Monday, June 11, 2007

Hybrids and Highway Expansion

I have been thinking more about the idea that fuel efficient vehicles will help mitigate highway expansion.



Only about 1% of vehicles currently sold in Canada are hybrids.  The best estimates I have seen predict that the Gateway project will increase automotive emissions by 31%.   Hybrids under best conditions can reduce emission by half.  So if, 1% of the increase is from vehicles that reduce emissions by half that means that the increase will be 30.85% instead of 31%.



How will a 30.85% increase instead of 31% help us meet Premier Campbell's target of a 33% reduction?



How do we explain to parents of an asthmatic child that their asthma attacks will be 30.85% worse instead of 31% worse?



Hybrid vehicles are a small part of the solution, but if we really care about people in our region we need better solutions.





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Friday, June 08, 2007

Bizarre Gateway Arguments

The arguments of proponents of the Greater Vancouver Gateway Project keep getting more bizarre.

First, they tried to use the news that BC has reduced it's green house gas emissions to argue that we need to exapnd highways.

Except the fact is that BC reduced emissions during a period when we were NOT building highways but instead making limited investments in public transit.  Why would we want to reverse this trend and invest money in highways instead of transit? Especially when the the reduction we have seen is only one tenth of the Province's own modest emissions targets? And when even the Province admits that the Gateway project will increase GHG emissions?

Now, they are trying to argue that the increased use of hybrids means we should support the Gateway program.

These are the same people that tried to argue that the Gateway program would reduce pollution from idling (even though there is no evidence to support this happening for more than a short time period). Aren't they aware that hybrids like the Prius don't produce pollution while idling and that as hybrids become more popular it renders one of their chief arguments mute?

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Don't Build It and Traffic will Stay Away

In a recent column in the Surrey Leader BC Trucking Association president Paul Landry said:



“...there are people who think you can reverse that logic and apply it to roads – “If you don’t build it, they’ll stay away.” Unfortunately, if you follow their logic you’ll not only end up without a Field of Dreams,...”



Of course this is just one man's opinion and he offers NO evidence to support that position.



In fact, the evidence suggest otherwise.



Extensive research
has found that traffic can be reduced if you “don't build it” AND give people alternatives.



Here is part of the summary of the report:



“This paper reports on two phases of research, resulting in the examination of over 70 case studies of roadspace reallocation from eleven countries, and the collation of opinions from over 200 transport professionals worldwide. ... significant reductions in overall traffic levels can occur, with people making a far wider range of behavioural responses than has traditionally been assumed.”





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