Reduced parking requirements article

There is an article in today’s LA Times that talks about a move to reduce the parking requirements of various kinds of retail. This is very interesting and could begin to push people to reduce driving. In parallel, there are a few laws on the books in California that require denser development in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now denser development by itself will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and may in fact make things worse if everybody keeps driving to exactly what they do now (imagine…more destinations crammed into a smaller space means more cars on the same streets means more traffic means more emissions). But, if denser development is paired with reduced parking requirements, there is even more incentive to leave the car home for a trip or two (as there will be nowhere to park it when you get there).
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Pipe dream of two-wheeled loaded touring

I’ve been thinking about the cost of a High Speed Rail line in California, and I really think we should take some money from that project and build a long distance cycle path from Mexico to Oregon.  Something like this

A quick search of Google turned up a cost estimate for an undivided 2 Lane Rural Road with 5′ Paved Shoulders = $2,400,000. The border to border route returned by Google is 1,000 miles, so that would be we would need $2.4 billion or so to build it. Maybe less because a bikeway is more like just the paved shoulder part of a two lane highway, but maybe not because this is some pretty isolated real estate and the constructions costs could be high.

According to the first page of Google results on the cost of the California High Speed Rail project, the cost is likely to be around $68 billion. So shave off two of those billions, throw it at a dedicated right of way on the coastal bike route, and watch the tourists roll in from all over the world.

If the California Coast Long Distance Bikeway (is that an acronymic title?) copies the development of the HSR line, and starts in the middle…it wouldn’t be a problem! The coastline from Santa Barbara to Monterrey varies from beautiful to breathtaking. Starting in the middle is a wonderful idea.

Maybe I can write a grant to study this idea further.

CAS validate

My first program pushed up to npm turned out to be a javascript CAS (www.jasig.org/cas) library I wrote for our portal at http://www.ctmlabs.net. The main think holding me up pushing anything to npm was the lack of tests. While I never run tests on packages downloaded from npm (one area where CPAN is definitely better than npm…all tests are run by CPAN on install), I felt that I couldn’t claim that a package was “eligible” for adding to npm until I could prove to myself that it worked like I thought it did.

The tests turned out to be a lot harder to write than I expected. I used Mocha, and excellent test framework, and should, a handy assertion library. But the hard part was getting a session with CAS server to work. Continue reading