Topic

sustainability

97 petitions

Started 6 days ago

Petition to Maryland State Highway Administration

Fund Design & Implementation of SHA MD 97 Georgia Ave Montgomery Hills

We support the on-going progress of the MD 97 Montgomery Hills Project Planning Study and urge SHA to fund the design and implementation phases so that work can proceed on this overdue and important improvement plan for the Georgia Avenue corridor.  We are eager to see the Georgia Avenue Corridor improved.  Simply stated, the corridor is unsafe for all users: vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.  Commuters and residents alike cannot travel through the area easily, and the existing conditions creates an automobile-dominated environment which is unattractive and economically untenable to most community-oriented businesses.  In fact, the study area roadway and sidewalk conditions are one significant factor in the areas inability to attract a better mix of retail stores and businesses.  Furthermore, the study’s extended planning phase (the original planning effort for this corridor started seventeen years ago), have chilled any private sector improvements that may have been undertaken by the adjacent property owners. We request that Montgomery County prioritize the MD 97 (Georgia Ave) Safety and Complete Street Improvements in their 2018 Transportation Priorities letter, and that Maryland State fully fund the design and implementation of the Georgia Ave improvements without delay.   

Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills
159 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to MEP's

We Demand that the EU Investigates oil exploration contracts in Portugal

Why do we Demand that the EC Conducts an Investigation into the Contracts Awarded by the Portuguese Government to Repsol and Partex for the Lagosta and Lagostim Concessions Late in July 2015 the Portuguese government published for the first time the concession contracts awarded for the exploration of offshore oil and gas in the Algarve Basin to the consortium Repsol/ Partex. ASMAA’s had the contracts analyzed by legal experts.  After extensive discussions with the various legal advisers, we are of the opinion that there are grounds to request an investigation. This investigation is aimed at ascertaining and verifying if the contracts as they currently stand were not drafted as they are, with the intent to circumvent European laws and guidelines. As a result, we will be submitting a written request to the Directorate of Energy in the European Union to investigate the contracts for any breaches. In addition the Portuguese government is at fault by failing to transpose on 19 July 2015 into Portuguese law the European Directive for Offshore Oil & Gas Safety Directive (Directive 2013/30/EU. THIS HAS NOW BEEN DONE ON 9 MARCH 2016 - 9 MONTHS LATER. If you support our application to the European Commission for Energy, we request that you sign the petition and add your voice to our submission. The ASMAA Team Links: Copies of the contracts are on the official Portuguese government department website responsible http://enmc.pt. Copies of Contracts on ASMAA website: Lagostim Contract: http://tinyurl.com/ouzx9vy Lagosta Contract: http://tinyurl.com/qzjs8om More info on our site: http://asmaa-algarve.org ********************************************************************************** Porquê exigimos que CE faça uma investigação aos contractos entre o Governo Português e a Repsol e Partex das concessões Lagosta e Logostim ? No final de Julho 2015 o Governo Português publicou pela primeira vez os contractos de concessão para as explorações de petroleo e gáz Offshore na bacia do Algarve ao concorcio Repsol / Partex A ASMAA encomendou uma analize dos referidos contractos a especialistas juridicos. Depois de extensivas discussões com os advogados, somos da opinião que há base para requerer uma investigação. Esta investigação visa verificar se os contractos, como se apresentam, não foram redigidos com a intenção de contornar leis e directivas europeias. Neste contexto, iremos submeter um requerimento ao Comissariado da Energia das Comunidades Europeias solicitando a investigação destes contractos. Se concorda com este requerimento à Comissão Europeia, pedimos que assinem a petição juntando a sua voz à nossa. ObrigadaA Equipa da ASMAA Links: Copias dos contractos na pagina official do governo portugues: http://enmc.pt Copias dos contractos no site da ASMAA: Lagostim Contracto: http://tinyurl.com/ouzx9vy Lagosta Contracto: http://tinyurl.com/qzjs8om Mais informacao no nosso site: http://asmaa-algarve.org    

ASMAA - Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association
2,545 supporters
Started 1 week ago

Petition to Gregory L. Fenves

We Want Bike Lanes on Speedway (and a Bicycle Master Plan)

