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Tempest Magazine - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 21:24

Philadelphia, PA
Report by Joel Sronce

On a cold, windy Thursday in Philly, Starbucks workers formed picket lines outside of four stores to join their coworkers across the country in the Red Cup Rebellion. Withholding their labor succeeded in completely shutting down the stores at 34th & Walnut Street and 20th & Market Street. Elsewhere, rallying workers at 22nd & South encouraged anyone picking up a mobile order to not cross the picket line and instead to take a leaflet on how to get a refund. (Word on the street is that the customer service line had over half an hour wait time for most of the day!) As this tweet shows, many Philadelphians were proud to respect the picket line.

Out on the pickets were two workers who agreed to share their experiences as part of the incredible labor movement that Starbucks partners have created over the past twelve months. Sarah has been working at the 20th & Market Street store for almost four years; yet in a city with a soaring cost of living, she’s currently making just $15.50 an hour as a barista and barista-trainer. Like so many of her coworkers, she struggles for better working conditions, staffing, scheduling and pay. Similar to the experience of food-service workers across the country, her store has been so constantly understaffed that some of her coworkers have had to get food stamps or apply for disability in order to be able to afford their rent, insurance, bills, and debt payments. However, years of such conditions have not turned Sarah away from the struggle. Quite the opposite. Since May, she has been her store’s representative on the NCAT (the National Contract Action Team), which organizes national direct actions, including strikes.

Across the Schuylkill River in West Philly, Sil has been working at the 34th & Walnut Street Starbucks for several months, making $15 an hour. Facing similar working conditions as Sarah, Sil knows well what she’s up against.

“Winning our union was only half the fight; we still have to bargain for a contract to get the things we need, and if we don’t come to an agreement after a year, the company can decertify our union,” she explained. “It’s clear that Starbucks is trying to run out the clock, so we have to increase the pressure! Thankfully, due to our incredible partners, we were able to prevent the store from opening at all, and had a really amazing and inspiring day on the picket line.”

Picket line at the 20th & Market Street Starbucks in Philadelphia. Photo by Joel Sronce.

Neither Sarah nor Sil could overemphasize the solidarity that they share with their fellow Starbucks workers across the country, almost all of whom they will never know. Nationwide, as many as 111 stores were on strike on Thursday – a remarkable accomplishment on its own – and both of these Philly workers felt an immense sense of community.

“We feel incredibly connected with our other striking and unionized stores,” Sil told me. “In fact, I think having that solidarity across the country really helped people feel confident enough to come out to picket. So much of our strength as a movement comes from being able to coordinate and compare notes nationally.”

And in Philly, it’s not only their fellow Starbucks partners from whom Sarah and Sil find solidarity. Across the city, it seems as commonplace as an Eagles jersey. All four of the picket lines were supported by local activist groups and by members of other unions, joining in chants, honking, or even bringing supplies, including the Teamsters’ famous Scabby the Rat.

“Solidarity with our community has been incredible,” Sil said. “We were getting constant honks of support from passing sanitation workers, USPS drivers, and Philly locals. A construction worker working across the street came by to tell us, ‘I always say, you can’t just be union for yourself, you have to be union for everyone.’”

As Sil went on to explain, the solidarity is working.

“Already we’ve seen material gains to non-union stores, as credit card tips–one of our first demands as a campaign–were rolled out today,” she said. “When we win our contract, it will greatly improve the lives and situations of unionized Starbucks partners, bringing with it higher base pay, reimbursement for non-slip shoes, and processes for addressing grievances in the workplace, among other things. But even before that, our campaign will also continue to win gains for non-union stores as Starbucks relinquishes more and more crumbs to discourage the growth of the movement, like the tips today and the more lenient dress code a few months ago. We’re going to keep pushing until we get what we need, and lift everyone else up with us!”

Yet despite the solidarity they’ve already received, and despite the momentum from all their organizing and most recently from the Red Cup Rebellion, there is a long road ahead. Both workers have messages to the greater community, from whom more and more support will be required.

