Saturday, April 09, 2011

3. Alternatives to Driving

Livable communities with better transportation choices including transit and opportunities for bicycling and walking reduce the need to drive.

Los Angeles' Measure R and "30/10" – now "America Fast Forward" – will expand our transit network, including the Wilshire subway to Westwood (above).

Grid-connected electric transit – streetcars, light and heavy rail, and electric trolleybuses are quiet, energy-efficient, and proven. As Gilbert and Perl note, "Electricity is the ideal transport fuel for an uncertain future. Unlike other alternative energy transition paths for transport, only electric mobility can move people and goods using a wide range of energy sources."

New battery electric buses being tested on Foothill Transit may provide a good alternative to diesel and natural gas powered transit buses (Proterra photo; also MetroRiderLA). See George Karbowski's SCAQMD presentation (3 MB PDF) for technical details.

"Complete Streets" make communities more livable with inviting places to walk and bike, instead of driving (Charles Gandy, City of Long Beach image).

Urban parks importantly balance higher-density residential.

Ridesharing (via smart-phone apps) may be the fastest adjustment for an oil shock.

Intercity high speed rail will replace oil used by long-distance driving and intrastate plane flights (CHSRA image).

Moving freight to rail is much more efficient than trucks, and railroads can be electrified to become entirely oil-free.

NEXT: 4. Electric Vehicles BACK: 2. Global Warming

1 comment:

Katie Burnside said...

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) will host a series of community open houses in a location near you to share the results of the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis (PAA) Report. The PAA Report is the first step in a two-step process to identify the range of alternatives to be carried forward for detailed engineering and the Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS). The next step will be the Supplemental Alternatives Analysis Report, which will be completed in 2011-2012. The goal of the open houses is to present current plans and obtain your input before CHSRA initiates the detailed environmental/engineering analysis later in 2012 (subject to funding availability). Agency and public input will be used in the ongoing refinement of alignment alternatives, station locations and design options.

All open house meeting information can be found on the Authority’s website at

The online presentation will be available May 16 through June 30, 2011 for the public to view online and provide input at




By Mail:
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Los Angeles to San Diego
via the Inland Empire Section
c/o Arellano Associates
13791 Roswell Ave., Suite A
Chino, CA 91710


(877) 411-7230 Local
(916) 324-1541 Sacrament