Tonight the Planning Board will be taking a first look on the strategies for the Citywide Transit and Transportation Demand (TDM) Plan.
I read through most of the packet, but I was particularly interested in the conflicting opinions in the public comments. One glaring omission that City Staff didn’t appear to take the community pulse on or even consider was a congestion tax on all of the cross estuary crossings during peak commuting hours. One of the biggest complaints always seems to be around how difficult it is to get on and off the island during commute hours. For some reason, I feel like the complaint is probably more directed to the off the island in the morning. Since there was some mention of either a sales or property tax to help fund transit and transportation improvements, I would think that taxing users that impact the system the most at the most impactful times — single occupant vehicles during morning commute hours — would be the most equitable solution. Perhaps one of the Planning Board members (nudge, nudge) can ask why that wasn’t surveyed.
Also considering all the people who claim that the Shoreline project was a failure because those individuals never see bikes there, I think it’s time for the City to invest in visual bike counting totems. That way it tracks the number of users even when those individuals aren’t around to witness the existence of users.
Any way, some of the comments. The opposition of some of the comments are amusing, but a good reminder that whatever the TDM plan ends up being it will be an abject failure for some parts of the populace because it doesn’t address their particular needs whatever that may be. It’s clear that a lot of people do not want their ability to drive unfettered by pesky things like pedestrian and bicycle safety improvement or even transit improvements. But in the end it’s important that the City do it’s best to accommodate the most number of people and, personally, those modes that will reduce the greatest impact on what is frequently cited as our most pressing problem: commute hour congestion.