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» Suburban living linked to bigger carbon footprint

a more local article re: the recent UC Berkeley study:

The [Bay Area] region expects to add 2.1 million people in the next 25 years, bringing the population to 9 million. Commutes could lengthen as rising housing costs drive residents from San Francisco, and as new residents move in droves to the more affordable Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

To ease pressure on the region’s transportation systems, Plan Bay Area, the region’s outline for development until 2040, calls for concentrating housing in neighborhoods within walking distance of public transit and amenities like grocery stores and restaurants.

That reflects an increasing desire of people of all ages to live in walkable communities, said Jeff Hobson, deputy director of TransForm, an Oakland group that advocates for public transportation.

Having a low-carbon lifestyle is not just for hipsters,” he said. “It should also be for soccer moms and NASCAR dads and Instagram teens.”

sfgate, 14.01.14.

» SANDAG's Uptown bikeway plan not widely accepted

Some residents of Uptown fear that the San Diego Association of Governments is trying to grab money meant for pedestrian improvements in order to install a dedicated bikeway for cyclists to commute on Fourth and Fifth avenues. Objectors contend that doing so will put pedestrians in danger and put more cars on the streets, making Uptown less of a walkable community.

sandiegoreader, 14.01.14.

that first paragraph.. WTFreally??! building bike lanes will induce more drivers/cars on the streets???! of course, logic??!

UPDATE: 1/15, 2:10 p.m.

SANDAG spokesperson Helen Gao responds [to SD reader and objectors]:

"Yes, the pedestrian improvements will be delayed as a result of the consolidation effort. However, the final results will be far superior. The combined project would actually include additional pedestrian improvements (beyond what’s included in the grant application) along the 4th and 5th Avenue corridors, consistent with community plans.

Unfortunately, the criticisms directed at SANDAG are based on misinformation circulating in the community. There is an assumption that pedestrian and bike improvements are mutually exclusive and conflict with each other, which is not the case.

"We are taking a comprehensive approach to improving streets for both bicyclists and pedestrians in Uptown because we want to avoid wasting taxpayer money to modify pedestrian elements that are not properly aligned with the bike facilities that the community also wants to see built. A well designed corridor project will benefit pedestrians and people riding bikes, as well as improve safety for all road users.

"Case in point, curb bulb-outs. As currently envisioned, the bike lanes would conflict with the bulb-outs outlined in the grant application. We are working on a design that will incorporate similar pedestrian improvements into the bike project. Where bulb-outs were planned, we envision building pedestrian refuges/islands to improve pedestrian safety and calm traffic. Just like the bulb-outs, these islands would shorten the distance to cross the street. In fact, they will shorten the crossing distance even more than the original design."

» Where Are We at with Ellis Act Evictions (and How Did We Get Here?)

"In the late 1970s, the city of Santa Monica enacted local legislation to help protect rent-controlled properties and specifically to protect low- and moderate-income tenants from eviction. Then came Jerome Nash, a young landlord whose mother had bought him a building when he was 17. Finding the business of owning a building unsuitable a few years later, he hoped to tear down the building (which of course meant evicting his tenants), but was denied a permit because of the city’s recent housing protections. Nash challenged the decision in court and succeeded, but lost on appeal in the state Supreme Court (Nash v. City of Santa Monica in 1984).

Luckily for him, he had a buddy in state government, Republican Senator Jim Ellis from San Diego. Ellis introduced and subsequently passed an act essentially intended just for Nash to get out of his particular predicament. The gist of this new California law allowed landowners to get out of the business of being a landlord and get out from under public protections for housing (such as Santa Monica’s rent control law)….

Jeremy Mykaels is the lone tenant in his Castro building apartment, where he has lived for the past 18 years. As a disabled senior, he was allowed a full year’s notice to vacate the premises following an Ellis eviction, as opposed to the normal 120-day period. His year ended, but he challenged the procedural process of the eviction. His case was dismissed upon the discovery that his landlord had incorrectly stated the amount of rent Mykaels was paying. Since then, the owner has yet to attempt to Ellis him out of the building again.

In a recent email, Mykaels had the following advice for tenants willing to dig their heels in and stay put: Get a good lawyer who will scrutinize the Ellis filing (as he did), connect with a tenants counseling group (like the Tenants Union or the Housing Rights Committee), and ­– perhaps the most difficult one – make your eviction account public. “It was not easy for me to have to publicly divulge the fact that I am a gay senior living with AIDS who was being evicted under the Ellis Act in order for the media to take notice of my story,” he says. But they did take notice and that may well have contributed to the fact that he’s still living in San Francisco.

Mykaels acknowledges that it’s not feasible for every single tenant to stay and fight in the way that he did, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to be gained by ruffling some feathers on the way out.”

read more: thebolditalic, 13.01.14.

» Streetsblog Seeks Freelance Reporters in the East Bay

Streetsblog SF is looking for experienced freelance journalists in the East Bay who are knowledgeable and passionate about livable streets and sustainable transportation issues — from public space expansions like the botched Latham Square project, to open streets events like Oaklavia and Sunday Streets Berkeley, to efforts to build safer bike lanes and improve service on BART and AC Transit.

East Bay reporters would be expected to cover public hearings and press conferences, and seek interviews with advocates and policymakers.

Streetsblog freelancers are paid per article. If you or someone you know fits the bill, send resumes and writing samples to

aaah I would! if i were still in the Bay! and if reblogging news on tumblr counts as journalism experience! :D

ahah but it would be good to improve my writing. 

» Suburbia's Carbon Footprint Is Four Times The Size Of Urban Residents', Study Finds

Congrats, city-dwellers! Your carbon footprint is just half the size of the national average. But… too bad, all the suburbs surrounding your city cancel out the effects of your greener lifestyle. At worst, households in the suburbs emit four times the amount of carbon as households in cities do.

These numbers come from new, detailed carbon-footprint calculations for U.S. counties, made by two energy and resources researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The researchers published their work in a new paper, but also made some cool online tools to let you compare your carbon use to your neighbors’ to your heart’s content. 

You can calculate your household’s carbon footprint, on Berkeley’s Cool Climate Network site here.

popsci, 07.01.13.
study: Spatial Distribution of U.S. Household Carbon Footprints Reveals Suburbanization Undermines Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Urban Population Density. by Jones and Kammen. in Environmental Science and Technology.

at New Seasons on Interstate Ave. Portland, OR.
» The unstoppable rise of bikes

In five years, bicycling will be so common that it’s boring, says author Elly Blue.

What I’m trying to do is provide a window into a new normal. I’m asking people to look around and see how they’re being asked to live their daily lives, what they’re being asked to do financially and with their time — which is sinking a lot of money and time into cars — and to see that as not necessarily a natural, or even economically sustainable thing.

Blue’s new book, “Bikenomics,” draws on a growing body of academic work, along with her own involvement with the country’s bicycle movement, to make the economic case for bicycles. 

interview with Elly Blue: salon, 12.01.14.

copenhagenize says, “Already ‘common’ and ‘boring’ in Copenhagen.”

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