“Don’t cross any picket lines you may see,” Sarah said. “Express support on social media and in stores, put pressure on Starbucks to bargain with us in good faith and to stop their union busting, and donate to the solidarity fund (or just leave a tip).”

Sil agrees. “Find out which stores in your area are unionized and go tell the workers you have their back!” she said. “Go into non-unionized stores and tell them they deserve to have control over their workplace. These are conversations we all need to be having every day.”

(To further support unionizing Starbucks (and other) workers in Philly, follow Philadelphia Joint Board Workers United on social media, including @phillyworkersunited on Instagram.)

Photo by Joel Sronce.

Brooklyn, NY
Report by Natalia Tylim

Here is a short interview with a striking Caesars Bay Starbucks worker:

All the workers at the Caesars Bay Starbucks in South Brooklyn either struck or called in sick for the day of action on Red Cup Day. Their shop has regularly had to close for days here and there due to short staffing and ongoing COVID-19 infections. Yet, when management found out there was a strike the morning of November 17, they scrambled to find partners from other stores in the city to make sure the store was not shut down. Scabs were able to get the shop open at 8 a.m., and the store opened 3 1/2 hours late.

Workers from the store picketed outside, joined by a few visitors in solidarity from DSA, Professional Staff Congress-CUNY (PSC), Communication Workers of America (CWA), 1199 SEIU, and others. At the picket line, we tried to convince patrons to go elsewhere for the day and to honor the strike. Most of the regular customers at the shop have not been supportive of the unionization efforts, and did not think twice about passing the baristas who serve them everyday on their way into the Starbucks. Not everyone who saw the picket line went in, though, and there were some very heartwarming moments of people turning around to go elsewhere for their coffee. A Trader Joe’s worker involved in unionizing efforts at their shop, who was coming for the Starbucks red cup, stayed outside to exchange stories about corporate hypocrisy with a coffee from the strike table and a plastic Starbucks Workers United red cup instead. A delivery app worker had no choice but to go in to grab the delivery, but came out after to hear from the workers and ask about unions. Other potential customers went across the parking lot to the Starbucks inside Target instead.

The shop closed early at 4 p.m. Workers at Caesars Bay say that if you live in the neighborhood, you should come by, leave a tip, and let the workers know you support them.

Here is a report  from twitter:

BROOKLYN: It's a beautiful day to join the @SBWorkersUnited picket line in Bath Beach!

Come out to Ceasar’s Bay to support Starbucks workers ON STRIKE for #RedCupRebellion

8973 Bay Pkwy
Picket goes until 8pm! pic.twitter.com/hZGovcumGs

— Workers United, NY NJ Joint Board (@WorkersUnitedNY) November 17, 2022

Here is a second twitter report:

BROOKLYN: It’s a beautiful day to join the @SBWorkersUnited picket line in Bath Beach!

Come out to Ceasar’s Bay to support Starbucks workers ON STRIKE for #RedCupRebellion

8973 Bay Pkwy
Picket goes until 8pm! pic.twitter.com/hZGovcumGs

— Workers United, NY NJ Joint Board (@WorkersUnitedNY) November 17, 2022

 

Photo by Natalia Tylim. Photo by Natalia Tylim. Photo by Natalia Tylim.

 

Queens, NY
Report by Lee Wengraf

I went by two picket lines in Queens, NY this morning. Both had picket lines of about a dozen people. At one store, about half of the morning staff didn’t go in and there seemed to be a logjam of customers. Picketers were able to turn some people away, including two transit workers who wouldn’t cross. Most people on the picket line were workers, plus a few members of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). They cited their main demand as getting management back to the table. The morning shift at the other store all stayed out so the store was completely closed.

Photo by Lee Wengraf.

