From Flowing Data, a terrific public transportation mash-up, Mapnificent, which reports estimated travel times along multiple radiating routes relative to an adjustable map marker. AATA estimates for The Ride are included in the data-set, although I assume the site would be prove more useful in complex urban zones with more routes than we have running in Washtenaw County.
Mapnificent is elegant enough that it doesn’t require much more explanation. I’m saving it as a nice example of maps concerned with time, thinking about its resemblance to river turns and big box turns (not all that far removed from the CCC word turns I showed at C&W a couple of weeks ago).
Also calls to mind a question about whether there is some sort of time-scape parallel to trap streets. Trap streets are geographic fictions embedded into proprietary maps meant to shield them from theft. If a copy of a map turned up showing the trap street, it made for easy sleuthing. What, then, is the temporal equivalent of a trap street? I suppose it could be an altered time-to-destination whose falsehood would establish duplication (e.g., Carpenter Road Meijer to AA Public Library in 8 minutes). And I’m not so inclined to think of these traps out of an interest in security (or copyright or plagiarism), but rather as a variety of imagined geography (much like the character in Mieville’s Kraken who sets out to ground-truth London’s trap streets as if they might, by the cartographer’s articulation, conjure up a potential space).
I’ve heard speculation about adjustments to local rail options off and on since we moved to Ypsilanti late summer, 2009. But this article from Crain’s Detroit Business, “Word on Detroit-Ann Arbor Commuter Rail Expected Next Week,” pretty much gives the impression that a rail Detroit-AA rail loop is taking shape. I say “pretty much” because it is a curiously hazy report, one with details that could be interpreted as going either way: rail is impending, or rail is wholly dependent on funds yet to be committed. Right away, there’s a big “if” tied to federal funding. Hold off on blowing the horn, Dinah.
Organizers of a Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail project expect to learn next week if $200 million in federal capital funding will be approved.
But elsewhere, with references to environmental assessment, fleet refurbishment, and even the colors of the cars, it sounds like the project is well underway.
Work is under way on the federally required environmental assessment.
Three locomotives and nine passenger cars have been leased from Great Lakes Central Railroad, which is owned by Farmington Hills-based Federated Capital Corp., and are in the process of being refurbished and painted, Palombo said.
The lease and refurbishment work is about $2 million. The livery will be green, yellow and blue, and trains will be a locomotive with two cars.
I will continue to watch how this plays out, fingers-crossed that we will within the next year or so have commuter rail running between AA and Detroit, notably with stops through Ypsilanti and the Detroit Metro Airport.
Biked a few miles through a dense July pudding for lunch with a colleague at Beezy’s. Nice place, Beezy’s: a zesty tapenade on the Mediterranean Veggie, the only sandwich I’ve ordered there in, oh I don’t know, the last three visits. Biked because D. and Is. have been in Mt. Pleasant area driving around in the Element for the better part of the week–returning in a couple of hours. And biking because we have not yet purchased a second vehicle this summer, though we have promised the loan guarantors at the credit union that we will get to that next week.
I secured the bike to this telephone pole behind the restaurant, making sure it was beyond the steady drops falling from a window air conditioner above. One look at it made think that the unit was in badly in need of austinductcleaning.us. While I was inside, it rained–a five minute sprinkle that had evaporated again by the time I was on my way home again. I could not determine whether the bike had gotten wet from the rain, but the AC run-off hadn’t touched it.
While biking I set my new smartphone’s CardioTrainer app to ping a satellite every so often so I could quantify how far and how slowly I’d traveled. My Tracks and CardioTrainer seem like good options, as the free apps go. Open GPS is okay, too. And I have downloaded RunKeeper, which is apparently calibrated for a few more activity types than any of the others, just in case I want to take my phone skating, downhill skiing, or swimming.