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    50 Walkway Ideas To Install By Yourself Cheaply - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Installing the walkway is a must when you need to jazz up your garden and willing to do amazing landscaping of your outdoors. So, transform your garden into mini heaven with these 30 best DIY Walkway Ideas that will also provide the safe sidewalk. Building garden paths becomes a must when you dont want to get your home and garden dirty with the shoes. So, installing a walkway will be a smart step too to minimize your garden damage. There can be too many choices for the garden walkways to satisfy different tastes of garden lovers. So, check out the most popular walkway designs by opening up this collection of 50 Walkway Ideas that impress with their beautiful designs and win the heart with the creativity involved.

    These walkway ideas involve all from building a paver walkway to wooden walkways to gravel sidewalks. You will love the hidden hacks that will save a lot of your time and money for a walkway installation.

    What is common in most of these walkway ideas is first to clean up and dig up space to the desired extent. Next, you install the decorative edging, fabric, and even a sand bed. Now the fun part starts, installing the walkway pavers and bricks. Make the wooden square forms to install stepped wooden pathways. Use also the walkways forms and custom stencils to install decorative walkways for your garden walkways, a pro.

    Use also the free pallets to install no-cost wooden walkways, will last for years to come. Browse the entire list of Walkway ideas and get yourself inspired. These garden walkway ideas are for every budget but mostly cheap and for every skill level. These walkway ideas, inclcues brick walkway, paver walkway, stone path, cobblestone walkway and wooden walkway!

    Complete the final look of your patio with a stone walkway, it will get praised due to elegant design texture. No need to higher professional, be your own boss, and install stone patio road by yourself. You need 12 x 24 stones, edgers, decorative stones, paver sand, weed block, and tamper to do this project. thriftdiving

    Turn your green spaces, patio, or any backyard into mini heaven by featuring the accent walkway stepping stones. Build this pebble stepping stone walkway to feature a mosaic pattern in your garden. First, just make a wooden mold, pour cement in it, and then add the stones on the top in the mosaic pattern. Let it dry well. jeffreygardens

    Give your patio or deck a fine looking finish by installing this gravel walkway, which will surely create a unified look of your property. First, clean up the area, remove grass, and dig the ground a little. Install brick edging, then layer crushed gravel and finish with pea gravel layer. Details here adamhelton

    Add up your garden with a flagstone walkway, will impress with the natural texture, and will be super durable too. First, get the 3/4 thick flagstones into custom size, dig the space, install edging and then layer fabric. Next, lay the stones in the center and fill the gaps with gravel. Details here bhg

    Opt for free pallets to build lasting longer and durable garden walkway ideas. Just tear the pallets apart and pick the separated apart lengths to install a quick wooden garden walkway, will go much natural. here the idea is just to dig up space and then level the soil, add pallet planks one by one and finish with stone edging. funkyjunkinter

    The stepped walkway look like the giant stair with bigger and wide steps. This will brighten up the whole garden space and can be considered for decorative edging too. You need 16 x 12 hardboard siding, 26 joist hangers, 2x6x10 boards, 4x4x10 post, 5/4x6x8 boards, pea gravel and paint for this project. familyhandyman

    The bricks will be a smart choice to build the most durable and good looking garden pathway. Recycle the walkway pavers or cobblestones to install this garden walkway. Just dig the space up and install the plastic landscaping edging, next layer sand, and start adding cobblestones and pavers on the sand bed. Details here familyhandyman

    Do you need unique walkway ideas? You will give ten out of ten to this most beautiful garden paved walkway. It comes stenciled with different art shapes, symbols, and patterns separately on each paver for a gorgeous appeal. Just dig the space, layer a sand bed, and get a string anchor path guide to go in a start line while adding walkway pavers on the sand bed. Do stenciling after you complete the walkway. craftychica

    Replace your worn path that goes through the grass and is mostly covered with dirt, with this homemade hillside sidewalk. Just grab the 6x6s lumber posts and start making stepped square walkway moldings. Fill them up with concrete and secure the sides with metal L-brackets and durable hardware. Let it dry then. ohiothoughts

    If you want a lighted walkway for your garden, then head over to this solar-powered walkway ideas that will not add to your electricity bill. You will definitely get your space brightly illuminated when installing this glass tile walkway having LED lights fixed in. Details here instructables

    Building this brick patch will be comparatively easy and will cost you much less, like under $50. Opt for the 6x6s wooden posts or 4x4s to install the edging and then just install the walkway pavers on the sand bed. Install the pavers in the center and then fill the gaps with broken up bricks. Details here martysmusings

    Fancy up your garden with this lace-like stepping stones walkway, will create an enchanting walkway that will be loved by all. Just grab the square concrete step stones or garden pavers and then just stencil them using spray paint. The doilies of choice as cool stencils. Walkway stepping stones details here the wuvie

    Make the cement stepping stones that will help build a gorgeous stones walkway will impress at a very first look. Just grab a piece of plywood, trace out some circles on it and put together the stones there making a lovely pattern. Next, put a tube form around the traced circle and fill concrete in it. alisaburke

    Fancy up your garden with the simple paver stone walkway that will be loved dearly by all. Just grab the concrete pavers and then lay them down on the garden ground in custom arrangements and create a gorgeous walkway, will be loved dearly by all. Details here inmyownstyle

    Create a divine look of your garden with this flagstone pathway, will bring a natural decor element to your garden. Just dig the garden space up and then level up the ground. Layer the fabric and then spread sand over the fabric and start arranging the flagstones on the sand bed. Details here diynetwork

    No matter if you are a beginner, you will complete this project in just no time, a garden path and sidewalk made of stones. The stone look will look much natural and will surely create a divine look of your garden. The project will complete in 10 hours and will cost you $2.5-3.5 per square foot. thespruce

    Grab here the garden path ideas to build a brick walkway, will be durable, and maybe a perfect choice to match your building bricks. The project is pretty simple and involves using the 2x4s while installing the edging. Just layer gravel and then sand and finally the bricks on the sand bed to complete this walkway. Details here instructables

    Get free instructions here about how to install a good looking paver walkway. This paver road will rock for a patio and also for a garden or backyard. Installing this solid paver road will cost you much less when doing it yourself. You need pavers, pavers base, paver edging, and weed block to complete it. scrappygeek

    This walkway is a hot mixture of stone and bricks and will gain attention at a very first glance. In supplies, you need spikes, brick pavers, steel pipes, fabric, paver edging, flat fieldstone, flagstone, sand, and compactable gravel. The brick and stone will look great together for sure. Details here familyhandyman

    This stone walkway is super beautiful and will make your garden look heavenly for sure. The project demands first to dig up the space clean and then to level it nicely. Next, install the lawn edging and fabric and add a layer of gravel. Finally, start adding your stones and complete the beautiful stone walkway. Details here justmeasurin

    Leave a great impression on your garden visitors by installing this stone walkway. Dig the garden space up, clean it, and level. Next, just install the gravel bed and install the paver edging. Start adding your pavers on the gravel bed and then fill the gaps with gravel. Details here hoosierhome

    Level the garden ground and then layer a gravel bed, next hold a walkway form and place it on a targeted place, and then filled with liquid concrete to make this walkway. You can try different positions of the walkway form to make a natural-looking concrete walkway. Details here homemade

    First, excavate the garden ground and then install the wooden frames for each step, and then just fill it up solid with the liquid concrete. You will love this stepped concrete walkway that will be loved dearly by all garden lovers and will be a breeze to make. Details here destinatione

    Do you need a unique and cheap outdoor sitting place? Try these easy ideas for DIY garden bench to create the perfect spot to sit in your backyard.

    You will be loved dearly this wooden walkway that is quite something quick and easy to build. Do you ever tried simple woodworking projects! Just install the 4x4s wooden posts fist to install the walkway frame and then start covering it solid with the deck boards. Soon, you will get a solid wooden walkway that will bring tons of visual details to the targeted area. faithfullyfree

    Build a no-cost wooden walkway using the free recycled pallets. Just disassemble the pallets and get a pile of planks that you can put together to build a wooden walkway. The free pallets are a quick source of free wood, and you can reuse them to build this wooden garden walkway. Details here thehomespun

    Create a divine appeal of your garden by building these garden stepping stones. They come with colorful hexagonal pattern and will be the most amazing geometrical decors in your garden. Grab the concrete pavers and then stencil them using honey, been stencil. Use colorful craft paints for it. Details here designimprovi

    Installing this beautiful walkway will simply cost you next to nothing. Grab the mulch in two colors, flat stones, and a no-dig lawn walkway kit to install this lovely path. Just use the rake to level up the garden soil and install the walkway edging. Add a layer of mulch and then flat stepping stones. prettyhandygirl

    Rock your garden with these walkway ideas, the walkway stepping stones made at home. Make them by placing the rubber doormat with a cool design on a flat surface, add a cardboard tubing ring around it and fill it up with the concrete. Let it dry, and you are done. Dont forget to layer oil first. nancymizelle

    Accentuate the beauty of your garden with this barefoot sensory path. It comes with lots of different patches and sections. Add a little portion of grass in the walkway and then let a wooden textured section start. Next, add a little part of the stones and then let the wood make your feet special. Details here playathomete

    Just cut out the ground where you want to build a walkway. Fill it up with gravel while keeping on leveling. Just layer a bed of mortar on the gravel and start adding the granite and paver pieces to get a solid walkway. Something amazing to do with granite scrap. Details here removeandrepl

    This walkway looks like a railroad and comes with gaps filled with colorful gravel. The wooden steps peeking out of the walkway just looks adorable and extra cute. Just dig up the garden ground, layer the sand and gravel there and then start adding wooden step stones and gravel. This is also the most simple one out of our all walkway ideas.

