The Collector: Induced Demand and SB 1029

Induced Demand Anthem
The concept of induced demand is a favorite here at CRTP, and one that we think policy makers avoid to everyone’s peril. Apparently, a 73 year old Portland man felt the same way. Like a modern day wobbly protest song, civil rights anthem, or political Pete Seeger tune he he wrote and performed “Induced Demand” at a recent Portland City Council meeting. Let’s all hope it tears up the Billboard Top 40. Go ahead watch the video — the song starts at the 8:30 mark.

Great Redwood Trail Act on Life Support
SB 1029 that would convert the North Coast Railroad Authority railroad into a top notch trail is perhaps the most exciting transportation policy affecting the North Coast to be proposed in a generation. And it appears to be dying in committee after appropriation placed it in in their suspense file. Hey local decision makers/leaders, its time to come-to-bat for a bill that would revolutionize the region.

Paris Looks To Fund Expansive Free Public Transportation Systems
Paris is looking into creating extensive free public transit system for the city. While the proposal would be expensive , “There’s also the possibility that free-transit-for-all would make Paris so pleasant and easy to live in that it becomes irresistible to investors.” Let’s hope Paris had good rent control! It seems like the entire county of Estonia is looking into a similar proposal.

Bike = Future of Transportation
Yep. Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Contrast with the dystopian Muskovite transportation future.

Arcata Energy Committee-TSC Joint Study Session Points to Big Changes
The city of Arcata hosted a joint study session between the Energy Committee and the Transportation Safety Committee that touched on two potentially relevant topics for fans of the Collector.

  • How to further ramp-up mode shift in Arcata. Arcata is considering replacing its goal of a 50% non-motorized modeshare (which council members found arbitrary and abstract) with more concrete policies like going trying to get Arcata upgraded to a “Gold” Bike city.
  • People’s Days on the Plaza. In conjunction with the Farmer’s Market and Arcata Mainstreet, Arcata is going to have several Peoples Days on the Plaza this Summer. The plaza will be closed to personal vehicles and music/activities will last from morning until evening. People’s days will probably commence in the next few months.


The Collector: Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week!

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
We’re debuting a new feature this week: photos of obstructions in local North Coast bike lanes that make it unsafe or impossible for a person riding a bike to use the lane as intended. Submit your photos of bike lane (or sidewalk) obstructions to! First up (drumroll, please)… a recycling receptacle in Arcata!

Visitor Returning to Southern Humboldt Shocked by Road Conditions
Is it possible to maintain all rural roads in working condition, given the small number of users and low tax base?

Arcata Planning Commission Recommends Denial of The Village
With one vacancy, one member recused, and one member absent for personal reasons, a bare quorum of four Commissioners failed on a 2-2 vote to recommend approval of the project. According to Community Development Director David Loya, a tie vote in this situation is considered a recommendation for denial. If the City Council approves the project anyway, it will be the biggest private housing development in Arcata’s history, housing 700-800 mostly HSU students. If the project is denied, the city will have to work a lot harder to figure out how to approve new dense infill development, or it will not meet its ambitious goals for bicycle and pedestrian mode share.

More Bike Month Events!
Coming up this week: Ride to the Mad River Grange for a pancake breakfast on Sunday, Arcata Transportation Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, and Eureka bike-to-work day on Thursday.

California Transportation Commission to Decide on Some Local Issues
A number of Humboldt County projects are scheduled to come before the state body at its meeting next Wednesday and Thursday in San Diego. Topics of note include: transferring money not spent on the Eureka waterfront trail to the Waterfront Drive connection project; funds for adding car and bike lanes to 4th Street in Eureka; about half a million each for realigning the ramp curve at the Highway 101/299 interchange in Arcata and for non-infrastructure Safe Routes to School projects in Fortuna and McKinleyville; and more money for fixing storm-damaged rural roads.

Advocates Ask Gubernatorial Candidates About Transportation Issues
Early and absentee voting has already started for the June primary.

Bike-to-Work Day Brings Out Political Heavy Hitters in San Francisco
How do North Coast elected officials and candidates measure up in their commitment to non-motorized transportation?

Bigger Cars, Not Distracted Walking, Causing Rise in Pedestrian Fatalities
Enough blaming the victims!

Global Tourism Emissions Soaring
A new study shows that air travel has pushed global greenhouse gas emissions from tourism to 8% of total emissions, a much higher fraction than previously thought. We wonder what contribution cruise ships make to global tourism emissions.

