Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When there is no alternative, then what?

It started as a friend's Facebook status, one person adding a comment, then a second person, and ultimately eight people adding almost three dozen comments over the span of a couple of days. But as Facebook conversations are essentially lost to the sands of time, and I did make a couple of salient points, I felt it was appropriate to record my point of view as a blog post.

The conversation began with the simple observation, "I think that instead of the news just covering how expensive gas is now, they should present that fact and then remind people that riding a bike does not cost you at the pump." This rapidly expanded to discussions of oil companies, assaults on cyclists, inadequate public transportation, and, in particular, hockey practice. In essence, the argument by one friend of a friend was that the price of gas didn't matter, there was no alternative to getting four people and a large amount of equipment out to a big ice rink many miles out in the suburbs and back.

He's right, there isn't. I fact checked this a couple of ways.
  1. Equipment aside, the nearest bus stop is almost seven miles away, and even that is a one-hour bus ride from Downtown, assuming one was already Downtown, which one likely is not.
  2. Even if one could travel that seven miles in a flash, the last trip back is before 10 p.m., likely before practice would be done.
  3. Even with a bicycle, the seven miles from the end of the bus line to the rink are on a very bike-unfriendly limited-access high-speed state highway.
  4. The rink is far enough out that even if the road was pleasant, weather and darkness were not factors, and the 40+ pounds of equipment and the bob trailer to carry it were not issues, it cannot be done by a bicycle and still have the stamina to participate in a physically demanding activity, and then also bike home afterward.
That makes him absolutely right, you just cannot do it without a car. Kudos to him for even trying to get four people and stuff out there, instead of four people driving separately.

Here's the problem: When the situation makes the car the only travel mode feasible, that activity is itself in jeopardy should the fuel game change. Gasoline goes to $4, $6, pick a number, and the alternative becomes simple. You just don't go anymore. Never mind the money invested in the equipment, never mind fees for ice time, if you're dropping a large piece of $50 just to get there and back a couple times a month, that is simply going to shut down that activity as a viable way to spend the evening. Ditto anything like it. The soccer mom with her SUV full of kids would be in the same category if they have any significant distance to go.

This one change, the inexorable rise in the cost of fuel, will change this country. The majority of the population has something similar to this to do. "I have to go to X. I drive to X. I do X. I drive home from X." For four generations, this has been the status quo.

Over the last 40 years, though, we've seen many occasions where fuel prices spike, retreat, then settle at a much higher plateau than before. After each spike, we get used to the new plateau and life continues unchanged. There is nothing to suggest this will not happen again. All rational signs point to higher fuel prices in the future. Among the unknowns are when, to what extent, how rapidly, and with what accompanying trouble, if any. A rise without a plateau? It could happen. Some sort of rise will happen, though, count on it, just as it did in 1974, 1979, 1991, 2001, 2005 and 2008.

In the meantime, pick your hobbies and their locations wisely.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How to kill a bus route

Port Authority's 9 Perry Highway bus route doesn't stand a chance of surviving into Fiscal Year 2012, if it even makes it that far. It has already been truncated into a feeder route only six miles long.

Even at its peak, when it was the 11C and 13C Express, the Perry Highway route's 35 daily trips were spread over 15 different travel patterns, with headway spacings anywhere between 5 and 75 minutes. It was almost impossible to plan a two-way trip. It was the poster child for Let's Try To Make A Bus Route Go Everywhere. In attempting that, it went nowhere predictable, and did so with a maddeningly non-intuitive timing plan.

The TDP changes essentially wrote off all the side trips, which undoubtedly irritated or stranded half the ridership. The only thing close to a population center, the hamlet of Ingomar, was left with no service. Ironically, that Ingomar exists at all was due to transit, as it was where the old Harmony Trolley intersected a significant east-west road.

What's left of the route will now be killed off by the ancient fare system, with an arbitrarily drawn zone boundary that coincidentally bisects the route right at the point between where anyone might get on and anyone might get off. This causes almost everyone on the route to pay a two-zone fare for a very short ride.

