How we got here

Some old Break the Gridlock policy statements (most of which I wrote, all PDFs) that I found in the stacks, linked here so that they’re indexed:
* “Response to initial draft of city’s new zoning”:
* “Central Area Plan response letter”:
* Zoning for Transportation Equity Coalition’s “City in a Garden or a Parking Lot?, latest version without cover art”:
* ZTEC’s “one-page factsheet”:

ZTEC was largely responsible for getting the city to back down on a proposed increase in parking ratios during the 2002-2004 code rewrite. I don’t think that my letter on the Central Area Plan ever had an impact, but I still like it anyways:

bq. The people-friendly modes that we advocate are space efficient, thereby conserving the Central Area’s most scarce resource; create street-level vitality, enhancing the key to the Central Area’s unique character; and, best of all, are self-reinforcing. Busy sidewalks are safer and more pleasant to walk down; busy bus lines have more frequent, reliable service. Busy roads, on the other hand, merely create traffic congestion that maddens everyone. If total traffic is to grow, should that growth improve or paralyze the surface transportation network?

In short, walking, cycling, and riding transit create positive feedback loops: an increase in traffic yields better conditions (safer, livelier streets with better transit service). Driving creates a negative feedback loop: an increase in traffic degrades conditions for *everyone*, drivers, walkers, cyclists, and transit riders alike.

3 thoughts on “How we got here

  1. […] I earlier mentioned the positive feedback loops for “people-friendly” transportation modes, like walking and transit; in short, more people = better performance. Cars, on the other hand, have a negative feedback loop: one car makes life convenient, many result in congestion which inconveniences all. […]

  2. Pingback: feedback loop « west north

  3. Pingback: The urban snowball « west north

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