Lanes, Citizens Still Divided in Vancouver

In the GOOD 100 we applauded the idea of not only creating more space for cyclists and pedestrians on our roads, but of appropriating car lanes to...

In the GOOD 100 we applauded the idea of not only creating more space for cyclists and pedestrians on our roads, but of appropriating car lanes to do it. One place this has been tried is on the Burrard Bridge, which connects Vancouver's downtown to the Kitsilano neighborhood to the west. Last summer the city gave one of the bridge's six car lanes to bikes. The idea was controversial, to say the least. Skeptics thought it would result in gridlocked traffic and hurt downtown businesses.Now there are some numbers out, though, and they look good:-26% increase in cyclists using the bridge-31% increase in women riders-70,000 additional trips over the summer months-A significant reduction in bicycle accidents-Impact on vehicle crossing time: negligible.Not surprisingly, residents support continuing the bike lane trial by a margin of 2 to 1.But wait! This local news item on the new data has attracted an angry mob of commenters, upset about the bike lane. The tone of the comments has a whiff of astroturf about it, but their points aren't all unreasonable. One concerned citizen wonders if motorists now bear a disproportionate tax burden for the upkeep of the bridge, with the cyclists getting a free ride (heh). On that point, I'm not sure that by reducing heavy car traffic the change hasn't also reduced the net wear and tear on the bridge. But regardless, this issue shouldn't outweigh the larger gains of the experiment in terms of bike safety, cleaner transportation, and public health, right?Another concern mentioned is that the poll was small-only 310 people were surveyed-and doesn't reflect the interests of people who live far away and have no choice but to commute by car. The report says the impact of vehicle crossing time has been "negligible," but that's vague. It might be that motorists from the far-flung 'burbs are inconvenienced. And that might just be part of the growing pains of moving to denser, more locally-oriented communities.

McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

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For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

The percentage of Americans who agree that we disagree got higher. During the 2018 mid-term elections, a poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that 80% of Americans felt the nation was "mainly" or "totally" divided.

We head into the 2020 presidential election more divided than ever. A new poll from USA Today found that nine out of ten respondents felt it was important to do something about the conflict in our country. We can't keep on living like this forever.

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via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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