Letters to the Editor


September 26, 2008


To the editor:

Around here, folks tend to think that everyone drives. Well, they don't. Young teenagers don't drive, blind people don't drive, old folks whose reflexes have slowed don't drive, people with seizures don't drive, people on certain medications shouldn't drive. And between gas prices and the economy, more and more people can't afford to drive. Lots of folks are just a job loss away from not driving, and we're all just a physical injury away from not driving.

I grew up in New York City and used public transit heavily in high school and college. Just this summer, I visited for a week and went everywhere on public transit. It was great. Public transit not only gets people where they want to go, it brings them together across all kinds of social boundaries.

If we really support our public transit, people will use it: young people, old people, rich people, poor people. And for the many people in our community who don't drive, public transit is essential to their dignity and freedom.

So please vote yes on question 2 (to keep what we have going) and question 3 (to move toward the improved system we need).

Judy Roitman,


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

Yes, autie, the irony of ese's lament is that the very purpose of the "T" is to allow people the ability to take care of themselves-- like the blind guy in the cadillac.

sjschlag 9 years ago

Voting "no" on this issue will not get us a new bus system. It will not bring about a change in the system. The city has stated that a no vote on november 4th equals no transit. Period. As for why our system hasn't changed or evolved with demand- in order to better service in one part of town you would have to have more money from taxes, or cut service to one part of town. The PTAC tried cutting routes to expand service on more popular routes, but enough people showed up to complain about it that they didn't go through with the plan. If you want to change the bus system, mobilize. Go to the PTAC meetings. Make sure there are more people there who want to see the bus system serve people who need it better than people who want the status quo.

Frank Hays 9 years ago

Lawrence is not big enough for a fixed-route transit? How come St. Joseph, Missouri (smaller population) without a major university, has one that works fine? While Columbia, MO is a bit larger than Lawrence (approx. 10,000 pop. more) it has a fixed route transit system as well. Why not Lawrence?

frazzled 9 years ago

I agree with b3. Why should I have to pay an extra quarter for every $100 I spend just to help some blind dude on welfare get to his doctor's appointment? Why can't he just drive his Cadillac?

Confrontation 9 years ago

"old folks whose reflexes have slowed don't drive"Boy, I sure wish that were true!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

"The T is one of the biggest financial drains on the City budget."You can hate the "T" for whatever antisocial tendencies you drag around with you, but it's just not a significant financial drain on the city, even if both tax proposals pass.

LeslieJeanne 9 years ago

The T is a public service, it does not structure its routes to serve the needs of any one individual. What is needed here is a little more patience in not getting what you want when you want it. People need to learn about how to ride a bus, things like what the cord is for, you can't get on and off when the mood strikes, that is what the bus stops are for, things like that.All of you people out there who ride the T and love it had best speak up now. Write a comment. Write often.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

"Sorry, I can't afford the additional taxes to help those who have made poor life choices or don't have a support network. Voting no here."Is there anyone you don't hate, b3 (aside from Bush?)

LeslieJeanne 9 years ago

Lawrence is getting to be a big place and it is impossible to get around without some kind of transportation. I am hardly going to walk from 11th street out to Wal-Mart to shop and then carry everything back. This issue is beginning to be divided between those who have cars and those who don't. Don't tell me to use the senior bus because they charge a minimun of $2.00 each way and the fare on the T for those over 62 is .50. Can any of you do the math and figure out the difference? A taxi would be $9.00 for a one way trip. Can't do it, sorry. A lot of people, young and old, seriously need this bus service. Everyones taxes are put into a pot and then given out as the people who make out the budget deem fit.Please, do the decent, caring thing and vote to keep the T. You may need it.

Sheila Hooper White 9 years ago

I would love to be able to use the system, if it worked. I live in the southeast part of town, very close to the "T" garage. I could walk to Walmart, Target, Aldi, etc. faster than taking the bus. The schedules just don't seem right. I'm tired of taxes, taxes, taxes. I do realize some people can use it but some people can't. It's just not feasible for everyone. Vote no.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years ago

notajayhawk: "You're seriously comparing Lawrence to NYC?",;-)Funny you should ask.Back in the day, I recall an anecdotal "statistic" being bantered about... "Lawrence has more culture per capita than New York City."May we not also compete in the arena of public transit?

