Thanks so much Erica for the wonderful reporting!!! I'd say everyone was influenced (all the commissioners and Mr. Garrison) in a very positive manor, and for the betterment of blind individuals and the public, with the exception of commissioner Lightsey! Her comments smack of "separate but equal" mentality that I find unbelievable today! If we're going to concentrate our voting efforts, well, here's an opportunity I'd say to tighten our focus. ------------------------------ Chip Orange Database Administrator Florida Public Service Commission Chip.Orange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (850) 413-6314 (Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Florida Public Service Commission.) > -----Original Message----- > From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx > [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of > ericamccaul@xxxxxxxxxxxx > Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 1:49 PM > To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx > Subject: [tabi] City Commission approves Nova 2010... but not > a complete loss > > TABI and others: > First, Owen and I would like to thank all of you who wrote > to, phoned, > or met with StarMetro staff and/or especially the City Commissioners. > Also, those of you who contributed ideas enhanced the process. > Of course you all know that "we lost", and I know many of > you feel-and > have now publicly expressed-that this was a "done deal" long > before the > public got involved. I don't disagree with any of this, and I > personally am displeased with this incomplete plan passing. However, > please do not fall prey to the idea that this is over, or that either > we have done no good, or that there is no further opportunity to have > influence. (more on these topics below) > For those of you who did not attend, or had to leave > before the voting > (around 8:20pm) here is a record of the Commissioners' votes and my > interpretation of their comments: > Gillum: Approve, for the following reasons: 1. Like to see what could > be added to the system if the "budget neutral" restriction > was removed > (more night/Sunday service, greater frequency, etc.). 2. What > could we > do to provide information/allay riders' fears about whether > the bus is > on time, or if they've just missed it (at transfer points). [Sila's > point] 3. Suggest that it would be bad to put a half-baked plan into > effect, with hopes of improving it later. New riders will not be > attracted, for example, if the frequencies are too low. Let's try to > get a really solid plan from the start. > Ziffer: For. 1. Need to get those sidewalks in. 2. Need to look at > improving night/Sunday service as soon as fiscally possible. > Mustian: Approve. 1. Change is difficult, but needed. > Marks: Approve. 1. Need to get those sidewalks in. They will help the > whole community, not just the bus riders. I never realized > before that > sidewalks are not merely a luxury. 2. We will at the least make this > ADA compliant; meeting a higher standard would be great. > Lightsey: Approve. 1. Rather than configuring the bus system, > which is > meant for all riders, to the needs of the few [disabled], we need to > find out what alternatives they [the disabled] have. 2. I > preferred an > earlier version of the map, which provided better overall > service, and > had been less tailored by citizen input. 3. I would like to see night > and Sunday service expanded. > > At least 4 of the Commissioners stressed that transfers need > to be free > under Nova, both to prevent a barrier for current riders and to not > dissuade new ones. This was, by the way, the cost model > StarMetro used > when calculating its revenue for Nova. > > Also of note: Matt Brown of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce spoke > in favor of the plan, along the lines that change is needed > in general, > and that Nova would move workers to employment sites better. The > Chamber's address is: 100 North Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida > 32301, phone 224-8116. > > Mr. Garrison said that they are now shooting for > implementation by the > end of 2011. His "hope" is that seating at stops would be doubled > within the first 14 months of Nova implementation. > > Attendees of note: > Proponents: Kevin Davis, William and Sally Benjamin, Bruce Weaver > (though not a strong message), Tom Osteen (professional transit > planner), Greg Thompson (Chair of the TAC), Ed Osburn, Joanna Price > (CCOC), a representative from the Senior Center (sorry, I didn't get > her name) > Opponents: Robert and Sila Miller, John Plescow, Lynn Evans, Linda > Pulliam, Owen & Erica McCaul, Charles Gainy, Amanda Bernath > (Lighthouse), Sue Ellen Smith, Carol Travis Rountree, Michael Banyas > (lives on Thomasville Rd. in an area that will lose service), > > Some of you may have seen in yesterdays' Democrat an article about a > schoolchild being hit while presumably walking to a city bus stop > before school. Here is the link. > Link to article on Tallahassee.com re: Nims 6th Grader hit by car: > http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20100324/NEWS01/3240317/101 > 0/Nims-sixth-grader-hit-by-car-in-critical-condition > Owen sent a copy of the story to Mr. Garrison and the City > Commissioners. > > This is relevant to the following: > After the hearing, Mr. Garrison came up to Owen and encouraged him to > stay involved with the project as it evolves. > Owen said that he'd surely contact Garrison when the first bus rider > was hit by a car. > Mr. Garrison replied, "I sure hope no one is hit by a car." > Owen said, > "Well, under the new system, it's inevitable." > Ironically, at the time, Owen didn't know about the Nims > schoolgirl (or > the pedestrian who was hit on Tennessee Street within the last week). > > I will end on a positive note, however. Lest you only think > of this as > a loss, here are some areas in which our input CLEARLY made a > positive > difference: > 1. Sidewalk construction and repair has become a major focus, and the > emphasis is on getting them complete before Nova is > implemented. Usable > condition of complete sidewalks has been brought to the forefront of > the Commissioners'/Mayor's thinking. > 2. Transfers will continue to be free. > 3. Implementation has been pushed back to April 2011 at the earliest. > The approved plan calls for implementation by the end of 2011. > 4. Service into Governor's Square Mall (not during peak hours, but at > least non-peak and weekends) > 5. Service to the Senior Center on 7th Avenue (not just > Monroe Street). > 6. Service to John Knox Rd. > > So please, continue to stay informed and involved, and be vocal, > because it does pay off. > Thank you, > Erica > > > Check out the TABI resource web page at > http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI > and please make suggestions for new material. > > > > if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the > freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the > address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word > "unsubscribe" in the subject. > Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI and please make suggestions for new material. if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.