How to Prevent Drivers Smashing into Buildings

This is a fun video exploring how we currently design streets for cars and how the Netherlands dealt with drivers. It’s sadly common that drivers steer their vehicles into buildings (maybe the buildings need to wear reflectors like cyclists?) throughout North America, despite the billions spent on roadways. Thankfully there are solutions to make streets safer for all users, as outlined in the video above.

You would think that cars regularly crashing into buildings would signal a problem to most people, but a lot of Americans and Canadians just accept it as normal. This is extremely rare in the Netherlands, and it’s due to safer street design that has come from a very different approach to road safety.

Bicycle Dutch modernization of 1960s street design:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q57sa…

Netherlands house crashes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edhg2…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRoPW…

Speeding driver through intersection by Toronto Drivers Exposed:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=putyl…

Gezicht in de Carnegiedreef te Utrecht: Photographed by P. van der Linden, 1969 https://hetutrechtsarchief.nl/beeldma…

Various news articles: https://www.reddit.com/r/toronto/comm…https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/part-of-pa… https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toront… https://twitter.com/vcazan/status/872…https://twitter.com/PCPappy/status/91… https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/03/1… https://windsor.ctvnews.ca/no-injurie…https://globalnews.ca/news/4111368/ot… https://windsorstar.com/news/local-ne… https://twitter.com/London_Traffic/st…https://www.therecord.com/news-story/… https://sydenhamcurrent.ca/2018/01/15…https://globalnews.ca/news/6680079/ca… https://www.saltwire.com/news/local/c…https://blackburnnews.com/london/lond… https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/v…https://www.theobserver.ca/2017/06/20… https://www.bramptonguardian.com/news…https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s… https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s…https://globalnews.ca/news/6608052/va… https://www.cp24.com/news/three-trans…https://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/02/1… https://www.cp24.com/news/police-inve… https://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/08/2…https://www.cp24.com/news/intoxicated… https://www.cp24.com/news/two-in-cust…https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019… https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/01/0… https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/01/2…https://www.cp24.com/news/driver-soug… https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toront…https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016… https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/v… https://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/10/0…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UznLo… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHrqP…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kZ4Y… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxFut…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhMZs… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMsvv…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFRxT… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqAfn…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb1ep… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdYFh…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7quO… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ0m4…

Various images:https://i.redd.it/4z3ul1w3e3l31.png https://i.imgur.com/Ne6fh.jpg https://i.redd.it/41eitus294b31.jpg

Toronto take note: Let’s Use Streets to Improve Cities

I live in Toronto where cars are king and everything else deserves to be banned from the road, heck we rip up bike lanes while other cities grow their bicycle networks (and we’re spending millions on a highway that gets fewer users than a bus route). Toronto has been shamefully slow in reusing streets for people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities around the world have closed streets to car traffic and made life better for people who need more physical space so the disease won’t spread as easily. In Toronto we’ve closed parks and told people to walk single file on sidewalks while car traffic is down by 70%. basically, shame on Toronto.

What are good cities doing about this? They’re banning cars and using streets as a public space instead of a strip of land dedicated to moving single occupant vehicles. Some cities are considering making these changes permanent as the quality of life benefit from banning automobiles is quick to see and fall in love with.

Like many others in New York City, I live in an apartment that’s about 250 square feet. It’s a lot harder for me to abide by the same orders as people in sprawling suburban McMansions. Our sole escape is the public spaces that typically fill beyond any ability to socially distance on warm days. When people are stuck at home, and so many other establishments are closed—our libraries, museums, gyms, pools, restaurants—the parks are already more crowded than usual. Even the Green-Wood Cemetery has threatened to close because of overcrowding by people in search of spaces to walk. The situation stands to create a viral tinderbox that will ignite New York in the heat of the summer. To propose that the solution is to limit the use of these already precious public spaces is the inverse of a solution.

Open the streets. Open at least half of them. If we do not have enough police to enforce temporary closure to traffic, then open them semipermanently with concrete barriers. Open other streets permanently. Dynamite the asphalt, sod the land, plant trees and flowers, and do not look back.

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NASA’s All Electric Airplane Looks Neat

NASA loves researching and their newest aviation project is no exception. The X-57 plane is an all-electric propeller driven design to test and demonstrate that such a plane can exist. They also went a step further by testing new engines and arrangement of them on the wing to try and create the most effect short range plane possible with current technology. Without a doubt it has been a success! Their plane currently has 500% design efficiency over comparable aircraft on the market, these design solutions can be applied to the next generation of airplanes.

According to the space agency, this final configuration with its bespoke skinny wings will boost efficiency by reducing drag in flight. Propulsion for takeoff and landing is provided by the 12 high-lift electric motors on the leading edge of the wing that allow the X-57 to reach cruising altitude. Then the two wingtip propellers take over as the smaller motors deactivate and their propellor blades fold into the nacelles to reduce drag. For landing, the motors reactivate and centrifugal force opens the blades again.

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Next Step: Intermodal Bicycles

Every delivery person knows that driving a truck through a city is stressful and dangerous. Our current delivery logistics tend to rely heaveily on trucks to transport goods to their ultimate destination, which clogs up roads and pollutes our cities. DB Schenker, one of the largest delivery companies, has decide to trial bicycle deliveries for that last step of distribution and it’s working out better than expected!

“We are 40 % more productive on a bike compared to a truck in the big city. At the same time, we saving CO2 emissions and thereby greener solutions. In addition, besides the better accessibility, we have another big advantage: Always easy parking. “

The new e-bikes have two boxes that can carry up to 300 kg of payload with parcels. The bikes’ batteries have a capacity of eight hours, which means that it only needs to recharge once every day. Every day, the deliveryman is stopped by people, who wants a picture of the e-bike. One of the deliverymen is Ion Gushtu, who loves the attention and exercise in the job: “It is very popular driving environmental friendly and I think people are appreciating the new initiative.” Ion has been driving around Bergen since 5th of March 2018.

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Ships Enhanced by Wind Power Improve Shipping

wind enhanced ship

Sails on ships aren’t anything new. Heck, we’ve been following this “new” technology on cargo ships since 2005. It’s time for our almost annual check-in on how modern ships are using an old tech solution to improve their efficiency. Here’s some additional context for you:

It’s been neat seeing this develop over the last 15 years! The hybrid model is working out well and more companies are embracing it.

At the most recognisable end of the wind-assist spectrum are innovations in soft sail systems. The increasing sophistication of automation and route optimisation systems have revived interest in seafaring’s original power source, and there are now a growing number of examples of larger vessels using smart soft sails alongside auxiliary propulsion systems. In one notable development, French naval architect VPLP recently unveiled a design for a 121 metre long roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessel that will be used to transport components of the Ariane 6 rocket from Europe to Guiana. The ship’s main propulsion system (a dual fuel LNG MDO engine) will be assisted by four Oceanwings; fully automated wing-sails which are each supported by a 30m high mast and measuring a total of 363 square meters.

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