We, the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Texas at Austin, petition UT President Gregory L. Fenves to direct the appropriate department to add a separated bike lane along the Speedway Mall from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Dean Keeton Street. A separated bike lane will reduce conflicts between students. UT’s 1999 Campus Master Plan, in which the pedestrian mall was first formally proposed, calls for a separated bike lane along the entire length of Speedway. The plan observes that “conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists will be resolved by creating separate bicycle lanes.” This language, and the bike lane itself, disappeared from subsequent iterations of the campus plan. The recent redesign of the mall has proven the wisdom of the original plan as both students on bikes and students walking find the shared space frustrating. A separated bike lane will improve mobility for all students. As the university has expanded beyond the “40 acres,” travel time between classrooms, dorms, and other destinations has also expanded. With classes scheduled as closely as ten minutes apart, walking speed is often not fast enough. By creating a bike lane on Speedway, the university will enable students to cross campus in as little as two minutes. The twelve-minute walk from Jester West to Kinsolving is reduced to a mere three minutes when biking at a leisurely ten miles per hour. The university has taken a step in the right direction with free membership in the city’s docked bikeshare system, B-cycle; now it needs to follow through with proper infrastructure. A separated bike lane will make students safer. Without a bike lane, students may be pushed to bike on San Jacinto Boulevard or Guadalupe Street, increasing the risk of a deadly collision with a motor vehicle. A separated bike lane will also establish greater predictability and clear expectations, making the Speedway corridor safer for walking students — particularly students with disabilities. A separated bike lane will serve all students, even those who do not use a bicycle. A bike lane will better accommodate students using boosted skateboards, electric scooters, and other innovative transportation devices than the current shared space. More students biking means less demand for the university’s limited parking. A separated bike lane will demonstrate the university’s commitment to a sustainable future. The university has promised, through its official Campus Sustainability Policy, to “improve the long-term quality and regenerative capacity of the environmental, social and economic systems that support the University’s activities and needs.” As transportation makes up a significant share of students’ expenses and their ecological footprint, the university should be doing all it can to reduce automobile dependence.   THE UNIVERSITY NEEDS A BICYCLE MASTER PLAN Additionally, the university must address the policy shortcomings that led to the lack of bike lanes on Speedway. We call on the university to commission a Bicycle Master Plan that lays out a campus-wide vision for bicycling, provides a blueprint for incorporating bike facilities into future construction, and includes a timeline for specific infrastructure improvements.   For more information on the Campus Bike Alliance, visit facebook.com/campusbikealliance or email campusbikealliance@gmail.com

Campus Bike Alliance
139 supporters
Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman

Say No to Downzoning East Andersonville

There is currently a proposal to downzone the entire East Andersonville neighborhood from its current multifamily designation to a zoning district that would only allow detached single-family and two family dwellings. Here are some quick bullets if you’re short on time and can’t read the full text below: The downzoning proposal would permanently reduce the permitted density in the neighborhood and create lots of nonconforming multifamily (3+ unit) buildings, which would be at risk for conversion to one or two family dwellings. It would constrain the supply of housing in the neighborhood further, making it likely that home prices and rents would increase. Other neighborhoods have tried this same strategy, and the results aren’t good. There are a number of more appropriate actions that can be taken to address the issues that the Downzoning proposal seeks to address. These should be explored.  Please Read, Sign, and Share. Let’s keep Andersonville Vibrant, Weird, and Wonderful! There is currently a proposal to take East Andersonville, a historically mixed-residential neighborhood characterized with an abundance of multifamily structures, in addition to duplexes and single-family homes, and downzone the entirety of the neighborhood from RT-4 – a district that permits two-flats, townhouses, low-density apartment buildings, and single family homes – to RS-3,  a district that only permits detached single-family homes and duplexes. This downzoning would create many, many nonconforming uses and structures, and would be represent a long-term decision to lower the density of the neighborhood. While well-intentioned on the part of our neighbors, this is entirely the wrong move for East Andersonville, and we do not support the change. New housing and new residents contribute to the continued vitality of Andersonville and its local economy, and we should be encouraging sensible new development that will help to meet the growing demand for housing within the neighborhood, while respecting neighborhood character. Downzoning won't make people not want to live in Andersonville, it will simply decrease the neighborhood's ability to absorb new residents, and create much greater competition for the housing already available within the neighborhood. This permanent downzoning will also serve as a tool to decrease the density of the neighborhood over the long-term, making it more difficult for the local businesses we love to thrive in Andersonville. Why is downzoning a bad idea? Rezoning, particularly downzoning, is a blunt force approach to solving problems that more often require a scalpel. It is also quite a permanent solution - the consequences of which must be lived with for years. By all indications this downzoning will create a great deal of nonconforming uses and structures within the neighborhood. Best practices suggest that zoning changes should either reduce non-conformities in the interest of acknowledging neighborhood character and encouraging property owners to maintain or improve their investments, or to create as few new nonconformities as possible. Unless, of course, a rezoning is being used to implement specific (usually adopted) policy, in which case change would be the desired outcome. If there were a policy in place suggesting lowering the density of the neighborhood, downzoning would be a good solution. Since there is not, it is best to look for alternatives. What else could we consider? If the true goal of our neighbors is to preserve the charm and character of the neighborhood, and not just the single-family parts of the neighborhood, a more thoughtful approach might be to evaluate the potential for creating neighborhood design guidelines to ensure new structures complement the existing built character of the neighborhood. Or, if there is indeed significant historic merit, to explore designation of the neighborhood or constituent parts as a Landmark District. Alternatively, something like a Neighborhood Development Review Committee (Similar to that in place in South Lakeview) may be a more appropriate solution. The committee formalizes a process whereby neighborhood residents have the opportunity to review and vote on zoning proposals (zoning changes, variances, special uses) and provide the Alderman their consensus feedback for consideration. Additionally, the 44th Ward has a Community Directed Development Council (CDDC) which is made up of community group representatives and business leaders in Lakeview. The council meets during the fourth Wednesday of every other month (January-October) to discuss zoning and developmental issues with the Alderman and provide input on proposals.  Let’s learn from other neighborhoods. Lincoln Park, Logan Square and North Center are all great examples of what we should be avoiding in Andersonville. According to the City of Chicago Department of Buildings, since 2006, North Center has seen 774 permits issued for new construction, and 754 permits for demolition.  Most of this has been demolition and construction by-right of single-family homes, which the zoning permits. Adding housing units would require a rezoning, but tearing down multi-unit buildings and rebuilding single-family homes does not. This is also the case of Lincoln park, which has lost 40% of its population since the last century and has continued to lose population into the 2000s. It’s not that people don’t want to live in Lincoln Park, it’s that home prices and rents have skyrocketed, and new housing units haven’t been built to accommodate the demand for housing. Since the zoning in these areas makes replacing duplexes and single-family homes illegal, developers have started to make money by tearing down older two-flats and replacing them with luxury two-flats. Or tearing down a two-flat and building a new million dollar single-family home. When the number of housing units in a neighborhood is artificially constrained, as through a downzoning, demand does not decrease. What happens is that more affluent Chicagoans can outcompete other residents, displacing them, pushing up housing prices, and creating single-family enclaves, like parts of Lincoln Park. The way to prevent this type of thing from happening is not to downzone, but to allow more housing to be built in neighborhoods that are experiencing high demand, as is Andersonville. There are numerous examples of this within our own City. Sources: WBEZ Chicago, Daniel Kay Hertz Downzoning is just bad policy for a progressive neighborhood. From a broader perspective, downzoning to eliminate a good amount of multi-family zoning on the City’s North Side ignores larger issues of housing affordability and availability. Many cities are hesitant to make this type of move, as it is not easy to get the lost development potential back through upzoning at a later date; it’s much easier to get property owners to agree to a single-family home next door than to a multi-family building. As cities in the United States are more frequently tackling issues of housing supply and affordability, it is somewhat uncommon to see swaths of the remaining multi-family land within established neighborhoods downzoned in this manner. There’s really no upside unless you own a single-family home. Downzoning artificially restricts the housing supply, which can force rents up while also constraining the City's tax base through prohibiting the creation of new units. It fights sustainability by prioritizing small front yards (with no real potential for stormwater infiltration) and decreasing basic walkability. Lowering density in this manner may also increase transit costs per user and decrease the availability of transit service thereby increasing dependence on automobiles. In short, eliminating multi-family zoning is not something that progressive neighborhoods in progressive cities should be doing. So, Let’s think about this and not rush into a downzoning. It’s the wrong move for our neighborhood. Downzoning cannot protect our neighborhood from its own popularity. It cannot stop people from wanting to move to Andersonville, and it can't remove development pressure. Further, downzoning alone also does not provide neighborhood residents more control over the design of new buildings. Theoretically, single-family and duplex structures may be built that do not fit into the neighborhood's architectural style, and would also be considered “eyesores,” or “intrusions.” These structures could also seek variances that would allow them to achieve heights and setbacks that could be considered to impinge on their neighbors.  What downzoning can do, on the other hand, is stop new multifamily development, preventing new residents from moving into a multifamily building. It cannot, however, stop them from converting a duplex to a single-family home, or converting a four-flat to a duplex and driving up the competition and cost for the slowly dwindling number of housing units in the neighborhood. Downzoning doesn't actually preserve East Andersonville's character, but it just may create a host of new problems for the neighborhood. This is a complex issue, with passionate people on both sides. We urge Alderman Osterman to think about the many residents and businesses within the neighborhood who would be impacted, and to give this proposal the detailed and thoughtful evaluation needed to ensure it’s right for the neighborhood. We don’t believe that it is. Rezoning should be intentional. It should accommodate current development patterns or facilitate the creation of new ones as put forth in adopted policy. East Andersonville is not a single-family neighborhood, and if we want a thriving, vibrant, sustainable, equitable neighborhood, we should not look to zoning as a protective shell that will freeze the neighborhood in amber. That's not what it will do; prohibiting density provides no social, environmental, or financial benefits, and in fact comes at a cost to the very character of the neighborhood.  Thank You.

Andersonville Residents Against Downzoning
36 supporters