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5/3/2007

Columns > Mail Sack

MAIL SACK

 

Everyone’s a poet

Regarding “The Great Go-Goop War, Part III” [April 26]:

An incredible, but not indelible,

Waste of paper and ink,

Don’t you honestly think?

Some tacky alt gunk,

Pages and pages of JUNK

This prof managed to sell you on, here.

It left me in tears, for the boredom it rears

From any reader who searched for a point.

Though the drawings were neat,

They can hardly delete,

The drudgery of the text they revere.

So if again you are outraged

By political games

And want to be clever,

It perhaps would be far better

To handle it with sense and facts

Not pages and pages of rhyming morass

By a crotchety, dim-witted ass.

Jon Osterholm, Winter Park

Left Las Vegas

Your story on the LYNX system was informative and entertaining [“Take the keys,” April 19]. As a former short-term resident of Orlando who was forced to take the 15 Curry Ford Road-to-downtown line every day for my six-month stay, I can co-sign to your frustration with the central Florida public transportation system.

I guess my only word of caution to you folks up there is to be wary of who you contract to make improvements, and the logistics involved. I was a Las Vegas resident during the five-year approval and construction process of that city’s monorail, which proved to be similar to the Springfield monorail on The Simpsons. Hucksters came to town, put on a song and dance, greased the right palms and made the right friends, and a half-billion dollars later the people of Las Vegas were left with an inefficient, unstaffable rail system whose routes serviced no locals, all of which didn’t matter because the monolith that took years to construct, creating countless downtown traffic jams, never opened anyway. It proved to be the world’s most expensive paperweight.

Great story. And next time, if you catch the 28 going opposite the 30 on Colonial Drive it should take you right to the Weekly.

David Michael Quinones, Miami

Radiating bus nodes

I read with pleasure your article about going on a LYNX diet [“Take the keys,” April 19]. I lived for two years using LYNX as my primary transportation to and from work. I had moved back to Orlando after four years of living in San Francisco and traveling, during which time I had no car.

In San Francisco everyone rides the bus, from the homeless to the downtown legal corps. The bus system in San Francisco, as in most other bus-using cities, uses the grid system so that riders can get from any part of the city to any other by making a single transfer at the correct coordinate of the orthogonal grid.

The grid plan is an efficient system for riders when buses are frequent, but requires a high ridership to maintain its economic viability. Orlando, however, uses the star plan with its main downtown station and several satellite stations with infrequent bus service. Getting from any point to any other point can take several transfers and long hours, as you know.

Among large cities using the star plan, London comes to mind, with its constellations of radiating bus nodes with high-volume bus traffic. When I was shopping for my house I restricted my search to areas convenient to frequent bus routes, near a station location of the then-proposed light rail, a short walk to amenities and at least one sushi bar. I guess that’s a rather extreme example of planning to live car-free.

Alas, light rail never happened, the sushi bar closed, I bought a truck when I started building an addition to the house and my office moved, so LYNX was no longer a viable option for me. I have a tiny house with a micro yard in a noisy part of town, but I still think I chose wisely: In case of expensive gas, socioeconomic turmoil or flat tires, I have a viable alternative.

Gordon Spears, Orlando

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