Think Globally, Act Locally... in Brooklyn!
BHRA since it's inception has been committed to pollution free electric rail technology,
intermodal transportation planning, multimodal transportation design and innovative,
non-invasive, cost efficient construction techniques. We use (almost exclusively)
recycled and rehabilitated historic materials.
BHRA has participated in Rails-to-Trails conversion programs within the northeast
US. In our Lehigh Valley Salvage operation, we were able to remove several miles
of track and related materials; making way for a pedestrian and bike trail on this
abandoned railroad right-of-way. Instead of ending up in a scrap yard, this historic
track (and other salvageable materials) was brought back to Brooklyn, reconditioned
and are being re-used on our (currently under construction) light rail line.
Almost all other materials used in the construction of our light rail line are
vintage recycled materials. The paving stones used for phase I of the project came
from Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station. Recycled (relay) wooden
railroad ties have been donated and/or purchased from transit systems and freight
railroads across the northeast. Even the trolley poles we use are authentic 100-year-old
trolley catenary poles (many were once used in other Brooklyn Neighborhoods).
Our fleet of vintage PCC cars are pollution free electric light rail vehicles.
These cars operate on standardized 600v DC electric current, (as does the NYC Subway
network and most subway and rail transit systems within North America). PCC cars
are one of the most energy efficient light rail vehicles ever produced. They accelerate
and brake 2-3 times as faster than a modern city bus and outperform most modern light
rail vehicles (LRVs). Furthermore, PCCs use only 6 dollars worth of electricity
per hour of operation, far less than a subway car or most LRVs.
from the MTA
THE FAT OF THE LAND - Study Links Obesity to
No, it’s not a national thyroid problem: The
U.S. obesity epidemic is caused in part by suburban sprawl,
according to a study released yesterday by the National Center for
Smart Growth. The study, which involved more than 200,000 people in
448 counties, was the first comprehensive examination of the health
effects of sprawl, and was also the first to produce concrete
evidence of the relationship between sprawl and weight gain. To wit:
People who live in the most sprawling parts of the country spend
less time each month walking and weigh about six pounds more, on
average, than those who live in densely populated areas. Anti-sprawl
advocates have long argued that the spread of isolated subdivisions
discourages walking and biking, contributing to an epidemic in which
more than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight and nearly
one-third are obese.
source: Washington Post, Rob Stein, 29 Aug
A more thorough follow up article on sprawl
and Health can be found
Automobile Pollution Linked
to Birth Defects
A new study shows that women exposed to air pollution during pregnancy are more likely
to give birth to children with heart defects. The study, published in the American
Journal of Epidemiology on January 1, is the first definitively to link air pollution
with birth defects. The team, at the University of California Los Angeles School
of Public Health and the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, said the two
pollutants they measured were carbon monoxide and ozone - produced by the city's
well-known traffic jams. They looked at 9,000 babies born from 1987 to 1993. Pregnant
women who were exposed to the highest levels of ozone and carbon monoxide because
their homes were close to busy freeways were three times as likely to have a child
with certain heart defects as women breathing the cleanest air.
Fossil Fuels Are Bigger Killer
than Car Crashes
More people are being killed by pollution from cars, trucks and other sources than
by traffic crashes, researchers estimate in a report published in the journal Science.
The study found that cutting greenhouse gases in just four major cities-Sao Paulo,
Brazil; Mexico City; Santiago, Chile; and New York City-could save 64,000 lives over
the next 20 years. The study's lead author, Professor Devra Lee Davis, said that
ozone, particulate matter, carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the burning of
fossil fuels are causing people, particularly in cities, to die prematurely from
asthma, breathing disorders and heart disease. "There are more than a thousand
studies from 20 countries all showing that you can predict a certain death rate based
on the amount of pollution," she said. The data are consistent with a World
Health Organization study estimating that air pollution will cause about 8 million
deaths worldwide by 2020, she said.
-The Associated Press (2001)
Study finds that 1 out of
every 674 persons living in NYC will develop some form of cancer as a result of airborne
An Environmental Defense Fund report estimates that 360 of every million [1 in 2778]
people living in the U.S. will develop some form of cancer as a result of airborne
pollutants, with the rate in New York coming in at four times the national average
[1 in 674]. EDF found that cars, trucks and small businesses are responsible for
more air toxins than previously thought, finding that motor vehicles account for
60% of the risk of cancer and non-malignant ailments from air toxins. Not surprisingly,
four of the five leading hazardous chemicals covered by the study are found in motor
-Boston Globe (1999)