Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Deliberately adding to congestion

Deliberately malicious.  
Bureaucratic.  Arrogant.  Imperial.  Intolerable.  

This stuff is almost unbelievable; How could reasonable people plan to make their city a mess?  When you try to drive in the city or find a place to park and it becomes all too real.  Limiting cars and parking is a mammoth experiment built on theories that could explode at any time.  The bad planning is trickling down to suburbs and small towns.  We are ALL guinea pigs of the Central Planners.  They just don't get what people want - they give us what they think we should have instead.  Who says they are right?  I have some experts that could blow their Smart Growth theories out of the water.  

Instead of fixing the problem, government officials are deliberately adding to it 
in hopes we’ll all walk, ride the bus or take the train.

Sun-Sentinel, October 28, 2016. By Susannah Bryan, Emily Miller, John Maines
South Florida's plan for traffic: 'We're going to make them suffer'
Instead of fixing the problem, government officials are deliberately adding to it in hopes we’ll all walk, ride the bus or take the train.

Got gridlock? South Florida does -- and it's by design

Faced with ever-increasing traffic jams, South Florida's public officials have come up with a plan: Make it worse.

Instead of fixing the problem, government officials are deliberately adding to it in hopes we'll all walk, ride the bus or take the train.

"Until you make it so painful that people want to come out of their cars, they're not going to come out of their cars," Anne Castro, chair of the Broward County Planning Council, said during a meeting last year. "We're going to make them suffer first, and then we're going to figure out ways to move them after that because they're going to scream at us to help them move."

It's a gamble. Will people ride bicycles or walk to work in South Florida's heat, rain and lightning storms? Or ride buses that often run late and make for long, inconvenient rides?

"It's a big experiment," said Robert Poole, a Plantation resident and an engineer with the Reason Foundation, a public policy research group in Washington, D.C. "We won't know for another 10 years if it's going to work.

"If it doesn't work, we're going to have some big white elephants on our hands — and even worse congestion."

What South Florida planners want is to create bustling urban neighborhoods, with apartments, condos, offices, restaurants and shops.

"A robust, healthy downtown is a sign of a healthy, vibrant economic community," he explained. "[Cities] don't want to say no to development because of traffic congestion."

"They are building the projects first and then

they'll figure out traffic later," she (Castro) said in an interview. "And I don't even want to get into what happens if there's a disaster. People won't be able to get out. We're kind of building a monster."

Alan Pisarski, a Virginia-based transportation consultant and a nationally recognized expert on commuting, said planners are not taking into account how people want to live.

"I don't know what they're teaching in the planning schools," he said. "The young folks coming out of the colleges saying, 'Cars are bad. We need to get people out of their cars.' It's a little bit hard to comprehend."

There's another reason behind the mad dash to approve high-rise after high-rise: money.
"They want development for the property taxes and to increase property values," Blattner said of both city and county officials. "But the consequence is gridlock."

"The theory was that by creating a greater downtown density it would encourage more lifestyle amenities to develop and people would not be using their cars," City Commissioner Dean Trantalis said. "They'd take the elevator down and go shopping, to dinner or to work without getting in their car."

Wilton Manors resident Greg Zatorsky says he's baffled by government planners who think they can force people out of their cars.

"I think once all this is done, tons of businesses will go out of business and no one will come here because of the congestion," he said. "You cannot force people, in sweltering weather with dangerous storms that pass pretty much daily, to ride their bike or take the bus to work. This whole idea of trying to force people to do that is insane."

"I have stores one-third of a mile from my house," said Poole, the Plantation-based director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. "And do you think I'm walking to those? I think that's very naïve.

"It's important to have mixed-use projects, but if you think that most people will be able to find a good job within walking distance of where they live, it's foolish. It's nonsense — and very destructive to this local economy."

Mike Long, a Lighthouse Point commissioner and vice chair of the Broward County Planning Council, isn't optimistic that people will give up their cars.

"I don't see people walking a mile to work or taking a bus," he said. "Everyone's going to ride a bike? Their helmets are going to be melting. And if we get the King Tides, the roads are going to be closed."

The way Long sees it, anyone who thinks we're all going to work and live in the same spot and ditch our cars is dreaming.

"The concept of live, work and play is interesting if you can go out in the middle of nowhere and build a town," Long said. "But that's not the way South Florida was developed. We have to be realistic with what we're doing, because we have to live with it."

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