    Boost the value of your property by installing this bluestone walkway. It will be amazing if you match it with the walls of your house. Again cut out the walkway design in garden ground, fill gravel, layer a sand bed or mortar bed, and start adding the bluestones until you fill the whole walkway.

    Spice up your front yard with this stone pathway will grace up your outdoor and hence entire property. There is no gap here that you can fill with gravel or with other items of this kind. So, you need skill here to get a solid flagstone floor, will just jazz up your patio and the entire property.

    Create a big focal point in your green heaven by installing this stepped flagstone walkway. This walkway has the flagstone stair steps in the center and the flower beds all around the steps. Finally, the steps end up with a peak pointed adorned with a pair of accent flower pots.

    This fantastic flagstone features a stone edging and comes with a solid flagstone floor in the center. If starting from your front porch or main home entrance, it will add a lot to the beauty and value of your property. You just no need to have the higher professional skill to install it, it is all easy peasy and quick.

    You will love the brick arrangements here in this walkway that is super solid and long-lasting. Install it with or without a decorative edging. The idea here to go for custom patterned arrangements of bricks on the sand bed. Use mortar to complete the project.

    Do you want brick walkway ideas? You will just love the brick pattern here, appearing nice and enchanting. Just cut the garden ground out, layer gravel, and then spread over the sand. Next, just add bricks on the sand bed and complete the herringbone brick walkway. This walkway will surely spice up your patio and outdoor.

    You will love this herringbone walkway done with the bricks. The best to get for increased aesthetics of your garden and patio using garden path ideas. First, install the brick edging and then sand or mortar bed. Finally, start arranging your bricks in a 45-degree herringbone style.

    Just look at this way to heaven, a perfect garden path that amazes at a very first look. Just cut the ground out, layer the fabric if need, and install decorative lawn edging. Next, spread the white gravel, the whole beauty of this walkway. Adjust the wooden steps on a white gravel bed.

    Create a unified look of your property and backyard by creating this flagstone walkway. First, draw outlines for the walkway and then start digging. Install fabric, decorative edging, and then sand or liquid cement bed. Finally, start arranging the flagstones and complete the road. Details here

    This will bring tons of focal stimulation to your patio and green garden space at night, an LED concrete walkway. The project involves installing a flagstone stepped walkway, and next, you can install the LED light edging. A better project to do with solar lights. Drilling the stone to fit lights may be a little challenging.

    This pebble walkway is colorful and comes with lots of magical patterns that are amazingly absorbing. Cut out the walkway road, layer the mortar or cement and then start arranging the pebbles and stones making different patterns. The flowers and swirls will raise your garden decor to the next level.

    A big thanks to concrete for this solid, adorable, and wavy walkway. The design becomes arresting with the brick decorative edging. Just make the wooden molds and start completing each step of the walkway. What you have to do mainly is to pour the concrete in the mold.

    Bring tons of focal stimulation to your garden with this brick and gravel alley. A hot mixture of bricks and gravel that will jack up the whole visual of your garden. This is what you need to make your neighbor jealous. First, dig the space out and install fabric and brick edging. Finish with a gravel bed.

    Connect this path to your home porch to your garden or front lawn or even to a backyard, and it will make the whole property of your look heavenly. Just cut the space out and install the brick edging. Place the flagstones of sufficient thickness in the mid and fill the gaps with gravel.

    This one will get ten out of ten due to enchanting visual and stability. Just cut the road out of the ground and then start adding the brick and gravel sections. Just install the accent wood borders or brick edging and then install the rest of the river gravel walkway.

    This is the real heaven, a pergola-framed York stone walkway. Grab the bigger wooden posts and cross lengths to install the pergola-frame all over the walkway. Opt for York stones for a solid natural-looking walkway. The pergola-frames will get soon covered with greenery for a green roof.

    A wooden walkway is easiest and quickest in our list of walkway ideas ever. It just involves cleaning and digging the area until you get a soft bed of sand. Level it up and then start arranging the wood plank one by one until you cover the whole wooden walkway. Do this project with free pallets.

    A big thanks to pallets for this adorable wooden garden walkway ideas. It will simply cost you nothing. Dig the space, add sand, gravel, or soil bed. Next, tear the pallets apart into pieces to get a big stock that you can arrange a flat together, making this walkway.

    Do you really want walkway ideas on a budget? A beginner garden walkway that involves only arranging the wood slats on a gravel or sand bed. First, do some quick measurements and mark an outline for a walkway. Next, start arranging the slats on the marked area until you get a whole beautiful wooden alley.

    Do you have privacy concerns with your neighbors? With these easy outdoor privacy screen ideas, you can add much-needed privacy to your pool, patio sitting, and deck.

    Transform your garden into the place of your dreams by installing decorative walkways and pathways. It can really get expensive to install a walkway by hiring a professional that may cost you big. But you can go with these cheap walkway ideas that will allow you to install a decorative garden walkway in an inexpensive way and with the minimum skills. These walkway ideas also involve reusing some old and recycled items that will allow building a lovely walkway at a cost next to nothing.

    Read more here:
    50 Walkway Ideas To Install By Yourself Cheaply

    The 10 Best Sidewalk Contractors Near Me (with Free Estimates) - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A concrete paint cover is typically opaque and covers up the color of the concrete. This means it provides significant protection to the concrete below. However, if it is improperly applied or subjected to heavy traffic, a painted concrete floor is likely to chip and peel.

    Epoxy and staining are two types of concrete floor sealer. Epoxy is a more durable but often more expensive option than a concrete stain. Epoxy forms a protective layer, while concrete stain is more decorative and requires more maintenance.Because epoxy can be more expensive than concrete stain, it is best used in high-traffic areas or in applications where low maintenance is desired.

    A concrete stain, on the other hand, is quick to apply and can show off the textures of the concrete, but it does not provide a high degree of protection for the concrete against spills, salt, water and other contaminants. Staining concrete generally requires a dust mop, a pH-neutral cleaner and water to clean, while epoxy can cause resin buildup that necessitates the use of special detergents.

    Find a concrete contractor near you for help selecting the right floor concrete sealer.

    See the article here:
    The 10 Best Sidewalk Contractors Near Me (with Free Estimates)

    Take the steps to ensure healthier watersheds and farms year round – Farm and Dairy - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Did you know that more than 99% of streams and rivers are impacted by anthropogenic (human) activity?

    I found myself standing outside the other night looking up at the stars and thinking about how chilly the nights have been. With the frigid weather already here, we can expect that snowfall will not be far behind. With this snowfall comes a source of pollution we might not think about.

    Whether you live on a farm or in a small town, road salts are bound to make an appearance sooner than later. Salt pollution is present all across North America but predominantly is an issue in the eastern and midwestern United States.

    Major causes of increasing salinity of freshwater include human salt inputs, agriculture, mining resource extraction and land clearing. Examples of this include road deicers, overuse of minerals used in agriculture (lime) and non-compliance of sewage systems.

    Although this type of pollution isnt often thought about, salts can be detrimental because of their ability to change the chemical composition of major ions in waterways. Overuse of salts will gradually cause a decline in stream and lake biodiversity, increase corrosion of pipes, increased contamination, and pond, river, stream and ocean acidification.

    Take a minute to think about fish. Freshwater fish are osmoregulators; this means that the concentration of salt is higher in their blood than in the water that surrounds them. Osmoregulation is the process of maintaining an internal balance of salt and water in the fishs body.

    Without this process, homeostasis would be disrupted and throw off body functions such as temperature and fluid balance. Homeostasis is being in a steady state of internal, physical and chemical conditions. Over time, an increase in salt pollution can really throw off this balance.

