Thursday, March 15, 2007

Round, round get around...

My first reaction to this idea (and today's story about it) was an incredulous "What?!?" followed by an emphatic "No!" But since I gave up hasty reactions for Lent, I thought about it some more and actually found some merit in the concept.

Joel Broida envisions a day when small battery-powered vehicles will ply Columbia's extensive pathway system and its public roads.

The Town Center resident said he hopes to convince officials of Howard County or the Columbia Association -- or both -- to back a program in which energy- efficient vehicles similar to golf carts would transport residents from their homes to Columbia's village centers.

The program would make it easier for elderly residents who don't own cars to get to stores and other facilities, Broida said.

First, however, CA officials would have to agree to lift the association's rules restricting the use of motorized vehicles on its pathways -- an idea at least two members of CA's 10-member board of directors have greeted with some skepticism.
While, upon further reflection, I still think opening the pathways to motorized vehicles is a very, very bad idea (how long until the first lawsuit?), the concept Broida's pushing -- a personalized shuttle service -- isn't half bad, assuming it uses existing roads. After all, there is certainly a group of residents that need such a service, but I suppose that's why the county already has a similar program.

Now, maybe there's a better system than the HT Ride program -- perhaps involving wider use of smaller, energy-efficient vehicles. While I'd be open to a broader discussion about that, turning our pathways into quasi-roadways strikes me -- non-hastily -- as a non-starter.


Anonymous said...

So what is the volunteer program Neighbor Ride all about? Answer:
Providing seniors and disabled citizens local transportation. How is Neighbor Ride different from this program?
Elderly people get to schedule a ride in a real inclosed car.
How does Joel's idea provide a better service?

Anonymous said...

CA paths should remain motorized vehicle free, excepting for those people truly requiring mobility assistance to enjoy, at walking speeds, the nature therein.

Anonymous said...

Motorized vehicles on the pathways?!? Absurd!!! I mean you can even ride your bike on the sidewalks in Columbia and they want to allow golf carts on the bike paths. I mean come on.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say, CAN'T ride your bike on the sidewalks.