It’s difficult to illustrate the opportunities that are available now on our roads. We don’t need big expensive building projects, just smarter systems that protect both our pocketbooks and our natural resources.
It’s fairly easy to make the case analytically, but it often doesn’t sink in. To find that intuitive hook, I was planning an interpretive modern dance about traffic congestion. But at the last minute, we were all saved from what would surely have been an uncomfortable experience. Instead, I give you Sightline’s new 44 second video on fixing our roadways:
Big thanks to Don Baker and Aldon Baker.
A picture is worth a thousand words! Elegantly done.
I have some questions about what I’m not seeing in this video…Where are the vehicles delivering goods? These include the large tractor/trailer rigs that I’ve seen increase in numbers in recent years. As our population increases so does our need for goods delivered by road. Even eating locally grown foods require delivery via some sort of truck.Where are the vehicles driven by the people that build and repair our homes and offices? Where are the vehicles driven by the people the work on our infrastructure maintaining and repairing roads, power lines, gas lines, sewer lines, etc? These things often require large vehicles driven by one worker or multiple large vehicles. Without this maintenance and repair work, we cannot live and work in our communities for long.Where are the vehicles driven by the parents of children who choose to be available to get there sick kid when day care or school nurses call? In an effort to be good parents and bring in enough income to make sure their kids can go to college, most family these days, assuming there are 2 parents in the home, have to have two incomes. This means that one parent must be available to deal with child emergencies as they arise. It’s a great thing if one parent can get on the bus, but having a car is considered a safety thing.It would be great to get everybody on buses, but it isn’t realistic. Things would improve greatly if many more people lived closer to work or commuted by bus but it doesn’t address how goods and services will be brought into an increasingly dense population.
If you sit and watch the evening traffic on I-520, almost none of it is big tractor-trailer trucks and less than 20% of it is maintainance utility vehicles.With options like Zipcar and emergency taxi-cab fare, it is more feasible to be a one-car or zero-car family than you might think. It is less convenient, but it is possible.Some of our issues are due to zoning problems. If Seattle had housing that was affordable to people making $35,000/year, we wouldn’t have so many working class people coming from Everett or Tacoma into Seattle every day to work.Say I can (as I do) live in Ballard and work in Fremont, and say that I have children attending school in Queen Anne, Ballard, and UW. Now, say that my spouse works downtown or on Capitol Hill. I can bicycle to any of them FASTER than I can drive, and it will take me less than 30 minutes to reach any of them. The problem is that not everyone can afford to live so close to where they work.