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email

The Collector: Bike Month Continues, Railroad Saga May Be Nearing Its End

Bike Law Fact of the Week
E-bikes are getting much more popular, and rightly so. They’re a great way to get a little farther than you might on a regular bike with carbon emissions that are almost as low (even considering the energy used to make the battery). In California, electric bicycles are divided into three categories. Class 1 e-bikes only provide power when the user is pedaling (pedal-assist) and only go up to 20 mph. Class 2 e-bikes can provide power whether or not the pedals are moving, but are still limited to 20 mph. Class 3 e-bikes are pedal-assist, but can go up to 28 mph. Class 1 & 2 e-bikes are allowed by state law anywhere any other bike is allowed. Class 3 e-bikes are only allowed on roadways and bike lanes/trails/paths adjacent to roadways, and users must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet.

Humboldt County Proposes a Bunch of Culvert Replacements with SB 1 Money
But they admit they probably won’t get enough money to do them all.

Bike Month Activities Continue
Events in the coming week include a bike tour of historic Eureka properties tomorrow (Saturday), a film screening on Tuesday, Bike to School Day on Wednesday and Bike to Work Day in Arcata on Thursday.

Great Redwood Trail Act Amended Again; NCRA Loses in Court
The new amendments to Senator McGuire’s bill are mostly minor clarifying edits, although a clause specifically addressing the CEQA litigation between environmental groups and the North Coast Railroad Authority (see above) has also been removed for reasons which are not clear. Meanwhile, the environmental groups scored a major victory in that litigation this week as the US Supreme Court refused to take up the NCRA’s appeal of previous rulings. McGuire’s bill is set to be heard next by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Drive Less on the North Coast by Redesigning Our Communities
The North Coast Journal publishes a letter from CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske.

California Sues Trump Administration Over CAFE Standards Rollback
17 other states are joining in, too. Meanwhile, trucking industry executives say they’d rather keep the Obama-era standards anyway.

The Third Rail of Transportation is Car Supremacy
A New York Times op-ed powerfully addresses the seemingly untouchable dominance of automobiles in our cities.

How to Do Transit-Oriented Development Without Gentrification
A case study from Oakland.

Freight Transportation Technology is Changing Fast
The industry is developing electric trucks, drones and pedal-powered vehicles for “last-mile” delivery and other links in the supply chain.

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email

The Collector: East-West Railroad, Candidate Forum Fun, Transportation Bills Amended, and More

Bike Law Fact of the Week
Has it ever seemed to you like every time a bike trail crosses a road, the drivers get the right of way? We think so too. But it turns out that’s not inevitable. Everyone’s favorite reference book, The California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, provides guidance for where stop & yield signs should be used at such intersections. It turns out that it’s mostly at the discretion of whoever designs the intersection. But the guidance does include this hopeful tidbit (Section 9B.03): “Speed should not be the sole factor used to determine priority, as it is sometimes appropriate to give priority to a high-volume shared-use path crossing a low-volume street, or to a regional shared-use path crossing a minor collector street.”

The East-West Railroad is Back…
As we previewed last week, there’s a big new push to build the long-imagined rail line between Humboldt Bay and the Central Valley. This effort claims to be entirely privately funded, unlike previous iterations of the scheme. Color us skeptical.

Supes Put More Measure Z Funding Toward Roads
The Times-Standard reports that $850,000 was allocated for road maintenance and repair, while $35,000 was allocated for “walkability studies.” We’re all for responsible road maintenance, but these mismatched figures do seem to indicate something about local transportation priorities.

Supervisor Candidates Touch on Transportation Issues
At a recent forum, both challengers for the Fourth District seat expressed support for the Great Redwood Trail Act, while incumbent Virginia Bass wavered. All three candidates are apparently interested in the new (again) east-west rail proposal. Meanwhile, in the Fifth District, candidates were asked about transportation alternatives. Challenger Steve Madrone talked about transit, while incumbent Ryan Sundberg apparently said that millennials prefer Uber. (Note to Sundberg: As the millenials might say, Uber is totes problematic.)

DNLTC Talks Active Transportation
At next Tuesday’s meeting, the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission is scheduled to consider allocating $10,000 for a Pebble Beach Drive bike/ped project and including the Craig’s Creek Loop Trail in its Active Transportation Plan.

May is Bike Month
Celebrate! Events coming up include a “confident cycling clinic” in Eureka and a car-free day on Newton B. Drury Parkway.

New Public-Private Partnership Tries to Draw Cruise Ships to Eureka
CRTP Board Member Dave Spreen says, “It’s like deja vu all over again!

