One crucial aspect of contemporary debates on spatial politics, socioeconomic stratification, and immigration is the issue of public transit. Prior to the question of a person’s right to be in a city (or supposed lack thereof in the case of undocumented immigrants), there is the question of a city’s duty to provide feasible means for moving around in its space. Albeit mundane, it is a key factor determining a person’s economic and educational opportunities, to name only two. And it hardly bears mentioning, but moving around in San Diego all but requires a car. [Read more…] about Public Transit as a Social Justice Issue
Nearly a third of all counties in California are proposing a sales tax increase to fund transportation on this November’s ballot. But one stands out with organized opposition from an unprecedented coalition of labor, environmental and community groups. It is perhaps the only transportation measure where both political parties, and the main newspaper opposes it. [Read more…] about Measure A: How SANDAG undermines transit, environmental, and social goals.
It’s Parking Day 2016 San Diego! Parklets are all over downtown and elsewhere. It happens on the third Friday of September every year (note to calendar).
Earlier this year the city unveiled an updated plan to combat climate change, the 2016 Climate Action Plan (CAP). It is an impressive, and ambitious document which advocates a future for the world’s finest city in which the health of citizens and the environment are prioritized. The CAP proudly proclaims efforts to “improve public health by removing harmful pollutants from our air” as one the plan’s top priorities. More specifically the CAP calls for San Diego to contribute to helping California reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by the year 2050, with a shorter-term emission reduction target of 15 percent of 2010 levels by 2020. Although San Diego has one of the most aggressive environmental urban plans in the nation, the city faces the daunting task of overcoming challenges posed by its biggest polluter, traffic. [Read more…] about A few ways to reduce carbon emissions from traffic congestion in San Diego without more roads or rails
After months of discussion and several revisions, the Downtown Mobility Plan goes to the San Diego City Council on June 21st. The plan aims to transform the street grid to an integrated urban network for all including motorists, transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians. Downtown’s workforce and residential populations are projected to more than double within twenty years and numerous buildings are currently under construction. [Read more…] about Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan – to Council June 21st
Sure, we’ve all heard about Tesla’s amazing performance but for those who are shopping for a more bread and butter economical work horse, the logic for purchasing a pure electric (excluding hybrids) vehicle may not be readily apparent. You may be thinking “what do I do for those long road trips requiring a mid-trip recharge” and “I’m not ready to pay a premium to help curb climate change.” Actually, there are many practical reasons to buy an electric vehicle that have nothing to do with being an environmental hero. These reasons portend an imminent and rapid global conversion from gas to electric powered cars. Below are some of the practical advantages of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). [Read more…] about Reasons to buy an electric vehicle that have nothing to do with the environment (and which portend an imminent and rapid global shift to electric vehicles)
San Francisco has 23,000 metered parking spaces and sets prices using complex “demand-responsive rate adjustments.” Around SF City Hall, for example, hourly rates vary by time of day and block by block – up to $5.25 midweek and as low as $.25 on weekends. In San Diego, despite the growing population and a tightening supply, many locals still expect free parking – especially in beach communities. San Diego currently has about 5,700 metered spaces mostly charging a top rate of $1.25 per hour. Nearly all the metered spaces are in Uptown and Downtown where parking is a hot topic at neighborhood meetings. [Read more…] about Parking Management: San Diego Style (Part Two)
Over 120 cities and counties in California have a climate action plan either completed or in the pipeline. As cities develop these plans and initiatives to address climate change, it is important to emphasize that social equity is integrated within environmental policies. The vulnerabilities, resilience and sustainability of the human ecosystem are as much determined by diversity and inter-dependence as its natural counterpart. As Pope Francis said in Laudato Sí, “a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” [Read more…] about Why climate change action cannot succeed without social equity
In Southern California we suffer greatly from suburbia myopia. This affliction prevents us from understanding what makes urban environments succeed. We all too often attempt to recreate what we value in our suburban neighborhoods without the understanding of what it takes establish and sustain these ideas, designs and initiatives in a dynamic urban setting. We have idealized visions of tranquil urban neighborhoods where we live, work and pursue artistic/academic endeavors that will transform the cultural wasteland post-industrialized American cities. [Read more…] about Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan – Vision for the Future or A Well Intentioned Waste of Money?
Civic San Diego has released a draft of the long awaited Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan. It proposes significant changes to the street grid with a goal of reducing travel by car and increasing trips by bike and foot. Another objective is to lower carbon emissions in accordance with state law. [Read more…] about Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan — Draft Released