Monday, June 20, 2011

Lifting Comments from Their Footnote Obscurity

After writing this blog for three years, we have to acknowledge that Yes2Rail’s best writing is in the comments left by others. It’s time to highlight recent ones, with links to the posts that prompted them.

June 17 – What a World! Comment by sumwonyuno:

What is reality? It's not your own experience, but society's collective + what we cannot yet comprehend.

There are actually people out here that do all their family errands by bus, while caring for kids at the same time. Just because someone can't imagine doing it themselves doesn't mean there's no one out in that position. They're those faceless people waiting at the bus stop while the privileged ride around in their own cars.
The car-centric rhetoric sounds good, but it's not the only understanding out there. Cars, highways, and suburbs are results of our technological society, not the drivers. Yes, it has changed habits and has economic benefits. But we are chained down by the limitations of this 1950's ideal.
Is it just supply not meeting demand, or is it insistence of an unsustainable path?

June 10 – Rail ‘Controversy' Comment by Dean Senui:

(quoting blog entry) “HOT lanes keep traffic moving by charging ever-increasing tolls to enter the roads until only a relatively few well-to-do drivers can afford to pay the toll."

Catering to the wealthy minority isn't exactly government "for the people." 

What (Panos) Prevedouros and others aren't addressing is how to move a lot of people efficiently without cars. 

In their scenarios, it doesn't matter how many new highways are built. There are some simple inescapable facts that limit their proposals: the increasing cost of fuel and auto maintenance, the available space to park all those cars at their destination, and the increasing cost of that parking.

The "no one will ride it" excuse doesn't wash because the bus system currently gets heavy ridership.

They need to look 20 years into the future. We need to become less dependent upon fossil fuels while moving people efficiently. That plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy economy. People can't work if they can't get to their jobs.

And people won't diversify their spending if most of their money goes up in smoke just driving to work.

June 6 – 57-to-40 Split Comment by Henry Carsten:

Anonymous (whose comment criticized the project) is not considering older people with doctor appointments, lower-wage earners who just want to get to their jobs without spending a huge portion of their income on cars, people who can't drive for various reasons, and younger people who don't yet have their licenses.
Not everyone can afford the gas, maintenance, monthly payments and parking fees.

May 27 – Worst in Senior Safety Comment by ojisan:

Yes, pedestrian has a right of way!
But they don't look to the left and right before crossing any street. It's the same with the kids. I've seen many pedestrian entering the crosswalk totally oblivious to the on coming traffic and maintaining their zombie walk as though it's a school hallway.
Good drivers exercise defensive driving. Good pedestrian should practice defensive walking to avoid permanent disability. 
Btw, I thought using hand-held cell phone was illegal. They're doing it all over the place! When they use their cell phone, depending on which side of the ear the thing is stuck on, that side of the cell phone is a definite BLIND SPOT. They won't see the pedestrian crossing. Period!

Period indeed! And we’ll close with an emphatic appreciation of every reader, especially those who are moved by what they read here to leave a comment. We might just make this a monthly feature in the blog's fourth year: The Best of Yes2Rail – from the comments section, of course.

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