Thursday, August 6, 2009

Car Culture Makes News in the IE

I was reading over at the (excellent) LA Transportation Headlines blog and found a couple of articles in the Press-Enterprise that really sort of sum up our suburban car culture.

First, Omni's sbX BRT system was dealt a procedural blow when the San Bernardino City Council decided not to vote on it. Wait until next month, eh guys?

(Oh, and am I the only one who is driven insane by the press constantly describing any new transit as a "commuter line"? sbX is NOT a "commuter line", it's BRT, which is an all-day, frequent transit option.)

Second, they're going to widen I-215 in San Bern. Again. Ladies and gentleman of the urban planning community, hear my pleas. We can't pave our way out of this. (Of course, this project is getting Stimulus Money, so it's going ahead, hell or high water.)

$437 million is going to that freeway widening.
Half of that could build the Magnolia Avenue Rapid Streetcar.
A quarter of it would build sbX, with change back.
A tenth of it would nearly DOUBLE the operating budget of RTA.

And widening the freeway will not even improve commutes. It'll cause construction-related congestion for a while, then a brief period of relief followed by more congestion again. Studies have shown this time and time again, but freeway folks don't listen.

I'm printing this out and sticking it on my desk, just for these occasions.

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