"In response to the letter “Traffic Light Debacle” (Mail, July 11-18) about the “Toxic City” article: Your idea about retiming the lights in off peak periods is good — I’m not sure if it should be done solely so you can get home quicker. But your poke at mass transit is laughable and uninformed.
The Portland transit system is so successful it has become a model for other transportation systems all around the country. I’ve ridden the Portland system quite a bit. It’s packed. And only a small portion are tourists. Don’t take my word for it. Do some research. It’s so successful and efficient that even people with cars use it. I lived there three years and rode it all the time even though I also own a car.
Are you saying that mass transit is a bad idea? We can’t expect to overcome 50-plus years of car dominance in just a few years. As a side note you should know that the existing mass transit systems we had were systematically ripped up by private companies for the profit of the car earlier in this century. Look up the “Great American Street Car Scandal” some time. Partly as a result we have sprawling cities like Indianapolis where you can’t get anywhere without a car.
If your mind wasn’t so dominated by the type of control the automobile industry has mustered over you, you might think and behave in a more progressive and optimistic way. Be part of the solution, not the problem.