Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation

Advocating for integrated public transportation, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities since 1992.

Take-aways from Brugge Event

On June 6th, CART hosted Dr. Doug Brugge of the Tusk University Medical School for a presentation on his work as director of the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH) study.
There is a strong body of research that documents a variety of health problems associated with proximity to major traffic corridors. Ozone precursers, and PM 2.5 particles from vehicle emissions are well documented contributors to health problems. The CAFEH study is looking primarily at the role of Ultra Fine Particulates (UFP’s) that are only slightly larger than individual molecules. These particles are condensed from the gases that leave your tailpipe. CAFEH is actually a series of studies that establishes the health biometrics as well as measuring the particle emissions and individual exposure levels across a number of neighborhoods in the Boston metropolitan area. It is impressively complicated, both technically and logistically. Imagine a long term study that involves multiple blood testing of hundreds of citizens, particle monitoring inside and outside of their homes, particle monitoring from mobile labs that travel the roadways for years gathering data, and an incredible statistical analysis that seeks to adjust exposure to travel habits, work and home, weather conditions, and many other variables.
Most impressive, in the face of these challenges is Dr. Brugge’s commitment to valid science and the search for solutions to these problems.
Take-aways:
There are a number of points from Dr. Brugge’s presentation that stand out.
First: Health problems associated with being close to major corridors are indisputable.
Second: Ultra Fine Particulates, unlike Ozone, are worse in the winter months because they are condensates, and things condense more easily in cold conditions. Ozone is created when sunlight interacts with exhaust gases and this occurs in warm months.
Third: Mitigating particulate exposure is difficult. It helps if you are in a building with a central air system with good filtration and sealed windows. It appears much more difficult to protect residences where just opening a door can significantly impact indoor air quality.
Fourth: Vegetative barriers (rows of trees and bushes), and walls, can help reduce particulate exposure for those close to major traffic corridors, but keeping housing and schools farther away is the best solution. California has legislation that requires keeping schools and public housing farther from traffic corridors. Massachusetts is working on similar legislation.
Fifth: Diesel exhaust is many times worse than gasoline, so truck routes are particularly toxic.
Sixth: Investing in electric powered transport –electric rail, private electric vehicles, and light rail transit – is the best way to reduce exhaust toxins of all kinds.
CART would like to thank Dr. Brugge for an enlightening evening and the important work he is doing. We look forward to updates as his research continues.
We would also like to thank the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and JC and Charlotte for their support of this program and our mission.
Sincerely,
David Coyte,
President.

Coming June 6th

CART is bringing the Director of the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Study (CAFEH) to Louisville, June 6th.

Dr. Doug Brugge of Tufts University School of Medicine will present and discuss the results of this landmark study. More information soon!

CART’s new bumper sticker!

It is easy to forget that tailpipes put out as much CO2 as Coal Fired power plants – but they do and it is one of the areas in which we can really make a difference.  Tail pipe emissions are also a leading cause of Ozone pollution and source for Asthma and other heart and respiratory diseases.  CART wants to “Out” the Tailpipe!- to help us remember to drive less, and use and support Transit more.  Get one of our new bumper stickers when you become a member.

 

CART Presents Dr. Adrian Parr at My Library U, August 23, 2016

CART’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held August 10, 6:30 PM, at the Crescent Hill Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, basement meeting room. All meetings are open to the public.

Flyer0816

CART has been advocating for Louisville’s transit development since 1992 and this program continues our long history bringing relevant and timely information to forefront of the pubic consciousness.   Our advocacy led to the TARC T-2 Study for Louisville’s first Light Rail Line in the 1990’s.  That study was shelved to fund the Bridges Project.

Even though the Bridges Project will consume most of Louisville’s transportation dollars for the next 40 years, there is much that can be done to improve transit, mobility, and air quality for our community.   But to do that will require persistent and coordinated work with other citizen groups and government agencies.

As a result of CART’s research, transportation emissions and energy demand affecting climate change have become our focus. Whether Louisville ever adopts and builds efficient mass transit systems, the community is now entering a period of dangerous climate change. Both developed and developing nations have loaded the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and continue to release high levels of fossil fuel emissions.
CART’s work to advocate for low emissions, energy efficient mass transit is now more relevant and more necessary than ever. However, if transportation policy does not change in our community, there is still a critical need to advance the education on the looming planetary emergency of climate change.
JOIN CART and work with others who clearly understand the need to reduce fossil fuel emissionsand adopt sustainable energy use cultural and infrastructure changes.

