Just came back from a visit to Boston and their bike share program is awesome! Cannot wait for it to start officially here in Chattanooga. Downtown residents, tourists and UTC students will benefit from the program the most.
The flip side of the coin is that for many Americans, the private health insurance offered through their work place has been steadily getting much more expansive (for both the employer and the employees) and covering much less. For individuals who have to foot their own insurance bill, the cost increases have been through the roof with fewer and fewer people able to afford even the basic coverage. The questions which is not being asked often enough is why should we be content with the status quo and paying more for less? I value my choices, but when it is not affordable, it is really not much of a choice at all. Unlike expensive cars and summer houses which most people can live without, not having a basic safety net for one's life and livelihood should not be acceptable. Yet too many are living their lives one illness away from getting bankrupted, in many cases, even with the health insurance they have. IMHO, there are still a lot more need to be done and the track record of private health care industries (insurance, doctors & health care providers, and pharmas alike) does not give me much confidence that they can or have the will to solve the problem on their own.
This atrocity is a direct result of only focusing on the "green" mentality. A "go green" effort should also include environmental policies which insures responsible production process. It cannot be left to the market alone which is obviously not working. This problem spans across our entire economy and it is not unique to the production of alternative energy. It must be considered while making any policies at the government level, and we should all be aware of it as individuals when we carry on with our day to day activities. How we can better the process would be a much worthy discussion. Thanks Sailorman.
Your regard for "costs and common sense" is rather limited and short sighted. One needs to take into consideration the cost accounting of full life cycle of many of these green and not so green products while comparing them. You cannot choose to ignore the many other costs, which ultimately are directly borne by the public anyway, and only focus on the "green" out of your pocket at the very last step. Your well being and those of others should be in your consideration, among many other factors. Until you can manage to think more broadly and bring more substance to the table, your piece remains mediocre words play at best, worthy opinion, definitely not, and it does not take an "activist" to recognize that.
I am tired of letting the irresponsible few ruin it all for everyone else and all that there-is-nothing-we-can-do attitude. While I can appreciate the fact that it is a difficult problem to confront, what I don't understand is the evident lacking of will from all sides to even try coming up with solutions to balance the diverse interests within our community. As much as we pride ourselves with our beautiful riverwalk, it is certainly not the only one in the country. Many other communities facing similar if not greater challenges than ours ultimately manage to be pet friendly, why can't we?
Animal waste if always the top concern, conveniently located waste stations and bag dispensers need to be setup for sure. Irresponsible pet owners are major source of concern as well, we as a community need to step up to educate ourselves and each other to become better pet owners. I am sure funding is of a concern too. How about creating a special permit/leash program for people who do not mind paying to take advantage of it. It is a privilege and ought to be treated as such. If it is inherently not safe for bikers and pets to share the riverwalk, how about designate certain days of the week or different parts of day for each group? It certainly should not become the reason one group's interest is completely dominated by the other. Designating time slots for pet owners can also allow park rangers to monitor those slots more in order to curb bad behaviors and discourage irresponsible pet owners.
I am sure there are many other ideas we can try too to make it happen. So Mr. Priddy, I know it is hard, but I also know it is possible. We need you and the people who make these decisions to take on the initiative and ultimately make it happen. Also, I for one would like to thank the UTC professors/students who took part in this study, you are doing your part to make the community we all share a better one.