Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gentlemen, we are out of money. Now we have to think" [W. Churchill]

I am having trouble deciding whether I would be more successful in the state-house or as a private citizen. Would voters support this agenda, this platform? {note -Read my 2008 City Council 3 publication. Compare it to this rant....} The Auto industry is finding that young people are not interested in cars, much less as a car representing their social mobility. ( This a survey found that when asked, young people ages 23- 33 responded that they prefer the Internet over owning a car. The automakers-- America's industry is responding to this by marketing on MTV, targeted ads and getting headlines in the media. "The experts say you need a car." This is the same mistake by US industry that Consumers/taxpayers were victims of 60 years ago when the auto-makers told us that experts are saying; we need to build highways across and into every urban center in the nation. The economic morass of the way we live now is forcing us to think. The answer is not a another generation saddled with annual auto-mobile ownership costs. The answer is a new model. Progressive ideas are needed to create new products that will meet consumer wants --- and build them here. The answer is mobility by means other than autos. The answer involves questioning whether the asphalt-based transportation system we have developed over the past 2 generations 60 + years is still working. It is not. Auto-Dependance, infatuation, and recreational worship of the automobile in this culture is going to change whether you accept this or not. It is even harder to accept if that is where all the money is. Just like the young in the middle-east, young people in this country are beginning to complain. Rather than have troops shoot them in the streets, or police brutalize them in the cities, the solution is to give them what they want. Security, mobility, freedom and safety. Transportation has the power to give this, to fund this. Transportation historically creates wealth by attracting investments at terminal sites. Jobs that these young technology - advanced future leaders want. We want livable cites and clean air and water for generations to come. We do not want or need parking garages. They would rather have a disposable car (zip, and make certain it is powered by renewable). They have innovation, and new applications they want to share - like how to connect multiple destinations. They shop and spend locally. Rail Transit can offer this. This is about our having a choice of mobility. Rather than bailout the auto-industry again when it becomes reality that no one wants or can afford their product. As hard as that is to fathom, it is very much a reality. This next generation should be able to buy one good auto that can last them the rest of their lives. Mobility reduces the number of miles on your own personal vehicle and we all know that the value of a car, its ability to last w/out major repairs, is based on its mileage. Giving consumers alternatives to paying the costs of mileage, will save household budgets. The goal is policy developed by the community rather than policy developed in response to a system of funding created by the Federal government (created by lobbyists for the Feds), and distributed based on formulas that favor the road system. This trickles down to the local roads and local planners hired for the purpose of meeting state and federal requirement and therefore entirely upon roadways. What we are calling an "asphalt-based" land-use system. It is time that policy is developed by those who will use it and pay for it. Rail Transit into town centers offers an opportunity to create wealth. new development, new businesses, new modes of transporting users from node to node - home, shopping, school, medical, work and recreation. A rail corridor defines a transportation system that links all the terminal stop locations with the commerce needed to sustain the system. Community-based sustainable development. Say it again - community-based sustainable development. And it is not the job for staff - it is the job of people elected to represent their communities. Staff is stuck in the asphault. In 196_ the asphault system caused local planners to allow the destrcution of the great Portland Union Station. The fedearl stamp on local transportation decssions was complete. But - the state of Maine, under the leadership of several progressive Governors and MDOT commissioners, recognized that the raillines needed to be preserved. We currently control over more than 300 miles of railway in Maine and hundreds more miles have agreements in place for state rail use. Now is the time to take back our freeedom to decide how we want our communities to be. We now have an opportunity to make our cities and towns quality livable places, attracting new ideas, new and innovative technologies and the generation that can make this happen. -----Original Message-----