News Wrapup, August 1997 August 30th, 1997
- â€œPhoenix in Overdrive. Without viable mass transit options, commuters must travel thousands of miles each day by carâ€¦ Meanwhile, Phoenicians are still waiting for the bus.â€ Phoenix Magazine, August 1997, page 32.
- â€œTransit planâ€™s effect on smog is unclearâ€ By Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 31, 1997 QUOTE: â€œThe Keep Phoenix Moving campaign says the expanded bus service promised by Proposition 1 would prevent 16 tons of pollutants a day from being spewed into the air.â€
- â€œ2 Goldwaters question institute positionâ€ Keven Willey, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 31, 1997, page B2. QUOTES. [from Donald Goldwater, nephew of former Sen. Barry]: â€œAs a board member of the Goldwater Institute, I found it interesting that the Institute came out against the issue [transit] without first giving the board the opportunity to voteâ€¦â€ [from Michael, son of Barry]: â€œIn our family, being â€˜conservativeâ€™ has never meant being complacent, stodgy or always satisfied with the status quoâ€¦ I urge everyone to join me in voting â€˜yesâ€™ on Proposition One.â€
- â€œWe need real transit solutionsâ€ by Paul Schatt, Editor of the Editorial Pages, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 31, 1997, page H1. QUOTES: â€œgrowth will occur regardless of whether we plan for it.â€ â€œSome of the opponents of transit have gone to great lengths to make their case. One group trotted in a libertarian expert, who made a strong case that rail transit is a big loser and that the best way to provide public transit is with buses. This was used, with a straight face, to justify opposition to the proposal [for more buses]â€¦â€
- â€œMore buses wonâ€™t make Phoenix transit a good productâ€ Guest Column by Jeffry Flake and Robert Franciosi, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 31, 1997, page H4. Authors reiterate their position against transit.
- â€œTransit Taxes: Itâ€™s about mobility, tooâ€ Editorial, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 31, 1997, page H4. QUOTE: [regarding $2 million in federal block grant money for work-related welfare reform trasnportation assistance] â€œâ€¦as one of the architects of welfare reform, Rep. Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale, said at a recent news conference held by transit-tax supporters, â€˜I ask you, where will they take those [transportation] vouchers if we donâ€™t have a good transportation system?â€
- â€œPerspective on mass transit: Light rail goes Westâ€ by Neal Pierce, Washington Post Writers Group, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 31, 1997, page H5. QUOTE: â€œDallasâ€™ 14-month-old, 20-mile light-rail starter system, born out of years of often acrimonious debate, is looking like a winner. Two intersecting lines, providing alternatives to Big Dâ€™s gruesome traffic jams, are attracting close to 30,000 riders a day, many of whom tell pollsters they never rode mass transit before.â€ Photo with caption, â€œDallasâ€™ new 20-mile light-rail system is attracting about 30,000 riders a day, and interest from satellite cities and developers.â€
- â€œCity [Tempe] is waiting to see if neighbors pass transit taxesâ€ The Arizona Republic, Aug. 31, 1997, page EV 5.
- â€œMinisters endorse taxes for transitâ€ By Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 30, 1997
- Letters, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 30, 1997, page B7:
- â€œHalf cent a small price to pay for transit benefitsâ€ by Sara Taber Bahr, Phoenix Transit rider. QUOTES: â€œDo people really believe that if we make riding the bus more convenient, ridership wonâ€™t increase?â€ â€œHalf a cent is a small price to pay for something that will benefit so many.â€
- â€œGiving drivers a choiceâ€ by Brent D. Yonkovich. QUOTE: â€œNow, when they [Los Angeles] realize freeways are not the answer to the horrendous traffic problem, they have implemented mass transit. The answer for the congestion and pollution problem, and for the Valley not becoming another LA, is the development of a comprehensive mass transit system.â€
- â€œBenefiting special interestsâ€ by Everett Sisson. QUOTE: â€œWe are told that some car dealers and elements of the hospitality and commercial development industries want Proposition 1 passed. Obviously, they have narrow special interests that are, in this case, not consistent with the interests of our citizenry who are fighting desperately to maintain the image of Scottsdale as the truly world-class town it started to beâ€¦â€
- â€œPhoenix needs more busesâ€ by Edna and William Fleishman. QUOTE: â€œLast winter we rode buses all over the Valleyâ€¦ we must tell you that there is a great need for more buses. We found them overflowing much of the timeâ€¦â€
- â€œMesa floating tax proposal for transit, arts recreation, policeâ€ By Chris Moeser, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 28, 1997
- â€œTransit proposals go hand in handâ€, By Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 27, 1997. Abstract: Theyâ€™re the bread and butter of the Sept. 9 Phoenix election. Proposition 1 needs Proposition 2, and vice versa, or both are meaningless, city officials say.
