Impressive Brightline

Just wanted to say how impressed I was with the new Brightline train system in Florida. 

Right now it goes from Miami straight to Fort Lauderdale and then to Palm Beach. 

I took it between Fort Lauderdale and Miami and it was a quick 30 minute ride–no traffic yay!

The trains are modern and sleek, and the stations were automated, clean, secured with guards and scanners, and had a beautiful lounge waiting area (and they announce the train arrival like 10 minutes before it arrives).

Also, the staff was friendly and helpful, and they even came around with a food cart. 

I understand they are adding additional stops for Aventura and Boca Raton. 

I would definitely take this train again–way to go! 😉

(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

No More Flooding With Permeable Pavement

Very cool solution to flash flooding called Topmix Permeable by Tarmac (a U.K. sustainable building materials company). 


The concrete literally drinks up hundreds of gallons of water. 


Where the heck does all the water go? 


If you’re walking, no more soggy shoes and pant’s bottoms. 


If your driving, even more important is the potential life-saving element for about 75 people that die in vehicles every year when they try get caught in the vehicles in flash flood conditions. 


Also, many potential accidents, injuries, and deaths could be averted by people whose car’s go hydroplaning on wet road surfaces.


Finally, think how transportation would be faster and more efficient (with less traffic) from better road conditions with innovations like this.


With this new material on our roads and some added heat elements to prevent snow and ice, we got some darn good road-safety going on. 😉

Electric Cars, Forget About It

Male Female

With all the talk about electric cars, I think what we’ve forgotten is that they are still just cars and oh-so 20th century. 


What I mean is that they are not transformative. 


You’re still in a car, traveling around 15-60(+) miles per hour, stopping at stop lights/signs, yielding to other cars and pedestrians, driving over potholes, getting stuck in traffic, and having to fill up on “juice” every few hundred miles. 


And with the cost of oil way done (about half from last year), there may be a positive environmental impact, and that’s important, but that’s about it for this invention. 


So if you can get over the range anxiety and fear of running out of electric power and not finding a convenient place to plug into, and you don’t mind waiting an hour or so for the fill up, well then you can drive on batteries–and all the power to you. 


But like the toy cars and trucks that I played with as a child, they too often ran on batteries, and I’d zoom them around on the kitchen and dining room floor with lights and sirens flashings–now that was exciting. 


And yes, a driverless car (like from Google) is a little more of a step forward in terms of really changing how we travel…but then again, maybe it’s like sitting on a bus, metro, cruise ship, or airplane today–read the paper, snooze, listen to music, or watch a video, but you don’t have to do anything to move the vehicle or navigate the terrain. 


In a way, cars are pretty much just fancy horses with wheels–whether powered by hay, gas, or electric–they are terrestrial and sort of boring on the ride–even with the windows down and music playing. 


In my opinion, it is high time for some travel without the crunched seats, traffic jams, no turn lanes, traffic cameras, expensive tickets, looking for parking spaces, pot holes, flat tires, and all the other nuisances of daily car commuting. 


What I like about the picture in this blog though is that it makes me think of a much greater leap when it comes to transportation–whether by transporter, jet pack, pneumatic tubes, or time/space machine–we can get there effortlessly and lippity-snappity quick.


And the car, it can stay in the garage–or find its place in the Museum of History–for all I care. 😉


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Closed And Closed

Left and Right Lanes Closed
This is sort of hilarious.


Check out the signs on either side of the road.


– Right lane closed.


– Left lane closed.


Even more stupid, notice that the signs are reversed (the left closure sign is on the right side of the road, and the left closure sign is on the right side of the road)…oops.(


Thank G-d, there were three lanes–at least for a little while. 😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Futuristic Highway

Some really great ideas here for the highway of the future.

These are the inspiration of interactive artist Daan Roosegaarde.

To save energy and increase safety, there are four concepts presented:

– Glow in the dark road markings (i.e. lane dividers) with photo-luminescent paint that charges during the day and lights up at night.

– Weather symbols on the road with temperature-responsive paint, so for example, when the temperature falls below a certain level, the roads show snowflake symbols to indicate that they may be icy.

– Motion-interactive lights on the highway that light up when cars approach and are powered by the draft of the moving cars.

– Induction lanes that can charge car batteries as they run along them and reenergize the cars for further travel.

Already, there is a 500 meter stretch of road in Oss, Netherlands with the glow-in-the-dark road markings–these are almost radioactive green in color and give a futuristic Tron look to the roads.

Now the question is when can we get these high-tech upgrades for I-495?

What an awesome high-tech display befitting our nation’s capital and maybe it would help with traffic as well! 😉

How Do You Kill A Pothole?

How Do You Kill A Pothole?

With a pothole killer, of course.

This is a funny truck roaming around Washington, D.C.

Even the phone number tells the story…dial 1-877-Fix Road.

All American too – red, white, and blue with the stars and stripes.

Bang, Bang. Pothole Dead. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Drama in D.C.

Drama in D.C.

Wanted to share two unrelated, but noteworthy items from my week so far…

First, this tree went down right in the middle of traffic in Washington, D.C. today. The BMW on the left was totaled, the van and taxi on the right had their respective front and rear-ends crushed. So much for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On another note, I taught an enterprise architecture class earlier this week here, and in discussing establishing technical standards for the organization, one student put it well when he dramatically said “everyone loves standards, that’s why they make their own.” 🙂

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)