Tuesday, May 12, 2009

405 Construction Coverage Slammed

Streetsblog slams the media for its coverage of the 405 carpool lane project (coverage which we parroted, too!) noting that instead of "uncritically passing along the press release ready estimate that the project will save 7 million travel hours, the press should have asked questions such as: Since other major road widening projects in the area are causing congestion during their construction, and because transportation agencies are reporting that additional highway capacity actually brings more cars to the road, are commuters going to see any net reduction in commuting time?" [Streetsblog via Curbed LA]

I do not want to editorialize too much, but this is a very important issue for all of LA (with much of my bile directed towards the city's insidious plan to widen Sunset Blvd.)  IMHO, we need to STOP paving over our beautiful city -- robbing it of its identity in an effort to appease the almighty auto and save 114 seconds here and there.  Our leaders should actually take leadership and employ some of the more novel ideas for traffic reduction such as staggered work hours, incentivized (to a degree that yields results) ride-sharing, intelligent high-density residential construction along infill transit corridors -- and of course, finally getting a globally acceptable mass transit system up and running.  If billions of dollars are going to be spent, let's direct such funds to programs that will actually resolve the problem rather than compounding it while leaving a swath of destruction and brutalized neighborhoods in its wake.