[tabi] FW: Nova 2010

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:31:08 -0500

I just received a copy of this most excellently written letter from Owen
McCaul, and thought I should share it with this list.
Chip Orange


Chip Orange
Database Administrator
Florida Public Service Commission

(850) 413-6314

 (Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect those of the Florida Public Service Commission.)



        From: mccaulo@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:mccaulo@xxxxxxxxxxxx] 
        Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 1:13 PM
        To: commissioners@xxxxxxxxxx; anita.favors.thompson@xxxxxxxxxx;
ronald.garrison@xxxxxxxxxx; Chip Orange
        Subject: Nova 2010
        Dear Commissioners, 
        At the Target Issues Workshop held on February 17, 2010,
StarMetro consultants cited the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority as
an example of the glories of bus route decentralization. I have once
again attached a copy of Transportation for America's "Dangerous by
Design" study. Please take an opportunity to review this informative
report. I would draw your attention to Table 1 on page 13, labeled The
Most Dangerous Metro Areas for Pedestrians (Over 1 Million Residents).
Please note that Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater is number 2 on the list
of the country's most dangerous places for pedestrians. The Pedestrian
Danger Index is 205.5. Tallahassee's Pedestrian Danger Index, found on
page 47, is 109.4. So... Tallahassee's streets are more than twice as
dangerous as the national average and it would appear that Pinellas
County's streets are nearly twice as dangerous as Tallahassee. Do you
really want to follow this example? 
        At the January 21, 2010 meeting of the Transit Advisory
Committee, StarMetro Senior Planner Sam Scheib said that the "Dangerous
by Design" study did not tell StarMetro staff anything that they did not
already know. This means that StarMetro planners INTENTIONALLY designed
a system that requires bus patrons to cross streets more than twice as
dangerous as the national average to change buses. I hope you can
forgive my incredulity, but I fail to see how an even moderately
responsible public servant could think this was a good idea. I struggled
with this for the longest time; when the answer finally occurred to me
it was painfully obvious. StarMetro's highly paid executive director,
planners and consultants will not be the ones risking their lives on a
daily basis to change buses. Respectfully, commissioners, you won't be
risking your lives on a daily basis, either. It will be the poor, the
elderly, the disabled and anyone else who does not have a choice in the
matter. When Nova 2010 is implemented, it will not be a question of if
someone gets hurt or killed, it is a question of when. Then everyone
will have the opportunity to remark upon the tragedy and hope that no
one realizes that it could have been prevented.
        StarMetro's planners and consultants would have you believe that
the way they have set up Nova 2010 is the only way to go about this
decentralization. It is not. Please, look at Madison, Wisconsin.
Madison's decentralization efforts were not without difficulty but at
least they did not send the poor, the elderly and the disabled out to
take their chances in city traffic. The Pedestrian Danger Index for
Madison, by the way, is a mere 7.8 compared to Tallahassee's 109.4 and
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater's is 205.5. Perhaps Madison is on to
        Sincerely, I am 
        Owen B. McCaul 

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