Bay Area Region

Transportation commission approves financing of toll lanes

Submitted by News Desk on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 10:00pm
By Denis Cuff

The Bay Area's main transportation commission took a step Wednesday toward creating an 800-mile network of freeway express lanes free to car pools and open to solo drivers who pay a toll.

Embracing the express lanes to fight traffic congestion, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted to include the project — and the $6.1 billion in tolls it might generate over 25 years — in a plan for financing Bay Area transportation through 2035.


How global warming challenges the old Bay Area assumptions

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 06/30/2008 - 10:00pm

Repeat after me the first rule of environmental activism: "Think globally, act locally."

But wait. What do we do when global concerns are at odds with what we hold dear at home?


Costs Are Changing Commutes

Submitted by News Desk on Sat, 06/28/2008 - 10:00pm

A couple of months ago, Yoko Olsgaard was weighing offers for two project management positions. One was in Fremont, about 27 miles from her home in Oakland's Redwood Heights neighborhood. The other, which paid 10 percent less, was with Kaiser Permanente in Emeryville, about 7 miles away.

She ended up choosing the lower-paying Kaiser job. The main reason? The high price of putting gas in her 2001 Toyota Camry.


Supportive housing scattered across Bay Area

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 06/27/2008 - 10:00pm

Shelters don't end homelessness. Housing does.

That's the simple premise behind the permanent supportive housing movement, which aims to create affordable units and link them to support services.

Without a stable home, supporters say, people have little hope of resolving the underlying issues that contribute to long-term homelessness.

Shelters and transitional housing programs usually limit stays and require residents to be making progress in case management.


Discouraging driving crucial in warming battle

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 06/27/2008 - 11:46am

A sweeping plan to carry out California's landmark law to fight global warming, made public Thursday by the state's air board, addresses a problem that planning groups say has been overlooked in most federal legislation: suburban sprawl.

The draft plan, which seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 30 percent by 2020, encourages local governments to create land-use and transportation plans that help them meet reduction targets.

The idea is to discourage driving by concentrating development in urban areas near transit, jobs and retail or by laying out suburbs more efficiently.

For decades, Northern California's growth hasn't followed this dense, urban model. Most development has occurred outside the nine-county Bay Area, according to a report by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.


Is Mass Transit Ready for a Commute Surge?

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 10:00pm

If you think four dollar gas is expensive, think again. A major investment bank is predicting the price of gas will reach seven dollars in the next two years, forcing us to radically change our commuting habits. But are our transit systems ready for a massive switch to public transportation? With the governor is pushing to take $1.4 billion from public transit projects to bail out the state budget, the outlook is grim.


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