Friday, February 21, 2014

Creating gridlock on 19th Avenue

Photo Codi Mills for the Chronicle

People living in the Parkmerced area are beginning to see the results of a dumb "smart growth" decision several years ago by City Hall, as developers begin building 182 housing units on Brotherhood Way. The Chronicle reported on that issue Tuesday:

Heightening their [neighbors]concern is the planned $1.2 billion makeover of the sprawling Parkmerced apartment complex that adjoins the Brotherhood Way development, work that is expected to bring thousands more homes and rental units to the area, adding congestion and subtracting trees and green space.

Just so. But we can be more specific about the number of housing units that this and other housing developments will bring to that part of town. As I wrote several years ago, these projects---including Parkmerced---will add 7,375 housing units and 16,850 new residents to the 19th Avenue corridor area over the next 20 years (See the city's 19th Avenue Corridor Study from 2010).

Parkmerced alone will add more than 5,000 new housing units, ending up with more than 8,000 units on a site that now has 3,221 housing units.

Think traffic in that part of town is bad now?

Opponents of the Parkmerced project focused on the potential loss of affordable, rent-controlled housing and ignored the traffic issue, because We Need Housing, smart growth, dense development, transit corridors, blah blah blah.

Maybe those 16,850 new city residents won't have cars and will join Jason Henderson---who teaches at nearby SF State---and ride bicycles instead.

When he wrote for the Examiner, Ken Garcia warned about the traffic issue, but neither of our daily papers has anyone left capable of challenging the city's dumb smart growth policies. Garcia was the last mainstream journalist to challenge the city's anti-car movement. 

The Chronicle's C.W. Nevius supports the Parkmerced project: "this is a good idea. It brings modern, ecologically sound housing to the site in a transit-friendly environment."

And it brings gridlock to that part of town.

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