The 2013 First Annual Marin Greenwashing Awards

The 2013 First Annual Marin Greenwashing Awards

Awards for 2013’s greatest “greenwashing” where facts and common sense never stood in the way of flawed high density housing or transit projects. Featuring Plan Bay Area and more… Climate change is a very important matter. We only have limited resources to fight it, so it’s vital that we base our approach on facts. However facts have not got in the way of achieving political outcomes, or inflicting one’s personal vision of high density urbanization. Many of the organizations and individuals receiving awards and nominations have their hearts in the right place and genuinely do seek to preserve the planet. However their use of the facts could be considered misguided, borderline reckless or simply intentionally serving political aims. Over the course of the year Planning for Reality has touched on a number of newsworthy events and has garnered many new readers. At the New Year it seemed appropriate to revisit some of the most spectacular departures from reality that are being used to lead Marin, the entire Bay Area and the planet into dangerous territory. The following awards represent the greatest greenwashing events of 2013:   Greatest Misappropriation of Credit Winner: Plan Bay Area Plan Bay Area was able to get 84% of survey respondents to agree that Plan Bay Area is an important as it reduces greenhouse gases, driving and provides access to housing and transportation… What ABAG and MTC, the creators of Plan Bay Area forgot to mention in their survey was that: Plan Bay Area took credit for policies that were already in place that reduced CO2 emissions to the levels targeted Even without the plan, we have already reached,...
It’s a Transit Oriented Christmas

It’s a Transit Oriented Christmas

In a move to reduce carbon emissions, and under pressure from sustainability groups, Santa has been forced to abandon his lightning-fast sleigh. As we all know, emissions from livestock are higher than all transportation combined (see Wikipedia entry) so Rudolph and his reindeer friends have been forced to go. Santa will now be taking transit to conduct all of his deliveries in a move to reduce his excessively large emissions footprint. With the substantial amount of travel that he performs – delivering to every address annually using a livestock powered vehicle – sustainability groups and transit advocates have successfully won a lawsuit requiring Santa to switch to alternate “green” transportation methods such as transit. Consideration of emissions of alternative transportation methods, even though lower in emissions than transit, was not allowed under California Senate Bill 375 – as this bill focuses emissions reductions exclusively on cars and light trucks. Santa’s New Delivery Schedule Due to connection times, weather delays and limited night bus and train schedules this now means that the following changes are effective immediately, starting Christmas 2013: – package deliveries to children will now occur once every 100 years. Regretfully  this means four out of five children will not experience a single gift delivery at Christmas. Parents have been instructed to explain to their children that this is for the greater good to save the planet, and to reminisce with their memories of Christmases past. – Darrell Steinberg, leader of the California State Senate has succeeded in passing new legislation in Senate Bill 666 whereupon children living in high density housing near transit will still receive annual deliveries. He expressed that this is to help the building industry and denied his legislation having any relationship...

Traffic & Parking No Longer Considerations for High Density Development

High density housing infill projects near transit can now ignore, and not have to mitigate, impacts to traffic and parking. This impacts Larkspur. Yes, you read that right. While we face the proposition of 920 high density housing units being built around Larkspur, possibly the biggest 101 bottleneck in the county and where we have major parking issues already with the ferry – the California State Senate has in it’s wisdom deemed in Senate Bill 743 the following: 65088.4(b) “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, [traffic] level of service standards described in Section 65089 shall not apply to the streets and highways within an infill opportunity zone.” This senate bill was rushed through in September. It has been passed and enacted! Larkspur already has major traffic issues – 3 of its intersections are at “Level of Service” F already in the morning commute. Planners already anticipate the new development will make the situation worse. They’re meant to be at level of service D. It’s as if your child came home from school with “F”s on their report card, and you said “well that doesn’t matter any more”! Larkspur is an “infill opportunity zone”. And in fact thanks to SMART just about anywhere within 1/2 mile of the rail line (or a regular bus or future trolley line) which means most of suburban Marin – probably where you live – now falls under SB 743. So if residents say “what about the traffic and the parking?”  our cries of concern can now officially be dismissed. Save the Stadium and the Builders Senate Bill 743 was hastily passed by state senate house leader Darrell Steinberg. Steinberg receives major...