Traffic… Like Death and Taxes?

Traffic… Like Death and Taxes?


Dear Readers,
One of our readers suggested traffic is worse than income taxes. Therefore, this issue returns to the agony of traffic as everyone recovers from agony of income taxes.
We wish there was less news about congestion and more news about transportation policy and funding. Where is the infrastructure investment promised by state and local governments? Or are we overdue for tax increases to build better infrastructure? Should the job creators fund missing infrastructure?

Critical thinking in Menlo Park

Menlo Park Planning Commissioners are wondering whether it is time to tell the City Council to halt development on the city’s east side because of worsening traffic.
PA Daily Post

Ed. Comment: We extend our highest praise to Commissioners Onken, Riggs and Strehl. Speaking truth to power ain’t easy. And we encourage full analysis of Menlo Park traffic flow on El Camino Real and over/under the Caltrain track. How many other Peninsula planning commissioners will take note of this? We count over 100 planning commissioners on the Peninsula and will send this Daily Post link to all of them.

Menlo Park Hits Brake and Accelerator
Menlo Park Council clearly remains committed to development of its east side. Several expected and proposed projects have recently gone through review, or been made public, by its planning and housing commissions.
Almanac News

Ed. Comment: This makes sense politically but could wear out the growth engine if decreased productivity and job satisification mounts upon Peninsula commuters.


East Bay Throws a Elbow at Peninsula

Congressman DeSaulier suggests that long awaited transportation funding is not a good idea. He says that the region needs new investment in transportation but Regional Measure 3 is not the answer.
SJ Mercury News

Ed Comment: This is just the beginning of fire and fury for the June 5 elections. Click either of the two links above for Measure 3 information.

Livability vs Developer Dough

San Mateo residents and officials question smart growth again. Stakeholders struggle to find the best recipe for retail, office and residential space at a massive, mixed-use development.
SM Daily Journal

Ed. Comment: When tradeoff decisions appear before City Councils, how often does the jobs/housing ratio get better? Not often! according to our observations. Sooner or later city councils like Menlo Park and San Mateo will adopt new recipes for their job/housing mix. Unfortunately a better mix of housing does not make enough dough for cities or developers. This region is famous for sour dough and it is as popular as ever.

Palo Alto Kneeds Tax Dough
A pollster hired by the city has found that Palo Altans won’t support a parcel tax or a sales tax to fund the city’s infrastructure, including a new police station. An increase in the hotel tax — now at 14% — is the only measure that drew solid support.
The poll also found that a growing number of residents feel the city is on the wrong track compared to two years ago.
PA Daily Post

Ed. Comment: Stay tuned as other City Councils struggle with their operating and infrastructure budgets.

Going Beyond the Blame Game
San Francisco’s battle with electric scooters kicked into high gear as the City Attorney issued cease-and-desist orders to scooter businesses even as the Board of Supervisors was considering a proposal to regulate the divisive transportation devices.

Ed. Comment: Who is responsible for critical thinking and planning ahead? Isn’t this “mobility” kneejerk typical of transportation planning that haunts BART, Caltrain and High Speed Rail?
Here’s a second opinion on e-scooters. Read on!
SJ Mercury News

Going on a Gondola?
East Bay baseball fans may be “up” for a new ride. “You have to be creative in the modern era, where you have transportation gridlock,” said the President of the Oakland A’s.
SJ Mercury News

Ed comment: Take A’s fans up to the ballgame. We hope Peninsula job creators are thinking as creatively. Facebook, Apple, Stanford and Google: How about transportation infrastructure creativity and cash?



WAZE Craze Engulfs US
CBS national television covered the WAZE insanity in Los Angeles….and other areas of the US as well. Julie Mossler, WAZE spokeswoman, stated that Los Angeles has a public road; therefore, ”it should be usable with WAZE.”

Ed. Comment: Los Angles is a distant neighbor but we could not resist commenting on WAZE’s lack of common sense and sense of community. Towns and cities on the Peninsula are seeing WAZE’s growing spillover into their residential neighborhoods. It is disturbing that WAZE cannot internalize and correct its negative impacts. We see little stewardship among Tech Titan executives who walk the tightrope and seemingly react only when negative public reaction suddenly overwhelms them. Here are links to three news organizations.
CBS National News
LA Times
San Mateo Daily Journal

Palo Alto Bridges Tech Gap
Palo Alto may adopt a new technology to track drivers’ cellphones as they move from point to point. Ten intersection may be studied to understand worst traffic.
PA Daily Post

Ed. Comment: Is traffic so bad that Palo Alto will measure congestion again? We give a shout out to dozens of citizens making their woes clear to city hall. Stay tuned for more news about cell phones traveling through town.


Crisis in Journalism = Crisis in Democracy

The crisis in journalism has turned into a crisis of democracy. In concrete terms, what does that really mean? The reporter shortage means residents don’t have the information to make decisions for their families or hold institutions accountable. The paucity of reporters has triggered an invisible power shift toward elected officials.

In addition, with less local reporting, residents come to understand each other less well. Fellow citizens become caricatures rather than neighbors — and we become more polarized.
Washington Post

Ed. Comments: We agree and urge our readers to click and read everything Washington Post had to say about the future of journalism.


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Editors, Neilson Buchanan and John Guislin, are unpaid, private citizens on the SF Peninsula and have no ties to developers or government organizations.

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