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  • As you travel down the highway, take a closer look at the shrubbery and grass. The land alongside the 4 million miles of U.S. public roadways, already being maintained by federal, state, and local governments, could be planted with vegetation that helps transfer carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, they say. Road banks and berms, in other words, could be managed as valuable "banks" for carbon sequestration. Shrubs, grasses, and other plants already along roads in U.S. National Parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands currently are capturing about 7 million metric tons of carbon each year...

    Mother Nature Network
  • Andrew Tangel at the Wall Street Journal had an encouraging update this week on the Citi Bike buyout plan first reported by Dana Rubinstein in Capital New York. It looks like the city is days away from announcing a deal in which REQX Ventures, an affiliate of the Related Companies and its Equinox unit, will buy out Alta Bicycle Share, the company that operates Citi Bike. The implications are big — not just for bike-share in New York, but for several other major American cities as well.

    Streetsblog NYC
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    ...The bike is wired with a bluetooth module and connects to an app on your phone called My Bike (the electronics are powered by peddling). Think of My Bike as a visual guide to your ride. It alerts you to when a light needs to be replaced or when something goes wrong with your brakes (of note, when things inevitably do go wrong, you simply have unscrew the titanium tubing and you’ll have full access to the bike’s guts). Another app, My City, is like a digital tour guide. 

  • zzuber.jpg

     A couple of years ago, British researchers discovered that London cabbies have particularly beefy brains. Their study, which followed 79 trainee taxi drivers and 31 non-taxi drivers (the controls) for three to four years as they got acquainted with London’s winding and congested streets, discovered that the taxi drivers eventually developed notable differences in their posterior hippocampi—changes not found in the brains of the controls. (The hippocampus, as the neurosurgeons among us will recall, manages the brain's memory tasks, including navigation.)

  • Metro’s great expansion, a stab through the heart of the Northern Virginia countryside that has blossomed into a suburban megalopolis, faced its first morning rush hour without a major mishap Monday...Metro reported that by 10 a.m., 9,715 trips had been taken to or from the new Silver Line stations. Authorities anticipate that will grow to about 50,000 daily trips on weekdays within a year.

    Washington Post
  • State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is calling for a criminal investigation into construction problems on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and said the release this week of a Senate investigative report will show how the California Department of Transportation knowingly accepted substandard work at taxpayer expense.

    Sacramento Bee
  • You may have noticed how good real-time traffic reports have gotten on your phone. The accuracy, which shows traffic backups in real time, is nothing short of amazing.

    CBS local
  • State transportation officials are moving forward with a controversial plan to add toll lanes to a busy stretch of the 405 Freeway in Orange County despite strong opposition from nearby cities who argue the so-called "Lexus lanes" will hurt average commuters.

    Los Angeles Times
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    Berkeley researchers Elliot Martin and Susan Shaheen provide evidence that the denser the urban environement (particularly for rail), the more bikesharing provides new connections that substitute for existing ones. The less dense the environment, the more bikesharing establishes new connections to the existing public transit system." report the findings in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Transport Geography:

    Atlantic Cities
  • Stanford researchers report that they have taken a big step toward accomplishing what battery designers have been trying to do for decades -- design a pure lithium anode.

    Science Daily