Monday, March 17, 2008

Floor Warming Ode

Electric Radiant Floor Warming: the Affordable Luxury

Mountain climbers have an old saying: "Don't cheat your feet." A homeowner might consider this advice when building or remodeling a bathroom or kitchen floor.

For floors, homeowners know that ceramic, slate or marble tiles are attractive and durable alternatives to wood, carpet or vinyl. They want the beauty of tile floors, but their feet tell them they're cold.

While most people are comfortable with air temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees, they tend to feel uncomfortable if there's more than a 5-degree difference between the surface temperature (80 to 85 degrees) of the head and that of the feet. A bare foot gives an immediate indication as to the comfort level of any floor. For this reason alone, tile is often not the flooring of choice.

With a tiny amount of heat supplied by a human foot, carpet fibers warm almost instantaneously to "foot" temperature, about 83 degrees. A ceramic tile can't compete in this race: its mass needs a lot more heat for a longer amount of time. It would take approximately 30 minutes for a human foot to increase a 68-degree marble floor to foot temperature!

Radiant floor warming systems solve this problem -- fast!

The most common radiant floor warming systems are either hydronic (circulating hot water in tubes in the floor) or electric (heating cables in the floor). Hydronic systems are more complicated, requiring pumps and valves and modulators and so on, and, as a result, are a lot more expensive to install than electric. Still, for whole house heating solutions, hydronics are a good choice. By contrast, electric systems are inexpensive enough for single room applications and simple enough for do-it-yourselfers.

Suitable for new construction or remodeling applications, electric floor warming systems include a network of cables installed in the mortar just below the tiles. These cables gently warm the tiles, operating on ordinary house current. While using a professional electrician is advised for those not comfortable working on electrical installations, these systems are generally easy to install and will not compromise the integrity of the tile installation.

Designing a floor warming installation first requires a determination of the area to be warmed. Calculating the total square footage will require collecting information from the blueprints of the room or actually measuring the area itself. It should be noted that areas that are inaccessible or under vanities, cabinets, or plumbing fixtures should not be included -- there's no need to heat floor area that won't be walked on! When making the calculations it is advisable to design a layout that considers actual use and traffic patterns in the area to be warmed. Using care in measuring and calculating the area will help ensure that the proper cable is selected for the installation. Preformed mats can also be selected to simplify the installation, but these are usually only suitable for rectangular areas; odd shaped areas, such as "T's" or "L's" will often have cold spots if heated by mats.

Easy Heat's Warm Tiles cables are available as an off-the-shelf product in a growing number of distribution channels, including retail. Easy Heat also provides mats in stock and custom sizes. Thermostats are also available with setback features to ensure that the cables are only heating the floor when the floor is being used. Floor heating thermostats differ from room heating thermostats in that they have a sensor that extends down into the floor to sense the actual floor temperature, and to control the cables accordingly, usually at about 85 degrees. Today, floor warming thermostats are available with sophisticated programming features as well.

A complete system often can be installed using an electric drill and other ordinary hand tools. The installation process can be completed in three phases that will likely correspond with the construction or remodeling phases of your home or building.

Phase one -- Electrical Rough-in

During the electrical rough-in, the electrical box for the thermostat is installed, and the power supply cable pulled into it. Conduit holes are drilled into the wall plate (a two-by-four on the floor at the bottom of the wall) to enable the heating cable leads and thermostat sensor to be pulled into the electrical box.

Phase two -- Install Cables

For new construction, the cables are installed only after the drywall is finished and immediately prior to the tile installation. The cables are provided with plastic strapping that is stapled to the floor, and the heating cable is simply woven over the floor on the strapping. The leads of the cable and the thermostat sensor are routed through the conduit holes and up to the electrical box. A "scratch coat" of mortar (just enough to cover the cables) is then applied and allowed to dry, usually just a day. Then, the flooring can be completed in the usual manner.

Phase three -- Thermostat and Power Connection

The last phase calls for the installation of the thermostat and connection to the power source.

