Tuesday, September 20, 2005

AltWheels 2005 a Success!

Inaugural Fleet Day links industry professionals interested in alternative fueled vehicles to suppliers

It is Tuesday evening and the dust has settled (for me anyway!) from the Third Annual AltWheels Alternative Transportation Festival. Close to 4000 people passed through the gates of the event this year, with the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation providing the perfect backdrop for sustainable innovations in human conveyance. I am happy to see the success of this event, the passionate outgrowth of Alison Sander's vision for a transportation network that does not pollute our planet. With Elln Hagney's expert event management assistance, and the team of Janice Halpern and Marty Bauman at Classic Communications getting the word out, I think all the core volunteers made it out alive.

There were nearly 80 exhibitors ranging from grease cars to biodiesel machines to human powered devices (we like to call them bicycles) and hybrids. I did not have as much time to peruse the aisles as I had in the past, and quite frankly felt a bit jaded about the slowly developing market for alternative fueled vehicles. Maybe I need to lighten up?

My time was spent preparing for the panel discussion I moderated Sunday afternoon. The panelists, Craig Della Penna of Northeast Greenway Solutions and co-owner of the Sugar Maple Trailside Inn, Lauren Hefferon of Ciclismo Classico, Jeff Rosenblum of The Livable Streets Alliance, and David Loutzenheiser of Massbike did an outstanding job. Craig's depth of knowledge about rail corridors available for development, Lauren's understanding of cycling's ability to connect people to places, Jeff's passion for connecting cycling transit networks, and Dave's commitment to helping make Massachusetts' streets accessible and safe for cyclists was all appreciated by myself and the people in the audience.

Thank you to all the volunteers, exhibitors, spectators, panelists, and passers-by. Participating in something that so many people dedicated time and effort to for the sake of changing some minds is enough to charge my batteries.

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