Minnesota GreenStep’s Real Agenda Part 3;

February 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm 1 comment

By Andrew Richter

OK so far we’ve spoken about the attempts to force us into higher density housing and get us out of our cars and make us to walk and bike. Now let’s look at “best practice” 13 about so-called “efficient city fleets.”

Green Step Program Best Practice 13

Implement a city fleet investment, operations and maintenance plan.

OK, as always, that sounds innocent, but what exactly does this mean?

Here is action item one;

Efficiently use existing fleet of city vehicles by encouraging trip bundling, video conferencing, carpooling, vehicle sharing and incentives/technology.

Encourage carpooling and vehicle sharing? What are you going to do; force employees to carpool? Not hire them unless they take the bus?

Phase-in no-idling practices, operational and fuel changes, and equipment changes including electric vehicles, for city or local transit fleets.

Oh and I suppose electric cars cost nothing…..

Phase in bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.

What? Police on bikes and foot? Imagine someone calls 911 reporting a bank robbery and the police go after them on a bike!! Hey, gotta reduce that carbon footprint.

Document that the local school bus fleet has optimized routes, start times, boundaries, vehicle efficiency and fuels, driver actions to cut costs including idling reduction, and shifting students from the bus to walking, biking and city transit.

This really isn’t the business of a city, and it was the government that forced school busing on us anyway. How about the “Choice is Yours Program where we send a taxi to get one kid from Minneapolis to the suburbs?” Is that efficient? So who the hell is government to lecture us about fuel efficiency?

Participate in Project GreenFleet to retrofit city diesel engines or to install auxiliary power units.

Ahh, Project Green Fleet….yet another third-party group trying to tell us what to do.

Project Green Fleet

Here is their summary;

Whether a city – or other taxpayer-funded entity such as a park or school district – leases or owns vehicles, or contracts for vehicle services such as road grading, planned actions can cut costs per taxpayer and cut total mobility costs and carbon emissions per employee.

OK, I have a way to fix this. Instead of spending money on electric cars and forcing people to carpool why doesn’t every unit government cut their employees by 5%! If we have fewer people employed, then fewer employees are driving, and we don’t need to do any of this to reduce our so-called “carbon emissions.” There problem solved!

But then again, less government isn’t the goal of Green Step. It’s hard to force people into high density housing, get them out of their cars, re-stripe roads, build bike paths, build public transit and then use that as an excuse to redevelop with less people.

And notice…..I didn’t mention light bulbs.


Entry filed under: Agenda 21, City Government, Community, County, Environment, Met Council, Transportation.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Michael Libby  |  February 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Actually a lot of places have implemented bike patrols for police because it improves the ability of police to actively patrol various areas where big police cars and SUVs are less appropriate.

    Parks and other areas like that don’t need cops huffing and puffing their way across the park to a call after racing across town (and possibly through the park as well). If the officer is already there on a bike, they can respond far more effectively in the short term while motorized backup is on the way.

    Also, police on bikes are more likely to interact with the community in a positive way during their patrol. A quick hello, a friendly “seen anything?”, whatever… that doesn’t happen if all the police are sitting in idling cars waiting for calls.

    Bashing the use of police on bikes is something I totally don’t understand. It seems short-sighted. No one is saying replace every police cruiser with a bike. They are saying integrate this type of patrol with existing patrol strategies.

    Personally I think the benefits are not just environmental but social.


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