TomRoche's blog

How green is Carrboro's parking?

Carrboro touts its "walkability," and it is more walkable than, say, Cary. Yet one only need hangout downtown for a little while (e.g. on the lawn in front of Weaver Streer) to notice that most folks only walk as far as the parking lot holding their personal smogmobile. Carrboro, like the rest of suburban America, still obeys Kinsella's law of land use: "if you provide parking, they will drive." We seem to be caught in that old vicious circle: we provide parking, which reduces density (since parking actively competes with other uses) and discourages transit (by enabling driving, and most Americans will drive when given the option), which encourages driving, which "requires" more parking. So it was rather discouraging to see the discussion in Kirk Ross' piece in the Carrboro Citizen.

Let it crumble?

UNC's Martin Doyle is the lead author of a paper in this week's Science with the subhead

Targeted decommissioning of deteriorated and obsolete infrastructure can provide opportunities for restoring degraded ecosystems.

Discovery News gives the pop-sci (but free) treatment, citing UMd's Margaret Palmer:

Removing unused or under-used roads, breeching certain levees and converting old military bases to wildlife refuges are "no-brainers," Palmer said. Science shows clear benefits for wildlife and human safety by removing these structures, she said.

So what local infrastructure would you rather be without? Horace Williams Airport? The Eubanks Road landfill?

Saving your gallon?

Governor Mike Easley wants us all to cut our water use in half. How are you doing it?

"Whenever you use water, cut the amount by half, whether it is taking a shower or washing the dishes," Easley said. "We all need to know whether this will be extremely difficult or easily doable."

Few water managers described Easley's request as easily doable. Having already slashed usage by about 20 percent by eliminating most outdoor watering, the next step is to head indoors where water use often isn't considered optional.

That means three-minute showers, limited washing of clothes and dishes, and strategic toilet flushing. Other possibilities: turning off the tap while shaving and brushing teeth, and collecting water in a bucket from your shower to use elsewhere.
- | Easley: Cut water use by half, 10/23/07

Drive-thru ban?

Saw this in an article about the Little Red Bike Cafe in North Portland, OR:

Drive-thru windows at fast-food restaurants and banks are a significant source of air pollution, because as determined by the EPA, drivers use more gas when idling than while in motion. A number of cities in the U.S. and Canada are considering drive-thru window bans. Santa Cruz, California, has already banned the creation of new drive-thru windows since 1979.

This been tried or considered in OC?

Where's the local bike/pededestrian community?

Biking here is pretty good, but far from perfect. If I was still in Durham, I'd bitch'n'moan (and occasionally engage in more constructive communication :-) about things on durhambikeandped.

... but I'm not. Is there equivalent online community(s) for Orange County or its metropoli? One alternative is rtp_bike_ped, but that's overbroad, and its discussions tend to center on the Park itself. (Plus in past its moderator has, been too strict WRT decorum, but that's just My Humble Opinion. One prefers a place where a spade need not be called a fine earth-moving implement. :-) )



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