For more information on electric radiant floor warming call (877) EASYHEAT, or go to Warm Tiles is a registered trademark of Easy Heat Inc.

Courtesy ARA Content,

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Weather Poem

Grilling, Gardening or Storm Watching: Thermometers Provide the Numbers You Need

To make the most of outdoor activities, people need more information: the temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and whether any storms are lurking over the horizon.

Fortunately, there are thermometers that fit the bill for the weekend gardener, the grilling enthusiast, the weather aficionado or anyone in between. And with various outdoor celebrations throughout the season, thermometers make a great gift that's also practical and attractive.

Accurate weather information

If it's weather information you're after, digital thermometers and weather stations are the latest trend. These handy devices incorporate wireless monitoring technology and provide the convenience of having a monitor on a table inside the house with a weatherproof sensor outdoors, in the attic or wherever you would like it to be. Acu-Rite's models feature easy-to-read LCD screens that display both the internal room temperature as well as the temperature for up to three remote sensors with a range of up to 100 feet. They also function as clocks with snooze alarms and day/date displays.

The more advanced models will give you barometric pressure and humidity readings and alert you to weather changes and impending storms. If you want to monitor the temperature of your lily pond or swimming pool, the weatherproof sensors also come with a submersible waterproof probe.

If you are really into precision, Acu-Rite's newest model, available this spring at Wal-Mart, will give you not only accurate weather readings, but also will synchronize to the official U.S. atomic clock in Boulder, Colo.

Spruce up the deck

Whether you need to know when to flip the burgers or when to flip yourself to get an even tan, a combination thermometer/clock on the deck is handy during warm weather. Many combination models or sets are available, in designs ranging from a bright mosaic, to garden herbs, to sea shells. Look for sets made from durable sculpted resin to withstand outdoor use and still provide accurate time and temperature information.

Decorative thermometers, including glazed ceramic or earthy terra cotta designs, are suitable for indoor or outdoor decorating. Stoney Creek's ceramic line offers colorful designs with floral, French Provincial and other garden-related themes. Other designs incorporate nature themes such as birds, frogs and flowers that can also function as birdfeeders, key holders or planters. More traditionally-styled thermometers available from Acu-Rite include brass tub thermometers that mount to a window frame, metal verdigris or grape leaf patterns, or a nautical, porthole style thermometer.

Look for Acu-Rite products at major discount stores including Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, ShopKo and Lowe's. Stoney Creek Trading Co. products can be found at specialty retailers. Acu-Rite and Stoney Creek Trading Co. thermometers are made by the Chaney Instrument Company, an internationally-known maker of quality timepieces and thermometers since 1943. To learn more about the Acu-Rite or Stoney Creek Trading Co. brands or Chaney Instrument Co., visit

Courtesy ARA Content,

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Windows Decor Serenade

Windows Last Decor Priority When Canadians Move

Selecting window dressings is usually the last thing on many new homeowners to do lists once they move into their homes. Other, "more important" decor priorities are dealt with first while blankets and sheets usually suffice to achieve a semblance of privacy for the first few weeks. It doesn't have to be this way.

"Blinds and shades tend to be the type of thing that people forget about. It's the last thing people buy when decorating their home, but they end up being the most important," says Yasmin Siboldi, Manager, Visual Merchandising at Blinds To Go, who believes window decor choices can be the first step in establishing the primary look of a decor. "People don't realize how window treatments can totally change the look of their home."

According to Siboldi, the current styles and trends in window treatments have evolved to such an extent that they can now be part of the primary decor of homes offering both fashionable and functional properties.

Today's blinds and shades offer a clean tailored look while softening and diffusing light. They are now made with a wide variety of new fabrics and are available in fashionable colors and patterns.

Horizontal blinds made out of wood, metallic fabric roller shades, embossed vinyl vertical blinds, pleated, cellular and Roman shades, as well as elegant sheer shades highlight a fashionable wave of products that are accenting decors across the country. The major problem people now have is deciding between so many new window treatment options.

