MTC Caught in the Act on Richmond Bridge Bike Path

MTC goes on CBS TV claiming the cost of the Richmond Bridge bike path magically dropped from $68m to $30m in less than 2 month. While major acute traffic congestion issues affecting tens of thousands go unfunded multi-million dollar wishes come true for 156 cyclists.

Whose Fault Was the WinCup Disaster?

Often the blame for WinCup is laid at the feet of ABAG, others blame the Corte Madera City Council. Planning for Reality suspects the majority of the blame lies with entities that have so far been overlooked…

Will SMART Really Reduce Congestion and Emissions?

SMART’s Measure Q promised to alleviate traffic congestion and reduce emissions and consequently passed by a margin of 3%. But the math is clear – SMART will not deliver on either promise based on realistic ridership projections.

MTC Caught In the Act on Richmond Bridge Bike Lane

On January 26th MTC’s spokesman on CBS TV Bay Area news contradicted documents previously provided to Planning for Reality as recently as November 6th 2014 that showed that the cost of the bike lane across the Richmond San Rafael Bridge is $68m - more than double the $30m referenced by MTCR […]

The Great sprawl of China (The Economist)

IN ANCIENT times, Beijing built towering city walls that helped to prevent undefendable sprawl. These days it builds ring roads, stretching built-up areas ever outwards..         Read full article >>

How Many Riders Will SMART Really Have?

There has been a great deal of speculation about how SMART will reduce 101 congestion or greenhouse gas emissions. But these claims all pivot on the assumption that SMART will attain a certain number of riders. Previously the author has run figures and worked out that to breakeven on CO2 emissions S […]

Whose Fault Was the WinCup Disaster?

Today WinCup has become famous as a disaster to both sides of the housing debate: Measured growth advocates point to a monstrosity that is a major departure from the architectural character of Marin, will impose major traffic impact and provides barely any (just 18 units) affordable housing Fast gro […]

A Response to Global Site Plans’ Nick Danty

Every  now and then an article is published by those advocating rapid growth that is so poorly grounded on facts that one almost hesitates to respond. One such article is “Social Equity Or NIMBYism? Marin County’s Battle With Affordable Housing” on Global Site Plans written by Nick Danty, a recent C […]

The Supervisors Priority of Convenience: Climate Change

On December 31st 2014 the Marin IJ posted an article: Starting 2015: A Chance to Reboot Priorities that shared that the Marin County supervisors have decided “Topping their list are local priorities aimed at climate change”. My response – how very very convenient for a group of peo […]

UK to Invest $78 Billion in Roads

We’re told by Sacramento politicians, by county supervisors, by cyclists and transit advocates we need to accept high density housing near transit. We are sewn a story that we can be just as quaint as those progressive, green Europeans. Only here’s the reality check – the UK govern […]

The Fantasy of TOD Exposed in Los Angeles

While Transit Oriented Development advocates would have us believe a major shift has been happening to transit, in Los Angeles the figures reveal the opposite story. New Geography’s Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox separate TOD fantasy from reality. Read the full story >>

Moving the Goalposts: Marin Climate Action Plan

The Marin County Climate Action Plan 2014 Draft Update raises many questions. Recently I submitted a freedom of information act request to which I received this response (zip file). The Climate Action Plan proposes that Marin can reduce CO2 emissions by making a major push to switch travelers from c […]

Powerpoint Slides from Nov 13th Citizen Marin Presentation

Many of you have inquired about obtaining my presentation from the recent Citizen Marin event held on November 13th at San Rafael City Hall. Here is the presentation in both pdf and ppt format: Powerpoint Presentation (pdf) >> Powerpoint Presentation (ppt) >> Note: You may use the slides […]

The $68m Bridge Too Far

Many Marinites and East Bay residents suffer at the hands of acute delays on both 580 and 101 in the evenings caused by the evening backup on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. The fix is on the way drivers have been told thanks to a $70.3m project set to: add an additional third lane that operates dur […]

The Richmond Bridge Bike Path – A Bridge too Far?

While acknowledging that bicycle infrastructure is behind the curve and merits increased expenditure, we are seeing bike path projects where expenditures have been getting out of hand. Transportation funding is dwindling, the SMART train already diverted $11.4m of funding earmarked to solve congesti […]

The “Sinister Marin” Housing Survey

Over the last week residents across the county experienced the “sinister Marin” telephone housing survey asking questions that might as well have been “are you a racist?” to find out which angle of attack would be the most effective to push through high density housing across […]

Novato Narrows Widened – Huge ROI Compared to Bike Paths

This coming Friday Caltrans is set to open up a new section of carpool lane northbound from Atherton Avenue/San Marin Drive exit to the Birkenstock warehouse, about 1.3 miles in length. This carpool lane will increase the capacity of 101 by 1,200 cars per hour – which at 1.67 occupants per hou […]

Marin’s Climate Action Plan – Moving into Checkmate Position

Fighting climate change is important – but what seems to have become even more important to special interests groups is placing significant impositions on the greater population, sometimes for profit, but also in the simple belief that everyone should make sacrifices to fight climate change, n […]

SMART – Quiet Zone and Financial Update

Many hundreds of San Rafael and Novato residents stand to be impacted or significantly impacted by 100 dB SMART Train horns that will commence at around 5:45am every weekday. Most of these residents remain unaware. Test soundings of horns along the line can be heard “loud and clear” 1 1/ […]

New State Planning Guidelines Disregard Traffic Impact

If you live within 1/2 mile of a “major transit stop” – meaning a stop served by buses running at a frequency of every 15 minutes or less at peak, or within 1/2 mile of a train station or ferry terminal  - then you should be aware of a new change to transportation analysis. Effecti […]

SMART Train Posts Platform Plans

SMART has  posted  plans of the platforms at Civic Center and Downtown San Rafael. They’re fairly basic with a shelter and a few seats. It’s important to understand that the arrival of the train in Downtown San Rafael is going to have significant ramifications on the current transit cent […]

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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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