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Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Should employers have to offer help for workers’ commute costs for transit, cycling, and carpools?

A bill sent to the governor aims to reduce greenhouse gases and auto congestion by giving regional governments the authority to require employers to offer subsidies to workers who commute by bus, rail, bicycle, carpool and other low-emission means. Bay Area public transit and regional governments backed the bill, but it was opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2011
Under: Carpooling, driving, Environment, global warming | No Comments »

Concord hosts regional workshop on cutting greenhouse gases

A regional planning effort to rein in greenhouse gases produced in the Bay Area makes a stop in Concord from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday with a public workshop at the Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Come if you want to discuss a state-mandated effort at marrying transportation and land use planning to cut pollution that warms the earth. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
Under: Environment, global warming | No Comments »

BART to give out free train tickets at festival Thursday

BART is rewarding 5,000 people with free tickets – each good for $6 worth of  fares – at an environmental fair in San Francisco from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday to promote public transit. The BART Blue Sky festival will be held at Justin Herman Plaza near the Embarcadero station. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Under: BART, Environment, rail | No Comments »

Does Daylight Saving drive us down the wrong road?

We all got up an hour earlier today because Daylight Savings Time saves energy. Right? Not everyone agrees. A Tuft’s University teacher says we don’t really save energy in part we make extra driving trips to stores, golf courses and other recreational outings  during that extra hour of sunlight. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, March 14th, 2011
Under: driving, Environment | 1 Comment »

Will the toll on bridge drivers be too big a toll?

People who take car pools across seven Bay Area bridges may be in for an unpleasant change next year: the end of free rides for car pools during rush-hour periods. And on the Bay Bridge, regular drivers not in car pools also may in for a shock: higher tolls during peak commute periods than at other times.

Proposed options to make those major changes in July were unveiled Monday by the Bay Area Toll Authority, which plans to hold hearings in November. I’m betting both changes are going to come under fire from some angry drivers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Bridges, Carpooling, driving, Environment, Freeways, global warming, Retrofitting, tolls, Transit vs. driving | 1 Comment »

A bike commute on the back roads, deer and all

The highlight of my bike to work this week was encountering a mother deer and her two fawns crossing Danville Boulevard in front of me near Singing Hill Road in Alamo.

Here was this deer ambling across the well-traveled old highway during the morning commute. She seemed to know that either cars down the road would stop for her or that someone on a bicycyle was not a threat. I shooed her on. She walked off the road into some brush and disappeared down an embankment leading to the Walnut Creek channel.

It was a taste of nature while commuting by bicycle on the backroads of Contra Costa County. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Under: Bicycling, driving, Environment, Misc. Transportation | 1 Comment »

Can a dinosaur evolve before it’s too late?

You wouldn’t nominate the boss of a major American auto manufacturer as the likeliest person to suggest the nation consider a huge increase in the federal gas tax.

But General Motors CEO Rich Wagoner told reporters earlier this week that a big gas hike might be good for America as an incentive for consumers to save energy by buying hybrids, electrics and other fuel efficient vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2009
Under: driving, Environment, fuel, global warming, Misc. Transportation | 1 Comment »

Americans Rock & Roll – But, Increasingly, We Don’t Drive

Travel on all U.S. roads and streets dropped 3.1 percent, or 7 billion vehicle miles for January 2009 as compared with January 2008. Woo Hoo! Traffic dropped the most in the north central region of the country, the area from Ohio to the Dakotas, going down 6 percent. Bad news for the West: We were the only one of the Department of Transportation’s designated areas in the country where driving increased. Drivers in the bloc of states including Hawaii and Alaska posted an increase of .2 percent.

 (Photo: ryanrocketship on flickr.)

Posted on Thursday, March 19th, 2009
Under: driving, Environment, fuel | 2 Comments »

Odometer debate: saving earth or saving privacy?

Most of us want to protect our personal privacy and protect the earth from global warming. Can we do both?

An East Bay legislator said she is trying to avoid conflicts between the two goals in her bill that would require California motorists to report their odometer readings during their annual motor vehicle registration. But concerns over privacy are spurring some people to say: Prove it.

The friction emerged last week in a Metropolitan Transportation Commission committee’s 4-2 vote to endorse AB 1135 by Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Under: driving, Environment, Freeways, fuel, global warming, technology | 2 Comments »

Jet Fuel Made From … Jatropha?

As we hover on the cusp of the New Year, here’s a story that might inspire us to consider alternative fuels: Air New Zealand today tested a passenger jet powered partially with oil from a plum-sized fruit known as jatropha, Scientific American reported.

It was the the world’s second commercial flight of a jet on biofuel. Other examples of biofuel include the much-maligned ethanol, made from corn (but you already knew that). Jatropha-based fuel doesn’t have the drawbacks of ethanol, such as driving up the cost of corn, because jatropha is a weed.

So, if Air New Zealand can do it, so can we. Don’t forget, Berkeley actually has a gas station that dispenses biodiesel, fuel made from oil such as that used to crisp fries; the city also has Green Motors, a dealership that sells only electric cars and scooters. Food (and fuel) for thought in 2009.

(Photo: Prashantby on flickr.)

Posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
Under: Environment, fuel, global warming, Misc. Transportation | 1 Comment »