San José’s bold new plan for climate-friendly transit

October 13, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on San José’s bold new plan for climate-friendly transit

San José’s bold new plan for climate-friendly transit Elizabeth Stampe Tue, 10/13/2020 – 00:22 San José is rolling out the green carpet for biking, thanks to the city council’s unanimous passage of the Better Bike Plan 2025 . With the plan’s adoption, the city commits to building a 550-mile network of bike lanes, boulevards and trails to help thousands more people ride safely. The plan is realistic about the past, acknowledging San José’s sprawling 180-square-mile spread, its car-oriented layout and its inequitable history of transportation decisions, which continue to shape people’s lives. But the plan also looks ahead, aiming to create a city where anyone can comfortably bike to any neighborhood.  The planned network includes 350-plus miles of protected bike lanes, 100 miles of bike boulevards and 100 miles of off-street trails. Already, the city has built over 390 miles total.  First, make it safe The numbers are impressive. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story.  With this plan and its creation, the city lays out a thoughtful approach to who feels comfortable biking, who doesn’t and how to invite more people out onto bikes. Many cities have been finding creative ways to help their residents get around safely, healthily and affordably. For too long, bike lanes — not just in San José but nationally — have been created for the few people who feel fine biking on a street full of fast traffic, protected by only a line of white paint. The new plan acknowledges that’s often not enough for people to feel comfortable, instead offering “the evolution of a bike lane,” first by just widening that painted lane into buffer to create more separation from traffic, then putting parked cars between bikes and traffic when possible, and then building a whole raised curb between cars and the bike lane. Sometimes, instead of adding miles, it’s important to go back to make existing miles of bike lanes better and safer. The plan emphasizes that many of San José’s quiet residential streets can connect to create a “low-stress” network of “bike boulevards,” along with safe ways to get across the big busy streets. To create the plan, city staff talked with residents. They also partnered with community-based organizations such as Veggielution , Latinos United for a New America (LUNA) and Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation (VIVO). At meetings and focus groups in Spanish and Vietnamese as well as English, city staff and partners asked residents: What would help make them more likely to bike?  Paramount across communities was concern for safety.  Build quick, aim high  The city already has shown that it can move quickly. With its Better Bikeways project and with the assistance of the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge, San José will have built 15 miles of protected bike lanes between 2018 and 2020.  The “quick-build” model is impressive. A few of us from the Climate Challenge got to tour San José’s downtown by bike last year with Mayor Sam Liccardo and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). We pedaled along new green lanes, protected by sturdy green posts and complete with ingenious bus islands that are wheelchair-accessible and allow bus riders to cross bike lanes safely. The green posts that protect bikers look reassuringly solid but they’re actually plastic, making them low-cost, easy to install yet imposing enough to form a kind of low wall between bikes and car traffic. It felt safe. Now the trick is to build out from downtown, connect to neighborhoods and get more people using them.  The city has set ambitious goals for “bike mode share,” which means the percentage of all trips people take in the city by bicycle. San José’s current General Plan aims for 15 percent bike commute mode share by 2040, and its Climate Smart plan seeks to reach 20 percent by 2050.  These are tall orders. Today, just 1 percent of commute trips in the city are made by bike, although a city survey found that 3 percent of people reported biking as their primary way of getting to work and even more residents using a bike as a backup mode of transportation. Of commute trips to downtown, 4 percent are by bike. These numbers might sound small, but it’s important to consider that bike commuting is on the rise: Between 1990 and 2017, San José saw a 28 percent increase in commute trips made by bike. But not all trips are commute trips; in fact, in San José, only one in five trips are to and from work. That’s especially true in these teleworking times. Encouragingly, the plan notes that 60 percent of all trips people make in the city are less than 3 miles long. Those short trips, combined with the city’s mild climate and flat terrain, make biking a good option, creating the opportunity for the city to achieve its bold goals. The Better Bike Plan 2025 includes a five-year action plan of prioritized projects to implement and coordinates with the city’s paving program to save money. It offers a range of costs to make these changes, from quick and temporary to more permanent, that total roughly $300 million.  The prioritized projects listed in the plan — the list of streets where bike improvements will go — were chosen with three aims: Increase biking mode share: Areas where bicycle trips are most likely, based on factors such as population, employment and connections to transit, downtown and the existing bike lane network. Increase safety: Projects that will fix “high-injury” streets where collisions are most serious and frequent. Increase equity: Low-income and historically underserved neighborhoods, also called “Communities of Concern,” especially just to the south, east and north of downtown. People living in these neighborhoods are likely to have fewer transportation options, less access to a private car and may be essential workers, required to show up at a job in person every day. More safe, healthy, affordable transportation options are needed, and soon. What comes next: A time for action In this difficult year, many cities have been finding creative ways to help their residents get around safely, healthily and affordably. Biking nationally has boomed . San José has launched an Al Fresco program that repurposes streets for outdoor dining. In March, nearby Oakland launched the nation’s first and most ambitious “Open Streets” program along its planned bike network, acting quickly to make those streets safer by discouraging most car traffic. Oakland’s Open Streets program also creates more safe outdoor areas for people in neighborhoods with less access to open space, reduces crowding at Lake Merritt and other parks and frees up more space for social distancing than sidewalks typically offer. Oakland recently released a report to help cities in the Bay Area and beyond learn from its example.  San José has a less dense footprint than Oakland, but its residents still have a great need for safe, affordable transportation in these times. The city can take its thoughtful Better Bike Plan as a starting point to act quickly, and rebuild its streets to bring safe biking to all. Pull Quote Many cities have been finding creative ways to help their residents get around safely, healthily and affordably. A city survey found that 3 percent of people reported biking as their primary way of getting to work. Topics Cities Transportation & Mobility NRDC Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off A shark appears in a San Jose bike lane, a nod to the local ice hockey team. Shutterstock Anna MacKinnon Close Authorship