New York, NY
Report by Sam Farber

I went to the picket line at the very big Starbucks Roastery in Chelsea (Ninth Avenue and 15th street). [This location has had several other work stoppages since October over health and safety concerns, including mold and bed bugs found in the store.] Some fifteen people were picketing, but I did not recognize a single face from previous actions. This picket line was more militant and even somewhat aggressive in trying to convince people not to go inside the store. We had moderate success in that effort with perhaps 10 percent of the customers not going in. Jumaane Williams, New York Public Advocate, dropped by and stayed for a few minutes, gave a brief speech of support, and left. Overall, there was a decent turnout and activity in spite of the cold and windy weather.

Chicago, IL
Report by Dennis Kosuth

One of the two stores on strike in Chicago had a significant amount of community support for the four or five workers out on the line on strike. They were running the store with two managers and one scab. Cars were driving through and a few walk-ins would stop and talk.

This is the third time the workers at this store have been on strike, so they’ve got it down. They are all radicals, and one striker asked if I was a socialist. I said yes, and when I asked if she was as well, she said, “I’m more to the left than that.” She moved to Chicago from the suburbs because she wanted to be in the city with social justice minded people.

DSA brought the biggest contingent out to support, including a member who is running for City Council.

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) sent an email to all its members yesterday evening to support and donate to the strikers, and I saw other CTU activists out on the line via social media as well.

I stopped by the picket line on my way to a CTU meeting and the workers were wrapping things up at a second store, saying that management didn’t try and even open.

It was noteworthy how the activists I met were very young and new to activism, especially labor unions. A leader I spoke with at the Armitage store had started working in January 2022, was recruited to the union this summer, and a few months later had been put in charge of organizing the strike.

They are building it all from the bottom up, a much bigger challenge than stepping into an established union. They are doing this with coworkers and as far as I can tell, not a lot of hand-holding by full time union staff.

Tempest member Kirstin Roberts and I spoke that morning, and she mentioned that regardless of whether the strike significantly impacted the profits of Starbucks, the fact they went out across the country toward winning a union contract is an important lesson to workers across the country: Our power is only derived from our collective action.

Photo by Sarah-Ji Rhee. Photo by Sarah-Ji Rhee. The Starbucks Workers United version of Starbucks’ Red Cup.  Photo by Sarah-Ji Rhee. Photo by Sarah-Ji Rhee. Photo by Sarah-Ji Rhee. Photo by Sarah-Ji Rhee.

Carbondale, IL
Report by Adam Turl

A few dozen people came in and out of staffing the picket line. The picket started at 4:20 a.m. Most workers participated in the strike. Two workers crossed the picket line. My partner and I were there for the first two hours. Around half the cars that pulled in left upon getting leaflets from the union. Some folks came back with donuts and other stuff for the workers. Workers from Prairie Farms refused to cross the picket line (I’m not sure if they were there to deliver milk or were just grabbing coffee in-between other deliveries). Comrades from YDSA, workers from the teachers union, and the university unions came out to support the strike (mostly in an informal way).

There was no blocking of entrances, but the Starbucks workers made sure to talk to every single person trying to get in. The inside of the cafe was closed, and they were only doing drive-through orders because of the strike. So, workers lined up along and around the drive-thru lane.

Photo by Adam Turl. Photo by Adam Turl. Photo by Adam Turl.

Madison, WI
Report by Sean Larson and Phil Gasper

In Madison, a crew of about twenty or so Starbucks workers was out in good spirits. Their managers had no idea the picket was happening beforehand, but the whole workplace walked out, shutting down the store for the day. We all walked around with some great handmade signs and did a few chants.

Getting people to the picket line early would have been most effective, but I think in a number of places workers were surprised by their success. They had planned to picket until 7 p.m., but they left at 4 p.m. because the store had been closed all day—all the workers walked out and managers didn’t even try to open it without them.

When asked about future plans, workers said that they hope that today’s walkouts will be sufficient to persuade management to bargain in good faith. We shall see.

Photo by Sean Larson.

