Urbification: Taking the sub out of Calif. suburbs

Walking. Bicycling. Alternatives to Driving Everywhere. Social justice. Alternatives to suburban boredom and waste. And the infrastructure and technology needed to get there.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

If I had my druthers, others with more at stake than myself would have started a petition to maximize BART parking revenue, but no one stepped forward, so I did. Here it is. On May 22, the BART board is scheduled to vote on a staff proposal to raise BART fares 10 percent. Instead, parking revenue should be maximized throughout the system. Here's a companion mailing list I created, devoted to this topic.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Los Angeles Times: "A stunning increase in customer complaints about traffic congestion on the 91 Express Lanes prompted Orange County transportation officials to postpone a decision on whether to cut tolls for carpools of three or more people."

Sunday, April 20, 2003

The Oregonian: Frustration pours out over housing infill. This story does a fine job of explaining how put-upon suburbanites feel when their neighborhood is upzoned. But it doesn't tell the entire story -- of people who surely must be relieved that they have transportation choices in such neighborhoods; of neighbors of nearby freeways who won't have parts of their neighborhoods eaten away (at least, as fast) to feed the insatiable demand for wider freeways; of residents and would-be residents of this region who will be able to afford some of the upzoned housing that is being built here, rather than being priced out of the market or living in tiny abodes bordering on squalor. No, not a balanced story at all. But Portland's an area to watch, to see how it all comes out in the final analysis.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Ken Kifer: "I have been recommending a minumum of 66 minutes of exercise per day, since that is the average amount of time that individuals spend traveling every day world wide...my assumption from this is that 66 minutes a day of exercise represents what our bodies crave."

Thursday, April 17, 2003

It's been rough to watch a relatively new email list, Bicycling Advocacy, torn apart by the usual bike lane-vs-no bike lane debate. But Ken Kifer said something interesting recently: "I don't agree with a policy of ignoring problems caused by motorists." Simply teaching bicyclists how to ride in a vehicular fashion, and prosecuting those motorists who illegally assault or injure bicyclists, to me is ignoring a much larger problem. Call it the increasing motorization or freewayization of our streets if you will, but traffic calming, as well as bicycle and pedestrian facilties, properly done, are an attempt to stem such a tide.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Sam Bernstein, suburban Marin County resident: "If I could get an A1 Abrams, I would," he added with a smile, referring to the tank, "but I don't know if California would allow it."

Saturday, April 05, 2003

William Keese, chair of the California Energy Commission, says that 80 percent of all gasoline sold in California is now MTBE-free. Fortunately.
Mark Paul in the Sacramento Bee: "In recent years more groups and policy makers have come to understand that the state's mobility and quality of life needs can't be assured with concrete and steel alone. Transportation policy needs to be wedded to land use, housing policy and open space planning."

Thursday, April 03, 2003