(click image above to download flyer)

CART 2016 Annual Meeting Announcement

CART’s  2016 Annual Meeting will be held May 25th, 6:30 PM, at the Clifton Center.

CART has been advocating for Louisville’s transit development since 1992.  Our advocacy led to the TARC T-2 Study for Louisville’s first Light Rail Line in the 1990’s.  That study was shelved to fund the Bridges Project.

Even though the Bridges Project will consume most of Louisville’s transportation dollars for the next 40 years, there is much that can be done to improve transit, mobility, and air quality for our community.   To do that will require persistent and coordinated work with other citizen groups and government agencies.  While there are grant opportunities available, CART is in dire need of an infusion of new members and new energy.  The existing Board of Directors has dwindled to four.   Membership has also decreased.

We invite all those with an interest in a healthy, equitable community to consider bringing your energy and your ideas to this organization.  At our Annual meeting we will be reviewing the Move Louisville report and discussing opportunities to bring about the changes we need for a sustainable community.

CART’s mission is more important than ever, but without an influx of new board members and an increase in general membership, CART will close it’s doors. We will be electing new board members at this meeting.  Please consider becoming more involved.

Membership in CART is $15 per year, and can be purchase at the door at our May meeting or via Pay Pal through our Website – CARTKY.org.

We look forward to seeing you and working with you.

Sincerely,

David Coyte, President

“Happy” 75th Birthday

Inter-urban Near Louisville 1907

Interurban rail car near Louisville KY, 1907.

When, at 11:20 PM on October 31st, 1939, Indiana Railroad Train #35 pulled out of the Louisville Interurban Terminal, this was the beginning of the end of through electric Interurban rail service between Louisville and Indianapolis – a service that began in 1908.

As the orange car with dark green roof emerged from the terminal, it turned east onto Jefferson Street, continued south on Third Street, east onto Prospect Alley, south on Brook Street, east on Madison Street, north on Wenzel Street and onto the approach to the Big Four Bridge. On this final trip, a large wreath hung around the big interurban headlight.

Up to the very last, Indiana Railroad was a high speed operation. On a 9.1 mile stretch in south central Indiana between Columbus and Azalia the regular schedule called for cars to cover this distance in 9 minutes for an average speed of 60.6 mph. Speeds over 70 mph were necessary to meet this schedule. Quick acceleration of these 1930’s era electric cars made this possible.

So, what killed the interurban? Among other things, Henry Ford and his Model T.

***

Indiana Railroad, “The Magic Interurban,” George K. Bradley, Bulletin #128, Central Electric Railfans Association. 1991

Indian Railroad System Timetable, April 30, 1939.

Interstate, “A History of Interstate Public Service Rail Operations,” Jerry Marlette. 1990

Trolley Sparks, “Indiana Railroad System,” Bulletin #91, Central Electric Railfans’ Association. 1950

 

Twin Cities Gets Transit Right

Great article that reveals all the possibilities when a transit project is done right.  The key element in any major premium transit project is permanence.  The economic, social, and environmental co-benefits illustrated through short visual bites in the linked article are only realized when the community has confidence its not going away.  Rail is best suited for this kind of commitment but BRT and Rapid Bus systems can demonstrate permanence with investments in high quality fixed supporting infrastructure like functional stations at destinations along the way and at both ends, dedicated guideways, transit pass kiosks and more.

Successful transit is close to home, frequent, reliable, and not only gets me where the action is but stimulates action near by. It doesn’t necessarily  matter what kind of wheels it has.

Click here to read more.

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A reserved electric car charging station in St. Paul parking garage.

2014 Louisville Solar Tour

Solar Site, KuteCART is a proud promotional partner for the Louisville Solar Tour once again in 2014!  This year’s tour features 34 sites with solar installers at two locations to deep dive into the technology options. To download the 2014 Solar Tour Guidebook please click here.

While solar energy is not directly related to transportation solutions, any future electric rail or trolley system will be agnostic to the source of the electricity and the more renewable energy on line will improve the air quality and greenhouse gas emissions performance of the system.

