Monday, April 30, 2018

Snowden Bridge Is Falling Down

Snowden bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
Snowden Bridge is falling down,
Why not fix it?

People drive by this old bridge all the time and never see it. Just beyond Overbrook Drive, Snowden Lane crosses over a tributary of Harry's Brook. Beside the bridge is an older bridge no longer used. It has a lovely stone arch that is gradually falling apart. This older bridge could at some point serve as a crossing for a bike/pedestrian trail out Snowden, but even if it weren't used it is a lovely bit of history, and will only obstruct the stream if it falls in.

Two years ago I appealed to the town's engineering department to fix it. There may have been a question as to whether it's the town's bridge or is the homeowner's responsibility (update: town engineering says it's on private property), but since then, another stone of the arch has fallen into the stream. The longer it goes unrepaired, the more expensive the fix.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

I Sing the Auto Electric

When my thoughts turn to transformative, hopeful things, I think of the empowerment of women, the increasing political participation of young people, the growth energy in native plants when given a chance to grow, and the promise of the electric car. It's more than promise these days, with the Chevy Bolt getting 230 miles to the charge, and charging stations sprouting up, often providing a recharge for free.

As long as vehicles have exhaust pipes--essentially weapons aimed at the future--there's little hope for the world. That's why our Prius here, wonderful as it is, will hopefully be our last internal combustion car. The electric BMW parked beyond it is beyond our price range, but is considerably cheaper than usual through the end of this month, for those who take advantage of PSEG's offer of $10,000 off. Add a $7500 federal rebate, and that gets the price down below $30,000.

Small, efficient cars are surprisingly spacious inside. An electric motor is much lower maintenance and more efficient than an internal combustion engine--even more so around town when a gas engine has no chance to warm up.

A friend with an electric car tells me that when he goes on trips with his Nissan Leaf, which gets half the distance as the Chevy Bolt on a charge, he approaches traveling with a different mindset. He takes a book along to read at recharging stops. Sometimes enforced idle time can create the space to attend to things that don't otherwise get done.

People can always find reasons not to change, but shifting to electric cars brings us closer to stripping travel of its collateral damage, allowing us to enjoy the exhilaration or necessity of travel by simply pushing electrons back and forth, leaving no lasting trace in the atmosphere to haunt the future.

Below is some PSEG info, gleaned somewhere on the web, about charging stations:

PSEG Brings EV Chargers to New Jersey Turnpike
PSEG and EVgo® have joined forces to bring electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the Joyce Kilmer and Molly Pitcher service areas on the New Jersey Turnpike. There are two fast chargers at each service area that can provide electric vehicles with an 80 percent state of charge in 30 minutes, or about 150 miles of range per hour.

Participants in the Nissan No Charge to Charge and BMW ChargeNowprograms can utilize the chargers, as can EV drivers with an EVgo subscription plan. One-time customers can also use a credit card to pay for a charge.

In addition to the EVgo partnership, PSEG also offers an EV charging program designed to help spur the continued adoption of EVs in New Jersey by providing convenient charging options and gathering data on real-world use. That program currently has charging stations with a total of 135 plugs installed at 23 customer sites. PSEG also offers an Employee EV Charging Program with 45 plugs available at various company locations.

PSEG and EVgo plan to install chargers at additional service areas on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway in the near future. EVgo is the largest public fast charging network in the nation with more than 1,000 charging locations.