Earlier this week there were two stories that popped up in Google reader involving local transit politics. The first deals with the idea of Tampa adopting something called a "minimum zoning" policy, which is a deliberate effort to lay the foundation for transit-compatible communities by increasing densities. You can read about it in the Trib's Tampa Looks to Ease Traffic.
Not too surprisingly around here many people shivering about it. It's all rather "liberal" sounding or something. Someone must have raised it (the article quotes Cyndy Miller by name, but otherwise it's referred to as the product of 'city officials'), but to read the story you'd wonder how the idea got any traction. Virtually no-one of high profile on the City Council is quoted as agreeing with the idea. And the developers? Forget it.
Convenient Calculation Errors
Oh, and speaking of developers fighting any effort that might help the case for mass transit, have you all seen Hillsborough Road Hype a Dead End which ran in the St. Pete Times last week? Holy smokes. Turns out that developers and, well, just about everyone supporting their projects, have been turning a blind eye to the fact that what they stipulate for support in road development may not, sorta, really, kinda actually happen by the time their projects finish. Well, give or take 30 percent. Mostly take.
Ed Still Got Some Moxie
Regarding the death of Hillsborough County's premiere anti-tax monkey, a one Ralph Hughes, Ed Turanchik observed:
I think with gas at $4 a gallon, a lot of people are unhappy we don't
have a transit plan," Turanchik said. "To the extent that Ralph had a
hand in that, that's not a very good legacy."
Ouch! And he sure as hell isn't wrong, is he?
Ralph seemed like an earnest enough individual fighting and funding what he believed in. Apparently, credits the St. Pete Times article covering all this, he's the guy chiefly responsible for the BOCC's overly conservative value system today. People like Ronda Storms and Brian Blair, antagonists of effective government (while copping a government paycheck out of the deal no less) owe their political careers to this guy.
Rest in peace, Ralph. Surprise: You inherited the Earth.