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Found 16 results

  1. US DOT Report Confirms Speed Not Major Accident Cause US Department of Transportation study finds only five percent of crashes caused by excessive speed. As lawmakers around the country continue to consider speed limit enforcement as the primary traffic safety measure, the most comprehensive examination of accident causation in thirty years suggests this focus on speed may be misplaced. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated 5,471 injury crashes that took place across the country between July 3, 2005 and December 31, 2007. Unlike previous studies automatically generated from computerized data found in police reports, researchers in this effort were dispatched to accident scenes before they were cleared. This allowed a first-hand comparison of physical evidence with direct interviews of witnesses and others involved in the incident. NHTSA evaluated the data to determine the factors most responsible for the collision. "The critical reason is determined by a thorough evaluation of all the potential problems related to errors attributable to the driver, the condition of the vehicle, failure of vehicle systems, adverse environmental conditions, and roadway design," the report explained. "The critical pre-crash event refers to the action or the event that puts a vehicle on the course that makes the collision unavoidable, given reasonable driving skills and vehicle handling of the driver." Overall, vehicles "traveling too fast for conditions" accounted for only five percent of the critical pre-crash events (page 23). More significant factors included 22 percent driving off the edge of a road, or 11 percent who drifted over the center dividing line. When driver error was the primary cause of a crash, researchers went further to identify the "critical reason" behind that error. Distraction and not paying attention to the road accounted for 41 percent of the errors. Ten percent of errors were attributed to drivers lacking proper driving skills and either freezing up or overcompensating behind the wheel. Eight percent were asleep, having a heart attack or otherwise incapacitated. A similar eight percent of errors were attributed to driving too fast for conditions and five percent driving too fast for a curve (page 25). The NHTSA findings are mirrored in accident statistics provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The agency's most recent report lists "speed too fast" as the driver error that caused 2.9 percent of crashes in 2007 (view chart, see page 19). More accidents -- 3.8 percent -- were caused in Virginia by drivers falling asleep or becoming ill behind the wheel. Another 14.6 percent were caused by bad weather such as fog, rain and snow. "Speed too fast" was a more significant factor -- 13.7 percent -- in fatal accidents, as compared to 18 percent of fatal accidents involving alcohol and 9.6 percent caused by sleepiness and fatigue (PDF File view full Virginia report in 1.9mb PDF format). In the NHTSA and Virginia reports, "too fast for conditions" does not mean exceeding the posted speed limit. A vehicle driving 10 MPH on an iced-over road with a 45 MPH limit would be traveling too fast for the conditions if it lost control, but it would not have exceeded the speed limit. The UK Department for Transport isolated cases where only the posted limit was exceeded and found that, "Exceeding speed limit was attributed to 3 percent of cars involved in accidents" (view UK report). "Four of the six most frequently reported contributory factors involved driver or rider error or reaction," the Road Casualties Great Britain 2007 report stated. "For fatal accidents the most frequently reported contributory factor was loss of control, which was involved in 35 per cent of fatal accidents." A full copy of the NHTSA report is available in a 400k PDF file at the source link below. Source: PDF File National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (U.S. Department of Transportation, 7/15/2008) ----------------------------------------- Bon les politiciens devraient lire ça avant de proposer d'autres conneries du genre 40-50kmh en ville, et notre 100kmh national.