I sent this comment to Port Authority concerning the revised fare proposal:

Two comments.

Comment #1: The 9 Perry Hwy is being hit harder than most routes by the proposed hike in the Zone 2 fare. The entire route is only 6.6 miles long, but the zone boundary is, mainly by chance, just north of the only real inbound destination, West View Plaza, and the terminus at the Perrysville Park & Ride.

Under the revised plan, a ride from Downtown to McCandless will now cost $4.25 -- $2.25 (Zone 1 fare on 13X or 8 Perrysville) + $1 (transfer) + $1 (two-zone delta cost) -- more than the earlier proposal for a $4 premium fare for what is not a premium ride, and a full $1 more than a comparable trip on a 13A. Similarly, a ride from Perry at Center in West View to Perry at Good Lane in Ross Twp, less than a mile, will cost $3.25.

Recommendation: Make the entire 9 Perry Hwy a new Zone 1A area, so that riders do not get hit with the zone boundary charge. Thus, a ride from Downtown to McCandless would then be $3.25 ($2.25 Zone 1 + $1 for transfer), same as a Zone 2 ride.

Comment #2: Separately, I recommend keeping the premium fares on the suburban express routes, as initially proposed. I think more people finally understand the economics of running suburban express service.

Of course, the whole matter is probably irrelevant now, as the route is probably getting dropped in June, if not sooner.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Flock of Cycles, December 17, 2010

An introduction may be in order for readers not already familiar with Flock of Cycles. Pittsburgh bicyclists, who for years had participated in a form of protest cycling known world-wide as Critical Mass, decided last April to form an alternative group ride which obeys traffic laws instead of flaunting them. In typical CM rides, if the leading part of a group got a traffic light green and the light changed, a couple of cyclists would "cork" cross traffic until the rest of the group got through. Instead, on FOC rides, if the group gets split, the rear group waits out the light, while the front group holds. When the light changes back and the rest of the group catches up, the ride continues.

FOC usually meets the second-last Friday of the month at Dippy, the Carnegie Museum's life-size dinosaur in the Oakland part of the city (where many group rides meet), but since that would be Christmas Eve, we moved the date up a week. We knew from advance discussion on the Bike-PGH message board and Facebook that we would probably have a decent turnout, and we were not disappointed. Even with temperatures in the low 20s, over a dozen riders showed. In the few such rides I've been on, this was the most even gender split I've seen, seven men and six women the one time I counted. This is good, as it has been noted that the more women ride, the healthier the cycling environment.

One really good reason to go on group rides like this is to compare notes with other riders on preparation and equipment. This was winter. There was standing snow on the ground, it was cold and windy, and it was nighttime. To be here at all, you had better be prepared with lights fore and aft, and able to handle riding in a cold wind. Never mind the weatherman's wind chill, just pedaling along increases that factor significantly.

As if to punctuate that, the moment we pulled out onto Forbes Avenue around 6:30, the wind kicked up and it began snowing. It let up after only a couple of minutes, but several of us wondered aloud if the weather changed for the worse just for our ride. Undeterred, we continued up Craig, then Bayard, Amberson, and Ellsworth, all the way to Shady. Since we planned on going ice skating afterward, we chose not to saunter all over the city as we sometimes do, returning via Walnut, Aiken, Fifth and Bigelow. We continued past Phipps Conservatory, finishing the ride at the Schenley Park ice rink around 7:15.

The ride, as ever, was slow paced. It's a social event, not a race. We're friends. We hang together. We talk as we ride. We don't have an agenda, other than to have some pleasant fun and help any new riders become more comfortable riding on city streets. If someone wants to join us en route, fine, though I don't think that happened this time. Traffic was fairly light. This would have been a good first ride had anyone else cared to join us. (For future reference, everyone is welcome!)

Myself, I wanted to save my money for an event on Monday, so opted out of skating. Two others left with me. I think one other parted ways earlier on, I forget who or where. That would still have left over a half dozen to skate. Anyone who did, feel free to add a comment.

All in all, it was a pleasant little ride. We had one newcomer to group rides, several familiar faces, and of course Nick D brought a sound system, this time with upgraded speakers. It sounded great! We serenaded everyone within a hundred yards with continuous pleasant holiday music. Let's just hope January and February's rides go as smoothly as this one did!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Short-, medium-, and long-term predictions of transit's fate in Pittsburgh

I normally don't blog about breaking news, but as it's been almost four months since I penned my funding rant, and so much has changed or is changing, it's time to take a reading. While there are developments on both the short and medium terms, the long-term outlook for transit in the metro Pittsburgh area does not look promising.

Short term, the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission approved funding on December 13 to take Port Authority to the end of this fiscal year with some semblance of solvency, with a hope to tide them over through FY12. Medium term, the Republicans took both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature as well as the governor's office in November's election, thus allowing them to make whatever changes they plan to. More on this later.

I am happy that SPC voted yes, if only barely. I predicted a 51/49% vote in favor; the actual tally was 55/45%. Those numbers aside, the math of the short-term fix doesn't add up. Somehow this $45M Gov. Rendell found can be stretched not only to June 30, 2011, but also to June 30, 2012, but I have grave doubts. Adding a certain 15% service cut in March to the certain fare hike in January, however, does not warm the cockles of my heart. Whoever figured this out apparently took a gamble that Harrisburg would do the right thing to figure out a humane solution to funding transit, humane as in allowing able-bodied workers to get to and from work. Please pardon my cynicism, but history has repeatedly proven my cynicism right.

Republican legislators and their influencers, namely the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, financier Richard Mellon Scaife, and media outlets KQV Radio, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WPXI-TV, have been relentless in their continuing criticism of Port Authority. In the 20 years that I have been following PAT's funding problems, the pattern is clear. If you repeat the same lies often enough, people will take it as gospel truth, especially when there is enough real-life bad news to make the BS plausible.

This combination of policy wonks, media, financial might, good ol' boy networks, and elected politicians, knows how to steer public thought, and how to implement statute law. They have been waiting for decades for the planets to align so that they can implement their agenda. That syzygy arrived with the November 2010 elections, brought about with just that assembled might. Never mind that in-their-back-pocket local boy, conservative Republican senator Rick Santorum, was instrumental in getting the North Shore Connector approved and funded, this crew sold Pittsburgh on the ideas that the whole project was ill conceived by Gov-elect Corbett's opponent, and as a matter of public utility, pointless. Never mind that every construction project in the region, public and private, encountered huge increases in costs of cement and fuel in the mid-2000s, this crew sold everyone that the budget extensions were bad PAT management. Most Pittsburghers believe this to be true, because this crew bought and paid for that public opinion, and spoon-fed it to each and every one of them.

It continues. I have now heard from four different sources that yet another example of Port Authority's continuing financial stupidity is over a mere $200K for bike racks. This is just plain wrong on so many levels. First, it was a grant, not part of its operating budget. Second, this was long sought by Pittsburgh's burgeoning cycling community, not some hare-brained idea someone dreamed up in the middle of the night. Third, it was needed, since the roughly 75% implementation rate of buses with racks makes using them unreliable. In other words, enough buses have them to make using them desirable, but enough do not to strand would-be riders expecting buses to be so outfitted. This same thing occurred with wheelchair-equipped buses in the late 1990s, almost a decade after the Americans with Disabilities Act required public transit buses to be able to handle wheelchairs, when Port Authority still had many pre-1990 buses in its fleet. Back to bike racks, though. Fourth, that the issue was raised at all is a perfect example of how public opinion is formed. A trivial cost, a non-issue, a good and desirable development, is being portrayed as yet another example of Port Authority mismanagement. Joe Citizen thinks that, someone who addressed the SPC commissioners yesterday said that, even some bus drivers think that -- to name three specific places I got that particular example. Any non-cyclist who thinks about it at all thinks of it negatively. That universality of opinion is no accident.

