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Wrapping up The Week

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Seattle is looking to make it streets more pedestrian friendly. Photo by Rick Takagi from Flickr.

Before the weekend hits us, I wanted to share some of the highlights of the week that I didn’t get a chance to write about:

Seattle and Other Cities’ Mantra: Improve Transit, Reduce Traffic: “If there was no change in driving habits, we’d need to build 20 city blocks of 10-story parking garages to accommodate the growth. We realized that we couldn’t fit that many cars and still have a livable city.”

Three car rental brands launch largest carbon offset program

Even if you don’t rent a car, you can still calculate your emissions and offset them at drivinggreen.com.

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  • Reading The Guardian I found this very interesting idea for urban transportation that is being developed in the UK: Personal rapid transit transport (PRT). Basically, it is a driverless four-seater vehicle that automatically
    runs on a guideway over a dedicated network, lighter than light rail and running on a fraction of its energy.(http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/11/guardianweeklytechnologysection.news1)

    Extract from the article:
    “PRT is not just a very short bus or train. For starters, there is no timetable. Instead, visitors to a PRT network should find pods waiting for them, making it more like a taxi rank than a bus stop. According to Advanced Transport Systems (atsltd.co.uk), the Bristol-based company behind Ultra, the maximum waiting time at a terminal will be just 12 seconds. The second difference is that there are no stops: the pod will not pick up further passengers along the way, and there are no traffic lights to contend with. Finally, the pod is as private as a taxi, so you are always guaranteed a seat, even in peak hours.”

    It is still being tested but the idea is great and it will help to stop CO2 emissions produced by cars. UK is always one step ahead over the rest of developed countries on environmental issues, and no wonder why, the country is at high risk of massive flooding cause by climate change. As we saw in June. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/weather/Story/0,,2111677,00.html)

  • Yeah, I haven’t been to Seattle for a few years now but I remember it being very pedestrian friendly too. I think since the city is set to expand so much the question that they’ve been thinking about is how to add more people and keep the nice pedestrian streets.

  • The funny thing is I found Seattle’s streets to already be very pedestrian friendly.