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Dangling promises'


December 3rd, 2009

With all due respect to the honorable mayor, he needs to get better writers to help him with his letters: These sweeping, Obama-esque proclamations of unity and togetherness are empty and tired. U...

With all due respect to the honorable mayor, he needs to get better writers to help him with his letters: These sweeping, Obama-esque proclamations of unity and togetherness are empty and tired.

Unbeknownst to you, Mayor Mick Cornett, some of us are fans of the early seasons of "The Simpsons" and remember "Marge vs. the Monorail." Are your reprising Phil Hartman's Lyle Lanley, dangling promises of breathtaking places and shiny new toys in front of the citizens like a carrot, just so we can find they were overpromised and under-delivered? What you're really trying to do is apologize to the citizens for the city's bad financial decisions over the past few years while at the same time handing them the bill and some new loans to go along with it.

There are plenty of reasons Oklahoma City has weathered much of the current financial storm to this point, and the fact that Dell and Devon liked their MAPS perks isn't one of them.

 From a transportation standpoint, there is no traffic problem in OKC anyway. Even if you would stretch logic beyond reason to say that there is, the real traffic problem is the same for all major cities as it is here: The roads are free, figuratively speaking.

Whether you take a major street or some other street at any time of day, whether your family and friends all ride in one car or they all drive their own cars, the cost is the same (turnpikes excepted). If no one needs to be smarter about how they commute, why should they? Trolleys and light rail won't solve this problem, either.

The funny fact behind public support for these modes of transportation in other cities is that the majority of the supporters don't even use them; they simply want others to pay to ride those slow, obstructive baubles so they will have less traffic on the "free" roads to deal with while they drive.

To put a twist on an old computer programmer's quote, "When confronted with a traffic problem, some cities think 'I know, I'll put in a trolley or a light rail.' Now they have two problems."

Imagine instead a toll perimeter to collect tolls for driving through certain areas of the city at certain times when our "tourist and convention industries" need to have priority on transportation in those areas (charging even more for parking wouldn't hurt, either). You think that might not solve a traffic problem or two? People will be smarter about when and how they visit those areas and our visiting cash cows will be less encumbered while they fill up your tax coffers for your next project of no return.

Without MAPS, we can do plenty.

"Scott A. Eden, Oklahoma City

 
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