As Bay Space Reopens, Let’s Concentrate on the Different, Ongoing Disaster – Streetsblog San Francisco

San Francisco and other cities in California are moving into the “yellow” stage of the COVID pandemic, which means that all previously closed sectors can now be opened. The expansion includes “all activities to a capacity of 50% indoors, provided the state does not require more restrictive capacity limits. If possible, the city will lift restrictions on the number of people participating in activities and relax other operating restrictions. Live spectator events, festivals, meetings, receptions and conventions will also be expanded significantly, ”Mayor London Breed’s office wrote in a press release.

More from the mayor’s office:

The rate of new cases and the very low number of hospitalizations is a direct result of the vaccination effort in San Francisco. To date, 72% of the eligible San Francisco population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, nearly twice as much as it was six weeks ago when the city moved to the orange row. Additionally, 86% of the city’s residents over 65 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 73% are fully vaccinated.

San Francisco’s high vaccination rate and relatively low overall COVID rates are the result of strong leadership from health and other officials – and the advanced collaboration of companies that sent employees home at the start of the pandemic. Bay Area residents generally recognized the importance of communication skills and the rate of spread of COVID, and made bold and difficult decisions while other cities hesitated.

Compared to what happened in New York or even Los Angeles, science saved countless lives in 2020 – just as the focus on getting vaccines into arms is now paying off.

Countries around the world continue to suffer from almost unimaginable horrors thanks to COVID. And the Bay Area may not be completely out of the woods yet. But it has been a long time since leaders committed to doing their part to resolve this other ongoing catastrophe: global warming.

Half a world away, in Germany, the heads of state and government announced on Wednesday that they will be emission-free by 2045. Germany has long been electrifying and investing in its rail and transit systems and the renewable energy sources to power them. They are doing everything in their power to make the bicycle the main means of transport in the city and to ban cars in the inner city of Berlin and other cities. Nik Kaestner, a recent Bay Area to Berlin transplant pushing for upgrades to the roundabout near an SFUSD school, was so impressed that he started a blog about these brave efforts.

A street in Berlin, cars awayA street in Berlin, cars away

Readers are undoubtedly aware that similar efforts are being made in Paris and other major European cities to urgently decarbonise.

San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities have made progress during the pandemic, through various open roads and slow road efforts. But sliding back started almost immediately. And unless leaders show the same determination and determination they showed over COVID in the early days of the pandemic, it is a matter of time before this opportunity to point the way to a less polluting future is lost goes.

Maybe it’s too late.

As professor and writer Jason Henderson wrote on Twitter today: “Cars [are] pouring from Marin to San Francisco this morning. This Thursday there will be yellow interior openings. What is the plan? Is there a plan? “He linked up with a story in the Washington Post titled,” NOAA Reveals New US Climate Norms That Are Warmer Than Ever Before. “From That Story:” The big challenge in depicting “normal” climates is that the US climate is no longer stationary as the rise in greenhouse gases pushes temperatures higher and higher. “

And yet, San Francisco continues to debate whether to keep a small portion of the JFK drive in Golden Gate Park car-free in order to preserve a handful of parking spaces.

If you don’t like the coronavirus, you will hate the climate crisis. If we can get the climate emergency under control soon, we can avoid the privations, limitations and disruptions that result from inaction. If we can bend the corona curve, we can bend the carbon curve.

– Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) April 27, 2020

A recent poll by Environment California group found that nearly two-thirds of Californians believe the state is not doing enough to combat climate change. Why isn’t there a transit-only lane in the main photo so buses can bypass all traffic? Why is there still no bike or transit lane over the Oakland Bay Bridge? The debate shouldn’t be about whether cars should return to JFK. The debate should be about how the Bay Area can reduce emissions everywhere as quickly as possible.

The pandemic claimed a staggering 578,000 lives in the US and continues to devastate countries around the world. The ongoing global warming crisis threatens to last much longer. There is hope with the election of Joe Biden and a government that appears to be taking climate change seriously. Now the Bay Area must follow the lead of Europe’s big cities and redouble its efforts to build a more sustainable future.

If so, this time around, perhaps the rest of the country will join the San Francisco leadership. Because if the pandemic has underscored anything, it is not good to pay lip service to the warnings of good science or to otherwise ignore them.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button