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Commentary :: Transportation

You say you want a revolution?

I postulate that the function of dreams is to prepare us for space, and that is why they are a biologic necessity.
- William Burroughs
 

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LOCAL Commentary :: Transportation

Mercedes Runs on Waste Vegetable Oil

No gas, no diesel, no fossil fuel whatsoever. This car runs on waste vegetable oil from local restaurants.
 

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LOCAL News :: Transportation

Pedestrian Access at Boardwalk/Trestle Bridge - Boardwalk and City Staff Collaborate?

[It really looks to me like City Staff and the Boardwalk have been caught trying to sneak one over on the public... City Staff is taking the "easy" way out here, by attempting to do this without public input. Debbie makes a number of good points in this article. Maybe this is a reasonable trade off... but we, the public, won't know, unless and until there's been a lot mroe information released. -Thomas]


From: Debbie Bulger
To: dfbulger (at) cruzio.com
Subject: Ped access at Boardwalk/Trestle Bridge
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 12:48:14 -0700 (15:48 EDT)

Dear All,


Here is what I have found out about the proposed closing of the ped access at the Boardwalk and re-routing of the bike exit/approach to the bridge on the west:


The item has been pulled from the August 10 meeting of the Coastal Commission at the request of the Seaside Company. It is likely to be rescheduled for October.


On Friday, July 29 I met twice with people at the site to learn more about the proposed project: One meeting was with Chris Schneiter, Cheryl Schmitt (both from the city PW Dept.) and with Ted Whiting III from the Boardwalk. The second meeting was with various Mission: Ped members and other activists who had requested a meeting.


The staff of the Coastal Commission believe that the proposed fencing off of where the bike path currently goes would "preclude future opportunities to provide one-way bike and ped paths on both sides of the Union Pacific RR . . . ." The Coastal Commission staff report is attached.


There have been no public hearings at City Council or at the Transportation Commission so far as I know regarding this re-routing of both ped and bike routes and of permanently closing public access to the beach along Walkway 6 through the Boardwalk.


Since the city is strapped for money, the Public Works staff would like to "trade" the public access to the beach at Walkway 6 and additional fencing of 2300 sq. ft. of land in exchange for Boardwalk funding of most of the costs of the proposed new bike ramp. Ted Whiting told me the Seaside Company would not fund the new bike/ped ramp if they don't get the land they want and the fencing approved.


The land in question is part of the disputed tidelands over which the Seaside Company is currently suing the city. It also appears that this disputed property is controlled by the state and not the city's to trade away.


The proposed new bike/ped ramp would exit from the west side of the trestle bridge and ultimately take a hairpin turn and end pretty much where the existing ramp ends above the parking lot near the levee junction. This proposed ramp would be 8' wide and would be shared by both bikes and peds.


Peds coming across the bridge would have to walk a lot farther than at present. They could not access the train or boardwalk directly along the RR tracks as they do now, but would have to double back. With Walkway 6 closed when the boardwalk is closed, the ped distance to the beach could be increased as much as a quarter mile. Beach access could still occur for much of the year directly under the trestle bridge, however this route would be more difficult for those with strollers. Access along the river is also blocked by water at times during the winter.


It is less than optimal for bikes and peds to share an 8' wide ramp (The new ramp would be ADA compliant.). When building new, it seems better to separate bikes and peds. There is a lot of bike and ped traffic on this route.


Walkway 6 is the shortest route for boardwalk patrons to get to the Boardwalk parking lot. During my meetings, I saw three people hop the illegal 8' fence (2 men, 1 woman). Also many others approached the gate to exit and turned away because it was locked. Although the Boardwalk is proposing to open this gate during operating hours, it was fenced 4 years ago without a permit and remains fenced.


Why hasn't the city had a public hearing on this complicated issue? Would the trade be made and one day all the hundreds of people who use the trestle bridge suddenly find out they must walk further?


Since this route is my main bike route to Live Oak, I agree that we need a better connection between the trestle bridge and the Beach Street bikeway. I do not know if sources of funding other than the Seaside Company have been explored. I am not particularly happy from a pedestrian standpoint with the proposed design and continued sharing of the ramp by bikes and peds. And I certainly don't want to see this trade stand in the way of future bike and ped access on the rail trail. And finally, is the additional 2300 sq ft the city's to give away?


Debbie
 

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Announcement :: Transportation

Hitchhiker Happening - Northern Arizona

Celebrate July as Hitchhiking Month. A Hitchhiker Happening is a place to share resources with other travelers and celebrate the open road. Flagstaff has long been a favorite stop for hitchhikers and road enthusiasts, with Route 66 rolling through, the Grand Canyon nearby and many other great sights. We'll be just 20 miles south in the cool pines.
 

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LOCAL Interview :: Labor & Economics : Transportation

Rockin' the Boat: Metro Labor Dispute Continues

Interview with Bonnie Morr, chair of United Transportation Union Local 23, who represents bus operators and paratransit workers.

8 minutes
 

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