Fossil Fuel Shortage

For the fossil fuel shortage created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. the International Energy Agency has ten recommendations. Two are converting to “electric heat pumps and prioritizing electric vehicles.“ The IEA emphasizes that this will help address the shortage of fossil fuels and ease problems created by the Russian invasion. For those making this transition, you will also lower your energy costs and have better safety and air quality in your home and community. Electric heat pumps are currently the most energy efficient way to heat space and water. If you have an older gas guzzling car and heat with fossil fuels, act now to prepare for a better future. It only makes cents!


Go All-Electric

One action to reduce the impacts of climate change is to get ones home off of fossil fuels. I had natural gas space and water, and cooking. I decided to all-electric. My story is …

My experience is that going all-electric works best if you plan ahead. Home appliances, like furnaces, water heaters, and stoves have 15-25 year service lives.

Start studying options. As appliances become older, check their operation and whether they have the features you want. Appliance technology is changing all the time and new features improve their functioning.

My gas furnace functioning deterioriated in the winter of 2016. I looked at natural gas and electric options and chose an electric, all-house heat pump and air handler to replace my gas, forced-air furnace. A few years later, I replaced my gas water heater with a heat-pump water heater. Next, my gas stove needed replacement, and I installed an induction stove. Finally, I added a heat pump dryer. It replaced and electric dryer, but is lower heat and less damaging to clothes.

Why do this? Getting off fossil fuels is one reason. Also, it is likely fossil fuels may be taxed in the future. My operating costs, currently, are 10% lower

Plus, now, I have air conditioning for the projected hotter summers. I loved cooking on a gas stove, but the speed and control of an induction stove is as good. My air handler has a HEPA filter, and I had no smoke during large forest fires during the late summer of 2020. Indoor air quality now has no NOx that is a byproduct from burning natural gas. Further, my wife says, “Í’m so happy not to worry about natural gas leaks.”

Becoming all-electric has advantages outlined in this slide.

Corvallis Parking Studies

Why is parking important in Corvallis and every city? Parking takes land that could be used for other purposes. Parking mandates raise housing costs. Parking districts preference some parkers over others. What is a fair way to include and allocate parking without turn a community into an asphalt desert? The studies below elaborate on these issuesl

Corvallis Area Devoted to Cars            

In 2015, Corvallis allocated 25% of its land to car dependence and the area devoted to each car is equal to the size of the average house. This figure is typical to most suburban cities. Details at

Is Eight Parking Spaces Per Car Enough?        

Corvallis, like most cities has plenty of parking capacity. Parking problems come when parking spaces are not available at the time and place wanted by a driver.       

Off-Street Parking Mandates and Parking Occupancy Rates

Overall mandated parking is 25 to 50% greater than needed. Free on-street parking typically has a higher occupancy rate than off-street parking. Results at

Townhouse and Residential Parking Near OSU           

Neighborhood context like car storage needs of residents, commuter parking needs, commercial traffic, and daily needs affect parking throughout the day and night.

Parking Futures            

The future of parking will be affected by many unknowns about the nature of transportation. Autonomous vehicles, robots, and fixed-route autonomous transit can take many different forms that need to be guided by the community.             

Parking Study Methodology  

Most drivers prefer free parking near their destination. Getting drivers to consider mode choice and parking alternatives requires parking data and creative management. Parking is affected by the neighborhood context. Shopping, education, services, storage, and daily needs all affect parking utilization. Each neighborhood has its own set of special circumstances.

Climate and Land Use

Solar in Corvallis

Corvallis, Oregon had almost 8 MW of installed solar in 2020. This would power under 4% of the city’s households. Solar installations are half residential and half large government, commercial, and non-profits. Most solar installations continute to use natural gas for space and water heating. Learn more from the


The Renewable Hydrogen Economy?

What is hydrogen’s evolutionary place? Human economies have added more efficient energy systems over time. Fire provided heat, light, and protection. Strone, iron, and bronze tools made foragers and later farmers more efficient. Agriculture converted solar energy into food on lands cleared by fire and planted with tools. Fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas, enabled tremendous increases in earth and goods movers as well as land modifying equipment that built great roads, monuments, dams, and buildings. What is next—wind, solar, and hydrogen to power an all-electric world? Surplus wind and solar energy can produce needed hydrogen.

Who is pushing? California is planning a hydrogen economy in transportation, manufacturing, and electricity production. Daimler has a hydrogen fuel cell large truck unit. Smaller trucks will be battery operated with charging electricity from hydrogen backing up wind and solar. So is the next economy one fueling greater efficiency with hydrogen and fuel cells.

