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Archive for July 3rd, 2008

The mayor is always spouting about how green our city is.  There’s all sorts of little initiatives that they’ve done to make it green, and most seem to be construction related, or dealing with government buildings.

They neglect one of the biggest things that would make a city green.

Public transportation.

Because of school, I REALLY need to do some shopping tomorrow.   The busses? Not running. But then, the buses don’t run early enough for me to go to clinicals, don’t run late enough for people to go out after school, or work (realistically you’re in deep doo-doo after 4pm).  No one can take a bus to church unless they are a Seventh Day Adventist, since they don’t run on Sundays.  They give free rides to the pool but stop running before the pool closes!

Furthermore, the people who need the buses the most, the elderly, the disabled, and kids, are the ones who are getting slighted.  Sometimes the elderly and disabled can get the door to door service, if they pass the application process, but even that is limited, just like the regular service.

The only thing that has decent service is the trolley. The one set up for tourists. Longer hours, more days.

So I am proud of my city for trying to be green, but disappointed that this is one of many ways they neglect the really powerful ways of making an impact for so many.  Coupled with how their traffic lights are timed in dangerous and deadly ways to make it difficult to cross some streets, they’re catering to those driving in private cars.  They should be encouraging people to walk, take public transportation, or ride bikes.  They aren’t doing any of that, sadly.

Let’s hope Dubuque makes an honest commitment to being green, and beefs up its public transit. If they want to continue to draw business here, they’re going to need to understand that businesses care about their workers and need to know their workers can get around. Businesses that are coming from places with adequate public transportation will be disappointed in the wholely inadequate transit we have here.

Yes, I’d love a train to Chicago, which gets so much ink in the Telegraph Herald. That would be great! But maybe the paper should look into how we’re not truly green if we keep ignoring our public transit needs.  They say not enough people ride but who wants to ride if it takes an hour to get to the west end to shop, and then you have to wait up to an hour to go home when you are done?  Or if you know you can’t use it after work?

Mayor Buol? Reevaluate your green pledge.  Do something for the environment, the city, and those who don’t drive.  I know there is a lot of focus on the richer part of town, but I think improved bus service can improve the lives of people all over Dubuque.  Telling people ‘replace one ride a month’ is MEANINGLESS if you can’t back it up with adequate public transportation.

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