Wednesday, June 25, 2008

350 means stop moving cars.

Stop trying to figure out how to move cars. Moving cars is just a substitute for producing CO2. We are at 384 ppm of CO2 and we need to get to 350.

350 is our challenge and our goal.

We should instead do the opposite of the last 50 years. Gum up the works for cars. Make it more difficult. That is the only way to make it easier to walk and bike and help the environment.

Take South and Ralston. We are obsessing over the crash rate, making a left turn eastbound on Ralston, should we have a stop light or a traffic light? The costs keep rising. The problem arises because there is not enough traffic on South to justify any fix. Meanwhile this is one of the worst intersections to cross over to Twin Pines when walking literally across the intersection. A pity because the views from South are dramatic and complement a walk to the park.

So lets take the half block from Holly to Ralston on South and convert it to a neighborhood pocket park. The little traffic from South can use Norte Dame or Middle to get out. Walkers would now have a nice means of getting to the intersection which can be narrowed to benefit the crossing. Autos would not have to worry about turning traffic and can go gum up another intersection. A two lane street on Ralston would also be feasible now.

350 allows us to re-imagine the whole street from 101 to 6th. Instead of the townless highway, one slab of asphalt from San Francisco to South San Jose, we can build a nice multistory office housing park gateways at 101 and turn the rest of the street into a Disney land main street like Santa Cruz in Los Gatos. A first step is a stop sign that meters traffic off the highway so that it can be slow and appreciate the town.

What have we got to lose its a complete loss right now, a speedway through a slum, the other side of the tracks.

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