Read on KGNU's Morning Magazine 5/16/96

This is Evan Ravitz, with Citywatch, a peak behind the hot-air curtain of the Imperial City of Boulder.

Citizens of Boulder and Beyond: your testimony can help prevent a multi-hundred-million-dollar fraud from being perpetrated on Boulder. It's called the Transportation Master Plan, and you can comment on it tonite at the Planning Board Meeting at about 6:30 at City Hall. Next Tuesday City Council will have a public hearing on the TMP; watch for the agenda published in Sunday's Camera.

The Master Plan is so perverse and parasitic that even the League of Women Voters is harshly critical of it. Over the next decades Transportation Division wants a good part of a billion dollars to continue their policies which are taking us straight to gridlock. There have been so many revisions of the TMP that I've given up trying to keep track of the details. The bottom line is that they want more.

Transportation Division spends about the same proportion of Boulder's bloated budget as the Defense Department spends of the Nations. Last weekend they spent ¼ million ripping out the perfectly good intersection of Canyon and 13th St. and putting in concrete in pretty colors. The TMP will have them do this at 9th & Canyon and Broadway and Canyon as well.

They again ask for much more money for more big empty buses weaving slowly through our neighborhoods spewing diesel. The citizens turned this down 2 to 1 in 1994, but they're baaack!

Nowhere is there an indication they intend to straighten out the routes and put them on main streets where they would be used.

They trumpet nationwide their HOP shuttle, but two studies show that 2/3 of HOP riders would otherwise walk or bicycle. Pedestrians and cyclists are the enemies of Transportation Division as there is no money in it.

A million dollars is to be spent putting 14 fancy traffic circles on Pine and Spruce East of Downtown. All this does is shift some traffic to Pearl and Balsam; a million dollar shell game. All these circles will violate the 1989 Transportation Master Plan which implemented National standards mandating that traffic lanes on Bike routes be at least 14 feet wide.

A real solution to traffic congestion, adopted with enormous success in Aspen, is to simply charge more for parking so people drive less and use buses, bikes or feet more. Transportation Division isn't telling us about Aspen's success, instead taking $800,000 to study the idea for 2 more years, meanwhile spending as much as possible on bandaid solutions.

Director of the Transportation Division Phil Weisbach and his employees deliberately and repeatedly lied in 1994. Responding to Sierra Club and other complaints that cycling would get nothing in that year's plan, Weisbach said cycling wasn't relevant because most cyclists wouldn't ride more than a mile or 2. I reminded him that the Boulder Valley Employee Survey showed that the average bike commute is 3.6 miles, but he said he'd continue to assert his "opinion".

The TMP is supposed to guide our transportation future for many years. If you think it's time to show the parasites the door, come to the Planning Board meeting tonight at 6:30 and the Council meeting Tuesday about 7.

This has been Evan Ravitz with Citywatch.