"Captivated is the reaction people have when walking around in our superstores," said Siboldi. "There is so much selection displayed it's breathtaking."

Here are a few examples:

* Wood blinds: one of the most popular choices for today's decor as they can match any style and feature excellent insulation and privacy functions.

* Metallic finish roller shades: streamlined and lightweight in design, they are tightly woven, and as such, cut sunlight, maintain privacy and provide insulation. They are an excellent room-darkening option for the bedroom and well suited for the minimalist decors in vogue today.

* Cellular and pleated shades: they give people the "simple soft look they're looking for in their decors while also providing important energy efficient insulating properties," added Siboldi.

Once you select your new blinds and shades you will see your decor take shape before your eyes in a matter of days. Unlike typical window covering boutiques, Blinds To Go is both a manufacturer and retailer so you can select from an unparalleled selection of products at the lowest factory-direct prices and your custom-made blinds can be ready to install as quickly as 48 hours.

So take down your blankets and sheets and start your look off on the right track with window dressings.

For more home decor and window covering ideas, visit a Blinds To Go superstore (1-800-blinds-7 for store locations) or their web site at

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

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Home Decorating Verse

Window Decor Q&A

Q: We've just moved into our home and we were considering different window treatment options. When it comes to the front of the house how uniform should our treatments be? Should they all be in one color or is it preferable to mix and match depending on our interior decor?

A: It is common to want the window treatments in the front of your home to be as uniform as possible-just how uniform is up to you. Most people just make sure that the front products are generally white. Options like Cellular and Pleated shades have white backings despite their colored inside-facing fabric. Some aluminum blinds can be made as "duo-tones" which are white on the back.

In general, the more symmetrical your home decor the more likely the products should be similar. People often use one product across the front; however, many also use one for the first floor and another for the second. It's your home, so whatever option you feel is appropriate should be fine.

Q: What are some window shade options for a second story window in a study?

A: If you want a shade, consider the Top-Down/Bottom-Up feature, which allows you to cover the bottom half of your window and not block your view. For instance, if you're studying or reading, this option allows you to block people from seeing into the room while maintaining some of the outside view and sunlight.

Q: Our family room in the summer is almost unbearable due to the heat from the harsh sunlight that comes into the room from our several windows. We have central air conditioning but that room is always a lot warmer. What type of window treatment should I consider that will help me cut my air conditioning costs in the hot summer months?

A: Look for window treatments that have insulating qualities. There are four different types of shades available that provide excellent insulating values - the pleated shade, nested cellular, single cellular and double cellular shade. The pleated shade blocks heat and protects against the suns harmful U.V. rays. This treatment option can also add a decorative element to your decor as they are available in linens, prints and jacquards. Nested and Single Cellular shades are constructed to actually trap pockets of air inside the shades, helping to regulate your room's temperature. The Double cellular shade's structure maximizes energy efficiency lowering your cooling costs. If you're looking for complete blackout options, effective choices include room-darkening roller shades and pleated shades with a blackout lining feature.

For more home decor and window covering ideas, visit a Blinds To Go superstore (1-800-blinds-7 for store locations) or their web site at

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

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Frame Opus

Re-Using Old Picture Frames

It's fun taking something apart and putting it back together again in a new creative way. I work in an office where we had a lot of old promotional type posters that were very expensively matted and framed. Now that we're moving to a new office we wanted something new, but didn't want to spend a lot of money decorating. We decided to disassemble the old frames and re-use the mats to frame new prints.

We made a visit to a local craft store and found an abundance of inexpensive artwork in all sizes, ranging in price from $1.49 to $40.00. Definitely within our budget. We picked out several beautiful floral prints and framed them with the old mats and frames. Disassembling the old prints included tearing off most of the prints that had previously been glued to the mats, but I just tore it all off and used scotch tape to tack down the new prints.

