Dispelling the Dispelling

Dispelling the Dispelling

Marin League of Women Voters’ Report Mistates Its Own Data The League of Women Voters (“LWV”) is a wonderful organization that plays a crucial role in our democratic society.  They stand for “An honest and respectful sharing of ideas is vital to the functioning of American democracy.” At the same time, LWV states, “We are passionate advocates – both women and men – who work to influence policy on specific issues by speaking out and putting pressure on our elected leaders. Recently, LWV of Marin County released a publication entitled “Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Affordable Housing”.  The report does not claim to be endorsed by their national organization, and its cited authorities fully exclude those that have differing views. Rather than a sharing of ideas, this report is one-sided advocacy of affordable housing.  And that is fine.  However, the report makes many conclusions unsupported…or even contradicted… by the very sources they seem to cite.   “Apples and oranges” are often a factor. This blog posting provides a summary of fundamental flaws or errors in the League of Women Voters’ report. Crime LWV claims a Washington DC report LWV shows no increase in crime in nonprofit-owned and managed properties.  In fact, the cited report makes no mention of nonprofit-owned and managed properties. LWV claims a Novato police presentation demonstrated affordable housing does not increase crime.  However, the numbers the police presented reveal that the only two affordable housing projects within the report averaged two police service calls each year per household.  The frequency was more than double the rate of multi-family housing that was not deed restricted, and presumably much higher than single family homes. Although...
SMART Train Actually Increases Greenhouse Gas Emissions

SMART Train Actually Increases Greenhouse Gas Emissions

I used to buy into all the green marketing – around transit and the SMART train. Fifteen years ago I was a regular rider of London Transport and proudly felt I was doing my bit to save the planet. However what I discovered when I started to probe is that the SMART train actually increases greenhouse gases. Overlooking SMARTs Other Justification: 101 Congestion Let’s leave aside that the train’s other justification that it reduces 101 congestion – now that the station area plans to help “prepare for ” and “justify” the train with their additional housing have been made public it’s clear to any realistic, or one might say smart, observer that adding 620 housing units at Civic Center and 900 in Larkspur (removing 100 ferry terminal parking spots) is going to significantly add to 101 congestion. Presuming that these new residents will all take transit is not just naive, it ignores recent history as demonstrated by transit oriented development next to Portland’s Maxx light rail  where 90% of residents drive their cars to work and shops. Comparing Train Emissions to Car Emissions I’ve learned fast about greenhouse gas emissions. Two key facts: – CO2 emissions are near directly proportional to miles per gallon (mpg). CO2 is the easiest greenhouse gas emission to quantify. – The key figure is emissions per passenger mile. While a car may achieve 22mpg, if it has 4 occupants then to truly consider emissions you must calculate emissions per passenger mile. Likewise a train may get 1.1 mpg but if it’s full emissions may be remarkably low per passenger). On average cars have 1.67 occupants according to a 2009 survey...