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Bridge the Gap
I read the article on Chips Cronen (LEO, July 25), and I’ve seen stories on local news and in The C-J … I’m wondering why someone has never asked the obvious question: Why don’t cyclists ride across the Second Street Bridge on either of the two walkways? Bicycles and automobiles really don’t mix very well, especially on a bridge with narrow driving lanes.
Michael Gaubatz, Jeffersonville, Ind.
Editor’s Note: Good point. First, it would be illegal to ride on the sidewalk. More importantly, however, those walkways are no more than 5 feet wide and at some points about half that, which is certainly not enough space for even one cyclist and one pedestrian to cross paths.
Hot, Hot Action
I’m a long way away from where I usually breathe my air. Last Tuesday I traveled to New Hampshire to be part of the revolution of my generation — taking action on global warming. Since then, I have petitioned the streets of Manchester and spread awareness of the conflict that affects us more than any other issue on stage right now. We are talking about our home, our earth, in danger of succumbing to the fate of the snow cap on top of Mount Kilimanjaro or the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. So I traveled the 963 miles to Concord from Louisville to participate in the “March to Re-Energize New Hampshire” from Aug. 1-5. The march could be the largest event ever to take place confronting global warming. Contrary to what some people may believe, it’s happening. I am 17 and plan on seeing my 70th birthday, but if we don’t change to clean energy sources or push for the 2-percent carbon emission reduction per year, I do not know if that is going to be possible. I know this girl from Kentucky cares enough to be taking action; I hope you do, too.
Meaghan Reed, Louisville
3 Steps Forward
I have criticized TARC in the past in this publication (only because I care), so it gives me great pleasure to commend TARC here and now for three new bold steps that were recently announced.
The first of those is the decision to buy four new hybrid buses to add to its fleet. We are all familiar with the many benefits of hybrid technology to the environment and economy, and the suggestion that only time and money stand between the fleet that TARC has now and an all-hybrid fleet in the future is good news, indeed.
But I am even more excited and encouraged by TARC’s two other ideas, NextBus and 5@15, which together will work toward making those ubiquitous and uninformative “TARC Stops Here” signs a thing of the past. Right now, all we know is that TARC Stops Here, but soon, with NextBus technology and the 5@15 program, we are going to finally know when TARC stops and where TARC is going when it gets here.
NextBus uses GPS to track the location of TARC buses in real time and — here’s the kicker — a network of plasma screens posted at bus stops or inside local businesses to share that information with us! Imagine how helpful it will be to know that if you can pay your tab in the Highlands in six minutes, you will be able to make it to the corner and the bus downtown that you want.
Speaking of Highlands to Downtown, it is sure to be one of the routes that is part of the 5@15 program. 5@15 is an initiative to identify the five routes most frequently used by TARC riders and do what is necessary to increase capacity so that the plasma screens along those routes never read NextBus more than 15 minutes away.
We know these changes won’t happen overnight and that funding is the key component to enabling TARC’s improved service. However, ideas are free — even bold ones — and so is dialogue. So let’s all have a conversation about what other ideas we can come up with to make TARC better.
S. Brandon Coan, Lexington (but a Louisville native)
No Sex, No Cooking
Since the Metro Council believes that our citizens are not able to make their own decisions about our community’s health risks, here are a few more ideas for them.
Driving is a health risk. I could be involved in a traffic accident any time I pull out of the driveway. Let’s ban cars altogether, and the Metro Council can force everyone to ride TARC. Hell, council members could even drive the buses, since they are so concerned about ensuring my safety!
Walking down the sidewalk is a health risk. I could be mugged, accosted, kidnapped or any number of nasty things. Let’s get the members of the Metro Council to escort us as bodyguards to make sure nothing bad happens to us.
Here’s a big one — alcohol. Just as tobacco, alcohol is a legal substance and has numerous health risks. Let’s ban it altogether and make Louisville Metro a dry county. The Metro Council can post flyers in every bar listing the health risks of drinking alcohol. They could even round up all of the drunk college kids out in the Highlands or at Fourth Street Live and force them to go to AA meetings.
Cooking is a health risk, too! I could get burned, drop a knife on my foot, slip and fall in the kitchen and break my neck. Let’s get the Metro Council to cook our food for us and deliver it personally, so I won’t get hurt!
SEX! Oh my god, it’s another health risk! I could get a nasty STD, or piss off a big muscular guy by sleeping with his girlfriend. Let’s ban sex while we’re at it, and Metro Council could do a public service announcement for Insight about the dangers of sex and infidelity.
I hope I’ve gotten my point across. How are these things any different than the smoking and trans-fat ban issues? They were thought up by a group of people who are apparently so concerned about our safety they feel that they need to decide what’s best for us like they are our parents, as though we cannot make our own decisions. Maybe this will put things in perspective at how ridiculous this whole thing is, and more importantly, how the community has allowed things to get so far.
Jon Brooks, Louisville