RENewsletter | August 23, 2009

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com  

※Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.§

[08/16/09每 08/23/09]

 

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Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |

 

 

[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]

 

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Opening Salvo:  ※Behold the Bike!§

 

Few inventions have the efficiency, health benefits, affordability, urban design potential, safety features and environmental friendliness of the modern bike.  It*s not your grandmother*s bicycle; it*s a revolutionary component in our future transportation portfolio.  There have been bikes. There will be bikes.

 

Bikes started as glorified hobby horses (the walking machine), then got pedals (the velocipede or boneshaker), then rose up and sped up (the high wheel bicycle), then began settling down for speed and safety (the hard-tired safety), and now they are fast, sleek and efficient.  It was a long (and sometime dangerous) haul; and, if you are quick about it, you can see the entire history of bicycles at the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum in Orchard Park, NY before it closes. (If enough visitors go, maybe it won*t close.)   

 

Now, in many modern urban communities the bicycle is more than an old contraption made new and glorified by bike clubs and enthusiasts.  Bicycles are not simply hangers-on, like horse-riding or Model T driving on Sunday. Bicycles are becoming an integral part of planned transportation systems throughout the country.  Note how cities like Portland, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado are retrofitting their vehicle-dominated streets into bike boulevards (BTA: Bicycle Boulevards Campaign) where commuters and even kids off to school can get to their destinations year-round and safely.

 

Year-round and safely?  In New York State? In the rain, the snow, heavy traffic, though the mud, across busy bridges, to grandmother*s house and still be presentable? 

 

Become a believer. When more people bike more drivers accept them on our streets〞which, of course, they have every right to be.  In official studies: under 6.5 miles, the public prefers bicycling over mass transit. Bicycling produces zero greenhouse gas emissions, has relatively inexpensive repair bills, and because of the soaring cost of road and bridge maintenance our regional planners consider bicycles a serious component of our future transportation.  

 

If we make our streets more bike accessible, protect bicyclists from fast-moving traffic, create innovative all-weather bike corridors, and provide convenient and comprehensive bike parking, the public will bike. Already, many cities have found a way to bicycle-friendly their streets, not because it is trendy, but because there is no faster, more efficient, environmentally and urban-friendlier way to get around than the bike.  

 

Too expensive, too radical, too dangerous, too slow, and just too much darn trouble?  As opposed to what? Billions of dollars on maintaining our existing vehicular dominated streets?  An obese society that spends zillions of bucks for insurance, parking, fuel, repairs, and the vehicles* price (the &Clunkers for Cash* program is drying up)? 

 

The real impediment to creating a Rochester, New York that moves around in massive numbers on bicycles and renews our sense of community from our too expensive isolation tanks is Attitude. Everything else is there, the technology, the know-how, and the vivid examples of bike/transportation modes across the spectrum of world cities.  Behold a healthier lifestyle.

 

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com  (Click on my email for feedback)

 

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NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks 每 [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]

 

         Rochester's Green Team

         NYS Salmon Recovery

         WNS Update

         VHS Update

         Local Pandemic Information

         Bucks for our Area's Transportation

         Parks & Arsenic

         Finger Lakes Pollution Solution?

         Bikes Instead of Cars to Work

         Training for Green Jobs at College

         Water Quality Bills Fail

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UpdatesDaily Updates 每 [Connecting the dots on Rochester*s environment. Find out what*s going on environmentally in our areaand why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION 每 will take you to my blog ※Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]

         8/22/09 - Important information about our area's Air Quality, which of course determines our health and Transportation. Home - American Lung Association in New York American Lung Association*s 10th Annual State of the Air Report Details Air Quality in New York State New Standards Provide New Insight into New York*s Toxic Air The American Lung Association*s tenth annual State of the Air report, released today, finds that over 12.5 million New Yorkers - a stunning 65 percent of the state*s residents - live in counties where air pollution levels endanger lives. According to the report, which applies new and stricter federal air quality standards, 22 out of the 33 counties with air quality monitors received failing grades.

         8/22/09 - Scientists are watching how Climate Change is going to affect our National Parks: NPCA | Climate Change and National Park Wildlife: A Survival Guide for a Warming World "Climate change has arrived in America*s National Parks. Native trees and animals are losing ground because changing temperature and weather patterns are making the availability of food, water, and shelter less certain. Fish and wildlife are being driven from their national park homes by changes that are unfolding faster than the animals* ability to adapt. If we fail to act, some wildlife may even go extinct."

         8/21/09 - How Clean are our beaches? NRDC: Testing the Waters 2009 "Did you know that beaches around the country posted more than 20,000 closing or advisory days last year -- for the fourth year in a row? Check out NRDC's 19th annual Testing the Waters report to see how 200 popular beaches around the country fared and learn how to stay safe the next time you spend a day at the shore. "

         8/21/09 - Increasing bicycling for the Rochester, NY area will reduce air pollution, positively affect your health, decrease traffic on our streets and give you a chance to smell our roses and see our sites.  Check out this site and help out getting more bike to more people.     R Community Bikes: Rochester, New York "R Community Bikes is a grassroots, 501(c)3 organization that collects and repairs used bicycles for distribution, free of charge, to Rochester, NY's most needy children and adults. Our mission is meeting the basic transportation needs of those in the community who depend on bikes for recreation as well as for transport to work, school, rehabilitation programs, and training sessions. For this segment of the population, both quality of life and the ability to participate in our community are greatly enhanced when our mission is achieved. R Community Bikes also provides a venue for the Rochester bicycling community to conduct educational programs relative to bicycle safety and maintenance. We are open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at our warehouse at 226 Hudson Ave. (at the intersection with Woodbury Street). In addition, on Wednesdays in the summer we conduct bike repairs at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality at 402 South Avenue. We welcome donations of bikes, bike parts, tools and money to cover expenses such as spare parts. We are always in need of volunteers to serve as mechanics and a variety of other positions. We provide the necessary training."

         8/21/09 - If High Speed Rail comes to the Rochester, NY area (via the Buffalo to Albany corridor) it is going to have an tremendous, environmental, economic, and transportation impact on our area.  Be sure to get the latest official news and updates for this incredible project. Program: Nation-wide Discretionary Grant Program for High-Speed Rail (HSR)  "In April, President Obama released a strategic plan outlining his vision for high-speed rail. The plan identifies $13 billion in federal funds -- $8 billion in the Recovery Act and $5 billion requested in the President's budget -- to jump-start a potential world-class passenger rail system and sets the direction of transportation policy for the future." --from NYSDOT Home

         8/18/09 - Other groups like the Citizens' Environmental Coalition are working on finding Green Jobs for the New York State area.  As always, we will post anything we can dip up on finding employment for people who want to sustain themselves and the planet at the same time. Green Jobs by CEC "CEC is promoting a positive vision of a sustainable future that prevents pollution and waste, protects the health of New York residents and invests in a greener economy and jobs, while eliminating environmental degradation." 

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EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar 每 [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don*t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line.

 

 

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ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I*ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 

 

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AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award 每 [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]