Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sustainability thinker: Maurie J. Cohen of NJIT

"The Future of Automobile Society: A Socio-technical Transitions Perspective"

This is a video of a 40-minute talk given at Arizona State U School of Sustainability,
with an equal length of follow-up Q and A.  An abstract can be found here.

Related links: what does the Japanese word kuruma banare mean ? An informative
item from the SSPP Blog "Bicycling Approaches Critical Mass in Montgomery County, MD".

Maurie Cohen is an Associate Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology 
where he is Director of the Program in Environmental Policy Studies and the
Program in Science, Technology and Society, and also is an Associate Fellow at
Tellus Institute. Dr. Cohen is the co-founder and co-convener of the Sustainable
Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI), and serves as the editor
of Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy (SSPP), an open-access e-journal. 
He is a Board Member of the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative

Sunday, May 27, 2012

organized event: Cory's Ride is next Saturday

A ride to benefit the Anchor House "Cory C. Golis Memorial Scholarship Fund".

A time to meet and socialize with friends and other bike riders. 

A day to remember and honor Cory Golis.

10, 20 and 50 mile routes.  Start and end at Tall Cedars
Picnic Grove, Crosswicks NJ (Crosswicks-Extonville Road, formerly
Sawmill Road).   Directions from Princeton:  http://goo.gl/maps/gaiX

Starting Times: 7 - 9:30 am.       Cost to register: $35

Full details and application form on website at www.corysride.org

Post-ride picnic from 11:30am  to 2:00 pm

Support: cue sheets distributed on day of event. SAG stop on 50 mile route.

More background info.


Upton Sinclair's "the Jungle" locale near Princeton

An interesting article by Stuart Mitchner about the locations
on Princeton Ridge where Upton Sinclair wrote "The Jungle",
in "an enchanted neighborhood around Drake's Corner Rd,
Province Line Rd, Ridgeview Rd". Story is at http://bit.ly/LDR9j6

For those interested in exploring the ridge area by bike, here
is a possible itinerary (with cue sheets), a 13-mile scenic loop:


The original article from Princeton Magazine, back in Feb:


"You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile."

"Or you may find yourself behind the handlebars of a Bixi"

An op-ed piece in the NY Times by the musician David Byrne
(formerly of "Talking Heads") about bike-share programs around
the world.  Bryne is nowadays well known as a bicycle activist.


The Times also published "For Cyclists, Revolution Must Catch Up" 
in their "App City" column.

By JOSHUA BRUSTEIN        As someone who rides a bicycle in 
New York City, I am still waiting for the smartphone revolution.


In the world of pro road racing, a milestone: the aptly-named
Ryder Hesjedal of the Garmin-Barracuda team, a native of
Victoria, British Columbia, became the first Canadian to
achieve victory in one of the 3 "Grand Tour" stage races: 
he won the three-week Tour of Italy (Giro d'Italia) which, 
I feel compelled to mention, began in Denmark this year.

In celebration of Hesjedal's accomplishment, and coming
full-circle back to music, here's a link to what must surely
be a song ideally suited for "Bike Month": it's "May Ride" 
by jazz legend Kenny Wheeler.


Musings on Blue Zones and Not-so-melancholic Danes

An article in the Economist mentions a report finding that the world’s happiest countries are in northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Netherlands) and that here in the US, a panel of experts in psychology and economics, including Princeton's Daniel Kahneman, were trying to define reliable measures of “subjective well-being" which could someday supplant GDP as a measure of whether or not a country is making progress.

The photo in the article, of a bare-headed guy riding no-hands through of flurry of either snowflakes or soap bubbles, suggests a link between happiness and the velocipede [*].

It turns out there are many blog posts and stories on the connection between Danish society, bicycling, and happiness. Here's an example from the BBC and a bunch more from Streetsblog.org, NPR, etc.

Author Dan Buettner wrote an article "Lessons from Denmark" wherein his to-do list starts with "Build an Environment of Trust". Buettner developed the concept of a "Blue Zone" to identify an area and/or demographic of enhanced longevity; his book "Thrive" can be found at the library. Economics prof John Helliwell, probably not the namesake of the sax player in Supertramp, also touches on the trust/happiness link. "Cycling builds trust which leads to people being kinder and gentler to each
other", he claims.

To conclude, the following from the website of the OECD Better Life Index".

"Cycling in Denmark is both a means of transportation and a  means to good health ... An analysis of the socio-economic consequences of investing in cycling showed cost-benefit ratios much higher than normally expected from transport projects.

"Concerning health benefits, studies have shown that people who bike to work have a 28% lower mortality rate than the population average.

"To improve traffic conditions and encourage cycling, the city is carrying out work in nine focus areas: creation of more cycle tracks and reinforced cycle lanes; creation of green cycle routes; improved cycling conditions in the city centre; combining cycling and public transport; bicycle parking; improved signal intersections; better cycle track maintenance; better cycle track cleaning; campaigns and information.

[*] but what if the bicyclist in the photo is actually just happy to be alone ?

NYT Op-Ed Piece on Walkable Convenient Locations

A recent op-ed by Christopher Leinberger from the Brookings Institution relates that there is a move from distant, car-only accessible suburbs to walkable, urban locations.  Read the full article at http://nyti.ms/LN8YfH

Mercer County Bikeway

This op-ed piece by Eileen Heinzel and Tom Ogren appeared in the Hopewell Valley News on May 9. It discusses efforts to close a missing link between Pennington and the Lawrence-Hopewell (LHT).
It also discusses the proposed 8-mile "Mercer County Bikeway" along County Road 546, which would connect Lawrenceville to Washington's Crossing State Park via the traffic circle south of Pennington.  Here's a link to the article: http://bit.ly/JF10ET

To learn more (i.e. see a map), this links to a 16-page presentation about the Bikeway (PDF size 7MB).  http://tinyurl.com/Rte-546