Twin Cities, MN
Report by Paul KD

In the Twin Cities, workers at two Starbucks stores walked out, one in St. Paul and one in St. Anthony, a suburb directly northeast of Minneapolis. I was at the St. Anthony location in the morning. Both opened with managers (I don’t think any workers scabbed), so we had a real picket line! The previous strikes had been at a store in Minneapolis, which the boss never opened, so it took the workers a second to catch on, but they did. The manager was being a jerk and telling them that the property line was way outside of the strip mall, which the workers called BS on. Eventually, the cops came in and told the workers to move their table just a few feet away, so that was a win.

We had some good conversations getting people not to enter the store. My favorite was the guy who told me he was a worker at Fair State Brewing, which unionized in 2020. He got really excited and shouted out, “SOLIDARITY!” Both stores closed around 1 p.m., which was a big victory. The picket lines stayed up for a few hours for a victory lap, but it was starting to snow really hard, so the workers called it a day around 4 p.m. The only negative, I would say, was coordinating with community supporters–it should have been emphasized to come early on the day of the picket. I bet if we have a big line next time, we could shut down the store a lot earlier.

Ann Arbor, MI
Report by Ted McTaggert

Three Ann Arbor Starbucks locations are on strike today. My union partner in crime Anne Jackson and I stopped by the downtown location for an hour or so after spending the earlier part of the morning at a bargaining kick-off rally for GEO, the graduate student employees’ union at the University of Michigan, then a solidarity meeting for GEO allies.

There were two other local Starbucks strike locations. One of the two, at a strip mall on the east side of town, had already gone out on strikes over unfair labor practices a few times this year. This might be the first action for the workers on the west side of town. Another nurse from my local visited them and dropped off a box of Jimmy John’s sandwiches. It sounds like they got some flack from customers who just wanted their coffee.

Meanwhile, the downtown workers successfully shut their store down. The managers initially opened the store, but then “got scared and left,” according to one of the workers we talked to. I think their ability to shut down the downtown store was helped by the fact that you can’t walk a half block in downtown Ann Arbor without finding an indie coffee shop. This is their first strike, although they did have a previous job action. Some national media were in touch with the workers at this store. One of the media officials followed up with a response from Starbucks that they would be happy to sit down at the bargaining table with them, or some such nonsense. The workers at the store said the longest management has stayed at the bargaining table on those rare occasions they have agreed to meet with them is three minutes.

Ultimately, of the three stores that were on the map of participating locations from Ann Arbor, workers at all three were able to shut down their stores.

One of the workers reported that there is a fourth store closer to the college campus that is unionized, but couldn’t get it together in time to participate in the action, where the wait time was almost two hours for coffee, although the app said 20-25 minutes. The downtown workers tried to get the closing team of that store to walk out. They succeeded, and workers at the fourth store walked out at 3 p.m. Pretty impressive in my opinion.

This location appears to do a lot of drive-through business and a lot of the clientele are regular customers. A lot of cars drove through and most people were polite about the store being closed. The horn honks and enthusiastic comments of support were few and far between, but I didn’t hear any words of anger or abuse first hand. Two of the five workers I met there were pretty comfortable interacting with the folks coming through and explaining that they were on strike. None of them seemed that interested in chanting, but given their location in a large strip mall parking lot, that might not have been that effective anyway. The strikers largely knew who the folks driving through were and knew their regular orders. So it sounded like one rude woman from that morning might be switching to decaf as of tomorrow, even if she doesn’t know it yet.

Photo by Ted McTaggert.

Long Beach, CA
Report by Gary Holloway

Management at the store at 7th Street and Redondo Avenue did not even try to open at 4:30 a.m. as usual, or 5:30 a.m., or at all.

Josie, a striking worker from the store told their story:

“When we saw what was happening at stores in New York, we sat around and talked. Everybody had an idea of how to make this place better. Before we knew it, we were one of the first unionized Southern California stores. A few weeks ago, the union and the company began negotiations. After five minutes, they went to caucus. After 30 minutes, we realized they weren’t coming back. They stayed in their room for another 6 1/2 hours and left.”

Workers from the Long Beach store and the nearby Lakewood store, also on strike, were going back and forth supporting each others’ actions.

