Monday, January 27, 2014

AIR QUALITY RALLY AND BRT

So last Saturday was the "Clean Air, No Excuses" rally at the State Capitol.  I wasn't able to go, but my sources tell me that there were between 4,000 and 5,000 people there, and that many of them took transit to get there.  Fortunately UTA had the sense to run CNG buses on the 500 (there are pictures of full 500's to be had on Twitter, if you are curious . . .)

I want to thank all the people who went to the rally, especially those who took transit.  Last week, commutergirl and I both expressed skepticism that much would come of the rally, since it portended to contain a lot of finger pointing and not many solutions.  That many of the attendees took transit greatly mitigates my skepticism.  However, I hope everyone involved realizes that one rally still isn't a solution--it will take persistence and sacrifice on the part of everyone, not just UTA, not just factories, not just the governor, etc., etc. to clean up the Wasatch Front's air.

This means you.
And what do you know, there's already a chance for you to put your money where your mouth is, my Provo friends.  Tomorrow there is a public meeting in Provo about the much-discussed Provo-Orem BRT from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers (351 W. Center St.; Routes 834 and 850 will take you the closest, though the 834 doesn't run very late).

I got an email from a friend of mine who lives in Northeast Provo regarding this meeting, from which I quote with his permission.


Some perspective from myself as a resident. I feel like a few people living on 900 East have organized and recruited neighbors to their side, but they do not represent our neighborhoods. 900 East is a major artery in East Provo. It doesn’t divide any neighborhoods. Choosing Option 6 takes away convenient and efficient transit service from the residents of Indian Hills, Pleasant View, Rock Canyon, Oak Hills, and Tree Streets neighborhoods; not to mention the Marriot Center, MTC, Wymount Terrace, and Heritage Halls. It takes out 2 homes, costs $10 million more, and will result in less ridership. That is if, after going back to the drawing board, redoing the Environmental and Design Phases, and applying for local, State, and Federal funding again that those dollars are still available. Provo City Council should choose Option 4 - the recommended, convenient, efficient, funded, ready option.

I think this puts it very well.  While the Provo residents who oppose the bus going down 9th East are entitled to their opinion, I can't help but think they greatly overestimate the negative effect of running a bus where a bus is already running.  The benefits of this BRT line far outweigh a few residents' mild discomfort (personally, I would find it discomforting to have my neighborhood invaded by parallel parkers during every single BYU game ever, but maybe that's just me), and I would hate for a few residents to undo all the hard work that has gone into this project.

So if you have the chance, come out.  And stay tuned.  Transit is here to stay.

2 comments:

  1. I went on Saturday. It was good to see so many people there, but a bit discouraging, since there was a lot of finger pointing and people not wanting to accept any personal responsibility for their own behaviors contributing to the pollution. I took about 10 minutes of video: http://youtu.be/kkibSK8lKls

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    1. The finger pointing is discouraging, but I still hope good things will come of the rally. I haven't seen this many people advocating transit as a solution for themselves (instead of just for others) for a long time.

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