    Freshwater organisms and stream habitats are not the only ones affected by salinization. Farmers can be negatively affected by this year-round. Winter brings freezing pipes, nipping cold on baby calves, and the brutal early morning feedings in the winter, but it can also be followed up by a decrease in crop and pasture growth in the upcoming spring.

    Salinity from road salts can affect production of crops and pastures by interfering with nitrogen uptake, reducing growth and stopping plant production. For example, ions like chloride (found in salt) are toxic to plants and can cause death when an increase in these ions occur.

    Overuse of certain minerals year-round can also be harmful to farmland and increase salinity inputs. The spreading of lime in the fall is a great example of something that can be beneficial but also harmful to your farm. Lime can increase pasture and crop health, but it can also create a nasty run-off cocktail that is detrimental to land and waterways within your farm or watershed.

    An easy fix to this is to get a soil test every few years. This will tell you the exact amount of lime you need to spread on fields.

    As landowners, we may not be able to control the amount of salts used for roadways but we can control our own use of salts on our property. Use the following tips to create healthier watersheds and farmland for future generations.

    1. A little goes along way. One handful of rock salt is enough per square yard. If using calcium chloride you can use even less. Also apply deicer before the snow and ice to reduce runoff and increase the effectiveness of the deicer.

    2. Choose deicers wisely. Rock salt (Sodium chloride) is the most common deicer. This contains cyanide, which is harmful to freshwater organisms and plants. It also only works above 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Calcium chloride is a better choice, containing less harsh chemicals. Although more expensive, you only need to use about one-third the amount, compared to rock salt. Magnesium chloride is the best deicer and is the least toxic to plants and animals. You can even use sand to create traction instead of a deicer.

    3. Do the least amount of work. Only spread salt on surfaces of driveways and walkways that you will be using the most. Never spread on the lawn or near streams, ponds, trees or storm drains. Salt works best when applied right before a snow fall or after snow is removed from surfaces. Salt directly after shoveling your driveway to increase efficiency of your work.

    By following these tips and being more mindful of your salt inputs, we can ensure healthier watersheds and farms year round.

    Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!

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    Take the steps to ensure healthier watersheds and farms year round - Farm and Dairy

    Here’s what it takes to clear snow from the U.S. Capitol grounds and inauguration area – WUSA9.com - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Crews working for the Architect of the Capitol have winter precipitation removal down to a science.

    WASHINGTON As work continued across the U.S. Capitol to negotiate a critical coronavirus relief deal and prepare for a presidential inauguration 35 days away, crews mobilized to clear 14 miles of sidewalks throughout the Capitol complex a mission to keep the area functioning during a week of breakneck work.

    The Architect of the Capitol is the federal agency charged with maintaining the grounds through all weather conditions. Its crews are responsible for snow and ice removal across the equivalent of 400 football fields.

    A thin coat of snow Wednesday covered the walkways leading to the nearly completed inauguration platform on the West Front of the Capitol, but it was freezing rain and ice that removed much of the small accumulation of powder by nightfall.

    Ted Bechtol, Superintendent of U.S. Capitol Grounds, said in a prior interview with WUSA9 that the agency has 500 tons of rock salt at its disposal. The salt is used for road surfaces, while 20 tons of deicer are used for sidewalks and steps.

    It generally takes two hours to prepare all equipment for a full snow event, Bechtol said.

    There is, in fact, an area of the Capitol that is up to three degrees colder than the rest a patch of ground which may warrant extra attention during inclement winter weather.

    The agency identified First Street and Constitution Avenue, N.E. as the coldest spot on the Capitol grounds. Relatively high building heights and mature trees cast the area in shadow for most of the day, decreasing its temperature.

    Read more here:
    Here's what it takes to clear snow from the U.S. Capitol grounds and inauguration area - WUSA9.com

    As winter storm approaches, USPS reminds residents to keep their mailboxes, sidewalks and steps clear of snow – FOX43.com - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    With the first big snowstorm of the season in the forecast for Central Pennsylvania later this week, U.S. Postal Service officials are reminding residents to keep their mailboxes, steps, and sidewalks clear so letter carriers can deliver their mail safely.

    The Postal Service is asking customers to help keep their letter carrier safe this winter through the following actions:

    Residents who receive delivery to roadside mailboxes also must keep the approach to, and exit from, the mailbox clear of snow or any other obstacles, like trash cans and other vehicles, the USPS said. The carrier needs to get in, and then out, without leaving the vehicle or backing up.

    Customers with questions or comments about their mail service can call toll-free 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

    Read this article:
    As winter storm approaches, USPS reminds residents to keep their mailboxes, sidewalks and steps clear of snow - FOX43.com

    Watershed Friendly Living Snow and Ice Removal – TAPinto.net - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Now that winter is starting to bite and New Years resolutions have us thinking about changing behaviors, perhaps youve considered living in a more watershed-friendly (environmentally conscious) way. Great idea! Keep in mind, changing behaviors requires a some refocusing and a little extra effort, but the results can be big!

    Something as seemingly simple as how you de-ice your walkways can make a positive impact on water quality. Road salt (typically rock salt) used during winter storms is the major non-point source pollutant found in the streams flowing through Great Swamp and into the Passaic River. Our water quality testing data year-over-year shows that, although exclusively applied in winter, salts impact on waterways lingers throughout the rest of the year. Every rainstorm flushes salt from road edges into streams.

    Why is salt such an issue?

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    Road salt doesnt easily go away! It melts snow and ice which is what we hope to accomplish. But it then dissolves and soaks into the ground. It moves through the water table and into streams. Snowmeltrunoffcan actually contain more than 10,000 mg of chloride per liter. Thats like putting two teaspoons of salt into a small container the size of an orange juice carton. Whod want to drink that?!

    Unless salts are washed down below root level, soil salinity can stunt plant growth, brown leaves, weaken and even kill off all but the hardiest plants, including some of New Jerseys most beautiful native wildflowers. As a result, invasive, salt-resistant species are likelier to grow in their place.

    Road salt can also be highly toxic for aquatic life. As saltconcentrationsincrease in freshwater streams, sensitive species cannot survive the waves of salty runoff. Animals are also affected. Salt treated roads often attract animals. Mammals such as deer lick at road salt, presenting a road hazard. Seed-eating birds may or may not be able to distinguish between salt crystals and seed particles.

    For a relatively small state, New Jersey uses a lot of road salt. According to New Jerseys Department of Transportationwebsite, more than 280,000 gallons of salt were applied for winter 2018 2019 along with 600,000 plus gallons of liquid calcium chloride and almost 2 million gallons of brine.

    What can a thoughtful homeowner do to reduce salts impact while keeping paths slip free?

    If you are able, get out there with an ice chopper and a shovel. And get the family in on the act. Youll burn some calories using physical instead of chemical removal methods. For increased traction, scatter kitty litter, wood ashes or sand. The darker colors also absorb heat and help to melt snow and ice.

    Pet-friendly Solutions

    Rock salt (aka ice melt) can burn our pets paws causing them extreme pain. Plus, we all know how much dogs love to lick salt. Consuming rock salt can lead to serious internal injuries including burning of the mouth and digestive tract, and seizures. It can also cause severe dehydration, liver failure, and pancreatitis. It can even be fatal.Some foods and household items are environmentally safealternativesfor melting ice, and are often more pet-friendly than rock salt and chemicals. Here are a few:

    Whitevinegar and deicer Mix 3 cups white vinegar with 1 cup window deicer in a spray bottle to help deice windshields.

    Brine its not just for turkeys anymore! Brine is a valuable rock salt alternative because it uses only one-tenth the amount of sodium chloride. Its a treatment applied before the snow begins. Spreading a thin layer of this salty liquid on the surface prevents ice from forming or snow from sticking. Brine can be applied up to three days in advance. Make your own brine solution by creating a 10% solution of regular table salt, dissolved in warm water and then placed in a sprayer- a small hand sprayer for steps and sidewalks will suffice. Note, it can be ineffective if it is too cold outside.

    Potato juice, a byproduct of vodka distillation, is effective when mixed with traditional salt brine.

    Store-bought Solutions

    Calcium Chloridecan harm plants in high concentrations and is three times more expensive than rock salt, though it only requires one-third the application rate.

    Magnesium Chlorideis less toxic than rock salt. It contains less chloride than rock salt or calcium chloride and is therefore safer for plants and animals. It can be tricky to locate in stores and does not store well over New Jerseys humid summers. Store it wisely!

    Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)is the best overall choice for melting ice safely. It is less toxic than deicers with chloride and is pet friendly; however, it is the most expensive alternative.

    So, when the forecast calls for wintry weather, you can now be prepared to take on that snow and ice while protecting your pets and the water quality in and around the Passaic River.

    Follow the Great Swamp Watershed Alliance@Greatswampnj on Twitter,@Greatswampnj on Instagram and@GreatSwamp on Facebook. Visit them online atgreatswamp.org.

