Walk Bike Marin's Epic Failure Declared a Success

Normally if you spend $28m and can’t point to any success that should be the end of the road, but not for Walk Bike Marin which seems to think it has a success on its hands!

Why Solar Makes Sense

Planning for Reality prides itself on validating  claims of “sustainability” .  Solar panels pass the test with flying colors – the question for most homeowners should be why don’t you have solar panels?

Marin Cyclists Thrown Under the High Density Housing Bus

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition uses its membership numbers and funds to advocate high density. Is it throwing its members under the bus?

What Should Come After Plan Bay Area

Planning for Reality offers ABAG and MTC advice on how they might do better for any future regional plan following  Plan Bay Area

The Junior Second Units Solution

Guest contributor Rachel Ginis of Lilypad Homes espouses the fasntastic solution provided by junior second units

A Big Win for Marin

The Marin Supervisor election sends strong signals to electeds who push for high density housing.

Plus exclusive insight from Congressman Jared Huffman on Plan Bay Area and Larkspur Landing

Transit Oriented Development’s Dirty Secret

What if transit oriented development projects actually increased emissions and traffic congestion?

How Does Your Car's Emissions Compare to Transit?

There is a common misconception that transit is greener than traveling by car; we associate guilt with the convenience of car travel –  but the reality is illuminating

Walk Bike Marin’s $28m+ Failure Rewritten Into Success!

While I enjoy cycling and support extending bike paths and trails, residents such as myself have found themselves facing off against bicycle coalitions and bike groups that serve as the vanguard for pushing high density housing. Frequently these groups claim to represent thousands of cyclists and sp […]

Why Solar Makes Sense

As many readers will know, the author is a high tech product manager who applies economics and rigorous business model analysis to understand if claims of “sustainability” are valid. Recently I began to investigate whether solar panels are genuinely sustainable – meaning that they […]

Marin County High Density & Bicycle Coalition

Marin County Bicycle Coalition members are being surprised to find their organization volunteering their neighborhoods for high density housing. Are they being used as pawns in the high density housing wars? The Marin Cyclist’s Dilemma While I’ve been outspoken regarding the need for bik […]

The Junior Second Units Solution

A Low-Impact/High-Benefit Solution to Changing Housing Needs in Marin by Rachel Ginis We live on a majestic peninsula surrounded by natural wonders set just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Marin, brilliantly located, is an amazing place to live and work. Exceeding population projec […]

What Should Come After Plan Bay Area?

Plan Bay Area hit really stiff resistance – the opposition is now mobilized and highly organized – and primed and ready for Plan Bay Area 2.0. Some might argue that some kind of revolution is needed; instead I strongly suggest ABAG and MTC incorporate new thinking into future regional tr […]

A Big Win for Marin County

The June 3rd Marin County election resulted in Damon Connolly crushing a 12 year incumbent Supervisor Susan Adams – an immense achievement over adversity. Meanwhile Toni Shroyer came out of nowhere against a 20 year incumbent Judy Arnold and almost pipped her at the post (and in one erroneous […]

Larkspur Gets a Reality Check

While groups such as CALM  claim that  Marin can somehow be made more “livable” by adding 920 housing units, a hotel and over 100,000 square feet of office space to the already congested Larkspur corridor, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District responded to the plan […]

Survey Says We Should Build & Reduce Fees & Regulations

On May 29th the Marin IJ published a front page story about a survey results entitled Area ‘disconnect’ cited in housing policy opinion.  The survey was commissioned by an organization calling itself the Bay Area Council , which has a mission to: Fight unreasonable barriers to infill, tr […]

Calming the Larkspur Station Area Plan with Misinformation

A new fast growth organization has appeared on the radar – the Coalition for a Livable Marin, calling itself “CALM”. Its ranks are filled by familiar faces supporting fast growth with goals of urbanizing neighborhoods across Marin – including Larkspur, the Strawberry Seminary […]

