Archive for » February 25th, 2012«

Access to a Car Pool Lane Can Be Yours, for a Price

Lately, that judgment of putting a cost on preference has been blending as a approach to conduct trade congestion. Going over a existent indication of rewarding commuters who fill a dull seats in their cars, these programs offer entrance to lanes once indifferent for high-occupancy vehicles.

In short, a H.O.V. line is creation approach for a High Occupancy Toll lane.

Since October, a module combined to urge trade upsurge in restricted-use lanes around Atlanta has done it probable for unique motorists to buy their approach into a demonstrate lane; automobile pools of 3 or more, authorised alternative-fuel vehicles, motorcycles and an stretched swift of buses can still bestir in free. Payment is done regulating an electronic transponder, and underneath what a Georgia Transportation Department calls value pricing, tolls boost as trade in a limited line builds. The rate can change from 1 cent to 90 cents a mile.

The idea of a program, logically, is to keep trade in a limited line relocating during a arguable pace. Still, it did not have a dictated outcome of improving commutes along a 15.5-mile widen of Interstate 85 in Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties — during least, not during first.

“Before this was put in, we didn’t have daily gridlock,” pronounced Howard Rodgers, who commutes from his Lawrenceville home, in Gwinnett County.

He has found copiousness of support for his view. Within a month of a HOT lane’s opening, Mr. Rodgers and a bloc of internal groups had collected thousands of signatures on a petition job on state and county authorities to stop or postpone a module immediately.

The source of his displeasure: “The time it takes me to get home, and a time divided from my family,” Mr. Rodgers pronounced in a write interview. Driving in a giveaway lanes, he said, a 45-mile outing home from work during rush hour had doubled to a 90-minute or even two-hour grub given a conversion. He credits a petition expostulate for a state’s preference to check a second lane-access project.

The reorganization of who gets to use demonstrate lanes, and during what price, extends over Atlanta. California air-quality regulators finished single-occupant H.O.V. privileges for many forms of variety final summer, reworking a list of authorised vehicles to bar older, required variety like a Toyota Prius in preference of plug-in variety and battery-electric cars. Likewise, a manners determining line entrance for variety in Virginia will change in July.

Like Atlanta, that cumulative a $110 million Transportation Department extend in 2008 for congestion rebate projects, cities including Dallas, Denver, Houston and Los Angeles have finished or are now converting automobile pool lanes to high-occupancy fee lanes with sovereign support. In December, Virginia secured a $20 million sovereign extend for a HOT line plan in a works for Interstate 95. The project, with a projected cost of some-more than $940 million, will bond with HOT lanes already underneath construction on a Capital Beltway.

Nicknamed Lexus lanes in a 1990s by critics who forked out that many drivers would not be means to means a privilege, HOT lanes are frequency introduced but some opposition. The discuss over how to unclog American highways pits free-market fixes — pricing schemes formed on transport final during specific times of day — opposite supervision incentives that shorten roadways as a carrot for fascinating behaviors like car-pooling or pushing a reduction polluting car.

On Interstate 85 in Atlanta, motorists left a new fee line probably empty for a initial few days. Gov. Nathan Deal shortly stepped in, slicing a limit assign for roving a full length of a mezzanine during rise transport times to $3.05, from $5.50, after reduction than a week of operation. And he asked sovereign authorities to concede two-person automobile pools to expostulate giveaway in a fee lane. The Federal Highway Administration motionless to say a three-person automobile pool requirement for HOT line funds, however, writing in Nov that it was still too early to weigh a program’s effectiveness.

The aged complement was distant from ideal. According to a Georgia Department of Transportation, morning transport speeds in a two-person automobile pool line appearance during 36 miles an hour in 2005-6. In 2009, a line picked adult to 45 m.p.h. during a tallness of a morning commute. But a state attributed a boost to short-term gas shortages, gas cost spikes, a negligence economy and highway improvements, and disturbed that by 2015 a H.O.V. line transport speeds would normal usually 26 m.p.h.

