Happenings Out West

Very interesting article from the Wall Street Journal – "San Fancisco Ponders: Could Bike Lanes Cause Pollution?"

Mr. Anderson disagrees. Cars always will vastly outnumber bikes, he reasons, so allotting more street space to cyclists could cause more traffic jams, more idling and more pollution. Mr. Anderson says the city has been blinded by political correctness. It’s an “attempt by the anti-car fanatics to screw up our traffic on behalf of the bicycle fantasy,” he wrote in his blog this month.

While I’m not sure what the ultimate findings from the environmental impact study will bring, Mr. Anderson does raise some really interesting questions: are the bike/car trade-offs worth it?  will better bike access really mean fewer cars or more gridlock for drivers?  and finally, and perhaps most interestingly, is the biking politically motivated?   Most biking commuters I know simply ride their bikes to work because it saves so much money on gas.  At any rate, it’s a fun read.

And further down the coast, also from the WSJ Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to support offshore drilling. The article admits this doesn’t mean rigs are heading out to CA immediately since state and federal statutes still ban drilling, but it is a strong message from Santa Barbara to the governor.  Their action also illustrates how people are beginning to understand how far we’ve come technologically, making off-shore drilling safer for the environment.