Trump Administration acknowledges climate change

In a shocking new policy position, the Trump Administration claims there’s no point in higher efficiency standards for new cars and trucks for reducing GHGs. There’s nothing new in that. They offered a completely new reason, however: because the reductions won’t make a significant difference in a world that clings to fossil fuels. Of course, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. NHTSA has put out a draft Environmental Impact Statement for its proposed CAFE standard that projects that in 2100, there will be 708 ppm CO2, 3.8 meters of sea level rise and 4 degrees C global temperature rise. It is already…

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Marin’s Measure AA

The Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) has placed Measure AA, a 0.5 % sales tax for transportation on the November ballot. The measure would replace the existing Measure A that voters approved in 2004. Measure AA would run for 30 years before the voters would be asked to approve a subsequent measure. Marin is facing a transportation crisis: traffic congestion keeps getting worse while greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles keep getting higher. TRANSDEF opposes Measure AA because the measure doesn’t even acknowledge there is a crisis. Instead, the measure offers a Business as Usual collection of the programs and projects of the…

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This site is under construction***UPDATE***

TRANSDEF.org has successfully transitioned its High-Speed Rail resources and blog posts to WordPress. The links are working now. Some of the resources that had been available on the previous site are not yet available here. Please have patience while we rebuild those pages.

Falling Transit Ridership–Why?

A significant study by SCAG suggests that falling transit ridership is the result of displacement of transit-using lower-income groups to exurbs with poor transit service. Easy credit has made it possible to own a vehicle, thereby both increasing VMT and lowering transit ridership. An excellent discussion by Ethan Elkind is here.

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Post-election counting widens RM3 margin

The votes counted after Election day have swung more in support of Regional Measure 3. Recent reports from all counties other than Sonoma (shown in yellow) have updated their election night results. The margin of victory has widened to 10 points. This margin came entirely from Santa Clara and San Franciso Counties, neither of which uses bridges much.

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The problems endemic in Bay Area transportation

Posted on our website is a large body of work that speaks to the problems endemic in the world of transportation: 1. The politicization of the distribution of funding. Public agencies are heavily influenced by self-interested entities that do not care about the effectiveness of projects for the larger public. Even though MTC spends massive amounts of money, it is so poorly spent (think the Bay Bridge East Span) that the public gets relatively little benefit out of it. The process most definitely does not function to maximize public benefits. Cost-effectiveness is not even among MTC’s top10 considerations. The ability…

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The future of transportation in the Bay Area is up for grabs

An article by Erin Baldassari, “Bridge toll hike is ‘first step’ in solving Bay Area’s traffic woes, experts say” points out just how expensive proposed future transportation fixes will be. However, a strikingly insightful column by Daniel Borenstein, Toll hike vote indicates Bay Area struggles ahead, suggests that the Bay Area’s policy leaders will not be able to enact these programs because voters will not fund them. This is an acknowledgement of the public’s lack of confidence in MTC, an agency that has intentionally remained unknown by the larger public. That begs the question of whether we will all drown in…

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Election night results for RM3

With 100% of precincts reporting, Regional Measure 3 won by a margin of 7 points: 53.66% to 46.34%. The most striking number, other than the much lower-than-predicted margin of victory, is that Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties together provided 130% of the winning vote margin. Without those two counties, the measure to impose higher bridge tolls would have failed. The fact that these two counties have low levels of bridge use suggests that serious constitutional violations have occurred. We are investigating remedies.

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RM3’s claim of reduced traffic is misleading

Was the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) lying to the public when it wrote the ballot language for Regional Measure 3? The measure’s principal claim is that it will “reduce auto and truck traffic.” A leading opponent of Regional Measure 3, TRANSDEF, with deep familiarity with MTC’s planning documents, knew that MTC’s Regional Transportation Plan for 2040 projected a 44% increase in hours of congestion delay and a 21% increase in driving. These figures suggest that claims of traffic reduction were knowingly false. TRANSDEF filed a Public Records Act request on May 9, 2018 asking for: Any studies or analysis demonstrating…

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KRON4 reports on RM3

KRON4’s report on Regional Measure 3 featured dueling appearances by the Bay Area Council’s John Grubb and TRANSDEF.org’s David Schonbrunn. Schonbrunn asserted: This will do nothing whatsoever for congestion. What it will do is move politically-favored projects along. The Bay Area Council attempted to erase the politicized legislative origin of the measure: The Bay Area Council points say this is no pork barrel project but one designed by both regional and local traffic engineers with the goal of reducing congestion. Grubb, of course, claimed the measure would improve traffic. We’ll see if voters are taken in by the hype…

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