After yet another epic jam, it’s clear Seattle’s decisions about traffic must include cars

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?

Truck Crash on Freeway Paralyzes Traffic. Seattle Times: Ditch the Bike Lanes!

– These articles were sent by a reader. Keep them coming.

SFMTA Board Resolutions for 2011 and Vacancies on City Boards, Commissions, and Task Forces

sfmta.com – excerpt

Download a log of resolutions passed by the SFMTA Board during 2011 or view the minutes of the meetings. See the settlements, moneys allocated and spent, etc.
http://www.sfmta.com/cms/cmta/SFMTABoardResolutionsfor2011.htm

Vacancies on City Boards, Commissions & Task Forces:
http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=3045

SF Agencies Take Aim at Bureaucratic Obstacles to a Transit-First City

by Aaron Bialick : sfstreetsblog.org – excerpt

San Francisco agencies are developing a wide-ranging program to streamline the funding and construction of improvements for walking, bicycling, and transit…
The Transportation Sustainability Program (TSP) would reform the city’s transportation practices in three key areas: by eliminating reliance on the automobile-centric measuring stick known as Level of Service (LOS), by instituting a system of development impact fees that fund sustainable transportation improvements, and expediting the review process for pedestrian, bicycle, and transit projects. The details are on the wonky side, but if the city delivers on these reforms, SF could be looking at a much more rapid build-out of transit corridors, bikeways, and pedestrian safety measures… (more, including some great cartoons that illustrate perfectly LOS and your tax dollars working against you.)

What lurks behind the green face of SFMTA?

Using massive amounts of tax dollars they plan to destroy SF’s historical neighborhoods and replace them with highrises. This is a complete turnaround. The same people who decried the rise of condos and Manhattanization and condos during the anti live-work movement now they embrace it.

This is why many liberal Democrats are turning into anti-tax libertarians.

Related:
Levels of service and travel projections the wrong tools for planning our streets
Reclaiming SF’s Market Street for Public Space
Our City could use a little Manhattanization

Business Owners: No More Parking Meters

By: Noah Arroyo : missionlocal.org – excerpt

Businesses in the northeast Mission have started organizing against a plan to increase the number of parking meters around 17th and Folsom streets. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will meet with the community in September to discuss its parking management plan for the area.
When Angela Sinicropi, vice president of public affairs for the Northeast Mission Business Association (NEMBA), heard about the plan to add meters, she thought to herself, “You can’t do that, you’ll put us out of business.”
SFMTA first unveiled its parking meter plan for the eastern Mission in January, but the overwhelmingly negative community response sent the agency back to the drawing board. It’s not clear at this time whether SFMTA’s new plan includes more parking meters, according to agency spokeswoman Kristen Holland…
(more)

SFMTA Abandons Plans to Install Smart Meters

By: Rigoberto Hernandez : missionlocal.org – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will not include the Mission and other eastern neighborhoods in its SFpark pilot program as originally planned, according to an announcement released Tuesday afternoon…

Hundreds of neighbors organized to oppose the program after learning about it late last year. The opposition culminated in a community meeting with SFMTA where the agency heard the neighbors’ wrath and agreed to work with them toward a solution. Among the chief complaints was SFMTA’s poor outreach efforts. Many noted that the only notification was through English-only notices posted on street poles…

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said that the SFMTA effectively moved the clock back four months.

“The proposal for each neighborhood as it stood in December will be our starting point when we engage with each area,” he said. “So we are going to continue to work with each neighborhood to submit a final proposal to the SFMTA board.”

(more)

My head is spinning with the number of things I have heard come out of the mouths of SFMTA and SFPark. I don’t know what to believe. We mail a letter requesting a response and get none. Then we read another article about our request, or response or some other claim that WE are the difficult ones. It may be time to reconsider Ammiano’s 2008 proposal to take back some of the authority vested in SFMTA. They have done nothing to improve Muni, and have failed to balance the budget.

SFMTA Abandons SFPark Expansion in Favor of Conventional Meters

by Aaron Bialick – sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The SFMTA announced yesterday that it would no longer include areas of the Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and Mission neighborhoods in its pilot expansion of SFPark after pushback from a vocal group of opponents…

But if ENUF is unwilling to accept anything besides the status quo of dysfunctional free parking, then if they ever do claim victory, who else will win? Not the drivers who’ll be circling for parking. Not the residents who’ll be burdened with more traffic in their neighborhood. No one, really, except the vocal contingent who believes free street parking is a “right.”

(more)

Comments ENUF?