Show: Sustainable Today

Episode: 0909 Transportation

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Episode Description:

The transportation show looks at infrastructure and planning for the future needs of a growing population. Alternatives to building more highways is a major component. Go Green With Jean takes us for a ride on the conservation wagon. Below is a complete synopsis of the show's contents.

NEWS: With the surge in electric vehicle production there is a concern that they will overwhelm the electric grid. The solution lies in smart grid technology which can use car batteries to store electricity and draw it back at night when wind energy or solar can’t be used. If 1/4 of Americas cars went electric, the power system could store more energy than produced by the entire electric grid. A German town will become the first city in the nation to be powered by biogas. Cow and horse manure will be converted to gas for use by the town’s 90,000 residents. Daimler acquires 10% of Tesla Motors giving Daimler access to the advanced lithium battery technology. Tesla’s roadster uses the batteries to attain 200 miles per charge and to accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Daimler says it will offer electric versions of every Mercedes by 2012.

INTERVIEW: Metro Counselor Rex Burkholder talks about the 50 year transportation plan for the Portland Metropolitan Region which takes in 25 cities and 3 counties. State law mandates that all transportation system spending be co-ordinated. Metro has connected that into the vision for the future which takes into account all aspects of sustainability. This includes growth, where and how; how do we provide infrastructure where transportation is a key part. Metro investigated bicycling and walking and how to improve it modeled on Copenhagen. In Denmark there was talk of tearing down parts of cities to build roads. A large demonstration said to preserve the city and develop a different way of transport. The bicycle. Getting people out of cars helps develop local businesses as well. Rex also talks about “intelligent transportation systems.” Traffic signals, ramp metering, bus and emergency vehicle signal control and plans for using the existing roads better. The issue of freight handling is also discussed.

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Eco Shuttle. Cars for hire for special services, commuter shuttles or events. The company provides small vans up to large busses that are powered by biodiesel or hybrid technology. The office itself employs sustainable features to further reduce their carbon footprint.

INTERVIEW: Continues with Rex Burkholder on the advent of electric cars and new transportation technologies. Mentioned is the White Zombie, an electric powered race vehicle that always wins. Electric bicycles as also discussed. Transportation as a contributor to fossil fuel consumption, urban growth and planning, health and invasive species migration are discussed. Portland is in compliance with the Kyoto protocol. To meet the goal for 2050 we need to continue lowering CO2 emissions by 8% per year which is doable. Population density is also a factor in lowering the amount of driving and emissions. Light rail encourages higher levels of development and density around the stations. Local communities are changing their planning to accommodate future light rail construction.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Sol Trekker. A totally sustainable biodiesel powered motor home is profiled. The unit is used for educational demonstrations of sustainable technology such as solar electric and water heating, rain catchment and compostable toilets. The rig uses zero fossil fuels to operate. The owner has also eliminated most plastic and petroleum based materiels in its reconstruction.

GO GREEN WITH JEAN: Sustainable driving and transportation decision are demonstrated using Jean’s new Toyota Prius Hybrid vehicle.

Episode Short Description: N/A

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 0909 Transportation show.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:58:30

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,877,746,956 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, January 21, 2011 - 13:15

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