Friday, January 25, 2019

How Richardson Can Combat Climate Change

Just a reminder that while we're bringing our country to its knees over a border wall with Mexico, the atmosphere and oceans continue to warm, threatening pretty much everything. But instead of wringing our hands over Washington's abdication of responsibility to do something about this existential threat, we can and ought to look closer to home for at least partial or incremental solutions. The Washington Post recently published an op-ed with ideas, the first of which is aimed right at the City of Richardson.

Look, we all know the federal government isn’t moving on this anytime soon. The Trump administration has been systematically dismantling Obama-era Clean Air regulations and continues its love affair with coal power. So we need all levels of government and businesses to green up and curb global warming.
Source: Grist.
Maybe Richardson already has policies, goals, and plans in place to reduce carbon emissions in the city (not just to operate city buildings, but commercial buildings and homes, and carbon-emitting vehicles on our streets) and to sink carbon already emitted (e.g., restoring the late "Tree the Town" program). If so, I'm not aware of the goals. I'm also not aware of public outreach to build support and momentum towards meeting the need.

Moving on...I won't mention suggestion #5 from the Post's op-ed. OK, I will mention it, but I won't dwell on it. I've harped on this suggestion enough before.
Design cities to encourage people to walk, not drive. How do you encourage more cyclists and pedestrians? For starters, well-lit intersections, covered bus stops with clear signage, and protected bike lanes.
Source: Grist.
Wait. Isn't Richardson already doing this? Well, yes and no. I've stated my position before on how Richardson takes one step backward for every step forward. For example, you don't rebuild Main Street in old downtown Richardson by adding lanes and straightening curves all in order to speed the flow of traffic through this bottleneck, to the detriment of walkability.