Medium term, Governor Corbett will unveil a FY12 budget proposal in February, and in it will be contained a number for the Mass Transit Line Item, just like every other budget proposal in recent decades. That number is split up among Philly's SEPTA, Pittsburgh's PAT, and about 30 other smaller transit properties in Pennsylvania. Somehow, Corbett has to plug an expected FOUR BILLION DOLLAR budget shortfall. Placing a big fat zero for the MTLI would be a no-brainer, in essence saying, "Looking to state coffers to fund your local transit system? Figure it out yourselves. Not my problem." Compounding that, the GOP is in lock step in agreeing not to raise or impose any new taxes or fees.

Long term, with that as background, is there any hope? I say there is not. What is supposed to happen next is that legislators will be given time to come up with a proper fix for the transit problem. The way I see it, State Representative and Speaker of the House Sam Smith in Punxsutawney, and my own State Rep. and Majority Leader Mike Turzai, have repeatedly gone on record as opposing Port Authority's management, method of operation, cost to operate, and especially its unions. They cannot wait to dismantle this whole operation and replace it with private operators. If they have to rewrite state law to get this done, fine. Bust the unions? They can hardly wait. They have the votes to do anything they please, and reason means nothing to them. It would not surprise me that this proposed legislation has been sitting on ice for years, and there is nothing, NOTHING, that will prevent them from implementing exactly that.

One big piece of this that you will hear a lot about is "public-private partnerships". In short, private operators will be given the franchise (a partnership) by the state (the public) to run transit services, and make whatever profit they can. Customer service be damned, all that matters is making a buck. Say what you want about PAT, they have never tried to make money, only take a predictable funding amount and make it stretch as far as possible. If you think PAT is bad, you deserve the slap in the face that its replacement will give you. Why might you think any big faceless corporation has your best interests in mind?

So there you have it. We might have buses to get us through June, but I would not bet a dime that the June pick is anything other than completing and exceeding the 35% cut we almost had to face in January.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Index to all 213 blog posts from MySpace

Earlier today I posted my last post on MySpace. I am not deleting the account, but rather moving to a different board. This is that place.

I began using MySpace in the summer of 2006, and soon afterward began blogging there, too. I had been writing diary entries and letters to myself for years. In fact, several of these posts are re-types of or excerpts from some of the reams of notebooks I have kept over the years.

MySpace has never allowed for an easy way to index blogs. This does not work for me. Much of my writing is worthy of being referred back to at a later time, but with no indexing mechanism, and with increasing difficulty in paging back through the posts, it simply no longer meets my needs. Thus, I will simply cut it off here, with the most recent post below being the "3,600-word rant on transit funding" from September 2010 -- not to be confused with the April 9, 2010, "Rant on transit funding".

Herewith, in chronological order, are the 213 public posts.

Bye bye, MySpace. Hello Blogger!