  2. Un ami à moi m'a refilé ce lien. Il nous lit parfois mais n'est pas membre. Il m'a dit que ça nous intéresserait. En effet!! Bien qu'il faille toujours demeurer prudent avec ce genre d'exercice, ça détonne tout de même dans le paysage médiatique actuel concernant la circulation à Montréal! Enjoy! http://gizmodo.com/5838333/the-most-horrific-traffic-in-the-entire-world
  3. Almost 80,000 jobs lost in February: StatsCan By The Canadian Press OTTAWA - Non-farm payrolls lost 79,600 jobs in February, with manufacturing taking the worst hit, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. The agency said those losses continue a slump that began last October and which has cost 296,000 jobs. The agency's survey of non-farm, payroll employment found the biggest February drop was in manufacturing, where 19,300 jobs were lost. Since October, 99,700 manufacturing jobs have disappeared, a loss of 6.1 per cent. That figure is three times the rate of decline of total payroll employment. Nearly a quarter of the manufacturing job losses came in the auto industry. The survey said the number of employees working in motor vehicle parts manufacturing has fallen by 13,300 since October, while motor vehicle and motor vehicle body manufacturing has dropped by 10,200. As of February, there were 111,500 employees in motor vehicle assembly and parts, down 65,000 or 37 per cent from the peak recorded in 2001. The auto slump has echoes in related industries. Payrolls in auto repair shops are down by 5,000 since October. Auto dealers have cut 4,200 jobs in the period, while parts dealers have 2,300 fewer workers. The construction sector lost 11,100 jobs in February. There were more modest declines other sectors, including non-Internet publishing (4,800), credit intermediaries and related activities (4,300) and truck transportation (4,200). But there were some job gains in health and education, including elementary and secondary schools, and community colleges and CEGEPs in Quebec. The February losses came in all provinces, but Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia took the worst hits. Quebec lost 30,300 jobs in February, a 0.9 per cent drop. Ontario and Alberta each experienced a decline of 0.6 per cent, while British Columbia employment fell by 0.4 per cent. While Quebec experienced the largest monthly decline, both Ontario and British Columbia had the biggest drop between February 2008 and February 2009. Over the year, Ontario payrolls declined by 1.7 per cent or 97,800 jobs. The losses were mostly in manufacturing, with a 12.1 per cent drop of 94,000. In British Columbia, payroll employment was down 28,400 or 1.5 per cent in February compared with a year earlier. Much of this decline was linked to forestry and its related industries. Major communities in southwestern Ontario have all shown sharp losses and in March, Windsor had the highest unemployment rate of any large community in the country - 13.7 per cent. Average weekly earnings, including overtime, of payroll employees in February was $820.95, up 1.8 per from February 2008. This was slower than January's year-over-year increase of 2.4 per cent. From Yahoo news: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/0...ness/jobs_lost
  4. Luxury automakers smash August sales records in Canada By Nicolas Van Praet, Financial PostSeptember 6, 2009 When auto executives gathered at Pebble Beach in Carmel, Calif. this month to show off a bevy of new luxury car models, the mood was decidedly more downbeat than in previous years. Managers for Lamborghini and Lincoln decried the state of sales for their high-end cars, arguing that their well-heeled American buyers are fearful of flaunting their money with lavish purchases at a time when the United States is still gripped in financial scandals and climbing unemployment. “Keeping up with the Joneses is passé,” lamented Ford Motor Co.’s Mark Fields. Somebody forgot to tell that to Canadians. Amid the worst job market in 15 years, several luxury automakers smashed August sales records in Canada. Mercedes-Benz reported a 20% increase in sales and has sold 2,318 more vehicles this year than last. BMW and Lexus are also besting last year’s tally with double-digit percentage increases last month. Audi nearly doubled its sales in August over a year ago, and has sold 27% more vehicles this year. The country is in a recession and yet the luxury market is holding up. Meanwhile, sales of the most affordable vehicles, subcompacts, are down 26% through the first eight months. “It’s totally counter-intuitive,” said John White, chief executive of Volkswagen Group Canada, Inc., which comprises the Volkswagen and Audi brands. “It’s taken us a little bit by surprise. And the Audi division has had to turn around and ask [headquarters] for more cars because we didn’t think the demand would be as strong in a down market.” Mr. White’s read on the situation is that Canadians who believe they are secure in their jobs are pulling the trigger on buying middle-of-the-road luxury vehicles like the A4 sedan and BMW 3-Series, not the higher-end models. He said the luxury segment has become hyper-competitive as BMW and Mercedes “are out there as aggressive as you’ll see mainstream competitors,” offering deals that were unthinkable only a few years ago and making it easier for buyers to step into premium cars. Mercedes is offering lease deals