To the editor:
I read with great concern the debates over maintaining mass transportation in Lawrence. In my opinion, eliminating the T would be a grave mistake and ultimately harm our great city and our aging population.
All great large and small cities need good, clean, safe mass transportation. Its growth and vitality is maintained and strengthened by efficient movement of large numbers of people. Our downtown would suffer declining numbers of shoppers from outlying areas. The rising cost of fuel will deter individual shopping downtown.
Industrial growth will be slowed because industrialists looking to relocate evaluate the total city value, and transportation is part of that value. The executives of these new potential businesses may be looking for future retirement areas or a place for their parents or grandparents. Public transportation is a vital part of their consideration.
Finally, the city leaders should look at this positively and provide solutions that add to the cleanliness of the environment and work with the Kansas University chemistry and engineering departments to develop alternate fuel and clean emissions people-movers. A hydrogen-fueled community would be one possibility, and this problem offers great opportunity for the two entities - city and university - to provide the solution.
The development of Midwestern, clean-fueled busing, as is happening in Los Angeles, would draw great attention to our fair city and continue to attract great teaching minds and students from afar - by showing how our dilemma made us react and act in a super-positive way. What an opportunity!
Dr. Bill Campbell,