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Ravenswood crossing studies

From: domainremoved <John>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2018 12:22:12 -0700

Dear Council -

  I don't think you or residents have sufficient documentation to make the decisions put forward to you by staff, at least the way these choices have been presented currently. Here are issues I see:

- With the limited resources available to staff, they've been forced to deliver a 'comparison matrix' that is too subjective and subject to alternative interpretations. The colors suggest ranges of 'better' and 'worse', but those are never spelled out. Value judgments by staff are confounded with physical characteristics of the Options.

- For example, while we can tell which Option has more or less of some attribute, like 'Visual Impacts', it is staff's judgment that Option C is 'only' the next color worse - but that's a value judgment. Others would make that box bright red, and tell you that meant 'close to unacceptable' or 'unacceptable based on current information'.

 -As another example, 'Connectivity' is bright blue, at the top: Does that mean congestion on ECR has been eliminated? Or that this is the best throughput you can create across the tracks, but may lead to ECR congestion of a different kind by building more roadway capacity? Do we have any idea of the difference between light, medium and dark blue ratings? Maybe this question is answered somewhere; if so, that would be helpful.

  - No reason is given for eliminating Option A when a viaduct is to be studied. A viaduct would hopefully provide a better profile through the city. But it still has its own mass, large supports and much greater height. It also has a cost. It may be that the visual and other benefits are not worth the cost, or that the preliminary cost is too high to make it worth pursuing. If a viaduct is out, it still makes sense to compare Options A and C. Given costs for A and C viaduct cost can clearly be in the range of hundreds of millions and remain competitive.

 - Regarding Option C: It was mentioned at past meetings that better visuals of the C option profile are needed to judge its impact. That would include how Option C looks from the west and east at various locations. If these exist elsewhere they should be referenced. Personally, I'd be ok with Option C if I was convinced it looked much better than examples such as San Carlos and elsewhere. But without a better sense of the visual profile, it is not possible to judge if it's worth the extra $200m and crossings improvements. The 'fly-over' video is somewhat helpful but not much. I do not feel that how the built structures will look from street perspectives has been taken seriously.

 - As long as Options A and C are to be considered, that means Council and residents need to judge the relative cost of keeping the Oak Grove and Glenwood crossings similar to what they are today, since that's Option A. I understand the challenges of modeling these big roadway changes. But it would be useful to know, given Option A, ranges for changes in congestion when leaving Oak Grove and Glenwood unchanged. We are given uncertain percentages of time crossing gates will be down -- And then what? Are we expected to just guess at the implications? Is it supposed to be obvious that it will be a total mess? Do we know how other cities have coped with similar uncertainties and outcomes?

Generally, there needs to be better defined outcomes and tradeoffs facing Council and residents, even using the data available today. Staff is limited in what they can do, and that's our problem, not theirs. To reduce projects costing at least $200m-$400m to a one page color coded chart almost leaves me speechless. Likely staff/consultant doesn't have good answers to lots of questions. But surely there could be more clarity about those questions.

John Kadvany / College Ave.
Received on Tue May 08 2018 - 12:23:38 PDT

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