- â€œEPA downgrades Phoenixâ€™s ozone rating to â€™seriousâ€™â€ By Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 26, 1997. Abstract: The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Monday demoted the Valley to â€œseriousâ€ for its ozone pollution, completing trio of such dismal ratings for the Phoenix area.
- â€œâ€˜Yesâ€™ and â€˜noâ€™ factions duel in transit debateâ€ By Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 26, 1997. Abstract: Lawmakers staged dueling press conferences Monday to urge â€œyesâ€ and â€œnoâ€ votes on the upcoming Phoenix and Scottsdale transit elections.
- â€œTransit backers look forward to planned left-turn arrowsâ€ by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, 24 August 1997.
- â€œTransit foes need to acknowledge transportation woesâ€ Letter by Kenneth W. Collins, The Arizona Republic, 24 August 1997, page H4. QUOTE: â€œLike it or not, we need good public transportation in this Valley.â€
- â€œIndirect benefits of transit,â€ Arizona Republic Editorial, Aug. 22,1997
- â€œTransit important city-livability ingredientâ€ by Neil Giuliano, Mayor of Tempe, Business Journal of Phoenix, August 18, 1997
- â€œ`Realâ€™ mass-transit plan deserves `yesâ€™â€, by Bob Dunn, Editor; Business Journal of Phoenix, August 18, 1997
- â€œTucson-Phoenix bullet train study is on the fast track,â€ Tucson Citizen, by Paul Allen, August 18, 1997.
- â€œTransit tax is ticket to light rail, opponents sayâ€ By Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, 17 August 1997, page A1. QUOTE: â€œA train could be in Phoenixâ€™s future. Itâ€™s not really that far off â€” five to 20 years, depending on whoâ€™s speaking, and it must be preceded by a beefed-up bus system, more density in the cityâ€™s core, and a finding that rail would cut air pollution and traffic congestion.â€
- â€œDonâ€™t Stop Those Trainsâ€ by Thomas Downs, AMTRAK President and CEO, Washington Post, 17 August 1997
- â€œTax it and they will come: Cities bank on transit planâ€ Mesa Tribune, 17 August 1997, page A4.
- â€œDiCiccio denounces transit tax; Will break with colleagues on City Council, vote â€˜noâ€™â€ by Mary Jo Pitzl and Chris Fiscus, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 16, 1997
- â€œStealth campaign for transit hides truth from voters,â€ By John Kolbe, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 15,1997
- â€œAhwatukee poised for bus service: Transit, tax issues are weighedâ€ by Bob Petrie, The Arizona Republic, 13 August,1997, page EV 7. QUOTE: â€œâ€˜People will ride the bus because itâ€™ll be accessible and dependable,â€™ said Valerie Manning, president of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerceâ€
- â€œWhy mass transit fails: Americans keep their cars for a simple reason – they want toâ€ by Jeff Jacoby [Boston Globe columnist], Mesa Tribune, 11 August, 1997, page A13. In spite of having a subway stop just around the corner from his residence, Mr. Jacoby would rather drive. He contends that â€œbuses and subwaysâ€¦ keep getting emptierâ€ in spite of last yearâ€™s commuter rail ridership figures which are the highest ever.
