Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What would Mama say?

(Here is a complete version of a letter a submitted to the Columbia Flier today about the Bridge Columbia Project.  I am sure they are wise in limiting folks to 200 words, but I think the complete version just reads better.)

My mother, God rest her soul, lived through the Great Depression,and she passed along some rules to live by. My personal favorite was one I heard invoked in the grocery store manytimes. “If it says “new and improved’, it probably isn’t. And it costs more.” A recent letter about the Bridge Columbia Project seems totake a page right out of my mother’s book. 

Here is the gist of it. “This project is far too expensive;we don’t need anything that fancy, we can make do and scrape by.  My goodness! How can the Bridge supportersdare to make such an extravagant suggestion in such financially troubled times?”

When do we get to dream big for our community?  When do we take a chance on something thatwill not only transform how we get around, but will bring beauty as well?   Theinspiring architecture of this beautifully-designed bridge will make it aniconic structure over Route 29 which says a lot about us as a community.

Secondly, this is a big dream of both form andfunction.  It seeks to improve quality oflife by encouraging better public transit and by enhancing the pedestrian/bikingexperience from East to West.

Sometimes it is difficult to imagine that good can come oftaking such big risks. Isn’t Columbiahere because someone was willing to dream the Big Dreams?  We need to invest in this study now, so thatwe will be ready when state or federal funding is available.

Our responsibility is to move forward in a way that willkeep the Dream alive.



  1. Very nice! Momma is smart woman.

    1. My mom was a very smart woman, but this Mama--i.e., ME--wants something bold, visionary, AND functional for the hoco hometown. Thanks, Al!

    2. I am with you on bold and visionary, but could you better describe the functionality?

  2. So true, Julia. When we put virtually all our transportation money into building, widening, and beautifying roads for cars, but expect people who want to be healthier and more socially responsible to traverse scary, ugly, poorly laid out spaces, what does that say about our priorities?


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