Nothing Says Tranquility Like the Hum of a Huge Diesel Engine

The Mark Sanford scandal is a bit off topic for Streetsblog but Sean Roche at the Newton Streets & Sidewalks blog points us to this incredible passage from one of the e-mails between the South Carolina governor and his mistress in Argentina. Sanford writes:

me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful
about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner
running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the background, the
tranquility that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and
marsh, the day breaking and vibrant pink coming alive in the morning
clouds — and getting to build something with each scoop of dirt.

How romantic!

And as if this story weren’t weird enough already, a profile of Sanford in American Conservative magazine provides another sordid tidbit about the governor’s diesel-powered meditation technique:

During Sanford’s first gubernatorial campaign in 2002, an 8-year-old
African-American girl wandered onto a Sanford family property on Lady’s
Island and drowned. A source close to the governor said she fell into a
"retaining pond." Her family’s lawyer, Manning Smith, called it a
"pit." Other sources claim that Sanford, who owned a hydraulic
excavator at the time, digs holes on his property to unwind.


Long Beach Transit, Please Go (More) Electric

Long Beach Transit (LBT) is considering two common, albeit game-changing RFPs (depending on their decisions): to purchase new buses that fit within the so-called alternative fuel sectors–that is, hybrid, CNG, or electric. Before I even make another statement, there are two that shouldn’t even be on that list–and it isn’t electric. As dollar signs float […]

The True Story of Metro’s Last Diesel Bus

You may have noticed all the hullabaloo Metro made in January 2011 about retiring the last diesel buses in its fleet. Metro even gave the final bus a new paint job before it was ceremoniously towed away at the press event. Actually this was a bit mis-leading because some of the contractors that run selected […]

No 710 Coalition: No on Measure J

(This is the third of four op/eds on Measure J that Streetsblog will publish this week. Monday, Gloria Ohland of Move L.A. made the case for Measure J and Wednesday Streetsblog Board Member Joel Epstein did the same. In between, the BRU made their case for a no vote. – DN) Only in the car capital of the world could […]

The Myth of the Magic Bus: The Weird Politics and Persistently Strange Logic Behind the Orange Line

The other day I was reading about New York City’s proposal to build a north-south busway on Woodhaven Blvd., starting in my old ‘hood of Jackson Heights. It’s a great plan—by making the center lanes bus-only and providing train-like amenities, such as pre-paid, multi-door boarding, New York will have an improved north-south bus route. It’ll take a predicted 45 minutes […]