Most if not all of us would agree that Irvine has a traffic problem. As someone who has lived here since 2004 I have watched as the city grew and the traffic problem worsened, with no guidance or leadership from our city council to stem our growing concerns over the issue. I have a multi-pronged approach to fixing this problem: by tackling the development that caused it, and by proposing alternative traffic solutions to help mitigate it.
- Commission comprehensive impact and traffic studies for the next twenty to forty years. We must be proactive in bettering the community. To curb traffic, to improve our quality of life, we must know what’s coming. And I’m not going to pretend to be an expert in traffic management, which is why it’s time we not only turned to experts, but actually listened to them. We have a university filled with experts just down the road from city hall, so it’s time we made use of it.
- Implement study suggestions as soon as possible. Irvine is a master planned community, but one of the great disappointments in the past decade has been the failure of forward thinking. Traffic studies were commissioned, and by the time they were implemented they were out of date. If we get suggestions, we must implement them now. Further, we cannot continue down this path of throwing things at the wall until they stick for traffic and development management. We know and have people who know what they’re talking about, let’s listen to them.
- Require all new development to come with attached traffic impact studies. By requiring all new development proposals to additionally include studies about how their development will impact traffic in the city, we can preemptively move to minimize this impact. We can also move back towards our original goal, of Irvine being a master planned community. To do this we need actual plans, and for plans we need information.
- Public and mass transit system. I’m heavily in favor of improving and expanding our public transport (or mass transit) system in Irvine. In 2007 we approved a transportation system of this kind, and it shocks me that just two years later the project was canceled. I am especially disappointed in its lack of construction, since construction was to be county and state funded, providing only a benefit for our city. If we can get something like this built one of my priorities will be ensuring that it is accessible to all in Irvine. (making it affordable if not free) and easy to use. This is a great way for us to get cars off the road and to help free up our intersections. By building a mass/public transport system that runs along common commuter routes we can cut down traffic on those routes by a huge percent.