Mr. Alan Pisarski is an internationally acclaimed transportation expert. At the October 21st BATWG meeting Pisarski provided an insightful analysis of the short and long term effects of changes on transportation and the economy of metropolitan areas like the Bay Area that have been brought on by COVID, and the resulting demographic and societal changes. During his presentation he stressed the “iffiness” of the data at hand and the consequent high degree of uncertainty inherent in today’s forecasting efforts. From his remarks it was clear that he thought the dogged determination of some local and regional agencies to proceed assuming that everything would soon “get back to “normal” was most unwise.
First, he calls for a “moratorium on all expansion-based transportation investments—for the obvious reasons.” The COVID pandemic is remaking transportation demand, for commuters, households and freight logistics. “While being willing to accept some absolutely clear and verifiable capacity needs, we must place a hold on transportation expansion investments, at least until the dust settles”, he says.