    See the original post:
    Watershed Friendly Living Snow and Ice Removal - TAPinto.net

    Where Golf Has Run Its Course, Much-Needed Housing Is in the Works – Voice of San Diego - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    While some very positive steps have been taken over the past year in addressing the severe housing crisis that has plagued the San Diego region, the reality is we still have a long way to go.

    Today, due largely to a decades-long backlog of new housing being built (our regional housing deficit is more than 50,000 homes) the median home price in San Diego County just set a new record: $650,000. Needless to say, its a number that moves steadily further and further away from the reach of working families. And for those who cant buy, renting continues to be a financial struggle, with rents rising to an average of $1,850 a month.

    Thats the (very) bad news.

    The good news is were finally, with policy changes and increased attention from residents, starting to address this shortage in meaningful ways.

    On the table are many new housing projects throughout the region, as well as community plan updates that embrace more housing units, ensuring that development will happen where it makes the most sense and creating a viable opportunity for young families to stay in San Diego. Included among some proposed projects are three that would repurpose golf courses. All three are in the citys urbanized areas, close to public transit, meet the goals laid out in the city of San Diegos Climate Action Plan, and include attainably priced and low-income housing options.

    In Mission Valley, the Riverwalk Golf course is slated to be transformed into a vibrant live-work-play village and features 97 acres of parks, open space and trails as well as a restored stretch of the San Diego River and expansion of the San Diego River Trail. Riverwalk San Diego, which was unanimously approved by the San Diego City Council in November, reimagines 200 acres of private land that has been planned for development since the 1980s. The village, which will be phased in over the next 15 to 20 years, will include up to 4,300 homes (approximately 430 of which will be set aside for low-income qualified residents), neighborhood-serving shops and restaurants, and 1 million square feet of office space. The village will also include a new light-rail station along the San Diego Trolleys green line to connect residents to job centers in downtown San Diego and other parts of Mission Valley, as well as UTC/Torrey Pines on the soon-to-be-completed Mid-Coast Trolley line.

    On the former Carmel Mountain Ranch Golf Course, another 1,200 homes are being proposed, with nearly 70 percent of the property, over 100 acres, to remain as protected open space. Based on significant public input, the Trails, as the project is being called, will adaptively reuse the former golf cart path to create over six miles of public pedestrian walkways winding through the entire community. Nine acres of new neighborhood parks are proposed, preserving the greenery that was represented by the previous golf course. The project, which will include 120 deed-restricted affordable homes, is within walking distance to an area transit center where residents can catch the Rapid bus that goes along the I-15 connecting to downtown San Diego and other employment centers. There are also over 40,000 jobs within a three-mile radius of the Trails, which allows employees to live close to work and supports the Climate Action Plan. The Trails is expected to go before the San Diego City Council sometime next year.

    In Rancho Peasquitos, on what was the Carmel Highland Golf Course, about 500 homes are being proposed exclusively for seniors 15 percent of which will be priced for those with low incomes. The Junipers, as it is known, will also feature a new public park, basketball and pickleball courts, a dog park and a mobility zone for improved pedestrian and bicycle circulation. The San Diego City Council is expected to consider the project early next year.

    Repurposing out-of-use golf courses into desperately needed housing is a smart, appropriate move. Land and water are difficult to identify in areas that have close proximity to jobs and transit, and golf courses are generally located within communities that can readily accept more housing. Further, as we continue to recognize the impact of scarce resources, namely water, on our future community planning it only make sense that resource-heavy golf courses find a reimagined role in addressing our housing crisis.

    As we are seeing in Mission Valley, Carmel Mountain Ranch, and Rancho Peasquitos, urban golf courses provide the perfect opportunity for San Diego to make progress toward reaching our housing goals in a responsible, transit- and environmentally friendly way.

    Marissa Tucker-Borquez is president of YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County and is studying for a masters degree in urban planning at SDSU. Stefanie Benvenuto is vice president of public affairs for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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    Where Golf Has Run Its Course, Much-Needed Housing Is in the Works - Voice of San Diego

    Covid pandemic prompts a surge in appreciation for local nature and rewilding cities – iNews - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The look and feel of our city centres could be about to change significantly, after people took the opportunity this year to flock to the nature on their doorstep however scrubby it might be as never before.

    The Covid-propelled flight into wildlife has accelerated a change in attitude to nature that was already occurring and could profoundly change the make-up of urban areas in the next decade.

    Green Shoots: i's Guide to Helping the Planet in your Everyday Life

    According to Craig Bennett, head of the Wildlife Trusts, the conservation movement is being radically reshaped as the century-old focus on honey pot sites of great natural beauty often in a far and distant land is switching to the more modest wildlife near our houses.

    Only a decade ago, when Bennett was at Friends of the Earth, people thought that letting the grass grow long on roadside verges was madness, he recalls.

    But in recent years, helped by campaigns and scientific research extolling the benefits of biodiversity for nature and our mental health, people are coming around strongly to the idea that messy is good.

    This conversion has prompted a growing interest in rewilding essentially, letting nature take its course from the environmental fringes towards the mainstream.

    While the first rewilding schemes took place in the depths of the countryside, milder forms are starting to crop up in urban areas.

    More recently, Covid has hugely increased the publics appreciation of nature as they sought solace in green space when restrictions often left them with little else to do.

    And because they couldnt travel easily, they focused on that park they may have overlooked for years even though it was just down the road.

    The result is an increased interest in local, rewilded, nature, however low-key, according toBennett.

    Thousands of UK households took part in No Mow May this year, letting their lawns grow wild, while the Royal Entomological Society reported record numbers of enquiries from people in the UK and overseas over the summer about insects they had spotted.

    Meanwhile, in the US, 26 per cent of people visiting parks and natural areas in the early months of the pandemic had rarely and often never been in nature in the previous year, according to a study published in the journal Plos One last week.

    Against this backdrop, it is perhaps not surprising that an ambitious proposal to rewild Nottingham city centre, made this month by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, received a lot of attention and the city council is seriously considering it.

    We have seen a real change in the zeitgeist in the British public in the past 10 years people are starting to understand now that messy is good. Its good for wildlife and it makes you feel more connected to nature, says Bennett.

    There is a big reframing of the conservation movement from the way its been for the past 100 years. Nature is often talked about as though its distant and sometimes even foreign, such as rainforests, and as a result thousands of people charge to those kind of honey pot sites every year.

    Now, people are getting excited about local nature, where they live or can walk or cycle to. People are starting to celebrate and understand, not perhaps the most spectacular nature, but the nature close to where they are. I think thats a definite shift, and that then leads to that massive interest in urban rewilding.

    Mr Bennett expects this new-found love of local, messy nature to transform the look of UK city centres and other urban spaces in the coming years.

    There is a move towards having big areas of rewilding in the country, but also having rewilding around our towns and cities. There is a lot of excitement about what it could look like in 10 or 15 years we could fundamentally change what it looks like to travel round this country, he says.

    People are very excited about this change. I think its the one that can surprise us over the next decade about just how much progress we can make on it.

    Only 10 years ago, when campaigners talked about allowing roadside verges to grow a little bit wild or putting wildflowers into public spaces, people thought we were mad. It was absolutely normal at the time to see manicured lawns absolutely everywhere. These days, people get it when they see roadside verges that have been left to grow wild.

    And wild areas in our towns and cities are incredibly popular among members of the public.

    The publics personal love of nature notwithstanding, arguably an even more significant development in recent years concerns money.

    It wasnt so long ago that it was environment versus economy, says Bennett. Youre not hearing that now.

    Whats great about that Nottingham rewilding story is that local business, the council and the people are saying it will be good for their local economy the idea that we need to rewild parts of Nottingham city centre because we need good-qualitygreen space to make it an attractive place to live and work and for people to invest.

    Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has challenged the city of Nottingham to rewild the site of Broadmarsh shopping centre once its demolition is completed.

    It has reimagined the space transformed with wildlife habitats reflecting the sites history as a wetland alongside the ancient course of the River Leen and long-lostgardens.

    The vision for the site includes accessible walkways based on a centuries-old city street plan to reconnect key parts of the city.

    It hopes this could help to reconnect the city to Sherwood Forest and invoke the spirit of Robin Hood bringing wildlife to nature-poor city dwellers and the millions of visitors it attracts. The council is considering the proposal, along with others for the Broadmarsh site.

    The River Sherbourne might run through Coventry, but it is mostly culverted and almost forgotten. Warwickshire Wildlife Trusts new project aims to reconnect people who live in the city with the river and restore it for wildlife. In the city centre, the lid will be taken off a section of the culverted river, which will also be brought to the surface in other ways, through virtual reality, listening posts, glass floors and a blue line marking the route it takes beneath the feet of passers-by.

