Oct 2014

Left-Right Alliances

Much of our work in transportation is done in coalition. Ralph Nader recently put out a book “Unstoppable--The Emerging Left-Right Alliance” that recognized the unexpectedly large amount of common ground that exists, especially on local issues, between advocates on the left and right.

TRANSDEF’s President participated in a
discussion program about his work, which included the topic of left-right alliances.

It's Time to Get Serious, ARB

TRANSDEF submitted comments to the Air Resources Board today on the need for an update to the regional GHG emissions reduction targets that were assigned by ARB back in 2010. These targets tell regional boards like MTC how much they must reduce their GHG emissions. Currently, GHG emissions continue to grow, as the regions continue to support solo driving. The letter states that the current targets aren’t working, and that tougher ones are needed to send a message to transportation agencies that they must play an active role in protecting the climate. Read More...

Supreme Court Turns Us Down

In a very disappointing decision, the California Supreme Court today denied the Petitions for Review by the Tos petitioners, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the First Free Will Baptist Church on the Third Circuit High Speed Rail rulings in a case titled California High-Speed Rail Authority v. Superior Court.

Contra Costa Stuck in the Past

Contra Costa County’s Transportation Authority has released a draft 2014 Countywide Comprehensive Transportation Plan. It is a classic suburban plan that ignores the fundamental challenges posed by climate change and congestion. TRANSDEF submitted comments that attempt to identify a different, more realistic pathway. We believe these comments are widely applicable to suburbia. See the Contra Costa page for more.

Opponents of BB Hold Press Conference

Opponents of Alameda County’s Measure BB transportation sales tax held a press conference today at the Asian Cultural Center in Oakland. It was covered by three TV crews and print press, including the Chinese language press.

TRANSDEF’s President made these remarks:

Putting More Action Into Marin Climate Action Plan

TRANSDEF submitted a set of comments on the Draft Marin Climate Action Plan. They focused on reprioritizing Marin’s transportation funding to support alternatives to driving alone, rather than continuing to focus resources on supporting solo driving. Read More...

Golden Gate Bridge District Firmly Plants Itself in 20th Century

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District’s Transportation Committee voted unanimously today to provide more auto parking for passengers of the Larkspur Ferry. They voted to give notice to the Marin Airporter to vacate the Larkspur Landing site it leases from the District. The District’s plan is to use the parking spaces currently used by Airporter customers for its ferry passengers.

TRANSDEF’s President was the only member of the public to speak on the item. His suggestion that the District show leadership on climate change by encouraging its passengers to arrive at the Ferry Terminal by ways other than solo driving was ignored by the Committee. The text of his comments follows. Read More...

CHSRA Declares Independence from CEQA

In a move that screams desperation, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board for a declaratory order that would prevent any California court from issuing an injunction to stop the construction of the Fresno-Bakersfield portion of the project. CHSRA wants to hide behind federal preemption. See this page.

By running to the feds for protection, CHSRA has told the world it cannot and will not play by California rules.

In an earlier move seeking to protect its claim to federal preemption of environmental laws, CHSRA asked the Supreme Court to depublish the appellate decision in
Town of Atherton II. See bottom of this page.

Supreme Court Hears from Far and Wide

After receiving an Answer from the California High-Speed Rail Authority, petitioners for review filed their replies. A large group of distinguished organizations, elected officials and governmental entities filed amicus curiae letters with the Supreme Court, requesting that it review the HSR cases. See this page.