[Carfreeliving] ISCOTT putting traffic first, safety last
joshua at sfbike.org
Fri Mar 25 17:52:57 MST 2005
For those of you who are unfamilar with ISCOTT, the Interdepartmental
Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation, this committee is made
up of staff from police, fire, dpt, taxi commission, etc.
They are important because every change in traffic regulations or
striping needs to go through them unless it is introduced by a member
of the Board of Supervisors.
We (together with TLC) have been working to encourage DPT to remove
unnecessary double turn lanes throughout the City, and they have been
bringing several of these to ISCOTT.
For those of you who are new to San Francisco, or don't remember Carmen
Murillo, she was a good person who was riding her bike and was killed
at the double turn lanes on S. Van Ness. Countless pedestrians and
cyclists have been killed and injured by these hazardous traffic
designs over the last few decades in San Francisco.
Portland and other sensible cities have strict guidelines that say that
the City can only use double turn lanes in the most extreme situations.
Here in SF, unfortunately, our bureaucrats are slaves to automobile
Level of Service, and don't do anything that might delay cars, even if
it means that some lower class people have to die.
At an ISCOTT meeting a month ago, they tabled a proposal to remove a
double turn lane at California and Kearny based on anecdotal evidence
brought up by the Taxi Commission representative (she was concerned
about taxi drivers getting frustrated by increased congestion and
running people over) , when DPT's own counts showed that a double turn
lane was unnecessary.
At this week's meeting, ISCOTT finally killed the proposal- see below:
2. California and Kearny Streets - Multiple Turn Lanes
DPT recommends rescinding "Multiple Right Turn Lanes" on northbound
Kearny at California Street.
(that's all they said in the minutes- disapproved)
Whereas ISCOTT was set up to ensure that transportation planning is
coordinated between the different departments, now it is simply a bunch
of good old boys who are making policy decisions that prevent DPT from
doing work to improve safety on our streets, simply to keep traffic
flowing, even if that means blood is shed.
I'm not being melodramatic here- these are the facts, and I gotta tell
you- it makes my blood boil to see these people make decisions about
our public spaces based on car-first policies in our transit first
If you have a problem with a bunch of backward bureaucrats making
policy instead of our elected officials, contact your supervisor and
ask them to make ISCOTT a purely advisory committee without teeth.
Or you can call Harvey Quan, the chair of ISCOTT, directly and ask him
why his committee is putting the movement of cars above saving people's
lives- his office number is 554-2319
Or better yet- come to the next ISCOTT meeting in person- April 7th at
9am at 25 Van Ness Suite 345 and ask all of them.
p.s. This is a very good topic to bring up and discuss at the BAC's
Level of Service Hearing on April 6th at City Hall- see
Please note my new mailing address and phone extension.
| __o SF BICYCLE COALITION ___ __0
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Joshua Hart Program Director 415-431-2453 ext. 303 joshua at sfbike.org
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