Transportation

Closing Downtown Market Street to Cars Is a Step in the Right Direction

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency voted yesterday to approve a plan banning private automobiles on the downtown stretch of Market Street east of 10th Street. This section, one of the city’s busiest, will only be accessible to Muni vehicles, taxis, bicycles, and pedestrians (cars will still be able to cross Market). Commercial loading will …

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LA Metro’s Transit to Parks Strategic Plan

A beneficial but incomplete solution to address lack of access to open spaces for disadvantaged communities

I previously wrote about the potential to generate greater support for environmental initiatives, by improving community engagement with the natural environment. One mechanism to improve community engagement in this manner is quite simple: make it easier for people to access parks and open spaces by public transit. Access is a widespread issue in Los Angeles, …

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Launching the California-China Climate Institute

Welcoming a famous new faculty member and a critical new initiative.

I have two exciting announcements to make.  The first is that Jerry Brown has accepted an appointment as visiting professor at the law school and the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at Berkeley.  That appointment would be exciting enough. But it goes hand in hand with my other news: the public launch of the California-China …

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Why are automakers fighting Trump’s emissions rollback?

The answer may lie in the electric vehicle investments the industry is busy making

As we move ever deeper into an all-out legal war between California and the Trump Administration over rollbacks of automobile emissions standards (something Ann, Cara, and Julia have been covering very well), I want to explore in a little more depth why the automakers have been so resistant to Trump’s rollback efforts. The auto industry …

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Welcome to the Next Phase of the Great California-Trump Car Wars

First lawsuit filed, more to come

California didn’t wait long to file its first court challenge to the rules just finalized by the Trump Administration related to California’s GHG and ZEV car emissions standards (discussed here and here by Julia and Ann).  Here’s the complaint filed by California together with 23 other states, along with the cities of LA and NY.  …

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Trump Announces Waiver Rollback on Twitter

Revoking California’s Clean Air Act Waiver Is Bad Policy and Legally Indefensible

This post was originally published on the American Constitution Society’s Expert Forum on September 18, 2019.  President Trump announced the revocation on Twitter this morning. It’s not news that the Trump administration has been planning, via its so-called SAFE Rule, to freeze Obama-era fuel economy standards, roll back tailpipe greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards, and …

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Is California’s High Speed Rail Project Falling Apart?

Join my KALW radio conversation tonight with newly appointed High Speed Rail Authority board chair Lenny Mendonca at 7pm

The future of California’s high speed rail system has arguably never been as perilous as now. Otherwise-supportive legislators are now openly mulling raiding high speed rail funds meant to complete the first leg in the Central Valley for rail improvements in the more densely populated parts of California, namely the San Francisco Bay Area and …

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Will Self-Driving Battery Electric Buses Replace Rail Transit?

A question for LA Metro CEO Phil Washington at “LA Infill” conference at UCLA Law on July 24th

Many urbanists, environmentalists, and transit enthusiasts love rail. Los Angeles voters in particular have repeatedly expressed the wish for more rail, approving county sales tax increases by overwhelming margins in 2008 and 2016, along with prior measures in 1980 and 1990, in part to fund a nation-leading, multi-billion dollar rail transit build out (a history …

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Getting to 2050

A roadmap for achieving an 80% emissions cut.

To do its part in keeping climate change to tolerable levels, the United States needs to cut its carbon emissions at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.  That’s not just a matter of decarbonizing the electricity sector; it means changes in everything from aviation to steel manufacture, and reducing not only CO2 but also …

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Bike Week 2019: Los Angeles Cyclists Dream of Protected Bike Lanes

These are heady days for the soon-to-be-expanded class of Los Angeles commuters who use bicycles (1 percent and growing!) and other non-car modes to navigate our asphalt arcadia. The breathlessness might come from inhaling small particulate and ozone pollution from car exhaust, or it could have to do with new city and county-level goals to …

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