benefits. I wrote to company officials on two occasions and was ignored.
In my opinion, federal contractees like CapTel should be required to follow IRS guidelines more stringently, including bicycle commuter benefits which have been legislated to benefit society.
You see, for each mile a cyclist rides we save society 30 cents in pollution cleanup fees, lower medical expenses, reduced time-wasting gridlock, etc. Yet heavily subsidized internal-combustion-car culture costs society 20 cents per mile driven.
Car culture has made Americans the fattest people on earth. Thirty-eight percent of adult Americans are obese, according to the Economist. This costs our society large sums of money to treat with the current healthcare system.
Many believe there is a war on to curb carbon emissions to save our planet as growing carbon emissions deplete ozone causing more frequent and more destructive weather events, e.g. Hurricane Harvey.
Bicycling produces no carbon emissions and should be entitled to receive commuter benefits recommended by the IRS. In this regard, CapTel has not been socially responsible.
Benefits Significantly Outweigh Costs in Direct-Passenger Rail Expansion to Fox Lake, IL Metra
The recently submitted CRISI inter-city passenger rail restoration proposal to expand Metra Commuter Rail Service from Fox Lake, IL to Madison, WI would provide all of the following merits in the coming year:
o Safety for passengers with necessary and sufficient upgrades to dispatch, tracks, lights, etc.;
o Significant economic impact and superior benefits compared to costs for urban and rural parts of southwestern and south-central Wisconsin and north-eastern Illinois;
o Improve significantly the quality of life for thousands of southern Wisconsin residents and northern Illinois residents by further reducing emissions and providing an important, more convenient new mode of transport directly linking the two regions without unnecessary, inconvenient and circuitous bus routes;
o Build a direct-passenger rail stop and provide for acquisition of a low-emissions, high-speed locomotive and passenger cars that would offer both passengers and commuters unfurling views of bucolic countryside from windows in pleasant communal settings of train cars;
o Higher speed, more direct passenger rail service would also offer a new, dynamic connection between our two cities for many one or no-vehicle residents or families; and
o Recent international studies have shown that rail-passenger links between large research hubs like Madison, WI and world commercial centers like Chicago, IL would increase both the quantity and quality of academic research to the benefit of our regions and nation alike.
Without government funding in the early stages, the project would not be financially viable.
If you are sincerely interested in the plight of these petitioners and proper economic and environmental development in our region that considers our well being and happiness, please contact the US DoT / FRA tel. 202– 493–6366. to show your crucial support for this important civic matter as the panel is reviewing proposals and awarding funding by the end of the year.
The pace of development of the WI DOT 2030 plan drafted by republicans is too slow compared to global norms in rail development. 2020 is world-class and is endorsed by the National Science Foundation, both US Senators from WI serving on the Surface Transportation Subcommittee, Metra, as well as both regional newspapers, petitioners and thousands of area residents that would use and benefit from the service.
The advent of Brightline privately owned passenger rail in Florida this past year shows that if only 0.4 percent of the population swapped one car commute for a train commute, the company would break even.
Finish Top-Tier Streets in a More Timely Manner before Moving to Side Streets
I highly recommend to streets taking on one project at a time focusing first on tier-one roads to be finished and done before crews move along to auxiliary roads.
For example, Monroe Street has been under construction with significant delays for more than 2 months now.
It is still far from complete as workers start later in the morning with a highly disorganized and dangerous malaise of unfinished sidewalks and piles of gravel here and there, etc., that are dangerous to walk and to ride on, while at the same time crews are moving in to rip up side streets off Monroe. Pedestrian and cycling safety are also not being fully considered.
Why not respect users, including commuting traffic, and finish tier one projects in a speedy, efficient and safe manner completely first, and then move on to lower tier streets?
Too much of streets planning is decentralized and disrespectful of taxpayers’ time and users alike when leaving far too many tier one streets under construction at one time instead of focusing city resources in an American and Hamiltonian sense of efficient top-down management and execution of street projects that take more to heart time and safety of users.
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