    Meanwhile, the Government will be guilty of speaking a lot of hot air on climate change if it fails to produce a detailed action plan to hit its emissions targets by the time it hosts the crucial COP26 global warming summit next December, Bennett warned.

    The UK is on course to miss its various climate change targets and lacks the policies needed, he says.

    Last month, the Government announced a 10-point green revolution plan. This included pledges to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030, to quadruple offshore wind power within a decade and to boost hydrogen production.

    A 165-page White Paper published this week adds further proposals.

    However, there is still no detailed analysis laying out the specific measures that need to be taken to meet our carbon goals and showing how much they add up to achieve them, Bennett says.

    Meanwhile, an in-depth analysis of the White Paper by the Carbon Brief climate science and policy website concluded: Even with the wealth of additional detail in the White Paper, there remains a significant gap between proposed emissions cuts and those required under the UKs climate targets.

    Mr Bennett said: If we were hosting the Olympics in 2030, youd expect us to have a clear plan of how wed deliver it, with Gantt charts, project plans and milestones through to delivery.

    We need exactly the same way of delivering on these climate targets, and, despite all the good talk, at the moment we dont have that detailed plan.

    We surely need that to be in place, adopted as policy by the Government and supported by Parliament, before we host COP26. Without it, those targets will prove to be a lot of hot air.

    COP26 has been billed as a crucial summit for international leaders to agree how to limit global warming to the Paris Agreement target of1.5C.

    A Government spokesman said: This is nonsense. Building on the Prime Ministers ambitious 10-point plan, the energy White Paper sets out specific steps we take to fully decarbonise our electricity system and slash emissions from industry, transport and buildings as we transition to net-zero [for electricity] by 2025.

    This is part of a suite of bold plans across key sectors of the economy which the government will be publishing in the run up to COP26, culminating with a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy.

    More:
    Covid pandemic prompts a surge in appreciation for local nature and rewilding cities - iNews

    The Invisible Last Mile of Mumbai’s Lifeline – Economic and Political Weekly - December 19, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Mumbais transportation scenario has traditionally been an intriguing jigsaw. The city has among the highest share of public transport usage in the world, with over 45% of commuters using the citys elaborate suburban rail network andBEST(Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) buses (MCGM2016). At the same time, Mumbai is also recognised as one among the top congested cities in the world. A study calculated that vehicle drivers spent about 65% of their time stuck in congestion and the average traffic speed during peak hours was just 18.5 kilometres per hour (kmph) (TomTom.com 2019). The city also accounts for over 400 road fatalities each year (Natu 2020). These are often attributed to the capacity constraints of public transport and infrastructural deficiencies failing to adequately fulfil the mobility needs of over 20 crore residents of the metropolis (GoI2011). While these factors are often examined through numerous studies both in academic and policy spheres, there appears to be an acute under-examination of the first- and last-mile journeys of commuters using public transport, particularly the suburban rail network and its impact on the citys transportation woes and commuter experience.

    The local railway network lives up to its moniker of being the citys lifeline by transporting over 7.5 million passengers daily under extreme resource constraints (ADB2019). However, unlike the metro, an integrated first/last mile connectivity (LMC)1plan with the network is conspicuously absent at the moment. The shutting of the network because of theCOVID-19 outbreak provided a rare opportunity for the citys suburban rail planners to consider integrating theLMCcomponent in its planning with a focus on promoting sustainable modes of urban transport and enhancing commuter experience.

    With the rapid expansion of metro networks across the country,LMCis gaining due attention in the role it plays in consolidating advantages of public transport alongside promoting sustainable transportation goals. The Government of Indias (GoI) Metro Policy, 2017 clearly outlines its vision onLMCin the metro system. Even in Mumbai, the focus is firmly on integratingLMCin the metro corridors.

    StructuredLMCplanning could play a helpful role in limiting congestion, improving safety conditions and thereby overall commuter experience. Various options can be utilised for promoting safe pedestrian movement, shared mobility, proliferation of electric vehicles and bike sharing.LMCcould play a vital role in the twin pursuits of retaining and augmenting the sustainability gains from public transport and improving commuter experience.

    Therefore, this paper engages with the subject ofLMCby furnishing an overview of the current state ofLMCfor rail passengers with the help of a survey and further assessing the importance ofLMCto suburban rail networks. Based on the discussion we also propose a way forward in integratingLMCplanning with the rail network.

    Urban Transport in the Indian Context

    India is undergoing rapid urbanisation and 60% of its population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050 (PTI2016). Transport is said to be the lifeblood of urban centres and thus demands futuristic planning. Under the Constitution, urban transport is included in urban development and finds a place in the state list as per the Seventh Schedule. The responsibility of urban transport planning is diffused through at least four ministries: housing and urban affairs; railways; road, transport and highways; and home affairs. As a result, the subject is often claimed to be an institutional orphan (IIHS2015).

    The management and operation of urban transport also varies across Indian cities. For instance, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) which operates local buses in Bengaluru is a state government undertaking. In Mumbai, buses are operated by theBESTwhich is an autonomous body under the municipal corporation. The suburban rail services in select cities such as Mumbai are operated by different railway zones through their divisions. These zones are governed by the Ministry of Railways while the metro projects are under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

    Another serious problem is that limited authority is delegated at the local city level making the city administrations ill-equipped to undertake efficient planning (IIHS2015). Therefore, while the central government mandates the use of public transport, the state governments promote flyovers and bridges and the independent city development agency (wherever exists) functions without any proper policy planning (Vaidyanathan et al 2013).

    Public Transport and LMC

    Reports have indicated that an increase in the use of public transport could reduce growth of private vehicles and enhance road safety in general (Mohan and Tiwari 2016). A bus has a passenger car unit (PCU) of four, while a car has one. This means a bus occupies the same space of four cars when in traffic. However, a car can carry a maximum of five people, whereas buses on an average carry 50 people (Mardani et al 2015). Hence, with a four times increase in space, occupancy is increased by almost 15 times. In other words, 50 people can travel in a space occupied by only 20 people if travelling in a car, an increase of 150%. For the reduction to work, public transport has to be made an attractive option. Studies point out a few measures that can be undertaken to improve the adoption of public transport. Important among them are lowering the commuting distance in accessing public transport, making it accessible and comfortable to all sections of population such as the elderly, women, children and persons with disability, ensuring that it is affordable even to the lowest income group, and improving the quality of pedestrian and bicycle environments (Mohan and Tiwari 2016).

    While experts rightly assert the importance of mass rapid transit systems (MRTS) and overall greater usage of public transport, the aspect of access and egress from public transport nodes is yet to receive the requisite attention (WRI2016; Mohan and Tiwari 2016). For instance, in the case of the Mumbai local, any further addition to this walking distance could be viewed unfavourably due to time consideration. Therefore, accessibility is seen as a key parameter to make public transport an attractive choice (Mohan and Tiwari 2016). Another dimension of accessibility is the distance to access rail or metro stations from residence or workplace. The relatively successful Delhi Metro has about 56% population living beyond one kilometre (km) from the station, while for Mumbais 11.4 km metro, this population is about 91% (Devulapalli and Howindialives2019).

    Institutional Structure for LMC

    Similar to the presence of multiple agencies in planning, theLMCservices are regulated by different agencies as well. Entities like taxis and rickshaws are typically governed by the state transport departments. Likewise, creating pathways for cycling and walking come under the municipal corporation, while lighting for the pathway is by the electricity service provider. A case in point is the Tansa cycle track project undertaken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Despite the courts getting involved, the project is still in limbo and is facing multiple issues of encroachments (Thakkar 2019). Clearly, the issue of lack of coordination, with each institution forming its own rules and procedures, eventually hinders the execution of even well-intentioned policies (Vaidyanathan et al 2013).

    Mumbai Scenario

    Unlike most Indian cities, Mumbais urban mobility paradigm has been actively shaped since 2002 by the World Bankfunded Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). As per the World Banks (2016) project performance assessment report, two phases of theMUTPhave been implemented with an expenditure of over`9,800, while the third phase is being implemented. These were primarily aimed at augmenting the carrying capacity of the citys suburban rail system during peak hours by financing eight and 12 car rakes and increasing the frequency of trips. However, despite modest improvements in the carrying capacity, the modal share of suburban rail has witnessed a continuous decrease in recent years. Between 2005 and 2014, the share of suburban rail in the total number of daily trips in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) decreased from 51.8% to 40.6%, while the share of private vehicles and paratransit have each doubled (MCGM2016). Lack of capacity and inefficiencies in public transport may be a significant cause, but the role of insufficient last- and first-mile connectivity needs greater examination in research and policy circles.