Why Renewable hydrogen?

  • The use of hydrogen greatly reduces pollution. 
  • Hydrogen can be produced locally from numerous sources. 
  • If hydrogen is produced from water we have a sustainable production system.

Why not hydrogen?

  • Still too expensive.
  • Not getting the attention it deserves.
  • Lacks needed infrastructure.
  • The Hindenburg Effect.


Forbes  at

Hydrogen Energy Center at


Where is it!

The World According to Court has been moved. Please click here.

Climate and Land Use

Parking Audit Draft Papers

Rick Williams Consulting

Feb. 18, 2020 Parking Districts

The Corvallis Residential Parking Permit District Program was instituted in 1982. Three districts have been created, and no new districts have been established since 2010. Consultants concentrated on improvements to the program that make it clearer as regards to intent, purpose and communication within the code and to the public. While no new districts have been approved, some expansion and alteration of Districts B and C have occurred. Over time, more attention to rates and their relationship to desired outcomes should be made. Attention to administrative efficiencies and improved customer access to, and experience with, the program should be pursued.

View Parking Districts Document

Jul 9, 2020 Parking Rates & Fees

Overall, the parking fund system provides an effective tool for implementing and tracking the parking management strategies. Current parking strategies can be modified to allow for stronger financial health in the future. Among cities that charge for on-street parking, Corvallis has the lowest hourly rates (by at least half in most areas). Parking fees should be able to at least cover maintenance and replacement costs, that the Corvallis fee system currently does not. Very low parking rates can lead to unsustainable parking programs, depending on the costs to maintain and replace equipment.

View Parking Rates & Fees Document

Sep 24, 2020 Downtown Parking

Corvallis needs to establish a formal downtown parking management zone and adopt data-driven parking management. Corvallis needs to adopt consistent rates and rules for areas of high parking demand and average duration of stay. The goal should be consistent rates and rules, and a modernized system that is of high quality to match that of OSU. Evaluate whether free parking in the core downtown area is accomplishing the desired goals.

View Downtown Parking Document

Oct 19, 2020 Parking Outside Downtown

Parking outside downtown needs to be coordination with respect to strategies related to data-driven parking management, high-turnover stalls, loading zones, branding, striping, pay stations, and ADA parking, and standardized rates, rules, and parking measures. Adopt a base standard time limit and enforcement hours in all time-limited areas to simplify and standardize the system.

View Parking Outside Downtown Document

Nov 19, 2020 Current and New Technologies

Upgrade enforcement tools to facilitate pay-by-plate. Implement electronic permitting, new technologies can help in implementation. Install off-street counter systems, implement improvements and access to multi-modal transportation. Proactively engage with providers of shared mobility services.

View Current and New Technologies Document

Dec 12, 2020 Enforcement

Transition enforcement away from traditional police services. Think of parking enforcement more as an ambassadorial and educational service. Make the parking program financially self-sustaining. Create performance metrics and continually re-evaluate the program.

View Enforcement Document

Mar 4, 2021 Eugene Permit System

The University of Oregon on-street permit system is complex. However, Eugene makes it fairly easy for users to apply for and renew permits online. For Corvallis, lessons learned from Eugene can provide a useful reference, particularly when considering new management tools such as online permitting, ambassadorial enforcement, variable permit rates, and selling commuter permits in residential areas.

View Eugene Permit System Document

Climate and Land Use LUAT

Corvallis Parking Policies

The conversation began with an introduction to parking in Corvallis by Lisa Scherf, Transportation Services Supervisor, who provided background on Corvallis parking programs and policies. Scherf’s presentation indicated that Corvallis does not have a culture of charging for parking. Charges for parking are mainly downtown, on and near Monroe Avenue, and 12 spaces on 15th Street.

Parking is complicated.

Every decision is a balance

— Lisa Scherf, Transportation Services Supervisor

Scherf also discussed a parking audit and parking management suggestions to be provided by Rick Williams Consulting. These consultants bring “the combination of policy expertise and hands-on experience in parking systems.” The consultant will be sharing with the community a set of six white papers on various parking issues and management options.

Scherf emphasized that on-street parking is a public commodity that belongs to everyone. As a result, most parking decisions involve a balance between competing interests. Scherf covered parking controls like meters, signage, and unrestricted areas. The most common mode of parking in Corvallis is unrestricted, which means anyone can park in an unrestricted area, within general limits (24 hours downtown, outside of enforcement hours, and 48 hours outside of downtown). Revenues for enforcement come from fees and fines that currently do not provide the level of enforcement expected by the community. Enforcement is critical in managing competing parking interests.

parking enforcement vehicle
Parking fees and fines do not cover the cost of enforcement.

