Transportation

Fresno High Speed Rail Lunch Event — Tuesday August 20th

Forget Elon Musk’s Hyperloop — high speed rail is coming to California.  Construction is slated to begin in California’s San Joaquin Valley in the next few months (and possibly sooner). What will the impact be on the Valley’s cities, farms, and pocketbooks? How can Valley leaders ensure that the system maximizes the economic and environmental …

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California’s Attorney General Steps Up Environmental Enforcement Efforts

A recent development worth noting is California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ increased profile when it comes to environmental enforcement. Harris, the first woman and minority Attorney General in California history, had a busy first year in office.  Her razor-thin election win in November 2010 took over a month to be confirmed, delaying her transition from …

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Does Public Transit Improve Air Quality?

Yihsu Chen and Alexander Whalley of UC Merced think they know.  They have analyzed some useful data from the opening of Taipei’s new subway, in a recent article in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: The transportation sector is a major source of air pollution worldwide, yet little is known about the effects of transportation infrastructure …

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Will Expanded Federal Transit Financing Result In More Toll Roads?

In a time of infrastructure needs and scaled-back public sector budgets, finding dollars for public transit projects can be a challenge.  Transit advocates hit on a great formula, however, starting in Los Angeles with the “30/10” Plan.  30/10 would allow Los Angeles to build 30 years worth of sales tax-funded transit projects in 10 years, …

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Federalism and the Electrification of the Auto Fleet

Many commentators assume that if the federal government ever adopts a national policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, states and localities will largely take a backseat to federal regulators.  But one highly necessary means to reducing carbon emissions — the electrification of the automobile fleet — will require active and involved participation by all levels of …

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High Speed Rail To…Corcoran?

The saga of high speed rail in California continues.  Since state voters approved a bond measure in 2008 to authorize construction of a system linking north and south, the California High Speed Rail Authority has faced lawsuits over its unfortunate planned route away from the population centers of the northern Central Valley, opposition from wealthy …

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Jerry Brown and the Environment

During the campaign, Jerry Brown stressed environmental issues.  His campaign website has a very extensive list of proposed environmental policies.  It’ no surprise that he favors AB 32 and renewable energy, as well as vigorous enforcement of other existing environmental laws.  Some  of the other policies are a little less familiar.  Here are some that …

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Health Care Reform could help the environment

As Streetsblog noted, the newly-passed health care reform contains some grant money for nonprofits, Indian Tribes, and state and local governments to promote increased physical exercise and to create “the infrastructure to support active living.” Overall, this provision could provide local governments with extra money they desperately need to create more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly land …

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The Obama Administration’s Push for High-Speed Rail

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJhM3BpBPp8] Fresh from a State of the Union Address that focused heavily on domestic economic issues, President Obama and Vice President Biden journeyed to Tampa, Florida last week to announce federal support–and $8 billion in government funding–for high speed rail projects across the country. That’s a most welcome development. American train buffs who’ve traveled in …

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Fastrack to Nowhere?

President Obama has announced a commitment to high speed rail, envisioning a network that could: connect areas like the cities of the Pacific Northwest; southern and central Florida; the Gulf Coast to the Southeast to our nation’s capital; the breadth of Pennsylvania and New York to the cities of New England; and something close to …

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