Photo by Gary Holloway. Photo by Gary Holloway Photo by Gary Holloway.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Elliot Stoller via Flikr; modified by Tempest.

Categories: D2. Socialism

More Money for Delivery Workers Will Require More Protection for Them

Streetsblog USA - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 21:01

More money, more problems?

Buried in a new city report calling for a significant pay raise for the city’s nearly 65,000 delivery workers is a small, but potentially significant, prediction: the number of deliveries made per hour will increase from 1.6 to 2.5 per worker, unleashing more two wheeled deliveristas crisscrossing the city’s deadly streets at all hours of the day and night.

A liveable minimum wage is just the first step in ensuring delivery workers’ safety and livelihoods, advocates say — the next is building out the infrastructure necessary to meet the demands of the industry’s growth. As part of the proposed pay increase to $23.82 per hour in the next three years, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection projects that the number of deliveries will jump 35 percent by 2025 — making it even more imperative that the city simultaneously build out more protective infrastructure.

And especially where the majority of those deliveries are concentrated, like in wealthier sections of Brooklyn and Queens and in Manhattan below 110th Street — the same neighborhoods where residents have sought to ban delivery cyclists from bike lanes and bathrooms.

“We need to keep adding bike lanes and I think that’s the first step,” said Hildalyn Colón Hernández, director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships of Los Deliveristas/Workers Justice Project.

The epicenter of deliveries is in many wealthy parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Map: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

On Monday, members of Los Deliveristas/Workers Justice Project demanded that the city add $5 to the $23.82 per hour minimum pay proposal, citing costly upkeep and expenses as part of the dangerous working conditions they experience as they keep New Yorkers fed through rain, sleet, and snow — most often on electric bicycles that can cost more than $1,000 a piece for just the battery alone.

But a much-needed wage hike can’t be done in silo without addressing the lack of protected bike lanes across  the five boroughs, leaving delivery workers — the majority of who are low-income men of color — vulnerable to traffic violence and other crimes.

“Deliveristas’ working conditions became more precarious during the pandemic and continues today. Deliveristas suffer from workplace violence daily. Many of them confront unsafe streets and are victims of violent assaults, even at gunpoint, in an attempt to steal their e-bikes or mopeds, which are the primary tools of their work,” Los Deliveristas Unidos/Workers Justice said in a statement. “Many are victims of fatalities, disabled, injured, or made unwell as they fulfill orders for the apps under unrealistic and dangerous expectations to arrive at the assigned location under any condition: rain, shine, extreme weather, like snowstorms, freezing rain, and even hurricanes.”

We appreciate the city’s effort to release a proposed min pay, but it’s NOT enough. We do one of the most dangerous jobs, enduring the hardest working conditions while delivering NYers food during snowstorms & hurricanes.

We need $5 more to get by as essential workers. ?#LDU pic.twitter.com/dyRAzpr1p2

— gustavo ajche (@AjcheGustavo) November 21, 2022

Working cyclists, and specifically app-based delivery workers, have one of the most dangerous jobs in the city, now ranking higher than some of the most historically deadly jobs, including construction workers and nursing assistants, according to a study released last week by the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection. And they’re dying at rapid rates. Since 2020, 33 delivery workers have been killed on the job — 26 of which were the result of traffic violence. Five were killed in robberies and two of their deaths are unknown, according to the report.

Delivery workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the city. Click to enlarge. Source: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

And the proposed minimum hourly pay is meant to address those dangers — albeit not enough, workers say.

After a two-year phase-in, according to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the app-based delivery companies like Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Relay, which are opposed to the proposal, would have to pay delivery workers a minimum of $23.82 per hour, excluding tips. Now, on average, they bring home just $7.09 per hour, excluding tips.

It’s unclear exactly how the projected increase in deliveries will impact the job, and whether it’ll mean more or less mileage for workers, or faster or slower speeds. Workers can already set their own limits on how far they travel, thanks to new legislation passed last year, as part of the holistic reforms to the industry.

