March 21, 2016 city council items

City Manager’s agenda items 2016 #10 and #11, regarding Complete Streets and Vision Zero policy. These are easy to support for obvious reasons. The unequivocal focus going forward must be robust street design standards for all reconstructions, and network implementation.

Vision Zero: no other effort to reduce injury/death really matters if we don’t take bold action with robust street design standards, and it’s not a great mystery what those designs should and can be.

Complete Streets: we don’t get the urban look, feel, and function that we desire as a livable community if we don’t get street design right.

When it comes to transit/walking/biking we are ahead of most of the U.S. (sadly) but we are about to fall quickly behind many American cities that are implementing ambitious transit and bike network plans. Our bicycle network plan is fairly ambitious, but our implementation is often timid and piecemeal. We don’t really have a transit plan per se. (Where are the streetcar lines, bro?)

We are already behind many of the world’s great cities when it comes to street design and transportation systems that prioritize biking, walking, buses, and trains.

Complete streets were “my” issue in the city council campaign. I would have loved to have spent a few decades on this.

(Also ref policy order resolutions 2016 #80 & #81.)

Policy Order 2015 #501, regarding renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This should be dealt with carefully and with substantial context. I understand the impulse to dismantle western civilization, but this is not as simplistic as the political movement would have it be.

Multiple communications regarding divesting city investments related to nuclear weapons production. Of all the military and terroristic evils across the world today, the United States nuclear arsenal doesn’t anywhere close to the top. A world with nuclear weapons is indeed frightening and terrible, but a world without nuclear weapons, particularly in the hands of states that invest enormously into peace and human progress, is much more frightening. (ref: conventional war)

Relatedly, policy order 2016 #68 was adopted unanimously, indicating the city council is in support of divestment from any investments related to nuclear weapons. I suppose I would have been the lone vote in opposition. Yes, I support the United States nuclear arsenal. Nuclear power plants, too, while we’re at it. The actual question, though, is whether the city’s investments ought to be divested from investments related to nuclear weapons – whether, I suppose, that the institutions and companies involved in developing, securing, storing, etc. the arsenal, rise to this particular immoral level.

March 21, 2016 city council items