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Residents Not Convinced Plan will Fix Traffic Woes along Busy Richmond-El Cerrito Corridor

A $19 million plan to ease congestion on Central Avenue at Interstate 80 in Richmond has some residents worried it won't do enough to solve the gridlock, or worse, could shift the problem elsewhere. About 50 residents and business owners pored over drawings of the proposal at a public meeting Wednesday night in El Cerrito while traffic engineers described the latest strategy for improving traffic along the busy corridor.

Tackle Air Pollution with Greenhouse Gases, Report Urges

When Rachel Morello-Frosch, a UC Berkeley researcher, takes air samples inside homes near the Chevron refinery in Richmond, she finds significant levels of outdoor air pollutants....That's why she's pushing hard to make sure that the state's landmark climate law, Assembly Bill 32, includes pollution reduction in its mandate for reducing carbon dioxide emissions statewide to 1990 levels by 2020.

Marin Voters May be Asked to Increase Vehicle Fees for Transit, Parks

Marin residents could face another $28 a year in vehicle license fees if they approve two ballot measures that may appear on November's ballot. Crossing guards, transit for seniors and improved bus service are some of the items that could be funded by a $10 increase in the vehicle license fee that would apply only in Marin County. In addition, signatures have been gathered statewide for a November ballot measure that would seek an $18 hike in vehicle license fees solely for state parks.

Caltrans Starts San Rafael Shuttle to Take People Around Bellam Blockage

Caltrans is adding late-night shuttle vans to help people get around a closed Bellam Boulevard in San Rafael as work continues to demolish the westbound Interstate 580-to-northbound Highway 101 connector....Despite the road closure, several people tried to get through the area on foot and by bicycle, prompting Caltrans to start shuttle service Thursday night to take people between East Francisco and West Francisco boulevards around the work.

Effort Under Way to Repeal High-Speed Rail Bond Measure

Officials in five cities will consider whether to throw their weight behind an effort to ask California voters to repeal the bond measure that launched the high-speed rail project....It is too late to gather signatures for the measure to make the November election, and even an overwhelming Peninsula movement would require significant aid from across the state to gather enough signatures to make the next election, in 2012.

Bids are Low for Antioch Bridge Seismic Repairs

The low bid to strengthen the Antioch Bridge against earthquake risks was $38 million, less than half the initial engineering estimate of $93 million, the Bay Area Toll Authority reported Wednesday. The high number of relatively low bids is likely the result of the intense competition among contractors during a slump in the building industry, according to a report to the Toll Authority Oversight Committee.

EV Maker Licenses Smart Charger Technology

Electric vehicle maker Zap (Santa Rosa, Calif.) has licensed technology from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to build user-programmable EV chargers. Zap plans to use the technology in future vehicles and chargers for the U.S. and Asian markets....A rush is on to develop and deploy low cost home and public chargers for the cars before they hit the road. A coalition supporting the Leaf, for example, aims to install a network of public charging stations in select western U.S.


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