[tabi] Re: FW: Nova 2010

  • From: "Charles Atkins" <catkins@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:51:33 -0500



  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chip Orange 
  To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 1:31 PM
  Subject: [tabi] FW: Nova 2010

  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 something.... 

    Sincerely, I am 

    Owen B. McCaul 

Other related posts: