Workers have started the construction of London’s “super sewer” in an effort to reduce the waste that goes into the Thames river. The project’s goal is to address the waste problem that the city has especially with its growing population. Currently, a hole is being dug at the new tunnel’s center.According to City A.M., workers from Tideway have started digging a 30-meter diameter hole to mark the new tunnel’s central point. The hole is as big as the dome at St Paul’s Cathedral while the tunnel has a length of 16 miles.Just this year, about 1.2 million tons of sewage waste has been dumped straight into the Thames river due to the fact that the old Victorian sewers can’t handle the huge amount of waste that flows through it. BBC reported that the old tunnels’ waste would overflow to the river even if it would just rain for a few millimeters.The proposal for the Thames Tideway Tunnel isn’t a recent one because it has been floating in the air since 2005. However, there were some issues that needed to be clarified with regards to the contracts so the go-signal for the project’s construction was given on February 2015.
Shirley Gonzales made no secret of her views on transportation when she ran for the San Antonio City Council in 2013. She laid them out in her answer to a questionnaire: “pedestrians first, followed by cycling, public transportation and private automobiles, in that order.” Gonzales promoted this agenda even though she was running in a city where fewer than 2 percent of commuters walk to work.A few months later, after she’d won the election, the tales of some of her constituents drove the issue home. Most prominent was the story of Sharon Ledesma, a 28-year-old single mother who was crossing a four-lane street one night when a car switched lanes and veered toward her and her two children. Ledesma managed to push the children out of the way. Dominic, who was 11 at the time, and Mallory, who was 8, survived but had serious injuries. Both had broken bones and were on crutches for weeks. Ledesma, however, did not make it. She was declared brain dead at the hospital. The next day, after her kids had a chance to say goodbye, her family took her off life support.Gonzales began to hear from other San Antonio families. The city had one of the highest pedestrian death rates in the country. In fact, 373 pedestrians had died in the metropolitan area over the previous decade. And Gonzales’ own district, largely poor and Hispanic, had some of the most dangerous streets, especially Culebra Road, the arterial where Ledesma died. That four-lane road shares many of the characteristics of other deadly stretches for pedestrians: Cars traveling near the speed limit of 40 mph pass between modest homes and retail outlets, while pedestrians walk along sidewalks separated from the traffic by only a low curb for as much as half a mile between crosswalks.
Harvesting fog to solve a water crisis
Amazing things happen to a city once people are encouraged to switch to bike commuting: the air quality improves throughout the city, which benefits everyone, not just cyclists. Quieter roads are more pleasant roads to be around, and they’re less congested for those who still insist on driving. And of course riding a bike every day brings all kinds of health benefits to the cyclists themselves.A new study from researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health shows just how big those benefits can be. Per dollar spent, constructing bike lanes is a cheap way to improve public health. For instance back in 2005, New York City spent $10 million on curbing traffic as part of the federally-funded Safe Routes to School program. Sidewalks were widened, bike lanes constructed, and traffic lights re-phased to suit pedestrians. The “net societal benefit” of these changes? The study’s authors estimate it to be $230 million.