From False Dichotomies to the Spectrum of Reality

One of the issues occurring as people new to the fast growth and urbanization issue in Marin try to get their heads around the issues are the false dichotomies that are appearing. Daily I see these dichotomies used by fast growth proponents in letters to the Marin IJ editor and on websites. I even h […]

Records Request Revelations: The Larkspur SAP

Today one of the greatest mysteries in Marin is how it came about that the “preferred plan” for the Larkspur Station Area Plan is for 920 new housing units, a hotel and 77,000 square feet of commercial space. That such a plan is the preference of residents, their representatives and  civ […]

Public Transportation Use in Marin in Decline since 1990

Marin residents are bombarded with the need to invest increasing amounts in transit. We are already seeing a 1/4c sales tax pay for the train – and may yet see another to complete the promised line length. Neighborhoods such as Larkspur, downtown San Rafael and Civic Center have been targeted […]

Why Plan Bay Area Failed

An article “The Actions of Discontent – Tea Party and Property Rights Activists Pushing Back Against Regional Planning” by Karen Trapenberg Frick was recently brought to my attention. The author, an assistant adjunct professor at UC Berkeley, purported to address the underlying rea […]

Rail: The Transportation Cannibal

The SMART train here in Marin and Sonoma are not the only areas to see the building of a billion dollar train line as the solution to the areas transit needs – Houston has it’s Metro, Portland has it’s MAX light rail, and Anaheim is spending $318m for a trolley that goes a mere 3.2 […]

Cyclists at Fault in Most Car vs Bike Collisions

While cycling is being promoted as safe, clean and energy efficient,  it is an everyday occurrence to see cyclists running stop signs, and even red lights –  seemingly as if laws do not apply to them. While the same is true of cars, the issue appears to be far more significant for cyclists. Ra […]

Transit Oriented Development’s Dirty Secret

An innocent reader interested in learning about transit oriented development projects would have learned from official county and city sources that one of the major justifications was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. Here is a selection of the justifications made to justi […]

Larkspur and the Transit Oriented Development Ponzi Scheme

If you ask the situational analysis question to anyone living in Larkspur or commuting through Larkspur “do you have traffic or parking issues?” the answer is likely to be a resounding “Yes – we need to sort out this mess”. However Larkspur has got itself caught up in what can almost be described as […]

The Myth Spreading Larkspur Station Area Plan DEIR

Larkspur represents a focal point for transit in Marin, where the SMART train terminates, the Golden Gate Ferry and the Marin Airporter converge. The area already experiences acute parking issues either in the ferry terminal lot, or in the Larkspur Landing mall. The freeway is a choke-point for traf […]

The Mythical Target of Reducing Emissions 80% Below 1990 Levels

On April 4th the Marin Independent Journal published an article:”Marin welcomes Bay Area air quality district plan to control greenhouse gases” stating: “The first point in the plan sets a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, […]

Cyclists Dominant Cause in Car vs Bike Accidents

While cycling is being strongly promoted by county supervisors and city councils, what is not being promoted is safe cycling. Every day I witness cyclists failing to comply with traffic laws such as stopping at stop signs and red lights. While neither cyclists or motorists are saints, the impression […]

Verified Sustainable Solutions

Here are genuinely sustainable solutions where the math checks out – you save money AND help fight climate change – win-win!


Stop paying PG&E to burn coal and emit greenhouse gases. Instead start producing zero emission energy from your own roof and save money.

SolarCity is worth doing if your monthly electricity bill is over $100 and you have a credit score above 680. There’s no upfront cost – you just pay as if solar is your new provider.

Please contact SolarCity using this form, the link will help Planning for Reality cover its costs.

It’s Time to Redefine “Sustainability”.

Planning for Reality provides a 21st century guide encouraging a healthy, skeptical and informed approach to planning decisions.

On this site you will find:
- a guide on common planning pitfalls for for councilors, planning commissioners and advisory committee members
- the tough questions to ask to understand if a project is genuinely "sustainable"
- a reference to rapidly changing transportation and land use legislation
- the latest news on "sustainable" transit oriented development and high density housing

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