The new prints don't have to completely fit your frames or mats, either. It was hard finding prints that were just the right size. Don't be afraid to move the print around in a mat that's a little too small. Often you can cover some edges of the print and not take away from the overall effect of the picture at all. Just trim edges where necessary to make the print fit (after you've double checked your positioning within the mat). You can also buy bigger mats to make a smaller print fit in a larger frame.

If you don't care if all of your frames match, it's very inexpensive to shop thrift stores and yard sales for cheap prints and re-use the mats and frames for new prints. Or go through some of your own old prints and redecorate!

Also, when looking for inexpensive prints, don't limit yourself to poster prints. Postcards and greeting cards also look great framed. Add a mat and you'll never be able to tell the difference.

You don't need a lot of special tools to get started. All you really need is possibly a screwdriver for disassembling frames, a ruler to make sure your print is straight, some tape for attaching the print to the mat, and a pencil and scissors for marking and trimming prints that don't quite fit.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have great wall art. It just takes a little planning ahead to match print sizes to frames and match colors. Have fun, and use your imagination! A beautiful picture really brightens up a room, and you can create your own easily and inexpensively.

Author, Rachel Paxton, is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize your home, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at

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Optical Fun Ode

Types of Telescopes & What Are The Advantages Of Each

Refractors, Newtonian reflectors and Catadioptrics are the three main types of telescopes. All these different types have the same purpose, but each telescope design does it differently. Collecting light and bringing it to a point of focus so it can be magnified and examined with an eyepiece is their goal.

Of the different types of telescopes the refractor is the telescope most people think of when they think of astronomy. This type of astronomy telescope is easy to use and reliable due to the simplicity of design. It requires little or no maintenance. Its great for looking at the different types of lunar, planetary, and binary stars.

Newtonians are a type of telescope, which is also known as catoptrics. This type is different from the other telescopes because it has the lowest per inch of aperture compared to refractors and Catadioptrics, because lenses are more expensive to produce than mirrors, especially in medium to large apertures. Newtonians deliver very bright images and are low in optical aberrations.

Catadoptric telescopes are the most popular type of instrument, with the most modern design, marketed throughout the world in 3 1/2 and larger apertures. Its very good for looking at different planetary, lunar, and binary stars. If you like to take photos with your telescope this type of instrument is excellent for deep sky observing or astrophotography with fast films or CCD's.

Author, Jeremy Hier, makes it easy and quick to decide which telescope is best for you by going to

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Flower Poem

It's Easy to Learn Flower Drying

The Best Methods for Flower Drying...

Before beginning the process of flower drying, it is important that you choose the right flower for the right project. To do so, you must bear in mind two key characteristics of the blossoming bud. The first truth is that in order to keep that color vibrant, you must dry it as fast as you can. However, the second truth is that the more heat you apply, the more shrinkage will occur.

There are two points to keep in mind when you dry a flower. First, the faster you dry a flower, the more color it will retain. Second, the more heat that is applied, the more shrinkage you will have of your flower. It is good to keep these points in mind as you choose the flower you want to dry and when considering your use of the dried flower.

Since silica is actually a form of sand, you can substitute it with clean sand, borax or cornmeal. To use this method, you will need a dry container with a lid. First, line the bottom of the container with a thin layer of the gel. Next, place the flower in the container while adding more gel around the bloom in order to avoid crushing it. Once it is secure, sprinkle some gel over top and cover it with the lid. Let it sit for about a week or until completely dry. When it is ready, a small paint brush can be used to remove the silica.

Using a dehydrator is your best bet if you are making potpourri. This is the speediest method as well as the most efficient for preserving fragrance. Remember, the more heat, the quicker your flower will dry.

If your project calls for the flower to remain pliable once dried, glycerin should be used. In order to do this, place the stems of the plant in glycerin and allow it to be absorbed. Keep in mind that glycerin may turn you leaves and flower to another color. Try a sample flower first if keeping the color is important to you.

Author, Villette Mastase, designed and manages the Flower KI website for the flower enthusiast. To read more about Flower KI, go to

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Rose Planting Serenade

Planting Roses in Pots

In years past, serious rosarians would never consider having a potted rose on their property unless it was just waiting for its home to be prepared in the garden.

