Friday transpo roundup – transit inventions edition

Death Valley, receding. Photo by Ben Trefny.

Could wind and solar energy power our traffic lights? A group of Nebraska researchers wants to turn those signals green. Another program in California wants to generate electricity from road vibrations...

Think no one in the suburbs will ever use public transit? Think again, says the transportation manager of one outer Bay Area office park. Despite working far from any transit centers, a third of the park’s 30,000 workers don’t drive in – “It’s cool to have a bus pass,” she says...

Not just cool, but actually hardcore, at least according to the band Rancid...

Meanwhile, an inventor on Cape Cod, MA (my home turf), is resuscitating the designs for the personal automated vehicle he tried to sell back in the 60s. William Alden’s idea didn’t take off then, but he’s betting that airports, movie theaters, amusement parks and other contained venues would love to get their hands on his robotic scooters...

In Japan, many commuters have dusted off their bikes in the wake of the March earthquake...

And here’s something to think about while you walk, bike, drive, or take the bus this weekend: what does your mental map of your city look like? And do you think it’s much like the real thing?

The Friday transpo roundup gives you ideas to munch on during your weekend journeys. Send comments, questions, or news of the transit weird to casey (dot) miner (at) gmail (dot) com.