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The Santa Fe New Mexican

Electric car conversion kit: Plugging into the future

The LiFePO4 batteries lose little capacity for about 2000 charges, then do degrade and probably will need to be replaced at around 4000 cycles... depending on how well they are treated, how deeply they are discharged during that period, etc. Lead batteries lose little capacity for the first 700 or so cycles, but are far less expensive to replace of courseTaking this into consideration, the 'operating cost' of a lead pack with the electricity at retail rate of $.09/kWhr, and replacement cost of $1500 works out to about $2.00 or $2.25 per 40 miles for my car, which was about the same a one gallon of gas per 40 miles it was getting; but ignoring the cost of oil changes, spark plugs, belts, fluids, and maintenance that an electric motor does not require. So.... as close as I can figure it a Lead battery EV works out to about the same operating cost as gas at $2.25/gallon. The LiFePO4 is closer to $3.25/gallon if the life cycles predicted turn out to be true. But, cost is only part of the reason for converting to EV. Other reasons including air quality, particularly if we New Mexicans can take advantage of our 300+ days of sun per year to generate some of the energy.  (Oct 18, 2009 | post #6)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

National and foreign students aim to prove solara TMs shi...

while mobile homes have the potential to be efficient, they generally are not... having poor insulation and losing heat from all sides including the floor. Mobile homes are rather infamous for using inferior materials, but perhaps CAN benefit in the future if they adopt some of these creative building techniques and materials pioneered by 'envirogeeks and greentards'. I fail to see why a person would disparage efforts to improve our situation on this planet. It would be refreshing to redirect all that negative energy to some positive and creative solutions rather than criticizing any and all efforts by others.  (Oct 18, 2009 | post #2)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Electric car conversion kit: Plugging into the future

wow, I'm sad to see these negative comments... and I would like to respond to a few points. - even if an EV is charged via a coal-fired utility, the emissions are 10x cleaner than a auto engine, and the generation plants are usually far from population centers so the local air quality is not affected. But it is a good point, and would affect system capacity if everyone suddenly had an EV. Which is part of the reason I installed Photovoltaics on my house to produce all the juice I use in MY electric car. - The Lithium batteries in EVs are not the Li-ion batteries that had been publicized in the past for burning up. The current chemistry of the LiFePo4 is very stable and virtually risk free when properly monitored... But Li is still pretty expensive, which is why lots of people still use Lead batteries in EVs. Lead is pretty toxic, but has a very good recycle program countywide. - The limiting factor with EVs has always been the range... but also our expectations and habits. Chances are that MOST people have a vehicle that goes less than 50 miles per day. By adjusting our expectations of not 'needing' a vehicle that goes 0-60 in 7 seconds, and it doesn't 'need' to be big to be cool, EVs might become popular enough to part of the solution.... not for everyone, but they are a great solutin for short-range around town errands! I'd like to invite interested people to come check out the conversion process on my website: www.envirokarma.or g  (Oct 18, 2009 | post #4)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Stimulus cash jump-starts work on Santo Domingo train depot

I guess I'd have to see a study showing fuel consumption per mile per rider before I believe that... My main point though is that with the same dollars up front, we COULD be moving a lot more bodies over a lot more routes with buseswow, I dunno who put a bug in your shorts about my personal life, or why you seem to resent it so much.... for your information I gave one-time lectures at five different schools and a children's camp, and an elderly group living community last year on my electric car, in addition to the one at Santa Fe Prep. Does that make you feel better? I sorta though we are saying mostly the same thing about the need for mass transit, the only difference being that you think the RailRunner was a good use of $400M, and I would have rather seen it spent elseways...  (Sep 30, 2009 | post #34)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Stimulus cash jump-starts work on Santo Domingo train depot

stuck in WHAT traffic? There are no traffic jams on our highways?! The only jams I see in Santa Fe these days is when the RailRunner crosses 5 arterials and shuts them down for 90 seconds which backs thraffic up on the east-west roads.  (Sep 30, 2009 | post #31)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Stimulus cash jump-starts work on Santo Domingo train depot

I am not arguing against investment for mass transit, only that we could be moving the same number of bodies, all over the state, for a LOT less money on existing highways if we had just bought a fleet of buses and run express routes from park-n-ride lots to business centers.  (Sep 30, 2009 | post #30)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Preventing suicide by design

I would oppose tall railings that obstruct the great view for the 99.9% of us that are NOT suicidal. Perhaps a net maybe 20' down that would be hard to jump over? Perhaps some pictures posted as to what a body looks like after falling 600 feet? Or more pleasantly, perhaps a sign with a suicide hotline telephone number to call?  (Sep 29, 2009 | post #2)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Commuter cyclists need safer roads

The obvious exception to this would be on very narrow streets in situations where even a single rider should 'take the lane'. In this case it is BETTER for a pack to glob up and fill the lane 3 or 4 wide for maximum visibility and minimum length when a passing area DOES become available. This is not uncommon on some very narrow roads, usually with 25mph speed limits, where the cyclists are going close to the speed limit anyway. Under conditions like this, its better to have a tight pack that a motorist can pass quicker and safer when sight-distance permits. Point being, its always a judgment call and requires courtesy and awareness by BOTH cyclists and motorists.  (Sep 24, 2009 | post #22)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Commuter cyclists need safer roads

