Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thank Growth Green Machine

Green Machine

Thank Growth It’s Wednesday

Today’s article is brought to you in a sarcastic fashion courtesy of the unimpeded growth the world has experienced in the past several decades. Of course economic growth is good but population growth, energy growth, urbanization, and correspondingly growth in the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere has also resulted. I did some research on the internet and found a very interesting article issued by the Metropolitan Transport Commission of our State Government regarding Auto Ownership in the San Francisco Bay Area: 1930 – 2010. The article can be found by going to the following web site http://www.mtc.ca.gov/maps_and_data/datamart/forecast/ao/aopaper.htm

Starting with Marin County where we live, the following statistics hold for the growth our county has experienced. In 1930 there were 11,200 registered automobiles or 1.06 per household or 0.26 per person living in the county. By 2010 we anticipate there will be 241,300 automobiles in Marin County or 2.16 per household or 0.89 per person. Wow we have come a long way since 1930 or have we? The statistics for San Francisco County show less growth in the past 80 years. In 1930 in the city by the bay there 152,700 registered automobiles or 0.85 per household or 0.24 per person living in San Francisco. In 2010 it is estimated that there will be 445,000 registered automobiles or 1.3 per household or 0.54 per person living in San Francisco. Interestingly back in 1930 Marin and San Francisco had a similar number of automobiles per inhabitant, but by 2010 we Hot Tub Enthusiasts have almost as many vehicles as people. It can be inferred that the carbon footprints of those living in the fog are lower than us because of the compactness of their city and the availability of public transport.

Before all of us go cry tears to fill our hot tubs, Sonoma County to our north experienced similar growth. Back in 1930 there were 26,500 registered automobiles or 1.46 per household and 0.43 per person living in Sonoma County. By 2010 we anticipate there will be 455,000 in Sonoma County or 2.18 per household and 0.84 per person. In 2010 there will be more automobiles registered in Sonoma County than in San Francisco County. Now we know why Highway 101 through Marin is choked. Other counties in the bay area such as Santa Clara, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Alameda, Solano, and Napa have all experienced massive growth in vehicles and population in the past 80 years. The following are the frightening statistics for the entire Bay Area. In 1930 there were 461,800 registered automobiles or 1.04 per household and 0.29 per person. It is expected that in 2010 there will be 5,577,300 registered automobiles or 2.03 per household and 0.75 per person. That is three cars for every four people. It is frightening that Sonoma County today has as many registered vehicles as the entire Bay Area had in 1930. While Marin has somewhat limited population growth over the past 80 years we hot tubers have the highest number of vehicles per person at 89 per 100, a statistic that should scare us into immediate action

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