In an article entitled “SF wants less car-friendly development ” (Examiner 11/29/16), Joshua Sabatini provides a nice summary of what the City’s transportation planners want to do to reduce traffic congestion in San Francisco. The problem with their plans is that they won’t work. What is being proposed is akin to trying to fly an airliner using just the ailerons. (Not a good idea, especially if you’re in the airplane). What’s currently in vogue in San Francisco illustrates what’s wrong with City Hall’s response to its growing transportation crisis.
Most transportation planning is left to people who are well-intentioned but inexperienced. As a result the proposed solutions tend to be half-baked and over-simplified.
o “San Franciscans drive too much; we must walk more”. (Sounds good)
o “The restraints on parking will ease traffic”. (Given Lyft and Uber, how exactly does that work?)
o “More people should ride Muni”. (Unless Muni gets better, why would they?)
o “We need more bicycle lanes”. (Or is it more bicyclers?)
o “Putting new development near transit and automating our cars will solve the problem”. (Both actually add traffic)
All of the above warrant discussion and consideration. But none comes even close to fully addressing the real problem. If people are to leave their cars at home there will have to be non-automotive travel alternatives that work. Here are five considerations that tend to get shoved under the rug: