Our local transit system and how it compares with other cities has spurred a lot of comments in the past few weeks, including one highlighted below. Readers also weigh in on Mayor Bob Filner’s continuing sexual harassment scandal and the demise of the local Film Commission.
• Mike Richards on “How San Diego’s Transit System Stacks Up Nationally, in Four Charts“:
What these graphics show is true both in San Diego and California in general. We spend too much time and money to provide a service that the vast super majority of persons don’t want or won’t use unless its a temporary solution. One example is there is a higher bang for the buck in “carpooling” than using public transportation. For the amount of money spent to build out light rail or the stupid bus rapid transit, we could provide van pools for a lot less money and a smaller workforce on the public dole. San Diego will never have a ridership above 8 to 10 percent even if they could offer 24/7 service, which they don’t. Provide services direct from the housing areas to work areas without having to go to downtown first. And get the cost down to reasonable levels. Under current “union mandates” this will never happen because the workers tell the employer when and where they work rather than the other way around. When it takes over 1 1/2 hours to get from say Lemon Grove to the businesses in Miramar with a minimum of two transfers and assuming you don’t waste 15-30 minutes waiting for next leg of trip, no one will give up their personal transportation mode to sit in traffic with buses. Even at today’s cost of gasoline, insurance and maintenance, it costs less than subsidized bus and light rail. …We could all buy a hybrid or electric vehicle for less money.
• Julie Wright on “The Film Commission’s Big Cliffhanger“:
It is very shortsighted to eliminate the San Diego Film Commission and its modest budget — more fallout from Bob Filner’s poor stewardship of San Diego. While a Film Commission sounds glamorous, this small staff carried out a lot of important functions — marketing the city and interesting film locations, helping film companies navigate permit processes and logistics including hotels, and solving the inevitable problems as they arise. A great deal of behind-the-scenes work … Attracting popular films and television shows — and sometimes even commercials — to San Diego also helps to attract visitors — another important San Diego function where the fallout from Filner’s thoughtless refusal to sign the funding authorization has had consequences not just now but into the future. When I was California secretary of trade and commerce, both the state film commission and tourism marketing were my responsibility. Competition from other states and regions — often far better funded — was intense. If you don’t think we will pay an economic price for Filner’s moves, you are sadly mistaken. Just ask the local businesses — many of them quite small — that have already been impacted.
Kudos to Carolyn Wormser for trying to step in to help filmmakers, but the real answer is to fund both the Film Commission and the Tourism Authority immediately.
• Andrew Poat on “$25K City Consultant Job Includes Mayoral ‘Coaching’“: