These so called "scoping sessions" are to review and determine what considerations and factors should be studied when doing the statistical analysis of the impacts of the General Plan.
The inputs of the General Plan (number of residential units, commercial square feet, etc.) will be run through an "analysis machine" that will spit out an estimate of the results, in terms of pollution emissions, traffic congestion, etc. Those estimates will be used to help City leaders make the final decisions on the City's new General Plan.
The scoping sessions, in other words, pose the following questions:
- "How do we design the analysis machine?"
- "What factors and assumptions should we use?"
If the "analysis machine" is designed under the assumption that everybody drives an auto, that active modes of transportation are impractical and inconsequential, and that the most important factor to analyze is automobile traffic congestion (which is measured by a metric called "Level of Service" , then the assumption will be that automobiles are and will continue to be the sole mode of transportation in the City.
"Level of Service" (LOS)
As a result, LOS completely ignores the Needs, Convenience, and Safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. Walking and biking are not factors of LOS, further perpetuating 60 years of auto-centric city planning and transportation design.
"Auto Trips Generated" (ATG)
Another option is to simply modify LOS to take into account the needs and safety of cyclists and pedestrians. The consultants talked about using a modified LOS at the last series of meetings, but I'm not quite sure how they plan to accomplish that.
There are also other assumptions and standards used within the "analysis machine" that are relevant, too. We need to use an urban model that takes into account the reduced energy use and emissions of residents who live in multi-family housing and walkable areas.
PasCSC encourages members of the public to weigh in on this issue by providing feedback to staff directly at one of the upcoming meetings, or electronically via email to city staff here.
Upcoming Scoping Meetings
Transportation Advisory Commission
221 E. Walnut St., Suite 210
Wednesday, September 25 at 6:30 PM
City Hall Council Chambers
100 N. Garfield Ave.
View a Copy of the General Plan Study
Online: http://cityofpasadena.net/Planning/Environmental_Notices/ or http://cityofpasadena.net/generalplan