Speed Limit Bill Overhauled
AB 2363, which would have allowed speed limits to be lowered a modest 5 mph in areas with lots of accidents, has now changed its approach entirely. Rather than attempting that minor amendment to existing law governing speed limits, the bill now would create a Vision Zero Task Force to write recommendations for reducing road fatalities. The Task Force would be charged with, among other things, assessing whether the current method for setting speed limits makes sense.

Great Redwood Trail Act Passes Second Committee
Like the Senate Committee on Transportation & Housing, the Committee on Natural Resources & Water passed the bill unanimously. It now moves on to the Appropriations Committee.

Cars Are Dangerous – Here and Everywhere
Humboldt County’s ninth vehicle-related fatality of the year, a pedestrian hit-and-run on Highway 101, has us thinking about the inherent dangers associated with multi-ton objects moving at high speeds through our communities. Reflecting on the tragedy in Toronto earlier this week, we are reminded that vehicles can be intentionally used as weapons, but also that countless people around the world die every day as a result of vehicle “accidents.” When we design our cities and towns and rural landscapes almost entirely around these inherently dangerous machines, and resist efforts at common-sense reforms, how long can we keep calling these “accidents”?

San Francisco Regulates Electric Scooters
New scooter-share programs are popping up in the City. They could be a useful addition to low-carbon transportation options.

Caltrans in the Mirror
If you’ve ever wondered how Caltrans sees its own history, this timeline is revealing. See if you can find the words “bicycle” or “pedestrian” anywhere.

Taxi Co-ops Offer an Alternative to Uber & Lyft
They’re better for the drivers, to be sure. But will they encourage more trips by car, like Uber and Lyft do?

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email

The Collector: Unmet Transit Needs, Great Redwood Trail Amendments, and much more!

Bike Law Fact of the Week
Now that you know that blocking bike lanes is against the law, what can be done on those frustrating streets where people consistently park in the bike lane anyway? Luckily for you, the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (not always a bicyclist’s friend) contains the following rule: “If the installation of signs is necessary to restrict parking, standing, or stopping in a bicycle lane, appropriate signs…shall be installed” (Section 9B.10). A report of a consistent parking-in-bike-lane problem to your city or county along with a reminder of this rule just might do the trick!

HCAOG Talks Unmet Transit Needs & Bike/Ped Allocations
At its Thursday meeting, the Humboldt County Association of Governments Board of Directors took on a number of important topics, including this year’s proposed allocations for bicycle & pedestrian projects from Transportation Development Act funds as well as the required annual findings of unmet transit needs. The majority of bike/ped funds are slated for the “Highway 101/Broadway Corridor Study” in Eureka. On transit, HCAOG prepared a finding that there’s a need for more late-night weekday bus service, but the local governments can’t afford it.

CRTP Comments on Eureka North-South Corridor Plans
CRTP has just submitted our comments on the initial design concepts for improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure around H & I Streets corridor – Eureka’s primary north-south corridor. The North Coast’s first protected intersections and bike boxes might be on the way!

Great Redwood Trail Bill Amended
The amendments include specifying Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) as the successor agency for the North Coast Railroad Authority’s tracks south of Willits. There is also new language emphasizing the intention that the trail provide for multiple uses.

New EV Charging Stations in Arcata?
The City Council was set to discuss a location for new electric vehicle chargers at this week’s meeting, but the meeting did not go as planned.

The Village Set for Final Appearance Before Planning Commission…Finally
After considering the Arcata student housing project over the course of about 10 meetings (we’ve lost count) over many months, the city’s Planning Commission is set to make a recommendation to the City Council on Tuesday.

The Little Engine That Wouldn’t Die
An independent group will hold a forum next week to provide an “update” on the imagined possibility of an east-west freight rail line connecting Humboldt Bay to the Central Valley. Many of us thought this proposed boondoggle was a thing of the past and we could move on to thinking about more helpful and realistic transportation infrastructure needs. Apparently not.

GHG Goals Threatened by VMT
Greenhouse gas reduction goals in many states may be thwarted by the failure to decrease vehicle miles traveled.

The Push for Higher Truck Weight Limits Continues
A federal committee says more study is needed. Local opponents of highway projects catering to STAA trucks (that would include CRTP), take note.

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email

The Collector: The Village, The Great Redwood Trail Act, The Radical Up-zone Bill, and more

Bike Law Fact of the Week: Bike-Actuated Traffic Lights
Many bike riders have been in this situation: You’re approaching a traffic light which turns green only when a vehicle approaches (a “traffic-actuated signal” in transportation jargon). You pull up and stop at the red light, and nothing happens – your bicycle is not detected. Do you run the red light? Get off the bike and press a pedestrian signal button (if there is one)? However you get through, you might want to report that intersection afterwards to your local government or Caltrans. Because there’s actually a law in place that’s supposed to prevent this scenario from occurring: California Vehicle Code Section 21450.5 requires traffic-actuated signals to respond to bikes and motorcycles. Here’s a hint: grooves cut in the pavement often reveal where the detector lies, and a small bike-rider icon is occasionally even painted on the pavement to assist you. If you’re in the right place, you might be detected – but clearly a lot more work needs to be done to make these signals bike-friendly.

