Moving the Goalposts: Marin Climate Action Plan

Moving the Goalposts: Marin Climate Action Plan

The Marin County Climate Action Plan 2014 Draft Update raises many questions. Recently I submitted a freedom of information act request to which I received this response (zip file). The Climate Action Plan proposes that Marin can reduce CO2 emissions by making a major push to switch travelers from cars and light trucks (known as light duty vehicles or LDVs) to transit. This is predicated on transit emissions being lower than cars – but if this foundational math isn’t correct the plan falls apart. Planning for Reality has major questions about this – if the county adds additional transit as proposed then the result is not a reduction in CO2 but more likely an increase for the following reasons: Expanding Transit Reduces Average Ridership: The most frequently used peak time arterial routes are already well served by Golden Gate Transit buses and ferries. Expanding transit as proposed by the plan will result in adding more routes at shoulder periods. This will have the effect of reducing ridership, reducing emissions per passenger mile. Omitting Consideration of Advances in Car Emissions: The Climate Action Plan does not appear to be sufficiently considering enacted CAFE (54.5mpg by 2025) and Low Carbon Fuels legislation. Planning for Reality believes that in the future – cars will emit less per passenger mile than transit. The Marin Climate Action Plan 2014 Draft Update  was prepared by outside consultants ICF. The county is spending in excess of $100,000 on this engagement (if you know the exact amount please do let Planning for Reality know, it’s surely out there somewhere). Expanding Transit, Yet Average Ridership Doesn’t Drop The...
Powerpoint Slides from Nov 13th Citizen Marin Presentation

Powerpoint Slides from Nov 13th Citizen Marin Presentation

Many of you have inquired about obtaining my presentation from the recent Citizen Marin event held on November 13th at San Rafael City Hall. Here is the presentation in both pdf and ppt format: Powerpoint Presentation (pdf) >> Powerpoint Presentation (ppt) >> Note: You may use the slides on websites and presentations on condition that you credit the source as follows: “Created by Richard Hall,...
The $68m Bridge Too Far

The $68m Bridge Too Far

Many Marinites and East Bay residents suffer at the hands of acute delays on both 580 and 101 in the evenings caused by the evening backup on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. The fix is on the way drivers have been told thanks to a $70.3m project set to: add an additional third lane that operates during the evening peak towards Richmond construct a bike path the length of the bridge span Planning for Reality questioned just how this $70.3m was allocated between the additional lane – likely a striping and signage exercise – and the bike path.  Today the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – the Bay Area’s regional transit authority – responded. The $68m Bike Path (was $53m) The breakdown, shown right in MTC’s response is as follows: Bike path: $53m Peak period third car lane: $15m Initial project development costs: $2.3m Not shown – cost to replace bike access path: $15m UPDATE: Note at the bottom of page 12: Please note that the peak period (3rd) lane use may result in the loss of existing bicycle access in Contra Costa County from Pont Molate to Richmond on I-580 shoulder. The estimate cost to replace this access is $15 million and was not included in the $70 million estimate Take a look at those numbers again, now consider the number of people who would benefit from the projects: Cars on 580 peak hour: 6,100 Cars on 101 peak hour: 14,000 Avg #car occupants: 1.13 #hours peak commute: 2 Total people affected: 45,426 According to the latest 2013 Walk Bike Marin bike counts the average Marin bike path has 53...