Columnists
McConnors Corner
By Sean McConnor
Feb 17, 2008 - 12:01:37 AM

The iconoclast is back! After years away from bucking the system, the city, the LAPD and the world, I am back and this time, I have a lot to talk about.

Every morning, I commute from my home and I travel the full length of Canyon News country from the Valley, through the canyons and hills, and almost to the ocean, before I reach my day job. During this long daily commute, I can't help but think of things.

One thing I think about is this insanity we have with the automobile. Every morning and every evening, I see the bright lights of not stars, but the headlights and taillights of vehicles going over the hills and canyons. Is this necessary? Must we do this? Wouldn't it be better to have multiple high speed trains traveling the same routes?

Try this: multiply your commute by the price of gasoline, let's say $3.20 which is cheap. You travel 60 miles a day round-trip and your car gets 10 miles a gallon in slow traffic. You have just spent $20 to get to work and your journey isn't over yet because unless your workplace shells out parking money, you can count on 5 bucks for parking, so your journey has cost $25. We are not calculating wear and tear on your car, auto insurance, your sanity, which is too precious and too valuable to calculate.

If you are lucky, you have spent $125 a week to go to work in your car. Multiply that by 4 weeks in a month and you have spent $500 to go to work for one month. Multiply that amount by thousands and you are a fully fledged member of the rat race in Southern California. Want me to pass the cheese? (I am already a member.)

How about this? High speed buses or trains or monorails down the same corridors as the 5, 405, 170, 134, and 14 freeways and roads you travel. Fares would be nominal because your employer and you would pay it, and the government could subside fares by not spending the money used to budget CalTrans to repair the freeways. And if you are still a car freak, you can leave your vehicle at a park and ride and commute from the freeway station to your home. It is either this or what? The same?

This is something worth thinking about. Otherwise our nerves,  money,  oil and our environment are going to be decimated by the continuation of the present course of polluting and destroying our environment by thousands  of metal monsters with bright eyes going over the hills and canyons every morning and night. And, these monsters are growing every year and going further out. We can stop them now before they stop us!



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