The Village Final EIR Released
The City of Arcata has released the Final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed big new student housing project, The Village. We think they were a tad dismissive of CRTP’s comments suggesting fewer vehicular improvements, less parking and a greater focus on bicycles, pedestrians and transit. However, the City and the developer have previously agreed to our suggestion of “unbundling” (charging separately for) residential rents & parking spaces. That will provide a significant incentive for future residents not to bring cars, and prevent non-car owning residents from having to subsidize parking for car owners. We’ll take our wins where we can get them!

RCEA Taking Applications for Zero Emission Vehicle Enthusiast Group
Your opportunity to help promote ZEVs in Humboldt.

Great Redwood Trail Act Passes First Committee
Support for Senator McGuire’s bill was unanimous in the Senate natural resources committee. Meanwhile, the Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, long-time enviro-adversaries of the North Coast Railroad Authority which would be abolished by the bill, seem fairly pleased.

CRTP Board Members Discuss Richardson Grove Project on KMUD
Board members Tom Wheeler, Barbara Kennedy, and Dave Spreen bring listeners up to date. To listen, click on the link above and scroll down to the Tuesday, April 10th Environment Show. The discussion starts at around 23 minutes.

Radical Up-Zoning Bill Amended, Set for Hearing
SB 827, which would override local zoning laws around major transit hubs and corridors in order to allow denser residential development, has been substantially scaled back. Potential building heights have been lowered, standards for “major” transit areas have been raised, and a bit of a loophole to allow some parking minimums has been introduced. New provisions have also been inserted with the intent to protect against gentrification. The bill is set for a hearing next week.

Precedent-Setting Lawsuit on Regional Transportation Planning & Climate Settled
The case, which went to the California Supreme Court twice, will require Regional Transportation Plans to take a much stronger look at the implications of transportation improvements for greenhouse gas emissions and sprawl.

Seattle May Implement Congestion Pricing
Charging cars to enter city centers, in order to reduce pollution and traffic jams, has been successful in many world cities but so far hasn’t gained much traction in the US. Is that about to change?

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email

The Collector: Bike Laws, Speed Limits, Fuel Economy Standards

Bike Law Fact of the Week: Construction & Bike Lanes
Ever been forced out of an official bike lane by a temporary sign warning drivers about road work ahead? Turns out that’s not really allowed! Buried in the lengthy California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is this requirement (Section 6D.101, if you’re curious): “Bicyclists shall not be led into direct conflicts with mainline traffic, work site vehicles, or equipment moving through or around the TTC [temporary traffic control] zone.”

Plaza Task Force to Include Transportation Perspective
After comments from CRTP and others, the Arcata City Council on Wednesday agreed to add three at large seats to its new Plaza Improvement Task Force, one of which CRTP plans to apply for. CRTP has been involved in Plaza redesign efforts for the last year, arguing among other things that a more pedestrian-friendly Plaza would be good for civic life and local business. The City Council’s Transportation Safety Committee will also be represented on the Task Force, so the transportation perspective should be well represented!

Supervisors, Caltrans Take Input on Speed Limit Near Richardson Grove
Although marketed as a speed limit decrease, Caltrans’ proposal is actually to create a more gradual “step down” of speed south of the Grove, decreasing speed limits in some places while increasing them in others. CRTP and friends commented at the hearing held on Tuesday. We highlighted the ridiculous state laws that actually make it nearly impossible to lower speed limits in most circumstances. You can hear our comments by clicking on the link above and scrolling down to the 6pm newscast on Wednesday, April 4.

Did You Catch That Local Caltrans April Fools Joke?
Somehow the idea of a massive, absurdly expensive highway project meant to shave a few minutes off of commuting times for a handful of people didn’t seem that unrealistic.

Fuel Economy Standards the Latest Victims of Trump Administration
For everyone hoping the next generation of cars would help reduce our nation’s fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, this is time for some soul-searching – and litigation.

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email

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The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! You can submit items for consideration, or just enjoy the news collection!

The Collector


The Collector: Richardson Grove, Last Chance Grade, and Visions of a Self-Driving Dystopia

Richardson Grove Project Has Another Day In Court
Caltrans is defending the big truck accommodation project on multiple legal fronts. Based on the arguments heard yesterday, it seems they could have avoided a lot of this trouble by just allowing another public comment period for the revised Environmental Impact Report – but transparency for this project is beginning to seem like the agency’s kryptonite.

