Archives for posts with tag: Bicycling

Doug-Chaffee-Hughes-Drive-Bike- Buffalo

The tale of Doug Chaffee dodging a water buffalo in India can finally be told to all…

Matthew Leslie

Good News, Everyone! Someone at the city has updated the video recording of Tuesday night’s Fullerton City Council meeting, restoring the first two hours that included public speakers on the Hughes Drive bike lane agenda item, along with Doug Chaffee’s argument that a planned Class II bike lane shouldn’t be installed on the street because he had to deal with water buffalo, cows, and goats in India where they had no bike lanes when he was in the Peace Corps. “Things should move slowly,” says the wizened Mayor pro tem, and so they will, with only two lanes, all traffic on Hughes Drive will now move just as fast as a bicyclist can ride.

 

Why does Doug Chaffee think that dodging draft animals and their street bundles half a world away is somehow relevant to providing a safe lane for Fullerton bicyclists? Only Doug Chaffee knows…perhaps he was thinking about the water main breaks below Fullerton’s crumbling streets?

 

no9cei-001.fullertonmain.05.12.15.kw

हे भगवान ! A water buffalo has been here!

Image taken from the L.A. Times (without permission).

Image taken from the L.A. Times (without permission).

65th District Assemblymember Young Kim has introduced a bill that would prohibit a controversial plan to add toll lanes to Interstate 405 without direct approval by voters. The move would prevent the addition of a toll lane to the freeway as part of Measure M2-funded improvements, which already include extra lanes in both directions on one of the most congested highways in the state. Arguing that Caltrans “does not have the legislative authority to own or operate toll lanes anywhere in the state,” and that no mention of tolls appeared in the ballot language for Measure M2, the half cent sales to fund transportation improvements, Ms. Kim introduced AB 1459, to require a two-thirds majority approval by voters before any “toll facility” could be built in Orange County.

The OC Register, who endorsed Young Kim for her seat last year, disagrees with her, contending that by transforming the existing carpool lane into one that still allows carpools but also allows single driver vehicles to use it for a fee, freeway traffic will move faster. The Register even acknowledges that the scheme smacks of double taxation, except that “use of these lanes would be entirely voluntary.”

Like her predecessor, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Young Kim sits on the Assembly Transportation Committee. Sharon Quirk-Silva supporter Vern Nelson over at the Orange Juice blog recently recalled that last year Ms. Quirk-Silva and fellow Democrat Tom Daly both allowed a similar bill penned by Allan Monsoor to “quietly die in committee last year by boldly abstaining (so as not to piss off the dread Teamsters and Building Trades who see toll lanes as a makework slush fund.)”

What’s a Republican to do when a left-wing blog supports her bill but the right-wing county newspaper doesn’t?

Here is one suggestion: Instead of rearranging the deck chairs on our Titanically dysfunctional freeway system, why not focus on long term solutions that include mass transit? If we can devote $15.8 billion to widening freeways, why can’t we upgrade our bus system to optimum functionality, and add bike infrastructure to get more drivers off of the road in the first place?

Sharon Quirk-Silva will host a fundraiser next week to kick off her bid to reclaim the 65th Assembly seat in 2016. The Rag challenges both candidates to identify ways to fund mass transit for commuters, instead of arguing over how to spend money to alleviate perennially congested automobile traffic.

Measure-M-2-Mailer

A mailer supporting the renewal of Measure M in 2006 promises a bridge across SR-57 near CSUF. Perhaps they meant to put it at the bottom of the list?

 

Eight years ago Fullerton residents received this mailer urging them to renew Measure M, the county-wide half cent sales tax adopted by voters in 1990. Funds from Measure M, and M2, as the renewal became known after voters passed it in 2006, have been mostly used for widening streets. But some funding was steered toward mass transit and at least one project was supposed to have been built to benefit cyclists and pedestrians.

Measure-M-2-Mailer-low-res-crop

Voters a approved “Measure M-2,” but we never got our bridge.

At the bottom of the lengthy list of promised projects to benefit Fullerton residents is a bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the 57 Freeway next to Cal State Fullerton. The bridge would provide a direct transportation path to the school for numerous students and others living to the east on the other side of the busy freeway. Bicycle paths at the school currently run north and south, but riding east or west on Nutwood Ave on the south side of CSUF or Yorba Linda Blvd. on the north side can be dangerous because of the onramps and off ramps of the freeway itself on both streets.

57-Bridge-Map

Imagine all of the students who could walk or bike to school from the other side of the freeway instead of having to drive the short distance.

While many of the other projects promised on the mailer have either been completed or are in process, the bridge over the 57 Freeway seems to have been all but forgotten. Supervisor Shawn Nelson discussed the bridge two years ago during a Bicycle Summit meeting, but nothing concrete seems to yet be in the works.

Anaheim-Bike-Map-Hand-copy

Anaheim has plans for three bridges across freeways. Where is Fullerton’s promised Measure M funded bridge?

Meanwhile, the City of Anaheim recently hosted a visioning session with a hired consultant where cyclists had the opportunity to provide feedback about various street modifications and other measures planned to make the streets of our neighboring city safer for bicycle riders. Their plans include no fewer than three freeway bridges. These funds will come from grants. But what happened to Fullerton’s bridge over the 57 Freeway that was supposed to have been paid for by Measure M 2 funding? It’s a good question to ask Orange County Transportation Authority representatives who will on hand Wednesday, August 27 at 6:00 pm. at the Fullerton Community Center for a public meeting about the OC Bike Loop project.

The Fullerton Community Center is located at  340 W. Commonwealth Ave.

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