Craig David: Parking policies: Subsidies counter our values
Recent editorial pieces have focused on Boulder’s efforts to bring parking policies more in line with climate, equity, housing, and transportation goals. We appreciate bringing awareness to the importance of parking, which has long been underappreciated.
These pieces have failed to address a key fact: free (or underpriced) parking is a massive subsidy for our least efficient transportation mode — private automobiles. It’s a massive subsidy for pollution. It’s a massive subsidy for traffic.
As such, it runs counter to Boulder’s core values. The problem is that parking has been subsidized for so long it’s often difficult to even see that there’s a subsidy. Land costs money (in Boulder, lots of money). Maintaining asphalt costs money. Dealing with stormwater runoff from paved parking spots costs money. Addressing the heat-island effect from all the pavement costs money.
Then there are the opportunity costs. A parking space could instead be a micro-park.. Two parking spots are enough footprint for a local vendor stall. Or if protected from the threat of cars, a small playground.
If Boulder is going to make any progress on these environmental and quality of life issues, council and staff need to lead. It’s a simple fact of life: in places with plentiful heavily subsidized parking, people drive more. When parking is treated like the commodity it is, people drive less. We need to price parking so that it is in line with its true costs — the cost of the land it occupies, the traffic and pollution it creates, the lost opportunities for better use of the public space.
Boulder’s massive subsidy of parking goes against every core belief we profess to have as a city. We need leadership to formulate an equitable transition towards a parking regime that’s more environmentally, financially, and socially sustainable.
Community Cycles Advocacy Committee
Grace Schwab: Climate: Time to go big and bold
As the United States emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the opportunity to “Build Back Better” — to make substantial investments in our infrastructure in order to create transformative, lasting improvements for our economy and environment. As the White House and Congress devise this once-in-a-generation legislation, they need to include provisions that will produce millions of good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector, investments in sustainable and robust infrastructure around the country, and intentional measures that prioritize communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change.
Every community across the state has suffered from the impacts of a changing climate. More intense and more frequent wildfires, floods, and other severe weather events are now becoming standard in Colorado. In the past decade, Colorado has experienced 30 extreme weather events causing over $50 billion in damages. We need to invest in climate resiliency research and work to improve infrastructure while also supporting communities who are recovering from climate disasters. As U.S. House Representative Joe Neguse says, many Colorado highways such as I-70 and I-25 are in poor condition, but transformative legislation can provide the resources needed to repair our broken transportation infrastructure.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the world in countless ways and changed what many thought the future would look like. Now is the time to invest in a bold, visionary plan for our future that invests in clean energy, tackles the climate crisis, provides clean air and water to every community, and ensures that all of us can have a healthy and safe living environment. We must band together as a nation to prioritize clean energy, the environmentand our communities.
Kimberly Walls: Vegan food: More orders equals less suffering
Reading that a vegan sausage wrap beat out a spicy chicken sandwich for Grubhub’s number one delivery order gave me hope.
More orders for vegan food mean less suffering for animals, the environment, and us. When we choose a tasty vegan meal instead of one that includes meat, eggs, or dairy, we protect smart, sensitive animals from being confined in filth, separated from their babies, and gruesomely executed for their body parts.
We also combat the climate crisis: Every individual who eats vegan saves 1,100 gallons of water, nearly 40 pounds of grain, and 30 square feet of forested land each day. Eating vegan meals also helps protect our bodies from developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and many other chronic diseases and conditions.
It’s no wonder why orders for vegan meats on Grubhub spiked by 463 percent last year! So the next time you’re hungry, I hope you’ll join me and many others in making your meal vegan.
The PETA Foundation
Clark Hamilton: COVID-19: An origin cover-up?
A May 5 article by Nicholas Wade in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on the origin of COVID-19 reveals very strong evidence that it is a man-made creation.
The article is long and detailed but a few highlights include: In late 2018 Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were deliberately making highly infectious corona viruses ostensibly to learn how to combat them if they were to emerge naturally. Unlike SARS and MERS, COVID-19 does not have a traceable origin of natural evolution, it just appeared ready-made. In spite of the danger of an accidental release, the Chinese researchers did their work in a minimal containment laboratory with little more than lab coats and gloves, far below the security levels used for the most dangerous pathogens. These facts and many others seem to be toxic to the mainstream media that continues to push the theory that COVID evolved naturally. Why is that? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that blame goes beyond China. The dangerous research that may have released COVID-19 was encouraged and paid for by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in a collaboration between U.S. and Chinese scientists. The motivation to cover up the catastrophic result is understandably intense. The article is available at bit.ly/3wMn48E. Read it and make your own conclusions. Nicholas Wade is a science journalist who has worked on the staffs of Nature, Science, and the New York Times.