Monday, February 25, 2008

Bowdoin: Destination Freedom

Destination Freedom is one of my required weekly readings. It is the weekly newsletter of the National Corridors Initiative, a group heavily involved in getting semi-high speed Acela passenger rail service on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington DC.

NCI "exists to support the development of infrastructure, including an integrated national transportation system that emphasizes rational transportation decisions, such as a network of intercity passenger and freight corridor rail corridors augmented by commuter rail, and served by feeder systems."

Which is all great and I totally support it and think everyone should. Unfortunately a major problem which exists for a lot of passenger rail advocacy is that the main advocates who speak are all old and a little removed from reality. Old-man reality is great when attempting to garner support from old-school politicians who generally support Amtrak and such. Amtrak actually manages to get support from both sides of the aisles.

My hope is that my linking the promise of economic development (or whatever cash prize for the constituency the politico thinks they'll get) with our current understanding of the impact that our transportation habits have on the planet: single-occupant vehicle = bad; short-hop flights = bad; intercity passenger rail = Rockin like Dokken.

J. Airport has regularly supplied me with oddities that the removal from reality has wrought. References have been made to "Islamofascists" (which actually turned out to be from a guest editorial), nicknames to things and areas that I have never heard anyone say, and other examples of poor journalism.

One particularly eyebrow-raising claim regarding the CharlieCard was made here:
Aside from the association with the former folk song, a somewhat-popular slang in the Boston area calls frequent transit users "Charlies" and getting around town by subway is to "Charlie it."

I must have a very different definition of "somewhat-popular" in my mental dictionary. To me, "somewhat-popular" would probably extend beyond a man and his well-worn fedora. From now on, I'm calling the CharlieCard a "ham n cheese" based on the sandwich that Charlie's wife probably gave him before he starved to death on the T. I hear its somewhat-popular.

So, what's the in paper this week?:

In an article about the new subway cars introduced to the MBTA Blue Line:

The present end-of-the-line station at Bowdoin Square, just one stop and a very short distance from Government Center, will close as it cannot be lengthened due to its close proximity to building basements and utility lines. To accommodate Bowdoin passengers, a new entrance to Government Center station will be created by re-opening an old passenger access portal, presently used solely for ventilation. The passenger portal to be re-opened is approximately one-half way between the two stations. To prepare passengers for this transition, Bowdoin Station is currently being closed on weekends and after weekday rush hours.

In the words of J. Airport, "Yes the MBTA has taken the steps to prepare passengers for this transition since 1982."


Ok Elevatoheads, its time for this Charlie to Charlie It! Catch you at the soda fountain before the sock-hop.

credits and apologies to J. "Sorry, I have an airport to run" Airport.

1 comment:

curiously carolyn said...

I hear all the kids these days are saying, "lets T it!" clearly they are too lazy to say "Cahrlie-it." Oh kids these days.