But according to the report, the increase in deliveries per hour will be the result of more efficiency in the app itself, including changes like a reduction in what’s called on-call time — the waiting period between deliveries while still on the app — and better matching supply to demand, like having a worker pick up two orders from the same restaurant and delivering them one after the other. Two deliveries are made but the travel time and distance may be shortened, according to the report.

What is clear, though, is that the demand is growing and the city must meet it, not only with adequate pay but with safer streets.

“Delivery workers, like all New Yorkers, deserve a living wage, and the City of New York needs to follow through. Workers have the right to a safe workplace: for our city’s delivery workers, this means a network of safe, protected bike lanes that help prevent crashes. Delivery workers face a higher rate of days missed from work because of injuries and often lack health insurance to cover related costs — safer streets is a matter of economic justice,” said Elizabeth Adams, Senior Director of Advocacy and Organizing at Transportation Alternatives.

A spokesperson for DOT said the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection’s report highlights the importance of live-saving infrastructure, including on critical corridors like Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn and Northern Boulevard in Queens.

“This report underscores the importance of DOT’s life-saving work to deliver safe cycling infrastructure and the intersectional benefits of these projects. Data shows bike lanes improve safety for all road users, including often overlooked communities, such as older New Yorkers and delivery cyclists,” said Vin Barone.

And it’s not just a need for more protected bike lanes, but also charging stations that allow delivery workers to safely power up their e-bike’s lithium-ion batteries — a recent flashpoint as the number of deadly fires stemming from faulty batteries has skyrocketed. Last month, after backlash, the city backed down from a contentious policy proposal that sought to bar e-bikes anywhere on New York City Housing Authority property.

“I support the 65,000 Deliveristas who deliver food to New Yorkers in all kinds of weather, at all hours, and in difficult road conditions,” said Manhattan Council Member Gale Brewer, who introduced legislation banning the sale and assembly of second-use lithium ion batteries. “As an elected official who is advocating for safer batteries for e-bikes, I know that the new, safe batteries cost more; I support increasing the expense rate in the rule by $5 to address these work tools.”

But being able to afford a proper battery is only as good as one’s ability to charge it, said Colón Hernández. Last month, Sen. Chuck Schumer, the city, and Los Deliveristas Unidos, announced a new initiative to create new charging stations for delivery workers out of retrofitted newsstands – but it so far includes only one in lower Manhattan.

“Another thing that needs to happen on the transportation side is we need to address the issue of charging, we need to provide the infrastructure,” she said.

And lastly, the city needs to educate not only workers who use mopeds, but also members of the NYPD and FDNY, for whom the many different variations of two-wheeled devices has been a point of confusion.

“We need to address the need for clear guidelines, it’s an issue for many workers who actually register mopeds, said Colón Hernández.

New York City roadways remain exceptionally dangerous, according to DOT stats:

Chart: DOT

Comments on the proposed new wages can be submitted ahead of the public hearing on Dec. 16. Comments can be sent to rulecomments@dcwp.nyc.gov or mailed to DCWP, 42 Broadway; New York, New York 10004

Opinion: The Real Reason Why Americans Keep Buying SUVs

Streetsblog USA - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 21:01

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on the Urban Phoenix and is republished with permission 

Arian Horbotetz

Urbanists like myself often malign the tremendous proliferation of Sport Utility Vehicles, or SUVs. After all, when we advocate for pedestrian safety, environmental sustainability and re-committing road space back to people, the meteoric growth of the SUV market contradicts nearly everything we fight for.

Over 52 percent of automobiles purchased in 2021 were SUVs, more than two to one over sedans. The first four months of 2022 showed that 72.9 percent of all car purchased were either SUVs or pickups. With the rise of bigger, heavier, more powerful vehicles comes the alarming rise in pedestrian fatalities. The surge of SUVs as the dominant form of the American automobile has, in a sense, taken an already deadly disease and made it stronger.

Often, urbanists challenge the “choice” that Americans make when they buy these massive vessels of capacity. But before we give the stank eye to every neighbor who brings home a new Honda Pilot, let’s look at why Americans believe they need to purchase a vehicle of this magnitude.