Indeed, cities including Seattle and Minneapolis have used HOT lanes to say normal speeds ceiling of 50 m.p.h. in a fee line some-more than 95 percent of a time. Even in Atlanta, where a module has met outspoken opposition, a line was used for about 7,300 trips any weekday in the initial month, officials reported. By Jan that had grown to some-more than 11,600 trips per weekday.

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How Presidents Travel: Through a Years

On a heels of Presidents Day, The Hub is holding a demeanour during presidential rides. This list is by no means exhaustive; as such readers greatfully supplement your possess anecdotes and trivia to a comments territory following a article.


First in flight.

President Theodore Roosevelt became a initial U.S. boss to fly in an aircraft. The useful eventuality occurred on Oct. 11, 1910. It wasn’t many of a journey, he enjoyed an over moody of a throng during a nation fair.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a initial sitting boss to fly.

Air Force One.

It’s not unequivocally a plane. It’s a call sign. Any U.S. Air Force craft carrying a President is Air Force One. Of march there are usually a integrate of planes given to lift a president. The thought came in 1943 for a specific troops aircraft to fly a president. But a call pointer didn’t come until 1953 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower entered a same airspace as a blurb airline moody regulating a same call sign.


First on

President Theodore Roosevelt.

He’ll be entrance turn a mountain…

President George W. Bush, who still has family in Greenwich, was an zealous towering bike rider. After he left bureau he participated on a 12-kilometer towering bike float with a Wounded Warrior substructure in 2011.



Once on a time a U.S. supervision owned a yacht, a presidential yacht. The USS Sequoia was in use from Presidents Herbert Hoover to Jimmy Carter. Carter put it adult for sale in 1977. 


President George H.W. Bush had a cigarette vessel that he kept in Kennebunkport, Maine.


After presidential possibilities began furloughed a nation in buses a White House satisfied they indispensable to join in a fun. Now a Secret Service has dual black, armored buses in a swift of vehicles.


President Millard Fillmore, a 13th President, motionless he wanted a new carriage when he became president. He bought one and named it “Old Edward” after Edward Moran, a White House valet who was about to leave service.


It’s a stretch

Since a late 1930s a US supervision consecrated vehicles for presidential use. Aside from leather seats these cars have special invulnerability countermeasures including troops class armor during slightest 5 inches thick, wheels that can run on prosaic tires, and front bumpers that can evacuate rip gas. President Barack Obama rides in one that entered use Jan. 20, 2009, made by General Motors.

President William McKinley was a initial boss to float in a car, though a supervision didn’t possess a automobile until President Theodore Roosevelt.

Joy ride

Of all a presidential cars, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s personal automobile is The Hub’s favorite. This 1936 Ford Phaeton is exhibited in a Franklin D. Roosevelt Library during Hyde Park. The automobile facilities special palm controls and as a docent explained, a boss loved, only loved, pushing around a drift in this glossy blue car.  


George Washington had “Nelson’ and “Blueskin” during a American Revolution. John Adams rode “Cleopatra.” And President Zachary Taylor’s aged Army equine “Whitey” grazed on a White House lawn. Visitors used to take commemoration horsehair from a late steed.

President Ronald Reagan desired horseback riding. He was mostly photographed roving during Rancho del Cielo, his California vacation home.


Marine One is a call pointer for any U.S. Marine aircraft carrying a president, that is many mostly a helicopter. President Dwight Eisenhower was a initial boss to transport in an central helicopter.


While there is no central presidential train, presidents and presidents-elect have used them given a days of Andrew Jackson.

According to Railroad Magazine President Franklin D. Roosevelt clocked a many miles on a tracks. Most of them in a automobile named a “Ferdinand Magellan.”

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Love for transport bolsters adore of convincing acrophobes to tackle new heights

By Micki Bare

My initial knowledge traveling, other than visiting kin within a four-hour radius of a home, was a day my family changed from New Jersey to North Carolina. A relations took my mom, sister, hermit and me to a airport. Dad left several hours before us with a automobile and designed to collect us adult during a airfield in Raleigh.

