Well, that's true enough. But is it just a kind of data-hacking to find the most convenient set of facts that supports a preferred outcome? Is there a different observation that is actually more meaningful?
|But how should we interpret the data? What end-points to use?|
It's seemingly the natural order of things and we must accommodate it.
|The difference between ODOT's 2005 projections|
and the new FHWA 2014 projections
The slide that the Congestion Relief Task Force was shown implies that we are back to 2% annual increase. "Whew! Everything is back to normal. We don't have to change a thing."
The story the Congestion Relief Task Force is getting is a reversion to the mid-century autoist model. It's old-school and business as usual.
But there are other ways to think about traffic.
|The recent increase in VMT correlates strongly with gas price|
via the Federal Reserve
|In Oregon driving correlates strongly with death|
|For each person who dies, eight are hospitalized|
and 100 go to the ER (from the CDC, more here)
It's important that the Task Force understand that the more free-flowing traffic they work to create, the more drive-alone trips they induce, the more death and serious injury it all will entail. The choice for faster speeds and more flowing traffic is a choice for more death. The moral dimension of this choice is not appreciated sufficiently.
The choice is already being made silently, and less driving and slower driving are already essentially ruled out.
The evaluation criteria already puts safety as a "secondary" matter. It's all about the primary aim of "improving traffic flow" for people making drive-alone trips. (Even making explicit that "traffic" here means "drive-alone trips" and not other kinds of trips and other kinds of vehicles would be helpful.)
The slide on survey respondents echoes this.
|It's all about "car, truck, or motorcycle"|
So it's not surprising that the lead "solution ideas" are all road widening and "improved operations" for drive-alone trips. Improved operations for people on foot don't count, and in fact one of the ideas is "increase pedestrian delays" to make longer waits for those traveling on foot. But improved operations for whom? The conversation and analysis implies this, but we should make it explicit always. We propose to do things here for drive-alone trips.
|The first slide is all about widening|
|Making things worse for people on foot and on bike|
|We should talk more about pricing and pricing signals|
Cars are Ruining our Cities" that talks about decongestion pricing.
Bob Cortright notes
- Oregon has had an adopted GHG reduction goal since 2007. ORS 468A.205 calls for state to reduce GHG emissions to 75% below 1990 levels by the yar 2050.
- SB 1059, adopted in 2010, and now codified as ORS 184.899, requires local governments...to "consider how regional transportation plans could be altered to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
- Planning for GHG reduction can help address outstanding compliance issues with the DLDC. The city is behind schedule in meeting requirements to plan for expanded transportation options in compliance with the Transportation Planning Rule...Additional work to reduce GHG reduction can help the city meet these obligations.
|The Task Force is not "decreasing reliance on the SOV"|
So why is the Congestion Relief Task Force already being steered and is skewing towards driving more and a range of outcomes to support this?