Letter to the Editor

Monday, May 23, 2011 at 10:05pm

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: house_of_pain on 5/24/11 at 8:48

I was watching whatever was on at Neighbors...

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 8:49

To learn more about me, my life, and my views, visit my “Blog” http://conservativechristianvoice.blogspot.com/

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

To learn more about me, my life, and my views, visit my “Blog” http://conservativechristianvoice.blogspot.com/

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 8:59

"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 uses the transit system to boost tourism, and as Nashville is a tourist destination, we should do the same."

The writer brings up a good point. To me, there is nothing more relaxing than NOT having to deal with driving, plus (as he says) it's a good tourist draw.

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 9:05

oyharward said

"How much did your trip cost the taxpayers to ride Amtrak, did you know, or did you even care?"

How much does your use of the interstates cost the taxpayers, did you know, or did you even care?

By: dargent7 on 5/24/11 at 9:25

Who's complaining?
It's just that 90% of this population never left Tenn. or the south to see how real life works.
Every statistic coming out of Tenn. is either: lower, dismal, sub-standard, below-par, or aby-normal. It gets tiring.
Yet, everyone says what a "wonderful" environment you live in.
You resent "Northerners" who try to change things. Make things better.
You hate Obama and Al Gore. Think GW Bush was a brilliant President. (!?)
Fine. Have it your way.
Have a 80% H.S. drop out rate, 75% pre-marital sex rate.
Have 60% of all your teens having un-protected sex. Right now.
Grow more marijuana than Maui, Hawai'i. Have more meth labs than L.A.
Detroit, Michigan spoon fed you a Saturn car plant and you screwed that up.
Want else do you want the nation to do? Change your diapers and wipe you mouths?

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 9:32

dargent7, as long as they have their guns, the bible, and no gays..... it's all good.

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 9:42

gdiafante

Your 7:11 rant on taxes reminded me of a bumper sticker I saw this weekend that said, "Live simply so that others can simply live".

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 9:54

oy-

The roads we travel are built by tax money. With out the government we would then have to deal with private companies to build and keep up the road systems. Now can you just imagine how much that would cost a citizen?

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 9:54

There is an old rail road that runs from Nashville to Clarksville. Most it is not in use and what is being used from fright. The owners could incorporate a commuter rail into what they alread have and expand all the way to Clarksville.

By: budlight on 5/24/11 at 9:59

May 1968 Coronet Magazine article "The Electric Car: The solution to pollution?"
Article by Deborah Blauner prediction that there will be 100,000 battery-powered cars in the U.S. by 1975. It was predicted that it would cruise up to 70 mph for one cent per mile and park in 2/3 of the space of current autos. She stated that the "last electric manufacturer, Detroit Electric Company, discontinued production in the 1930's except for custom orders".
Wow! 1968 to 2011. We've come a long way, baby. ????

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 10:03

My last post was for house, but anyone can join in.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 10:05

All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 10:13

Captain Nemo said

"The roads we travel are built by tax money. With out the government we would then have to deal with private companies to build and keep up the road systems. Now can you just imagine how much that would cost a citizen?"

If left up to private industry places like Tennessee might still be in the dark. Most people aren't old enough to remember that there was a time when places like Tennessee (and especially rural areas) had no electricity. It's was the government that stepped in, passing things like the Rural Electrification Act of 1939, that ultimately provided electric service (and later telephone service) to areas of the country that may have never gotten service.... or if they did, It could have been decades until they would have otherwise received it via private industry.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 10:26

Back during the depression when I was just a boy, we did not have telephones or electric lights to see how to dial a phone. So if one of us got snake bit, we just did not run off to a doctor. We took care of ours own. We gave the victim some whisky and prayed for them.

Kyle Pyle

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 10:44

I have watched Nashville grow from an average run of the mill southern town into a modern 21st century city. Even with the don’t-change-a-things-Willies dragging and kicking all the way. After the changes improve their fearful tiny lives and still they are afraid of change.

There is nothing wrong in being conservative. However where conservatism fails is that nothing must change.

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 10:46

In a July 1854 essay, Lincoln wrote: “Why ... should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?” He answered his own question: “The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves - in their separate and individual capacities .... There are many such things ... roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools ... the criminal and civil [justice] departments.”

