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Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 | I’m reading a book by Dick Morris called “Outrage.” It’s about $400 billion of stupidity, from the U.N. Oil for Food Scandal to Congressional Ripoffs. The trolley portion of the C Street plan should be in the book.
It is outrageous that proponents of one form of travel should insist on denying, hindering, blocking, endangering people using other forms of travel. Folks come downtown primarily in three ways: by car, bus and trolley. When they are here, they get around primarily in three ways: by car, by trolley and by foot.
In either case, trolleys are just one of three main alternatives. (And there are others, of course.)
Trolleys that are longer than city blocks are significant hazards to pedestrians, buses and cars. When trolley cars protrude, pedestrians (I’m one) are forced into traffic lanes — in front of buses and cars. I’m in danger and they’re in danger of hitting me or stopping short and getting rear-ended.
The folks in the buses and cars are doubly at risk because they become pedestrians too. they walk to their final destination. Trolley riders themselves are in the most danger! Half the time, going or coming, they have to cross C street.
So our MTS folks say we should lengthen city blocks to accommodate their trains. Lengthening blocks in one direction hinders traffic in the other. They want to significantly cut the traffic flow on 7th Avenue, a main artery out of downtown connecting to the 163, and on 6th Avenue., a main artery into downtown from uptown. And folks in cars and buses aren’t their only target. They want to narrow the sidewalks on these streets.
Downtown’s residential population is going from 25,000 to 90,000. Its work force is going from 75 to 150,000. How do you think these people are going to get around? The answer is primarily by car and by foot. To hinder those 2 ways of getting around for such a huge number of people is an outrage.
No matter how many bureaucrats want people to use the trolley, most folks ain’t gonna do it. Because it doesn’t go where they need to go.