Saturday 18 November 2017

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY BLUEPRINT – TRANSPORTATION PLANNING

After attending a few transportation meetings of introduction to “LUPLAN” the proposed transportation model staff are promoting at Kern Council of Governments, time will tell whether the computer model will work for the future regional planning scenarios.

 

The attempt for better long-term future mobility means improving the underlying infrastructure costs together with vehicle improvements in regard to energy consumption and emission reduction capabilities, speed, efficiency and shortening distance of getting from point A to point B.

 

It appears that at first glance Bakerfieldians will live in these future regional metropolitan areas with severe congestion by 2030 based on current trends, the traffic forecasts and the enormous costs of building roads and freeways, as well as, paying for and servicing the vehicles.

 

What values and vision scenarios can we forge that will offer opportunities to create alternative transportation modes? Regional mobility cannot only foster change with pedestrian ways, bicycle paths or public transit lanes to shorten the distance between homes and places to work at minimum.

 

So how does one reduce overall travel time? How does one reduce the cost of infrastructure? How does one reduce energy use? How does one dare introduce a different vehicle that serves the current needs of commuters and long distance travelers?

 

Well portends embracing a means of getting around a lot better in the future with revisions to the subsidy on 40% of our land area given to the automobile. If this could be done we would get far closer and far quicker to cleaning our air. Most of all we would use less energy and emit fewer emissions.

 

The one transportation future we should begin for ourselves is to find, create and implement a regional mobility system that would use either a dedicated lane of our existing infrastructure already in place or a new corridor to add a “dual mode system”. This is a maglev vehicle either inside a vacuum tube or one that bashes the air on an embedded “rail” system. This technology is feasible given the distances and network flexibility and would be far less costly and more efficient than the proposed California High Speed Rail from Los Angeles and San Diego to Sacramento and San Francisco.

 

What’s more, we should initiate an extraordinary force for a whole new high tech transportation industry to be established locally. The swift movement toward such an advanced transportation technology would bring together the unique agricultural production service to the Great Valley for exporting food directly not only to harbors and airports, but to rail and rubber tire “satellite” transportation centers.

 

This collapsing of time and distance from Merced to Bakersfield offers an exciting and practical future to support a different pattern of urban settlement in our Great Valley. Transportation is the single most important feature for a better settlement pattern.

 

This brave new step would endear us to the rest of the world and bring about a beginning for growth and change in answering our dire need for an appropriate application of mobility technology that is energy efficient, economically viable and sociably acceptable.

 

Graham Kaye Eddie

 

Master Urban Designer

 

3/8/07   446 words

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