A Transit Solution Proposal

April 25, 2010

Generally speaking, the New York city subway system is not what you’d call beautiful. Very few fancy-schmancy, artistically rendered stops. Functional, turn of the last century, drab holes in the ground with newer vehicles running through a true maze of tunnels; occasionally idiosyncratic, rarely welcoming. It is a little confusing at first with your A-W, 1-8 trains, express or local runs, uptown, downtown, Rockaway bound mélange although not impossible to quickly learn how to navigate. Cleaner and freer of debris than the much less extensive moving far fewer people Toronto subway. 

But on a late morning on any day of the week, you can get from the upper west side of Manhattan to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in a matter of minutes for the low, low price of $2.25. No fuss, little bother. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom.

Beyond the shadow of a doubt, a subway is the best, most efficient way to move a mass of people throughout a densely populated area. About this there can be little argument. Except of course when it comes to cost. To build subways in this day and age is a pricey, pricey proposition. In most cases, prohibitively so. $300 million per stop is one estimate I have seen. So instead we talk up the benefits of LRT, environmentally friendly buses and the like. Poor second choices, runners up, consolation prize winners.

Here is another idea.

How be we take $1 billion, just over the cost of building 3 subway stops, and use the funds to develop a time machine? Hear me out, people, hear me out on this. We could then travel back in time to a low cost era – the early part of the 20th-century or just after World War II – where we would construct a much grander, wider ranging subway than we did at the time, forewarned as we would be with the knowledge of how big Toronto would get and how important public transit would be to our future well-being.

If that’s unrealistic due to a mere billion dollars not getting us that far back in time, we could spend less and return to a more recent era. Say just 25, 30 years ago before we started electing short-sighted, narrow-minded, parochial politicians who lacked the intestinal fortitude to do what was right for the health of our major urban areas. Aim for about 1980 or so when dim-witted, neo-liberalism became all the rage, ravaging good governance and sound future planning in its greedy gob.

It might work. Won’t know until we try.

helpfully submitted by Cityslikr


Newwwwww York Is Where I’d Rah-zer Be!

April 21, 2010

We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke are off to New York today on a fact finding mission. Our task? To suss out just what the big deal is about the place anyway. NYC. Gotham. The Big Apple. The Empire City. Father Knickerbocker. Simply, The City.

How come it gets so many nicknames? What exactly has the place got that makes it so fucking special, I guess is the job we’re setting out to discover. That, and Acaphlegmic scored us tickets from a friend of a friend who knows a guy who knows a guy that runs a website, and we’re going to a couple Yankee games over the weekend against their arch rivals, the Bosox from Beantown. The Walking City. The Hub. The Athens of America.

So we may be a little light with the postings over the next six days or so. There will be our regular Meet A Mayoral Candidate column this Friday, of course. And since we won’t be getting much rest as the city claims to be one that never sleeps, the odd occasion should pop up, allowing us to deliver a progress report or two about our research.

Also, keep your eyes peeled over to the right side of the page here for our Twitter entries (or easier yet, sign on and become a slavish follower.) We’re going to be spending the time away, trying to master the technology. Apparently, it’s all the rage with the younger set. And if there was ever a place that could be summed up in 140 characters, it would be New York City.

So, until next week, toodles. As they say in the outer boroughs.

Frommerly submitted by Cityslikr