Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bike Accessories You Never Knew Existed… But Now Need

Cyclists come in just about every form, from the casual bike share user to the daily commuter to the weekend century rider. It only makes sense that there are bike gadgets and gear to meet the needs of everyone.
There are even tools we never even knew we wanted or needed. Until now. Whether you are rugged, eco-friendly or a craft beer enthusiast, there is a wealth of gadgets that make life more interesting and convenient. Here are some of the more unusualaccessories we’ve found. (Just don’t blame us if you suddenly have a closet full of new tools you’re not quite sure how to use.)
BYOB … On Two Wheels
Have you ever needed to pick up a 6-pack or a bottle of wine on your way to a friend’s party but worried about how to transport it on your bike?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Denver's New Rail Cars For FasTracks System Unveiled To Public

The first of a vanguard of commuter rail cars that eventually will fuel the expansion of the Denver area's mass transit system were introduced Tuesday, including remarks by South Korean executive whose company built the vehicles' steel body shells.
"This is a big deal, a big, big deal," RTD’s general manager said of new rail cars. A passer-by takes a quick look inside one.
"This is a big deal, a big, big deal," RTD's general manager said of new rail cars. A passer-by takes a quick look inside one.(Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)
Kuy-Hwan Han, vice chair and CEO of Hyundai Rotem, added a little holiday spice to the event, which some called historic for metro commuters. "I offer you season's wishes and Merry Christmas to all," said Han, who traveled from South Korea for Tuesday's unveiling of the train cars.
Read the rest of the story and see video at The Denver Post:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Ride DC" Puts Real-time Transit Info On The Screen

There's a new tool to show real-time information about Metro, Circulator, Capital Bikeshare, car sharing and more: Ride DC, which launched yesterday afternoon.

A screen around the Reeves Center at 14th and U, NW.
The design focuses on businesses that might want to put up a large screen in a store, building lobby, or other location. You pick an address and a set of transportation services, and it creates a web page at a specific address where you could point a browser displaying on a large screen.
To set one up, you go to ridedc.ddot.dc.govregister for an account, then set up a screen. It assumes you're a business, but you should be able to just make up a business name if you want to try it out.

Right now, it doesn't work on mobile devices or (some report) iPads, but the @DDOTDC Twitter account said that an app version is coming in January.

Monday, December 8, 2014

$13.2 Billion Transportation Program Adopted

Program adjusted for project scoring
The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) adjusted the FY 2015-2020 Six-Year Improvement Program today in part to identify a group of projects that will be scored under House Bill 2. The new law requires projects to be scored using a consistent and objective analysis. Once the projects are scored, the CTB then selects projects for funding.

“The CTB adjusted the program following a series of nine public hearings across the state,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “The board will continue its aggressive effort to get input from local officials and citizens on the scoring process so the CTB has the knowledge it needs to assess and select the right projects for funding. As directed by Governor Terry McAuliffe, the board is engaging the public in assessing transportation needs to make the best and most prudent use of tax dollars.”

The funding on more than 60 projects in the revised six-year program has been reduced and the projects are flagged for scoring. Future funding on these projects, totaling $416 million, has been set aside. The projects meet the criteria for scoring under House Bill 2 because they were not fully funded or environmental studies were not complete. Enough funding remains on these projects to bring them to a logical stopping point. These projects, along with other candidate projects, will be scored before additional funding will be provided to advance them.

Projects that are exempt from the scoring process include pavement and bridge rehabilitation projects, revenue sharing projects, projects funded through the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regional revenues, certain federal funding categories and improvements funded through secondary and urban formula funds.

Currently the scoring process and how it will be administered is being developed. The CTB will use the process toselect projects by July 2016.

About the Six-Year Improvement ProgramThe program allocates funding to a wide range of projects, including road, bridges, sidewalks, bike paths, rail and transit improvements across the state over a period of six years. The program is updated every year and approved by the CTB to reflect the latest priorities and revenue forecast.

Final Revised FY 2015-2020 Six-Year Improvement Program Breakdown:

$10 billion - highway construction
$3.2 billion - rail and public transportation
$13.2 billion - total

About the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB)Appointed by the governor, the 18-member CTB establishes the administrative policies for Virginia's transportation system. The CTB allocates highway funding to specific projects, locates routes and provides funding for airports, seaports and public transportation. For specific meeting, times and locations, consult the meeting schedule.