Friday, August 23, 2013

Humorist on DART

If you don't know or have heard of Gordon Kieth, You are in a decreasingly smaller pool. He started out at Sportsradio 13010 The Ticket, a station I used to work for back in the day. Keith was known as a humorist. He didn't talk or know much sports, but was up to date on current events. Despite his occasional annoying, confrontational style, he was a likable guy as well. He has been at the station since the beginning, 1994.He has the ability (but doesn't always do it) to have a deep discussion with a side of laughter. In the last few years, he has been increasingly on TV and in print, branching out.

Why do I bring this up on a planning-related blog? Well he commented on DART on the page.

While it isn't meant for an academic discussion, I bring it up for several reasons. One, it does come from a common man perspective. When he says:

The buses and trains don’t run frequently enough, far enough, quickly enough, or close enough. DART can’t correct those problems until enough people ride it. And enough people won’t ride it until DART corrects those problems.

it has the depth that shows there is more to it than he can get to in the column.

There is only one thing I take excpetion to and that is:

There’s also a psychological reason beyond the practicality. Cars are our independence. They’re our bubbles. They give us a justifiable aloneness in a day filled with the needs of other people. They get us door to door and leave when we want to. Texans are rugged individualists. We like our horses hitched outside and ready to ride at a moment’s notice. Life on another man’s schedule doesn’t sound much like freedom, and nobody likes to share a horse. So we settle into our commuting routines.

If you read my blog enough, you will know why. If you don't, let me explain. People, regardless of race, culture or status, will do what is convenient. Here, we have made only one thing convenient. It has nothing to do with independence. Are you really independent if you have to rely on something, in this case a vehicle? Yes, they may provide you with isolation, unless you consider there are three million other cars in our region a driver has to share the road with in their solitude.

So, I hope you take it for what it is worth and read it.

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