Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Making the Shift: Denser Suburbs and Greener Burners?

Burning Blog: The Streets of Black Rock City
For richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, the romance of the road is a quintessential American dream. For Americans, cars have always represented independence, self-expression and the mythos of mobility. And yet, like any love affair, relationships with cars are fickle and results are mixed. The story of the American car industry, an oddly expressive combination of heavy manufacturing and show business, has always been a narrative of boom and bust.

Cities stalling bill that would change state growth rules
SB 375, which has passed the Senate, recognizes the
forces driving spread-out development. Cheap farmland
and access to state highway funds prompt developers to
build on the distant periphery of cities. People who
move there end up commuting long distances, adding to
vehicle emissions and freeway congestion, which the
state then must try to correct.

At the same time, developers trying to build housing
within cities often face lawsuits under the California
Environmental Quality Act. Such litigation, or the
threat of it, tips the scales further in favor of
leapfrog subdivisions and strip malls.

To alter this pattern, Steinberg's bill would require
each metropolitan region to adopt a "sustainable
community strategy" to limit emissions of greenhouse
gases. The Air Resources Board then would provide each
region with targets for reducing emissions.

Berkeley rapid bus plan faces uphill battle
Berkeley may be among the greenest cities in the nation, but it's also home to a budding backlash against public transit.

Drivers Feeling Shunned by D.C.

The District is escalating what some suburban commuters are calling its war against workers who drive into the city. The city has changed parts of Constitution Avenue NE from a reversible commuter artery back to a quiet side street and is considering removing the reversible lane on 16th Street NW, a key commuting route from Montgomery County.

Effect of Gasoline Prices on Driving Behavior and Vehicle Markets

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