by Seattle Times editorial board : seattletimes – excerpt
In the photo above – San Francisco Fire Truck stopped all lanes of traffic on Potrero to get into the parking lot at General Hospital in a parking exercise. What will happen when the street is full of traffic during an emergency? More fire department exercises here.
Last Monday’s traffic debacle is another opportunity to discuss whether Seattle’s making the right decisions about traffic.
As the city of Seattle explains away its response to last Monday’s traffic debacle, area residents are shaking their heads and wondering when it will happen again.
They felt the same way after a 2015 fish-truck crash crippled the city. Mayor Ed Murray promised that Seattle would respond better in the future, based in part on an accident-response manual it was developing.
“The steps we are taking will help improve our response time and get traffic flowing after incidents as quickly as possible,” he said then…
Yes, Monday’s crash of a propane truck that closed Interstate 5 was an extraordinary event. Emergency responders are to be commended for preventing further injury.
Even so, the incident and paralyzing traffic that affected tens of thousands of people was a painful reminder of essential needs that Seattle, the regional hub, must fulfill.
It’s also another opportunity to discuss whether Seattle should place a higher priority on reducing congestion. No question it should. That would improve traffic overall and better position the city for accidents.
Because Seattle straddles state freeways at their busiest points, it should be ready to absorb the traffic when they’re disrupted…
Monday’s gridlock highlighted the folly of Seattle’s utopian, anti-car transportation planning.
Despite extensive street re-configurations, the share of trips taken by bicycle hasn’t grown. Yet the number of vehicles owned, drivers and miles driven continue to grow — as does congestion.
Seattle will always be a busy city with lots of traffic within and through its borders. So infrastructure planning should be based on overall need, not ideology and special-interest lobbying.
Policy should be guided by total capacity and demand, not cherry-picked statistics and wishful assumptions… (more)
How big of a disaster will it take to wake up City Halls to the dangerous failures street diets are?
You can read the link below if you want to see streetsblog’s reply to the Seattle Times assertions. They have a cute graphic with less cars and a single bus in the bus lane to “prove” that more bike lanes reduce cars. I am only going to point out one thing.
Just because City Hall pays millions, (I’m sorry, billions) of dollars to put in “safe” bike lanes does not mean that a lot of bikes are going to fill them. As you drive down the most streets you may passing one of two bikes at the most on each block while hundreds of cars stream past. By making it difficult for cars and buses to share the road, you further create gridlock in the bus lanes as the buses pile up on each other in the red zones.
We cannot afford to continue to support this failed system as we gear up for budget cuts and important battles like providing health care to those who are losing it.
What will it take to end the car wars?
– These articles were sent by a reader. Keep them coming.