Speaking anecdotally, I’ve asked hundreds of people why they chose an SUV instead of a car. The answer I hear the most is “I feel safer.” Right off the bat this is a telling response, as drivers believe they have to arm themselves with a larger vehicle in order to safely move about our society. So we keep pushing our budgets to buy larger vehicles in an effort to compete in the on-road version of Dr. Seuss’s The Butter Battle Book.

The other response I receive when I ask this question is obvious: the buyer has multiple children, and having more capacity for their kids and their kids’ friends is vital.

Let’s unpack this. Yes, it’s easier to transport your kids when you have more space to do so. But why do you have to do this in the first place? Suburban sprawl and the rejection of family-centric and densely supportive neighborhoods means that every trip you make, your kids need to make too. Going to the grocery store? Your family is 5 miles away (on purpose) and there is no babysitting option.

Cargo Bikes: The Happiest Transportation Mode on Earth

And every trip your kids make is a distance that is accessible by car. Soccer game? Can’t walk to that. Band show? Can’t walk to that. So you just drive. And because you must drive, you must have the capacity to drive all of your kids if necessary, and oh yeah, their friends too … because like you, everyone else has participated in this sprawling suburban boondoggle that forces us to buy the vehicle with the greatest possible capacity.

So while we urbanists often see SUV purchases as an unnecessarily individualistic expression of decadence, perhaps we might start to see this reaction as a personal strategy to mitigate a developmental priority that promotes exclusivity and the subsequent narrowing of practical mobility options. In other words, the safety and flexibility that the $50,000+ vehicle provides is not a choice as much as a reaction to the kind of development strategy that the U.S. has championed.

Sometimes the most powerful narratives are the ones that reposition winners as victims of a system that has been cast upon them. As urbanists, it might behoove us to view the proliferation of the SUV as a product of a flawed community design rather than an irresponsible individual choice.

Friday’s Post-Turkey Headlines

Streetsblog USA - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 21:00

  • Cities can cut traffic and air pollution by creating zero-emissions delivery zones. (The City Fix)
  • Bike-shares are becoming more sustainable by repairing bikes in the field and optimizing van routes when rebalancing their fleets. (Fortune)
  • Georgia congressman Hank Johnson writes in favor of prioritizing transportation projects that cut carbon emissions. (Transit Center)
  • The new Ford Raptor gets a terrifying 10 miles per gallon. (Jalopnik)
  • Lots of cities have been writing climate action plans, and 2023 is the year they’ll start to implement them. (American Cities and Counties)
  • San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Dublin are among the cities that made streets car-free during the pandemic and then kept them that way. (Next City)
  • New Orleans is finally thinking about revamping the St. Claude bridge, a bottleneck for anyone on foot or bike. (The Advocate)
  • A Houston city councilman is hoping that designating a new city park will block the Texas DOT’s proposed I-45 expansion. (Axios)
  • A Los Angeles driver fell asleep behind the wheel and injured 25 law enforcement recruits who were jogging in the street. (CBS News)
  • Claims that Washington state’s new carbon offset fee amounts to a 46-cent gas tax hike are false. (KREM)
  • The Seattle DOT is delaying a bike lane and sidewalk project on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. (The Urbanist)
  • Tampa is experimenting with sidewalk solar panels that could power traffic lights during a hurricane. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • The Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority honored Coy Dumas Jr. for his 50 years of service as a bus operator. (AJC)

First Nations, Bimblebox win in court decision against Clive Palmer’s Galilee Coal Mine

Lock the Gate Alliance - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 20:55

Today’s Land Court decision against Clive Palmer’s Galilee Coal Project will have welcome, far reaching consequences for all planned new coal mines in Queensland, say Lock the Gate Alliance and Environmental Advocacy in Central Queensland.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

World’s biggest offshore wind turbine rolls off production line

Renew Economy - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 20:19

Chinese renewables giants Goldwind and China Three Gorges say they have produced the world's largest offshore wind turbine, at 16MW per-unit capacity.

