Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Noise Machine (03/16/10)

Stand up and be counted.......

BlogHouston notes a Mark Greenblatt (KHOU) report that suggests firing Metro CEO Frank Wilson could be costly due to a contractual golden parachute. (bH also makes mention of the lack of vetting Wilson underwent by the area's largest political blog and wonders "what if?")

In related news: Mayor Parker asks the current Metro board to back off. Don't do anything else to muck things up and let her seat the majority of the new board first. (Parker is taking care of the business that Mayor White should have during his time in office)

Back to Metro: The driver's union wants a study of the wham-bam intersection conducted. Apparently they disagree with Metro police that the problem lies in their understanding of safety. (The problem for the average Houstonian, ticketed almost immediately when they hit the train, is that they don't have a union backing them.)

David Crossley: "The University Line is the Key to Houston's Greatness." Funny, I thought Houston's pro-business climate and entrepreneurial attitude were the key to it's greatness? (Crossley needs to back away from the light-rail bong for just a minute and take a look around.)

Finally, Charles Kuffner brought this Metro Letter to the Editor to light and I thought it was interesting:
Rick Casey's Friday column (“Metro can't let rail jeopardize its buses,” Page B1) should have included more evidence on precisely how Metro is putting bus service first.

For the previous five fiscal years, Metro has spent $34 million improving the existing rail line on Main Street. During that same period, $518 million was spent improving bus service — a 15 times greater investment in bus service than rail service.

Improvements to bus service included: 365 new buses, part of a plan to purchase 100 new hybrid buses per year; four new Park and Ride lots and 3,150 new parking spaces; five new local routes; two new Signature bus routes; 200-plus new passenger shelters/stations; and adjusting running time to improve reliability on 50-plus routes.

Unlike the example of Los Angeles cited by Casey, no court needed to force Houston Metro to make these investments. Our bus fleet has been, and will continue to be, the backbone of Houston's transit system.

John Sedlak, executive vice president, Metro
An interesting case study would be to compare the level and volume of bus service pre-light rail to the level and volume of bus service POST-light rail. You know, for fun.

Cell phones for Narcissists. (Trust me, we don't really NEED to know where you are.)

What if a College Education isn't for everyone? I've been asking this same question for years now.

America's most serious urban thinker, Joel Kotkin, peers into the crystal ball to take a peek at America in 2050. Well worth a read.

Slampo on Mark Lanier. Somehow it makes sense.

*Yawn* Time Magazine on the Texas Gubernatorial race. "Bill White has a chance if he.....blah, blah, blah." Nothing new here. (Although they do continue the myth of White the smooth, disciplined campaigner -again forwarded by Dr. Richard Murray- something that's starting to feel more truthy than actual truth.)

That being said, White's got the opinion-makers at Politifact: Texas on his side. (Hint: What Adams said was not so much a lie, as unproven either way. There is circumstantial evidence both ways.) **Of course, if you're the type of person who relies on Politifarce for your truthiness then what can we say?** (Oh, and then there's this. I'm sure the folks at Politifact just missed it.) h/t: Perry vs. World.

And finally....

Kesha Rogers, Fighting Pete Olson, the Democratic Party and the Red Coats, although not necessarily in that order.

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