Comment 35052

By schmadrian (registered) | Posted October 29, 2009 at 15:46:55

Mr. Meister's comments have elicited a consistent response thus far, and not a surprising one, either.

I agree with his observations.

I've been reading this blog for a while...18 months, two years? Not sure...and Ryan's approach has been consistent even as it's become more and more entrenched.

I was thinking about this only this morning, this sense of...well, what is commonly referred to as 'bloody-mindedness'. And there's a correlation to a certain southern neighbour that's applicable. Not in topic, but in the tendency to become bound by ideologies and beliefs of Life as it should be, rather than being open to the realities of Life as is it is lived:

"If there's a drug problem, get more cops on the streets, make more arrests, build more jails. Don't waste any time trying to figure out why people are doing drugs, why people are selling drugs...in other words, the societal causes of drug use, and the concomitant crimes."

(I should add that the same thing could be said about so many Americans' reactions -on some kind of DNA-based, philosophical level- about the notion of health care not being a basic human right.)

"I see high quality transit as first and foremost an engine of economic development, and only incidentally a transportation mode per se."

To a great extent, there's no need to go any further in this discussion. Not because it doesn't merit more engagement, but because Ryan sees things a certain way and from my vantage point, having read countless of his essays and columns and posts, that certain way possesses its own remarkable intractability, obdurateness...and pronounced blinkered-ism.

I fervently believe in solid public transit.

Not as 'an engine of economic development', but as a means to get people from one place to another. That's all.

Once you start attaching hifalutin existential raisons d'etre, you're getting into some pretty mucky areas. Especially when it's clear that in this situation, where Hamilton currently is, how things are designed, getting people from Point A to Point B at a reasonable price far outstrips any other reason you can come up with.

(I do find it fascinating that Ryan seems as attached to his approach to transit as the average North American is to their car-as-value-system-lynchpin mindset. To me, both are seriously flawed.)

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