Minnesota GreenStep’s Real Agenda Part 2
By Andrew Richter
OK folks, let’s continue out look at Minnesota’s Green Step Program (and notice this will have nothing to do with changing out light bulbs). Today we are going to look at Best Practice 11; a complete streets policy.
You notice roads unnecessarily being re-striped around here? You notice the adding of bike lanes a sidewalks? Well, it’s all part of a national and state plan called complete streets.
A complete street is defined “as roadways that enable safe and convenient access for all users, of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and personal, emergency and commercial vehicles and are conducive to efficient movement and mobility of people and goods.”
Best Practice number 11 under the Green Step Program calls for this under their first “tip”;
Adopt a complete streets policy that also addresses street trees and storm water.
Notice it doesn’t say “ask your citizens whether they want this or not.” No, the Green Step Program doesn’t care about that. And adopting a “policy” means that it will be implemented into the city’s comprehensive 2030 plan. Here is what a Complete Streets policy may look like;
Here’s tip number 2;
Adopt zoning language or approve a development agreement for a selected area/project that is substantially equivalent to LEED for Neighborhood Development certification, including credits for Walkable Streets and Street Network.
Once again we see LEED being used as a standard. This is an effort to force us to obey international standards.
How about this tip;
Implement traffic calming measures, including road diets and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.
Road diet? Are they eating too much…..no this is where they remove lanes for cars. A road diet is defined as converting an undivided 4-lane roadway with average daily traffic of 20,000 or less into 3 lanes made up of 2 through lanes and a center 2-way left turn lane.
Notice that happening?
Also they call for depaving roads???? And of course we need more roundabouts too!
Here are the so-called benefits to complete streets;
Improved safety for all users
Yeah right, I’ve personally had people use the center lane to pass me!!!!
Improved access for transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians
Why can’t they use sidewalks??
Increased walking, biking and thus community health
Why do we need to redo roads just so people can walk? What is preventing someone from walking? Can’t they walk in a park or on a side street?
The potential for a household to cut transportation costs by selling a car
Really? Well if everyone sold a car, who would then buy them? And didn’t we just spend billions of dollars to bail out car companies (or more accurately their unions)? We do that and then encourage people to sell their cars. That makes no sense.
Reduced emergency response times
So cutting out lanes for vehicles makes it easier for emergency vehicles to travel????
A healthy tree canopy and reduced and cheaper stormwater management
More inviting public spaces and increased economic viability of businesses
You have to be joking. Last time I checked the viability of a business kinda depends on whether what they are selling is something people want to buy at a price people can afford. That damn capitalism!
Check out their summary;
The competitive advantage of cities – and a key distinction among cities, rural areas and many suburbs – is that city dwellers live and work in proximity to so many other people. Despite electronic networking, cities still thrive on proximity and daily physical interaction with a diverse group of people whose skills and abilities are mutually complementary. A well-designed, aesthetically appealing street network, that in its totality serves vehicles, walkers and bikers, facilitates social and economic interactions and a commitment to place, and delivers other benefits to a city and its people.
OK I defy anyone to tell me what that means.
Once again, what is the real agenda here; force us out of our cars by making driving as big of a bitch as humanly possible. This is also NOT economically conservative as some try to claim. What’s the cost of re-striping roads, building roundabouts, depaving roads, building trails and sidewalks, and so on and so forth?
And how does it makes sense in Minnesota???? Some cities have a longer snowmobile season then a biking season! No matter though, it’s good old one-size fits all Minnesota policy!