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 11:02

They want it all brrrk, but they don’t want to pay for it.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 11:04

Conservatism clings to what has been established, fearing that, once we begin to question the beliefs that we have inherited, all the values of life will be destroyed.
Morris Raphael Cohen

By: oyharward on 5/24/11 at 11:04

Does everyone not know that our states, federal, and and Interstate highways are bought and paid for with “user taxes”; Federal taxes are 18.4cents/gal. for gasoline and 24.4cents/gal. for diesel fuel.

Each state have their own state taxes; Tennessee’s state gasoline tax is 21.4 cents/gallon and diesel fuel tax is 18.4 cents/gallon.

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

We have come a long way from washing clothes in the creek to the wash tub.

Ima Dumas

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 11:10

People with realistic minds have known that fact, oy. It seems that the right and far right-wing do not understand this fact. So what is your point?

By: revo-lou on 5/24/11 at 11:16

{oyharward on 5/24/11 at 12:04

Does everyone not know that our states, federal, and and Interstate highways are bought and paid for with “user taxes”; Federal taxes are 18.4cents/gal. for gasoline and 24.4cents/gal. for diesel fuel.

Each state have their own state taxes; Tennessee’s state gasoline tax is 21.4 cents/gallon and diesel fuel tax is 18.4 cents/gallon.}

Does everyone know that oyveh doesn't keep up with too much in our country? Just so you know oy, the feds had to KICK IN 35 BILLION for infrastructure (roads/bridge/interstate) construction on TOP of the money collected.

So, what is your game plan oy, build no more roads, repair no more bridges and just pay no more taxes at all? You do understand that we live in a society and with that comes responsibility to maintain said society, for the GOOD of all, don't you? Oh, wait, I forgot, you think we can have all that we have in the country by everyone keeping to themselves and living by the "good book".

Yeah, you got a great grasp on reality.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 11:19

Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress; having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future.
Benjamin Disraeli

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

First it is shoes now it is baseball.
http://www.nbc.com/news-sports/msnbc-video/bush-nearly-hit-by-foul-ball/

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 12:41

"Whatever the form or constitution of government may be, it ought to have no other object than the general happiness. When, instead of this, it operates to create and increase wretchedness in any of the parts of society, it is on a wrong system, and reformation is necessary." - Thomas Paine

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 12:43

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

By: dargent7 on 5/24/11 at 1:24

Oh, I forgot: The "south" wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion ILLEGAL.
So...these old white men who write the laws, are on top of women, during sex, right?
They impregnate the woman, and then say, "you must have the child".
Everyone, society, pays for it, except the, "old white man" on top.

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 1:33

dargent7 said

"Oh, I forgot: The 'south' wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion ILLEGAL.
So...these old white men who write the laws, are on top of women, during sex, right?
They impregnate the woman, and then say, 'you must have the child'.
Everyone, society, pays for it, except the, 'old white man' on top."

Seems to me that they are only concerned about it if the pregnant woman is poor. God forbid we help those who need it the most. If you're rich.... hey it's no big deal. I'll only take the anti-abortion people seriously if they call for the death penalty for ANYONE who has an abortion and go after the rich as well as the poor.

By: brrrrk on 5/24/11 at 1:42

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.

“If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.

So, what Cantor is basically proposing is the blackmailing of the state of Missouri and the unfortunate tornado victims of Joplin.

What a mensch!

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 2:11

I don't think he's a mensch, brrrrk. They can't create money out of thin air when we're broke.

Oh wait, yes they can...

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

Try as I may, oyveh, I can't seem to find where you answered my question about why, with the tax breaks that have been in place for over 6 years and that you are touting so much as THE job creator, we are still having unemployment at the levels we do.

I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that those with the tax breaks are SITTING on the money in the form of gold, silver, and other commodity investments, as stated in recent reports, so, we all would LOVE to hear your take on it, you know, given your expertise and all.

By: JeffF on 5/24/11 at 6:15

Mass transit is good and needed, The mass transit train fan-boys and Nashville leaders implement is stupid. Buses are the way to go, but when buses are forced to a hub-and-spoke system centered on downtown it is a guaranteed failure designed to acquire even more wasteful and expensive rail modals.

Someone please name a city with a successful system where all modals focus on a single downtown spot. Portland's system is a quaint tourist draw, not a mass citizen mover.

By: slzy on 5/25/11 at 10:32

Some of my best friends are "Yankees" have guns,and are tickled to death to be here rather than where they were born.

Some of you complaining yankess could'nt make it here or there?

Did'nt all the Red Wing fans arrive with Saturn? [I was a Wings fan long before the Preds.]