Thank you for writing to express your support for the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2010.” I appreciate hearing your thoughts about this legislation, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
I agree that the United States must take a close look at reforming our nation’s chemical regulatory system to protect vulnerable populations, especially children, from potentially toxic chemicals.
On April 14, 2011, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011” (S. 847), which would require testing of the safety of all industrial chemicals. Under current policy, the burden of proof lies with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prove that a chemical is unsafe rather than on the chemical company to show that it is safe. This legislation would shift that responsibility to industry by requiring manufacturers and processors to test chemicals and submit data to EPA proving the safety of chemicals in order for them to remain in or enter the marketplace.
You may be interested to know that on January 25, 2011, I introduced the “Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2011” (S. 136), which would ban the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, sippy cups, infant formula, and baby food containers. BPA is a hormone disrupting chemical and is linked to harmful health effects like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and early puberty. I have become especially concerned with the effects this chemical may have on babies and children, who are most at risk because of their smaller size and stage of development.
Please know that I share your concerns and will keep your thoughts in mind should the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011” or similar legislation to modernize and strengthen our nation’s chemical regulatory system come to a vote in the Senate.
Again, thank you for writing. Should you have further questions or comments, please contact my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
by Andres Duany, Elization Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck. 2000 (2010—10th Anniversary Edition)
reading this book for my Urban Sociology class. good choice, Prof. Linton. hopefully this edges the sociology (the course is cross-listed USP and SOCI) majors more into urban design/planning realm, and gives rise to thoughts about the fail american landscape.
Suburban Nation (the book) is all kinds of good. Written plainly with footnotes that describe notable detail—not just the usual boring footnote listing six sources. Easy read. This should be *required* reading for everyone. From high-schoolers to non-urban planning majors to.. everyone who lives in America. As well as engineers, planners, landscape architects, designers in other countries.
quick excerpt from where I’m at right now in Chapter 5: The American Transportation Mess:
The phenomenon of induced traffic works in reverse as well. When New York’s West Side Highway collapsed in 1973, an NYDOT study showed that 93% of the car trips lost did not reappear elsewhere; people simple stopped driving. A similar result accompanied the destruction of the San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway in the 1989 earthquake. Citizens voted to remove the freeway entirely despite the apocalyptic warnings of traffic engineers. Surprisingly, a recent British study found that downtown road removals tend to boost local economies, while new roads lead to high urban unemployment. So much for road-building as a way to spur the economy. (pg.90)
But let me give you what should be the most relevant data to the current question: the recently constructed cycle track along 9th Avenue in Manhattan. The 9th Ave track has been an unqualified success, showing:
a 36% reduction in pedestrian-related injuries;
a 50% reduction in injuries from all crashes;
a 41% reduction in the total number of crashes; and
an 80% reduction in sidewalk cycling, all of which occurred despite
a 57% increase in cycling traffic on that corridor.
Those are huge numbers, significant enough to allow for the quick conversion of neighboring 8th Avenue to a similar configuration. Indeed, cycle tracks have become a central element of New York City’s bicycle master plan because they have proved to be so safe.
What it comes down to is that in areas where there is high-volume, high-speed automobile traffic, cycle tracks are a necessary safety feature for cyclists, as they can’t hope to integrate into such traffic safely. These arterials are often the most direct route from A to B, meaning they need to be available to cyclists as well as cars if we’re at all serious about posing cycling as a legit transportation option.
Kasey Klimes is a self-described urbanist cycler who lives and breaths cities with passion. In his latest article, he argues by way of demonstration that the best way to get people to think about urban spaces is to plop ‘em on a bike and cruise around. Klimes’ piece, I feel, has a measured elegance that’s missing from modern urbanist writing. Have a look,
Invite a motorist for a bike ride through your city and you’ll be cycling with an urbanist by the end of the day. Even the most eloquent of lectures about livable cities and sustainable design can’t compete with the experience from atop a bicycle saddle.
“These cars are going way too fast,” they may mutter beneath their breath.
“How are we supposed to get across the highway?”
“Wow, look at that cathedral! I didn’t know that was there.”
“I didn’t realize there were so many vacant lots in this part of town.”
“Hey, let’s stop at this cafe for a drink.”
Suddenly livability isn’t an abstract concept, it’s an experience. Human scale, connectivity, land use efficiency, urban fabric, complete streets… all the codewords, catchphrases, and academic jargon can be tossed out the window because now they are one synthesized moment of appreciation. Bicycles matter because they are a catalyst of understanding - become hooked on the thrill of cycling, and everything else follows. Now a new freeway isn’t a convenience but an impediment. Mixed-use development isn’t a threat to privacy but an opportunity for community. And maybe, just maybe, car-free living will eventually be seen not as restrictive, but as a door to newfound freedom.