    Improving connectivity to suburban rail networks also received insufficient attention under theMUTP. For instance, only two pedestrian-related projects were implemented under theMUTP-I, while others were dropped due to restructuring of loans (World Bank 2016). Similarly, theBMCallocated`50 crore for pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, whereas roads were allocated`1,600 crore, reflecting how planning for last mile commutes has evoked insufficient concern (Singh 2020).

    Methodology

    The objective of our study is to understand the last-mile commute patterns of suburban commuters in Mumbai, assess their preferences about less-patronised options and present a road map for comprehensiveLMCplanning for Mumbais railway stations.2Since the Ministry of Urban and Housing Affairs has mandated planning forLMCto be integrated with urban commuting, railways in Mumbai may also consider planning in this regard (GoI2017). Hence, this study focused on determining the current available options for railway commuters inLMCand their preferences that could potentially set up further in-depth study.

    Many publicly available reports such as the Comprehensive Mobility Plan for Greater Mumbai present an overall modal share of trips (MCGM2016). According to this, 61.2% prefer public transport, 26.4% prefer private vehicles and 12.4% prefer intermediate public transport (IPT). However, most reports do not provideLMC-specific data points such as theLMCmode share or time and distance parameters in the last mile.

    A study on non-motorised transport (NMT) for last mile-connectivity from Delhi Metro stations conducted by Chidambara (2016) focused on collecting information from the commuters themselves on the choice and preference of mode of transport to let the voice of commuters be known in a bottom-up approach. A similar method was ascertained to be a good fit for this study.

    The other method evaluated was the case-study method. This would have entailed choosing certain stations and catchment areas surrounding it and conducting studies around that case. While this would have yielded insights on few chosen sites, it may not have fulfilled the objective of this study, namely, to explore and provide a case for railways to integrateLMCplanning (Chidambara 2019). Hence, the former survey option was preferred.

    Accordingly, a survey questionnaire was designed to be administered randomly among rail commuters. However, theCOVID-19 pandemic lockdown meant that the survey had to be moved online. The survey was administered to likely rail commuters who were approached through the authors circles. Respondents were restricted to Central Railway commuters. Since the mode was online and needed to reach a large number, only basic demographic details were collected. Research has shown that with more numbers of survey fields, the response rate reduces. For instance, in surveys, a 22-field form elicits an average of 14% response rate (Byers 2016). With this in mind, the form was restricted to only 12 fields. Another factor affecting response rate could also be the reluctance in sharing personal details with unknown entities. Hence, only gender and age details were collected, thus keeping the data anonymous and focused on details related to functional aspects of the study.

    Besides, mindful of the limitations of our approach, we focused on the study as an exploratory one, to understand the potential ofLMCplanning with railways. Therefore, a greater emphasis was laid on the aspects of data collection such as stations used for commute, mode, time and distance of last-mile commute, time and distance taken to reach the mode, and influencing factors behind commuters decision on mode of transport. These data points would provide useful insights on the case for planning.

    Survey Findings

    The survey contained 12 questions including demographic identifiers, rail station used in travel to destination, distance, time and cost of travel to destination from station, modes of transport used to reach their destination and possibility of adopting a newer sustainable mode of transport. Each question captured details of both the destinations. About 1,300 valid responses were received. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed indicated that they used the same mode ofLMCto the workplace and home, indicating a high degree of regularity inLMCusage and data validation. The results from the survey have been outlined below.

    User characteristics:The users are typically commuters of the Central Railway. Either offices or residences or both are accessible by suburban rail. Among the users, the age break-up is as follows: 18% were 2130 years; 34.5% were 3140 years; 25.9% were 4150 years; and 20.8% were 5160 years. Of the respondents, 69.1% were male, 30.7% were female and 0.02% identified as third gender.

    Station exit data:Due toCOVID-19, physical data collection as well as choosing railway stations to sample was not possible. However, with the online format, respondents were asked to fill in these details manually. Data was filtered to identify those stations that had a minimum of 20 mentions for both categories. Based on this, the common stations with high traffic share in both datasets could be potential sites to pilot any futureLMCmodes.

    Station exit to workplace:A total of 17 stations were filtered out based on the above condition. Dadar (western and central lines), Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Kalyan and Thane carry the highest share of exits towards workplaces (>5%). Ambarnath, Badlapur, Nerul, Dombivli, Ghatkopar, Kurla, Mulund and Tilaknagar see the next highest share of exits (2.5%5%) (Figure 2, p 41).

    Station exit to residence:Similarly, exits at stations to residence were filtered under the same condition as above and 16 stations satisfied this condition. Here, a clear winner in terms of share appears to be Kalyan station (~15%), indicating that a majority of respondents are residents who are connected to the suburban system through Kalyan station. Badlapur also sees a significant amount of exits to residences (8%). The rest form less than 5% (Figure 1, p 41).

    Comparing both the data sets, it could be noted that 10 stations are common in both the lists. This indicates that these stations see high traffic in both directions (to the workplace and to residence).

    Status of LMC at Local Stations

    Operationally, the Mumbai suburban rail network and its over 110 suburban stations are managed by two different zones of Indian Railway, namely, Central Railway and Western Railway.

    The modes utilised forLMCtravel at suburban stations could be categorised as: (i) non-motorised modes (NMTs) such as walking, cycling and bicycle rentals; (ii) intermediate public transport (IPTs) such as autorickshaws and taxis; (iii) shared-ride services (shared taxis, shared autorickshaws); (iv) app-based services (taxis, cabs, buses, scooters); and (iv) private vehicles (cars, two-wheelers).

    According to our survey, the share of each of these modes among respondents in travelling to workplace and to residence is given in Table 1.

    It is reported that about 60% of the public transport journeys necessarily start and end as walk trips (MCGM2016). Table 1 shows a similar trend with about 48% and 24.3% commuters of the railway network walking to their workplace and residence respectively after their egress from local train stations. However, most stations are marked by the absence of walkways and adequate passenger dispersal systems to handle the high volumes of people exiting the platforms. Further, a World Bank study pointed out that traffic congestion in most Indian cities including Mumbai is due to uncongested mobility, which refers to the speed that vehicles can reach after navigating pedestrians, stray dogs and cattle (Akbar et al 2018). Therefore, ironically pedestrians also contribute to the congestion, while also endangering their own lives.

    Other popular forms such as autorickshaws, taxis and, increasingly, app-based cabs form a chunk of feeder services. Our survey also indicates that over 53% of those surveyed use autorickshaws and taxis heading to their residences. It is common knowledge that these journeys are often characterised by frequent haggling, illegal denying of service to passengers, overcharging and chaotic crowding near station exits. To obviate this, some stations have earmarked space for taxi unions in liaison with regional transport office (RTO) authorities but the experiences are no better.

    ThoughBESTbuses are an affordable and sustainableLMCoption for suburban stations across Mumbai, only 38%BESTbuses are used to access the suburban stations (WRI2016). This is a significant fall since 1999, when this share was as high as 59% (Singh et al 2019). Our survey also points to a dismal share ofBESTbuses being used asLMCmodes from suburban rail stations. Only about 7% use it to reach their residences and 6% use it to reach the workplace. The reasons for this decline are attributed to the low frequency ofBESTbuses at many stations (Singh et al 2019). Also, as a result of congested roads around station exits, it can take up to 45 minutes for buses to enter and exit, leading to their low patronage (WRI2016).

    Our survey also indicates sizeable usage of private vehicles with 12.3% and 17.8% of commuters using their two/four wheelers while heading to their workplaces and residences respectively. Private vehicles per 1,000 persons is growing at 6.46% compound annual growth rate (MCGM2016). This growth is reflective of the preference of the public to use such options in the existing scenarios. Both the Central and Western Railway have awarded licences to intermediaries for development of pay and park sites on railway land. Data from tenders issued shows such a facility is available at a total of 69 stations, allowing passengers to park their two wheelers and cars on hourly as well as monthly basis. The licence fee from such contracts is a closely monitored source of revenue as well.

    Another interesting insight from the survey is with regard to the distance between the station exit and availability of at least one of theLMCoptions.

    Table 2 indicates that around 50% of the commuters walk for around 1 km3 km from the station exit to take one of theLMCoptions while travelling to their residence. Similarly, around 24% walk around 1 km3 km while travelling to the workplace. Railway premises generally necessitate an average walk around 200300 metres in order to reach the exit gate from the point of alighting (WRI2016). Needing to cover more distance to access a mode of transport for the last mile may be a major inconvenience, especially for differently-abled and elderly commuters.

