Seize the Day

Monday, June 26, 2006

Research Paper

Urban sprawl and traffic in California

- Seo Young Park


< Abstract >

In general, California is known as a hot, dry and exotic place. That is why a lot of people want to visit there. But, on the other hands, presently, California is suffering from unplanned developments and transport congestion. This paper is about urban sprawl and traffic problem that are one of the worst environmental problems in California.


Millions of Americans wake up to news about how unhealthy their air is, especially in the summer when air pollution is worst. Although many states have air that is much cleaner than it was twenty years ago, many studies show over half of all Americans breathe polluted air. The pollution problem is caused, in part, by expanding cities and suburbs. Many cities in the U.S. are overcrowded, forcing housing builders to start new communities on land outside city limits. This spread of housing developments and strip malls is called "urban sprawl."
In major cities like Chicago, Washington, and New York, people who live the suburban communities surrounding these cities must drive almost everywhere, including to their jobs. As more people move to the suburbs and commute to the city, the levels of traffic and pollution increase. D. Gonyea (2006) said, “Highway construction has often taken priority over building mass transportation systems. One result, urban sprawl, and move over more concentrated housing in much of country.” And California is one of those places. Actually, according to 2005’s annual Traffic Mobility Report, “Southern California was rated the worst traffic region in the country.” (Ventura, 2005) More cars on the streets and highways mean more traffic jams. And as cars sit in traffic, they burn gasoline and give off pollutants called hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. When sunlight hits these compounds, they are from ozone, a dangerous from of oxygen. These kind of Ozone creates smog and makes respiratory.
According to John Krist (2006), California’s Central Valley has decided to inforce some regulations in order to reduce ozone pollution. However, California’s over-all level of ozone and soot are over the federal standards. Presently, the Valley’s target has changed from power plants to urban sprawl. The main reason for the Valley’s high level of pollutant matters is due to traffic. This means the Valley has to start to try to solve this air pollution problem indirectly. The new regulation has a flexible fee for a typical residential development. Although anyone can build a large building, builders can reduce the amount of money they spend by utilizing green building technology strategies. The critics of this regulation are skeptical because it could district to clean the air, and they are running out of the air pollution controls. Here is the first problem and we need to find a solution.
At first, in my opinion, unplanned developments can create urban sprawl, traffic and pollution. An organized government can develop a city plan. After the Industrial Revolution, cities grew up in an instant. During that time, there was not one certain leader who was well-known and knowledgeable about planning to develop cities. Thus, each part of a city developed by individual people or companies in several times. Then, people started to live in more developed areas or near more developed areas. This is why problems with urban sprawl developed. Therefore, we need to elect good government officials to develop this region.
Lisa Mascaro (2006) said, in her article “Massive ignoring of transit; Southland officials feel Arnold’s plan falls short”, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is the governor of California, plan an unprecedented proposal to reduce traffic congestion. And the governor said in another article, “Traffic does not have to keep getting worse, it can get better,” (Mendel, 2006). This plan include highway and freight projects with car-pool lane. But it already has been argued because of its cost and taking time. So, there are still controversies about toll, earmarking the cost and ballot to decide the measure.
We have to stop to develop big cities. Everyone wants to live in the biggest cities. But, having a lot of people live in a specific area brings about pollution and destruction of the environment and this is even worse in dry regions like California. The hot and dry climate makes people exhausted and they can develop respiratory diseases. Besides, the unplanned highways that made by unplanned cause traffic everyday and the air pollution is getting worse.
It is important to use the places and times more flexibly. If we all drive cars at the same time, the levels of soot could be the highest. I would suggest we reduce driving cars little by little. As you know, nature has self-purification abilities even though it takes time. But, I am sure if we try to regulate traffic and by adding technology to aid nature to purify itself, we can reduce pollution.
Only cooperating with the efforts of government and other people can we clean California’s Central Valley and the Earth. It can’t be possible with just some effort. Presently, environmental problems are one of the hottest issues. I think it is the best time to practice to recover our living place.
My second opinion is that traffic congestion has to be solved by long-term plan.
Urban sprawl and a lot of cars make traffic today. People have to use car to live their own lives and then, traffic has occurred. Here comes the problem. The time that people drive cars are almost fixed and the roads are limited. Besides, California has few public transportation. Thus they need to find some ways to overcome this situation.
Generally, it takes a lot of money and time to improve roads and train systems. That is why the government needs long-term plan. When the construction starts, there occur inconveniences such as more traffic and congestion. Actually it would be temporary but to build roads take pretty long time. So, the construction has to go on little by little in order to reduce inconveniences at a minimum. And social works need lots of money. This is the second reason that I recommend long-term plan. The government could get investment continuously by investors and be supported by taxes. Thus, if we have enough time, we can handle temporary traffic by construction and money problem from short-term plans.



Reference:
Gonyea, D. (2006), A Future Full of Pumped-Up Gas Prices?. Weekend Edition Sunday. Retrieved from May 30, 2006, Lexis-Nexis database.
Krist, J. (2006), California’s Central Valley Ties Air Quality To Urban Sprawl. Scripps Howard News. Retrieved from May 30, 2006, Lexis-Nexis database.
Mascaro, L. (2006), Massive Ignoring of Transit; Southland Officials Feel Arnold’s Plan Falls Short. The Daily News of Los Angeles. Retrieved from May 30, 2006, Lexis-Nexis database.
Mendel, E. (2006), Governor Envisions 18 Percent Less Infuriating Commute. Copley News Service. Retrieved from May 30, 2006, Lexis-Nexis database.
Using Bonds to Fix State’s Roads a Bumpy Solution. (2006. December 28). Ventura County Star (California).