such as $398 per month on its 2010 C250 car, based on an interest rate of 4.9% for 36 months. That’s on par with a similarly-equipped Honda Accord or Mazda6, according to the Automobile Protection Association. Roughly 40% of luxury vehicle sales transactions in Canada are leases, according to J.D. Power & Associates’ Power Information Network. One third of people pay cash while the rest take out a loan. Sales growth is particularly strong in one sub-segment of the premium market: compact luxury SUVs. Volvo, Mercedes and Audi have launched new vehicles into that category this year, which has helped boost sales volumes 66% over 2008 levels, said industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers. “We’re still a society that needs to carry stuff,” said J.D. Power analyst Geoff Helby in explaining why SUV models like the Volvo XC60 and Audi Q5 are clicking with buyers. “[People] are stepping away from the previous generation of minivans and big honking SUVs and they’re going into something smaller” without giving up luxury features. In the mind of the Canadian luxury buyer, downsizing is the compromise they’re making in the recession, Mr. Helby said. Mary Weil is proof. The media relations professional and her husband started looking around for a new vehicle earlier this year after the lease on a larger sports utility vehicle he drove expired, she recalls. They decided on a Mercedes GLK compact SUV. “The price point was surprisingly not that much higher than comparable vehicles.” In a Jan.15 analysis, Mr. DesRosiers predicted the luxury market in Canada overall will drop 5% this year. Automakers sold 131,436 luxury vehicles in 2008, a 3% decline over the year before. Financial Post [email protected]
  5. It is very unfortunate that events that happen in less than a minute can have such a profoundly negative impact on peoples' lives. In this case, I most definitely believe that Michael Bryant is innocent of what is essentially a manslaughter charge. This is one of the rare times I side with a Liberal. By the sounds of things Darcy Allan Sheppard was drunk and riding his bicycle down a major throughfare (Bloor Street). Drinking and riding a bicycle can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving a car. There needs to be laws put in place to regulate cycling just like driving. If it had been the other way around, and Bryant had been drinking and driving, got into an altercation with a cyclist before crashing and killing himself, it would have been completely his fault. But since Sheppard was a cyclist, he couldn't possibly be in the wrong.
  6. Salut la gagne! Etant à Vancouver, je vais en profiter pour poster des choses qui pourraient être d'intérêt pour Montréal. Vancouver council considers mandatory installation of electric car chargers City could require 10 per cent of new condo parking spots to include electric car chargers BY JOANNE LEE-YOUNG, VANCOUVER SUNJULY 8, 2009 Vancouver city council will soon decide whether to force developers to install electric car-charging stations in at least 10 per cent of all new condo parking lots -- a proposal that's creating a chicken-or-the-egg debate. If the vote goes through Thursday, Vancouver would be the first city in Canada with such a mandate for residential buildings. In addition to the 10-per-cent requirement for condo parking spaces, it would also see the city install a limited number of public charging stations at its EasyPark lots, eventually expand this to include on-street locations, and develop a strategy for retrofitting existing buildings. "Electric cars are coming. They are in Europe and in Japan," said Mayor Gregor Robertson, echoing observers who see that while Vancouver might lead Canada, it would be playing catch up to many cities elsewhere, such as San Francisco and Paris, which already each have hundreds of charging stations and growing culture for electric car use. "We need to be prepared." City staff estimate that the cost of installing chargers for 10 per cent of parking spaces, with allowance for future upgrades, would cost less than 0.5 per cent of the building cost. They believe that, while this would be a new cost to developers, it would "enable early adoption of EVs [electric vehicles] in our community, allow for later expansion as the market demands, allow the development industry to test the market take-up and introduce limited new costs that are not likely to adversely affect land values." The proposal would include an 18-month grace period for these requirements and support "developers to find possible strategies to offset the new incremental costs associated with this infrastructure." This, however, seems to be of little comfort to developers, who would like to see the ratio for charging stations reduced from 10 per cent to five per cent of parking stalls. In April, city staff made a proposal to the Urban Development Institute, which represents developers, that charging infrastructure would be required for 20 per cent of parking stalls. UDI responded that this ratio was too high, "given the cost of providing the infrastructure, the lack of widespread market penetration of the vehicle technology, and BC Hydro's capacity to deliver the additional power required to charge these vehicles." On Tuesday, Jeff Fisher, deputy executive director of UDI, said the organization is working with the city, but has some specific