    In recent times, small but significant strides are being made in the direction of expandingLMCoptions. In a bid to promote shared mobility and ease commuter experience, many stations have allotted space to app-based aggregators. There is also a growing focus on providing sustainable modes of transport. For instance, the Bengaluru Railway Division partnered with a dock-less scooter company to deploy around 698 scooters at 13 railway stations (Lalitha 2019). Similarly, data from tenders issued shows that the Mumbai division of the Central Railway also awarded a tender to an app-based bus aggregator to provide last-mile connectivity from two of its prime stations, namely Kurla and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Space has also been earmarked for deployment of electric three wheelers at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT).

    While these are all steps in the right direction,LMCplanning at stations should be proactive in anticipating the demand, as well as broad based by linking with other public transport such as metros and buses.

    Last-mile connectivity is particularly critical in the Indian context because of the way our urban centres have grown. Most of our major cities are a case of transit adjacent development (TAD) instead of transit oriented development (TOD) (Rangwala et al 2014).3,4As a result, public transport hubs and residences/workplace are often distant and lack connectivity. This aspect was brought out in our survey as well.

    We found that 67% and 54% of surveys participants have their residence and workplace located beyond a 2 km distance from the station respectively (Table 3). Timewise, we found that 42.1% take more than 20 minutes to travel from residence to station which again points to the criticality of access to stations and its prospective role in choice of mode of transport (Table 4).

    Another reason why public transport should actively plan forLMCoptions available from their premises is that the use of pollutingLMCmodes is likely to offset the environmental and congestion related gains of the public transport system (Mohan and Tiwari 2016). While the ridership on public transport is around 10 million each day, the lack ofLMCresults in millions opting for polluting modes of transport, which is also reflected, in part, in the increased usage ofIPTand private vehicles (MCGM2016).

    Lack of end-to-end connectivity disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable users of public transport such as thedifferently-abled, elderly, women, and those with debilitating medical conditions. This restriction in mobility may adversely impact their participation in economic, social and cultural arenas. It is estimated that about one-third commuters are women and a study points out that women tend to rely on walking more than men and are often subjected to some form of harassment (Bhide et al 2016).

    Finally, the growing notion of mobility as a service necessitates that public transport systems promote multi-modal integration to provide a seamless transit for commuters and lack ofLMCadversely affects the overall experience.

    Way Forward

    It is clear that there is a strong case for railway authorities to undertake proactive and comprehensiveLMCplanning for Mumbais suburban stations. A wide network of easily accessibleLMCoptions will also help in decongesting station premises by promoting smooth and speedy transit of passengers.

    Railway must look to promote sustainable and futuristic options forLMC. The presence of over 100 suburban stations across the length of Mumbai will help it emerge as a springboard for sustainable urban transport for the entire city. A broad principle may be to prioritise non-motorised as well as shared-mobility options, especially electric and public transport (BESTand metro), over personal vehicles and conventional autos and taxis.

    LMCplanning must be premised on the comprehensive examination of travel patterns at individual stations and commuters preferences. For instance, there is a huge disparity in theLMCchoices for workplaces and residences as reflected in our survey result (Table 1). Further, with change in travel behaviour anticipated in postCOVID-19 times,NMToptions such as walking and cycling are expected to gain traction, making it an opportune time to promote awareness of these modes through various nudging strategies. StructuringLMCoptions in tune with the commuter needs at stations will help in easing adoption of desiredLMCoptions.

    Walking:To promote walking as a safe option forLMC, weather-protected pedestrian facilities within and outside railway premises need to be expediently ramped up in close coordination with the civic authorities. Pedestrians should be able to transit to the metro station orBESTbus stop easily and safely. As over 60% commuters walk for their last-mile commute, identifying the key destinations/sources and facilitating clear walkways will also ensure the safety of pedestrians (MCGM2016). Many countries across the world have used proliferation of pedestrian infrastructure to promote walkable linkages to public transport hubs. For instance, in Hong Kong, pedestrian corridors provide direct access to stations from the surrounding buildings to millions of residents, who can commute hassle free often even amidst heavy rainstorms and typhoons (Leong 2016).

    In Mumbai, an attempt was made to work on this aspect in 2008. The state government and municipal agencies took up the project to construct skywalks from stations to the main arterial roads and to reduce the station congestion. Certain stations such as Bandra and Santa Cruz were chosen as sites for this project. Bandra was chosen to connect the station to the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Santa Cruz to connect to the Western Express Highway. However, issues such as lack of exits, inadequate security, encroachment by hawkers and wrong alignments have been cited as reasons for extreme underutilisation of these skywalks (Koppikar 2016).

    Cycling:Our survey shows that about 60% of people using suburban rail have their workplace or residence within a 5 km radius and travel for about 20 minutes from the station (Tables 3 and 4). Given this, local stations are ideally positioned for aggressive promotion of bicycles or battery-operated bikes for last-mile journeys. Over the years, there has been growing evidence on the role of cycling in alleviating environmental challenges, decongesting cities and the significant health benefits associated with it (WRI2016;IIHS2015; Mohan and Tiwari 2016). TheCOVID-19 pandemic has further reaffirmed these advantages and has prodded governments across the world to promote cycling in an unprecedented manner (Bhagat 2020).

    Despite the significant decline over years, aTERI(2014) study points out that cyclists account for 13%21% of the modal share in medium and small cities and 7%15% of the modal share in big cities. However, most of these are often referred to as captive cyclists as they have no choice but to cycle. Todays cyclists increasingly come from the most socially and economically disadvantaged sections of society. Further, as Joshi and Joseph (2015) point out, cyclists in India are also invisible as the policy landscape has conventionally focused on promoting motorisation through easy availability of loans and supportive infrastructure. Most major cities across the world have undertaken varying degrees of efforts to improve ease of cycling. The abandonedBKCcycling track experiment, the neglected cycle stand outside Mahim station and the inscrutable Tansa Project are clear indications that Mumbai is yet to make any significant strides in this direction (Chacko 2018; Thakkar 2017;Times of India2020).

    Systematically promoting cycling as a viable option for last-mile journeys from suburban stations may be a good starting point. Creation of shaded bicycle tracks and public conveniences supported by adequate traffic-calming measures such as painted cycle lanes will require a paradigmatic shift in planning and fund allocation. A common misconception on cycling is that it is not suitable for Indian weather conditions. Here, it is pertinent to recall that theMoUD, in a 2016 report, rightly argued that the high use of motorbikes in India suggests that a large number of people already ride in the open. Incidentally, the share of two wheelers in daily trips in Mumbai has increased from 3.8% to 14.8% between2005 and 2014(MCGM2016). This is a strong cue for Mumbai to eschew traditional objections to cycling and facilitate its adoption by enabling policies and infrastructure.

    Commentators such as Anjaria (2017) have also pointed that Mumbais urban form has the makings of a great cycling city due to what he refers to as the spontaneous ballet of the street. Comparing Mumbais development stage with the state of the Dutch cities in 1970 could serve as a guide for adopting cycling in Mumbai.

    However, in order to widely proliferate these options, a clear and futuristic policy framework needs to be developed for allotment of space at stations for players of micro-mobility options such as fully-automated bicycle sharing schemes, dockless bike-renting options, small electric vehicles with two seats, skateboards, and mini-scooters.

    Shared mobility options:Our survey indicates 53% of people use autorickshaws, taxis and personal vehicle forLMC(Table 1). There is an urgent need to effect modal shift for this segment through the promotion of shared mobility options like buses and taxi aggregators, carpooling services and electric shared mobility options. Helsinki has set an ambitious target of making private vehicles obsolete by 2025 (Greenfield 2014).

    India is uniquely positioned to leapfrog personal vehicle ownership through promotion of shared mobility, as personal vehicle ownership per 1,000 people in India is presently as low as 32 as compared to 797 in the United States (NITIAayog et al 2018).

    Bike taxis are a great option to augment accessibility for vulnerable groups who may not be able to operate the options on their own. The low running cost and therefore comparable prices with other options could make it an attractive option. This is a very widely-used option in many South Asian countries. Since 2004, the central government has allowed motorcycles to be used as transport vehicles for carrying one passenger riding pillion. However, Maharashtra is not among the eight states in India that have allowed bikes as public service vehicles. This option needs to be scrutinised by concerned authorities (Singh 2019).

    The present focus on earmarking parking spaces at suburban stations must be gradually reassessed as it abets growth and usage of private vehicles. Shared mobility options could be given greater preference. However, shared mobility services may get pushed out for a few months because of theCOVID-19 pandemic which has created a greater preference for individual trips. However, the value proposition of shared mobility is very strong in the context of urban transport and must receive due focus (Soni 2020).

    BEST as feeder buses:Streamlining access toBESTfeeder buses must also be undertaken through bus priority lanes and proper signage. Providing efficient bays and circulating areas to reduce cycle time will require prudent management of hawking activities and removal of encroachments around station exits. In close coordination withBESTauthorities, emerging solution providers such as bus aggregators could also be roped in as their sophisticated use of data analytics and consumer behaviour insights could benefit the public transport networks at large. Therefore, a strategy to earmark space for such services around stations may be developed.

