Make urban buses fare-free. Only then will urban planning make any sense.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mathematician calculates #freetransit would save 298,000,000 barrels of oil per year in Southern California

Georgia Straight: "John Bachar is a former mathematics professor at California State University in Long Beach and an advocate of what he calls a “fareless urban mass-transportation system”.

“This antiquated method of letting everybody buy all this car insurance and pay for the maintenance of their car and drive in congestion and spend hundreds of millions of hours wasted away from your personal life because you’re spending so much time travelling in gridlock, it’s insane,” Bachar told the Straight in a phone interview from Los Angeles.

In a paper, the mathematician cited benefits of free transit. For the Southern California region (Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties), the state of California, and the U.S., the potential annual fuel savings in barrels of petroleum are 298 million, 545 million, and 3.69 billion, respectively.

Bachar also noted in his study that an all-bus transportation system would cost less than a tenth as much as an all-automobile system. It would generate 90 percent less pollution, his paper added.

Meanwhile, a 2011 study by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute indicated that there were $2.55 in costs to society for every dollar spent on a motor vehicle’s operating expenses."

Urban planning is hamstrung by designing to accomodate cars

Density Isn’t a Dirty Word | Voice of San Diego: "However, even a new way of thinking about density won’t solve San Diego’s planning woes, because, in general, our planning is not based on people. It’s based on cars.

You might think I’m exaggerating when I tell you that nearly every urban planning and design decision made today is based on how many seconds you have to sit in your car at an intersection, and where you will park the car once you’ve arrived at your destination. Success is spending fewer seconds at an intersection, and having the option to park your car for free wherever you go.

When you look at city planning from this auto-centric point of view, which most of us have been taught to do, higher density doesn’t make a lot of sense. There is obviously a huge disconnect between what people intuitively want in a great community, and what San Diego’s policies and laws dictate. The two don’t match up."

Friday, January 24, 2014

Poll: 9 of 10 Latinos want government action on #climate change "Other polling has shown that Latinos by wide margins back action to curb pollution, climate change and other environmental problems. The latest poll found even more intense support for policies to counter global warming."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stop the foot-dragging on climate change "The world has very little time — perhaps 15 years — to make serious inroads on climate change, according to a leaked report from a United Nations panel. Current efforts, even among the most committed nations, fall short, and at the current rate of carbon emissions, the problem might grow too large to overcome with existing technology."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Drought threatens California, with no relief in sight

Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States - "Faced with the shortage, federal authorities this year will for the first time decrease the amount of water that flows into Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, from Lake Powell 180 miles upstream. That will reduce even more the level of Lake Mead, a crucial source of water for cities from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and for millions of acres of farmland."

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 3, 2014

Expo Line reduces carbon emissions. What would free buses do?

Expo Line proves a point: If you build it, people will ride - "The study tracked roughly 200 households before and after the opening of the Expo Line’s first phase, from downtown to Culver City, in 2012. Researchers found that people living within half a mile of the Expo Line tripled their use of rail after the opening. They also drove about 10 miles less per day after the transit line opened, compared with households in similar neighborhoods farther from the line. And because the Expo-adjacent residents drove less, they generated about 30% less carbon emissions.

These are compelling numbers showing that the Expo Line helped people change their habits, leading to fewer cars on the road and less air pollution."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Better Institutions: Pro-car populism is about protecting cars, not people

Better Institutions: Pro-car populism is about protecting cars, not people: "The problem with the pro-car populist's position is that it doesn't contain a solution. You just keep pouring money into services and infrastructure that keep driving costs as low as possible for the poor, but driving is always going to be problematically, if not prohibitively expensive for some people. And it's only going to get worse. "