MSNBC host Steve Kornacki floated a new theory as to why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s staff and appointeesengineered the closure of two lanes leading into the George Washington Bridge last year.*
“It wasn’t just the everyday lives of commuters and residents that were altered or in some cases jeopardized by what happened in Fort Lee,” Kornacki explained. “Something else was affected and possibly jeopardized, something of enormous economic and political significance.”
Kornacki explained that there is currently a billion dollar development project in Fort Lee, right next to where the lane closures occurred. The project is a keystone of Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich’s tenure… (more)
New theories on why the closed traffic lanes on in New Jersey are coming out of the woodwork. So far no one is blaming the war on cars, or safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists. People are filing claims against the MTA, and the outcome of those cases could have some wide ranging ramifications.
* Members of both the SF Planning Commission and the SFMTA Board balked at removing traffic lanes from Third street, which most people consider to be a major regional arterial road, connecting to the Bay Bridge.
If you haven’t already done so, send some letters to the members of those boards and the supervisors, reminding them that all regional traffic flows through the city and that traffic should not be impaired in any way.
Also remind them that the funds coming out of Washington and Sacramento are based on claims for regional plans, therefore, there must be a regional plan.
Regional planners want to put 280,000 more people into San Francisco — and they admit that many current residents will have to leave… Social Engineering video
CLIMATE CHANGE AND “SMART GROWTH”
The threat of global climate change hasn’t convinced the governor or the state Legislature to raise gas taxes, impose an oil-severance tax, or redirect money from highways to transit. But it’s driven Sacramento to mandate that regional planners find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California cities. The bill that lays this out, SB375, mandates that ABAG, and its equivalents in the Los Angeles Basin, the Central Coast, the Central Valley and other areas, set up “Sustainable Communities Strategies” — land-use plans for now through 2040 intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent… The notion of smart growth — also referred to as urban infill — has been around for years, embraced by a certain type of environmentalist, particularly those concerned with protecting open space. But now, it has the force of law…
And while ABAG is not a secret government with black helicopters that can force cities to do its will — land-use planning is still under local jurisdiction in this state — the agency is partnering with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which controls hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal transportation money. And together, they can offer strong incentives for cities to get in line…
The vast majority of the housing that will be built will be too expensive for much of the existing (and even future) workforce and will do little to relieve the pressure on lower income people. But there is nothing whatsoever in the plan to ensure that there’s money available to build housing that meets the needs of most San Franciscans.
Instead, the planners acknowledge that 36 percent of existing low-income people will be at risk for displacement. That would be a profound change in the demographics of San Francisco… (more)