Sunday, April 30, 2006

To Pump or Not to Pump - New York Times

To Pump or Not to Pump - New York Times--At the link is a story about a man's choices on the West Coast. It reminds me of my latest personal accomplishment--Buying an unlimited month-long RTA pass for $54, for which expenditure I am entitled to ride all the buses and the rapids in this part of the state, as explained under the RTA Riding Options. My only regret is that I didn't know enough to buy the ticket on-line--instead, I descended into the bowels of the Terminal Tower, under the big escalators, to find a place where I could use plastic.

All my fears and uncertainties of being lost in the transit system have been allayed by the GCRTA Trip Planner. For me, an optimal configuration would be riding transit everywhere, checking routes and connections with a laptop, making decisions on where to do business in relation to the transit lines, and the coffee shops.

This is why the sovereign City of East Cleveland will soon see an influx of new residents--they will gravitate toward the ample bus routes and the Windermere Rapid Transit. All our car-less treehugger friends in Cambridge would find East Cleveland a bargain, and the same goes for my own Archwood-Denison neighborhood, Brooklyn Centre, Old Brooklyn, and perhaps even Tremont, where the circulator roams. Ditto Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. Property values should also increase along the transit lines, disproportionately to those areas with poor or no transit service.

Even though we've had an on-going, head-over-heels love affair with the automobile here in NE Ohio ever since I can remember (my first word was "Buick," much to the consternation of "Mom," my second word), I think a lot of us are going to become intimately familiar with buses and trains, as well. Riding in an auto then assumes its proper perspective and will become a treat, not a daily necessity.

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