Monthly Archives: June 2009

Why Ca$h for Clunkers won’t work

It’s the economy, stupid!

The economy is not in full recovery mode, yet, so we can’t expect Cash for Clunkers – the government program to provide up to $4500 off the purchase of a new car if it is more fuel efficient than the old car – to work the way it was designed. Frankly, how many people do YOU know are going out and buying new cars in these uncertain economic times?

Clunker

The program is funded for $1 billion dollars – which could help a transit agency upgrade its equiptment, close a budget gap and prevent fare hikes, or ensure preventative maintenance continues on rail lines or buses. I’d rather see the federal government begin funding sustainable, more economical transit than keep throwing money behind Detroit, which seems bent on producing cars with dismal gas mileage, instead of buses, light rail vehicles or train cars. I’m not anti-car at all, but instead looking at the bigger picture. Oil will not last forever, and we have not made significant inroads in alternative fuels to be used mass-market – so we need to get back to what we know will work in the meantime – public transportation and alternative modes of transportation.

Perhaps it will take a partnership between a transit agency and a big 3 automaker to make some major changes in how transportation is funded and thought of in America, so in the meantime, I will be waiting and watching the success (or failure) of the Cash for Clunkers program, which runs from July 1 to November 1, 2009.

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Where do you get your public transit directions?

Just incredibly curious…

The Curse of the High Line (aka Why I haven’t taken photos yet)

It’s not really fun to open new public spaces without an interesting story to “sell” the park or sculpture. The High Line – a former elevated railroad track, now park – comes complete with its own ghost and haunted designers/supporters. The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th; the next phase will extend it to West 30th. Pedestrians can enter at Gansevoort and Washington Streets (link).
highline_600_1

Jump ahead, oh, a half-century or so, and plans for a refurbished, publicly accessed High Line are but a glimmer in Joshua David’s and Robert Hammond’s eyes. A writer, David was researching a magazine story on the changing face of Chelsea when he says he was visited by an apparition [Ezekiel Marcus] in the tiny alcove in his Chelsea apartment where he did his writing.

“He had a long brown beard and wild brown eyes, and he wore a suede cap and black corduroy pants,” David told Beyond Investigation Magazine in 2002. “He told me in a gravelly voice to ‘leave well enough alone.’ I thought he was talking about my magazine article, but I think he realized the seeds for a bigger project were just beginning to sow in my mind.”

Read more at Trainjotting.

Seriously, it has been raining since they cut the ribbon on the High Line, and it seems to be rain in the forecast for the next 10 days.I won’t be making it to the High Line in the rain, nor can I get out and take decent photos of pedestrian conflicts in Manhattanville! *shakes fist at developers who have caused the curse*