Archive | Transportation

NYC: Bad Summer Air, Manhattan, Highways

NEW YORK, Aug. 17 (UPI) — Four major air pollutants are heavily concentrated in high-traffic areas in Manhattan and along highways during the summer in New York, health officials say.

However, the New York City Community Air Survey shows ozone concentrations — resulting from chemical reactions among other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, in the presence of sunlight — were highest in downwind suburban locations, such as the Rockaways and lower Staten Island.

“It’s important to remember that all New Yorkers have a stake in improving the city’s air quality,” Dr. Thomas Farley, city health commissioner, says in a statement. “Exposure to the pollutants evaluated in this report can cause grave health problems, including cardiovascular and lung diseases and premature death. This study reiterates the need to switch to more fuel-efficient cars, reduce car traffic, and increase use of public transportation.”

The air survey shows the four major pollutants — carbon, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone — are heavily concentrated in high-traffic areas such as Midtown and Lower Manhattan and areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that run along busy highways.

The fine-particle pollutants can penetrate deep into the lungs, causing inflammation of the airways, exacerbating lung and heart disease, health officials say.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Cars, Other, Ozone, Transportation0 Comments

'Electronic Eye' Helps Distracted Drivers

SEATTLE, Aug. 16 (UPI) — An “in-car coach” — an electronic eye tracker used to monitor the driver’s gaze — helps avert accidents due to distracted driving, a U.S. researcher says.

Study co-author Linda Ng Boyle of the University of Washington in Seattle says some “high-risk” young drivers have a greater propensity to become distracted while driving. However, those who drove the worst seemed to benefit most from an in-car coach and changed their behavior the most dramatically.

“Our research shows that these high-risk drivers might not be thrill seeking or aggressive — maybe they’re just not aware of what the risks are,” Boyle says in a statement. “By providing continual feedback, drivers may be more likely to learn from their mistakes and put their eyes back on the road.”

Boyle and colleagues used an eye tracker to monitor 53 subjects ages 18-21 as they operated a driving simulator, cruising a two-lane highway with oncoming traffic and given a financial incentive to simultaneously perform simple matching tasks on a screen beside the steering wheel — a distraction at about the level of scanning a playlist on an mp3 player.

The study, published in the Journal of Transportation Engineering, finds providing young drivers feedback on their driving via the electronic coach helped high-risk drivers more than double their time until a virtual crash.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Engineering, Other, Transportation0 Comments

Is the Apple iBike Coming to a Bike Shop Near You?

August 5 (EcoWorld) –┬áBased on a patent filed by Apple on Thursday, it appears the company has been working on a technology that will allow bikers to track in real time important data such as speed, distance, location, and much much more. The system would hook-up to the user’s bike, which would then communicate directly with an iPod or iPhone the biker would need to carry.

The premise of the product is similar to Apple’s “Nike + iPod” system, except is for bikers instead of runners. Additional metrics the iBike system could measure include, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, wind speed, path completed, expected future path, heart rate, power, and pace.

The iBike system (not an official name yet) could also be used with partners, allow fellow cyclists to track and share information about each other within the group. And of course, similar to the Nike + iPod system, the iBike would allow bikers to track on a map where they have been and where they plan to go. There is no official word yet from Apple on when, or even if, this product will be released.

Image credit.

Posted in Bicycles, Transportation0 Comments

Boeing Enters Commercial Spacecraft Race

SEATTLE, July 20 (UPI) — U.S. company Boeing says it is accelerating plans for a capsule-based spaceship to carry people to the ISS space station and future private space stations.

Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft proposal is just one of several efforts by different U.S. companies to develop the first private spaceship capable of flying humans to space, SPACE.com reported Monday.

Impetus for such plans comes President Barack Obama’s goals for NASA, which call for commercial spacecraft to assume the role of transporting astronauts to the space station when the space shuttle program is phased out in 2011.

Boeing’s CST-100 craft is similar in appearance to NASA’s Apollo spacecraft but is larger and can carry up to seven people.

It has been designed for compatibility with a variety of commercial rockets, including United Launch Alliance’s Atlas and Delta boosters, and SpaceX’s Falcon rockets, SPACE.com said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Transportation0 Comments

Senate Committee Extends Shuttle Program

WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) — A U. S. Senate committee has voted to extend the space shuttle program for at least a year beyond its scheduled termination, officials said.

The bill co-authored by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., would add a third shuttle flight for the summer of 2011, set out a new direction for NASA for the next three years, and would mean continued employment for much of the workforce at the Kennedy Space Center, WOFL-TV, Orlando reported Thursday.

The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee passed the NASA authorization bill by a unanimous vote. The bill will now move up to the full Senate for review, msnbc.com reported.

“NASA is an agency in transition. We’ve had to take a clear, hard look at what we want from our space agency in the years and decades to come,” committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said in a statement. “I’ve made my views on this matter very clear: NASA’s role cannot stay static. It must innovate and move in a new direction.”

Under the bill, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will move forward with heavy lift rocket development for manned deep space flights with a target date of 2016 rather than 2025 as previously planned.

NASA will be directed to begin development immediately on the new generation of rockets to carry future spacecraft and crews into orbit, a move that will bring millions of dollars into the Florida economy, WOFL-TV reported.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Transportation0 Comments

NYC is a Safe Place for Children

NEW YORK, July 9 (UPI) — New York City children die of injuries at half the national rate, city health department officials said.

