Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Our County Needs a Reliable Public Transportation System

Cape May County Herald: " Highways, bridges, and industry that will most certainly tamper with the unique aspects of Cape May County and redesign the southern-most tip of New Jersey into a mirror reflection of the northern end is not a good idea. Am I the only one who thinks the new overpasses on the parkway are a hideous eyesore? Instead of paving over paradise, the discussion should acknowledge that a critical need exists for a reliable public-transportation system. Our population is largely elderly; our seasonal workers are often too young to drive or sojourning without a vehicle; and many others find that owning a vehicle in New Jersey is cost-prohibitive – ranking right up there with health insurance. Additionally, our mainland is a small peninsula, bordered by tiny barrier islands, composed of natural habitats that must be preserved – such as wetlands and pinelands. Where will highways and bridges, with their snarl of ramps and side roads, be located? Furthermore, building roads will not relieve the congestion that already exists, it will only increase it; therefore, previous suggestions for mitigating traffic gridlock would have required island visitors to park and ride trolleys. Be a true visionary, and imagine the landscape with creative and enterprising inspiration: An easily accessible, county-wide public-transportation system of buses, trolleys, and trains (using roads and reviving rails that already exist) would add to the charm and attraction of our quaint corner, encouraging tourists and locals alike to park and ride. America has a teenager’s obsession with the car culture, and it is time to grow up. An affordable, safe, and regular mass-transit system is the provision we need so we can get to our jobs, classes, doctors’ appointments, etc., and so we can lessen, not exacerbate, our impact on our delicate environment. Mass transit would be good for both our biological and our entrepreneurial ecosystems.


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