    Socio-economic Factors

    A note of caution here would be with regard to the livelihoods dependent onIPTs. We are mindful thatIPTproviders often constitute the socially and economically vulnerable section of society. Suitable measures like making them partners in shared mobility and e-rickshaws could be worked out to involve these sections and ensure that their livelihoods are secured.

    Promoting electric two-wheelers and electric shared mobility options forLMCholds promise as it will help stations emerge as electric vehicle-ready transit hubs. Railways must utilise their vast spatial presence and strategically located land across the city for facilitating an expansive charging infrastructure. This may greatly support the ongoing efforts for greater electric vehicle adoption and the railways own focus on electrification.

    ATERIsurvey observed that only 29% of the women feel bike taxis are a safe mode of transport (Thakur et al 2020). This indicates how travel patterns and preferences are generally gendered andLMCinterventions should also be calibrated to remain inclusive. ATISSstudy also points to the need for a gender-sensitive approach as connecting peripheral urban areas through public transport opens up new opportunities for women to access work and education (Bhide et al 2016).

    LMCplanning must also bear cognisance of the decisive influence of larger processes of suburbanisation and gentrification. For instance, the famed mills of Lower Parel areas have been actively utilised for commercial and residential purposes over the last few decades (Harris 2008). This socio-spatial transformation has made stations like Parel amenable to introduction of non-motorised options.Similarly, most stations of the Mumbaisuburban rail network have multiple exits with divergent surrounding areas and thus different sections of society accessing thestation from each direction. There are large slum establishments inclose vicinity of the west side of stations like Govandi, Chembur, Mankhurd which require streamlining pedestrian movement as lack of it also cause many trespassing deaths. The east side of these stations leading to residential complexes may be amenable for introduction of shared bike options. Therefore, planning should be done to address the specific requirements and awareness must be created among passengers through proper signage, announcements and promotional campaigns.

    In adopting any of these modes, ensuring safety will be a key enabler as the Road Accidents in India report points out that 36.5% of all road mortalities in India are on two-wheelers (GoI2018). Even our survey points out that 40% of respondents give safety as the first preference while choosing a transport option, while saving time and easy availability of options at the stations are second and third in priority for commuters.

    Conclusions

    From the above discussion, we have attempted to show the potential of an integratedLMCplanning with railways and its importance to the citys urban transport at large. We fully recognise the inherent polycentricity in transportation and that the railways is just one stakeholder. Cooperation with other agencies will be critical for the success of most of these suggestions such as development of bus bays, pedestrian walkways and cycling infrastructure. Well-researched solutions are available to these issues, some of which have been published in this very publication (Vaidyanathan and Rathi 2018).

    The Avoid-Shift-Improve (A-S-I) framework could be a useful tool for the various agencies from civic administration to transport unions which are involved in mobility planning (Bongardt et al 2019). The avoid aspect must lay focus on minimising the use of motorised transport in the last-mile commute. As pointed above, there should be concerted efforts to facilitate a shift to buses or metros, non-motorised and shared mobility options for journeys from stations. Finally, the existing under-equipped facilities for pedestrians and bus or metro users must improve through structured interventions.

    It must be stated that many of these interventions will require radical change in widely-held perceptions about urban transport in India and the behavioural patterns of commuters. There is a pressing need for a shift, from seeing streets as spaces to operate cars to viewing them as spaces for people; a revaluation of cycling from a mode of transportation to a better alternative to walking; and a rethinking of the bicycle as a vehicle for exercise or fitness to one that is a mobility device (Joshi and Joseph 2015).

    Many emerging mobility options discussed above will also require the Indian Railways to frame suitable policies. In September 2019, the Ministry of Railways came out with a comprehensive policy for promoting plastic bottle crushing machines at railway stations which points to how the railways are rightfully donning a more expansive and responsible mantle in recent times (NIE2019). With structured policies, we believe that railways can add immense value in encouraging sustainable modes by promoting non-motorised transport and shared mobility forLMC. Its vast station network across the city could be utilised to provide infrastructure for overall sustainable urban mobility. This could potentially result in nudging people to adopt sustainable modes.

    Overall, the existing scenario provides a definitive opportunity for stations to emerge truly as nodes of connectivity. Its spin-off effects may include improved safety, less congestion, and introduction of sustainable modes of transport across the city. However, we are conscious of the infrastructural constraints that could dampen this effort. These could be explored further to understand the various aspects and provide solutions therein. While these are the major takeaways of our survey, we hope that this work inspires future studies along this line of inquiry. Increased solution-focused research directed to policymakers can help in faster adoption and execution. Adopting futuristic urban mobility options and according primacy to commuter needs in addressing the existingLMCvacuum is bound to give a new lease of life to the 170-year-old lifeline of Mumbai.

    Notes

    1 The origin and history of the term last-mile lack adequate documentation. However, it has seen diverse usages over the course of time. In a namesake Broadway play and movie of the 1930s, it denoted final tribulations of an incarcerated person on death row. The Last Long Mile is a famous World War I poem about exceptional hardships endured by the US soldiers.

    In more recent times, the term has been extensively used in the telecommunication industry to denote the final leg of the networks that deliver services to customers. In logistics, last-mile connectivity refers to the final step of the delivery process from a distribution centre or facility to the end-user.

    Similarly, in the public transit parlance, last-mile or first and last-mile connection is used to describe the beginning or end of an individual trip made primarily by public transportation.

    2 A map of the Mumbai suburban rail system is included in the Annexure Figure 1 (p 46).

    3 Transit oriented development (TOD) is the creation of compact, walkable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use communities centred around high quality train systems. This makes it possible to live a lower-stress life without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival (http://www.tod.org/).

    4 When TOD is not implemented effectively, a community can experience what is referred to as transit adjacent development (TAD). This kind of development typically has several attributes of TOD, but also has been compromised in key ways. For instance, a common TAD trait is when a station area is designed with some dense components, but the station area is dominated by a commuter parking lot adjacent to the station. This sort of configuration favours the automobile commuter over the transit user resulting in a very low level of activity or interest in the station area throughout the day (Stantec 2013).

    References

    Akbar, P A, V Couture, G Duranton, E Ghani and A Storeygard (2018): Mobility and Congestion in Urban India, Policy Research Working Paper No 8546, World Bank Group, Washington, viewed on 3 June 2020,http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/811261533850020988/pdf/WPS8546.pdf.

    Anjaria, Jonathan (2017): Mumbai Has the Makings of a Great Cycling CityBut It Needs to Set the Wheels in Motion, Scroll.in, 16 September, viewed on 2 August 2020,https://scroll.in/article/844975/why-mumbai-has-the-makings-of-a-great-cycling-city.

    ADB (2019): Moving Millions with the Mumbai Metro, Brief No 114, Asian Development Bank, Manila, viewed on 3 June 2020,https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/525821/adb-brief-114-moving-millions-mumbai-metro.pdf.

    Bongardt, D, L Stiller, A Swart and A Wagner (2019): Sustainable Urban Transport: Avoid-Shift-Improve (A-S-I), Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, viewed on 5 June 2020, https://www.transformative-mobility.org/assets/publications/ASI_TUMI_SUTP_iNUA_No-9_April-2019.pdf.

    Bhagat, Mallika (2020): World Bicycle Day: Pedalling Towards a Better Future Post Covid-19? Hindustan Times, 3 June, viewed on 30 November 2020, https://www.hindustantimes.com/more-lifestyle/world-bicycle-day-pedallin....

    Bhide, A, R Kundu and P Tiwari (2016): Engendering Mumbais Suburban Railway System, a Study by the Centre for Urban Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, viewed on 30 November 2020,http://urk.tiss.edu/attachments/article/181/Engendering%20Mumbais%20Suburban%20Railway%20System.pdf.

    Byers, C (2016): The Science of Online Forms and the Brand Experience: An Essential Guide,Entrepreneur.com,14 June, viewed on 1 August 2020,https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/276040.

    Chacko, B (2018): Mumbai: A Year Later, Mahim Cycle Stand Waits for Takers,Indian Express, 23 Februrary, viewed on 2 August 2020,https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-mahim-cycle-stand-5074782/.

    Chidambara, C (2016): NMT as Green Mobility Solution for First/Last Mile Connectivity to Mass Transit Stations for Delhi,InternationalJournal of Built Environment and Sustainability, Vol 3, No 3.

    Read the rest here:
    The Invisible Last Mile of Mumbai's Lifeline - Economic and Political Weekly

    Hempfield residents asked to give input on 2 proposed township parks – TribLIVE - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

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