Time for an Audit at City Hall
If We're Going to Make Public Policy, We've Got to Keep Proper Track of It
Emeryville's Director of Public Works, Maurice Kaufman, revealed to the Tattler today that 45th Street east of San Pablo Avenue now has and for years has had more than 3000 vehicle trips per day, a condition not allowed according to the City's Bike Plan. The Director has known the street is in violation of the Bike Plan "for years" he says ever since there was a traffic count conducted after the 'Triangle Neighborhood traffic calming' program a few years back.
45th Street was designated as a Bike Boulevard by the Bike Plan after the Triangle traffic calming program and the vehicle count conducted by Mr Kaufman's Department is necessary information for the City Council because that street is not allowed to have more than 1500 vehicle trips per day according to the Bike Plan. After that number is reached, a series of ever more restrictive traffic calming measures is identified and called for by the Bike Plan.
Had the Council members known the street was in violation years ago, presumably they would have started the program of traffic calming that the Bike Plan calls for to remedy the violation.
The Triangle Neighborhood traffic calming plan has been completed and it's tangential to the Bike Plan and its provisions for 45th Street. It should be noted the Bike Plan traffic calming metrics for 45th Street are more onerous than the Triangle traffic calming goals were.
In his defense, the Public Works Director stated he doesn't feel it's appropriate for Bike Plan traffic calming on 45th Street, "We've already done traffic calming there. The neighbors don't want more" he said referring to the former Triangle traffic calming.
To that we say: It's not up to you, Maurice...nobody voted for you. Your job is to provide objective analysis to the City Council. If you have information the decision makers need to know to not be in violation of their public policy, you need to volunteer that information.
Which brings us to our greater point here: We don't want the Emeryville Tattler to be the entity to keep the City of Emeryville on track. We're just here to report to the people. We don't want this responsibility. We want this city to stay on track itself. We don't want the City to let its infrastructure fall into disrepair because there's no accounting going on. We expect there should be somebody at City Hall keeping track of this stuff, not just a bunch of groping around in the dark.
If the City isn't aware of the violations with the Bike Plan, they probably are dropping the ball in other areas. Obviously there needs to be an audit at City Hall to get a handle on this and to ensure there's a process moving forward to make sure we're not going off the rails. The idea of planning to make it so we don't careen from crisis to crisis. Let's hope the new Council majority gets it.