Just over half of Boulder commuters drive alone to get to work. Compared to the rest of Colorado, that’s pretty impressive, we’re also built better for it in the city, so we probably should be comparing ourselves to other cities that are bike- and bus-friendly.
The other number that sticks out on this data from the 2009 U.S. Census American Community Survey is our work-from-home number — but we already knew that.
Here’s some of the relevant data:
|Location||Drive alone||Carpool||Public transportation||Bike||Walk||Work from home|
In Amsterdam, they take more trips by bike than by car. Consider that!
In Portland, bike traffic constitutes 20 percent of the traffic on some roads, leading to bikejams.
Until we’re having bikejams — or until I have to stand up for part of my bus commute — it seems like there’s still a lot of education to be done. (But please don’t cut bus service to artificially make this happen. Here’s a great post from our neighbors to the south on that line of thinking.)
Note: When I lived on the Skip line, I did have to stand up — often.
Laura had written here that ClimateSmart was in trouble — and at the Camera that the ClimateSmart home loan program is indefinitely suspended (though the ClimateSmart commercial loan program is not). The trick is that it’s yet another loan and multiple entities have claims to that debt — and they all want to have the first claim to it. Not surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal does a far better job of explaining the financial side of the PACE/Fannie/Freddie entanglement than I do.
More recently, Grist caught up with a Longmont teacher who came this close to retrofitting her home, but ended up frustrated with ClimateSmart.
“I was looking forward to a warm winter,” she said.
That’s when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac threw the program into confusion by sending letters suggesting that mortgage lenders should steer clear of PACE, arguing that PACE liens could not take priority over mortgages. The government-chartered mortgage giants are concerned about losing out if homeowners with clean-energy assessments default on their loans.
Boulder County commissioners, along with Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) and others, urged Fannie and Freddie and their federal regulator to clarify their cryptic letters and resolve the issue. But last week, after having already delayed the program once while awaiting resolution, the county felt compelled to cancel the latest round of ClimateSmart funding.
“We had a couple hundred homeowners who were applying for $3 million in financing for projects who have essentially been hanging in limbo,” County Commissioner Will Toor said. “We initially hoped the issue would be quickly resolved. It hasn’t been. While we still believe that it will eventually be resolved, we couldn’t ask our homeowners and local green building contractors to just remain in limbo.”
Read more of Kayla Thomason’s story over at Grist.
President Barack Obama has recently announced a federal loan guarantee to Abound Solar, a Loveland-based company that has a manufacturing facility in Longmont.
The company, which employs 360 people in Colorado and manufactures thin film solar panels, will nearly double its employee base in the state, Abound Solar spokesman Mark Chen said.
He said it’s not yet clear exactly how the new jobs will break down between Abound Solar’s Longmont production facility, its headquarters in Loveland and its research lab in Fort Collins.
But he said Longmont would most likely be the biggest beneficiary since the bulk of production is done in the city. The company will be able to add two production lines to the one it already has in Longmont as a result of the loan guarantee, Chen said.
The White House said the project marks the first time this new manufacturing technology for Cadmium-Telluride panels will be deployed commercially anywhere in the world.
It will produce photovoltaic panels using an innovative process in which thin films of Cadmium-Telluride are deposited onto the glass panels, according to the White House. The technology reduces overall product costs.
Abound Solar is a member of PV Cycle, an organization dedicated to creating “truly sustainable energy solutions that take into consideration the environmental impacts of all stages of the product life cycle, from raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling.”
Learn more about the Abound Solar expansion in Longmont and the federal loan guarantee at the Camera.
Raw Milk — you know the kind that’s fresh from the cow (or goat), not pasteurized, and according to proponents super rich and nutritious — may have made 24 people sick in Boulder County.
Officials think the sickness is related to goat milk from Billy Goat Dairy in Longmont. In all, there are a couple of raw milk dairies in Longmont, a couple in Boulder and one in Erie.
Some food safety experts say that raw milk is dangerous (and that pasteurization was one of the great health breakthroughs). But raw milk lovers say it’s no more dangerous (if the dairy is clean) than other foods. (After all, didn’t hamburgers and spinach give people e-coli?)
Read more about the problem at DailyCamera.com, and tell us what you think below.
The “wheels” in Meals on Wheels, the national service that delivers hot meals to seniors and the disabled, usually means a car.
But in Longmont — at least in a few cases — the wheels now may mean a bike, thanks to a couple of local women. From this weekend’s Longmont Times Call:
The program marks the first time Meals on Wheels has made deliveries via bike in Longmont, said program coordinator Karla Hale. It also is the first bike-powered program in the state that has been implemented under Meals on Wheels, she said.
“A lot of it has to do with going green and what can we do as a community or an organization to help the environment,” she said. Read more
We do like to be useful around here, so we’re glad to see that someone linked to us in trying to solve some commute worries. The case in question involved a Boulder-to-Loveland trip and, as of today, that trip became a one-transfer trip (or maybe two if you’re starting from somewhere difficult in Boulder).
A quick picture from the Loveland Reporter-Herald of what a FLEX bus schedule might look like for a commuter (shift the hours back a touch for a “normal” commute):
[Mass-transit advocate Gary] Thomas will depart from the transit center at The Square retail center in Fort Collins at 5 a.m. Monday and arrive at Longmont’s south transit center at Coffman and Eighth streets just after 6 a.m.
There, riders have the option of boarding RTD express buses for Denver or Boulder.
Day festivals in Fort Collins just got a bit closer. And folks who commute along this path are happier now, too, according to a Times-Call story about FLEX bus riders.
“It’s about time,” [Longmont resident Connie] Poole said of the new bus route.
She said she’d been frustrated in the past with the lack of a bus route connecting Longmont to Larimer County.
If there’s one thing the United States isn’t known for, it’s eating well. We’ve got a heck of a reputation for junk food out there.
For some people, it’s because there are six-packs of tiny powdered donuts in the vending machine down the hall (damn you) and they have a problem/are weak-willed*. For others, it’s simply because they can’t afford to eat fresh vegetables day in and day out.
Community Food Share, Sister Carmen Center and others in our community want to help with that second reason so, for one, they’ve set up a plot they call Earth’s Table, where veggies are grown for those in need. Read more
If you were looking to get up to Fort Collins by bus (say, for some beer or rock ‘n’ roll or for the 2010 Tour de Fat on Sept. 4), it looks like you can take the BOLT to Longmont and take the FLEX up to Fort Collins — starting in just a couple of weeks. Read more
Want to do more for the environment but aren’t sure what you can do? Come to a Eco-Cycle Zero Waste Living Training and learn how to turn the small choices you make every day into a big part of the solution to our environmental crises, 2 p.m. Saturday, May 22, and Monday, May, 24, Longmont Public Library, 409 Fourth Ave., Longmont, free; Wednesday, May 26, City of Longmont Public Works Operations Building, 375 Airport Road, Longmont. For more information, call 303-651-8470.
Boulder isn’t the only city that gets complaints and controversy when trees are in the way of city projects — at the moment, Longmont is going through some of that as they look at a plan to reduce Lefthand Creek’s flood risks:
Residents of the Southmoor Park neighborhood gathered Thursday night at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church to question the necessity of removing 169 trees around the creek in order to expand the channel and reduce the risk of area flooding, according to the city.
The approximately $5 million project, funded by the 2007 Storm Drainage Bond approved by Longmont voters, is intended to reduce destruction in the event of a 100-year flood, according to city officials.