The post World’s biggest offshore wind turbine rolls off production line appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Energy Insiders Podcast: Australia’s carbon capital has a transition plan

Renew Economy - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 20:11

Australia’s carbon capital has a 10-year plan to transition to clean energy. Next Economy’s Amanda Cahill, who helped guide the Gladstone council, explains how and why.

The post Energy Insiders Podcast: Australia’s carbon capital has a transition plan appeared first on RenewEconomy.

First Australian graphite pilot plant marks new supply source for battery makers

Renew Economy - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 20:11

First graphite pilot plant in Australia, located in the heart of Western Australia's coal centre, marks big step for key component of lithium batteries.

The post First Australian graphite pilot plant marks new supply source for battery makers appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Landmark first trade in peak demand certificates takes load off electricity market

Renew Economy - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 20:02

Core Markets says it has brokered the first ever trade in certificates for a New South Wales market scheme designed to reduce electricity demand over summer months.

The post Landmark first trade in peak demand certificates takes load off electricity market appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Battery storage and big solar button keep lights on and dampen critics in South Australia

Renew Economy - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 19:47

Interim report into South Australia separation event points to key roles played by battery storage and the controls over rooftop solar.

The post Battery storage and big solar button keep lights on and dampen critics in South Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Why Australia’s biggest gas kettle never stood a chance against wind and solar

Renew Economy - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 18:50

Torrens Island B gas generator is just a giant kettle, the gas equivalent of the dirty Latrobe Valley coal burners, and equally useless to a grid transitioning to renewables.

The post Why Australia’s biggest gas kettle never stood a chance against wind and solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Planet’s Most Unique Birds at Higher Risk of Extinction

Environment News Service - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 18:16

A new study finds that bird species with extreme or uncommon combinations of traits face the highest risk of extinction.

Categories: H. Green News

How Studying the Clouds Can Improve Climate Models

Environment News Service - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 18:08

Associate Research Scientist Kara Lamb grew up reading her father’s Scientific American magazines.

Categories: H. Green News

A Study Offers New Insights Into the Record 2021 Western North America Heat Wave

Environment News Service - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 18:07

The heat wave that hammered western North America in late June and early July 2021 was not just any midsummer event.

Categories: H. Green News

A Warmer Arctic Ocean Leads to More Snowfall Further South

Environment News Service - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 18:05

Rising air temperatures due to global warming melt glaciers and polar ice caps.

Categories: H. Green News

Australia-Evolution unveils new fleet electrification partnership with VivoPower’s Tembo unit for its light utility vehicle fleet

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 17:24
VivoPower International PLC has announced that the company, along with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tembo EV Australia Pty Ltd, has entered into a Supply Agreement with the Evolution Group Holdings Limited for the full electrification of its fleet of light utility vehicles for traffic management and fleet management.

Pryme Group launches two offshore wind installation solutions to global market

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 17:24
Engineering collective Pryme Group has launched to the global market, via Caley Ocean Systems, two specialist tooling systems for offshore wind installations, designed to support the installation of monopile and jacketed foundations for offshore wind, by providing a localised, rigid deflection constraint.

Indonesia-ACWA Power to expand Indonesian portfolio via partnership with PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN)

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 17:24
Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide ACWA Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), Indonesia’s state-owned electricity provider involving the development of battery storage for renewable energy facilities, and green hydrogen development in the country.

Northumberland Estates submits plans for a solar farm in North Tyneside to power 9,000 homes

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 17:24
Northumberland Estates has submitted plans for a solar farm as part of its renewable energy strategy with the potential to power nearly 9,000 homes each year.

DNV and Reodor Studios to create digital service for sustainable wind farm decommissioning

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 11/24/2022 - 17:24
Independent expert in risk management and assurance DNV is collaborating with Reodor Studios to create a digital service that will make it easy to plan for sustainable decommissioning and recycling when a wind farm has reached the end of its life cycle.

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