Starting the week off

It's a little chilly out there, the skies are clear and just a hint of orange and pink in the east. Quite a few stars are still in the sky. I am hoping for a good day today. Heading into work at the BB early this morning. Getting to get a little work done before the store opens. It's a good thing because I actually get to be home before noon. There is a town meeting in New Town this afternoon over at the Organic Farm and I hope we get to find out when the Organic Farm is going to be operated next year amongst other thing.

By the way, when doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get.

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

The other day I was talking about getting mass transit going here in St. Charles. I just wanted to enumerate a few of the positive aspects such a project could bring:

  • They bring new investment along their lines. A streetcar line was installed along a twelve mile stretch of road in an abandoned industrial neighbourhood known as the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon. Almost immediately, over one hundred new businesses came to the neighbourhood along the track, as well as seven thousand new residents. The return of investment was over two thousand percent, and the new businesses garnered a large amount of tax revenue for a once cash strapped city. Now, Portland is known as one of the most desirable places in the US to live.

  • Streetcars have a much longer lifespan than buses, and are cheaper to maintain. Their operating costs are far lower, since there is a much larger driver to passenger ratio. Some expanded streetcars can carry up to three hundred passengers at a time. Streetcars can also be scaled up or down to suit ridership requirements, and attract new riders. Buses have their set capacity, with no flexibility in the event of increased ridership. Ottawa, who implemented a Bus Rapid Transit system is now running at over capacity, and is seriously looking into having a LRT line built to suit demand and reduce traffic gridlock, which is a chronic problem in our nation’s capital, as it is here in Windsor.
  • The environmental benefits are numerous. Buses expel diesel fumes into the atmosphere and their idling in traffic causes even more particulate matter to invade our lungs. A streetcar has no emissions, because it runs on totally clean electricity. Some say the increased generation of electricity to accommodate an LRT line causes increased air pollution, but there really isn’t any comparison. Street-level pollution is a chronic problem in Windsor, and an LRT line would help curb some of these problems. Streetcars are also wheelchair and limited mobility accessible since they are at grade with the surrounding pavement.

The project as envisioned by the team that put it together for the city would connect several areas of the city (which are each important in their own way) and were considered the biggest bang for the buck: convention center/hotel, Bass Pro Shop, Main Street, Ameristar Casino and Hotel, Foundry, Government offices, Hospital, Lindenwood University, North 94 Corridor, New Town/Charlestowne. The project is considered more of a people circulator than just a streetcar system. If combined with a more reasonable bus system (meaning one that operates more than 9am-4pm Mon-Fri) this would be an awesome way to move about the city.

More later, gotta scoot to work now.

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