Between cars and pedestrians they’ll always take cars. Look what’s winning out.
From last night’s Planning Board meeting:
City staff is seeking Planning Board approval to change the Site Plan for the Talaria Project in order to modify Condition of Approval No. 26 in order to remove four off-site pedestrian curb extensions in the public right-of-way. The Planning Board’s consideration to approve a minor amendment to the Project Site Plan is permitted pursuant to Article 5 of the Development Agreement for the Talaria Project. While several curb extensions are proposed to be removed, it staffs assessment that the overall intent of the Development Agreement to provide improved pedestrian circulation around the site is still met.
As part of the City’s engineering design review of the Project Site Plan, the developer and the City conferred on the design and construction of the off-site amenities to be constructed in public right of way. In particular, Condition of Approval No. 26 to the Development Agreement is a multi-part condition that requires the developer to construct several pedestrian amenities that encourage pedestrian travel to, from, and around the Project site. These amenities, described in prior Table 1, include the construction of several sidewalk curb extensions at intersections near the Project site that reduce the pedestrian crossing distance across major streets.
Here’s the fun part. Ooops!
Upon review of the engineering design of these curb extensions, the Public Works Department and the Community Development Department both concur that construction of these curb extensions would either impede vehicular circulation into and out of the Project site, could actually reduce pedestrian safety, or would incur an unwarranted maintenance liability on the City by impeding storm water drainage along the street curb.
The interference with cars problem sounds like the more likely culprit. Pedestrian “safety” just sounds like an excuse.
Cars will never be supplanted in any way by 21st-century pedestrians and bikes. Any suggestion to the contrary is just project hype, and the above action proves it. Just saying.