Transportation planning defended

In reference to George Hague’s op-ed piece, “Transportation policies must boost economy”:

* The ideas of the Transportation Element of the General Plan aren’t “unsupported.” There was a well-publicized Transportation Advisory Group workshop with opportunity for public input. City staff circulated a transportation survey on the city’s website. Additionally, TAG sought input from five city commissions.

* It is not true there were no disabled members on the TAG. I am disabled, and a TAG member. The final draft of the Transportation Element contains reference to compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

* The complaint by some Planning Commission members that the Transportation Element “overweights bicycle interests” was addressed by TAG. I was asked to review the element, to ensure it was not weighted too heavily in favor of bicycles. Almost all my suggestions were incorporated by TAG/city staff.

* In regard to the alleged “failed” intersection of Olive Drive/Richards Boulevard, not once did Planning Commissioner Hague raise this issue in his 26 concerns submitted to TAG in writing and specifically addressed in the July 11, 2013, TAG agenda, Attachment 1b. The issue was raised during Planning Commission and internal TAG discussions, with widely differing views.

* The Transportation Element doesn’t preclude the city from addressing any transportation issue. It sets out principles the city will use in transportation planning. It is a document subject to amendment. Thus it is difficult to imagine how the element is “a policy that eventually will eviscerate the economy of Davis.”

* I am puzzled by the op-ed comment, “in a town hosting … a university you can’t buy a computer” or “find a place to buy a suit and tie.” To lay blame for a lack of business in Davis by concluding it is because “No bus services (FMC Schilling’s) location on Second Street” makes little sense. FMC Schilling thrives despite the lack of a Unitrans bus stop in front of its building, and congestion at Richards Boulevard/Olive Drive.

The Transportation Element was formulated over two years of hard work from a group of very dedicated citizens and outstanding city staff. It was an honor and privilege to serve on the Transportation Advisory Group.

Elaine Roberts Musser

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