Letter to the Editor

Monday, May 23, 2011 at 9:05pm

In 2010, my wife and I decided to see if we could have a vacation without flying. Sadly, we ended up having to fly into and out of Chicago as the nearest train stations to Nashville are 200-plus miles away. We took the Empire Builder from Chicago to Portland, Ore.

I noticed in [a recent City Paper] article that Portland was mentioned as part of the study for transport options for Nashville. I am originally from London, so I know all about mass transit, and I used the London Transport LT system day in and day out to get to work and for trips to connect with main line trains.

With that in mind, we had reservations about Portland and what it had to offer. I knew it could never compare with London Transport. [But] I was in for a surprise. True, Portland doesn’t have the underground trains that London has (the Tube) But they have a mixture of light rail and buses. We spent several days there, and never had a need for a car, and relied on their transit system every day. It was a amazing and cheap — and sometimes free.

Portland is light years ahead of Nashville in both transit options and thinking. There is no doubt in my mind that Nashville and the surrounding communities are decades behind in transit, but I must admit that the new BRT from Rivergate to Nashville has been a winner. Portland uses the transit system to boost tourism, and as Nashville is a tourist destination, we should do the same.

I often ride bus No. 56 BRT  (I am retired) to avoid downtown parking and reduce the cost of driving.

The proposed light rail/bus down through West End, will be a winner if it is modeled on the Portland system. One thing that Nashville never considers, however, is the tourist. They will ride whatever system they put on that line. They would also ride Amtrak if it was here.

I volunteer at the airport and talk to many of the tourists from overseas. Usually the first question they have when arriving in Nashville is, ‘Where are the trains or the mass transit system?’  I have to tell them that trains are 200-plus miles away, and we don't have street cars, and only one BRT line so far.

Building a similar system to [that of] Portland and other cites will encourage tourism and growth for the whole area.

Dave Miller

Gallatin  37066

84 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 5/24/11 at 4:58

What's all this "light years" and "decades" behind nonsense?
This is the south. It's the country. The place is SLOW.
Nashville is like Whoville in the Dr. Suess books.
You want "state of the art" mass transit? Move to San Francisco.

By: house_of_pain on 5/24/11 at 5:45

Where in heck would you find space for light rail?

By: house_of_pain on 5/24/11 at 5:46

*the heck

Oops. I

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 6:48

oyharward How much did your trip cost the taxpayers to ride Amtrak, did you know, or did you even care? As you probably already know, it is usually less expensive to fly than travel by rail. This is the reasoning I find it so difficult to understand as to why Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats continue to spend, spend, and spend more of taxpayers’ money adding more to rail. Many states, including Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and others, have rejected hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money asking this fund be returned to the taxpayers’ fund. Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats continue to spend this fund. You may not know that America is in a recession. Taxpayers are overburdened.

By: nash615 on 5/24/11 at 6:56

And the comments here show you exactly why Nashville is and will continue to be decades behind real cities in mass transit.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/24/11 at 7:02

oyharward, have you heard of trying to lessen our dependance on oil? expanding rail also creates jobs.

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 7:05

When will we as “healthy”, young and old, become self-supporting, rather than depending on Uncle Sam? We should all be working as much as possible to become self-sufficient to leave an opportunity for future generations. Do not understand. It is (y)our responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves.

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 7:11

I'm not overburdened, oy, at least by taxes. In fact, my taxes haven't gone up or down for the past several years.

I suppose I could join you and your ilk and itemize every expenditure that my taxes pay and loudly bitch and whine like a two year old. I mean there are many things that I'm paying for that I don't use or particularly like.

For instance, corporate welfare...or the wars...or funding for the morons that work every day on Tennessee's capitol hill that want to introduce legislation that makes absolutely no sense (TN's own currency).

No, I don't whine about it too much because in the scheme of things, I have it pretty good...we all do. We seem to quickly and easily forget the standard of living these taxes provide. Perhaps you would rather pay nothing and live in Haiti or Mexico?

So when someone proposes funding something that makes sense...like infrastructure (house is correct, where in the world would it go?), I don't mind. I just sit back and wait for the self-righteous it's my money and I don't want to pay for anything, but I want everything morons to start their chirping.

Sorry for the long post...

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 7:11

Blanketnazi2, when will “rail” become self-supporting, or will it?

Jobs are great. We need jobs for Americans to go to work. It appears to me that Democrats believe in creating jobs in the public (Government) sector. Republicans believe in allowing the creation of jobs in the private (Business) sector.

By: Moonglow1 on 5/24/11 at 7:13

Moonglow1: nash615-I agree with you. Air travel will continue to become more costly as fuel prices rise. More enlightened Tennesseans are asking for options such as light rail. Actually Nashville is being recognized nationally for our lack of transit options and clogged highways. This does not bode well for attracting tourists or for attracting business to our city. Let us get inm line with the 21st century as President Obama is trying to do with his push for rail systems. Wisonsin & Florida declined funding for political reasons. Put Rick Scott & Scott Walker on a bridge to know where & leave them there.

