Relief as Political Band-aid
Not arising from Coordinated Analysis of the Underlying Problems
|Hydraulic Autoism: We treat traffic like fluid and streets like tubes|
(from the presentation to the Task Force)
And anyway, if we are going to look at space and volume only, there are other "capacity relationship concepts" we should also see. It's people/hour, not vehicles/hour that matter! (In the clips below from diagrams presented to the Task Force, note all the +vph and -vph.)
|Vancouver, BC: Drive-alone trips are inefficient|
|Underpriced parking directly invites more traffic:|
Downtown Surface Parking Lots in Red
Parking Garages in Solid Brick Red
On-street parking stalls not included
|Just right-priced parking could reduce trips by 10%|
TSM/TDM (Transit and Roadway Efficiency) Concept
Analysis and Results, 2007
Altogether proposals to increase capacity for drive-alone trips is responsive to immediate complaints about congestion, but treats symptoms shallowly, and does not work at the underlying causes and bigger structural problems.
So about the proposals themselves. First we should look at ways they will disadvantage trips that are not drive-alone.
Expanding Capacity for Drive-alone Trips Harms Walking and Biking
Two of the proposals involve widening the bridges.
|Add a lane to the Marion St Bridge|
|More on Adding the Lane|
|Adding a lane to the Center St Bridge|
|Adding an offramp to Marine Drive|
|Requiring Edgewater/Wallace traffic to take Union St|
Rather than making it easier for people to choose not to drive, the proposals will make it more difficult to walk or bike.
The Bundles: Two too Expensive, Five Merit Closer Look
There were several more projects called out in the presentation, but it does not seem necessary to comment on them individually.
They were bundled into seven "Solution Packages" for the Task Force to consider. The two most expensive of the bundles were eliminated.
So that left five for further consideration and analysis.
|Solution Package #1 for Center St Bridge|
|Solution Package #3 for Center St Bridge|
|Solution Package #1 for Marion St Bridge|
|Solution Package #2 for Marion St Bridge|
|Solution Package #4 for Marion St Bridge|
Some concepts were reserved for later consideration. One of them seemed to involve more traffic on the Union Street Family-friendly Greenway. It's interesting that as part of the lane addition concepts, no Bus-Only configuration seemed to be in the mix.
|Postponed for later analysis|
Until we are able to get outside of our paradigm of hydraulic autoism, we are going to keep cycling through the same kinds of expensive solutions that failed us in the past. We will keep doing the same things over and over. The "solution packages" we see today, aren't very different from those proposed and constructed in 1980. Maybe we're just looking at things the wrong way.
|1980 FEIS on widening the bridges|