Tonight, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) held a public hearing to explain their 25-year transportation and housing plan to residents of the San Francisco peninsula. One set of their posters summarized where they think their plan succeeds and where it fails. Let's look first at where ABAG thinks they missed their targets (click on any photo to enlarge):
Top on the list of missed targets is "reduce injuries and fatalities from collisions." Instead of a reduction, injuries and fatalities are projected to increase by 18%. Common methods for reducing traffic accidents include adding stoplights or improving signage. Apparently, these are not a priority for ABAG.
Also on the list of missed target is highway maintenance. ABAG projects that "the percentage of poor quality state highway lane-miles in the region will rise to 44 percent of the regional highway system by year 2040." In other words, despite California's ever increasing state taxes, nearly half of the Bay Area's highways will be in "poor" condition.
So, what does the plan succeed at? Where is all our ever increasing tax money going? Here is the section of the poster showing ABAG's claimed successes:
ABAG's top claimed success, their "target #1," is "climate protection": their plan projects a per capita reduction in CO2 emissions of 18% by 2040.
There was a nice friendly ABAG official standing beside these posters. I asked him why they weren't instead doing more about reducing traffic fatalities. He kindly explained that it wasn't a priority while reducing CO2 was.
So we are going to suffer not only poor roads but also greater traffic deaths all for the goal of reducing carbon emissions. How many people will have to die in the name of Al Gore's failing theory?
MORE: Since the San Francisco Bay Area suffers from traffic congestion, I wondered what they planned to do about that in the next 25 years. The map below provides the answer:
While they do plan to improve a few interchanges (green dots on the map), they will not widen a single highway within Silicon Valley. The only highway widenings (solid red lines on the map, marked by arrows 20 and 22) are outside of Silicon Valley. The only other highway projects in their plans are "highway operational improvements," which, according to the explanation I was given, is a euphemism for making carpool lanes more restrictive.
STILL MORE: ABAG has adopted Obama's abuse of language. The chart below shows "investments":
Notice that 90% of "investments" are merely maintenance, something any accountant would recognize as an expense not an "investment."
Note also in the chart above that "road and bridge expansion" gets the same amount of money as mass transit. This happens despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of passenger-miles (90 to 97%) is traveled on roads and bridges, and not on the heavily-subsidized mass transit system. The 97% should revolt against the 3%!
Lastly, ABAG's adherence to political correctness extends well beyond a belief in global warming. To design the SF Bay Area's transportation system, they studied projections for race and ethnicity, producing plots such as this:
If you read their reports, you will see they claim that these skin pigmentation issues affect what transportation improvements will be needed.
Overall, ABAG's 25-year plan seems to be a painful confirmation of Reynold's Second Law: “The more a government wants to run its citizens’ lives, the worse job it will do at the most basic tasks of government.”
For more on ABAG's 25-year plan, dubbed "One Bay Area," click here.
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