Mid-Week Links: Baby Steps

County Proper


  • The never-ending news of rail in Marin continues with Novato's final approval of the mighty and efficient freight train, which will now run through the city as far as Eureka.  Santa Rosa got its first new freight train this week, too.  (IJ, Patch, Press-Democrat)
  • In a mishmash of acronyms, MTC considers SMART's pedestrian facilities for TIGER funds. (IJ, Fast Lane)
  • Work is starting to add HOV lanes to the Novato Narrows, an area of Highway 101 north of the Atherton Avenue exit.  Freeway widening is never a good answer to traffic, especially with a train on the way, but at least it's HOV. (Patch, IJ)
  • Meanwhile, Novato declares sprawl to be the way forward, approving zoning for affordable housing at 20 units per acre instead of the State-mandated 30 units per acre.  Although 20 units per acre could do some good, as the form matters more than the density, the downgrade is a loss to the city. (IJ, Transit in Utah)

Near Marin

  • ABAG, MTC, and BAAQMD might buy a place together in San Francisco.  ABAG and MTC currently share a much more transit-accessible space in Oakland, but it's too small for what they want.  Maybe they'll live up to their own mandates? (Mercury News)
  • It looks like they got the memo: AC Transit and BART are looking to merge.  As two of the largest transit agencies in the region, their merger would go a long way to better integrate Bay Area transit.
  • Regional development agencies got the axe this last budget cycle, and they're suing to stop the state from shutting them down.
  • California passed a law (SB 582) mandating employers offer benefits to its bike-commuting employees, just as they do to their car-commuting employees.  Now the Governor just has to sign it. (Cyclicious)

Greater Marin

  • If you've ever worried about bike commuting (it's too hot, too cold, too wet, too tiresome), maybe you should give one of these things a try.  No problem to hit 28MPH and an optional electric assist for troublesome hills.  One of these could go from San Anselmo to the Ferry in 10 minutes, no gas required.  (Inhabitat)