OWN VOICE. Thursday, June 30th, 2022. By Vicki Sundstrom who is a professional in the field of Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering, with over 20 years of experience in traffic management and mitigation. She lives in Pacifica.
City of Pacifica & neighboring communities adjacent to Pacifica, California: Pacifica’s growth has generated and will continue to generate significant traffic but is it truly unavoidable?
Pacifica is in the process of updating their General Plan, a document last updated in the 80s.
As it stands today, the proposed development projects significant and unavoidable traffic growth. Much has changed in the 40 years since the document was last updated in terms of transportation, traffic, parking, how it’s analyzed and mitigated.
Pacifica’s draft General Plan update, a document for the next 20 years, plans for additional housing, a “robust” downtown and tourist destination – with significant impact to traffic without any consideration of managing and mitigating traffic, parking and congestion.
The required circulation & safety elements of Pacifica’s general plan does not address the traffic growth seen to date, nor does it address the planned traffic both within city boundaries and on neighboring communities co-dependent on our shared road infrastructure.
Staff has been unable to share any analysis that shows how overall traffic was reviewed and problem areas identified.
While the commute related traffic analysis (vehicle miles traveled) is unavoidable, the lack of a robust analysis (traffic counts, capacity, delay times) limits the ability to adequately understand what is avoidable through policy, mitigation or improvements. There is only ONE roadway improvement planned in the 20 year planning document – on a local road.
Neither the lack of adequate analysis nor the rush to approve the general plan document are good and sufficient reasons why we should all live with perpetual congestion or lack of parking availability – issues that impact our quality of life and our economy. Furthermore, beyond the everyday quality of life, this missing information handicaps the planning and funding needed to address disaster evacuations, as well as traffic related safety improvements.
Pacifica City Council and Staff have the obligation to do what every other city is required to do in managing traffic and transportation in support of their residents and neighboring communities – addressing and mitigating the traffic impacts of future growth. It’s time for them to lean in.