Thursday, July 10, 2008

EPA, Regressive Progressives, A Green Link

The EPA is saying that the EIS for the Columbia River Crossing doesn't consider growth from Sprawl or water and air pollution caused by increased driving. Don't get me wrong, I think its important to look at these things but the EPA has been super schizophrenic as of late. Perhaps this is the wing of the EPA not controlled by Bush lackeys? You know, the ones that reduced the value of life...really. From the Oregonian:
The critique is drawn from EPA's review of the Columbia River Crossing's 5,000-page environmental impact statement, and it extends to other areas as well. Among those are whether doubling the congested I-5 bridge from six to 12 lanes will promote suburban sprawl; whether the combination of air toxics, noise and other pollution will punish North Portland communities living close to the I-5; and whether massive pile-driving efforts will stir up toxic sediments, compromising federally protected migrating salmon.
In other environmental news from the bay area, BRT booster Charles Siegel writes a fairly scathing critique of Berkeley residents which has become a city of regressive progressives r.
These hard-core anti-environmentalists seem to believe that they are fighting to protect Berkeley’s character against growth. They don’t realize that Berkeley’s early character as a walkable streetcar suburb was disrupted by auto-oriented development. Transit corridors were filled with drive-in uses, and they ended up being more like strip malls than like walkable Main Streets. Even in downtown, there were surface parking lots, tire stores, a strip mall, a car wash, and other drive-in uses that made it less pleasant to walk.
Obviously I'm not a fan of BRT in these corridors that used to be Key System lines, especially when its not electrified but the grounds on which this proposal is being opposed is a bit silly. It makes Berkeley residents look bad. Eric covers the worst of it.
Meanwhile, one quite confused speaker claimed that giving buses a dedicated lane would cause them to “get stuck,” and that what we really needed was “flexibility.” She suggested that with “flexibility,” AC Transit could run buses every three minutes, while implying that three-minute headways would be impossible with a dedicated bus lane. Just incredible.
It's at this point when you kind of just have to throw up your hands and say uncle. These people are never going to get it. And its sad, because even though BRT is a small step up in service, it represents a giant shift in priorities (people over cars) and better service than what exists now.

And Green News from BART, all of their peripheral systems are going solar. Pretty cool.

6 comments:

kenf said...

Some thoughts about "Regressive Progressives" in Berkley:

"It's difficult to get someone to understand something when their lifestyle depends on their not understanding it."

and

Never underestimate the stupidity of overeducated people.

We have similar problems here in Takoma Park, MD which prides itself as Berkley East.

The residents are constantly whining about preserving our small town atmosphere. Small town my ass! We have a METRO stop and we are right next to Washington, DC.

Eric said...

Pretty surprising that the Daily Planet published something intelligent. That's worth a headline in and of itself.

When I first heard that woman at the City Council meeting say the buses in their own lane would get stuck, I accidentally spit out the tea I was drinking at the time. You'd think these people wouldn't surprise me anymore after all these years, and really they don't, but sometimes the level of ignorance about such basic transit issues is staggering. It's abundantly clear that some of these people have never stepped foot on a bus in their lives, and yet they feel qualified to comment on how transit should be operated. And now they'll be voting on it too.

serial catowner said...

You need to remember that these people have been experiencing the never-ending nightmare of AC Transit's attempt to build BRT. The cost of AC Transit has increased by a half again while the number of routes has been cut from 157 to 93. You can't expect people to be anything other than sharply critical under these circumstances.

Considering how poorly (Boston, Miami) other BRT schemes have done in this country, if the people want to pull the plug on this one, I'd say, more power to them!

Either AC TRansit has totally failed to present the good case they have for BRT, or they don't have a good case. Either way, it's not the kind of transit I have much interest in supporting. A corrupt or simply inept agency gives ammunition to transit foes, not transit supporters.

Justin said...

The comments of some of the Berkeley residents were pretty stupid. But BRT in the US has essentially not been that successful. The Silver Line in Boston is pretty much a disaster. Orange Line should have been built as a LRT, and the E line in Honolulu is just a different coloured bus, but it is considered BRT! I have not heard anything good about AC transit, so maybe the residents have a point. AC transit might screw this up.
Power to people.

Duncan Idaho said...

BRT hating aside, Berkeley has a long history of saying one thing and doing another.

Not to long ago they blocked TOD at the Ashby BART station because they feared it would DISPLACE A FLEA MARKET.

Berkeley politics are just nauseating.

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