Times have changed and potted roses now have a place in the lives of condo and apartment dwellers, city slickers who don't live within sight of a tree, and anyone who has an empty space on their terrace or patio in need of the beauty that only a rose can bring.

Not all roses are good candidates for growing in pots. The following varieties have been found to do best. However, you should feel free to experiment with any other varieties, even climbers, and see how they make out.

* All that Jazz
* Ballerina
* Blush Noisette
* Bonica
* Cecile Brunner
* Clotilde Soupert
* Green Rose
* Gruss an Aachen
* Hannah Gordon
* Hermosa
* Katharina Zeimet
* Mrs. Oakley Fisher
* Peace
* Perfume Delight
* Precious Platinum
* Sea Foam
* Sexy Rexy
* Souvenir de la Malmaison
* Stanwell Perpetual
* The Fairy
* Valentine
* Whiskey Mac

Planting potted roses is relatively easy, as long as you do your planting in the spring after any chance of a frost is long past. If you live in a warm climate, then hold off planting until autumn when the ravages of July and August are far behind.

When you're ready to plant, choose an appropriate sized container with drainage holes. Make sure that the container has enough room for your plant to grow without having to transplant too soon.

Fill the container with garden soil that contains some compost or organic fertilizer. Dig a hole that's large enough to spread out roots without bending or cutting back.

Knock the rose loose from its shipping container, and set it in the hole so that the bud union ("knob" from which canes grow) is just above soil level. Dig a shallow trench or moat around the base of the plant to hold water, then water it well.

Potted roses are susceptible to the same diseases as garden roses, and they require feeding, pruning and all of the other rose care basics. Potted roses aren't less work or responsibility; they simply take up less space than a regular rose garden. Don't plan to treat your roses as if they were ordinary potted plants, or you will lose them.

People often ask if they can grow potted roses indoors. The answer is: "Maybe, but it's a risky proposition." That's because roses need high humidity and a lot of direct sunlight. Most modern homes with air conditioning do not have high humidity. However, if you live in a warm, humid climate, and you don't have air conditioning, then you can probably get away with it as long as you put the rose in a sunny spot.

Of all the rose varieties that are likely to survive indoors, miniature roses are your best bet. Miniature roses are regular roses that have been bred to grow into smaller, more compact plants with equally small flowers. They do very well in pots and are quite beautiful. If you're willing, go ahead and experiment. You've really got nothing to lose and you just might discover a whole new aspect of rose gardening!

Author, Ron King. Visit Ron's website to learn more about this popular gardening activity.

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Auto Insurance Claim Accidental Verse

insurance claim adjuster

Related Themes: Insurance Adjuster, Healthcare Insurance, Affordable Auto Insurance, Personal Insurance, Free Insurance Quotes, Insurance Companies, Insurance Claim Adjuster, Accident Insurance, Car Accident Insurance, Personal Injury

Six Crucial Insurance Claim Possibilities

There are DOZENS of insurance claim possibilities which will increase the dollars awarded you in the settlement of your personal injury insurance claim. Some of them rarely see the light of day but some do. The six I’ve listed below are crucial for you to be aware of as you prepare to go to war with Adjuster Henry Hard-Nose regarding the value of your loss. They are:

(1) EMOTIONAL REACTIONS TO YOUR INJURY: When it comes to placing a dollar value on the “Emotional Reaction” of an injury one enters into an area where most individuals, even experienced claims adjuster’s and Legal Beagles, are at a loss.

Four often ignored “Characteristic Symptoms” can be: Confusion, Anxiety, Depression and Denial. (“Denial”, that is, regarding the seriousness of your injury and the constant pain you feel. This usually comes to pass when one refuses to complain anything is seriously wrong, convincing themselves it will work itself out).