“Chicago has more than 72,000 on-street vehicle parking spaces occupying a total area of more than 3.6 square miles, about twice the size of Hyde Park. This summer, the city will help even the score for bicyclists by dedicating 140 square feet of roadway in Wicker Park for Chicago’s first on-street bike corral.
The Chicago Department of Transportation plans to install six “inverted U” bike racks protected by curb stops in a 20-by-7-foot swath of street next to a Bank of America branch at 1585 North Milwaukee Avenue, just south of North Avenue. The Wicker Park and Bucktown Chamber of Commerce is donating the racks, curbs and installation at a cost below $5,000, says the chamber’s Eleanor Mayer.”
another thing I want to start a petition for. If there were corrals, I wouldn’t have to ride my bike up the sidewalk so I can more conveniently park at / lock my bike on to a pole and get yelled at for riding on the sidewalk (you think I want to bump into people?!), as opposed to the other option of stopping and standing on the street to lift my bike up the sidewalk (which feels kinda diminishing).
very UNEQUAL treatment. If cars can so smoothly pull up into a parking spot, why can’t bicyclists?
City Councilwoman Gale Brewer would like to ban cars for good, but her proposal has been shot down in the past. The bill would also ban cars from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
Cars would still be allowed on Central Park’s cross town transverse roads, but would be banned from the East and West drives that make up “The Loop” around the park.
“If we close traffic during that time we’ll have times to compare high periods of traffic and low periods of traffic and see what impact is on city,” said Whymore.
For bikers, runners and walkers the trial is way overdue. “People are restricted to this small lane which should be an entire recreational lane,” said Ken Coughlin. Removing cars would also make exercising healthier for cyclists and runners who would breathe in less polluted air, Coughlin said.
Last week, despite an outcry from concerned citizens like you, the House Armed Services Committee moved one frightening step closer to passing a new law for a worldwide war without end.
Outrageously, there have been no hearings on this new legislation, nor has its necessity been explained by Rep. Buck McKeon or anyone else in Congress.
You and more than 25,000 ACLU supporters took action to oppose this dangerous stealth provision in the huge Defense authorization bill. The worldwide war legislation was drafted by President George Bush’s team back in 2008, but now is being jammed through Congress with no debate.
The bill will move to the full House for a vote as early as next week. But right now, members of Congress are at home in their districts.
That’s why we must ramp up the pressure, making sure they know we won’t tolerate Congress giving any president a blank check for declaring war. You wrote your representative. Now, take the next critical steps.
Call your representative’s district office. Rep. Barbara Lee (510) 763-0370 (California)
This worldwide war bill could end up being the single biggest ceding of unchecked war authority to the executive branch in modern American history. And they’re trying to sneak it through without a single hearing.
That’s why we must swing into action while House members are in their home districts. You can help by alerting your friends about this issue, writing a letter to the editor, or calling your representative’s district office to express alarm about this dangerous measure sneaking through the House.
It’s outrageous that, just as the majority of Americans eagerly await the ramping down of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress is acting under the cover of darkness to pass a new law for a worldwide war.
We’re going to have to keep working to make sure this stealth provision never becomes the law of the land. Please do as much as you can this week and remain alert in the days ahead.
Laura W. Murphy Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
Work on the effort has been going on for years, but Tuesday’s meeting is the official start to the project’s environmental review, a prerequisite to the federal funding the streetcar needs to become a reality. Backers estimate that an initial phase would likely cost $100 to $120 million.
Just where that first phase will run is up for debate.
Tuesday’s presentation will offer an array of variations for the proposed streetcar’s tracks. While the line’s three key points—Convention Center / L.A. Live, Broadway and the Music Center—have been roughly agreed upon since 2004, just how to connect the dots is still very much an open question.
A briefing posted online in advance of the meeting (short 10pg PDF with mapping of the segments of the lines) puts the southbound trains on Broadway, with either Hill or Olive for northbound service. Several variations for the Bunker Hill end of the track are shown, as are different ways of connecting through South Park.
Downtowners are encouraged to weigh in with their thoughts on the options either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, voicemail at 213-922-3000 or in person at Tuesday night’s meeting (17.05.11). An open house will run from 4pm to 6pm, and public comments will be taken from 6pm to 7:30pm. The Los Angeles Theatre is at 615 S. Broadway.
blogdowntown, 16.05.11. more event details on the LASI (LA streetcar inc.) website. LA metro’s Restoration of Historic Streetcar Service project.