Monday, May 16, 2016

Episode 3: Return of the Philistine

Moviemaker George Lucas looks over Chewbacca at the “Star Wars” exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum in 1997. Photo: KEN CEDENO, AP
George Lucas: "Visionary"

He's back! Front page, above the fold in this morning's Chronicle (Lucas S.F. museum sequel):

After a lobbying campaign by Mayor Ed Lee, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas is once again looking to San Francisco as a possible home for a museum housing his collection of illustrative art and Hollywood memorabilia — this time on a site already approved for development on Treasure Island.

Yes, indeed. One of the worst planning decisions the city has made in the last ten years: approving a massive development allowing 19,000 residents on Treasure Island.

Find the traffic choke point for Treasure Island on the picture below:

In a flip-flop worthy of Donald Trump, Supervisor Peskin is on board:

One of those already signaling support for San Francisco’s effort is Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who is often critical of Lee and his policies. Four years ago, he led a group that sued to block development plans on Treasure Island, citing alleged inadequacies in the environmental impact report. That suit was eventually tossed, clearing the last obstacle to building on the one-time Navy base. Now, after meeting with the Lucas design team, Peskin says the museum may be “the special, secret sauce” that “could make Treasure Island work.”

If a huge development on Treasure Island was a bad idea before, why is putting a museum there now a good idea? Aaron Peskin is the last surviving member of the class of 2000, "progressive" supervisors elected after district elections were restored. Their main achievement: more damage to San Francisco than anything since the 1906 earthquake.

More from the Matier & Ross story:

Given the limited access from the Bay Bridge to the island, transportation is certain to be a key issue. Sources tell us most visitors would probably be shuttled to the museum by ferry or water taxi.

Or something. Maybe they can be beamed over from the Embarcadero, but I'm probably getting my children's movies mixed up.

But what about bikes? Recall that the Bicycle Coalition did a transportation study for the Treasure Island project.

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"Failure has no consequences"

Traffic Talk

This sounds familiar. New Yorker Fred Siegel visits LA:

...Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti offers a host of plans to alleviate the [traffic]problem: Vision Zero, Great Streets, Complete Streets, Streets for People, and the optimistically named Mobility Plan 2035. 

But any proposal to ease congestion runs up against the gangrenous environmentalists who view gridlock positively as a means of reducing car ridership and “saving” the environment. Los Angeles, explains urbanist Joel Kotkin, is “a region uncomfortable in its own skin.” 

The city was built for the automobile, but the liberals who run things have been trying to change that. They talk about putting highways “on a diet,” but they’ve only succeeded in worsening the traffic problem. Despite massive investments in public transportation, notes the Los Angeles Times, transit ridership has declined. Free H.O.V. lanes and “pay to play” H.O.V. lanes have made little difference. In a one-party town, failure has no consequences. Los Angeles mostly just throws more money at the problem...

We’re headed back to Brooklyn soon, anyway. As bad as traffic can be in New York, the issue doesn’t infuse every discussion of where and what to do as it does in L.A. In New York, we have real estate for that.

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