(The Jelly Bean parked on Kalamalka road to our apartment in Vernon)
In any case, being the silly bean that I am, I decided to try this whole "shutting off your car for periods longer than ten seconds" idea at the intersections. As the average car produces between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds of climate-changing carbon dioxide a year; the main cause for all that yummy smog out there. Idling for more than five minutes creates more than a quarter-kilogram of greenhouses gases and if every Canadian cut back for just five minutes we'd save 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere. Also, if you're going to be waiting more than ten seconds, it takes less fuel to turn the car off and on (Ecoholic, 2006).
So- for a few days I counted seconds at each intersection in Halifax to determine how long the red lights lasted. There are a few intersections here that last a LOT longer than 10 seconds... so I took a huge breath and shut off my car at those intersections. It has been a little hairy at times, I've gotten pretty darn good at watching the cross-traffic's lights and being ready when they turn yellow. I've learned that putting on my emergency break while I wait (automatic for me) was not the best idea for a quick start... lol. And although a small step, not being among the cars that sit, spewing forth disgusting fumes for the wonderful pedestrians to inhale as they walk by makes me feel great. :) I even saw another car do the same thing one day and had this urge to wave out my window at them, to shout "Hey! I support that! We ROCK!"... but I held it together. To Andrew's relief haha.
Here are some intersections in Halifax that last a REALLY long time for those of you interested in giving it a try :)
1. The Willow Tree intersection (Robie, Quinnpool, Bell). There are two lanes of traffic that must each have a turn before you- just make sure you watch to know which one will be you :)
2. The Windsor/Cunard/Chebucto intersection (see a terrible intersection trend here?)
3. Bayers Road and Connaught Ave.: On this one, inbound traffic always has an advance green.
4. The terrible intersection before Rainier Drive... that one has a zillion streets converging.
Truly roundabouts are the way to go. But then Haligonians are so afraid of the Rotary now that I'm sure there would be a riot with new ones.
And as a final little musical tidbit (as I am copying Blisschicks music sharing!)... I LOVE Ariane Moffatt. She has such a phenomenal sound and voice. Her newest album is much more techno, but I love it nonetheless. Her website here and myspace (listen to Petit Animal, it's fantastic!) are fun (although in French). One of my favourite songs by her (which I'm trying to learn on the piano) is "Imparfait". It's really hard to find tabs for French songs... but I'll probably just have to plunk it out by ear :)
Or que tout est bête,
Tout est vain et inutile
Le corps n'est plus qu'un autre projectile
Propulsé depuis matin
En bus, en train
Je sais qu'un coeur peut s'arrêter pour moins
Le monde est imparfait
So sad, but so absolutely perfect.