If any of the above “Emotional Reactions” (which are a direct result of “Characteristic Symptoms“) becomes a reality it would be wise for you to see a shrink. Maybe you won’t immediately identify this as something you need to have checked out but the person you climb into bed with probably will. When she tells you you‘re not functioning (between your ears) all that well, listen up! If that’s what you’re told you should swallow hard and obtain an expert’s opinion. You may consider yourself a muscular "Power To Be Reckoned With" but you’re not Superman so, talk to a specialist, explain what’s happening, and let it all hang out.

Once you’ve been discharged, get that specialist’s written Medical Report and hand it to Hard-Nose, along with the medical bills for your treatment. Is that legit? The answer is absolutely, yes! Can he refuse to accept them and suggest they add no value to your claim? The answer is absolutely, no!

(2) EMOTIONAL DISTRESS: Emotional distress is legitimate "Pain and Suffering" and you should be compensated for it. For example, problems that may develop over the effects of an accident within the area of your work or business, or perhaps interfere with your sex life! Whatever it is that’s causing you problems you should see a specialist. Keep going back to see him for as long as it takes to return to normal. At the end of his treatment, when he's finally discharged you, ask for and obtain his written report. Present that to Adjuster Henry Hard-Nose along with the specialist’s bill for their services.

This is a legitimate expense and it positively gives your personal injury more value !

(3) SECURING COMPENSATION FOR LIFE DISRUPTIONS: If your injuries caused you to miss some special training you had arranged to take advantage of, you'll probably, at some point, want to make that time up. The difficulty you may experience in making up that missed time (or perhaps never again being able to obtain it) has the potential to increase the value of your settlement. To achieve this you must obtain written proof and present it to Adjuster Hard-Nose.

Also to be taken into consideration is a vacation you may have been unable to take, or some recreational event’s in which you could not participate in and/or a missed special event, like a wedding or a reunion, etc. All of these, properly documented, add value to your claim because they are specific examples of the inconvenience and discomfort you've endured as a direct result of your injury.

(4) YOUR AGE: In the evaluation of an individuals "Pain and Suffering", age is always a factor because the older you are the longer the periods of Total or Partial Disability will be. This will affect the course of treatment plus the length of time of the "pain killers" you’ve been ordered to take. For example: Over age 50 disability is about 10% to 15% longer, over age 60 disability is about 20% to 30% longer, over 70 disability can be 35% to 45% longer and over 75 disability can often be 50% and longer.

(5) PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL PROBLEMS: Also pre-existing conditions are factor’s that must be considered: For example: Arthritis, Sugar Diabetes, Pervious Injuries and/or Previous Operations that have left you with on-going problems, etc.

Whatever that pre-existing situation may be you should look to your attending physician for advice. Don't avoid discussing this with him. If any doubt exists you should insist your doctor refer you to a specialist for consultation. If your physician is legit he'll agree. If he doesn't than kiss that goodie-two-shoes "goodbye" and go dig up a specialist on your own. It's your body and there's only one to a customer!


If your vehicle was badly smashed, that goes a long way proving that your injuries were sever and therefore painful. You must snap photographs of your motor vehicle. Shoot a couple rolls of colored and also black and white (black and white because in some instances colored photographs cannot be entered as evidence in a court of law).Take them from different angles and various distances. Like for example, 30 feet away, then 15, then right up close.

Make two sets. One for you and one for Hard-Nose. Blow them up into 8X10 glossies and present them to him. Both the size of your repair bill and those photographs will go a long way towards proving two important points: First, that you know what you're doing and second, that the injuries you received from that god-awful impact (and the long period of pain, suffering and discomfort you‘ve had to deal with) - - if and when viewed by a judge or jury - - are proof positive of what your injury caused your body to endure.

Dan Baldyga's third and latest book AUTO ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY INSURANCE CLAIM (How To Evaluate And Settle Your Loss) can be found on the internet at . This book reveals "How To" successfully handle your motor vehicle accident claim, so you won't be taken advantage of. It also goes into detail regarding the revolutionary BASE (The Baldyga Auto Accident Settlement Evaluation Formula). BASE explains how to determine the value of the "Pain and Suffering" you endured - because of your personal injury.

