, , ,


Location: 40 dgrs. 48' 26.34" N, 96 dgrs. 40' 05.96" W, United States

Liberal bicycle commuter, political junkie, policy junkie, free thinker, I've got too many titles. All in all I'll leave it with a quote from the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minn. "Politics is not about big money and power games, it's about the improvment of peoples lives."


February 18, 2006

My Open Letter

Here is my open letter that I mentioned that I'd post today. Obviously it has not been perfected yet and it still needs a bit of refining but you get the gist of it. Little tid bits have been deleted due to privacy. As I said before this is not only going to the Mayor (who is ineffective at best) but to a couple key players in the city.

February 17

Mayor Coleen Seng
555 South 10th Street
Lincoln Nebraska

Dear Mayor,

I would like to convey to you an extremely disturbing scene my wife and I witnessed on February 16 2006 around 7:30 AM. My wife was driving me to work at ********** (I always ride my bike but I was running rather late) when we passed the intersection of 2nd and West O St. On the South West corner of that intersection is a bus stop with a bus stop “shelter.” This particular “shelter” was jam packed with people waiting for the bus, what was disturbing was the fact that there were no less than 10 people outside the shelter waiting as well. Then to top it off, and to our complete and utter dismay one of the individuals standing outside the shelter was what I estimated to be a little girl around the age of 10. Why do I use words like “disturbing” and “utter dismay”, because the temperature that morning could not have been above 10 degrees and the wind was blowing with great force out of the North (I even commented before I saw this scene that the huge flag on the pole across the street was pointed straight South without a ripple in it.) My wife was going to stop and jam as many of these people into her car that she could on the way home but the bus at that point was in the process of picking them up.

The scene that my wife and I observed we find wildly disgusting. To be quit honest with you I’m rather distressed 3 days after the fact. I can not imagine that Star Tran does not have records of rider volume at all or certain bus stops. My wife and I are not unintelligent people. We realize that because of this bus stop’s location there may not be a very big incentive to accommodate freezing people. This particular bus stop is used by the disenfranchised working poor and many victims of circumstance that reside at the shelter just to the North. Often times these people are the most vulnerable citizens of any given city. Obviously most if not all of these people who are forced to endure the elements are not automobile owners. As a result, we as a city and a transportation provider have a responsibility to ensure that these people have a safe and comfortable means of transportation throughout Lincoln (including bus stop shelters that are in good repair and large enough to accommodate the average amount of people generally picked up at a particular location.)

My wife and I have traveled the country and observed many cities large and small in regard to their public transportation. Lincoln being the rather small city that it is I would say has bus shelters that resemble big city shelters that are quit frankly junk. Many cities that are in a climate not even close to severe as ours have heaters in their shelters. If memory serves me correct, we may have some shelters that indeed do have heaters but not all and surly not shelters such as the one mentioned above. Again, I may be incorrect about heaters in Lincoln bus “shelters” I’m just not positive.

At this point we want to see the mentioned bus shelter immediately expanded, sealed and verified that it is in safe repair. I ride my bike past this location every day of the week either going to work or returning home and I will without fail observe this location to monitor the progress of an improved shelter in a timely manner. I again without fail will follow up on this issue if I feel that it is being “tabled.”

In closing, I’m sure that you realize what a critical situation this is. We absolutely understand that you can’t know about everything that is going on in Lincoln at any particular time that is why you have people like my wife and I who are able to inform you of items that need action. ********* and I would like from you a plan of action on the above mentioned situation, what improvements of the shelter are going to be made, a time line and a course of action on other shelters that may see high volume but lack the adequate space to shelter people waiting for the bus from the severe weather that Lincoln sees.


Mike and ***************

Comments on "My Open Letter"


Blogger Filemore said ... (2/19/2006 8:15 PM) : 

Good work Mike! That is the approach we are going to have to use to get this city thinking about the people that can't cars to get around.

Let me know if i can help in any way. I like writing letters and passing out flyers. It's a good time.

We talked about how cool Portland was in the dept. of transit and culture. Why not make it a model for Lincoln. We have a lot of people that are ready for change, but don't really know the steps to make change. Easily they just move away and overpopulate the "cool" places and leave the home place behind. When all you gotta do, is step up and be a part of the change.


Blogger Filemore said ... (2/19/2006 8:15 PM) : 

use a car to get around? sorry.


post a comment
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com