Billed as the future of mass transport, the concept of ‘’hyperloop’’ uses magnetic levitation to propel small capsules through a tube containing a near vacuum, dramatically reducing friction and enabling them to attain a velocity comparable to that of airliners. The technology was initially proposed in 2013 by Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive of Tesla.
Passengers in the first hyperloop will travel at close to 760mph down an almost airless tube. Almost inevitably, the first hyperloop could be up and running in Abu Dhabi by 2020.Source: The Times, 16th September
Did you know, Britain has 108 steam railways run by 18,500 volunteers?
Here's a short extract from Bill Bryson's "The road to Little Dribbling" commenting on his encounter with a steam train during his travels around England:
Just before I reached Sheringham , the air was pierced by a shrill whistle, loud enough to make me start, and off to my right a steam train passed, chuffing away and filling the air with a long chain of white smoke. This was the North Norfolk Railway. Even from a fair distance, I could see that the train was packed. Hundreds of happy people were on an 18-minute journey from Holt to Sheringham at a speed much slower than they had used to get to Norfolk, on a conveyance almost certainly less comfortable, and they were in heaven.
Very few things are more reliably astounding than the British when they are enjoying themselves, and I say this with a kind of cautious admiration. They have the ability to get deep and lasting pleasure out of practically nothing at all. Give them a form of transport that was becoming obsolete in the time of Clement Attlee and they will flock to it".
According to the rules of the US military, 25% of young American men and 40% of young women are too fat to enlist?
It has also been found that excessive weight now kills more Americans than smoking does!
Hence walking contributes to better health - as CIHT had established in a literature research conducted last year.
Additionally, it has been proven that walking also makes good financial sense. An American website, Walk Score, calculates neighbourhood walkability ie how far from your house you have to go for daily errands (get the milk etc). The data was subsequently correlated to thousands of house sales across America. It was found that an increase in Walk Score from the metropolitan average of 54 (somewhat walkable) to 71 (very walkable) correlated with an increase in average house price from $280,000 to $314,000.
According to new calculations from the government, the HS2 high-speed rail line will cost more than £400m per mile, making it the most expensive railway in the world!
The full scheme, including extensions to Manchester and Leeds, would cost up to £104bn. The first 6.6 miles alone, from Euston to Old Oak Common, would cost £8.25bn, or £1.25bn per mile.
This contrasts with:
There are many different indicators of a city's "Walkability". One of the more controversial that has been put forward is the number of push buttons for pedestrian crossings!
Push buttons almost always mean that the automobile dominates, as they are typically installed to control pedestrian movement and in most cases this means shorter and less frequent crossing times. It has therefore been suggested that far from empowering pedestrians, the push button actually turns them into second class citizens. Therefore, the greater number of push buttons the less walkable a city may be.
Walkable City by Jeff Speck
Honolulu has become the first US capital to legislate against "phone zombies" making it illegal for pedestrians to cross the road while texting.
The Distracted Walking Law imposes fines on anyone caught looking at a mobile phone, tablet, laptop computer, video game device, pager or camera while walking across traffic lanes in the Hawaiian city. Offenders face fines from 15 to 99 US dollars, depending on whether it was their first, second or third offence. The growing peril of mobile phone distraction was highlighted by America’s National Safety Council in 2015 in a report showing that it accounted for 11,000 injuries between 2000 and 2011.
The Times, Wednesday 26th July 2017
A study has found that streets with vehicles travelling in both directions were slower and calmer than one-way routes, better serving the needs of pedestrians , cyclists and public transport.
The study found that accidents involving cars and other road users dropped by as much as 60% on roads converted from one to two-way traffic.
It was also claimed that the switch led to a drop in crime and raised property values by acting as a more stimulating environment for the local community.
Reference: Walkable City by Jeff Speck