I Hate Traffic Congestion!
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
March 22, 2001

If you have ever uttered those words, we have a lot in common.  And so it is that I will have gone to a Forum by the time you read this article entitled Measuring Congestion in San Antonio: Challenges and Opportunities.  The event sponsored by VIA, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Texas Transportation Institute is critical to us all.  The first sponsoring organization is of course, our bus company and the latter two do a whole lot of transportation planning. 

You don't have to be a lifelong or native San Antonian to appreciate just how far we have come from the not-too-distant past to the present day traffic jams and "parking lots" we love to hate.  Actually by other large city standards we probably aren't doing too badly.  But that is little consolation to those of us who cannot believe that we are unable to make traffic flow like it should.

I am glad to see VIA sponsoring an initiative that deals with congestion because I believe that it should help lead the charge.  The fact that they lost the light rail measure not too long ago doesn't obscure that fact that they were also recipients of the National Transportation Association's "Finest Transit Company in North America" award about five years back. 

Actually, I have a really keen interest in restoring two things to this community in which I grew up: clean air and relatively traffic-free travel in our City and County.  A third interest of mine is for us to be energy efficient so we do not depend on foreign countries for our oil!  A good solution to traffic jams could save the air as well as energy, to say nothing of our nerves and our precious, limited time!

So you will be hearing from me on a range of possible solutions and I hope to be hearing from you because this is literally a two-way street.  I look forward to discussing bikes and some of the present deterrents to their use in our community: unsafe roads and a lack of safe or for that matter any bike parking location at various destinations.  Free or $5 per month bus passes that can save considerable monies for employees that generally do not have to leave work during the day will be discussed.  Pedestrian sidewalks too, provide benefits beyond easing congestion and clearing the air.  The exercise they stimulate decreases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. 

The list of benefits goes on and on.  But hey, bottom line: It's your and my community.  If we won't fight for it, who will?   

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