What I read last week

I try and stay on top of new research which pours in. Usually I fail, but here are the papers I managed to get time to read last week:

Emergency Response and Street Design Initiative
Lead by the US Congress of New Urbanism(CNU), this report is a call to new urbanists and fire departments to talk more about traffic calming, especially street narrowing. Many emergency responders, including fire departments, oppose traffic calming because it is perceived to slow response time. Anecdotally, I know from speaking to residents along Hampshire Road that the Oak Bay Fire Department was instrumental in preventing traffic calming on that road, which is heavily trafficked, and has major speed issues. This report is part of CNU’s Emergency Response and Street Design Initiative. More information about the topic can be sen on the Strong Towns blog under “fire trucks“.
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Transit Bus Life Cycle Cost and Year 2007 Emissions Estimation Final Report
This report, although 4 years old, looks at life-cycle costs of various types of buses, including compressed natural gas (almost unknown amongst Canadian transit agencies, but popular in the US), various types of diesel, and diesel hybrids. The biggest problem with the report is that it doesn’t account for the massive spike in fuel costs in 2007, which changes life-cycle costs considerably. Still, an interesting read.
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(note: Although I downloaded the original report from Proterra, an electric bus manufacturer, the report is from the US Federal Transit Agency and the West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines & Emissions)