By Ken Hambrick
A recent article in the Times pointed out the heavy congestion on Ygnacio Valley Road. According to a letter writer to the Times, the newest Councilman Kevin Wilk seems to think everything is flowing smoothly along Ygnacio Valley Road. As a former Transportation Commissioner, he should know better than that.
Reminds me of a time when I stood on the corner of Civic and Broadway talking with two City Council women — since retired. I asked them what we were going to do about the heavy congestion on Ygnacio. One responded, “Traffic is no worse now than it was 10 years ago. Besides, our traffic lights are perfectly timed so there is never a backup.” Huh?
About that time I met with the transportation director. I asked what the plan is to address the traffic problems in the city. He said there is no plan. I asked why. He said there is no solution. So I asked him why we needed him, and he didn’t like the question.
If Wilks thinks things are fine on Ygnacio Valley Road, then nothing has changed.
The city continues to exacerbate the congestion problem by approving the numerous high-rise (for Walnut Creek) apartment complexes. The poster child of dumb planning is the approval of 596 apartments on the BART parking lot at the corner of Ygnacio Valley Road and California Boulevard. According to the city traffic planners, this will add 4,055 vehicle trips a day to this already heavily congested intersection.
In reviewing the city’s Project Pipeline list I find some 1,547 apartments, condos and town houses approved or under construction. There are 68 single family residences (52 in one development) on the list. Apparently single family homes are an endangered species in Walnut Creek.
Well, I guess that as long as the City Council is in the clutches of developers things will just continue to get worse. As I am sure the City Council would say, “live with it.”
And the beat goes on.
This commentary was originally published in the East Bay Times/Walnut Creek Journal on August 11, 2017.