The Abandonment of Automobile Culture Leads to a Greener Future | Opinion







(Camila Vallejo / Daily Titan)


The Earth is warming because gigantic amounts of greenhouse gases continue to be released into the atmosphere each year. Subsequently, frequent and intense forest fires have broken out across the state, some becoming so large they can be seen from space.

Of the four main types of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide or CO2, emissions must be controlled because they represent 80% of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency . Of these 80%, transport rejects 35% of the CO2 emissions of this sector in 2019.

According to the World Resources Institute, California emitted the second highest amount of greenhouse gases in 2018, behind Texas, and about 49% of that comes from transportation.

Carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced, and there are many feasible options that Cal State Fullerton and the transportation departments can consider to reduce transportation’s carbon footprint.

Using public transportation, such as a bus, can dramatically reduce the number of cars on the road. A bus usually has a capacity of at least 36 people. A single bus carrying several people emits less pollution than 36 people driving their cars separately.

Although public transport is strongly promoted as a means of reducing transport costs, it might not be reliable. Ultimately, people choose convenience over conscience. Bus schedules are in limbo due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, they would arrive every half hour when they should be running at 15 minute frequencies. Despite their inconsistent schedules, buses drastically reduce the number of people driving single vehicles on the road. Ultimately, more fuel is conserved and the carbon footprint decreases.

The Orange County Transportation Authority should paint reserved bus lanes on Orange County’s most congested highways, such as Katella Ave., State College, Harbor and Beach boulevards, so that buses have their own right of way at instead of being mixed up and slowed down with traffic.

Better yet, for routes with dedicated bus lanes, the buses should have signal priority, where a lamppost stays lit green for oncoming buses.

Like public transport, cities need to develop better cycling infrastructure, such as wider cycle lanes with physical barriers for cyclists and other cars on the road. This would encourage more people to ride a bicycle, as it would be as safe and convenient as driving a car.

The benefits of traveling by public transit or by bicycle are not only a lower carbon footprint, but also lower parking and gasoline costs.

The CSUF should offer discounted bus passes instead of overpricing them for a $ 100 semester pass or exchange scheme for students who have purchased a $ 334 parking permit so that they can exchange it for a one-year pass.

Many people still don’t see the value of public transport or cycling. With the rise of Tesla automobiles, the perfect solution seems to be more electric vehicles. However, this is not the case.

Even if the car does not emit CO2 while driving, it still needs to be recharged from an electric vehicle charging station, which is powered by the grid, which is mainly powered by fossil fuels. The focus should be on reducing the mass of cars on the road before moving on to mass consumption of electric vehicles.

Even humanity’s best efforts to improve transportation will not be enough until the United States engages in suburban sprawl. Cities should also build dense mixed-use housing around public transport stops. Mixed-use development is where housing and commercial businesses share buildings. A close example of this concept is University Hall. Restaurants are located within walking or cycling distance of the building.

This is a concept known as transit-oriented development, and its goal is to have everyone’s basic needs in one place or at least have them within reach of a service. of public transport.

The development focused on public transport allows people who live in these areas to reach their destinations in a few minutes on foot, without spitting pollutants from their cars into the air.

USC Village, for example, is home to housing for 2,500 undergraduates with a Target and Trader Joe’s, among other restaurants, nearby for student access and two light rail stops, on Jefferson and Exposition Boulevard.

Another effort by Cal State Fullerton to make the campus more accessible on foot is its plans to build a pedestrian bridge over Nutwood Avenue, which stems from complaints from several people about the lack of safety around this corner.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of government officials to transform cities into easily accessible environmentally friendly infrastructure.

There are many options for people to reduce their carbon emissions while moving from place to place, but the reduction in driving would greatly benefit students and the damaged environment.


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