Golden Gate Bridge District Firmly Plants Itself in 20th Century

Golden Gate Bridge District Firmly Plants Itself in 20th Century 10/09/14 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change 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…

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MTC Opposes Regionalism, Yet Again

MTC Opposes Regionalism, Yet Again 09/24/14 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change | MTC In 2013, MTC adopted a regional plan called Plan Bay Area, in response to state requirements under SB 375 to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). Continuing its long history of putting politics before its mandate of improving the Bay Area, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted  today to adopt an eviscerated set of Guidelines for Bay Area counties. Draft Guidelines had been developed that called for counties, when  developing their Countywide Transportation Plans, to look to the goals of Plan Bay Area. That draft was then amended by MTC’s Planning Committee and the adopted as the MTC CTP Guidelines (the yellow highlighted text on PDF page 8),…

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TRANSDEF Opposes Alameda County Transportation Tax

TRANSDEF Opposes Alameda County Transportation Tax 08/22/14 Filed in: Climate Change The Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, TRANSDEF, announced its opposition to the proposed 2014 Alameda County Transportation Sales Tax,  which will be Measure BB on the ballot in November. The measure would lock in funding for the next thirty years, precisely the critical time when humanity needs to severely reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), if we are to preserve a climate hospitable to life as we know it. Alameda County, like other transportation agencies, finds it more comfortable and less controversial to continue doing what it has always done: focus its efforts on a network of roads and highways that predominantly…

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Plan Bay Area Court Decision Released

Plan Bay Area Court Decision Released 07/02/14 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change | MTC Alameda County Superior Court Judge Grillo issued a ruling today in the Bay Area Citizens v. ABAG challenge to Plan Bay Area. He denied their petition that sought a ruling that the EIR was inadequate. See the decision and the briefing at the bottom of this page. This page also contains the settlement between the MTC and Sierra Club and Communities for a Better Environment. Tags: CEQA, RTP, ARB

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Suit Challenges HSR Funding: Says It Worsens Climate Change

Suit Challenges HSR Funding: Says It Worsens Climate Change 06/23/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Climate Change TRANSDEF, the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, announced that it filed suit  in Fresno County Superior Court today challenging the Governor’s fallback funding scheme for High-Speed Rail (HSR). HSR was included in the list of measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contained in the Update to the Scoping Plan recently adopted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). The Scoping Plan is California’s master strategy for responding to climate change. TRANSDEF’s attorney, Stuart Flashman, commented: “As a former scientist, I was disappointed that ARB ignored the scientific evidence. The huge spike in cement production needed to build all…

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Superb NYT Opinion Piece on Climate Change

Superb NYT Opinion Piece on Climate Change 06/22/14 Filed in: Climate Change The New York Times today published an amazingly comprehensive and compelling opinion piece by Hank Paulson, the former Treasury Secretary. Paulson speaks to his fellow Republicans, comparing the risks of ignoring climate change to the risks created in financial markets by ignoring the bubble there, which eventually resulted in near-catastrophe. Highly recommended! Tags: Carbon Tax

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ARB’s Scoping Plan Update

ARB’s Scoping Plan Update 04/07/14 Filed in: Climate Change The CA Air Resources Board (ARB) is updating the 2008 Scoping Plan, which laid out the State’s plan to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) which cause global climate change. TRANSDEF filed its comments, which stress the need for clarity as to the contribution of the economic recession and higher gasoline prices to the state’s reduced GHG emissions in the past 6 years. The comments call for ARB to remove HSR as a GHG emissions reduction measure, given that it is projected to increase GHGs for decades. Tags: ARB, Cap & Trade

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Multiple Suits Challenge Plan Bay Area

Multiple Suits Challenge Plan Bay Area 09/01/13 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning | Climate Change Multiple lawsuits were filed, challenging the FEIR for the Bay Area’s regional plan under CEQA. Interestingly, they attack the plan from different directions: The Sierra Club/Communities for a Better Environment suit seeks a reduction in greenhouse gases and air pollution that affects communities of color in West Oakland. The “Bay Area Citizens” suit is a right-wing challenge to what it views as an assault on Americans’ God-given right to live in suburbs. The Building Industry Association suit makes interesting claims that have never been litigated: that the regional plan violates SB 375 by not providing for feasible levels of…

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Is California Serious about Reducing GHGs?

Is California Serious about Reducing GHGs? 08/05/13 Filed in: Climate Change The Air Resources Board is updating its Scoping Plan, California’s master strategy to reduce greenhouse gases under AB 32. TRANSDEF submitted a wide-ranging set of suggestions which emphasized the need for the Board to set stringent regional greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets, required under SB 375, that will achieve lower emissions from cars and light trucks. The targets set by the Board in 2010 were per capita numbers that, because they were lower than the rate of population growth, lead to increases in GHGs, contrary to the intent of…

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An Excellent Overview of Regional Planning

An Excellent Overview of Regional Planning 05/26/13 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC | Climate Change Environmental advocate Peter Lydon wrote these comments on MTC’s Plan Bay Area, which capture the essence of regional planning: Framework Independently of anything the regional agencies do, the nine-county Bay Area is growing in population and getting wealthier, so, inevitably, it is changing. That means that the region is in transition. The aspect that concerns us is a needed transition from the present land use/mobility system to a new one. The old, existing system is based on the single-family house, the personal automobile and…

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