In a span of one week, governor Jerry Brown has banned two troublesome things: charging people for walking or biking on Bay Area bridges, ever, & microbeads.
Banning Bay Area Bridge Tolls
About a year ago, the Golden Gate Bridge District commissioned a study to see what would happen if we charged pedestrians and cyclists a toll for not bringing their cars onto one of the most traffic polluted bridges in the country. Needless to say, it was a terrible idea, and Governor Jerry Brown seems to agree as he passed Phil Ting’s bill to ban these fees for both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge.
Personally, I think two of the main reasons it is good not to charge people walking & biking are that:
- Biking and walking are one of the few equitable, healthful things to do in a very expensive, gentrifying place
- If people bike & walk instead of driving, there will be less cars -> less emissions -> also less pain of traffic
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (my employer! and a member based non-profit) fought hard against this, and I am very thankful for their work on this matter. Here is their short & sweet article about the subject if you’d like to read more.
As you may recall from a previous dailybloom post, plastic microbeads are bad.
California banned them! This is good.
Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, and New Jersey have also banned microbeads, but California’s ban took things a step further and also eliminated biodegradable versions. “Biodegradable” might sound good, but the problem with the alternatives, called bio-plastics, is that no one actually knows how fast they might break down or whether they will have averse affects on the ecosystem. The ban basically calls for no plastics in personal care products that will end up in the water supply1.
Grist’s article about the ban is funny, quick, and has some beauty alternatives too!