Public transportation should be 'Next Level'
This past summer, my brother returned to Indiana for a post-retirement baseball game in Chicago, which I attended. Three unattended toll road gate arms in a row failed, the first two causing drivers to dangerously back out into fast oncoming traffic. The third arm was jammed at a 50-degree angle, and we were just able to squeeze under it.
This confirmed my opinion that Gov. Eric Holcomb's “Next Level” transportation program was not working. My brother, an unapologetic Republican, in jest blamed the driver for picking bad toll lanes, but this a clear example of why the state needs to invest more in public transportation.
The state budget surplus of $2.27 billion should be used to make a down payment on renewable-energy-powered public transportation. Indiana has a legacy of railroad corridors that provided electric passenger service over 100 years ago, so this is not a radical idea. As a matter of fact, the South Shore Line, the last of the old privately owned interurban passenger trains from South Bend to Chicago, is getting state support to expand. All of Indiana needs public passenger rail and buses powered by the sun and wind.
Public transportation is severely limited across most of the United States so it can't operate effectively as a whole system, nor operate effectively in cities without regular connections to surrounding cities. However, we can have cars and public transit, too.
With the rise of mobility management tools, we can share the roads, by rail or highway, while increasing access to work, shopping, recreation, rural communities, the state capital and Indiana's first national park. The next level should be public transportation.
Citilink board of directors, Fort Wayne Transportation Planning Committee
Red means stop; think of who you could hurt
Now that the holiday rush is over, I hope drivers will be cautious about their driving and follow the rules of the road. On many occasions during the past Christmas shopping rush, I have observed many cars not stopping for red lights. I believe all of us were taught at a young age that red means stop.
The last incident I witnessed was on Christmas Day at Broadway and Washington Boulevard. In the distance, I could see the light turning yellow and then red, and I stopped on Broadway at the intersection. The light was clearly red when a car passed me on the left and ran through the light. It was very fortunate that the traffic on Washington was not close to the intersection.
As I sat and waited for the light to turn green, I thought if there had been an accident how many lives and families would have been affected.
Drive responsibly always and allow enough time to get where you are going, or you may not reach your destination. Slow down and obey signals. Think of others you may harm because of your impatience or not paying attention to your driving.
I don't make a habit of giving money to panhandlers.
Recently, I was in Detroit. I stopped for a red light on an exit ramp and noticed a straggly-bearded guy holding a sign that read: “Veteran - Homeless - Broke & Ugly, please help.”
I don't know if he was a veteran, homeless or broke – but he had ugly flat-out nailed. I motioned him over and gave him five bucks for honesty and thanked him for his service.