Thursday, November 27, 2008

my letter to the President elect

We live in rural Missouri. Any alternative form of transportation besides a gas guzzling car is impossible. Roads are narrow and won't safely accommodate bikes or scooters. Many people would use their bikes or purchase scooters for a large percentage of their transportation needs if the roads were safer.

An infrastructure upgrade of wider roads with room for slower bikes and scooters could alter our energy needs at a rudimentary level. This could be accomplished in stages starting with heaviest used roads and infiltrate into the core of rural America. Accomplishing this would be a massive undertaking of men and machines that could not be outsourced to other countries. In contrast to technological infrastructure upgrades, the training necessary to accomplish this goal is nominal. Although, the widening could be coupled with broadband transmission lines and meet multiple goals.

I see this as an advancement toward the concept of roads in Europe where bicycles are the norm. It likely would be embraced by most of the population for the plethora of benefits that accompany this infrastructure upgrade. The roads would be generally safer for cars and standard vehicles. Farm equipment could have room to move freely from location to location without traffic congestion. Mostly, kids would be safer on our roads riding their bikes while learning to be energy conscious Americans.

Karl O'Melay

we'll see if this goes anywhere....

any comments and critiques are welcome.


mamabug said...

I think that your idea is a great one... that all parts of the country could benefit from...

I joined that site and my recommendations were a massive work project to build wind and solar energy farms throughout this country (in the appropriate places of course).

I also think that the government should get the car companies to become one enterprise - taking their best models (3 each?) forward and really investing in developing alternatively powered vehicles... Europe already has GTL and CNG and electric vehicles... why don't we? But any bailout/loan should come with severe restrictions in executive pay levels, bonuses and do away with corporate jets. There's just something really wrong with execs getting ANY kind of bonus when their company is laying off workers and defaulting on bills and benefits... no matter what the media reports or republican politicians claim, average workers are NOT making $75 an hour in the auto industry. They've lost half of their wages and benefits in the past 20yrs.

It's hard not to be outraged at some of the things you hear on the news about bailouts. It's like Bush is trying to completely gut this country before he leaves. January 20th cannot come too soon, imo.

Shannon and Alex said...

Handwriting without Tears' website actually has a thing going on that children can write a letter to the President-elect, which will be hand-delivered Jan. 23. It's called "Mail to the Chief." My homeschooler plans to do it. You can see (I think that's it)

Robbyn said...

I agree. A man here in florida responded to the transportation dilemma by hitching a wagon to his horse, and was of course ticketed for driving on the busy roadway. I ask you, is it ever ok to not be able to ride a horse cart down the road? Seemed way off to me...

Kevin and Beth said...

In my home town of Kent in Ohio there is a law that states that any new road has to be built with a bicycle lane. Maybe because it is a college town, not sure.

We travel to Amish country quite a bit and I think it's so unfair that they don't have special lanes to ensure the safety of the buggys.

Everyone should have the right to use roads at whatever speed they choose and not have to worry about their safety.

Wendy said...

I lived in Germany for more than a year without a car and had to walk four miles, one way, to do my shopping at the PX. They had lovely "roads" just for pedestrians and bicycles. I never had to be near traffic.

I know that President Elect Obama plans to do some work on roads and bridges, but like you, I hope his plan includes adding bike trails and walking paths. It just seems such a better use of our resources to make transportation with some means other than cars more hospitable to a greater part of the population - specifically, those of us who don't live in a major city and often drive along narrow, windy roads.

Ron said...

We were at a nearby park in the Mark Twain National Forest a few days ago. There sure are some beautiful buildings still standing from the WPA.

It would be mighty nice to direct expenditures towards something substantial that will improve people's quality of life over the years. If they do spend it on roads, I hope they use porous surfacing.


karl said...

donna, re-alternative energy, i believe that disseminated power it the true answer. government guaranty alternative energy loans to everyone. an infrastructure model is already in place in california. fannygreen could make loans on approved installed alternative energy solutions. i blogged about this somewhere...

shannon & alex, what a great idea.

robbyn, that is crazy, how foolish we have become?

beth, the cost for something of this magnitude would be unbelievable but it could be part of an ongoing effort for many years to come. i lived for over ten years of my adult life without a petrol powered vehicle.

wendy, i also lived in europe for a year and half--germany and england. public transportation has an entirely different meaning there. europe having nearly depleted all of their natural resources by wwII gave them an enlightened perspective where they needed to take their transportation solution.

ron, yeah the roads can stay asphalt and the extended berm could be chip-&-seal. although, roller skates and strollers with small wheels might benefit from cement or the like? my idea isn't a fully actualized plan yet. maybe obama will put me on staff and i'll work out all the details then;?)

Ace said...

Ah, couldn't you just ride a horse? Seriously, wouldn't that be really "green" and you wouldn't have to upgrade the roads?

Many Blessings :)
Asking a question here, I am city but very interested in being country :)

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