Hearing on Speed Limit Reduction Set for Tuesday
As we’ve reported previously, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on Tuesday about a Caltrans proposal to lower the speed limit on a small section of road to the south of Richardson Grove State Park. We hear that this item will be heard at around 10 am, but as of this writing the agenda has not yet been published. In any case, come out and have your say!

Humboldt Transit Authority Moving Forward with Solar Panels, EV Buses
At its meeting Wednesday, the Board discussed changes to a contract to build a solar electric system at its headquarters over the next few years, designed to provide energy for charging new electric buses. The first electric bus has been purchased and is expected to arrive by the end of the year.

Last Change Grade Gets a Down Payment, Studies to Start This Summer
The new $5 million from the state is enough to get geotechnical and environmental studies for the massive project started…barely. But Caltrans is moving full speed ahead!

Fortuna Road Projects Get Funding
One is a maintenance project, the other is supposed to both “relieve congestion and provide bike and pedestrian facilities” around the Kenmar Road/Highway 101 interchange. More information about the latter project can be found here. Why does every bike/ped improvement seem to come with an even greater improvement for cars?

SB 827, Part 2
An update and spot-on analysis from the folks over at TransForm about Senator Weiner’s radical upzone bill, which we mentioned in the very first edition of The Collector.

Self-Driving Uber Trucks Have Been Using Arizona Highways for Months
Only days after a self-driving Uber car with back-up driver killed a pedestrian in Arizona, it has come to light that self-driving Uber trucks with back-up drivers are all over Arizona highways. But that’s about all Uber will say. Meanwhile…

Back-Up Drivers Aren’t Much Use for Self-Driving Cars
It turns out people just can’t stay vigilant for very long when they’re not actively engaged.

California About to Permit More Self-Driving Cars; Bicyclists Worried
It’s not hard to figure out why.

Bringing Facebook’s Business Model to Transportation
If self-driving fleet vehicles start to pay for themselves with advertising, shifting the business incentive so that Uber & Lyft want to keep you in their cars as long as possible, then we’re all in a lot of trouble.

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email

The Collector: Bike Law Fact of the Week, Uber Death, and Two Key Acronyms

Bike Law Fact of the Week: No Obstructing Bike Lanes!
Following up on last week’s story about bike lane obstructions, here’s some edification for all you riders from California Vehicle Code Section 21211(b): “No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail . . . which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.” (We know that last caveat sounds like a loophole big enough to park a truck in, but we’re not aware of any other state or local laws which would require or allow anyone to park or leave objects in a bikeway under normal circumstances.)

Richardson Grove Project in Court Again Next Week
A hearing is scheduled at the Humboldt County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 28th at 1:30pm in one of several cases challenging the project. The hearing is public, so come on out and see what happens – or stay tuned for more information.

Eucalyptus vs. the Bay Trail?
Opinions about the eucalyptus trees along the Highway 101 corridor between Arcata and Eureka vary widely, with some considering them a beautiful historic landmark and others calling them invasive safety hazards. Now, some of the trees are proposed for removal as part of the development of the last segment of the Humboldt Bay Trail, and some folks are pretty upset. Let’s hope we can work this out and still get our trail ASAP!

VMT vs. LOS: The Wonky Acronym Fight that Will Decide the Future of the Transportation System
It’s taken 5 years for the state to get close to finalizing new CEQA rules that will require the use of Vehicle Miles Traveled rather than Level of Service to measure transportation impacts. This change should to a long way to ensuring that we stop building projects that induce more car travel. But will the new rules be undermined by exempting transportation projects themselves?

First Pedestrian Death Caused by Self-Driving Uber
Cars kill people. Notwithstanding the possibility that self-driving cars might make fewer mistakes than human drivers, this was bound to happen sooner or later. But maybe it will finally light a fire under regulators to address some of the serious questions about how we should allow these vehicles to operate, and what we should do when things go wrong. In the meantime, let the victim-blaming begin.

Charging Lyft & Uber for Curb Access
In many cities, the drivers are constantly taking up valuable public space (including blocking bike lanes!) while picking up and dropping off passengers. Why not charge them for it?

E-bike Share Program In San Francisco Going Well
Electric-assist bikes could play a key role in the transportation systems of the future.

Caltrans Releases Annual Non-Motorized Transportation Report
They say everything’s going swimmingly. But is progress fast enough to reform our transportation system before we’re all literally swimming in rising seas?

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email