My sister had trafficked to a Midwest one summer to revisit a aunt and uncle. She clearly led a some-more glamorous life, being a oldest. But we had never been on a craft before. When you’re 14 and sceptical of your jet-setting comparison sister, we have no room for fear.

The news was on during task or repast time, so we didn’t watch it often. If a craft went down, we didn’t hear about it. None of a rated-G cinema we was authorised to watch concerned craft crashes, so we was ideally calm meditative of a craft as usually another means of travel, like a train or ferry.

It was a clear, warm, balmy day and we had a window seat. The views from a jet were adequate to confuse me from picking on my hermit or whinging my sister. we don’t even remember if we ate a food served on reaching a cruising altitude.

For Gen Z readers, atmosphere transport used to embody smashing snacks and meals, all lonesome in a cost of a ticket. We were drifting during a lunch hour, so even yet it was usually a 90-minute flight, we still perceived a nice, block dish with a dessert and beverage.

Ma was drifting with dual teenagers and a pre-teen, so we trust she chose chardonnay. My siblings and we had a fill of Coke products, that was utterly a luxury. We didn’t have many entrance to anything other than milk, juice, daub H2O and, if it was someone’s birthday, Kool-Aid. But even then, Ma usually used half a sugarine called for in a instructions on a packet.

That initial pleasing moody got me bending on travel. we adore my initial outing to a place I’d never before visited. Cities that unequivocally done an sense on me on rising from a airfield embody Seattle, Toronto and San Antonio.

Seattle and Toronto have a needle and tower, respectively. we visited each, holding time to snap a few pictures, demeanour true down on a tiny, ant-like civilization next and make my colleagues nauseous. we was always means to wobble a story to remonstrate even those with a fear of heights to make a many of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

I fell in adore with San Antonio and a meandering, downtown river. Eating during a outside tables of riverside restaurants and creation friends with nearly-domesticated ducks was a good approach to tell after a day of business meetings and training sessions. The continue was amazing, a people were accessible and a food was heavenly.

Air transport is not a usually approach to go. I’ve also driven to lots of good places. we adore a good highway trip, generally with a group. Some of my favorite highway trips concerned my changed family and ball tournaments or family reunions.

My 3 boys and we once trafficked to St. Louis. That was a outing during that we implemented a 100-mile party. Every time a odometer reached a new 100-mile mark, we cheered and ate a mini-sized candy bar. We had an elephant to eat when we pulled out of a drive early that morning, so we approached it one punch during a time.

The jubilee combined lots of fun and separated automobile tired and boredom. It also significantly reduced kin controversies by distracting a boys from poking or differently harassing any other for entertainment.

Another activity we employed during a trips was a state collateral game. Whenever we crossed a limit of a state, I’d ask my boys on a name of a state capital. With all a mileage we put on a cars over a years, my boys had over a dozen capitals memorized before they ever complicated them in school.

Road trips are ideal for family bonding. The tighten vicinity of a automobile army everybody to spend time together, solve issues and creatively pass a time. The memories — like a outing during that we had usually one CD and no operative radio — are still prohibited topics for reminiscing during holiday gatherings. My boys still know all a lyrics to all a songs on that CD.

And of course, during a St. Louis trip, there was time to conduct adult to a tip of a arch. My boys were not anxious with a awaiting of going adult that high or looking out a small windows during a top. But, we was means to remonstrate them we had to take advantage of a opportunity. I’m unapproachable of them for going adult as good as for gripping their breakfasts down.

Micki Bare is a columnist for a Arkansas News Bureau and a Courier-Tribune in Asheboro, N.C., and author of “Thurston T. Turtle Moves to Hubbleville.” She lives in Asheboro with her husband, 3 children and mother. Her e-mail residence is

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Alabama Tourism launches "100 Alabama Road Trips"

Alabama tourism Cadillac.jpgView full sizeAlabama Tourism’s blue Cadillac will be on a highway to foster highway trips in a state.