concerns. "We are always supportive of going green and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we want to make sure that this is the right green-car technology. There are a number out there. We have had hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and concepts like the 'hydrogen highway' for some time. We feel it might be premature to mandate this." He added that while 0.5 per cent of the cost of the building is small, "when you look at the cost of other fees that the industry is facing, in aggregate, it is more significant." Fisher said that, for now, UDI would prefer to see a voluntarily or incentive-based approach to making charging stations available. Part of the conundrum is that there are currently fewer than 10 such electric vehicles in the city. A few months ago, the City of Vancouver and BC Hydro signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Motors to use its newly-launched iMiev electric vehicle as test run models for their fleets. It's not clear yet exactly how many vehicles this will involve and exactly when they would arrive, but the hope is that orders would quickly increase. Don Chander, past president of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, which supports the proposal, said that providing infrastructure for charging electric vehicles in all new multi-family residential buildings is increasingly important as density increases. He added that some 18 major automakers have announced electric vehicle models, making it "urgent to start building this infrastructure." The VEVA estimates that the average cost of implementing EV infrastructure at the time of construction is around $1,500 per parking stall. [email protected] - - - Read Joanne lee -young's blog at vancouversun.com/pacificwaves © Copyright © The Vancouver Sun
  7. C'est peut-être le temps de déclarer la rue Sainte-Catherine piétonne sur toute sa longueur... http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/story/2013/08/05/montreal-sink-hole-ste-catherine.html Emergency crews are on the scene after a sinkhole opened up in downtown Montreal and swallowed a backhoe. It happened at about 9 a.m. ET at the intersection of Guy and St-Catherine streets. The hole is about eight metres long and five meters across. A section of St-Catherine Street has been closed to traffic. A city official said they received a call about a water leak at the scene on the weekend. Crews arrived this morning to do repairs and that's when the road gave way. "We think that the water leak was because of the sewer pipe. . .it's broken sewer pipe," said Emilie Miskdjian a spokeswoman for the Ville Marie borough. "That's what we think, but we will have to do an inspection to determine the cause." The driver was taken to hospital as a precaution. Engineers and representatives from the CSST, Quebec's workplace health and safety board, are now at the scene to determine the best way to remove the vehicle from the hole.
  8. APRIL 6, 2009, 9:17 PM By JIM MOTAVALLI G.M.’s P.U.M.A. prototype in Manhattan. General Motors may be so short of cash that bankruptcy is among its dwindling options, but the company is still in the business of creating dreams. Its latest dream, the P.U.M.A. mobility pod, to be unveiled Tuesday in New York, is pretty far out — and as such, requires no big immediate investments. Indeed, Larry Burns, G.M.’s vice president for research and development and strategic planning, said the P.U.M.A. prototype cost “only one half of one percent of G.M’s typical engineering budget” for a year. Of course, the P.U.M.A. (for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) is not really a car, and it’s not really being introduced, except as a bit of blue-sky thinking about better ways to move around crowded urban areas than driving an automobile. Mr. Burns has used the phrase “reinvention of the automobile” before, in relation to fuel-cell vehicles like the G.M. Sequel. But the P.U.M.A., a joint project with Segway, the New Hampshire-based creator of self-balancing two-wheel scooters, is quite different. Think of a larger, two-passenger, sit-down version of the Segway PT, with two gyroscopically balanced wheels. The prototype has minimal bodywork, but podlike enclosures (which look like computer mice on wheels) are imagined for production. If it gets that far. If all of this conjures visions of a rickshaw, well, the prototype does somewhat resemble one. Mr. Burns imagines Singapore, which has rickshaws, as one possible early market. The P.U.M.A., which will be displayed at the New York International Auto Show (which opens to the public on Friday), is an electric vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries. James D. Norrod, the president and chief executive of Segway, says it has a 35-mile range and 35 m.p.h. top speed. A three-hour charge costs, not surprisingly, 35 cents. It is, in essence, a neighborhood electric vehicle, or N.E.V., whose limited speed keeps it off highways (and, in most states, off roads with speed limits over 35). Mr. Burns said that six P.U.M.A.’s would fit in a standard parking space. A new N.E.V. — many are little more than glorified golf carts— is not going to reinvent the automobile. Despite the claims by proponents of such vehicles that they serve the driving needs of many millions, they have failed to make much of a dent in the car market. Ford abandoned its Neighbor