Sep 3, 2010 3,600-word rant on transit funding
Aug 22, 2010 Death of a butterfly
Aug 19, 2010 My testimony at the transit hearing today, 8/19/2010
Jul 25, 2010 Flock of Cycles
Jul 24, 2010 My letter to PA legislators on transportation funding
Jul 6, 2010 Not happy about rescuing a baby bird
Jun 18, 2010 Flock of Cycles, June 18 2010
Jun 8, 2010 For the PA Transportation Funding hearing, June 18
Jun 7, 2010 The real enemy: Bad land-use policies
Jun 1, 2010 Bicycles, transit, and a gulf full of oil
May 22, 2010 A Flock of Cycles
May 3, 2010 Kent State, May 4 1970
Apr 13, 2010 My take on the GOP plan to fund PA transportation
Apr 10, 2010 My proposal for a new fare-payment policy
Apr 9, 2010 Rant on transit funding
Apr 2, 2010 a bicycle love story
Apr 1, 2010 Who says there's no humor in science?
Mar 7, 2010 Non-Sexual Appearance of Breasts
Feb 24, 2010 The first disco song I can remember
Feb 16, 2010 Hiking a suburban road without shoulders
Jan 3, 2010 2010 resolutions
Dec 1, 2009 Love your package. Ship it right.
Nov 27, 2009 Black Friday my foot
Nov 8, 2009 Divinity piffle
Oct 12, 2009 Setting an example to live by
Oct 11, 2009 100 friends on Facebook!
Oct 4, 2009 Pursuing my dream of a transit GIS system
Aug 20, 2009 40 Years On, So That's What That Was All About
Aug 8, 2009 Three Rivers Storytelling Festival 2009
Jul 11, 2009 Counterculture things done in a new car showroom
Jul 4, 2009 Big Dipper and Little Dipper
Jun 26, 2009 Michael Jackson: A remembrance
May 24, 2009 50-mile bike ride: McCandless-Moon-Downtown
May 23, 2009 National health insurance
May 21, 2009 Primary Election 2009 at Pittsburgh 4-8
Apr 28, 2009 Adventureland -- where I live?!
Apr 19, 2009 Why can't people recycle?
Apr 15, 2009 Tax night, and I beat midnight!
Apr 11, 2009 She earned it, so we're going to the concert
Apr 9, 2009 April 9, 1963
Mar 4, 2009 Liz Book Stands Again
Feb 22, 2009 Five-mile walk
Feb 11, 2009 The end of the ice pack
Jan 29, 2009 Remembering the Blizzard of '77
Jan 9, 2009 My days at the USPS
Dec 19, 2008 Pittsburgh sports rant
Nov 18, 2008 My last ACTC meeting?
Nov 9, 2008 Some additional thoughts on pollworker training and site setup
Nov 7, 2008 Voting problems I observed
Nov 7, 2008 Cameras at the precinct
Nov 7, 2008 JoE The Multitasker
Nov 6, 2008 Poll watchers and the Election Protection people
Nov 5, 2008 To those I disenfranchised
Nov 5, 2008 Superliteracy
Nov 1, 2008 My Halloween handouts: Why always candy?
Oct 15, 2008 The Smithville planning game
Oct 13, 2008 Hey MySpace, this is a programming error
Oct 12, 2008 Public transportation -does- work
Oct 10, 2008 I do not donate to political causes
Oct 9, 2008 Back to being on foot
Oct 7, 2008 Recycling paper by bicycle
Oct 6, 2008 ABBA, my roommate, and the Swedish S.O.S.
Oct 3, 2008 The transition into a bicycle suburbanite
Sep 30, 2008 Non-smokers, please read (from 1987)
Sep 25, 2008 First raped, then screwed
Sep 18, 2008 Effects of smoking on me (the longer version)
Sep 18, 2008 Me on smoking, in 1986: "Smokers Please Read"
Sep 16, 2008 Finding a blank check
Sep 15, 2008 Preparing for a bus strike
Sep 12, 2008 Bicycling in the rain
Sep 8, 2008 The mouse, Part I
Sep 6, 2008 I will not discuss politics. Period.
Sep 4, 2008 I need a new backpack
Sep 2, 2008 I'm tired of glurge
Aug 31, 2008 Prediction: Hurricane Gustav & gas prices
Aug 30, 2008 Critical Mass Pittsburgh, August 2008
Aug 25, 2008 Your 168-hour no-car challenge
Aug 15, 2008 Bicycling with a full load of groceries
