Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles focused on a report released by City Hall’s Planning and Community Development Department that updates City Council on the progress and impacts of the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) which was enacted in 2010.
Commuters rejoice, traffic is better now than it was in 2007, at least according to a study released by City Hall.
The document — which seeks to monitor a major city document, the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), enacted in 2010 — acknowledges that car traffic in Santa Monica remains “a serious concern” but says peak hour afternoon traffic dropped about 18.6 percent between 2007 and 2013.
“While many residents and visitors perceive the traffic in the city to be worse than it was prior to 2010, traffic studies demonstrate that the amount of PM Peak Hour traffic has actually decreased,” the report from Planning Director David Martin said.
Afternoon rush hour traffic fell by 1.89 percent between 2011 and 2013, the report said.
“While this statistic is supported by the results of various traffic counts and studies, the reality experienced by a large segment of the community is far different,” the report said. “This might be explained by the fact that traffic counts and studies focus on the AM and PM peak commuting periods … which historically have been the heaviest congestion periods during the day. If traffic has increased during the non-peak hours, this statistic would not be captured in the City’s traffic counts and studies.”
City officials point out that Santa Monica is surrounded by “regional forces over which it has little direct control” but that it has “taken aggressive measures” to manage traffic and provide other transit options.
Recent construction projects, like the incoming Expo Light Rail tracks and station, have temporarily impacted drivers, the report said. Construction of the Colorado Esplanade and the replacement of the California Incline will slow traffic later this year.
The LUCE goal, of no new afternoon rush hour trips between 2010 and 2030, is holding steady despite new development and jobs, city officials say in the report.
Traffic on all 10 major corridors studied by City Hall fell during afternoon rush hour between 2007 and 2013 but rose on some streets, like Lincoln, Wilshire, Santa Monica, Olympic, and Pico boulevards between 2011 and 2013.
“A slight increase in vehicle counts during the 2011 evaluation period can be attributed to the improving economy and other external factors,” city officials said. “The total 2013 counts show, by and large, relatively stable numbers from 2011 levels.”
Morning rush hour traffic improved consistently on all major corridors, according to the study, with the exception of Ocean Park Boulevard, which saw a jump between 2011 and 2013.
According to the same study, vehicle greenhouse gas emissions are down 12 percent between 2008 and 2013 and vehicle miles traveled are down from 10.8 daily miles to 10.2 daily miles.
The report cited several city initiatives as reasons for the decline and said City Hall’s $20 million 5-phase traffic signal synchronization project is 90 percent complete.
City Hall hasn’t provided an updated traffic study since 2013, so it remains unclear how traffic has been affected, statistically, since then.
City Planners and their lockstep cohorts, know this. We are on to you. We are aware of what Andre Spicer calls, “The Role of Bullshit in Organizations”.
He says, “In order to stave off this sense of purposelessness, many
organisational members turn to the dark art of bullshit. Bullshitters make
use of discourses that are strategically ambiguous, conceptually over-
packed and fleeting. The raw materials for such discourses are frequently
provided by, amongst others, the gurus, consultants and business schools
of the management fashion industry. The potential outcomes of this bullshit
are distinctly two-sided. On the one hand, bullshit can help to bolster an
organisation’s image, self-confidence and legitimacy. ”
see Andre Spicer’s – The Role of Bullshit in Organizations
This article argues that a great deal of both ‘talk’ and ‘text’ in organisationalsettings is, ultimately, bullshit. By ‘bullshit’ I mean the type of organisational speech and text that is produced with scant regard for the truth and is used to willfully mislead and to pursue the interests of the bullshitter.
Bullshit is particularly prevalent in immaterial roles that lack a clear sense of social purpose. In these contexts, employees try to occupy themselves by engaging in bullshit. They do this by circulating discourses which are strategically ambiguous, over-packed with information and deliberately fleeting in nature.
In order to construct these discourses, they frequently turn to examples set by the management fashion industry. When bullshit begins to take hold of an organisation, it can have surprisingly positive effects. It can create a positive image for the company and can help to increase self-confidence and build legitimacy. However, this often comes with some distinctly darker consequences: primary tasks are crowded out, valued occupational identities are compromised and stakeholder trust is undermined.
Ultimately, bullshit leaves us with organisations that may be appealing on the surface but are distinctly brittle.”
There is no cure for Stupid. Marie Sanding – quite right. At 4:10 PM yesterday, upon making a left turn from San Vicente heading southbound on 7th Street, the northbound traffic was backed up to south of the Georgina Stop sign.
I can only add my voice criticizing one very absurd traffic study. It would seem that traffic patterns have changed over the years but the study sticks to the routes studied in prior reports. It would also seem that the report was limited to very specific afternoon hours. If more businesses were staggering work hours the report would not capture the totality of the congestion at major intersections over the course of a day. In the end the report yields no information that is relevant to todays traffic congestion. Here the city is comparing Apples to Oranges and then concluding that the quantity of fruit has remained the same. So the study is critically flawed. The methodology used is laughable. We actually spent taxpayer money on this?
Peak traffic is stable ok maybe, but it is peak traffic nearly all day long now, didn’t used to be.
I don’t know who to believe, the report, or my lying eyes.
What streets are you traveling on? The traffic is many times worse now. That’s why companies are moving out, how do you explain
“Traffic on all 10 major corridors studied by City Hall fell during afternoon rush hour between 2007 and 2013 but rose on some streets, like Lincoln, Wilshire, Santa Monica, Olympic, and Pico boulevards between 2011 and 2013.” I am super curious to know which “10 major corridors” we studied that did not include Lincoln, Wilshire, Santa Monica, Olympic or Pico boulevards???? Are there some hidden “major corridors” that I don’t know about??? This absurdity is a great demonstration of how you can get a study to say anything that you want it to say. Clearly it didn’t include the DRAMATIC increase of traffic trying to get into Santa Monica at the Cloverfield exit ramp.
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