Tuesday, January 12, 2016

For Pinocchio Rosenbarger and the Bored: Synchronized traffic lights on State Street won't solve anything.

At last week's Bored of Works and Auto Safety meeting, Grandaddy Naps tried to wrap his arms around traffic problems on State Street.

At issue was the prospective acquisition of land to place signal boxes in preparation for a federally-funded project to make State Street more navigable for greater numbers of automobiles, without taking minor factors like walkability into mind, so as to approve whole new parcels of auto-centric retail development, presumably to be financed by Scott "Banker" Blair's firm.

It may help to recall that even before it began picking its collective nose, the very first thing the Bored of Works did upon receiving Jeff Speck's Downtown Street Network Proposal was to omit State Street from it.

Surely this was no coincidence.

One year later, the very same time-serving luminaries who brought you dainty sidewalk numbers for the motorcycle club ...

... will yet again pay no heed to the notion of induced demand, as explained here in relation to Los Angeles.

If you can find anything in any of this to inspire confidence that a gang perennially unable to plan straight will (a) begin two-way street reversions, and if lightning strikes and they actually do, (b) execute them according to spec ... let me know.

Do Synchronized Traffic Lights Really Solve Congestion Woes?

... Although many traffic experts agree that LA’s money was well spent on the synchronization, some are skeptical that the new system will reduce congestion in the long run. Statistics indicated an initial reduction in congestion … until people realized that the city’s roadways were less awful and a new population of previously avoidant motorists took to the roads.

It’s like loosening your belt after a particularly large meal — while it creates more room for your burgeoning belly, the space is quickly filled because you can finally relax (or eat dessert). The same thing is happening with LA traffic. By reducing average travel times, synchronized traffic lights allow more people to travel. The benefit may not necessarily be speedier traffic, but rather a greater number of cars passing through during the same amount of time. The level of congestion may stay the same simply because there are more cars on the road.

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