Newsletter, January 2007
"The John Henry Issue"
Brought to you by CART,
Editor: David Morse ... Oversight: CART Board
This is CART's Quarterly Meeting. Guest speakers Tyler Allen and JC Stites will present:
"8664 - A New Vision for Community Revitalization and Transportation"
8664 is a vision for Louisville that has generated significant interest throughout Metro Louisville. CART believes this is one of several alternatives that need to be explored in a new Bridges EIS. Help us examine this concept.
Safe Streets Louisville is a citizen group led by former CART Executive Director Jackie Green. Safe Streets focuses on making our community less dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly children. In a typical Louisville month, over 30 pedestrians are hit by cars -- one of them fatally. For more, visit SafeStreetsLouisville.org or drop Jackie a line at [CENSORED BY SPAMBUSTER v3.14].
Circa late November, all advanced transit plans had been removed from Horizon 2030, but were being separately negotiated between TARC, Louisville Metro, FHA, and FTC. If there's been any new development since then, we'd love to hear it!
Hal Heiner (19th) is the new chair of the Transportation Committee. Tom Owen (8th) returns as vice-chair.
Suppose your organization doesn't like some aspect of the Ohio River Bridges project. Maybe you're a member of River Fields and don't like the East End bridge. Maybe you're with 8664 and don't like spaghetti dysfunction junction. Maybe you think the pedestrian accommodations are over-engineered and could be done more economically another way.
In all these cases you have one big common enemy: the EIS, or Environmental Impact Statement. For legal reasons, changes to the bridges project can only happen if its shown in court that "the original EIS was serious flawed and/or conditions have changed."
The EIS armors both bridges against any and all changes. The EIS must go before anyone can do anything sensible. If you belong to River Fields or 8664, their leadership needs to hear this from their membership and maybe from some lawyers in order to really believe it. CART can arrange to have lawyers explain this, if you need them too. Hit 'reply' to contact CART on this matter.
"A bipartisan 78 percent of Americans want the U.S. government to impose a 40 mile per gallon fuel-efficiency standard for vehicles sold in the United States, according to a new Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) national opinion survey. The report indicates nine out of 10 Americans expect gas prices to go up 'in the near future,' with nearly half (46 percent) 'definitely' expecting a resumption of higher fuel prices."
Source: automotive industry lovin' leftlanenews.com. If a super-majority of Americans want radically higher fuel efficiency standards, why hasn't it happened already? We leave the answer as an exercise to the reader.
"[U]nprecedented diversion of the world’s leading grain crop to the production of fuel will affect food prices everywhere. As the world corn price rises, so too do those of wheat and rice, both because of consumer substitution among grains and because the crops compete for land. Both corn and wheat futures were already trading at 10-year highs in late 2006."
It has already begun. Mexico's poor are now in direct competition with US ethanol plants for corn. Reuters reports:
Angry housewives shouted at [Mexico's new President] Calderon at public appearances this week, pleading for him to bring down tortilla prices that have shot up as much as 400 percent in recent months.
"Now available for sale or rent in the San Francisco Bay Area: Attractive, affordable homes with modern amenities in vibrant neighborhoods. All units offer excellent public transit access for gridlock-free commutes to employment centers. Convenience is key, with shops, restaurants and retail services just steps away, and walking and biking opportunities galore. Autos are optional, and any savings in gasoline, parking, maintenance and insurance costs are yours to keep. Experience the benefits of a transit-oriented lifestyle at one of the exciting new developments taking shape in Redwood City, San Jose, Pleasant Hill, Jack London Square in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, Hayward, the San Pablo Avenue Corridor in the East Bay... and in many other locations throughout the region. Come see if this new style of living is the right choice for you."
This lavishly-produced coffee table book 'slash' government report by San Francisco Bay Area's KIPDA-equivalent shows that land use, transit, and community are the same issue. Their infill starts with public transit, and works outwards towards housing, zoning, and other services. They call this transit oriented development. Can you imagine what the Gene Snyder suburbs would look like if they were planned this way? The Bay is building dozens of new streetcar suburbs, some on the periphery and many in their urban cores.
Hat tip to KIPDA for sending us this.
A modern-day John Henry:
GAHLOR GHATI (GAYA): Over four decades ago, a frail, landless farmer got hold of a chisel and a hammer and decided to change the face of his village nestled in the rocky hills of Gaya [India]. Dashrath Manjhi tore open a 300-feet-high hill to create a one-km passage.
Manjhi knew it would he easier to move a mountain than an apathetic government. He knew writing to the powers-that-be would only leave the hill tied in red tape. Instead, Manjhi, then in his early 20s, took up a chisel and hammered at the rocks for 22 years.
This feat, part of local folklore now, stemmed from Manjhi’s love for his wife. For, when she slipped off the rocks while getting food for him as he worked in a field beyond the hill and broke her ankle, it became a burning passion to tame the formidable hills that virtually cut his village off from civilisation.