On sabotaging public transit

An angry cyclist was complaining that the city had closed the Clark Memorial Bridge (Second Street Bridge) and the Big Four Bridge for Thunder Over Louisville. He could not get to Indiana by bicycle. I asked him to consider the anger of bus riders who show up at bus stops on weekends from spring to fall, only to find street-closing events like CycLOUvia have rerouted and rescheduled the buses that take them to work, to school, to shop, to worship, to grandma. Louisville sabotages the public transit system, and TARC riders, already burdened by very infrequent service on weekends, find both the TARC schedules and the TARC routes blown. People who depend on the bus will be late for work, may miss work entirely, could lose their jobs as a result, setting off a cascade of events which can culminate in loosing home and family. Grandchildren will not get to visit grandma. Parents’ grocery shopping plans will be trashed. Public transit-subversive events are not limited to the cycling community. Charity runs/walks, races, fairs, parades all share responsibility. Such events take place nearly every spring, summer and fall weekend. Cities and citizens depend on the reliability of urban public transit systems. No compassionate city would deny transportation to those dependent on public transit. Louisville would do well to re-route events so they do not conflict with public transit. River Road, for instance, is a beautiful corridor with no significant cross streets and no TARC routes. Why not make River Road, our parks, or equivalent venues the “parade route”? The question before us is one of venue; the question does not challenge the event. We can play, we can celebrate without sabotaging public transit.

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