Comment history

Bicyclist injured after accident at 23rd and Naismith

It's counter-intuitive, but cycling on the sidewalk is more dangerous than in the street. It's actually twice as dangerous as cycling in the street. Here's one study that demonstrates just that (originally from a journal article but reposted to a third party site).

I'm surprised to find that Lawrence actually encourages people to bike on the sidewalk despite this well known problem. Drivers regularly underestimate the speed of bikes on sidewalks, and can't see them coming as well from the sidewalk. Going out on the street seems scary, but drivers can see you much better.

May 23, 2012 at 11:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City to decide whether to allow use of artificial grass in commercial projects

It doesn't sound from the article that he knowingly went against city code, but he still should be responsible enough with his own money know about the restrictions. Make him rip it out just like anyone else would have to.

February 6, 2012 at 10:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City to decide whether to allow use of artificial grass in commercial projects

You're right about how bad lawn mower emissions are. Mowing most lawns is about the same emissions wise as a trip to St. Louis, mainly because lawn mowers are powered off less efficient engines, and they haven't had the same level of regulation as cars.

But fake grass isn't entirely environmentally friendly since it doesn't absorb water the same way as native vegetation would. Run of the mill grass isn't much better since the roots don't run deep, but that's still better than having no roots at all.

February 6, 2012 at 10:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sloan's proposal for an electric car fee met with skepticism

Semis cause the most damage to roads by far, not cars. Increase the diesel tax if anything, and just make sure that electric car users pay for emergency services.

January 25, 2012 at 12:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sloan's proposal for an electric car fee met with skepticism

Would you then use gas to power your generator?

January 25, 2012 at 12:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sloan's proposal for an electric car fee met with skepticism

Conventional vs. Plug in Hybrid Emissions in lbs per Vehicle per Year
SO2: 2.5 vs 1.0-2.2
NOx: 12.5 vs. 4
CO2 (Tonnes): 6.1 vs 3.5


Disclaimer: This is a very complex calculation involving different assumptions, and may vary by location, power source, and driving/charging habits among other things. You may find different numbers depending on who you talk to.

January 25, 2012 at 12:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sloan's proposal for an electric car fee met with skepticism

You can run as many cars a year over a bridge as you want, and barely see any damage, but put one overweight semi on the bridge and it will be deficient in no time. Anyone from KDOT could tell you that. A major solution is to get tougher on truckers who go over the weight limit. The challenge is that the trucking lobby is quite powerful, and will beat down the doors of any politician who suggest new regulations.

The other option most transportation experts support is a tax on VMT (vehicle miles traveled). The advantage is that VMT has shown reliable gains over time. People drive more than they did 40 years ago. Increase the gas tax now, and we'll only have to increase it again once fuel efficiency improves enough. Plus, messing with the gas tax is political suicide, so really continuing with our current system of funding in any form is bound to leave us with underfunded transportation infrastructure.

January 24, 2012 at 11:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sloan's proposal for an electric car fee met with skepticism

It will cost more money to collect that money.

January 24, 2012 at 11:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Should the state consider repealing a law that makes gay sex illegal?

It legally can't be enforced as it is now due to a Supreme Court ruling, but could gets used in some locales as a threat by homophobic authorities to drive gay people out of town, and could be enforced again should the decision ever be overturned.

The way the law came to be enforced in Texas was that police responded to a weapons call, and walked in on two men having sex in their own home. Seeking control of the situation, the police arrested the men having sex, who had to pay a fine before their case ended up in front of the Supreme Court.

So potential opportunities for enforcement were rare even before the Supreme Court decision, and only happened because a jealous former lover called to make a false report. Were this decision ever to be reversed, homophobes throughout Kansas could start calling up the police just to harass their gay neighbors.

January 23, 2012 at 4:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

51 measures proposed for repeal, but not law criminalizing gay sex

I stand corrected on my assumption that the US Supreme Court could force a legislature to repeal a law. I still think the legislature's decision not to repeal the law represents a lack of cooperation on behalf of the state that I don't like to see from elected officials. They may not have to take their medicine, but really should in the spirit of good government.

With Sebelius, she didn't catch as much criticism as Brownback is now because she supported the decision. She said at the time "I think that reinforcing the right to privacy by the Supreme Court is a strong opinion and a very positive opinion."

That's a very tepid statement by Sebelius in support of the decision, but you'd never catch Brownback saying something remotely similar. Brownback's list of laws to repeal stays totally silent on the issue. Given the difference in responses, the coverage put on Brownback is justified.

That's not to say that Sebelius is beyond criticism. If you read back on the case of Matthew Limon, who was given a longer sentence than a heterosexual would have received for the same crime, you'll find a somewhat similar outcry. See the link below. Her name may not be in the headline of this article, but her decision to remain silent got recorded just the same. You can bet that gay activists of the time were still frustrated, and critical of her for not giving a pardon to someone who deserved one.

On a personal level, I guess I'm tilting at windmills here. I probably won't be satisfied until I see a Kansas governor handing out condoms at the local pride parade. Anyway, thank you for challenging me on my assumption, and thank you for agreeing that the law should be appealed. This whole discussion has helped me understand the topic a little more.

January 22, 2012 at 6:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )