Pedal And Solar-Powered ELF Electric-Assist Vehicle From Organic Transit.

Organic Transit's ELF Electric-Assist Vehicle
Organic Transit’s
ELF ($4000) is three-wheeled, one-person electric-assist vehicle that can be recharged via a rooftop solar panel, pedaling or by wall-charging the ELF’s removable battery. Its slim design and bicycle classification allows the ELF to travel on the road or bike paths in all 50 states. The ELF can travel up to 30 miles on one charge and it’s also able to carry approx 350 lbs of cargo in addition to the rider.

Organic Transit has turned to Kickstarter to help raise funds and their timing couldn’t be better – pitching a product called ELF in December couldn’t hurt fundraising. [Clean Technica]


Trike-Bike Transportable Bao House: When Tiny Homes Go Bad.

Bao House from dot ArchitectsCould the Bao House from dot Architects be the mobile padded cell for the on-the-go mental health counselor? No, it’s a spray polyurethane foam (SPF) stuffed structure that’s toted around by a tricycle bike and touted as a possible “tiny home.” Bao is the Chinese word for bulge and I can’t help thinking about the disappointed web traffic they would’ve received had dot Architects gone with Bulge House instead.

Move along folks – not much to see here. [Treehugger]


Portland’s NO Off-Street Parking Apartments Leads To More On-Street Parking – Not Fewer Cars.

On-street parking clogged neighborhood.You’d think in-city apartments built with easy access to mass transit and without parking garages would discourage car ownership but that’s not happening in Portland – there’s just too much free parking on the neighboring streets. In a study put together for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 72% of the apartment residents surveyed (with and without off-street parking) owned a car. Of the car owners, 64% make their daily commute by biking, walking, riding mass transit or carpooling/ridesharing to work.

There’s a great quote in the study from the car owners:

“A common trend in this study is that people are reluctant to get rid of their vehicles. One of the questions the survey asked was what amenities would reduce the respondent’s need for motorized vehicle ownership. Many people stated that there were no amenities that would reduce their need for a vehicle.”

And the quote is coming from mass-transit riding – bicycling – walking Portlandians!

Convincing people to live car-free may be a mistake. Encouraging people to drive less is probably a better way to go. [Oregon Live]


Salmoning Is Our Word Of The Day – Dickish Cyclist Who Ride The Wrong Way In A Bike Lane.

Designated bike lanes to prevent salmoning.The Guardian posted the article “How to stop ‘salmoning’, scourge of NYC’s bike lanes” about the author’s bad experience dealing with salmoning cyclists who ride in the the opposite direction of a bike lane. The focus of his frustration is mostly with bike messengers and New York city food delivery cyclists. His solution to deal with it: ride head-on towards the salmoner.

The article made me stop and think about the bad rap bike riders get and whether it’s deserved or not. I’m not a regular cyclist but traveling by bike is always preferred. When I do drive, I always share the road with cyclists by giving bike riders ample space so they’ll feel safe riding on the shoulder. That said, I’ve still dealt with my share of angry cyclists and my exprience helped me develop a theory.

Basically, cyclists are like drivers only their rage can not be hidden within a car. When you’re driving, how often have you called another driver a “dumb-ass” or “shit for brains” from the sound-proof protection of your car? Imagine if you weren’t in your car – would you still say those thing? Probably and that’s why bike-rage and militant cyclists get such a bad rap. They’re like car drivers only unfiltered.

If it’s not already, salmoning should be a ticketable offense. Think of how easily these cyclist on cyclist confrontations could escalate between two unfiltered, unencumbered [by car] bike riders. [Guardian]


Donky Bike: A Pack Mule Bicycle.

Cargo carrying Donky Bike.It’s easy to like the idea of the Donky Bike but I’m not sure about the $800 price tag. If you want to use your bike to move cargo (groceries, boxed items etc.), look at investing in a product like the Burley Encore ($439) and then couple it with your current bike. The boon of the Encore is that it not only lets you tote cargo but you can also lug your current or future little monkeys around too. [Gizmodo]


Chicago’s Greenway Self-Park: Should A Parking Garage Ever Be Considered Earth Friendly?

Greenway Self-Park ChicagoGrid Chicago has an interesting article on the Greenway Self-Park which has been self-labeled as “Chicago’s first earth friendly parking garage.” What the … earth friendly parking garage? Its developer, Friedman Properties, did build some eco features into the parking garage that include lighting that auto-dims in sunlight, electricity-generating wind turbines (that may or may not work), it’s built with locally sourced materials and it has a green roof to mitigate runoff. They even incorporated a VW Bug with green leaves spewing from its exhaust in their logo. All good but should a parking garage ever be considered earth friendly?

I don’t want to hate on Friedman Properties too much because they tried to build a more eco / environmentally / sustainable parking garage but judging by the article’s comments, most people aren’t buying it and they’re seeing right through the thin green label.

That’s why we think FP needs to strip away the green from their logo and in the future, refer to their garage as earth friendlier versus earth friendly. Self-applying the earth friendly label is always risky – trying to apply it to a 715 space parking garage is just plain foolish. [Grid Chicago}