Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Next step? MONORAIL!!

Jeffco trolley on fast track

News staff writer

Jefferson County commissioners said Thursday they plan to spend $25 million of county money next week to revive a streetcar system in Birmingham.

A majority of commissioners said in a meeting Thursday they're ready to move ahead to resume streetcar service in Birmingham now, and seek federal funding later.

The county can get four miles of streetcars ready to run by the end of 2007 for $30 million, consultants said Thursday. [...]

Because, you know, it's free money, just falling out of the clouds. So, why not spend it on another sort of public transportation that few people will use? The article goes on to note that at one time at the turn of the last century, Birmingham was full of streetcar lines, which is true. But they were taken up or paved over because of those newfangledy gasoline powered omnibuses, that don't have to rely on overhead wiring or breaking up the pavement, and they don't impede other street traffic. And then everyone bought a car, and public transportation hasn't been the same since.

That's not to say rail isn't an alternative, especially for people who cannot afford a car. But it's not a panacea, and if you'll notice, there's no real reason or need given for wanting to institute such a system, other than the fact that other cities have it. Much like the idea that still floats around in some folks' minds that if we only build a domed stadium, the NFL will be beating down our door to put a team here, there are also those who think we should have a light rail system because Portland has one and Portland is cool. In many ways, we are a lot like the dweeby guy who buys a Porsche to be cool and attract chicks. What we don't seem to realize is that if the chicks are attracted to the Porsche, there's always going to be a guy with a newer one. And he probably doesn't have a hair weave, and talk funny.

Oh, well. At least there'll be something other than potholes to blame for the bone-jarring you get when you drive across town.

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