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Reducing the trash
The way that we handle trash pickup around here is ridiculously irresponsible ("Trash Talk," News). Trucks from several companies burn gas and spew exhaust to cover the same ground, and I pay the same amount per month for the pickup of two Wegmans bags of trash as do neighbors who fill their roller every week.
When I lived in Seoul, South Korea, I was very impressed with their disposal system. Trash had to be put into certain bags, available at any convenience store, which were priced by size. The more you throw away, the more you pay. Recycling was compulsory, but free; you could put out recyclables in any bag (and we've already done one better here with our "blue bins"). Composting was also compulsory, but not completely free; bags were approximately 10 for $1. Bags could be kept in the freezer until full, so there were no issues with bugs or smell. The system was sensible, fair, and gave people an incentive to throw away less.
It seems as though many of these problems could be addressed quite effectively if any of the powers-that-be cared to spend just a very small amount of time on them.
Jeremy Moule's article on bike boulevards mentions "tough-to-bike" roads (News). I would like to nominate South Goodman from Park Avenue to Highland Avenue. I have traveled that stretch year round and have used Meigs and Alexander as an alternative when possible.
The road has no shoulder, and the potholes could swallow a caravan of three wheelers with no problem. The idea of creating alternate routes is great. I just hope that the city follows through with the plan and it doesn't fall into the cracks on one of the many streets here in Rochester.