I participated in a rigged poll. Supposedly my city wanted input on transportation priorities. I could pick from:
- “A variety of options”
- “Quality of life”
- “Reducing driving”
- “Performance across all modes of travel”
- “Smart growth”
Uh… none of the above? I want Newton to fix the damage it has done to motor vehicle travel.
When traffic lights break the city doesn’t send repairmen. It sends police officers to write more tickets when drivers are frustrated by lights that don’t change.
An intersection on my commute had a lane turned into a sidewalk. If anybody walked I’d understand the tradeoff, but years later the sidewalk goes unused.
A major bottleneck where I work was fixed by paving over an unused sidewalk. We don’t even need to do that where I live. A road is intentionally interrupted by barriers and inconsistent one way sections to make people use the more congested route. One guy with a loader and a post puller could fix that in an hour.
Except planners don’t care about congestion. It doesn’t even show on their maps, which showed low-contrast millimeter-wide red dots for car crashes and big, high contrast symbols if a bicycle was involved. The wall was papered with slogans.
All this smart growth transit oriented sustainable organic vegan planning may be buzzword compliant, but I bet it won’t attack one of the biggest problems (which could also be solved by one guy with a post puller).
City residents hate outsiders driving on their streets, which is why we have barriers and one way sections.
City residents also hate outsiders parking on their streets. That is why we have zones of no parking around transit stops. We don’t want you taking up an otherwise-unused space along the curb while you ride the train into Boston.
Next time you have an ‘X’ in Scrabble, try to spell xenophobia.
Anyway, I went to the meeting and told them at least fix the traffic signals to have concurrent walk phases. That makes driving and walking faster.
But that takes money, and it isn’t sexy.
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