Urbification: Taking the sub out of Calif. suburbs

Walking. Bicycling. Alternatives to Driving Everywhere. Social justice. Alternatives to suburban boredom and waste. And the infrastructure and technology needed to get there.

Monday, June 28, 2004

An automaker has estimated that it could give away a car for free, like cell phones are provided, if the customer agrees to buy $220 worth of information services per month, according to Sun Microsystems. Drivers would still have a variety of expenses to pay, but it's very likely we will see this car giveaway become reality within a few years.

Friday, June 25, 2004

The automobile kills COMDEX: This week, the organizers of COMDEX, a large, venerable technology show, announced they were postponing the show, but it may never return. Tech industry observers fingered many culprits, but I believe the murder weapons were evident during each show, stuck in traffic. COMDEX, which took place in Las Vegas, proved to be a nightmare to navigate around, because the streets around the conference and feeder hotels on the Las Vegas "strip" were choked with a mix of local traffic, taxis, rental cars and buses. When I attended COMDEX in 1997, I persuaded several staffers at BYTE Magazine to rent mountain bikes to get around. We used the bikes to get to appointments on time, which it's tough to do when you're stuck in a car in traffic during COMDEX. Others, including an IDC analyst, discovered this bicycling trick in ensuing years. But Vegas lacks bike lanes or wide shoulder lanes on its main drags, which makes bicycling a bit hairier. As for public transit, for years Las Vegas has been building a monorail to move city visitors around, but it's a case of too little, too late for COMDEX.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Terracycle has nothing to do with bicycling, but instead is a company I heard about from a business associate of mine who serves on their advisory board. It's making "the world's first powerful, organic plant food to be created entirely from waste - from its packaging to the contents." I'm surprised I haven't heard about it yet here in Berkeley. I'm sure I will.