Aug 15, 2008 Bicycling with the Devil: McKnight Rd and Wexford Flats
Aug 12, 2008 $4 gasoline. Whaddya gonna do?
Aug 12, 2008 Three Rivers Storytelling Festival 2008
Aug 4, 2008 Passing the midpoint of summer
Aug 1, 2008 Bicycling to a concert
Jul 24, 2008 So easy to do a good deed
Jul 21, 2008 CHAOS: Can't-Have-Anyone-Over Syndrome
Jul 16, 2008 No time for a proper blog, so...
Jul 9, 2008 Dealing with the heat of summer
Jul 6, 2008 Was Emma Goldman the Second Coming of Christ?
Jul 4, 2008 Helms is gone. Good riddance
Jul 2, 2008 Lots of cycling. Why not to an interview?
Jun 27, 2008 A hot day for a ride, but nonetheless...
Jun 20, 2008 End of the cello
Jun 14, 2008 20 stinking years later, finally a state smoking ban
Jun 9, 2008 Summer began June 1. Where are the fireflies?
Jun 2, 2008 About boycotting gasoline (written when gas hit $2/gal)
May 29, 2008 5/29/08, *1908* that is: Aunt Sarah's birthday
May 28, 2008 First rail trip, ever
May 19, 2008 Bike-to-Work Day: Me on video
May 14, 2008 *Raise* the gas tax
May 13, 2008 Mildred Loving has passed away
May 10, 2008 A "reel" project: Mowing tall, wet grass with a push mower
May 6, 2008 10,000 steps
May 2, 2008 one car, four people, eleven places to go
Apr 30, 2008 It's snowing in Pittsburgh
Apr 17, 2008 Barack or Hillary? We need more choices
Apr 18, 2008 The 168-hour no-car challenge, week 1--complete
Apr 14, 2008 Wheel spinning
Apr 3, 2008 Syracuse, Day 2: The bus ride
Apr 2, 2008 Syracuse, Day 1
Mar 30, 2008 How I spent Earth Hour
Mar 22, 2008 How I came to own a rare record
Mar 19, 2008 What did I get myself INTO?
Mar 19, 2008 A not-quite-impossible bus commute
Mar 16, 2008 Check out *this* church
Mar 13, 2008 Nose to nose with a raccoon
Mar 11, 2008 My prediction on fuel prices
Mar 8, 2008 My Hero: Liz Book
Mar 4, 2008 When right next door is unique, do you notice?
Mar 1, 2008 March 1: Springtime!
Feb 19, 2008 Navigating without a map
Feb 11, 2008 Defining the topfreedom debate
Feb 2, 2008 My daughter, the wrestler
Jan 24, 2008 Sidewalks after a brief snowstorm
Jan 22, 2008 How not to travel to Monroeville
Jan 12, 2008 What that IRS form with Payer 38-1798424 really means
Jan 8, 2008 Bus? Bike? Walk? It shouldn't be this difficult
Jan 2, 2008 The "Icycle Bicycle" ride that wasn't
Jan 1, 2008 Welcome to 1930! Happy New Year!
Dec 31, 2007 My "X of the day" routine
Dec 30, 2007 Storytelling: A blog I didn't write in August
Dec 27, 2007 The movie rating system
Dec 22, 2007 God rest ye MERRY. What does that mean, actually?
Dec 19, 2007 Like a trumpeter at a harp concert
Dec 18, 2007 123,457
Dec 13, 2007 Brief story about two of my bus stops
Dec 6, 2007 Read (or see) The Golden Compass: A review of the book trilogy
Dec 5, 2007 It's winter, so I gotta insulate. You should, too.
Dec 2, 2007 It's December, so it's winter
Nov 28, 2007 Rights, Freedoms and Privileges
Nov 27, 2007 changing blog colors, take 1
Dec 27, 2008 Breastfeeding in public
Nov 21, 2007 I was the first to cross the 31st St Bridge!
Nov 12, 2007 North Hills to Squirrel Hill *entirely* by bike
Nov 10, 2007 I hate leaf blowers
Nov 6, 2007 Judge of Elections
Nov 3, 2007 Why bus service to 3 Pittsburgh malls should stop
Oct 27, 2007 What? No candy on Halloween? *What* then?!
Oct 25, 2007 Second Monroeville bike trip
Oct 23, 2007 Fire hoses and flower gardens
Oct 22, 2007 New glasses
Oct 21, 2007 North Hills to Monroeville by bike (& bus)
Oct 18, 2007 Not shopping at Wal-Mart, ever
Sep 30, 2007 Growing tired of church -- again