Chris Ogle 9 years ago

I support public transportation, but NOT the "T". Lawrence is just not big enough for fixed-route transit.

oldvet 9 years ago

He doesn't hate everyone, bozo, he just hates you!!!

Deja Coffin 9 years ago

I walk everywhere I need to go in town. I walk to the grocery store, the bank, the library, the school, my church, etc. Then again I don't live in Lawrence but in a small town whose square mileage is probably one mile. So I guess I really don't get to put my two cents in on this article. Happy voting to all of you!!!

b_asinbeer 9 years ago

"Anonymous userb3 (Anonymous) says:Sorry, I can't afford the additional taxes to help those who have made poor life choices or don't have a support network. Voting no here."Wow....talk about being bitter.

dipweed 9 years ago

Don't agree with b3 on everything, but agree with him on this. The T is one of the biggest financial drains on the City budget.

pomegranate 9 years ago

Now, just why couldn't a blind man drive a cadillac. In case you have never noticed there is braille on the little push buttons at the drive-up ATM's. They must expect that blind people drive.

Trobs 9 years ago

When the city can come up with a working system, I will support it. Too often do I see empty buses in the middle of the day. If the city is racking up debt, running the T can not be helping.

justforfun 9 years ago

""If we really support our public transit, people will use it: young people, old people, rich people, poor people" I only see one group of people in this group that can help support the T!!!DOWN WITH THE T

David Omar 9 years ago

Two bus systems don't make sense to me either and I think to combine them would be the best solution because I believe we need the T. I hate to say that because of the drain on the city budget, but we need to allow those who need it to ride to work. So, someone on the City Council should propose a meeting with the KU System and work it out. I have ridden the T by the way and if you don't sit in the middle, you can ride the roller coaster.

average 9 years ago

Xeniahawk -I wouldn't be surprised if towns like St. Joe and Columbia actually experimented and changed routes to capture more riders. The "T" has been unable to change one iota from its broken system of "all the buses go downtown (which is actually near the edge of the city), but they don't all meet at the same time" model.Also, because the "T" is separate from the KU system, and serves KU poorly (every 80 minutes), that reduces the effective population of the bus system to a town of 50-60 thousand (non-KU Lawrence). Salina sized. Places like Columbia and Ames have much stronger bus systems, because they are integrated and even focused on their college campuses (with lots of car-free people and limited parking).

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years ago

New York City vs. Lawrence, KSThis is why Ms. Roitman's argument fails. Vote NO.

notajayhawk 9 years ago

You're seriously comparing Lawrence to NYC?I use the buses and subway when in NYC, too. They have a system that works. Of course, with a daytime population of 20 million or so packed into that size of an area, you can support a system that works.Lawrence can't.

Sheila Hooper White 9 years ago

Sorry, Judy, but I will be voting "no". The system just doesn't work here. I would love to use the bus, but it takes me 2 hours to get across town. Ok maybe not 2, but it does take much longer than if I drive. Most families can't wait that long for a ride.

acg 9 years ago

Wow there are a lot of hateful snots on this morning, aside from b3, who we all know is a piece of garbage. I only hope that those of you who think that poor people should all be rounded up and removed from our society go flat ass broke. I honestly wish for that when I see a hateful comment like this one: frazzled (Anonymous) says: I agree with b3. Why should I have to pay an extra quarter for every $100 I spend just to help some blind dude on welfare get to his doctor's appointment? Why can't he just drive his Cadillac?I actually think to myself, universe please ensure that this particular d-bag be stricken with a disease that causes blindness. May he lose his/her job and be forced to trek down to the welfare office and beg for a handout.

estespark 9 years ago

The "T" will go way and it will be hilarious five years from now when Lawrence is forming another transit system.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years ago

Informed, maybe you could just abbreviate it...Vote NEO."Never send a human to do a machine's job."

notajayhawk 9 years ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous (Anonymous) says: "Back in the day, I recall an anecdotal "statistic" being bantered about: "Lawrence has more culture per capita than New York City."""May we not also compete in the arena of public transit?"Probably. And equally as well as they compete with NYC on culture.

denak 9 years ago

As the mother of a blind son and the daughter of blind parents, I am voting YES.I would love to see how self-sufficient some of the more arrogant posters would be if they were blinded or disabled in a way to prevent driving.Some of you need to be taken down a peg or two and learn a little thing like compassion and empathy.Dena

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