N.E.V. when it sold the Norwegian company that made it, Think Nordic, at the end of 2002. Fewer than 6,000 Neighbors were sold in the United States that year. Chrysler still sells Global Electric Motorcars vehicles, which have had some success in gated communities. In a meeting Monday with editors and reporters at The New York Times, Mr. Burns pulled out his cellphone to make a point: Project P.U.M.A. vehicles would be designed to tap into the two-way communications made possible by G.M.’s OnStar technology, which has six million North American subscribers. The vision is expansive: using “vehicle to vehicle,” or V2V, communications, these “100 percent digital” devices would communicate with one another over a quarter-mile range to prevent collisions, eventually allowing what G.M. calls “autonomous driving and parking.” Mr. Burns imagines a hands-free urban driver ignoring dense city traffic to concentrate on sending text messages from a PDA clipped in to serve as a dashboard, while the mobile Internet pod moves toward its destination. “My daughter sleeps with her iPhone in her hand,” Mr. Burns said. “At this point, is using a cellphone the distraction, or has driving become the distraction?” There’s more: the pods would also be equipped to communicate with the smart grid of the future (as is the Aptera EV, another podlike electric vehicle that is due to be introduced in the fall), returning electricity to utilities during times of peak demand. That’s not V2V, it’s V2G — vehicle to grid. NYT_VideoPlayerStart({playerType:"article",videoId:"1194839263765",adxPagename:"wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/video"}); The Segway PT costs $5,000, so the more capable 600-pound P.U.M.A. would presumably be priced considerably higher, though Mr. Burns declined to speculate where the sweet spot might be. “This is a prototype, not a product,” said Mr. Norrod of Segway. “We have not made a decision to commercialize it.” Mr. Burns concluded his remarks by offering a glimmer of what his company could become if it managed to transform the urban roadscape. “We were the S.U.V. company, and we accept that,” he said. “We want to become the U.S.V. company — known for ultra-small vehicles.” Copyright 2009 The New York Times CompanyPrivacy PolicyNYTimes.com 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018 http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/gm-conjures-up-a-people-moving-pod/?pagemode=print
  9. We happen to know of a housing development in Southern California that recently had its central road repaved. Out went the crumbling asphalt and nasty old speed bumps, and in went shiny new black pavement... and an additional helping of nasty new speed bumps. The paving company had actually doubled the number of bumps, presumably in an attempt to slow down traffic through this residential area. What actually resulted was cars now speeding up even quicker and slowing even faster between the bumps, wasting gas, wearing out brakes and putting out more emissions in the process. Too bad they didn't know about these new speed bumps from the fertile minds of designers Jae-yun Kim and Jong-Su Lee. These sleeping policemen actually flatten when the vehicle is traveling the speed limit, but stay upright when someone is speeding. The new design uses a small damper inside to flatten out when a car drives over it at low speed, but higher forces from a faster vehicle keep it upright, causing a nasty jolt. To make them more visible than your typical speed bump, they're outfitted with LEDs all around. The designers say their goal was to encourage drivers to maintain a constant slow speed, reducing the amount of stops and starts made, and thereby the amount of exhaust pollution from the car. The world's first green speed bumps? These are just a concept for now, but hopefully someone will put them into production soon, and bring them to So. Cal.
  10. WTC in NYC : Recession could change the timeline By Julie Shapiro and Josh Rogers January 16-22, 2009 The Port Authority may try to delay the opening of some World Trade Center offices if the economy takes too long to bounce back, the agency’s leader said this week. The best way to ensure that Towers 2 and 3 are successful may be to phase them in over time, said Chris Ward, the Port’s executive director. “It would be naïve to think real estate can respond in the same way it was expected to respond in 2006,” Ward said in an hour-long interview with Downtown Express Tuesday. “It’s a different, different world.” If Towers 2 and 3 do not rise over the next several years, as was expected, Ward promised that something temporary would go in their place. One possibility is to build a retail-filled podium of several stories, then add the skyscrapers when the economy improves. Another possibility is to build a platform at grade. No matter what, the sites will not remain fenced off behind barriers indefinitely. “This will not be left a construction site,” said Ward, who took over the Port last May. “The last thing that’s good economically and the last thing for the community is to…have it feel like some pit.” The two towers are being developed by Silverstein Properties, which signed a 99-year lease with the Port for the World Trade Center two months before 9/11. Larry Silverstein, the firm’s head, has maintained that tough economic times are the ideal time to build offices. “By