First issue is that speed limits are (supposed to be) set according to sight distance to avoid exactly this situation. Limits are suggested such that rounding a corner at the suggested speed you WILL have time to react to something in the traffic lane; be it a rock, a stalled car, a person pushing a stroller, or a pack of cyclists. Second.... One day per year when the Enchanted Circle happens, I bet commute times ARE longer. Probably a LOT of cyclists in traffic lanes, mostly because there are either no shoulders, mid-shoulder 'lips', debris, or now 'tank trap' storm drains and poor median design through Taos . On the up side, that one day event brings in about $500k to Red River and NM because of all the people from CO and TX that come in, spend a night or two and eat out.... Maybe you should just take that day off work, and join the fun! If you have specific areas that you think are the worst, then help us request better roads, with better shoulders, and chances are more will ride on them!  (Sep 24, 2009 | post #19)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Commuter cyclists need safer roads

practicable is the key word here.... Totally at the discretion of the cyclist, they do have a right to the full lane. Depending on width, sight distance etc... it may or may not be PRUDENT, but by the same token, motorists are obligated to drive at speeds appropriate for conditions and be in control. If a motorist hits a ped, bike, or another car in their lane they are at fault because they were not in control enough to stop. so.... once again, there are good and bad motorists, there are motorists that go too fast and ones that go 'too slow', there are experienced and safe cyclists, and there are inexperienced and inconsiderate ones too..... but they all have a right to be on the road.  (Sep 24, 2009 | post #14)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Commuter cyclists need safer roads

Sign up on www.BikeNM.com and perhaps you can hook up with other Eldorado people to push this issue. There really IS power in numbers if you can find the right people to push. Don't divide cyclists into 'recreational elite' and 'common transportation' as we are often all the same person, and every voice counts. the Bikenm.org group is not a race crowd, it is an advocay crowd looking to make real changes for real people.....  (Sep 23, 2009 | post #11)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Commuter cyclists need safer roads

I am sorry you think it sounds whiny and elitist to push for safe roads when there is a nearby multi-use trail. Allow me to clarify a couple things..... The trail that is on ONE side of the road is far less safe for cyclists than the shoulder of a road. Not just for racer-types, but also bike commuters, or anyone traveling much faster than walking or running pace. It is well proven that a path set back from an intersection is VERY dangerous for cyclists traveling over 10mph or so because cars do not see them until too late, cyclists cannot negotiate the sharp entry/exits at speed, and are prone to conflicts with slower (children) bikers, walkers holding hands, people walking dogs, etcIf you use your bike for transportation, as I do shopping with a trailer, tandeming my daughter to school, going to meetings and clients, AND recreational riding.... then I hope you are willing to listen and learn that road shoulders are SAFER than multi-use paths if you are going over about 10mph. In my mind you kind of have it backward.... a good shoulder first provides safe transportation options, and a multi-use path is a really nice but completely optional recreational facilityAbsolutely ! If Azul is sub-standard (less than 30' wide), then you should absolutely contact your county comm, the County Manager, and County Public works to petition for a 'Complete Street'... which may have to wait until next time it is due for paving. But I am 100% behind any effort to correct deficient roads, and sadly you may have to make this your mission to get it done. Get a petition from residents along the street, start an email campaign, and ask for what you want.  (Sep 23, 2009 | post #6)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Commuter cyclists need safer roads

thank you M. Pearce... cyclists are indeed allowed to use the road (all roads). However, most responsible cyclists do not knowingly impede traffic when there is a safe alternative. Most groups will clear the road when they hear cars if there is a shoulder, and it is safe without debris, storm drains, etc. Safe passing requires 3'-5' clearance... so if a traffic lane is less than about 12', cyclists SHOULD in the middle of the lane to prevent getting side-swiped by unsafe passing. There ARE also some cyclists who are not considerate.... just as there ARE motorists who drive drunk, or talking on cell phones, or drive thru red lights. I would HOPE that those people are the minority in both camps, but.... The last point to consider is that if cyclists are riding in a group in the middle of the lane, there MAY be good reason. There may be no shoulder, debris or parked cars ahead, etc. In which case bikes SHOULD 'take the lane' to discourage unsafe passing by motorists.  (Sep 23, 2009 | post #5)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Commuter cyclists need safer roads

To Steve Rizika - 'Did I hear correctly that the repaving of the shoulders is solely for bikes?' No, you did not hear correctly... Coming back to add 2' of pavement on the shoulders of AVG was to bring the road up to minimum accepted national safety standards published by AASHTO and required by 'Complete Streets' Resolutions from both the MPO and now the County - for ALL users, including motorists, bikes and peds. A 2-inch 'lip' in the middle of the shoulder is a hazard for motorists who might have a tire drop off the edge, and a SERIOUS issue for a cyclist, as well as an ankle-turner for runners. Paving shoulders edge-to-edge is not an 'extra' expense, it is a minimum standard to enable safe multi-modal transportation option on Public Roads.... The primary stated 'Guiding Principle' for NMDOT and our Public Works departments. One road was not done at the expense of another, or just for the benefit of 'elite athletes' or just because of griping.... it was done to meet minimum standards we are trying to bring ALL roads up to so we can meet the challenges, needs, and desires of tomorrow.  (Sep 23, 2009 | post #1)

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Stimulus cash jump-starts work on Santo Domingo train depot

seems like for $647k we could buy 2 buses outright, and run a constant express shuttle service for free, and SAVE money.  (Sep 22, 2009 | post #5)

Q & A with Dan Baker

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Santa Fe, NM

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http://www.envirokarma.org

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