See original here:
San José’s bold new plan for climate-friendly transit

Architects transform a residential building into a lush, green oasis in the heart of So Paulo

May 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Architects transform a residential building into a lush, green oasis in the heart of So Paulo

Although São Paulo is known as a bustling metropolis, a local architectural firm, Lucia Manzano Arquitetura , is doing its part to add more green to the concrete and glass cityscape. The Lorena is a residential building in the heart of the city that is designed to integrate architecture and landscape. It infuses an abundance of vegetation throughout from its ground floor garden, which was planted with native shrubs and trees to attract local fauna, to the massive balconies covered in hanging greenery, and of course, a lush green roof. Sitting in the middle of São Paulo, the 28,000-square-foot Lorena building holds court in a quiet area, standing out significantly from its concrete neighbors thanks to the massive amount of vegetation that hangs from each of its outdoor terraces and rooftop gardens . According to the architects, the inspiration for the design was to create a strong relationship between landscape and architecture. To do so, the building was covered in layers of vibrant plants. Related: Translucent Ho Chi Minh City office tower infused with greenery helps combat urban pollution The concrete building is four stories, comprised of several 5,543-square-foot duplex units. The common areas, the ground floor and the rooftop were conceived as private gardens for the residents. On the ground floor, the landscaping includes  native vegetation , such as local species from the Atlantic Forest as well as fruit and native trees, chosen to attract local birds and insects. This space also has an extended splash pool to create a soothing oasis where the residents can relax. At the top of the building, residents can also enjoy a beautiful green roof . Equipped with large trees, shrubs and flowers, there are also plenty of lounge chairs to take in the stunning views of the city. When they are not strolling along the pool or taking in the rooftop vistas, residents have their own private escape at home. Each duplex has four bedrooms, each with its own private balcony that pulls double-duty as flowerbeds. The living space in each unit opens up to a balcony, merging the interior with the exterior. As well as creating the sense of being surrounded by a garden , the abundance of plant life also provides the residences with plenty of privacy. + Lucia Manzano Arquitetura  Via Archdaily Photography by Evelyn Müller via Lucia Manzano Arquitetura

Read more from the original source:
Architects transform a residential building into a lush, green oasis in the heart of So Paulo

State of emergency in effect as Hurricane Lane barrels toward Hawaiian coastline

August 23, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on State of emergency in effect as Hurricane Lane barrels toward Hawaiian coastline

Hurricane Lane is swiftly moving along its course toward Hawaii, where a hurricane warning is in effect for Maui and the Big Island. A hurricane watch has also been issued for Kauai and Oahu. According to the National Weather Service , the storm has now been downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to make contact with the state later today. Related: After three months, Kilauea eruptions might be over The NWS reported that “the center of Lane will track dangerously close to the Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday.” In addition, the organization noted that, “regardless of the exact track of the storm center, life-threatening impacts are likely over some areas as this strong hurricane makes its closest approach.” Despite the storm’s demotion from a Category 5 to a Category 4, many locals are comparing Hurricane Lane to the devastating Hurricane Iniki, which hit Hawaii in 1992. Governor David Ige signed an emergency proclamation on Tuesday in case Hawaii needs relief for “disaster damages, losses and suffering.” In a news release from the Governor’s office , Ige said, “Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane. I’ve not seen such dramatic changes in the forecast track as I’ve seen with this storm. I urge our residents and visitors to take this threat seriously and prepare for a significant impact.” Related: The Eye of the Storm dome home can withstand hurricanes — and it’s officially on the market Residents have already “rushed to stores to stock up on bottled water, ramen, toilet paper and other supplies,” according to an Associated Press report. With maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and rainfall accumulations of between 10-15 inches, the storm is expected to cause flash-flooding and landslides in Hawaii. In addition, the NWS has reported the possibility of “large and potentially damaging surf.” As the hurricane continues to approach the Hawaiian coastline, many residents are hoping Lane will show a little more mercy than 1992’s Iniki, which killed six people and caused $1.8 billion worth of damage. Numerous government buildings have closed as the state’s residents prepare for the storm. Via NPR Image via Shutterstock

