Friday, July 14, 2006

There was another pedestrian/vehicle accident on West Broadway in Missoula on Saturday night. Although it was not fatal, it was the kind of accident that the infamous "Road Diet" was supposed to prevent. When watching the newscast, it was clear that the real problem with safety is lighting and alcohol, not the amount of lanes. The drunk pedestrian was leaving the bar and crossing the middle of the street and the sober driver did not see him until he was on top of the hood of the car!

Interestingly, the five fatal accidents that were used as the justification for the Diet were the same conditions as above. The Diet was supposed to end vehicle/pedestrian accidents. The city of Missoula rammed this project through despite the protests of the Missoula Downtown association (MDA) and other concerned individuals. The real hidden agenda behind the project was for people like MIST (Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation) and other local Bike/Ped organizations to tout this fad project to their peers across the country as to how "progressive" Missoula is. The real reason for the project was to reduce traffic to downtown Missoula and to create bike lanes. They used safety as a cover so that if anybody opposed the project they could be labeled as putting financial reasons ahead of safety. A typical tactic of the left or progressives.

The city staff and many council members support this project and consider themselves liberal progressives.The project has hurt businesses along the corridor to the tune of over 30% in some cases which is catastrophic for a small business. The MDA and the Chamber are currently circulating a petition to put the matter on the ballot in November so the people of Missoula can vote on whether they want the project. Even though the Diet is very unpopular with most the citizens and almost all the businesses downtown, the council and mayor are finishing up the project and it it supposed to be done by the end of August.

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