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 7:19

gdiafante, you must be more fortunate than many. Americans need millions of jobs in the private sector to restore their homes that many have lost. As you see on the news daily, the unemployment is now at 9%. Many of these have their homes in foreclosure. As for these taxpayers, they are overburdened.

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 7:23

Oy, if they're unemployed, they aren't overburdened by taxes, they're overburdened by lack of income.

And unless I'm mistaken, we've followed the Reagan/Bush supply side theory since about 2001, how's that working out? The only thing it does is widen the gap between the rich and the poor and destroys the middle class.

Go to any store and take a peek at where the products are made...what does this country manufacture?

You seem to have a very simple view of the solutions that will suddenly restore our economy. It's just not that simple.

By: house_of_pain on 5/24/11 at 7:25

"As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way."

- Jack Handey

By: dargent7 on 5/24/11 at 7:25

Nashville, Nationally, is known for :
"guns in honky-tonk bars".
"guns in all parks".
"Say No" to any discussion of a child's homosexuality or sexual orientation.
The most medicated state.
Al Gore's an idiot. Global Warming is a myth.
The most corrupt state.
Probably comes in at 47th out of 50 states for academic achievement, H.S. graduation.
...but the people here are damn proud of it.....
Did I leave any stellar talking points out?

By: house_of_pain on 5/24/11 at 7:27

You forgot the UFO landing pad, d7.

By: dargent7 on 5/24/11 at 7:27

House: "Today I shot an elephant in my pajamas...How it got there I have no idea".
- Grocho Marx

By: budlight on 5/24/11 at 7:29

oyharward on 5/24/11 at 7:11
Blanketnazi2, when will “rail” become self-supporting, or will it? Jobs are great. We need jobs for Americans to go to work. It appears to me that Democrats believe in creating jobs in the public (Government) sector. Republicans believe in allowing the creation of jobs in the private (Business) sector.

You are correct O when you say gov-ment wants to create gov-ment jobs. They hired on a boat load this year for IRS. I say we should work to create more private sector jobs.

And G does not have to pay more taxes because maybe he/she owns no real estate or is on a fixed income. My property taxes went up over $600 in the past 2 years. Also, with any little raise in salary, there is an increase intaxes.

And you are correct G; millions of Americans lost their jobs and their homes. Unemployment at 9% is what the "news" says because that's what the gov-ment releases. I would bet it's actually higher than that.

These taxpayers are overburdened!

By: dargent7 on 5/24/11 at 7:31

House: Between the patrons at the Riverview Bar and exterestials, I'll take the the E.T.'s. Besides. They're heavy tippers.

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 7:32

Again, the Bush tax cuts were extended...the wealthy are getting huge tax incentives to create jobs...so where are they?

And where are these government jobs you two ditto heads are whining about?

Do you even know what the hell you're talking about?

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 7:39

budlight, surprise, surprise, surprise! Are you agreeing with what so many million of others are saying, “that you cannot trust what Obama is saying as he may reverse tomorrow what he said yesterday”?

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 7:45

Good morning

http://www.britainexpress.com/zen/albums/potd/Callanish-01072006.jpg

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 7:47

gdiafante, I depend on many professional “Economists” for advice and vision. Many are suggesting that there is no Obama administration policy for growing our economy. Make the Bush tax cuts permanent. This will provide small and large businesses to invest in more jobs with new and expanded businesses. Investors must be allowed to make a profit.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 7:50

I was not a bit surprise to see oyharward here today. If it has anything to do with change we will here his fearful cries of discouragement. He represents the pass, the old man that hates new ideas or any new ways of thinking.

Mass transit is in Nashville’s future and if it is not then the only other way to get anywhere will be walking or by bicycle, because it will be faster than cars tied up in grid-lock.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 7:51

How much stock do you have tied up in oil, oy?

By: yogiman on 5/24/11 at 7:55

dargent7,

Your 7:25 comment makes me wonder; With the obvious "love" you have, what in the hell are you doing in Nashville?

As a bartender (drink mixer/beer server) you could get job in Detroit.

By: revo-lou on 5/24/11 at 7:57

{oyharward on 5/24/11 at 7:47

Make the Bush tax cuts permanent. This will provide small and large businesses to invest in more jobs with new and expanded businesses. Investors must be allowed to make a profit.}

Hmm, they have been place for how many years? Right, so, where are the jobs?

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 7:58

Here are some statistics for you...Under Bush, private employment shrank by 673,000 jobs, federal employment grew by 50,000 jobs, and government employment grew by 1,753,000 jobs.

Under Obama, the private sector has shed some 2.9 million jobs while the federal government has grown by 40,000 (after growing massively, the federal workforce shrank throughout the summer). Total government jobs, however, shrank by 357,000 jobs, mainly because of cuts at the state and local levels.

These numbers are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

There are qualifiers...first, massive unemployment began as early as 2007, before Obama was even elected. So the numbers are not completely accurate, as any policies that Obama instituted wouldn't really have an effect until at least 2009 or 2010.