She said that downtown is a very complex parking system. It has four levels. The core is free. Around the core is short-term metered parking, followed by long-term metered parking. Beyond that is unrestricted parking and Parking District C. The City works with the Downtown Parking Committee. Downtown parking policy has to include the allocation of a limited amount of parking, the historic assessment of businesses to establish the three City-owned parking lots and the Free Customer Parking Area, the desire to make downtown attractive to potential customers who drive there, and the parking rules for downtown that are in the municipal code.

Light blue are the parking districts around Oregon State University (OSU)

Scherf said that the City uses parking districts to manage some congested residential areas around OSU. Three residential parking districts surround areas adjacent to OSU. The City and OSU cooperated in the creation of OSU’s zonal parking system and an expansion of parking districts near campus that was brought to a vote in 2014. The City part of the expansion was voted down, and OSU’s zonal system went into operation.

Parking Audit Draft Papers

Climate and Land Use

Parking Interactions with Car Dependence, Climate Change, and Land Use

Parking issues start with development. Such elements as the location of employers, residences, and the goods and services relative to each other affects the way people access them. The street network for land use developments and uses supporting them affects the need for car trips. A car trip requires at least two parking spaces—one at the beginning and one at the destination. If the trip includes travel around town to a doctor’s visit, getting groceries, obtaining a haircut, and relaxing with a cup of coffee, up to five spaces are required. Most communities are estimated to have five or more parking spaces for every vehicle in the community (19, Chester et al.).

Corvallis devotes one quarter of its total land area to car-dependent infrastructure and rights of way. This infrastructure is a community resource for which there are many uses—commerce and connectivity; public safety; pathway for utilities, waste removal, and environmental services; practice of culture and architecture; and vehicle storage. The infrastructure is valued in the billions of dollars to serve the needs of cars, trucks, buses, and other transportation modes. This infrastructure is expensive to maintain. The Corvallis Transportation System Plan that includes priority projects through 2040 says, “Constructing all 71 High Priority transportation projects in this TSP would cost over $199 million, an amount far in excess of the $63 million in known funding forecasted to be available” (1. TSP 2018:5), and short of the one billion dollars needed for Corvallis’ transportation infrastructure to meet current road quality standards.

The Transportation System Plan estimates the vehicle miles traveled per capita and total VMT traveled over the next 20 years will increase by “approximately eight percent by 2040” (1, TSP 2018:168). This means more greenhouse gases and less health and safety, and requires more parking. Experience shows that it is not possible to out build the demands of car-dependence.

Most often, shared parking at the doctor’s office, grocers, hair stylist, and coffee shop works well. But, at places like an athletic event or concert, a parade or Farmer’s Market downtown, and during holiday shopping parking becomes scarce. Sometimes employers, schools, and businesses do not have enough parking for their clients or employees. This leads people to seek on-street parking. When people park on the street, they sometimes get too close or block resident’s driveways and can obscure the view of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Further, finding parking necessitates driving longer than necessary.

To reduce parking issues requires thinking broadly. A measure showing the reduction in car trips is vehicle miles traveled. This is not simple, since driving offers convenience and timely completion of activities. The approach to car dependency is complex and has to deal with land use planning, allocation of street space, and transportation priorities, along with people’s demand for convenience and saving time.

Since WW II, the development of suburbia has led to car-dependency. Driving is often the only choice and is usually the more convenient and timely choice. Driving is required to go to the doctor and grocery store. The neighborhood no longer has a hair stylist, and the favorite coffee shop is across town.

The relation between VMT, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and public health and safety is directly tied to transportation, which is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (2. OGWC). Cars cause the most VMT and GHG. Walking gives the least greenhouse gases the greatest health and safety.

To reduce car trips and VMT and hence parking issues, solutions that consider convenience, timeliness, and affordability may have more success. This is indicated in data on reasons for OSU employee and student primary transportation mode choice (3, OPAL).

If transit and land use can achieve convenient, timely, and affordable modes of transportation and housing, it may be possible to avoid a worsening situation. Where one lives can be easily connected to things like jobs, education, appointments, purchase of goods and services, access to open space and recreation car trips and VMT can be reduced. For example, businesses that provide housing gain customers for their goods and services.

Currently, Oregon is not progressing toward its greenhouse gas reduction goal because of its car dependency. The Oregon Global Warming Commission says, “Transportation GHG emissions have risen during each of the past three years and have grown from 35% of the statewide total in 2014 to 39% in 2016” (2. OGWC). There is no evidence that Corvallis differs in pattern from the rest of Oregon.