Copyright (c) by Daniel G. Baldyga. All Rights Reserved. Dan Badyga’s latest book Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim (How To Evaluate And Settle Your Loss) can be found on the internet at or visit your favorite bookstore. For 30 years Dan Baldyga was a claims adjuster, supervisor, manager and also a trial assistant. He is now retired and spends his time attempting to assist those involved in motor vehicle accident claims so they will not be taken advantage of.

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Highway Opus

Why Highways Are So Important

Transportation is fundamental to the prosperity and quality of life of all Canadians. Much of Canada's domestic and international freight is hauled on Canada's 24,400-kilometre National Highway System, the backbone of Canadian trade. In fact, the Canadian transportation system carries more than $1 trillion worth of goods every year.

If our transportation system isn't running smoothly, it affects our quality of life — from how much time we spend commuting, to what is available on store shelves and how much it costs.

While every province and territory is responsible for highway safety by enforcing laws and maintaining highway infrastructure, Transport Canada is investing $600 million under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP) to improve Canada's highways over five years. It's working with the provinces and territories to identify those parts of the national highway system that — because of growing traffic and increased trade — need immediate attention.

In addition, SHIP includes $100 million to fund initiatives to better integrate our national transportation system. This includes funding to deploy intelligent transportation systems across Canada to improve things such as traffic and cargo flow, traveller information, toll collecting and public transit, and resources to improve traffic flows at border crossings.

Improving the efficiency of border crossings is important to Canada's economic development. For example, the Lacolle-Champlain border crossing forms the most important trade corridor between Quebec and New York State. More than $15 billion worth of exported goods travel through this border crossing annually, with a daily volume of more than 2,000 trucks. A SHIP project is now underway that will improve the flow of people and goods at this vital crossing, as well as enhance safety and security. Similar projects are in place at border crossings in Windsor, Ontario, and in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

The Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP) supports trade, tourism and investment in Canada; sustains strategic investments in all parts of the country to reflect regional needs; makes the Canadian highway transportation system more reliable, efficient, and technologically advanced; and improves the quality of life of Canadians by promoting safer and more environmentally sustainable transportation.

For more information on SHIP, and Government of Canada highway improvement programs in your area, visit

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

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Safe Driving Ode

Tips On Safe Highway Driving

The number of large commercial vehicles — such as tractor trailers — on our roads has increased dramatically during the past few years. One of the best things you can do to stay safe on the highway is to learn as much as you can about how these vehicles operate. Here are some tips from Transport Canada on how to share the road safely with commercial vehicles:

• While drivers of commercial vehicles enjoy a better forward view and have larger side mirrors than most passenger-vehicle drivers, they also have more and larger blind spots. Avoid lingering in the blind spots of commercial vehicles; if you can't see the driver in their side mirror, then the driver probably can't see you.

• Trucks and buses need more time and distance than cars do to manoeuvre and stop. When driving in front of a large commercial vehicle, signal your intentions well in advance so that the driver behind has enough time to react properly.

• Truck wheels create a lot of spray in rain, slush and snow. Turn on your windshield wipers before passing commercial vehicles — you need to see clearly at all times.

• Weather conditions and even the time of day can also affect visibility — assuming that other drivers on the road can see you can be dangerous. Signal well in advance, avoid braking abruptly and leave lots of room for passing.

• Commercial vehicles need a lot of space, so watch their turn signals and give them room when they manoeuvre. Never squeeze between a turning truck and the side of the road; large commercial vehicles must sometimes swing wide to make turns, and your car might be crushed as the truck turns.

In addition to encouraging Canadians to learn safer driving habits, Transport Canada, along with the provinces and territories, is funding improvements to those parts of our national highway system that need immediate attention because of growing traffic and increased trade. These improvements, delivered through the $600 million dollar Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP), will result in a safer and more efficient highway system for all Canadians.

For more information on SHIP, and Government of Canada highway improvement programs in your area, visit

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

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