Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hoover and Vestavia Hills did it! They have essentially killed any hope for regional transit...

Last night at after the special hearing of the Hoover City Council, they decided to vote to end funding mass transit service, which will end the Metro Area Express (MAX) U.S. Highway 31 (Montgomery Highway) route at the end of the month.  This is after the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) informed them last September that more funding was needed to maintain adequate access to the system due to the economic crunch..  Hoover decided to operate the majority of fiscal year 2009 without a budget and didn't pass one until July, but didn't allocate the full $110,000 needed to operate the system in the city.  Instead they only allocated a partial payment of $50,000, and the BJCTA was will to accept this and cover the other $60,000.  However, last night the Hoover City Council decides to just flat out reject the partial payments altogether with another resolution alluding to "low ridership" as the cause. 

City Council members voted Monday night based on Councilman Brian Skelton's motion to give Mayor Tony Petelos the authority to negotiate a final settlement with MAX and to terminate service.

This move will impact not only regular transit routes in Hoover, but also paratransit, which assists those with disabilities ability to be mobile throughout the area.  It's another sign why regional cooperation amongst the region's governments is so shitty and hasn't gone anywhere.  Also reaffirming why Tony Petelos isn't a "regional leader" as so many Hooverites want to proclaim he is because any true "leader" would realize that sticking it out through the tough times and funding a very much needed assess like mass transit will help the municipality in the long run.  As I reiterated a few weeks ago, it' obvious that Hoover is going broke and fast because their main revenue source is retail and due to the recession also that the place lack any original ideas to move their municipality forward

Vestavia Hills isn't too far behind since they have opted to have hearing calling for the reduction of service in their municipality as well.  They want to reduce the amount of payments for the bus service in the city. 
Also it goes to show those with a critical yet intuitive mentality that Hoover and Vestavia Hills doesn't give a damn about the lower-income residents of the region that can't afford private transportation.  I felt this one comment on the the blogs on the Birmingham News site: 

It is interesting to compare past comments and sentiments to this story.
All of them need to just get a job.

I started at the bottom and had to work my way up.

If it weren't for illegal immigrants Americans would have entry level jobs.

All they ever want is a handout.
And the list goes on. It's amazing to see the kinds of comments when there is an article that primary deals with the black or Hispanic/Latino population, whether it's the politicians, ministers, workers, criminals getting two, three, four, five, six plus pages of comments but when there is an article that solely deals with the white population dealing with the same subjects, for the most part, you get four to ten comments at the most.
Sometimes the bigger picture gives us more insight than the snap shot of a situation.
I try to stay as non-bias as possible when it comes to this, but this shows how classism, racial bias, and poor leadership all converge on one issue at hand as to why Greater Birmingham has so many issues.  It's embarrassing how prejudice and callous so many choose to be towards the working class who are better themselves. 

It's not entirely race-motivated, but it does color a lot of issues vis a vis Bham. It's also the reason why the Birmingham metro area will never progress to the level of Atlanta or any other major city of importance. At least not until the city and suburb governments and both white and black residents put an end to the low-level civil warfare.
Birmingham's weighed down with an unbelievable amount of racial baggage. Everything here as a racial undercurrent. Whites either stay cloistered in the trendy downtown areas or they book it OTM as fast as they can. Blacks feel content to run down their own areas out of sheer apathy and attack whites for attacking their governments and neighborhoods. Nearly all of the governing authorities display a requisite amount of incompetence and corruption in any title they hold. This area is just screwed any which way you look.
Now, I don't agree 100% of this quote because Atlanta is far from a racial harmonious oasis in the South, but this person who posted this comment has a valid point about Greater Birmingham's underlying "civil warfare" between the city and its suburbs.  That's why I believe racebaiting officials like Langford, Frank Matthews, Tony Petelos, Gene Melton, etc. need to be voted out of office because there is always this "us versus them" mentality that is impeding growth and progress of this region.
This why I hope Birmingham can land the TIGER grant so it can start the In-Town Transit Partnership (ITP), so it can start a citywide comprehensive mass transit system including an improved bus system, bus-rapid transit (BRT) for the City Center, and frequent connector routes.   It will show places like Hoover, Vestavia Hills, etc. that opting out of regional transportation infrastructure.  However, in the long run they will regret their shortsighted decision on this issue.

1 comment:

  1. I don't agree with that quote either, but I see the point



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