building now, even if demand for offices either Downtown or anywhere else in the city softens temporarily, we will be ready when the New York and U.S. economies rebound,” Silverstein wrote in a Downtown Express column two months ago. “And have no doubt — they will. They always do.” Silverstein Properties declined to comment Wednesday on Ward’s remarks. Ward said Tower 4 will be the easiest for Silverstein to build on time (2012) because it is the most economically viable — the city and the Port have already agreed to lease two-thirds of the office space from Silverstein. Ward said he was optimistic the incoming Obama administration, which is emphasizing economic stimulus, will back extending the deadline for the tax-free Liberty Bonds beyond the end of the year. Silverstein plans to use the bonds for three W.T.C. office towers and the Port will use them for the Freedom Tower, which is under construction. The bonds will be difficult to sell if they are put on the market long before the buildings’ openings. Ward also spoke Tuesday about the newly released quarterly milestones for the W.T.C. site. The Port met eight of its nine goals for the fourth quarter of 2008 and set nine more goals for this quarter. The one goal the Port did not meet was to turn over the excavated sites for Towers 2, 3 and 4 to Silverstein so he can build the towers. The Port initially said in October that the sites for Towers 2 and 4 were ready, but Silverstein disputed that, and an arbitration panel ruled last month that the Port had more work to do. The largest problem was a 200-foot wall the Port left standing right where a column for Tower 4 needed to go. Ward told Downtown Express that he knew the wall needed to come down, but he thought Silverstein had enough space to work around it and build other parts of the tower’s foundation first. He acknowledged Tuesday that the Port may have overstated its case. “If we were overly aggressive in that assertion, it was in the sense that we were paying a lot of money in the failure to deliver [the site],” Ward said. The Port is paying Silverstein $300,000 a day until the sites are cleared and ready for construction under an agreement renegotiated in 2006. The Port also missed another deadline at the end of the year for work on the sites for Towers 2 and 3 and has racked up $60 million worth of fines to date for missing the June and December 2008 deadlines. As a result of the arbitration, the Port and Silverstein have agreed on more detailed guidelines to determine when the sites are done. Ward said the No. 1 lesson he learned from the arbitration was that communication is essential. “If we’d been there earlier, better and more often, I don’t think we’d have come to this problem,” Ward said. It’s the same lesson he’s learned with the community and the public as a whole, whether it’s about street closures or the site’s schedule and budget: The more upfront the Port can be, the better. But no matter how candid Ward is, many New Yorkers won’t believe in progress at the site until they see it with their own eyes. “There’s such a cynicism that’s in society right now about building,” Ward said, referring to other major construction projects as well. “That’s just bad for the city, to have the feeling we’re not really building.” Ward expects the perception to change between the middle and end of the year, as steel for the memorial rises above street level and the Freedom Tower continues to grow. This is a critical year for the project, as work shifts from excavating behind construction barriers to pushing steel skyward, Ward said. The quarterly milestones are part of Ward’s effort to gain the public’s trust that he will meet the revised schedule for the site, announced last fall. He hopes to add more detail to the milestones and release the goals further in advance, providing a detailed map the public can trace toward completion. Looking ahead, Ward does not foresee any engineering or planning crises, but he said meeting the deadlines will come down to teamwork and timing — along with good weather. “There’s no leisure to it,” Ward said. “You can’t take a week off. You can’t think about, ‘I’ll make that up later….’ Those days for this project are literally over.” One potential source of delay is 130 Liberty St., the contaminated former Deutsche Bank building that stands right where the Vehicle Security Center will go. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. recently announced another delay of six weeks to three months on the building’s demolition, and that in turn will delay the Vehicle Security Center by the same amount of time. “Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that can be done without having it completely down,” Ward said. As construction of the Trade Center progresses, the many projects crammed onto the 16-acre site will continue coming into conflict over the limited space and resources. Ward described his priorities for the site whenever those conflicts arise, and for him, it all goes back to getting the memorial plaza open by the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Opening the memorial leads to the priority of finishing the PATH Hub and Vehicle Security Center, which will both open after the 10-year anniversary but will be important to getting people on the site. The 10-year anniversary also made the Port prioritize Greenwich St., the site’s