Posts Tagged ‘commute’

Roundup

  • The next Twin Cities Media Alliance brown bag lunch is Wednesday, 10/22, at the East Lake Library in Minneapolis, at noon, with Paul Schmelzer. TCMA’s blurb on Paul is pretty nice, so I’ll just give it to you: “Please join me for a brown bag lunch Wednesday, October 22 with Paul Schmelzer, managing editor of the Minnesota Independent, and a winner of the prestigious Premack and SPJ Page One awards for journalistic excellence. Paul coordinated the Independent’s outstanding coverage of the RNC protests – a subject you can ask him about at lunch. Paul also writes the blog Eyeteeth: A journal of incisive ideas, which appears regularly in the Twin Cities Daily Planet, and has written for Adbusters, Cabinet, Ode, Raw Vision, Utne and other publications.”
  • Hennepin County has more rain barrels for sale. 18 left as of October 13. $62 each. This is your last chance. There are no more incoming shipments and no more will be sold after 2008.
  • Urban Wanderlust has a list of all the goodies they’ve canned and/or frozen this year out of their garden, CSA share, or locally grown fruit. So cool. How many people even know what grows in Minnesota? I don’t.
  • In case you wanted to know you can buy pepper spray at General J’s Army Surplus.
  • Thinkery stops by the St Louis Park treehouse. I used to live kitty corner from that thing, but I never actually walked across the street to take a closer look at it.
  • The Daily Planet’s Arts Orbit blog has an update on the behind-the-scenes situation at the Southern Theater. Drama!
  • Also at the Daily Planet is an article from the MN Daily saying that, as bike commuting has doubled over the last year, so have fatalities to bicyclists. Injuries have increased as well. There have been nine recorded bike fatalities in Minnesota so far this year, vs four in 2007. (Note that that’s across the whole state.) I’d like to see a death-per-thousand-cyclist statistic similar to how they report driving fatalities. The (three, so far) commenters disagree vehemently, saying it’s been shown that injuries to bicyclists decrease as the number of cyclists decreases because everyone’s more accustomed to sharing the road. Insert “drivers and cyclists alike should follow the rules of the road” argument in which everyone blames everyone else [here].

Roundup

Riding the Bus: The good, the bad, and the nuts.

Bob Collins is asking what your bus riding experience is like, since good experiences on the bus aren’t newsworthy per Fox9’s standards.

I’d like to share Wendy’s story of her morning bus commute.

So, the bus stops somewhere between my stop and the edge of downtown, and this guy stands up. I figure he’s getting off the bus at MCTC, but no, he’s standing up for a different reason – so he can adjust his boy parts.

Dude stands up, sales book in one hand, and takes the free hand to grab his entire package. It apparently needed adjusting. I can’t really assume that it was bothering his knee or something to that effect, but the way he grabbed it allowed me to see the outline of absolutely everything that I never wanted to see on the bus at 8:40 in the morning. It’s possible the man only had one nut.

I’m not sure if that falls in the 90% of good trips or 10% of bad trips.

(This is still my favorite bus story ever.)

Bus Commuting Sucks More Often Than Not

As awesome as it would be if everyone could feasibly take public transit for their commute, Scott McGerik breaks down exactly why it’s not a good idea for him.

There’s math. He gives a perfect example of the back of the envelope calculations involved. I followed along and found that my per-mile costs are much lower than I thought. And depending on what your costs are, it makes everyone’s break-even point different.

What it really boils down to is that it’s just not feasible to take Metro Transit between suburbs. This is an oft-cited problem in discussion of what’s lacking in our public transportation system. If it takes 75 minutes to get to work by bus vs 10 minutes by car (each way), of course you’re going to drive. Similarly, there is no Southwest Transit option for me to get four miles across Eden Prairie from home to work. My choice becomes 9 minutes in the car vs 22 minutes on my bike.

If you need to get four miles across Minneapolis, public transit still may not be feasible depending on where you’re going, but there a lot more options.

Bike 2 Benefits, a Metro Transit Program

While I was working on yesterday’s roundup, I came across Metro Transit’s Bike2Benefits program.

Since I live four miles from where I work, I decided that it would probably not be nearly as bad as I imagined to commute to work on my bike. I did that for the first time today and it didn’t suck! So I was all proud of myself, but then I noticed that there are prizes involved in Bike2Benefits, so I went ahead and signed up for that.

Choose any eight-week period before Dec. 31 to start commuting by bicycle. Track your trips and mileage at this website. When you complete the program, you will automatically be entered in our year-end prize drawing. You’ll also receive a Twin Cities Bike Map (while supplies last). Once your eight weeks are over, continue tracking your commutes and you’ll be eligible for even more incentives!

Bike2Benefits is open to anyone 18 or older who lives and works in these counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington. There is no fee to participate.

Here’s how it works:

Roundup

Bike/Walk Related:

  • R.T. Rybak wins the Great Commuter Challenge on his bike, beating out the Ramsey County Commissioner who walked/took public transit and Roadguy who drove a car. I did not bike to work today for Bike Walk to Work Day, but I give my potential bike commute a dry run on Monday evening and may do it yet this week, since Bike Walk to Work Day is just one part of Bike Walk to Work Week.
  • Minneapolis and St Paul mayors unveil community bike program. The program is called “Freewheelin” and is sponsored by insurance company Humana. “Solar-powered kiosks will be stationed throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul during the [Republican National] convention, which will be Sept. 1-4. People will be able to take bikes from these kiosks, travel anywhere and drop them off when they’re done. The only requirements will be online registration and a credit card number — not to be charged, but to hold people accountable when bikes are damaged or go missing.” 70 bikes will be left behind to continue the program after the convention and the program may expand for the following spring. IMO, going into the winter is not the best time to fire up the program, but at least it’s there.
  • Cycling in the city. vita.mn on bike culture in the TC. (via east-lake)
  • Bike2Benefits is a Metro Transit program somewhat similar to the commuter challenge (but focusing on biking, obviously). (via twin_cities)

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