Somerville Working In Reverse

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By Arthur Moore
Somerville is working in reverse as usual.

Back to the problems of Winter Hill again since the implementation of a badly designed road diet for Winter Hill that has raised havoc to the area and the council members and traffic department and mayor that have gone into hiding and ignoring one of the biggest screw ups to Winter Hill there has ever been. The three people who are the biggest blame for this mess are the mayor, Brad Rawson and Mark Niedergang. Through all of this they have not taken the responsibility of fixing this. Causing loss of income to Winter Hill businesses. The ability to rent the corner of Temple and Broadway as they have no parking for people with ADA disabilities. I have talked to people who were going to rent this until they saw Broadway. The apartment have elderly having difficulty getting access to their housing. Increased accidents, more traffic on side streets, Idling cars making air pollution worse. And so much more. The ward four council member is not speaking up for the people in his ward. All are silent hoping this will all go away and people will forget. Even the letter from the Somerville ADA to the mayor is ignored. I don’t expect the council members to be experts in traffic design and what the problems are. But we are supposed to have one in the traffic department. Apparently not. If these people who are supposed to represent us, or so we elected them to be they could easily take the time and look around the world for solutions. First thing they should look into is why cars are on the road and for what. This is actually simple. This is a chart from Germany showing their game plan.E915D016-88A3-402C-B1EA-646D36EDDA3CRather than simply focusing on pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, an ASI approach demands that cities, states and even nations think more holistically about saving lives on their streets. The “avoid” column — which refers to policies designed to reduce the necessity of long trips usually taken by car — is especially under-discussed in American transportation policy, because, of course, it falls outside the realm of traditional transportation planning. The ASI model insists, however, that leaders think broadly about housing, commercial development, and creating complete neighborhoods in which people don’t need to drive to the grocery store or their kids’ school, because essential services are right next door.

Here’s another look at the ASI approach that even more concisely illustrates why Americans need to stop treating pedestrian safety as just an infrastructure problem, and start thinking biggerE4EFFF58-B490-4D75-A21F-51FA1BD7DFAEThere are still many things we need to do in life that will require cars. But how much can we cut down by having what we need here? I keep trying to tell our leaders this but they just don’t get it. Instead they put this dumb road design in which would come into play maybe once these goals are established or when it calls for it. The plan Somerville uses is reverse of solving the problem. It is causing more harm than anything else and is getting nothing accomplished. Unless you work on what can cause people to use cars less you have just made it a bigger problem. Which is obvious that is what they have done. This elements of this plan are basic and is working all over the world. Because it is a simple common sense plan. In order to get Soemrville out of reverse we need to get The mayor, Brad Rawson, Mark Niedergang and Jesse Clingan out of office now. And let’s put in people working for US. Let’s get Somerville going in forward.

 

6 thoughts on “Somerville Working In Reverse”

  1. I love new design and hope more people start biking. This City is starting great things, hopefully more cities and towns in Massachusetts get on board soon.

    1. The approach, known as A-S-I (from Avoid/ Reduce, Shift/Maintain, Improve), seeks to achieve significant GHG emission reductions, reduced energy consumption, less congestion, with the final objective to create more livable cities. … Transport demand management plays into this objective as well.

  2. Too many people made up their minds in the early weeks of this change, when it was truly only half-baked and really did cause problems.

    But since the corresponding light-timing changes went in, there’s no carnage. Accidents are down. Traffic is flowing pretty much the same as always. Business armageddon has failed to materialize.

    You can keep tilting at this windmill, but a year from now nobody else is going to remember or care, because the street works just fine this way.

    For every person complaining about less convenient parking, there are literally thousands of bus riders who are getting better service. You keep trying to use disabled people as a weapon against a street design you don’t like, but there are hundreds of disabled people riding that bus each day. Plenty of whom *can’t* drive because of their abilities or their finances.

    If you truly care about a city that accommodates people of all ages and abilities, you’ll give transit the highest priority everywhere. Kids can’t drive. The profoundly elderly can’t drive. The profoundly disabled can’t drive. All of those groups are better served by transit. And we’re all better served by having less traffic congestion by moving more people with fewer vehicles.

    1. You are welcome to disagree but the problem I am having is the unused bike lane blocking the disabled from the businesses and their apartments. There is a letter to the mayor from ADA also. It is not just me. The other side of this is that many now use the side streets and go faster when they use them to get around this. And the businesses are losing money. I have spent much time talking to them and they have been at the meetings and are getting a 25% to 75% loss depending on the business. The bus lanes should have waited until after the bridges are reopened to actually see what works. City is too screwed up right now to know the actual data. And collisions and accidents are way up as per the police reports. And to add to the problem now is the coronavirus as people are getting away from public transportation. 25 seconds does not make all this worthwhile. Lets wait until next year when we are ready to work on it. I think there are better ways to have handled this. Which is why I showed the German approach. Saying all that I am no expert, this is what I see and hear by being out there. I am very opened minded. And before I forget many people are not coming here to the stores. You can see now we have parking over at the Winter Hill Bakery whose business is way down also because people stopped going.

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