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Original post made
on Mar 28, 2012
Oh Boy.... 2/3rds came from a Grant... HEY... GUESS WHAT.... Grants are only money that has been taken by the govt (at some level) which means that WE the Taxpayers are funding it all.
Wonder what the city could have done for 400,000 bucks ? We have lived for many years without "cameras" to tell the lights when to turn on or off or timing...
Hey City.. Pull you head out... it is all taxes from us. If not our actual money, should some poor janitor in South Carolina be made to pay money to Mtn. View for lighting projects ??
I think the money would have been better spent to help the animal shelter.
Except that the 400k was not available for the animal shelter. $105K was spent by the city. And I have no idea if even that amount could have gone to the shelter (as much as I would like to see the shelter continue). Sure, grant money comes from taxes, but that has nothing to do with much. Taxes are meant to be spent on thing the country needs. This sort of infrastructure spending is pretty much what they are for. I can think of a million things that are less worthy of our tax dollars than these cameras.
I used Grant to get to work every day - as do thousands of other people in Mountain View. It's a major bottleneck for traffic getting on/off 237, 85 and 101. I assume the intent of these cameras is not just to time the lights - but to smooth the traffic flow along Grant. If it works, then I'll celebrate along with thousands of others who use Grant every day.
Following on Brentc's comment, this will not only improve the quality of life for all people affected (shoppers, residents, commuters) by the traffic there (I get stuck coming in from 237 even though I'm turning north on El Camino).
Carrying the thought even further....vehicles wouldn't be wasting as much gas while idling in that bottleneck. So there is an actual return on the money spent for what it was intended (infrastructure improvement). Or would you rather they just buy up a ton of houses and spend millions trying add one more lane. This sounds like the best bang for the buck. Stop being paranoid about cameras pointed at the road...until they actually start fining you.
The cameras are worthless when the crossing guard at Phyllis pushes the button if there is someone within 500 feet of the crosswalk! I'm all for making sure the kids cross safely, but the kids can wait for a bit at the corner; they don't have to be able to cross the second they get to the corner.
Since that corner is a three way signal, why not eliminate one of the crosswalks across Grant and force everyone to use the "protected" one? This would eliminate the backup that extends sometimes all the way to El Camino.
Grants also come from non-profits, whereby the money does not come from taxes. I can't imaging too many non-profits that wish to help traffic alleviation; however, you cannot be 100% sure the money came from taxes.
If that is where my taxes are going, at least it will not be a waste. I live near the area. With the new construction, that area is horrible to drive. The only local place worse is Shoreline during morning/eve commute. Maybe Google will give a "grant" to have something done about that area.
Video-operated lights save money in the long run. The usual alternative is to cut the pavement and bury loops of wire. That damages the pavement, and the loops get broken as the pavement ages and moves. Then workers need to dig up the road and replace the loop. That is time-consuming, expensive and dangerous to the workers who are in the road. Replacing a video camera means going up in a cherry-picker from a truck parked on the side of the road. Faster, cheaper and safer.
I fear that the installation of these traffic flow cameras will cause Grant Road to be more aptly named Grant Expressway. To enable traffic to flow more quickly along Grant Road will only increase the amount of thru traffic trying to make better time than using Highway 85. If traffic is flowing quicker down Grant Road, what is happening to the traffic at side streets trying to get on to Grant Road?
Are we trying to encourage more traffic driving through our town?
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