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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei

News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Light rail in Indy?

The familiar call of light rail has appeared on the Indianapolis scene. This proposal suggests a line from Fishers to downtown, then to Greenwood in the south. Another line would head from the airport to downtown.

It's not a lot of coverage, and it would be expensive:

Officials estimate the rail system and expanded bus service would cost an estimated $1.2 billion to build and another $90 million to $100 million a year to operate. Both could be funded through a sales tax increase of 0.35 percentage point to 0.5 percentage point, as well as fares from the system.

At this point, few people would really benefit from this transit option. The I-69 corridor may be the busiest, but it's not gridlock on the level of New York City. I wouldn't want the light rail to be built before the demand is demonstrated. And how to do that? Adopt part of the proposal: the expanded express bus service. If that fails? It's easier to recover the investment from buses than an entire light rail system.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

New Non-Issue: School Start Dates

It's been years since the Daylight Savings Time issue was settled in Indiana. It's time for another pointless debate to occupy our time.

The Indiana Senate passed a bill requiring that schools start after Labor Day. Reasons cited include a families getting more time in summer together (in a vacation that starts later, so it's actually the same length) and saving on energy costs from not cooling schools in August (but instead increasing the cooling costs in June). There's also the issue of better syncing with college schedules (which vary considerably).

I had a three month vacation one summer, when I went from a school district that started in August, ending in May, to another than started in September, ending in June. I saw both schedules. It really makes no difference. (Although it's good for some students if school starts after Gen Con.)

I will agree, however, that school seems to start earlier and earlier, which suggests that maybe the schedule needs to be condensed, removing some extra vacation days and teacher workshop days to fit 180 days into fewer weeks.