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summary Response

Seo Young Park
EAP2 063
June 19, 2006
WW Summary Response 1


California’s urban sprawl

According to John Krist (2006), in his article “California’s Central Valley ties air quality to urban sprawl”, California’s Central Valley has decided to inforce some regulations in order to reduce ozone pollution. However, California’s over-all level of ozone and soot are over the federal standards. Presently, the Valley’s target has changed from power plants to urban sprawl. The main reason for the Valley’s high level of pollutant matters is due to traffic. This means the Valley has to start to try to solve this air pollution problem indirectly. The new regulation has a flexible fee for a typical residential development. Although anyone can build a large building, builders can reduce the amount of money they spend by utilizing green building technology strategies. The critics of this regulation are skeptical because it could district to clean the air, and they are running out of the air pollution controls.
Unplanned developments can create urban sprawl, traffic and pollution.
An organized government can develop a city plan. After the Industrial Revolution, cities grew up in an instant. During that time, there was not one certain leader who was well-known and knowledgeable about planning to develop cities. Thus, each part of a city developed by individual people or companies in several times. Then, people started to live in more developed areas or near more developed areas. This is why problems with urban sprawl developed and we need to elect good government officials to develop this region.
Second, we have to stop to develop big cities. Everyone wants to live in the biggest cities. But, having a lot of people live in a specific area brings about pollution and destruction of the environment and this is even worse in dry regions like California. The hot and dry climate make people exhausted and they can develop respiratory diseases. Besides, the unplanned highways that made by unplanned cause traffic everyday and the air pollution is getting worse.
It is important to use the places and times more flexibly. If we all drive cars at the same time, the levels of soot could be the highest. I would suggest we reduce driving cars little by little. As you know, nature has self-purification abilities even though it takes time. But, I am sure if we try to regulate traffic and by adding technology to aid nature to purify itself, we can reduce pollution.
Only cooperating with the efforts of government and other people can we clean California’s Central Valley and the earth. It can’t be possible with just some effort. Presently, environmental problems are one of the hottest issues. I think it is the best time to practice to recover our living place.

Reference:
Krist, J. (2006), California’s Central Valley Ties Air Quality To Urban Sprawl. Scripps Howard News. Retrieved from May 30, 2006, Lexis-Nexis database.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Synthesis practice

Q1) What are the areas that are in danger?

Areas in danger are the State of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Oregon and Florida. According to Donovan (1993, p. 42), “The ecosystems of American forests are continually in danger of extinction. The State of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois…large tracts of land in Oregon…are being damaged by fires caused by both natural storms and human actions”, and the Florida Everglades are in danger, too (Connor, 1994).


Q2) What causes the destruction of forest areas?

Forest areas are destroyed, because of the number of houses and farms, natural storms, human actions, governments’ grants to cut trees and introduction of foreign species. According to Donovan (1993, p. 42), “In the State of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, the number of houses and farms is coming close to surpassing the trees, and large tracts of land in Oregon are being damaged by fires caused by both natural storms and human actions.” Also, Grant said, “At both of Federal and State levels, the government grants contracts to lumber companies to cut down trees in the parks” (1995, p. 102). And according to Conner (1994), introduced foreign species are destroying the native species.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Polar Bears' Mortality

In Polar bears drown as ice shelf melt, by Will Iredale, the auther says in resent research, scientists have found evidence that polar bears are drowning because of the melting of the Arctic ice. It comes with the increasing temperature in summer. The evidence of this presently are four bear carcasses which were found in Alaska and the cannibalism from lack of food has been shown in the northeast coast of Russia. The polar bears with stand fierce storms and rough seas to search for food.

The human desires are finally destroying the ecosystem. So, we have to recover nature.

This horrible situation was made by the greenhouse effect, The greenhouse effect is cause by pollution of exhaust gases such as carbon dioxidefrom cars and factories. These gases destroy the ozone layer and cause skin disease, rising temperature and eventually melting the ice of the Arctic that is the habitat of polar bear. People developed everything all around them. For example, they cut trees, built buildings, discharged polluted gases and almost used the natural resources up.

Actually, not only this polar bear accident, but also other conditions are happening all over the world. In this case, poor polar bears are dying even though they are innocent. And there is no way to recover the melting of ice. People hace made all things more comfortable but nature has been dying. Someday, we receive back that which was made by us. So, in this time we decide to preserve the nature.

The ways to save the earth are various. They are from the smallest thing such as recycling, to joining environmental organizations; it's up to your mind. The polar bears are alive like humans. People can't live in the world theat animals can't live in.

Therefore, if we try to conserve nature, we will be able to save the polar bears and our other neighbors in nature.



Reference
Iredale, W. (2005, Dec. 18). Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts. times online. Retrieved Mar. 24, 2006
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-523-1938132-523,00.html

Monday, March 27, 2006

Hi.

Seize the day :)