Of course all this begs the question exactly how does a President create jobs? They don't. It's illustrated to show that regardless of party, the ongoing policy in this country for the past decade has been supply-side economics, which is Republican mantra.

And this policy, until local state governments started having budget issues, created more government jobs than private sector jobs.

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 8:04

Oy, the CBO estimated that making the tax cuts permanent would cost $5.048 trillion over the next ten years. Given the failure of the tax cuts (see unemployment rate), how can you justify such an expenditure?

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 8:04

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 8:04

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 8:06

I am paying more in city prosperity taxes, because we got Oman in the White House.

Ima Beech

By: budlight on 5/24/11 at 8:12

oyharward on 5/24/11 at 7:39
budlight, surprise, surprise, surprise! Are you agreeing with what so many million of others are saying, “that you cannot trust what Obama is saying as he may reverse tomorrow what he said yesterday”?

He uses reverse psychology; he says something and then reverses it. He has apologized for "misspeaking" than all the presidents combined before him. OK, I'm going to work - laundry, dishes, cleaning house for which I get no pay check and no vacation with pay. But it's gotta be done.

By: budlight on 5/24/11 at 8:14

By the way, to the complainers about Nashville and Tennessee. I live here because I love Nashville and I want to live here. If you don't like it, you are free to unbuckle your seat belt and move about the country. Just go to another city and see if your misery follows you there. It probably will.

Love where you are; it might be the last place you get to abide in. D7 don't complain so much. It's unbecoming to you.

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 8:16

Bud, I see no difference between Darge's complaints about the people here and your complaints about the federal government.

So, don't let the door hit you in the back on your way to Mexico.

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 8:17

gdiafante, President Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats have created many jobs. ObamaCare created some 50,000 who were added to the IRS, just to enforce ObamaCare. The difference is public sector jobs cost the taxpayers while private sector jobs makes our economy expand and/or grow for all.

Labor Unions have forced private jobs to re-locate or close. Labor Union “demands” for higher salaries and additional benefits make many businesses non-competitive in a free and open economy.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 8:26

It was the labor unions that sent American jobs to foreign lands.

Dick Holder

By: revo-lou on 5/24/11 at 8:29

{oyharward on 5/24/11 at 8:17

President Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats have created many jobs. ObamaCare created some 50,000 who were added to the IRS,}

So now it is 50k jobs! It was just 17k, so, how did it grow? Please show us where these jobs were added.

By: revo-lou on 5/24/11 at 8:30

Careful there captain, they may catch on!

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 8:33

I thought oy was a holy than thou man? He sound more like a for profit man to me.

By: revo-lou on 5/24/11 at 8:38

{Labor Union “demands” for higher salaries and additional benefits make many businesses non-competitive in a free and open economy}

Yes, because people should work for the same amount of money all their careers.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 8:40

house, there are existing tracts of land and corridors that can be used for light-rail. However I don’t think that will be the only means of transportation in Nashville’s future.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 8:41

I am expecting BenDover to join in today. The stock-market took a dive yesterday.

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 8:50

Captain Nemo, private jobs in a free and open country are what make a successful economy go around.

For anyone who questions, I have no stock or any other financial interest, directly or indirectly, in oil or gasoline. As for me and all consumers, “Drill, baby drill”. “Freeing up” the oil companies to drill for new and “proven” oil reserves could bring our gasoline prices back down to approximately $1.68/gal. That alone is a huge stimulus.

By: revo-lou on 5/24/11 at 8:53

{drill for new and “proven” oil reserves could bring our gasoline prices back down to approximately $1.68/gal}

BS. You have now shown us that you know little to nothing about the way our economy,or the WORLD economy works.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 8:59

a $1.68 will never take place oy. The oil companies are making a nice profit and will never give that up.

What do you think about government subsidies for the oil companies?

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 9:04

How much oil would have to be found, drilled and refined in order to drag world prices down $2? And how long would that take?

I don't think you really do understand, as revo said.

By: curtwallen on 5/24/11 at 9:06

oyharward,
I think you are missing the point of rail and mass transit. It is never going to be paid for by private entities and will always be a cost to citizens. But that is why you pay taxes, to get things that EVERYONE can use. This issue is not about the cost of rail, it is more about the cost of projects that are not utilized by everyone and should not be put on the backs of all citizens. The amount of pork projects by both sides of the aisle is ridiculous. Don't you think it is time we quit griping over what party did what and spend more time talking about what will benefit all of us from the tax dollars we pay? No system is perfect but you would think we would have had enough time to look around and see what has worked and what has not globally. Just sayin...

Curt Wallen

By: house_of_pain on 5/24/11 at 9:28

Nemo, it would have to be built so as not to intersect any existing major roads.
Otherwise, it's gonna screw with traffic.

By: Funditto on 5/24/11 at 9:36

Something tells me Oyharward gets in this giant truck to drive a few blocks and thinks everyone should do the same.

By: Funditto on 5/24/11 at 9:47

Did anyone watch "Too Big to Fail" on HBO last night?