Why Throw Micheltorena Under the Bikes?

The path to approving the BMP has been unduly circuitous. Why?

The people of the Micheltorena area came out in February to appeal to the City Council. Should the bike lanes be at ruinous expense for a neighborhood at large?

Sound data and alternate plans punctuated the testimonials of the people on these blocks. The residents described, in flat-footed terms, how removing parking would be unworkable for their lives.

Questions addressing the use of Sola drew unsubstantiated comments about expense. Then a revelation: intersections on Micheltorena must be widened. In turn, costly studies will be required by law.

Council voted to eradicate the parking. It gave pause for thought … and tears. The City Attorney appeared to have a revelation, too, and made a (literally) “seventh hour” statement that new legal issues had been raised. New? The council had been apprised of these issues in prior weeks. Fast-forward one week and we find Councilperson Gregg Hart, a parking-removal voter, asking, is Micheltorena the cheaper route? Uh, back to the future?

Between legal and financial concerns, it seems that the Traffic Committee and council have put themselves up a tree. So starts — or continues — this mystery.

Recently, the Principal Transportation Planner has proposed that an additional public hearing before the Transportation Committee is necessary. The Planning Commission — two members are now opposed to the parking removal — seems suddenly out of the loop. Where are the Parking people? The controversy is about parking.

This body offered this vote despite undeniable legal and financial pitfalls and so much detriment to so many. Why? Why is there unwillingness to compromise, even to listen, all the while jeopardizing approval of the plan? The Micheltorena people have been open to discussion from the start. We’ve learned a lot. I’m going to buy a bike.

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