I really think the governor is getting sloppy with her excuses. She cites safety emergencies every time! Let's send her some #NewExcusesRI so that next time she can tell us something more convincing.
I'll start us off:
My dog ate the suitcase full of donations from the construction trades, and so I had to get another suitcase of donations from the construction trades.
Seriously, I had to go take a walk around the block when I saw this headline:
|From tweet by Dan McGowan|
Governor Raimondo needs to come up with some more excuses for bad transportation ideas:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has asked state transportation officials to speed up a plan to move most of the buses out of Kennedy Plaza, but it remains unclear when the overhaul of the downtown hub will begin.
In an interview this week, Raimondo said safety remains her primary concern in a downtown area that has seen the tragic death of woman who was hit by a Peter Pan bus last month as well as a spike in nuisance crimes in 2016.
“I would like to move the buses out of Kennedy Plaza and I am directing my team to work harder to accelerate that,” Raimondo said. “I’m worried about safety.”
This is the second time this week (see #1) that Raimondo has cited safety as a way of bolstering a state of emergency, both times in order to lay the smack down on transit (though don't be fooled, Raimondo has been using safety as a way to push her agenda on transportation since before this week too).
I have written something each of the times that someone was hit by a bus in Kennedy Plaza, and I have concerns about it too. Moving the buses to a different location does not mean that no one will ever be hit by a bus. It simply means they'll be hit by a bus in a different location.
My particular concerns have been that planners in the city, and at the state level, have tended to suggest that bike-bus combo lanes are a great idea. The logic behind this idea seems to be that both are types of transportation that aren't cars, but there's no further thinking put behind that. Buses obviously need to have their own lanes in order to go quickly and efficiently through the city, while bikes need their own lanes to allow people who are not comfortable going quickly in mixed traffic to have a safe space. These are obviously two completely at-odds goals.
There are a lot of nuanced things that could be said about Kennedy Plaza. The first is the fact that not all of the buses currently at KP should be there. Bus systems are best designed as pulsing networks of frequent routes on a grid, which allows riders the ability to go anywhere to anywhere quickly. Clearly, having the buses all go to one central point is not the best system.
That's a different point than the one the keeps coming up with Rhode Island politicians-- which can essentially be summed up as "get rid of those bus people." Paolino would like to see buses moved to Allens Avenue. Clearly (haha!) this is motivated by his interest in putting transit where it is most useful, rather than, say, relegating it to the "margins of the city."
Raimondo's manufactured emergency belies the fact that her administration has been an open enemy of everything that might make the state a decent place to walk, bike, or take a bus. Flanked by Joe Paolino, Providence's anti-transit ultra-villain, Raimondo would like you to believe this policy move is about the safety of pedestrians. Maybe someone should show her this, and ask her why her 6/10 Connector policy is so car-oriented.
See article at Streetsblog.