Boo-hoo to tedium and terror?
Your article on the Midway LRT line was interesting. You made some good points about the costs, the process, etc. But ...I was very disappointed in your claim that the LRT Hiawatha has killed two (the same claim made by someone on the e-democracy list to support conceal and carry. Nice sound bite but not true. Heart disease killed one, alcohol-impaired judgement killed the other.
And for those dear folks trying finding their experience to be one of “tedium and terror, well, boo-hoo. People who choose to drive will need to plan ahead just as the people (many of them poor) do when they use public transportation.
Oh sure, many of have great reasons for driving ... “I need to pick up
the kids, a quart of milk, my dry cleaning ... ” as if no one else does.
Public transportation is for the good of us all. Too bad if it inconveniences
those who see themselves as too important to support it, either by using it
or waiting an extra 30 seconds at a stop light for a train to pass by.
Ed Felien responds: When someone dies
of “heart disease” it really doesn’t tell you much. Everyone
dies of heart disease. The heart stops beating and you die. Did the first person
have a heart attack and then drive through the barrier and into the path of
the oncoming train, or (what seems more likely) did he not see the barrier,
drive through it, get hit by the train, suffer multiple injuries and then die
of heart failure? Yes, I would agree that alcohol-impaired judgement probably
contributed to death of the second victim, but I am not a supporter of
capital punishment for foolishness. Your argument seems close to the argument
of the National Rifle Association: guns don’t kill people, people kill
people. Most people agree that’s probably true but handguns should be
strictly controlled to prevent harm to the vulnerable and the young. I feel
the same about LRT.
LRT down University Avenue a scandal
The proposed Central Corridor plan for light rail on the surface of University
Avenue is a colossal scandal, and Pulse deserves thanks for calling attention
to it. Here’s the main issue: surface LRT, with 25 stop lights between
Huron Boulevard and Rice Street, will operate at about the same speed as the
University Avenue No. 50 limited-stop bus, and it will cost around $1 billion!
The obvious quality option is tunneling, but planners say federal money is unavailable
If cost is the problem, why not run the line down the I-94 trench in order to
have rapid transit? Well, it seems that officials are more concerned about enhancing
real estate on University Avenue than creating rapid transit.
Capacity is another problem. Former Senator Carol Flynn has already called for
modifications on the Hiawatha line to run three-car trains in order to handle
present peak loads. However, Commissioner McLaughlin says, “Central Corridor
LRT on University Avenue is the best plan to create a high-capacity transit
line to serve the corridor ...” But there’s every indication that
by completion date of 2014, it will be physically impossible to add enough cars
and trains to handle peak loads on a Central Corridor line that operates on
the surface of the street as planned.
McLaughlin also argues that the people are on University Avenue and we need
to get them out of their cars. Does he intend fewer cars on University Avenue
by making the street less driveable? Or does he mean fewer cars on I-94; but
why should people get out of their cars on I-94 in order to ride an LRT line
(let’s be honest and call this one a trolley) no faster than the street
bus? Just because it’s bright and shiny?
I thought we had nearly gotten rid of grade level rail crossings. Why are we
building a trolley on a busy street and creating more than 25 grade crossings?
What kind of one-horse podunk is this? Why are we letting public officials (including
two county boards, a rail authority and an unelected Metro Council) so foolishly
misapply a billion dollars of public transportation money on wishful real estate
enhancement? Give us rapid transit, and real estate will take care of itself.
Heart” is mistreated
You go girl! If people knew how our troops are treated once they come home,
maybe no one would ever enlist ...
Our government has no clue
I was in the 38th MP/CID Detachment 1969 to 1975. I was assigned to train unit
police for the 25th Inf. & 9th Div. Sniper group from Dong Tam. One friend
I made was also a sniper. He killed himself only after he came to Schofield
Barraks Hawaii. I cleaned up body parts from a combat soldier who pulled a pin
on a box of grenades. I was shot and stabbed by our own Vietnam Vets. They were
trained to kill and they do it well. You do not unlearn this, I found out as
a MP. They say it is PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and I say once a
combat soldier always a combat soldier. They truly are brothers in arms and
I respect each and every soldier who fought. Bush and our current government
better appreciate these facts. Iraq just made a whole new generation of combat
soldiers that will come home. Maybe this time let’s not spit on them and
call them baby killers. All my current friends hold a Vietnam Combat Infantry
Badge. I have heard their stories and lived with them. Unless you have been
there you can not understand. I say send a unit of psychiatrists with each company
so they can truly see why they are what they are. I honor the ones who fought
in any war. But our government still does not have a clue. All soldiers come
home wounded either by combat or in the mind. Let’s respect that. GOD
BLESS OUR TROOPS!
Silver Bay, MN