Say 'No' to the anti-car Climate Action Plan proposed in Alamo City

Climate Action Plan will make cars, travel unaffordable for the common man

Public comments are due March 26. Submit your comments This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. View the draft Climate Action Plan plan here.

Comments submitted by Terri Hall on behalf of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom and Texans for Toll-Free Highways
The proposed Climate Action Plan would reap disaster for transportation in our city. Attempting to implement various forms of social engineering in an attempt to force drivers to change behavior has already been tried in other cities, both domestically and globally, and it’s failed miserably. While we sympathize with local leaders having to plan for a potential population boom in the coming years, restricting the ability of non-electric autos to enter the city and trying to force the reliance on mass transit isn’t affordable or practical with the existing layout and travel patterns that our city grew up around. We’re not like New York or Washington D.C. where an underground subway system shuttles people to and from fixed major employment centers. San Antonio’s economy is as diverse as our people with businesses both large and small and employers and employees with various needs and limitations on both the hours they can work and how they have to get to work in a timely manner. As members of the city council already discovered, Via’s bus system and the time it takes to go even short distances can take 2-3 times that of taking a car. When the bus system is already subsidized to the tune of 85% by taxpayers and when drivers witness more empty buses every time they see one, it has generated more than a little controversy and anger from commuters stuck in traffic without significant investments in expanding existing road infrastructure in a timely way. 

Promoting long distance bikeways and pedestrian walking trails are not viable forms of commuting in the south Texas heat or given the spread out geography of our city. Using scarce road dollars for such things that drivers do not even use or benefit from is not only unfair, it’s infuriating. A study done by the Texas Transportation Institute in 2014 showed bike lanes coming in dead last as a commuting option. The data has stayed firm showing over 90% of commuters rely on their own personal vehicle to get around. Trying to get 90% of the public to switch modes would require a massive paradigm shift no one is willing to consider. Cars are and continue to be the most efficient and convenient form of personal commuting and transportation ever conceived. 

Author and planner Joel Kotkin in his book, The Human City,  compiled mounds of data showing the anti-car policies taking hold in many cites (not just outside the U.S. but within the U.S. as well) has actually resulted in delaying family formation and ultimately contributed to a negative population rate due to the anti-family policies that result from anti-car policies. San Antonio has been welcoming of families of all faiths and backgrounds for generations. Our city cannot shut out single family homes and expect everyone to live in high density areas downtown with no yards and very little space to raise a healthy family, as many planners favor today. 

We implore you to scrap adopting any plan that mirrors the anti-car polices of the Paris Climate Accord. What flies in Europe, doesn’t fit in Texas. We want to keep our city a welcoming, diverse, and liberty-loving city where the priority our residents favor, their own personal automobile, is not attacked with policies to force drivers out of their cars, but one that embraces this preferred option and invests in the necessary expansion of our infrastructure coupled with more prudent planning of growth to deliver timely solutions 90% of commuters can get behind. A Paris-style Climate Treaty is hostile to our values, to cars, to families, and to downtown businesses. Reject this plan and move forward with something commuters can embrace.