north-south spine, which people will use to access the memorial. After that comes the office towers: the Port’s Freedom Tower and Silverstein’s Towers 2, 3 and 4. Finally, Ward listed the site’s other projects, like Liberty Park and the performing arts center, which are not as integral to the plan. One conflict the Port has already resolved required the redesign of the Santiago Calatrava’s PATH hub. To open the memorial on time, the Port added some columns to Calatrava’s belowground mezzanine, enabling workers to build the roof of the mezzanine first, which gives the memorial a floor. Silverstein, the city and the memorial foundation all lobbied the Port to scale back the $3.2 billion station further, but Ward said that was much more difficult than it seemed because everything is interconnected. “You couldn’t simply say, ‘Make it smaller,’” Ward said, “because then it would have an implication for how much mechanical equipment could you put below-grade, which affected whether or not you could pump the amount of water that you need to pump to make the fountains work…. Probably a fair number of people think we didn’t do enough, but I think we struck the right balance.” Ward is also trying to balance the community’s concerns with his goal of keeping the project on schedule. Nowhere is that clearer than Vesey St., which the Port had said might have to close between Church St. and W. Broadway for utility work. “At some point, for hopefully a limited amount of time, it will have to close, and that’s just a fact of life,” Ward said Tuesday. He expects the closure to last less than a year. More than 15,000 pedestrians use Vesey St. during the morning rush hour, pouring out of the temporary PATH station at Greenwich St., and Ward said he would try to minimize the impact of the closure by keeping the Vesey St. pedestrian bridge open. The community is particularly concerned about Vesey’s closure because the Port is definitely closing Liberty St. on the south side of the site at the end of this year. Liberty St. will be closed for much longer than Vesey St., but the two closures will likely overlap.
  11. (Courtesy of Engadget) It is a good initiative, but will Quebec mandate by a certain year everyone needs to have an electric vehicle?
  12. (Courtesy of CBC News) I would love to see a tougher law be put into place here in Quebec. 1st time you get caught or caught again you lose your license for life or you can spend life in prison. These idiots should not get any chances.
  13. APRIL 2, 2009, 7:57 AM Nissan Rolls On With Its Electric Car By BRADLEY BERMAN Nissan is using the Cube as a test mule for its electric drivetrain. The design for its electric car, due in 2010, will be original. SACRAMENTO, Calif. — President Obama’s auto task force cast doubt this week on the business case for the Chevrolet Volt, the extended-range electric vehicle from General Motors. The task force’s written assessment said big cost reductions were needed to make the vehicle “commercially viable.” Nissan, however, is gushing with confidence about the business case for its pure electric car, which goes on sale to fleets in 2010 and to retail customers in 2012. “This is not a test or demonstration,” Mark Perry, a product planner for Nissan said here on the second stop of a 12-city tour. “We’re ready for mass production.” The company won’t reveal the name of the electric car, and it won’t reveal what it will look like. For the company’s dog-and-pony show, it is using a Japanese-market Nissan Cube outfitted with the same electric drivetrain that will go into a newly designed electric car. The only similarity between the Cube and Nissan’s mystery electric car is the size — something similar to a four-door Nissan Sentra. Mr. Perry told me the car will have an “iconic electric vehicle” look, without being “Jetsons or Blade Runner.” Driving range will be 100 miles, with a full recharge time of four hours from a recommended 220-volt charger (and eight hours for 110v). My three-minute spin around the parking lot of the Cal Expo was completely unremarkable. And that is Nissan’s point — to prove that its E.V. is just like a normal car. To show that its E.V. is as a viable alternative to a gas-powered sedan, Nissan is pricing it just like one. The company is targeting a price of around $25,000-$30,000. A $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles with at least l6 kilowatt-hours of energy storage — the Nissan EV will exceed that — could drop the cost below $20,000. The company said it believed the lower cost of electricity versus gasoline will create an instant payback for customers. “Batteries are a lot of the expense. But we’re moving to mass production as fast as we can to reach economies of scale,” Mr. Perry said. Nissan has a 51 percent share in the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, a joint venture to produce batteries with Japan’s NEC Corporation. Nissan said this experience will help it reduce expenses. The lithium-ion battery for a $25,000 electric vehicle could cost $10,000 or more. “We’re confident in the battery, because it’s our battery,” Mr. Perry said. “Our engineers developed it.” Copyright 2009 The New York Times CompanyPrivacy PolicyNYTimes.com 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018 http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/nissan-rolls-on-with-its-electric-car/?pagemode=print