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 »
Archive for the 'global warming' Category
We’re from the government and we’re here to help you drive smarter and cleaner to reduce greenhouse gases. Can it work ? Can the Bay Area pioneer new gains in the climate change arena with a $4.5 million public education campaign to get motorists to slow down and change their driving behavior? Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
BART’s plan for a rail link to the Oakland International Airport may get back on track with money from the federal job stimulus bill.
Back in November last year, I reported that the plan for a 3.2-mile-long elevated tramway hit a dead end for lack of funding. BART needed private partners to share in project costs, but failed to attract any allies amid deteriorating economic conditions and sharp declines in airline passengers.
Now President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus bill may come to the rescue of the proposed rail link between BART’s Coliseum station and the airport. BART now pegs the project cost at $529 million, a higher cost than earlier estimates because of inflation. Read the rest of this entry »
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.)
I felt a shiver when I saw Doug Oakley’s front page story and photo today about “ghost bike” memorials to cyclists killed in collisions with cars or trucks.
A recreational cyclist and occasional bike commuter, I like to think of cycling as healthy and refreshing. But reading Oakley’s story reminded me how vulnerable humans on a 25- to 30-pound bicycle are when sharing the roads with a ton or 2-ton vehicle that can squash a rider like a bug.
I’ve seen cyclists do unsafe things like riding on the wrong side of the road.
Some of you may be wondering why I went to the California High-Speed Rail Authority board’s final hearing on its environmental impact documents and didn’t write a story. There will be a story, but only when the board votes to approve the final EIR-EIS tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
Of course, if they vote it down there will also be a story, but improbable tale will be on page 1.
But here’s the scoop on high-speed rail, which I found in a British newspaper article today, which describes the crush of passengers trying to get to Paris through the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras station in London:
The airline industry has been crushed by the price of kerosene and deserted by passengers fed up with delays. After decades of disappointment, false dawns and virtually bankrupt Channel Tunnels, we have finally arrived at the age of the train and the evidence is in the crowd at St Pancras.
Only eight months after Read the rest of this entry »