Sunday, February 19, 2006

Island Traffic

Well, I am back from my Hawaii adventure and it was truly wonderful. Folks warned me that I would fall in love with the big island and not want to come back, and to a certain extent they were right. However, Hawaii has at least one really big problem that all by itself would keep me from moving there --

!@#@$# traffic.

Texas week-like.
All hours of the day.
Every day of the week.
All year round.

To get anywhere at all -- including the nearest convenience store -- you must plan in the extra time it will take to hang on a side street until some kind soul takes pity upon you and lets you turn onto the main street, where you will get in line to creep along with the rest of the the cars full of pissed off people: locals trying to get to or from work and tourists mentally tabulating how many of their precious vacation hours are being spent stewing in traffic.

Sadly, I believe this is the future of South Padre Island. Unless we make some serious changes right now. There is absolutely NO WAY to make Padre Blvd. so pretty that people are going to enjoy sitting and and staring at little bits of it for long periods of time.

Before one more dollar is spent on improving Padre Blvd., we must be absolutely certain that we are getting maximum effective use of the amount of space we have to work with, with particular attention paid to alternative forms of transportation. We need space for bikes and pedestrians because at some point in the not so distant future, those are going to be the only viable ways for running quick errands. We need bike racks. We need shoulders for the WAVE to pull over and for emergency vehicles to get through and we need to allot space for massive parking structures to encourage people to leave their cars parked once they get here.

Did I mention that we need to do this NOW?

Seriously. I have seen our future and it really really sucks.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason an earlier version of this post did not allow comments. I guess I fixed it.... somehow. - sf

8:50 AM  
Blogger Brian Mikiten said...

I've noticed traffic getting worse over the years but once again, my big concern here is planning or the lack thereof. Why not put in a trolley system instead of a median? I can't tell you how many times I could have jumped on a trolley, gone to a store and then come back the same way. The median concept is lovely but between it and the power lines, the street is just going to look like a bunch of converging lines from art class!

Brian

8:57 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Thanks for bringing the subject to light, SF. Perhaps we should get copies of the proposed designs for Padre medians and see if it does in fact include an emergency / bike lane.

I'd like to see where the U-turn and other left-turn access lanes are located and see how they would affect traffic, businesses, and all that boogie. I want to "see the facts" about exactly what is being proposed for the area between McDonald's and Jesse's.

Then let's comment and make it right!

- Da Medium

12:46 PM  
Anonymous other nancy m said...

bike racks, pull outs -- but I think if they(whoever they are) could find a way to have good bike lanes on Laguna and Gulf it would always be safer.
Just head up the side street, park your bike in the rack and walk a half a block to your destination. Just an idea.

4:49 PM  

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