Tag Archives: environment

Parking requirements encourage driving, lead to unnecessary pavement

Credit: The EconomistEnvision Richmond’s Fan District, Monument Avenue, Church Hill, Jackson Ward, etc., without cars parked everywhere. What if instead of vehicle storage, we redesign those spaces to better serve humans and nature?

Imagine how much more attractive our best Richmond neighborhoods could look without cars lining the streets, blocking the tree-ling streetscapes and beautiful homes?

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Record number of miles driven is a failure, not an accomplishment

traffic6“It’s Wow Wednesday! U.S. sets record in 2016 with an estimated 3.2 trillion miles traveled.” – Tweet from the Federal Highway Administration.

This is not good news. The “wow” here is that the Federal Highway Administration does not understand that we need to encourage people to drive less, not more. Driving 3.2 trillion miles is not an accomplishment, but rather a failure. It is in the best interest for our country that we promote alternative transportation options, not the consumption and exhaustion of the world’s remaining fossil fuels.  Continue reading

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OK, I’ve become the dad from Calvin & Hobbes

calvindadgasI’m a father. I’m a cyclist. I’m an environmentalist. Sometimes I like to bark out loud about people driving too much, which is wrecking our planet and making it hard for the next generations to thrive in this world.

A friend of mine pointed this out to me, writing “how’s it feel to be a real life version of Calvin’s father?”

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Increase gas taxes to improve our heavily subsidized road network

Photographer - Tom Saunders, VDOT

Traffic Backup on I-95 North at the Intersection with the Downtown Expressway in Richmond. Photographer – Tom Saunders, VDOT

I bike to save money. I bike to save the environment. I bike to improve my health. I also bike to stay away from my car and as often as I can, I look for ways to avoid motorized vehicles when walking, biking or even paddling could get the job done just as well.

Despite the many flaws with cars, they are not my enemy, but I sure do love avoiding them. Read this well-written lede into this article, from the CityLab: Continue reading

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Dominion’s coal ash polluting James River at Dutch Gap?

Dominion power plant next to Dutch Gap Conservation Area My children and I biked and hiked this past weekend at Dutch Gap Conservation Area and Henricus Historical Park in southeastern Chesterfield County. Both parks offer lovely views of the James River and a departure from our more urban areas around Richmond.

As we drove up, before we began our adventures for the day, my son wondered aloud about the smoke/steam/pollution/discharge billowing out of two towering chimneys at the Dominion Virginia Power plant that is adjacent to the two parks. I had no solid answers in regards to the pollution, but we spent time throughout the day discussing coal ash, fly ash, retention ponds and the residual effects from generating power.  Continue reading

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Chesapeake Invader: Discovering America’s Giant Meteorite Crater

Science is awesome. I recently read “Chesapeake Invader: Discovering America’s Giant Meteorite Crater” by C. Wylie Poag. For a book about science, it is well-written, easy to read and thoroughly explains a fascinating topic, namely “America’s largest meteorite impact crater.”

Though the crater was formed 35 million years ago, it continues to influence Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. So many mysteries about our region can be tied back into that catastrophic event. Continue reading

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Sprawl: ‘Suburbia is a massive experiment…it doesn’t work’

Credit: Strong Towns“Suburbia is a massive experiment, and millions of Americans are finding out that it doesn’t work. The numbers don’t add up for these families, and suddenly they’re behind on their mortgage, barely able to put gas in their cars and living in poverty.”Strong Towns

That quote is from an article on the geography of poverty. It is part of a series by Strong Towns on suburban poverty, which Strong Towns indicates “is a growing problem in the United States, one that is often hidden in plain sight. The immense cost of suburban infrastructure (built upon the Growth Ponzi Scheme), high transportation expenses and a disconnection from resources have combined to put millions of suburban residents into poverty.” Continue reading

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