07/20/16 3:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT’S REALLY STALLING HOUSTON’S DRIVE FOR SMOG REDUCTION Transit Frustration” . . . The serious ways to improve air quality in Houston are 1) to pass California emission standards for all vehicles, and 2) to install traffic light road sensors at intersections. I can’t believe how long we sit at intersections with no one moving.” [KB, commenting on Building for Baby Boomers; Revamping the Briar Club in Upper KirbyIllustration: Lulu

02/03/16 5:05pm

MAPPING URBAN METHANE LEAKS BY DRIVING GOOGLE’S STREETVIEW CARS THROUGH THEM Meanwhile, in Los Angeles: Researchers are teaming up with Google to outfit Streetview camera vehicles with sensors to detect methane gas leaks in urban settings. The project, coordinated by the Environmental Defense Fund, found an average of 1 leak per every 4 miles driven around Pasadena, CA, and 1 leak per 5 miles in Chino and Inglewood.  Drives through Boston and Staten Island registered as many as 1 leak per mile.  The project is expanding to map more cities; no maps of Texas or Gulf Coast cities have yet been published. Researchers connected to the mapping initiative have also turned similar methane sensors on the neighborhood near the ongoing methane plume in Aliso Canyon, which has been uncontrollably leaking thousands of tons of natural gas since late October. [EDF via 538; Atlas Obscura]

02/01/16 10:30am

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS Trains to Office Buildings“The love affair with trains by a certain group of urbanists in the US is a ‘grass is greener on the other side’ mentality; they always point how wonderful public transport is in Europe. Well, if you actually lived in you Europe (and I have for many years), you realize that public transport is a horrible pain in the ass to live with every day. It’s inefficient if you have to go anywhere that is not on direct route, you have to make plans days in advance if you need to be across town at a particular time, you have to go to the market every F-ing day to buy food because you can’t carry more than a couple of bags at a time. You eventually give up after a while and end up confining your life to within a couple of blocks of your house. Don’t even get me started when the weather is bad. There’s one thing everyone in dense European cities dreams of: owning a car.” [commonsense, commenting on Which Came First: the Traffic or the Freeway Lanes?] Illustration: Lulu