"We will be seeing glops of oil and tar balls at landfalls for the next couple of years. Fishing will be impacted. Gulf tourism will suffer a down year."
Nice way to downplay the most horrific enviromental disaster in North America's history. I only hope the reality is half as rosey as your predictions.
Who is responsible? From the author’s point of view: we are. Our greed for large houses and large cars led directly to the BP debacle. That is one hell of a leap in logic. Grand Canyon anyone? The responsible party is British Petroleum, the owner, operator and general contractor of the Horizon rig. Basic safety procedures were not followed, and as several employees who worked on the platform have stated they were not surprised that it happened only that it didn’t happen sooner. BP Texas Oil Refinery is an excellent example of BP’s complete failure to follow even its own weak safety protocols. Watch the CSB investigation report: http://www.csb.gov/videoroom/detail.aspx?v…
Not to mention a complete failure to have a disaster preparedness plan that was adequate for the risks of the job. Drilling and tapping the well is the most dangerous part of the job. A containment and recovery vessel should have been on site at least until the well is established. The slow response has aggravated the situation. Really it takes a month to figure out a second platform in the area might help capture some of the oil? Don’t worry though BP is on top of the PR issue, with the purchase of all relevant search terms such as “BP Gulf Oil” on both Google and Yahoo, so the official BP site is the first result, allowing them to control what information about the spill is shared with the most citizens.
On a separate point, the author states the gulf dead zone was created by, “excessive nutrients traveling down the Mississippi from farmland”. Nutrients? Really? Don’t you mean chemical fertilizers in the form of organophosphates. But I suppose we caused that too with our incessant demand for food.
Mr Waters I'm not sure if BP is hiring, but their spin department could use a man like you.
Here is the actual plan:
You will note no bike routes are proposed for mid-town or downtown. If you live in Collierville looks like you are in luck.
Branston, as an author I'm sure you understand the need to use proper termonlogy. "Biker" generally refers to people who ride motorcycles, thus the terms "Biker Bar", "Biker Chic", etc. It is well established that cyclist is the proper term, you may ride a bike but you are a cyclist while doing so.
The reasons I listed are why Memphis has the potential to be bike-friendly. To be considered bike-friendly at the very least you would have to have some level of bicycle infrastructure, have a vibrant cycling scene, have an active racing program (when was the last time you attended a crit in Downtown?), and most of all have a structure where one can ride a bike safely. Memphis has none of these. I would suggest that when you travel, rent a bike at each city then compare to Memphis. I have.
To create a vibrant cycling culture it must start, not with the recreational cyclists, but with the daily cyclists. It is those road warriors either as commuters, avid roadies, fixed gear hipsters or the mountain bike mud men putting in a few training miles on the hardpack that will use the infrastructure on a daily basis. There are 4 signed bike routes that I am aware of, but they make loops, not connecting any destinations and mostly over small and bad roads. These loops, I assume, were created for the recreational cyclist, and as such are not used.
Here is my proposal for a very basic unobtrusive but still effective bicycle infrastructure. Put bike lanes or well signed bike routes in the following locations: the full length of Central Ave. and Southern from Uof M to McLean (connects Uof M with CBC and Mid-town); Cooper from Southern to Madison; McLean from Southern to North parkway (N-S Routes); full length of Peabody; full length of Linden; full length of North Parkway (connect Mid-town and Rhodes and medical district to downtown) and finally a simple bike lane on Main for another N-S route.
A read an article recently that said we should think of bicycle infrastructure from a women's point-of-view. Women are naturally more risk-adverse than men (see vehicle crash data) so if we can make the bicycle infrastructure so attractive that ladies feel safe and want to use them, then we are assured they will be open and safe for everyone.
Let's shout from the rooftops and maybe someone will hear us.
Memphis could have cycling at its core. The living and working space of downtown, the medical district, UT, Mid-Town, Central Gardens, CBC, Rhodes and Uof M are all in reasonably close proximity by bicycle standards. The terrain of this area is either flat or gentle rolling hills; terrain that is easy enough for even the occasional cyclist (that is what they are called by the way not "bikers"). Memphis is by no stretch of even the most illusioned imagination a "borderline bike-friendly" city. There is not a single bike lane, or signed bike path that could reasonably be used for commuting. Memphis could be a premier cycling city. The terrain, geography, population density and yes even low volumes of traffic (by any other major city's standards) make this an ideal setting for a vibrant cycling community. With some basic bicycle infrastructure all of the above mentioned areas could be connected for daily use by commuters and enthusiasts alike. A strong cycling city is in itself a draw for new citizens, which Memphis desperately needs.
By Hannah Sayle, Chris Herrington, Chris Shaw, Louis Goggans, Greg Akers, Bruce VanWyngarden, Jackson Baker and John Branston
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