The car evacuation was a bungle too - cyclists were making faster progress because no one had got hold of the situation - the solution should have been to ban all car traffic (and make all equal in the material/me stakes) and move the whole population efficiently with the basic essentials they needed on bus and rail or march/cycle them out - apparently Amtrak moved out spare vehicles on the eve of the landfall at 20.00 and offered this scratch train for evacuation (several hundred places?) - they were turned down. the area should then have been quarrantined, but I suspect that the level of trust for any forces securing the town to prevent (and not indulge) in any freeloading would be so low that many would still want to stay put.
Brian Soutar seemd to act faster than the US emergency agencies by reportedly sending 24 buses and 48 drivers from Coach USA to provide post hurricane evacuation services, and there was the initiative of a teenager who commandeered an abandoned school bus to run his own evacuation service in the absence of an official response.
Building walking and cycling access in as a fundamental detail of any new bus or rail project is a vital contingency measure. Cycling also came to the rescue on 7th July when key staff needing to get to rail stations and other important operations sites could not get use a car, obviously no buses or trains going in to the incident sites, and no police vehicles available - so it was shanks's pony or ..a bicycle. There is clearly a contingency measure for an urban transport system to have a few bicycles ready for use of key operations staff to get rapidly to an incident when the whole works goes belly-up. Anyone know where this is already a contingency policy?
Also a minor business news item - was a large commuter coaching firm offering a 15 minute standby service to relocate a main office site staff to their emergency location - a position which many companies have (with hot systems ready for immediate change-over 24/7) but many failed to consider the fact that their incident might also have a concurrent failure of the assumed ability to use private cars or scheduled public transport. Then again they could always invest in a fleet of bicycles......
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