San Rafael traffic may become significantly worse when SMART is extended to Larkspur. This survey captured residents’ attitudes to SMART and the impact on downtown San Rafael.
SMART and Toronto are using the same Diesel Multiple Units – Toronto is Turning into a success story, does that mean SMART will be a success too?
SMART has announced new additional costs amounting to $622m, this is on top of the existing anticipated costs of $695. Together this takes the project to a cost of over $1.3 billion. More >>
And suburban solar power users, in California, aren’t your traditional greens. They’re making this choice for a bunch of reasons,” says Delmas, “but not because they are liberals and think it’s good for the planet. Read more >>
We’re told by Sacramento politicians, by county supervisors, by cyclists and transit advocates we need to accept high density housing near transit. We are sewn a story that we can be just as quaint as those progressive, green Europeans. Only here’s the reality check – the UK govern […]
While Transit Oriented Development advocates would have us believe a major shift has been happening to transit, in Los Angeles the figures reveal the opposite story. New Geography’s Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox separate TOD fantasy from reality. Read the full story >>
On November 13th I presented at the Citizen Marin / Future of Marin meeting. Here is video coverage of the presentation:
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 c […]
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 […]
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 dur […]
While acknowledging that bicycle infrastructure is behind the curve and merits increased expenditure, we are seeing bike path projects where expenditures have been getting out of hand. Transportation funding is dwindling, the SMART train already diverted $11.4m of funding earmarked to solve congesti […]
Over the last week residents across the county experienced the “sinister Marin” telephone housing survey asking questions that might as well have been “are you a racist?” to find out which angle of attack would be the most effective to push through high density housing across […]
This coming Friday Caltrans is set to open up a new section of carpool lane northbound from Atherton Avenue/San Marin Drive exit to the Birkenstock warehouse, about 1.3 miles in length. This carpool lane will increase the capacity of 101 by 1,200 cars per hour – which at 1.67 occupants per hou […]
Fighting climate change is important – but what seems to have become even more important to special interests groups is placing significant impositions on the greater population, sometimes for profit, but also in the simple belief that everyone should make sacrifices to fight climate change, n […]
Many hundreds of San Rafael and Novato residents stand to be impacted or significantly impacted by 100 dB SMART Train horns that will commence at around 5:45am every weekday. Most of these residents remain unaware. Test soundings of horns along the line can be heard “loud and clear” 1 1/ […]
If you live within 1/2 mile of a “major transit stop” – meaning a stop served by buses running at a frequency of every 15 minutes or less at peak, or within 1/2 mile of a train station or ferry terminal - then you should be aware of a new change to transportation analysis. Effecti […]
SMART has posted plans of the platforms at Civic Center and Downtown San Rafael. They’re fairly basic with a shelter and a few seats. It’s important to understand that the arrival of the train in Downtown San Rafael is going to have significant ramifications on the current transit cent […]
Thanks to the SMART train, a project we were promised would alleviate congestion on Highway 101, towns in Sonoma County have planned a whopping 24,010 housing units in the Priority Development Areas (PDAs) along the train line — equivalent to a city the size of San Rafael appearing in Sonoma County. […]
Today, August 5th, the Marin IJ’s Dick Spotswood published an article “Marin close to state cap for sales tax measures“ that Marin’s county and city sales taxes are about to reach their limit of 2% (on top of the existing 7.5% state sales tax). If (when) sales taxes reach t […]
While I enjoy cycling and support extending bike paths and trails, residents such as myself have found themselves facing off against bicycle coalitions and bike groups that serve as the vanguard for pushing high density housing. Frequently these groups claim to represent thousands of cyclists and sp […]
As many readers will know, the author is a high tech product manager who applies economics and rigorous business model analysis to understand if claims of “sustainability” are valid. Recently I began to investigate whether solar panels are genuinely sustainable – meaning that they […]
Marin County Bicycle Coalition members are being surprised to find their organization volunteering their neighborhoods for high density housing. Are they being used as pawns in the high density housing wars? The Marin Cyclist’s Dilemma While I’ve been outspoken regarding the need for bik […]
A Low-Impact/High-Benefit Solution to Changing Housing Needs in Marin by Rachel Ginis We live on a majestic peninsula surrounded by natural wonders set just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Marin, brilliantly located, is an amazing place to live and work. Exceeding population projec […]
Verified Sustainable Solutions
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SunPower is worth installing if your monthly electricity bill is over $100 and you have a credit score above 680. There’s no upfront cost – you just pay as if solar is your new provider. SunPower’s leases are fixed, unlike Solar City, you pay a fixed monthly amount based on a conservative estimate of power generation. If your panels generate more electricity it’s yours for free!
Please contact SunPower using this form – this will help Planning for Reality cover its costs.
Solar City differs from SunPower in that you pay a rate per kWh of electricity produced. So if there’s an especially hot summer your bill will be higher.
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Whichever provider you choose solar helps the planet. You’ll be reducing the burden on the last, least efficient power stations that are turned on – in California these are coal powered and generate a lot of CO2.
It’s Time to Redefine “Sustainability”.
Planning for Reality provides a 21st century guide encouraging a healthy, skeptical and informed approach to planning decisions.
On this site you will find:
- a guide on common planning pitfalls for for councilors, planning commissioners and advisory committee members
- the tough questions to ask to understand if a project is genuinely "sustainable"
- a reference to rapidly changing transportation and land use legislation
- the latest news on "sustainable" transit oriented development and high density housing
- Tripp Knightly on SMART Pricetag to Exceed $1 billion; Additional $622m Requested
- Richard Hall on How Many Riders Will SMART Really Have?
- dadInMV on 231 Train Riders Benefit While 362,390 Highway 101 Users Suffer
- kellip on Survey Results – SMART Train in San Rafael
- Brian Ghidinelli on Survey Results – SMART Train in San Rafael
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