When: Saturday October 11, 2014 from 10 AM to 3 PM

Where: Throughout Louisville. Mostly inside the Watterson on the east side but there are many excellent sites to visit in other locations including Bernheim. Three opportunities for your Tour Experience:

  • Guided Bus Tour
  • Guided Bicycle Tour
  • Self Guided Tour

Bike and Bus tours begin at 12:00 noon at the APCD parking lot at the corner of Breckenridge St. and Barret Ave.

To register for the Bus Tour click here.

The bike tour is free to all participants and will also be leaving from the APCD parking lot (at the corner of Barret and Breckinridge) at 12 PM.

For more information go to http://www.kentuckyipl.org/2014-louisville-solar-tour/

 

Using Distance Profiles to Identify Peer Cities

Once you leave the Eastern Seaboard public transportation in the United States is a local affair. The type of service you find in a city depends on the interplay among several factors including total population, population density, geography of roads and terrain, demographic patterns, development patterns, local and state politics and values, and local agency funding structure.  In this post, I use a tool published by the US Census Bureau called Distance Profiles to analyze potential peer cities.  The Distance profile provides a cross section of Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) populations that allows us to visually identify cities with very similar population distributions, geographic size, and density distributions. Using this tool we can make an informed comparison of Louisville’s transit system and those of true peer cities.

Fig. 1a Portland vs Louisville Population Profile (click for larger image)

Fig. 1a Portland vs Louisville Population Profile. PEER CITY? – NOT! (click for larger image)

Portland DEN

Fig. 1b Portland vs Louisville Population Weighted Density (click for larger image)

Once we identify our peer cities we have to be careful. All of our peer cities’ transit systems are somewhat different and it doesn’t necessarily mean one city’s public transit system is more or less effective.  Measurements of “effectiveness” must be based on the public transit values that each local community chooses for itself. Cities always make tradeoffs between coverage and ridership within a fixed budget. A city that values coverage will design a network that tries to deliver public transit opportunities to every corner of the service area.  A city that values ridership will concentrate their resources on the high volume corridors to try and deliver maximize ridership. The former provides lots of access to service but with very low frequency.  The latter leaves many areas unserved but provides much more frequent service along selected corridors.  All cities try to balance these goals based on additional values including social service concerns, the desire to  influence development patterns, mitigation of pollution, and  congestion reduction, and fall somewhere along a continuum from maximum coverage to maximum ridership.    We can also look at a peer city’s budget and facilities which will tell us more about the community’s public transit values and perhaps operational efficiency.

We will address these ideas in a later post, but before we can do that, we need to identify our peer cities based on their Distance Profiles.  Then we can evaluate their transit systems and infer the community values illustrated by their transit system choices and decide what if any elements of that system we can emulate.

Population Profiles

The Distance Profile includes two metrics: population by distance from city hall and population weighted density by distance from city hall. The results for each MSA are plotted on line graphs where each point represents a circular band of land one mile wide with each successive band radiating outward from the city center.  The geometry of this metric results in each successive band having a greater area. The resulting graph has a peak at the band with the greatest population or density then falls off as the bands contain more and more rural areas. Take a look at Louisville’s graphs. Continue reading

Section of Legacy Rails Removed at 38th and Market

In an unfortunate example of the right hand not talking to the left, in the dark of night on June 9th, two six foot sections of double rail streetcar

rail

Cut Streetcar Rail at 38th and Market

tracks were destroyed to make room for faux cobblestone crosswalks. You would think that city construction crews would have been briefed about what NOT to do when archaeological artifacts are encountered. It is not clear what the rules are about dealing with the tracks but indications are that city officials do care about these assets.

In an email exchange between John Owen, candidate for the 5th district Metro Council seat and public works official Dirk Gowan, Gowan said:

“I apologize for the confusion on the tracks, it was my responsibility to assure the tracks were destroyed, and assure you that the extension of the project will not destroy other sections of the track.”

A typo? I think he meant …”to assure the tracks were NOT destroyed.” Anyway, we hope so.

petunia

A Legacy streetcar called “Petunia” on a restored section of tracks in Dallas.

It is not beyond imagining that someday Metro Louisville will want to add streetcars to the urban landscape for all the right reasons. Dallas and other cities have been able to save millions in capital expense by reusing legacy tracks.

Therefore preservation of these valuable assets should be the rule. And the rule should be codified through the Landmarks Commission. In any case a professional development workshop for public works construction crews on proper treatment of archaeological assets is certainly in order.

Events

4 Hiroshimas Per Second