One of my favorite planning-related hashtags is#transitFAIL.
A life spent stranded in Los Angeles traffic can nonetheless yield its epiphanies. One such moment came in November 2008, when L.A. County's beleaguered commuters voted to increase their sales tax by half a cent over the next 30 years to build an electric rail system that could speed their journeys and clean their air.
On Tuesday, the Department of Energy announced that it will give up to $154 million to NRG Energy, a Texas-based company, to create a facility that will capture coal's carbon and store it underground, thereby reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
The antique was built in 1934 by Frank Skroback and at the very minimum provides proof that people have long dreamed of cars that can be flown like airplanes. Or are they airplanes that can be driven like cars? No matter, because whatever you call it, it’s being auctioned this weekend in Atlanta.
The response to slumping gasoline use would likely mean higher prices for drivers. Consumer advocates want regulators to examine the firms' plans. Energy companies are suffering huge losses from refining because of slumping gasoline use -- a product of the economic downturn and changing consumer habits and preferences. Energy experts say refining cutbacks have already begun and will accelerate as corporations strive for profits.
Petitions are being circulated for a November ballot initiative that would undercut California's landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps not surprisingly, it appears that the seed money for the petition drive is coming from two oil refiners, Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp., based in San Antonio. Each owns refineries in California, including the Valero facility in Benicia.
Five Bay Area train operators say they are entitled to as much as $400 million worth of projects to accommodate the $42.6 billion bullet train that would run along the Caltrain tracks from San Francisco to San Jose on its way to Los Angeles. Also waiting for the money to appear are the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Francisco Muni and the Altamont Commuter Express.
The discussion of airport challenges that began at a San Jose City Council study session Monday was sobering. There's no obvious remedy for the falloff in business that has resulted from shifts in travel patterns and the economic sinkhole of this recession. The airport doesn't and shouldn't get subsidies from the city. It has to make the bond payments for its badly needed, nearly complete $1.3 billion renovation and keep operating.
A San Anselmo bicycle shop is sponsoring a cross-country, two-month electric bicycle ride that aims to draw attention to green causes and sustainabliity. The "Green Riders" gathered along with their bikes Tuesday afternoon at the nonprofit Bicycle Works to discuss the trip and to show off their gear, which included recumbent bikes with lithium-based batteries that will help power the journey.