What We’re Reading 1/18/19

Welcome to the New Year! This week the WALKSacramento team has been keeping up with everything from budget proposals to stories about kids using bike share. Here are our favorite resources and news stories from the past few weeks.   

“Newsom’s State Budget Connects Housing Needs and Transportation Funding” 

Newly elected California Governor Gavin Newsom released his ambitious budget this week and it had some interesting implications for transportation funding. Newsom is motivated to fund housing and address homelessness and has suggested a program that incentivizes more housing by using transportation funding as the ‘stick.’ The actual language in the budget is vague but Newsom talked about withholding SB 1 funding for communities that do not meet affordable housing requirements. This article rightly celebrates the function pairing of housing and transportation, but there will need to be more clarification on implementation. Read the article here.  

Bike Share for Kids? This Brazilian City is Ahead of the Curve” 

Fortaleza, Brazil has a bike share system that is kid friendly. The system requires parent sign-off and includes removable training wheels to accommodate for different skill levels. A city official talks about encouraging children to bike more because they highlight real safety concerns and can spur dialogue about design that meets the needs of all users. Read more about the program here.  

“How your brain stops you from taking climate change seriously” 

Heading in to the New Year many people make resolutions ranging from eating healthier to spending less, with a handful of us setting goals to reduce our carbon footprint. This article addresses how difficult it is for the brain to rationalize and act on climate change in our modern age. Taking a cognitive science approach, the article points out how the Paris Agreement has no enforcement power and prompts thinking about why stories about polar bears don’t incite change. Read more about how to overcome instances of inaction on climate change here

2018 Progress Report – California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act 

This report analyzes if California is on track to meet greenhouse gas reductions as determined under SB 375. The bill, passed in 2008, acknowledged the need for an integrated strategy for meeting State climate goals. SB 375 California MPOs to include a Sustainable Communities Strategy in their long range regional transportation plans. The report concludes that California is not on track to meet the emission goals set under the landmark climate change bill. The report offers an in-depth analysis on progress to date and identifies ways to overcome the challenges California has faced. Investing in active transportation is increasingly becoming the key to addressing climate change. Read the full report here.    

Image source: Left: Local school children join Greta Thunberg’s initiative on climate strike during the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland December 14, 2018. Photo by Agencja Gazeta/Grzegorz Celejewski via REUTERS