Parking Meter Pandemonium

03/11/2014 § 4 Comments

By Rachel Joseph, First Year Experience Intern

I understand the rationale behind the new parking meters. I really do. Not only do they raise more money for our city, but they also discourage people from unnecessarily driving to and around downtown when they can walk, bike, skate, ride public transportation, or in some fantastic cases, whip out their old school Razor scooter for a whirl. While my opinion and knowledge of the former monetary incentive is somewhat lacking, I can fathom the importance of the latter motive—encouraging more environmentally friendly transportation. By erecting more meters downtown, and by keeping them open until 10pm, people capable of walking, biking, or bussing to and around downtown are more likely to ditch their cars and take advantage of alternative modes of transportation.

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Parking a bike is free!

While the new parking meters have the potential to discourage automobile use and decrease Bloomington’s CO2 emissions, I don’t believe most people see it this way. This includes myself a lot of the time. The new meters feel more like a punishment than a present, a hindrance rather than an opportunity. All I’ve heard from folks since the meters’ appearance are complaints, criticisms, and protests. Indeed, what did the city expect?

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Curbing Climate Change

03/11/2014 § Leave a comment

By: Jessica Stavole, Energy & Built Environment Intern

In December of 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted and the first commitment period took place from 2008 to 2012.  Although the United Stated did not sign the Kyoto Protocol, the EIA reported that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2012 were the lowest since 1994, at 5,293 million metric tons, achieving a 5.2% reduction in CO2 emissions since 1997, meeting the Kyoto Protocol standard.

As shown in the above graph, the majority of carbon dioxide is emitted as a result of burning fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and natural gas.  Carbon dioxide is considered to be one of the principal greenhouse gases (GHG), absorbing and emitting radiation within the thermal infrared range of light, ultimately contributing the warming of the earth’s atmosphere and climate change.

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