All Traffic Moves Faster With Hybrids In HOV Lane – Even The HOV Lane

Clean Air Vehicle Sticker - CaliforniaResearchers from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), Michael Cassidy and Kitae Jang, just completed a study about the effect on traffic speed caused by the inclusion and now exclusion of Hybrid cars from the HOV lane. Since 2005, California has allowed Hybrid vehicles access to the HOV lanes as an incentive to purchase low emission cars. That all ended in July 2011 when lawmakers decided to do away with that perk.

What happened? According to Cassidy and Jang’s analysis, it slowed down traffic in all lanes – even the HOV lanes with carpoolers only. It seems to go against logic but the now less-congested carpool lane drivers slowed down to match the reduced speeds of the more-congested highway traffic. And safety may be another reason HOV/carpool drivers are slowing down; they’re anticipating cars jumping in and out of their lane. [NY Times]

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Bike Dispenser: It’s European

Parking a car in a big city is anything but convenient. Public transportation can be over-crowded and the odors inside the subway typically do not mix well with breakfast, lunch or dinner. That’s where some fresh air and Bikedispenser come in.

This Dutch company created a contraption that literally dispenses a bicycle to a paying commuter right on the street. It’s open for business 24/7/365 and no actual human beings are involved in the transaction. The rental device can be customized for a number of settings including railway stations and park-and-ride lots. It can hold 30, 50 or 100 bikes depending upon need. Who would have thought that the country that brought us wooden shoes could make Jubbling so cool?

Although Jubbling staff might’ve injured themselves trying to figure out how the bikes get to the little doorway when someone places an order, the bigger unanswered brainteaser is how the idea would work here in the U.S. Only a few European countries have been using Bike Dispenser since 2007 so little is known about its long-term success or failure.

A similar rental idea using automobiles, called Zipcar, has been successfully operating in North America and some European cities. However, true Jubbling would lend itself to more pedal power and less throttle power. Even though America’s love affair with the car may be hard to break we can see this starting in already biker friendly cities like Seattle, Denver, Portland and Washington D.C. The only other enhancement would be to make them graffiti-proof. We suggest Brooklyn, NY, for a test city.

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Jubbling: Riding the bus with kid(s)

Harry using his binoculars to find Bus 71

Harry using his binoculars to find Bus 71

The thought of standing at a dirty bus stop in the city with 1 or more kids does not sound very inviting but I think everyone should give mass transit another try.  It really is a great way to travel in and out of the city and the negative thought of standing at the “dirty bus stop” will turn out to be a great experience for the kids. For my trip, I had to hire my 6-year old son Harry and our goal was to hop on the bus in Downtown Seattle and travel to Wedgewood.  Harry was up for the challenge and had a lot of questions and comments including, “why can’t we drive?” and “dad – I think you’re just cheap”.  I sat the boy down and explained to him, in crayon, the idea of Jubbling and how it will one day play a significant role in his life.  He understood everything I told him, gave me a thumbs up and still concluded that I chose to ride the bus because I was cheap.  I can live with that.

Harry Glued to the Window

Harry Glued to the Window

Back to the trip. The first thing you have to do is tell your kid what bus # you are waiting for and in our case, it was bus 71.  The crowd at the bus stop was a good mix of everything – even a person with the cat on their shoulder.  It’s easy to see why 30 minutes of waiting will fly by as we checked every bus that went by until ours arrived. We climbed aboard and headed out.  Again, there was a lot to see and Harry was glued to the window and since I wasn’t driving, it was easy to point out the places in Seattle that we could go back to and doorways I’ve slept in.  Once we arrived at our destination, we spent some time in Wedgewood eventually hopped on the same bus, #71, and headed back to the big city.  On the return trip, Harry had mastered the old school bus rider technique of sleeping sitting up and he stayed asleep until we arrived back in Seattle.

Here are some tips for riding the bus with kids:

  • Go to the bathroom before you get on the bus.
  • Bring snacks or a lunch.
  • Get a transfer just in case you have to get off the bus.
  • Go to the bathroom before you get on the bus. (If you missed it the first time.)
Harry waiting for the bus home.

Harry waiting for the bus home.

We didn’t have to ride the bus and it’s not as convenient as driving but atleast now, my son knows there is another way to get around.  He looks forward to the next trip and even told me what bus numbers he wanted to ride next.  What was amazing to me was how well behaved Harry was on the bus and how his sister and brother were when they took the bus with me in the past. I think they feel like they’re on a school bus and they have to follow the rules.

At the end of our adventure, I had to ask Harry if he had fun and he told me “yes, I did have fun today.  But dad, I still love mommy more.”

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Extreme Jubbling

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjJ3g_wv8H0[/youtube]
If all Jubbling fails, this is the result. Thanks Eric.


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Brings Tears To My Eyes

Jubbling never looked so good and it’s great to see that we’re now an international phenomenon. Wait, Jubbling has always been international thing and I’m beginning to think the rest of the world knows Jubbling better than we do. Translating our website into foreign languages will not be necessary because the Jubbling will be missed by our international audience. It’s kind of like creating a website in the US about owning 4+ televisions or having a 3 car garage; it’s just not that out of the ordinary. 4 – 8 people on a motorcycle is not that out of the ordinary in parts of Asia because Jubbling is the norm.

So as much as I want to encourage Jubbling, you won’t see me riding a moped with a kid’s booster seat on it anytime soon. Maybe a Burley but that’s about it.

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