Alabama Tourism now launched a three-year campaign, “100 Alabama Road Trips” with a recover of a initial 10 trips. The debate focuses on pushing itineraries that travelers can knowledge over dual or 3 days. The initial itineraries are now live on a tourism website.  The initial suggested itinerary: Tuscaloosa – Auburn: BCS Championship Tour

Others in a initial 10 trips are eagle examination on Lake Guntersville, a regretful getaway to Mobile, Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights history, open mangle during a beach, a walking debate of downtown Birmingham, Huntsville’s Space Rocket Center, Montgomery’s story tour, bird examination on a seashore and a To Kill A Mockingbird debate in Monroeville.

A few arriving trips will embody a Girlfriends Getaway on a Eastern Shore, family fun in Sylacauga, golfing in Alabama, song in a Shoals and Gulf Coast adventures.

“Road Trips” is also a thesis for a 2012 Vacation Guide. Pages 6 and 7 of a beam yield a hide look during a campaign. The cover of a announcement is of a 1953 baby blue Cadillac, most like a one Hank Williams owned, parked on a post during Lake Guntersville. The automobile will be used as a pitch and trademark for a highway trips campaign. The Cadillac is in tourism’s radio commercials that are now airing on radio stations opposite a U.S. The automobile will also be used around a state during events and festivals via a campaign.

“We wanted to make it easier for travelers to devise their outing so we came adult with 100 itineraries. There’s something for everyone,” pronounced tourism executive Lee Sentell. “If you’re formulation a outing to a beach, we have an channel for that, or a outing to knowledge a tiny towns of Alabama, we’ve got that too.”

The 164-page vacation beam provides travelers with information on hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, tourism associations, state parks, golf courses, attractions, trails and museums.

Each segment of a state is highlighted and provides articles on a attractions, places to stay and events in a areas. Articles embody selling for treasures in Alabama on page 13, Civil Rights story on pages 14-15, Alabama’s chefs, farms and restaurants on pages 16-25, and golf starts on page 26. Articles on any of a 4 regions of a state along with things to do start with a north segment on page 37. Each informal essay includes a map of a area with a highway outing blue Cadillac icon.

Travelers can collect adult copies of a vacation beam during any of a 8 Alabama Welcome Centers, by job 1.800.ALABAMA or by requesting online during

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Travel: A wildlife safari . . . in Canada

I was on board a B.C. ferry once, on my way to Victoria for something not particularly memorable, when a group of orcas decided to escort our ship as it navigated the narrow strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland.

They put on a spectacular show, jumping and slapping the waves for so long it was hard not to believe they’d been trained by some clever tourism official.

It wasn’t the first time ferry riders have been treated to an impromptu whale watching tour, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. After all, it is British Columbia.

From the temperate rainforests along the coast to the glaciers of the Rocky Mountains, from tundra in the north to arid desert in the south, the province encompasses a vast array of landscape and wildlife. It has 488 species of birds, 480 species of fish, 136 species of mammals, 20 species of amphibians and 16 species of reptiles. Three-quarters of Canada’s mammal species are found in British Columbia, and 24 of those species are exclusive to the province.

Indeed, the most difficult thing about a wildlife safari in British Columbia is finding enough time to do it all.

British Columbia’s Big 10:

 • Grizzly bears

The Khutzeymateen grizzly bear sanctuary, 40 kilometres north of Prince Rupert on the north coast, is Canada’s only such sanctuary for these magnificent bruins. The 45,000-hectare refuge, managed jointly by the province and the Tsimshian First Nation, is also home to moose, wolves and migrating owls. Offshore, find orca and humpback whales dining in the fiords and harbour seals keeping a keen eye on visitors. But the main event in Khutzeymateen is the estimated 50 grizzly bears that make it their home.

