Clark Williams-Derry

Clark Williams-Derry is research director for the Seattle-based Sightline Institute, a nonprofit sustainability think tank working to promote smart solutions for the Pacific Northwest. He was formerly the webmaster for Grist.


Passing on gas: Driving rates falling across the board

The decline of U.S. car culture -- among young people and in general -- has serious implications for transportation policy.


Highway to hell: More roads = more traffic

Photo: Cyril PlapiedCross-posted from Sightline Daily. Tuesday’s news carries a story that I’ve been expecting for a while: Connecting Washington, a task force convened by Washington’s governor, has called for $21 billion in new transportation investments over the next 10 years. I haven’t seen the recommendations themselves, only the news report. But it looks like the money would get spread around a bit — with some for ferries and some for transit — but from what I can gather, most of the money would be slated for roads. So in the upcoming months, I expect we’ll be hearing a lot …

Cars vs. bulldozers: a look at road construction GHGs

Photo: Joost J. Bakker IJmuidenThis post originally appeared on Sightline Institute’s blog. Here’s an interesting study (not free, unfortunately) by University of Washington engineering professor Stephen Muench, reviewing the literature on the energy and CO2 impacts of road construction. His study looks mostly at the construction phase itself, rather than the use of the road. In a nutshell: Manufacturing roadway materials generates somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of the CO2 emissions associated with road building. Transportation of equipment and materials to the job site accounts for 10 to 30 percent, and construction activities at the job site itself account for …