The report, the fourth in a series tracking child deaths in New York City, found from 2001 to 2008, the city recorded 4.2 injury deaths per 100,000 children ages 1-12 years, compared to the national rate of 8.9 deaths per 100,000 children.

“New York City remains a remarkably safe place to grow up,” Dr. Thomas Farley, city health commissioner said in a statement. “Still, every child death is a tragedy and many deaths caused by injury are preventable. This report stresses the critical need for collective and individual action to make our city even safer for kids.”

The city’s lower child injury rate is due to fewer children transported in vehicles, compared to the rest of the country.

New York City children die in traffic accidents at less than one-third the national rate, due to New Yorkers’ high use of public transportation, yet traffic deaths account for 29 percent of the total child deaths.

Among unintentional injuries, 41 percent were transportation-related, 28 percent were caused by fires and burns, 10 percent involved suffocation and 9 percent resulted from falls. Nearly all intentional deaths were homicides, the report said.

The study is published in the nyc.gov/health.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Transportation0 Comments

'Cycle Powered by Compressed Air Proposed

LUCKNOW, India, June 23 (UPI) — Scientists in India say they have conceptually designed a motorcycle engine that uses compressed air, rather than gasoline, to generate power.

The researchers — Bharat Raj Singh and Onkar Singh of the SMS Institute of Technology in Lucknow, India — said their new, cleaner motorcycle engine would use compressed air to turn a small air turbine, generating enough power to run for up to 40 minutes.

They said such a motorcycle could be combined with a compressed air cylinder as a replacement for traditional internal combustion engines. In areas where motorcycles are a major source of public transportation, such a technology could cut emissions substantially if widely implemented, they said.

Singh said designing a compact, high-capacity air tank to store sufficient “fuel” for long rides would be a major hurdle. Existing tanks would require someone to stop about every 19 miles to swap tanks.

The research is reported in the May 6 issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Motorcycles, Other, Transportation0 Comments

SpaceX Launches Rocket in Successful Test

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., June 4 (UPI) — The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched into orbit Friday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, opening what could be a new era of private space flight.

SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk, the man responsible for PayPal and Tesla Motors. The company plans to follow up Friday’s test with the launch during the summer of an operational rocket, then send a spacecraft to the International Space Station next year, The Washington Post reported.

President Obama’s plans for the U.S. space program include a much bigger role for commercial flights. After the launch, Charles Bolden Jr., administrator of the National Atmospheric and Space Administration, said SpaceX had achieved an “important milestone in the commercial transportation effort, and puts the company a step closer to providing cargo services to the International Space Station.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Transportation0 Comments

Distance to Food Not Predictor of Diet

SEATTLE, May 28 (UPI) — Researchers in Seattle question the outcomes of studies that used distance to supermarkets as the best predictor of good diets.

Adam Drewnowski, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington and his team combined a telephone survey, modeled on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System, with geo-coding techniques and spatial analysis to study where people bought food.

“Six out of seven people shopped for food outside their immediate neighborhood,” Drewnowski said in a statement. “The closest supermarket for most people was less than 1 mile away, but people chose the market that was more than 3 miles away.”

If a person has access to a car, driving further to save money on groceries is common. Therefore, physical proximity to a supermarket may not, by itself, assure a healthy diet.

“Money does matter,” Drewnowski said.

The researchers found Seattle is well-supplied with grocery stores, farmers markets and other vendors but did not see evidence of significant food deserts — areas with limited or no access to healthy foods. Public transportation is prevalent and accessible, so people have access to a supermarket or grocery store even if they do not have vehicle.

However, shoppers and shopping opportunities differed among the stores.

“Consumers who shop at most area supermarket chains have obesity rates at 25 percent and higher,” Drewnowski said. “However, the obesity rate was only 4 percent among Whole Foods and PCC Natural Markets, a certified organic grocery store.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Transportation0 Comments

Distance to Food Not Predictor of Diet

SEATTLE, May 28 (UPI) — Researchers in Seattle question the outcomes of studies that used distance to supermarkets as the best predictor of good diets.

Adam Drewnowski, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington and his team combined a telephone survey, modeled on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System, with geo-coding techniques and spatial analysis to study where people bought food.

“Six out of seven people shopped for food outside their immediate neighborhood,” Drewnowski said in a statement. “The closest supermarket for most people was less than 1 mile away, but people chose the market that was more than 3 miles away.”

If a person has access to a car, driving further to save money on groceries is common. Therefore, physical proximity to a supermarket may not, by itself, assure a healthy diet.

“Money does matter,” Drewnowski said.

The researchers found Seattle, is well-supplied with grocery stores, farmers markets and other vendors but did not see evidence of significant food deserts — areas with limited or no access to healthy foods. Public transportation is prevalent and accessible, so people have access to a supermarket or grocery store even if they do not have vehicle.

However, shoppers and shopping opportunities differed among the stores.

“Consumers who shop at most area supermarket chains have obesity rates at 25 percent and higher,” Drewnowski said. “However, the obesity rate was only 4 percent among Whole Foods and PCC Natural Markets, a certified organic grocery store.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Transportation0 Comments

No Posts in Category
Advertisement