Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7:47PM
Dear Friends and Neighbors -
As a consumer, I am not against freight forwarders. I've used DHL, FedEx, UPS and of course, the USPS, along with several other freight companies over the years. They provide a valuable service and one that is considered essential in our society today.
However, as a Brisbane resident and tax payer, I am against expanding freight forwarding operations in Crocker Park. Freight forwarding operations do not contribute to our city coffers in any direct way and yet their trucks destroy our roads and use valuable infrastructure without contributing to upkeep, repair or city services like police, fire, and public works. (Think giant potholes and rough roads.)
Many years ago, South San Francisco put a 20% cap based on freight forwarding operations because although SSF is ideally situated for this type of business, they realized that the cost of these operations were a serious drain on city resources with little benefit.
Brisbane enacted the same cap as SSF to prevent being overrun with freight forwarders no longer allowed in SSF. However, our situation is vastly different than SSF and this was not taken into account. In addition, our ordinance has not been properly revisited for at least a decade.
SSF has a much larger business base over which to spread the infrastructure cost. Residential traffic does not constantly share the same routes and SSF has greater area so that the same roads are not constantly beat to death. Here, even an increase of 100 truck-trips a day in Crocker Park has a huge impact on Brisbane.
You can cry NIMBY if you want, but I think that accommodating this "service" needs to be shared regionally, just like "housing needs."
As an environmentalist, I am also against expanding freight forwarding in Crocker Park. Diesel emissions have been proven over and over again to be toxic and harmful to humans, plants and animals. The bowl shape of Crocker Park combined with limited ingress, egress and distance from 101 exacerbates this situation not only for us, but for the fragile habitat on our mountain.
In addition to direct health problems linked to diesel emissions and black carbon soot, produced from incomplete combustion of diesel fuel and biomass, is one of the largest contributors to climate change apart from CO2 and should be a prime target of policymakers.
Installing particulate filters in current and new fleets of diesel vehicles in the US is also important strategy; filters can cut particulate emissions by up to 90 percent. We already have the technologies needed to achieve deep reductions and move us forward in the clean energy economy, but they are not written in our current ordinance regulating freight forwarders. This should be implemented and not just for freight forwarders, but all regular truck traffic in Brisbane. Until these protections are in place, I again call for a moratorium on more truck traffic in Brisbane.
If you don't believe in pollution-caused global warming and the dangerous near-term consequences of abrupt climate change, then do nothing.
If you think that the health consequences of breathing diesel exhaust is at an acceptable level for you and your children, then do nothing.
If you do not value the quality of life of our collective future, then do nothing.
If we make the tough choices, devote our beings to fighting pollution and making the earth cleaner, the air breathable, and global warming is just a big hoax made up by Al Gore and some scientists, what are the consequences?
We will have spent a lot of time and effort cleaning up our mess for nothing -- except we'll have a cleaner, healthier planet.
If we ignore the tough choices, do nothing, and just focus on our creature comforts because we don't believe in man-made climate change and it turns out to be true, what are the consequences?