Read the original post: 
State of emergency in effect as Hurricane Lane barrels toward Hawaiian coastline

14,000 forced from homes by flooding in San Jose

February 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 14,000 forced from homes by flooding in San Jose

A series of heavy rainstorms has caused severe flooding near San Jose, California, forcing a mandatory evacuation of at least 14,000 residents overnight . About 250 of those people had to be rescued via boat by emergency crews. The flooding affected Coyote Creek and the spillway of the Anderson Reservoir, which was filled to capacity by the recent rain. An additional 22,000 have not been ordered to evacuate yet, but have been encouraged to leave their homes. Some of those affected have complained that they received no advance notice that they needed to evacuate until firefighters showed up, delivering notifications door-to-door, leaving them little time to prepare. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has pledged to investigate the issue. Floodwaters have begun to recede, however, the danger may not have passed. Further rain is forecast for this weekend, but the break in the rain should allow authorities time to assess the current damage. Water levels in Coyote Creek are already at a 100 year peak, so any additional rain could be dangerous. Related: California storms could herald the end of punishing historic drought After a lengthy drought, heavy storms have pummeled much of California this year, causing mudslides and flooding. Earlier in the month, nearly 200,000 people were evacuated near the Oroville dam due to fears it might overflow. Via NPR Images via AJ+

See original here:
14,000 forced from homes by flooding in San Jose

5 steps to move toward inclusive cities

December 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on 5 steps to move toward inclusive cities

With rapidly growing urbanization, how can cities ensure that all of their residents are thriving?

Read the rest here:
5 steps to move toward inclusive cities

Bangkok Residents Turn Abandoned Mall into a Giant Fish Pond

July 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Bangkok Residents Turn Abandoned Mall into a Giant Fish Pond

It’s no secret that the American shopping mall is going the way of the dodo as big box stores and online shopping take over. But what to do with the abandoned buildings? Perhaps we should learn from a group of people in Thailand who recently turned an old mall into a giant fish pond. The Bangkok Post reports that the abandoned Bang Lamphu shopping mall in Thailand’s capital city had no roof and got filled with water, creating a 1,640 square foot pond that was a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To rid themselves of both the danger and annoyance, local residents took matters into their own hands by bringing in fish of various species to fill the pond and eat the bugs. Read the rest of Bangkok Residents Turn Abandoned Mall into a Giant Fish Pond Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: abandoned , Bangkok , department , fish , mall , new , Pond , store , Structure , Thailand , world

See more here: 
Bangkok Residents Turn Abandoned Mall into a Giant Fish Pond

Oregon Counties Ban Genetically Modified Crops

May 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Oregon Counties Ban Genetically Modified Crops

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Residents of southern Oregon’s agriculture-heavy Rogue Valley have voted to ban genetically modified crops from the area, setting up the next stage of a fight that has gained widespread attention. Companies that…

Continued here:
Oregon Counties Ban Genetically Modified Crops

Carnival to Cut Pollution From More Cruise Ships

May 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Carnival to Cut Pollution From More Cruise Ships

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Carnival said Thursday it was spending about $400 million to clean up the air pollution from the massive diesel engines it uses to power more than 70 cruise ships. The company said it had decided to invest more…

Excerpt from:
Carnival to Cut Pollution From More Cruise Ships

Standing up to Goliath: March Against Monsanto

May 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Standing up to Goliath: March Against Monsanto

So, if you are keeping score: it’s Justin: 1, Monsanto: 0. A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article where I not only compared the mega-corporation to Nazis, but I also called them evil geniuses who: “took a break from counting their money to poison…

Original post:
Standing up to Goliath: March Against Monsanto

Bags of Fresh Air Offered to Residents of Smog-Choked Chinese City

April 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Bags of Fresh Air Offered to Residents of Smog-Choked Chinese City

A travel company sent bags of fresh air to Zhengzhou, one of the 10 most polluted cities in China . The Henan-based travel agency shipped 20 bright blue bags containing air from Laojun Mountain to the city where they were used as a promotional stunt that draws attention to the issue of poor air quality. Read the rest of Bags of Fresh Air Offered to Residents of Smog-Choked Chinese City Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , bags of fresh air , Beijing air pollution , Canned Air , China air pollution , china smog , Chinese tycoon air stunt , city air quality , environmental destruction , smog problems , travel air stunt , Zhengzhou air pollution , Zhengzhou canned air        

See the rest here: 
Bags of Fresh Air Offered to Residents of Smog-Choked Chinese City

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2171 access attempts in the last 7 days.