Riding the Green Wave in San Francisco

For the past two years, Valencia Street in San Francisco has been experimenting with a system called “The Green Wave.” By programming the timing of traffic signals, the city of San Francisco has made it possible to ride a bicycle at a steady 13 mph (~21 km/hr) without hitting a single red light. This effectively eliminates the tiresome stopping and starting for cyclists, thus making biking even more efficient! It was recently announced that the pilot project will now become a permanent feature of Valencia Street.

Although the concept of optimizing signal timing for cyclists isn’t new, the programme in San Francisco has made some improvements that make it even better than similar systems in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Portland.

San Francisco’s Green Wave is already unique because it is the first in the world to work two ways simultaneously, something Mayor Newsom calls “another example of our leadership in providing quality cycling improvements for this community.”

“Those who bike in San Francisco have seen their rides become safer and more efficient. Our continued commitment is to further the progress made and further establish San Francisco as a champion for providing multiple modes of transportation,” said Newsom.

Read more at Streetblog.org, and check out their information on cycling in cities around the US.

San Francisco Airport to Sell Carbon Offsets

San Francisco airport is trying out a neat idea- selling carbon offsets in the airport. It’s one way that you can make flying a little greener.

“We’d like people to stop and consider the impacts of flying,” said Steve McDougal, executive vice president for 3Degrees, a San Francisco firm that sells renewable-energy and carbon-reduction investments and is teaming up with the airport and the city on the project. “Obviously, people need to fly sometimes. No one expects them to stop, but they should consider taking steps to reduce their impacts.”

San Francisco’s Airport Commission has authorized the program, which will involve a $163,000 investment from SFO, but is still working out the details with 3Degrees. Because of that, McDougal said, he can’t yet discuss specifics, such as the cost to purchase carbon offsets and what programs would benefit from travelers’ purchases.

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