Winter Break

I’m now back on campus after a thoroughly relaxing winter break.  Highlights included spending time in the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino National Forests, surfing and enjoying bonfires at the beach, and riding the new Silver Line and Gold Line Eastside Extension.

Pictures:

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Time lapse video of fog rolling into the Tule River Valley (Windows Media Player required, go to full post, right click video, and select Play/Pause to start):

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E90 Update – Trip to the Bus Yard

Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2

For my E90 senior engineering design project, I will be working on pollution reduction at the local school bus yard.  I enjoyed my first visit to the bus yard, and it was great to learn about some of the particulate filtration systems already in use.

No Idling Sign

Garbage Truck Hits Fung Wah Bus

Gothamist reports that a Fung Wah bus was involved in a fatal crash this morning.  A garbage truck leaving the Manhattan Bridge hit the bus near its loading zone.  The bus then crashed into a bank, killing a pedestrian.  Cars and trucks definitely speed off the Manhattan Bridge (though it’s hard to tell in the picture below because of the construction).

Here’s a picture from the same spot, looking the other way.  The buses load at the curb in the picture below.  I can see how a large truck rounding the corner into a departing bus could cause some major problems.  The bank that was hit is just around the corner on the right.

Swarthmore Borough Endorses R3 to West Chester

The Borough of Swarthmore approved a resolution in support of the R3 extension to West Chester.  The ville has to be good for something…

http://www.r3westchester.org/2008/06/swarthmore-jumps-on-board/

I think it’s a great idea.  SEPTA would get increased ridership, and it would be more convenient to get to Chesco from Swat.  And most importantly, R3 service to Wawa would be restored!

Switching to Public Transit

A fun article entitled “A couple of easy fixes and we’ll take the bus to work

I think it has some pretty realistic and helpful suggestions for transit in Southern California.  And, anecdotes like the following:

Hector Barbosa, 41, whom I encountered twice during the week as he traveled to and from his home in Pacific Palisades and his job in Beverly Hills, said local bus lines take some getting used to.

“The problems are especially huge when it comes to the homeless and the mentally ill,” he said. “Sometimes you see people getting violent, sometimes defecating.”

Or in my case, there was the elderly gentleman who sang what sounded like pirate chanteys for about 15 minutes.

Nice…

Metro Rail – The Future is Now

Pretty funny video from 1985:

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=FkFoW5lr-tU[/youtube]

Red Line: Longfellow Bridge Work

For the past couple of weeks, Red Line trains have been ordered to slow to a crawl while crossing the Charles River, due to concerns over railroad tie deterioration on the bridge. I’m a bit nervous about this, especially since the T has decided to make emergency repairs (without calling them that).

Pesaturo said the ties were scheduled to be replaced during the rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge, “but MBTA staff has decided to accelerate the schedule.”

[From the Somerville Journal.]

I’ve seen how slowly the trains have been running from the Harvard Bridge (Mass Ave), but hadn’t actually ridden one until yesterday.  They really are crawling.  The “accelerated schedule” means the Red Line will be shut down on June 14-15 and 21-22.

Operator 65891

Tonight, I met my favorite bus driver ever.