Sep 25, 2007 Planning public transit, part 1
Sep 18, 2007 Why teaching evolution is necessary
Sep 12, 2007 Message to those offended by Christianity
Sep 11, 2007 What do you get when you turn "9/11" upside down? "11/6"
Sep 11, 2007 A house for $10K, a building lot for $200
Sep 11, 2007 My three Sept. 2001 essays
Sep 6, 2007 Nailbiter transfers
Sep 5, 2007 Bicycling on the HOV lane
Sep 3, 2007 Gunned down on a Pittsburgh street
Sep 2, 2007 Sept. 2, So It's Fall: How I Figure Out the Seasons
Aug 31, 2007 What and how I recycle
Aug 24, 2007 Taking the 54C quiz
Aug 17, 2007 The anti-litterbug
Aug 8, 2007 My first blog since my mother's passing
Jul 23, 2007 Anti-TOBACCO vs. anti-SMOKING
Jul 14, 2007 getting 30mpg out of a 20mpg car
Jul 3, 2007 On a Stack of Bibles
Jul 3, 2007 So I saw Sicko
Jun 12, 2007 The Loving Conference, 6/13/1992, a brief remembrance
May 28, 2007 Random birds seen here recently
May 27, 2007 Pittsburgh's Critical Mass ride, 5-25-2007
May 22, 2007 Another long bike ride, not by choice
May 16, 2007 Problem with electronic voting: Disenfranchised by the clock
May 11, 2007 25-mile bike ride
May 10, 2007 smoking vs. other methods of ingesting tobacco
May 6, 2007 Listening to robins
Apr 27, 2007 Three short essays I wrote just after 9/11/2001
Apr 8, 2007 My father was a Fuckemallist
Apr 6, 2007 Someday, lots more people will do this regularly
Apr 3, 2007 People who are against power lines
Mar 31, 2007 Fifteen years of falling sky
Mar 4, 2007 A look back at why I entered grad school (written 11/1995)
Jun 22, 2007 Index to all past blogs
Feb 27, 2007 Why I, an anti-smoker, am against the US Senate tobacco control proposal
Feb 25, 2007 redesigning Port Authority's bus service
Feb 20, 2007 I've seen 15 out of 240 movies
Feb 15, 2007 Shoveling driveways, chipping ice off cars
Feb 9, 2007 My testimony on Port Authority's service and fare proposals
Jan 16, 2007 KQV 1410 editorial on privatizing public transit
Jan 11, 2007 The difference between an agreement and an oath
Jan 6, 2007 20 to life for a murder that may never have happened
Jan 3, 2007 Why I favor the flat-rate fare hike proposal
Dec 31, 2006 2007: the year we will decide to respect public transit
Dec 19, 2006 Time for Flat-Price Gasoline: $4/gallon, 24/7/365
Dec 16, 2006 Gripe Of The Week: Stranded shopping carts
Dec 13, 2006 The North Shore Connector and The Mon-Fayette/SOuthern Beltway (MFSoB) Turnpike project
Dec 12, 2006 arrogant drivers
Dec 7, 2006 My new identity: UnicycleInTransit
Nov 29, 2006 How and why we should change our pocket change
Nov 22, 2006 To eliminate abortion, eliminate its need (written 1/1985)
Nov 17, 2006 Email that says "You've received a greeting from a family member!"
Nov 6, 2006 buying a 78
Nov 4, 2006 In God We Still Trust, by Diamond Rio
Oct 4, 2006 Banned books
Oct 3, 2006 paying bills ahead
Oct 1, 2006 the trouble you go to to recharge a laptop
Sep 28, 2006 186 ways to live with only one car
Sep 11, 2006 the eagle in the yard
Sep 9, 2006 Lose the idea of a new Arena. Lose the Penguins, too.
Sep 7, 2006 my public comments on Allegheny County's proposed smoking ban

Moving from MySpace

Almost a year later, I have finally decided to take the plunge. I have posted my last MySpace blog. The new spot will be here. There is some clean-up work to be done yet, and I do not see much more than chronological lookup for old blog posts, but this is home for the foreseeable future.

I guess the next thing to do is copy the MySpace blog index over here, and get started.