NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Five steps to less traffic congestion?

Charles Durrett has A few suggestions for sane traffic solutions,, December 3, 2005

Let’s take a look at his five step approach to traffic solutions:
1. Create a vision that explains how regional planning concepts like connectivity will play a role in getting cars around . . .
This is an excellent suggestion. We lack a shared vision for our community. Each group of community activist, chamber, economic development, and business association has a different vision of what the community should be in 10 years. When we treat each project separately, the loudest group often wins. This means the community becomes a mosaic of different visions.
2. Designate land uses conducive to quality of life: walking, biking, mixed use, relationships. . . . There is plenty of research that shows that the distance that people will walk is completely a function of the quality of experience.
I have provided data on how people really act here. I wish that we had more information about the “plenty of research” on the “quality of experience.” The research I am familiar with indicates that distance is the most important factor, six city blocks or quarter mile being the maximum distance people will walk for access to public transit.
3. Mass transit. When do we start planning for it? . . . They slapped their knees and said, "Public transit in the Foothills?
Looks at the facts here. The simple fact is Grass Valley is the center of commerce for the region, and tens of thousands of people living in the County who must come to town to shop. If Grass Valley insists on restricting parking, promoting walking and riding transit, those drivers will just continue to Auburn and Rosville where they have ample parking. Business owner need to think about what they are asking for, given the data on how people really act, rather than what they wish would happen.
4. All new projects, and especially the four pending SDAs (growth in general), should be evaluated based on their ability to address getting people around and minimally relying on the auto.
Promoting mix use village atmosphere is an interesting concept, but can the business prosper with just local participation, or will they need customers who now live in the county and must drive to their business. This will required each business have adequate roads and parking.
5. Yes, fix individual intersections, but always with points 1 through 4 in mind.
Yes, fix the intersection, but remember how people really operate, not how people like Mr Durrett wish they would operate, so he can drive to the store congestion free.

For a private comment to Russ or George, for public comment select comments below.

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