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A Cool City Congestion Map: Implications for ABAG?

Original post made by Mike, College Terrace, on Jun 17, 2008

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Yup, we've got people commuting by car from here, there, and everywhere. We need more housing near jobs, and far better mass transport.

Comments (14)

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Posted by RS
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2008 at 6:42 am

Look at NY, it has tons of jobs, is about as vertical as it comes, has a good transit system. It is #2 in congestion.


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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2008 at 9:20 am

The population density of Manhattan is about 25 times that of Palo Alto, and even then the subways do not pay their way.
Those workers who do not handle physical goods need to have the option of telecommuting or working in neighborhood hoteling centers. My last communnication with HP tech support was with a telecommuting womsn somewhere in Washington state.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 18, 2008 at 10:40 am

So what? We build per ABAG's fiat and what have we accomplished? We only add more commuters and more congestion.


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Posted by G
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2008 at 12:42 pm

I'm voting for Mike in the next election, I like people who keep it simple and tell the truth with out having to pay a consultant to come up with an answer.

p.s. I know your not running and there is no election for council seats but IF there were...


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Posted by neutrino
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 18, 2008 at 1:24 pm

That map shows that there is NOT a traffic congestion problem on 101 or 280 in the Palo Alto area. See the green lines.

Packing more and more high-density housing into our city (as ABAG wants) will INCREASE congestion, further strain city services, and net cost more.

So ABAG and the politically correct do-gooders want to solve a non-exisitent problem with a short-sighted solution that definitely will cause problems. Nutty.


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Posted by H
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm

G.: There is hope for you yet. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm

every time good research shows that we have a congestion problem that results from commuting, we get extremist views that start comparing ABAG's puny allocation to making Palo Alto like NYC. I certainly hope these people come down from what they're ingesting, and look at the world as it really exists.



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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm

"to making Palo Alto like NYC"

Who said that Mike, not me. So if you are referring to my comment, your interpretation is incorrect.


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Posted by Moddy's Disguise
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 18, 2008 at 6:09 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm

The Bay Area is congested because people have to get in their cars and _commute_. We have to change that, starting with more housing close in, better mass transport, and more aggressive telecommuting policies - for starters.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 19, 2008 at 10:33 am

Won't work, Mike. Even if people lived near transit, which most don't, very few of their jobs and other destinations are near transit. We either gotta enormously expand our transit network and make it universally usable, which we can't/won't afford, or move the people and jobs into mini-super-Manhattans within walking distance of the transit hubs, which we can't/won't afford.

The feasible solution is to stabilize the agony level by freezing population growth.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Paul "We either gotta enormously expand our transit network and make it universally usable, which we can't/won't afford, or move the people and jobs into mini-super-Manhattans within walking distance of the transit hubs, which we can't/won't afford."

You suggested freezing population growth. How would you propose to do that?

As for affordability, global warming and environmental degradation from sprawl is costing us FAR more than it will cost to build efficient mass transit.

As stated so many times before, these are *inconvenient* truths. I'm not entirely happy with the fact that some things are going to change, but we must change, and pay for that change, is we're going to have a sustainable future. That's the bottom line.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I'm not happy with the outlook either, Mike. But let's be realistic. Simply adding housing brings more population, which exacerbates our congestion problems and environmental degradation. And being saddled with the costs of global warming and environmental degrading leaves even fewer resources to invest in planned, rational solutions.

Even if we began a program to upgrade transit now it would take years to bear fruit, and it may likely be obsoleted by a world that changed greatly in unanticipated ways, as many destinations may cease to exist because too few people find them relevant anymore.

Like any civilization that finds its way of life suddenly untenable, ours will have a painful adjustment to make. And history shows that such adjustments do not occur per plan. They are the result of thousands of individual ad-hoc accommodations.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 19, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Paul, You're right. Life is a messy affair. That said, we know the costs of sprawl. We also know that living closer to work, and discouraging sprawl would have benefits. Everyone is going to have to pitch in - Palo Alto, Mt. View, Menlo Park, etc. The effort has to be coordinated; disincentives to driving, and incentives to find alternate transport need to be brought forward. This all takes leadership.

Like I've said before, we're going to find out of Palo Alto is really "green", or "greenwashing".

I've never said that any of this would be easy. Personally, it pains me to see the mess we've gotten our environment into, and the lack of rationality that has been permitted to reign in our mass transport infrastructure (an international laughing stock).

Change will not be easy, we can't keep on the present course. So, from here, I think we'll have to agree to disagree.


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