Yes, replacing street car parking with bike parking is a good idea.

Over the last week there has been a small controversy regarding the expansion of Capital Bikeshare into Arlington County, VA.  In particular the Arlington County GOP has complained that as many as eight metered parking spaces have been replaced with CaBi stations.

This is virtually a non-issue.  Prior to this, 100% of street parking in Arlington was for cars; now it's maybe 98-99%.  That still seems remarkably unbalanced toward automobiles.  Watch this video (yours truly appears near the beginning).

The contention that replacing these parking spots with bikeshare parking costs the county money and is a bad idea is wrong in so many ways.

Monday What's on the Web: DC Green Scene

The DC Green Scene web site (and email service) provides a list of upcoming environmental events in the Washington DC area.  I highly recommend subscribing to their weekly email notifications if you live in the DC area.  Even if you are unlikely to attend many (or any), it is very useful to know what is going on.

There are typically several listings for every single day, and many of the events are free.  Here are some examples, taken from tomorrow's list:

Hypermiling in our Camry Hybrid

We purchased our 2007 Toyota Hybrid Camry in March of 2007 and I have previously written about it six times (first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth postings).

Last week I set a personal best for mpg on a trip we made to and from Philadelphia.  Our car records the mileage continuously from the time the tank is filled until it is filled again.  On the trip back, we stopped at the Chesapeake House rest area on I-95 at Mile Marker 98 in North East MD.  From there to our house in Arlington we traveled about 94 miles.  The mileage reading shown when we parked in front of our house is shown to the left.

Metro's "Service Nearby" tool

Last summer a friend of mine moved to a new apartment in Alexandria, an area of town he was not particularly familiar with.  He got in touch with me about trying to find a good way to commute by transit to his job in DC.  He knew that I was pretty savvy at figuring out the transportation system.

I pointed him to Metro's "Service Nearby" tool as a first step in figuring out his various options.  The tool identifies all the transit stops within 1 mile.  One can then use that information to look at schedules or use the Trip Planner to determine various ways to go where you want to go.  The trip planner does not always provide the complete list of options (and often not even the best options), so using "Service Nearby" can be really helpful.

Rationalizing services between Shirlington and the Pentagon

Travelers between Shirlington and the Pentagon have more than 160 buses in each direction per day that they can ride. However, the design of the bus bays and the lack of combined schedules creates inconvenience for passengers, requiring them to choose between bus bays that are far apart and knowing multiple schedules, among other issues that could be rationalized.

There are several routes between Shirlington and the Pentagon: Metrobus routes 7A, C, E, F, Y; 22A; 25A, D; and ART87. The 7 and 25 buses are express, traveling directly between these two stations in 6-9 minutes depending on traffic. The 22A makes a few stops before getting on I-395, resulting in a travel time of about 12-14 minutes. The ART bus takes a local route that takes about 23-27 minutes. (In almost all cases, those traveling between these two endpoints will get there sooner by waiting for the next, quicker Metrobus than taking the ART.)  There is also an ART 87X, which is express to the Pentagon during rush hours.

My Commuter Mug Reprise

photo by Scott Feldstien on flickr
Long ago I posted that by carrying my commuter mug around with me I would save money on my coffee purchases.  Starbucks always offers a dime and sometimes they just charge me $0.50 for a refill even though it isn't a "refill."

This morning I was in Shirlington and dropped into the Caribou Coffee shop.  They offer a $0.50 discount for bringing your own mug.  Wow!  And, it was prominently displayed on their big chalkboard.

I recently blogged on how Starbucks has failed in their efforts to improve use of reusable mugs.  Well, Caribou is kicking their butt!!

Google adds skateboard directions to Google Maps

Google announced today that it will be adding skateboarding directions to its currently available driving, walking, transit and biking directions. Simply click on the new icon that appears on the Google Directions page as shown below.

(Just in case - this was an April Fools post)