Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy
cathy_edgett

Local politics -

Today I have been sorting through a vast array of emails pertaining to our local Tam Valley and affordable housing which means high density which means changing the current zoning.   Wow!   I have also listened to a talk on-line by my representative Charles McGlashan.  While it is hard to argue with what he says as to a need for a different form of transportation than cars and an awareness that Tam Valley will soon be under-water, it is also hard not to notice that he lives in Mill Valley and the proposals for affordable housing are in Tam Valley, Strawberry and Tiburon.

He says that if we were like the Netherlands with 46% of the people using bicycles for transportation we would not have the weekend gridlock in Tam Valley as people head out to the mountain and the beach.  He also says that in the Netherlands they deal with the low elevation.  This is true, but as I am out doing errands today I find it hard to believe we are going to get people out of their cars anytime soon.  I do many of my errands on foot, and I am one of the few.  I feel like an unarmored snail as I walk along continually passed by an array of metal.

Europe has consistently had high-density housing.  The model is the village, the neighborhood store.  Many people bike or walk to work.  It seems that the "low-income housing" would be for teachers, but only a beginning teacher's salary would qualify.  It is also for firefighters but it seems they are willing to drive and want their own house and a yard.  They don't want to be crammed into high-density housing.  Hmmm!   The point of all this is to save the environment by promoting less driving. 

McGlashan would like the railway accesses opened again and made into bike paths.  He says Marin is flat, flatter than the Netherlands.   I wonder if he has actually bicycled in Marin to make such a statement, but let's assume there is going to be some leveling out.  He visualizes us all bicycling along as people do in the Netherlands.  I like that idea and I wonder if it is going to happen.  Certainly it is worth a try, but it seems like people rarely walk or bike to do their errands or get to work.  Most of those I see are out there for recreation or exercise.  Can McGlashan change that mind-set?  I hope so, but I continue to think that building more housing in an area that floods every winter and is often grid-locked makes no sense. 

Anyway, I see that my email box will continue to fill with a flurry of comments as people debate this issue.  We are all on the same side, and we don't all agree, and I have read all I can find on it today trying to decide what I want to say.  It is letter-writing time and meeting-going time and there are some very angry people out there.   I am in fear my email box will go up in flames.
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