Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stop What You're Doin'...

... 'cause Robert Firth is about to ruin, the image and the style that you're used to.

The last page of the P-G's Forum, called "The Next Page," features a bold proposal for Port Authority Transit. It reorganizes the system into streamlined core routes, with short local circulators and a plush Downtown circulator. The authors claim not only that this would better serve riders, but will also save costs on a par with the draconian cuts we're facing.

We at the Comet are not equipped to evaluate the fine points of the idea, but we find ourselves being persuaded. The staff of Informing Design, Inc., headed up by this Robert Firth, have put together an innovative comic-book style polemic that is neither condescending, irritating, nor easy to refute.

Their proposal is based on a system developed in Curitiba, Brazil, and has been adopted by Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. We doubt that such awesome innovations would be welcome in Allegheny County. Besides, there might be start-up costs to consider.

But we strongly urge Mr. Firth and company to utilize this format for delivering pro-active, instead of re-active, policy suggestions; for contributing to thorny foreign-policy discussions; and for delivering endorsements in local political races.

1 comment:

  1. We had a very similar system when we lived in Canberra, Australia. It wasn't all that bad, although the "circulator" routes were far larger than what was proposed in the Sunday Paper. We lived about 5 miles from the center of town, where I worked, and the only bus which passed through the neigborhood was a circulator.

    Still, the system as a whole made quite a bit of sense, espcially if you were a newcomer to the city. You saw a bus stop, and you didn't need to know anything else about the system. Route numbers were basically not important, since all of the circulator busses were going to take you to one of four or five the main terminals in the system. From there, you could go anywhere else.