Saturday, April 29, 2017

Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts

Every Wednesday is “Walk and Roll to School Day,” at the Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts in Sonoma County, Calif. I’ve accepted an offer of employment there, and look forward to starting work in May.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rogue Commute Challenge: Will Ashland schools win again?

Photo-montage clipart of people traveling. Left to right, two women standing in front of a car, a helmeted woman pedaling a bicycle, a woman walking while carrying a shoulder bag and a man with shoulder bag standing at the entrance to a bus
Image credit: Rogue Commute Challenge

In Ashland School District (ASD), the Health Promotions Committee is getting ready for the Rogue Commute Challenge, a competition among teams to log the most miles by bicycling, walking, carpooling, etc. -- any trip taken by not driving a car alone.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Schools recognized as Bicycle Friendly Businesses

Among the League of American Bicyclists’ latest round of “Bicycle Friendly Business” awardees, two elementary schools are the first to successfully apply. They are Ashlawn Elementary School in Arlington, Va (a new Silver BFB) and Oceano Elementary School in Oceano, Calif. (a new Gold). As someone who hopes to model bicycle-commuting to the children I come in contact with, I share pride for these schools’ accomplishments. I hope that many more schools (and businesses) follow their example.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Carbon-emission premium offsets impact of driving

In the majority of instances, we travel on-foot, by bus or bicycle to get where we need to go — but from time to time, there are occasions when, yes, we decide we need a car.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thin Bins, collapsible food containers that fit in a pocket


Compact storage is important when you a) travel by bicycle or on-foot and b) want to bring your own take-out containers to combat wasteful restaurant practices of too-large, disposable boxes.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Multi-modal emphasis for road-performance rules

Black-and-white photo of woman and man, helmeted and on bicycles, wave to viewer as they pass in side-view through a city street. Superimposed are the words, 'I Vote' rendered in stylized blue letters out of bicycle chain length and head-on bicycle hande-bars and frame.' In lower right corner, superimposed in blue letters, '#IBIKEIVOTE'
Photo credit: League of American Bicyclists Action Center
For an inspiring example of positive change through people’s actions productively directed: In mid-January, the U.S. Department of Transportation released system-performance rules for major U.S. roads. The rules set “multi-modal” performance measures for for air quality and ease of congestion, and require states to establish targets to increase bicycling, walking and public transit.

Too much box for these left-overs

Cynthia Parkhill holds open pizza box tilted toward viewer. Inside, occupying less than half of surface space, are three small slices of pizza
Seriously?
Among wasteful and ridiculous practices associated with dining out: was it really necessary for three tiny slices of pizza to be packed in such an enormous box? This is why we’ve placed an order for reusable, collapsible, easy-to-carry containers. No more depending-in-vain upon restaurant wait-staff to responsibly select our containers (which are still, ultimately, disposable).

Also posted to The Autistic Gourmand

Monday, January 23, 2017

Political protest? Start thinking ‘eight moves ahead’!

by guest author Jonathan L. Donihue

O.K. folks, let’s get serious now. So far all the “fighting” that’s been done has been on the level of protests. For all intents and purposes, this is about as effective as throwing a tantrum.

There are many other ways to apply pressure. Here are a few.

Monday, January 16, 2017

What’s my ‘wave’? A double-decker bicycle rack

Double-decker bike racks at Southern Oregon University
Each month, my church uses “Soul Matters” study guides that promote small-group reflection. Each study guide poses questions for reflection, centered around one theme. For the theme of “Prophecy,” one of the questions asked, “What’s your wave?”

The study guide cites Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker stating, “It is a mistake to see [the prophet] as an isolated, heroic individual. It is better to see him/her as the crest of a wave.”

In answer, my “wave” is a double-decker bicycle rack, filled to capacity, in an empty auto-parking lot. The future I work toward, through advocacy and own-life choices, is one in which people only drive when it is absolutely necessary, when no other alternatives are available, or when driving forms an essential component of that person’s occupation.

In every other instance, people would take buses or trains, or engage in “active” or “people-powered” transportation: walking, rolling, pushing, cycling, etc.

To offer response to another question posed by the study guide: Getting people out of their cars is the issue I risk “being driven into the desert” for — by pointing out drivers’ culpability in issues like “Standing Rock” or global-warming rates.

Activists like those at Standing Rock must put their safety on the line because our oil use demands it. With our purchases at the pump, we make projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline viable — if not at Standing Rock, then somewhere else because our addiction to oil demands it. And we create nearly 1 pound of CO2 emissions for every mile we drive.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rogue Valley Transit cancels Thursday bus service

White-against-red-background: Exclamation point inside triangle, with letters above it, reading 'Weather Warning'

Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) has cancelled bus services for Thursday, Jan. 5. In a weather-warning bulletin, RVTD cited a forecast of icy roads and below-freezing temperatures continuing throughout the day.

Service aboard RVTD buses shut down early Wednesday afternoon.

RVTD apologized for the inconvenience, stating it hopes to resume regular service on Friday, Jan. 6. RVTD recommends riders check its website, Facebook and Twitter accounts or call 541-779-2877 for up-to-date service information.

Snowfall delays Rogue Valley Transit routes

Riders disembark from Rogue Valley Transit’s Route 10 between Ashland and Medford, Oregon as snow begins accumulating Dec. 6, 2013. Animated gif superimposes snowfall effect.
Photo from personal collection (December 2013). Animation by Google Auto-Awesome

Bus riders, be aware that heavy snowfall has caused delays in services. As of 7:36 a.m. today (Jan. 4, 2017), all Rogue Valley Transportation District routes were operating but many were running late. RVTD recommends that riders with smartphones download the One Bus Away app for real-time bus arrival information.