- â€œRegional transit called critical to Valleyâ€ by Jay Tibshraeny, mayor of Chandler, The Arizona Republic, 8 August,1997
- â€œHead of foundation backs more highwaysâ€ By Kathleen Ingley, The Arizona Republic, 7 August,1997. Robert Poole, founder of the Reason Foundation, says that building more highways will solve our transportation problems. QUOTES: â€œBob Grossfeld, a supporter of the Phoenix tax, called Poole the â€˜godfather of tollroads.â€™ â€¦He said Poole presents too much of an â€˜either/orâ€™ scenario, when itâ€™s possible both to build freeways and to boost transit. â€˜We need to expand the level of choices,â€ said Grossfeld, who is spokesman for Keep Phoenix Moving.â€
- â€œDoes the bus run half-empty or does it run half-full?â€ By Mary Jo Pitzl and Alexa Haussler, The Arizona Republic, 5 August 1997, page A1. Some routes run very full during rush hour, but others lack such high levels of ridership.
- â€œDonâ€™t be a contributor to the transit problem, be part of the solutionâ€ by Don Purfeerst, The Arizona Republic, 5 August, 1997. QUOTE: â€œThe Valley absorbs 50,000 new residents a year. Make allowances for them. Donâ€™t be part of the problem; be part of the solutionâ€¦ Itâ€™s time to bring [our rail system] back.â€
- â€œBuses packed at rush hourâ€ Letter, Dave Muller, The Arizona Republic, 4 August 1997, page B4. QUOTE: â€œBefore any of you write about empty buses, please try riding them at rush hour first.â€
- â€œPoll: Transit favored 3-1: But big leads have evaporated in the pastâ€ by Mary Jo Pitzl and Alexa Haussler, The Arizona Republic, 3 August 1997, page A1. QUOTE: â€œâ€¦voters in Phoenix and Scottsdale favor a half-cent transit tax, fueled by a preference for left-turn arrows, clean-burning buses and Dial-A-Ride.â€
- â€œTransit system foe is at it againâ€ Letter by Rob Andresen, The Arizona Republic, 2 August 1997. QUOTE: Mr. Semmens â€œcompletely ignores the basic issue behind funding for transit services in the Valley: We donâ€™t want to become Los Angeles. â€¦Semmensâ€™ rhetoric serves no real purposeâ€¦â€
- Also, same link, letter by Brent D. Yonkovich. QUOTE: [Dear] â€œMr. Semmens: It must be nice being clairvoyant so you know you will never need a mass transit systemâ€¦â€
- â€œVote â€˜yesâ€™ on transitâ€ Letter, Arthur W. DeCabooter, President, Scottsdale Community College; The Arizona Republic, 1 August 1997, page B4. QUOTE: â€œâ€¦very few of our students are able to take advantage of these interests because the cityâ€™s transportation system is so bad â€¦the thousands of cars that pour into Scottsdale Community College each day are the reason Pima and Chaparral is one of the most congested and dangerous intersections in Scottsdale.â€
Notes from Dallas Regional Convention August 11th, 1997
A few Notes from the Dallas Regional Convention of Passenger Train Advocates, held 26 July 1997 at Dallas Union Station.
From Celia Boswell, mayor of Mineola, Texas…
“In gathering support for the Texas Eagle, we formed a new concept: a coalition not of a party or of a financial interest, but whose members were only interested in rail passenger transportation. This was something entirely new.”For rail passenger transportation to succeed, we need grass-roots support. People need information; many train riders don’t know about passenger advocacy. Get the people to support a common cause.
“Amtrak has been going out of business since the day it started.”
“We need dependable, affordable, rail transportation, nationwide.”
“Put the trains where the people are and take them where the people want to go.”
“Politics is the art of the POSSIBLE.”
- John Weeks’ report on the Arkansas ARP site