Thursday, December 11, 2008

Metro Public Works "Unresponsive" to BHN, Durbin

In a letter published on the District 17 email list, Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors President Tracy Patterson writes that the neighborhood association has been trying to persuade Metro Public Works for over a year and a half to employ a traffic management program to slow down speeders, enhance pedestrian safety, and guard the bike lanes on Belmont Boulevard, but MPW has been unresponsive. In May 2007 BHN applied with Public Works for traffic calming, but the only changes MPW seems to have made were areas around Belmont University for the sake of its October presidential debate. Public Works seems even to be ignoring requests from the neighborhood's CM, Keith Durbin.

According to member feedback, Christ the King Catholic School parents seems to be contributing to the problem as they motor into the neighborhood, drop off their plaid-clad kiddies and then speed through the neighborhood in their exit. Another example of how car-oriented churches and parochial schools get away with acting like occupying forces rather than Christ-like good neighbors?

1 comment:

  1. Ah, car-oriented lifestyles. Is there anything quite as dehumanizing?

    "Commuting makes people unhappy, or so many studies have shown. Recently, the Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and the economist Alan Krueger asked nine hundred working women in Texas to rate their daily activities, according to how much they enjoyed them. Commuting came in last. (Sex came in first.) The source of the unhappiness is not so much the commute itself as what it deprives you of. When you are commuting by car, you are not hanging out with the kids, sleeping with your spouse (or anyone else), playing soccer, watching soccer, coaching soccer, arguing about politics, praying in a church, or drinking in a bar. In short, you are not spending time with other people. The two hours or more of leisure time granted by the introduction, in the early twentieth century, of the eight-hour workday are now passed in solitude. You have cup holders for company.

    “I was shocked to find how robust a predictor of social isolation commuting is,” Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist, told me. (Putnam wrote the best-seller “Bowling Alone,” about the disintegration of American civic life.) “There’s a simple rule of thumb: Every ten minutes of commuting results in ten per cent fewer social connections. Commuting is connected to social isolation, which causes unhappiness.”"

    The full article is in the New Yorker: Annals of Transport