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Transit City money – I was Wrong

In an article here yesterday, $8.3 Billion earmarked for Transit City should go to Solar Power development I opined that government money earmarked for a broad network of LRT lines – now possibly going to be spent on a few kilometres of Subway – would be better spent on research and development of solar and wind energy generation technology. Funding is on the table now for a renewal of public transit, I was a fool to suggest that it be spent anywhere else – however ill-considered The Mayor’s Office ‘planning‘ may be.

Yesterday’s piece, in hindsight, was me trying to point out how the new Mayor’s agenda mirrored events unfolding around sustainability issues in the U.S. – and especially in the State of Wisconsin. I stand by that part of the piece – the neo-con agenda represented by The Mayors Office mirrors very well the Tea Party dominated Republican Party reactionary back-lash to President Obama’s Recovery and Re-investment program.

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Last night I spent some hours reading Steve Monro’s blog. He’s an expert on transit issues and his vision of a broad LRT network for the city that in some part became the Transit City plan is the result of a lifetime of advocacy and research.

I learned a lot, and very quickly realized I needed to publish this retraction.

To be clear – in my opinion Public Transit is a “great leveler”, a indispensable institution of a democracy.  It equalizes opportunity for all on a scale so immense it is difficult to measure. The fact that you can travel from one side of this great city to the other for less than $3.00 is amazing. That you can do it comfortably, safely and reasonably quickly is a testament to the technology and the visionary character of the civilization that grew and supports the institution of public transportation. Public transportation is also a great way to move the economy to a more sustainable footing, a great way to decrease carbon emissions massively, and quickly.

To correct any confusion I am responsible for creating around this complex issue I am writing a new article on the changes The Mayor’s Office wants to make to the public transit plan – this time with facts and informed opinion from several experts in the field.

Stay tuned.

Update:

Feb. 23, 2011 – Post on the changes The Mayor’s Office wants to make to the public transit plan: “Transit City becomes Transportation City – Mayor Ford’s evolving Plan“.

mh



Posted: February 22nd, 2011
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