Friday, October 5, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 32



Support public transportation: Vote

Mary Carradine

Not a day goes by that I don't curse Houston's city planning. Look at our skyline. Enchanting, right? Look closer next time and you'll see a
healthy coat of brownish air draped across the blue skies. The city's smog is practically our trademark, thanks to the meticulous decisions
made thus far by our leaders. But on Nov. 6, we get to make the decision.

A complaining party has managed to put the city's light rail initiative on the November ballot.

Oh, to have light rail in Houston ... To not have to pay eight dollars to park in a dark parking lot in downtown Houston should be reason
enough for you to get out and vote for this initiative. You could ride the rails to Enron Field, or to a Texans game. If you suddenly lacerate your
pinky toe, you can go to the medical district on the light rail. You don't even have to park illegally anymore --light rail will take care of you.
Merely step onto Houston's new prime form of city transportation, and watch the suckers sit in traffic as you cruise to your downtown
destination in style.

Who could oppose such an obviously beneficial measure? Plenty of people. If you commute to downtown right now, you've probably noticed
that Main Street looks like war-ridden Jerusalem. More recently, troubled drivers can even be re-routed in such a way that they can test out
the Texaco Grand Prix's downtown course (ask me about my Saturday night driving extravaganza through downtown).

Club-hopping weekend warriors even get to ruin their favorite pair of shoes while walking through the muddy construction zones. Nothing is
more attractive than losing your footing and eating the pavement outside your hipster club of choice.

Opposition might be present on Nov. 6. Nevertheless, we must forge ahead as a force of environmentally minded and progressive citizens.
There is no way that Houston can be taken seriously as a metropolitan nucleus without some kind of accessible public transportation (no, the
Metro doesn't count). We can toss our 2012 Olympic hopes out the windows of our gas-guzzling vehicles if this initiative doesn't go through.

Downtown traffic is hell right now. The roads have been gutted. But voting against light rail won't magically seal them back up again. We'll
only be wasting money and time already spent.

It is illogical to turn away now. The air engulfing our city will always be stained brown if we don't make inroads on obtaining light rail.

Carradine, a senior computer engineering 
technology major, can be reached at

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