Park access is restricted, but there is some limited public access as well as guided viewing available from river estuaries. Find information at:

 • Kermode or Spirit bear

There is a legend of the Kitasoo Xaixais people that Raven turned these black bears white to remind people that the land was once covered by glaciers, so they should be thankful for the bounty of today.

The best time for viewing these rare bears in the Great Bear Rainforest is September and October, when they gather along rivers to feed on spawning salmon. Spirit Bear Adventures ( and Kynoch Adventure Tours ( offer guided trips.

 • Black/brown bears

The Cariboo Mountains in the Interior of the province come alive with black bears and grizzlies from May to October. Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park and the larger Wells Gray Provincial Park offer camping and trails, and several outfitters offer guided tours, including Eco-Tours BC (, which recently played host to Scottish comedian Billy Connolly for a segment of his show Billy Connolly’s Journey to the Edge of the World.

 • Whales

On the west coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino and Ucluelet bid adieu to winter and welcome whale watching season with the annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival, taking place this year from March 17 to 25 in honour of the arrival of 20,000 grey whales on their annual migration from the Baja Peninsula of Mexico to the Bering Sea

Humpback whales, knobby behemoths that can grow up to 16 metres long, can be seen up and down the coast on their summer migration north, but one of the most spectacular backdrops for seeing them has to be Haida Gwaii, often referred to as Canada’s Galapagos. Home to Gwaii Hanaas National Park and Skung Gwaii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this collection of islands is ideal viewing territory from late spring to early summer. Sea lions, horned puffins and Dall’s porpoises also call Haida Gwaii home.

Orca or killer whales can be seen anywhere along the B.C. coast. Resident pods are commonly seen from April to November, often in Haro Strait and the San Juan Islands, while the northern residents are often seen in the Johnstone Strait area. Transient pods wander from Alaska to California in search of prey. Find information at:

 • Caribou

Their name apparently comes from a Mi’kmaq word meaning one who paws at the ground. They are shy, migratory and considered a threatened species, so seeing caribou cannot be done from a car window. Tweedsmuir, Wells Grey, Spatsizi and Mount Revelstoke are among the parks these migratory animals are known to traverse, but they are definitely the most elusive animal on B.C.’s Big 10.

 • Moose

Take a trip to Moose Valley Provincial Park, 30 kilometres west of 100 Mile House in the B.C. Interior. The aptly named 2,300-hectare park draws these gangly ungulates to a chain of 12 small lakes that make for a relatively easy overnight canoe trip. Guided canoe trips are available in summer and dog sled trips in winter. Learn more at:

 • Eagles – Brackendale

From mid-November until mid-February this area north of Vancouver along the Sea-to-Sky Highway is home to thousands of bald eagles that come from all over North America to feed on chum salmon. The population peaks in late December to January. Learn more at:

 • Salmon

The Adams River in the Shuswap is one of the largest sockeye salmon runs in the world, with millions of spawning salmon turning the river red from bank to bank in a stunning display of nature’s beauty. Viewing platforms and walking paths have been built in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, drawing thousands of visitors when the salmon run starts in October. Every fourth year the run peaks, expected next in 2014.

Learn more at:

 • Mountain Goats

The Spatsizi Plateau, located 320 kilometres north of Smithers, is part of an area dubbed the “Serengeti of the North.” It is home to a rich diversity of wildlife that includes herds of mountain goats that navigate the rocky cliffs.

Stone sheep, a relative of the Rocky Mountain bighorn, winter here and grizzly make their dens in the high alpine, while the meadows below are wintering grounds for the province’s largest herd of caribou. Moose wander the wetlands, and from the shadows of the forest an abundant pack of wolves stalk their prey. Learn more at:

 • Bighorn sheep

Junction Sheep Range Provincial, at the confluence of the Chilcotin and Fraser Rivers in central B.C., is home to an internationally significant herd of endangered California bighorn sheep. Learn more at

The Canadian Press

If you go . . .

The best guide to B.C. wildlife viewing, including tips and contact information for tour guides, is available at the provincial government’s tourism website:

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