Sunday, March 28, 2004

Look Out!

From Houston, comes this story about a wheel-chair using man who was struck by a "light rail" vehicle. The fault appears to be the man's, but there are other, "light rail"-related circumstances. This story comes after a much longer USA Today examination of the bad start the "light rail" system has had there.

I've been concerned about how our Madison Avenue trolleys would do in a crazy-driver city like Memphis. People here are rude, aggressive, thoughtless and inconsiderate behind the wheel. Throw in a large, slow, stop-filled trolley and it's a recipe for a Houston-style problem.

But so far, there have only been, as reported on television news, the expected difficulties with fitting in a new player on the streets of Memphis. I haven't noticed anything in the Commercial Appeal.

Which leads to a thought. Would the Commercial Appeal report problems with the trolley? Would they report accidents between trolleys and vehicles or pedestrians as trolley related, or simply as traffic accidents, eliding the trolley connection?

I ask because the Commercial Appeal was a big booster of the trolley. On opening day, they devoted a large number of splashy pages to it. Having invested in such civic boosterism does that leave them prone to not wanting to subsequently question it? Or would they, ala Amber's Army, just leave all that behind and adopt, Big Brother style, the new line?

Too bad there's nowhere to have that discussion.

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