Meter Madness

By George Wooding

San Francisco’s Transportation Authority wants to stop utilizing car congestion and delays as a traffic measurement.
Buried deeply inside San Francisco’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) transportation regulations is a traffic measurement called “Level of Service” (LOS).  LOS was developed in 1970 as the fundamental building block of San Francisco’s transportation. The Transportation Authority is advocating for a change to CEQA regulations.
The chief function of LOS is to measure the delay each car experiences at a particular intersection.
LOS is a simple measuring system of how new real estate developments and transportation plans impact car usage in San Francisco.  Car congestion and delay measurements are rated on a scale of “A,” being good traffic flow — to a low of “F,” which means unacceptable congestion.
Under current CEQA interpretations, LOS is a quality measure describing operational conditions within a traffic stream, generally in terms of…

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