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Lead editorial in Sunday's Connecticut Post

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  • Richard Stowe
    The lead editorial in Sunday s Connecticut Post print edition argues for bikes-on-train access at peak hours and dedicated bikes-on-trains parking sections
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 1, 2008
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      The lead editorial in Sunday's Connecticut Post print edition argues for bikes-on-train access at peak hours and dedicated bikes-on-trains parking sections (http://www.connpost.com/editorials/ci_9430315).  The editorial certainly caps a week of favorable press coverage for "bikes-on-trains-at-peak-hours."  

      Connecticut Post, Sunday June 1, 2008 D2

      Accommodate bicycles on trains                       
      The signals are mixed.

      We're supposed to stay off the roads, which most people can agree with, what with $50 fill-ups looking like the norm for a while. That leaves walking, biking or mass transit. That's fine, as far as it goes.

      Walking works, if you're not going far. Biking? Fine for some people, and the train works for even more. But combining biking with the train? Not so fast.

      Metro-North Railroad doesn't make it easy for the bicycle-inclined, keeping the two-wheelers off peak-hour trains. And when they are allowed, there's no storage to speak of, so riders must stand them in the vestibule, forcing everyone else to walk around them and inviting serious grumbling.

      It's not that the peak-hour ban is indefensible. Indeed, with gas prices spiking, transit ridership is up around the country, and there aren't enough seats to go around as it is. Crowded conditions with bicycles to boot makes a less-than-pleasant ride a full-on aggravation.

      But there are other ways. In California, for instance, Caltrain service south of San Francisco features front cars with no seats but plenty of bike parking. It shouldn't be hard to find old cars around here that have outlived their usefulness for regular passengers but could be gutted for use by cyclists.

      Connecticut is near-impossible to get around without a car, which is why our roads are always clogged, climate change is fast approaching and the air is hard to breathe. To think there's a way out of that trap that the trains won't oblige is hard to understand.

      With a new batch of train cars scheduled to start arriving next year, now might be a good time to consider some changes. Helping accommodate bicyclists would be a good start, as well as, of course, listening to the problems of everyday commuters. A gasoline crisis can mean big things for mass transit systems, but it takes preparation to get it right and satisfy all customers, old and new.

      A) Take the opportunity to reference today's editorial and last Wed. (May 28) page 1 Hartford Courant story "Railing Against A Bicycle Ban" when you write a letter to our chief elected officials, Governor M. Jodi Rell State Capitol 210 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106 <governor.rell@...> (cc. Christopher Tymniak <chris.tymniak@...>) and Governor  David A. Paterson State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224or access his email at http://161.11.121.121/govemail.  You may contact the Governor's office by phone at CT (860) 566-4840, and NY (518) 474-8390

      Ask Governor Rell, or Governor Paterson to formally write a letter to Metro-North requesting: 

      1) that dedicated bike parking spaces be included on every other new M-8 car without competing with space set aside for disability users and

      2)  that Metro-North withdraw its policy that prohibits bringing bikes-on-trains at peak-hours.

      B) Write a short letter expressing support for today's Connecticut Post's editorial "Accommodate bicycles on trains."  

      The Connecticut Post welcomes "short, concise letters" from its readers.  "Each original letter must be signed and include your address for clarity and length.  Letters authors are responsible for content." 

      The Letters Editor, Connecticut Post, 410 State Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604

      Fax: (203) 333-3897

      E-mail: edit@... 

      Richard Stowe

      Rail*Trains*Ecology*Cycling



    • Melinda Tuhus
      Hi Richard, Your dedication to this issue is starting to pay off! Thanks to everyone who has taken up this cause -- do I see a light at the end of the tunnel?
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 2, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Richard,
            Your dedication to this issue is starting to pay off! Thanks to everyone who has taken up this cause -- do I see a light at the end of the tunnel?

        Melinda

        On 6/1/08, Richard Stowe <bike.rail.politics@...> wrote:

        The lead editorial in Sunday's Connecticut Post print edition argues for bikes-on-train access at peak hours and dedicated bikes-on-trains parking sections (http://www.connpost.com/editorials/ci_9430315).  The editorial certainly caps a week of favorable press coverage for "bikes-on-trains-at-peak-hours."  

        Connecticut Post, Sunday June 1, 2008 D2

        Accommodate bicycles on trains                       
        The signals are mixed.

        We're supposed to stay off the roads, which most people can agree with, what with $50 fill-ups looking like the norm for a while. That leaves walking, biking or mass transit. That's fine, as far as it goes.

        Walking works, if you're not going far. Biking? Fine for some people, and the train works for even more. But combining biking with the train? Not so fast.

        Metro-North Railroad doesn't make it easy for the bicycle-inclined, keeping the two-wheelers off peak-hour trains. And when they are allowed, there's no storage to speak of, so riders must stand them in the vestibule, forcing everyone else to walk around them and inviting serious grumbling.

        It's not that the peak-hour ban is indefensible. Indeed, with gas prices spiking, transit ridership is up around the country, and there aren't enough seats to go around as it is. Crowded conditions with bicycles to boot makes a less-than-pleasant ride a full-on aggravation.

        But there are other ways. In California, for instance, Caltrain service south of San Francisco features front cars with no seats but plenty of bike parking. It shouldn't be hard to find old cars around here that have outlived their usefulness for regular passengers but could be gutted for use by cyclists.

        Connecticut is near-impossible to get around without a car, which is why our roads are always clogged, climate change is fast approaching and the air is hard to breathe. To think there's a way out of that trap that the trains won't oblige is hard to understand.

        With a new batch of train cars scheduled to start arriving next year, now might be a good time to consider some changes. Helping accommodate bicyclists would be a good start, as well as, of course, listening to the problems of everyday commuters. A gasoline crisis can mean big things for mass transit systems, but it takes preparation to get it right and satisfy all customers, old and new.

        A) Take the opportunity to reference today's editorial and last Wed. (May 28) page 1 Hartford Courant story "Railing Against A Bicycle Ban" when you write a letter to our chief elected officials, Governor M. Jodi Rell State Capitol 210 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106 <governor.rell@...> (cc. Christopher Tymniak <chris.tymniak@...>) and Governor  David A. Paterson State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224or access his email at http://161.11.121.121/govemail.  You may contact the Governor's office by phone at CT (860) 566-4840, and NY (518) 474-8390

        Ask Governor Rell, or Governor Paterson to formally write a letter to Metro-North requesting: 

        1) that dedicated bike parking spaces be included on every other new M-8 car without competing with space set aside for disability users and

        2)  that Metro-North withdraw its policy that prohibits bringing bikes-on-trains at peak-hours.

        B) Write a short letter expressing support for today's Connecticut Post's editorial "Accommodate bicycles on trains."  

        The Connecticut Post welcomes "short, concise letters" from its readers.  "Each original letter must be signed and include your address for clarity and length.  Letters authors are responsible for content." 

        The Letters Editor, Connecticut Post, 410 State Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604

        Fax: (203) 333-3897

        E-mail: edit@... 

        Richard Stowe

        Rail*Trains*Ecology*Cycling




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