How does streetcar serve Atlanta?
The recent story about the Atlanta streetcar described the ongoing effort to fix the deficiencies uncovered in an audit (“Streetcar issues still unresolved,” News, March 19). However, the real issue here is not about operational problems with the existing system. It is about the need for a streetcar in the first place.
If the goal is to provide efficient, cost-effective transportation with no unusual disruption of normal traffic flow, buses are much more flexible and useful, and can be implemented at a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining a streetcar network. If the goal is to attract development into the urban area in question, this is best done with subsidies and tax breaks for developers along the transportation route regardless of the type of public transportation in the area.
If the goal is to simply look modern, then it makes no sense to bring back something that was outdated decades ago. If you like flashy vehicle design, you can look just as good getting off brightly painted new buses that have a catchy new name as you can getting off one of the new streetcars.
JOEL SMITH, STOCKBRIDGE
Liberals should make up their minds
I find it not only hypocritical, but infuriating that the liberal left would try to guilt Christians into supporting socialism by suggesting, as did Nicholas D. Kristof, (“Parables on healing, …”, Opinion, March 23), that the federal government should craft and pass healthcare legislation, forcing all taxpayers to support a system based on Christian principles of love and mercy while, at the same time, forbidding any mention of Christ in schools, in public taxpayer-funded displays at “winter festivals,” (no longer allowed to be called Christmas), in trying to remove “In God We Trust” from all federal currency, and every other reference to God and Christ in public taxpayer-funded life, and mocking Christianity in the media. Certainly, in their private lives, all Christians should live according to the teachings of Christ. Many of the first hospitals were founded by Christian organizations, supported by private funding. But to suggest that federal legislation should be crafted based on Christian principles and be mandated for all Americans, blatantly and hypocritically contradicts the “separation of church and state” that liberals otherwise like to tout when it suits their agenda. Make up your mind! Democracy or theocracy?
JEAN LINDER, MONROE
Reps did not take health care lumps
“In Georgia we took a stand and said we weren’t going to expand the Medicaid roll,” proclaimed U.S. Rep Barry Loudermilk. “We took the lumps.” (“Ga. Leaders fear GOP plan may punish state,” News, March 16).
But, unlike the 1.3 million Georgians without health insurance, Rep. Loudermilk suffered no ill effects from Georgia’s “stand” to restrict Medicaid. He didn’t miss any appointments, postpone any treatments, or stop taking his medicine because he couldn’t pay. No, had Barry Loudermilk actually found a lump, he’d have been in his doctor’s office the very next morning.
JERELYN JORDAN, ATLANTA
Gutting EPA budget is irresponsible
That the Trump administration would consider reductions in the EPA’s budget is unconscionable, as it is not honoring our word on the Paris Climate Accords. All of us will bear the brunt of these actions. We must reduce carbon emissions before it is too late. A simple way to accomplish this is to put a fee on carbon emissions as close to the source as possible and to distribute a dividend equitably to all households. The signs are clear that this is necessary for our health and well-being. I urge everyone to contact their senators and representatives through letters, emails, and calls pleading for action on global warming, which is very real. Want to do more? Plant trees, which improve air quality while reducing ambient temperature. We can also walk, bicycle, and take MARTA. We can reduce our use of big energy users like dryers, excessive lighting, etc. We can make a difference.
KATHERINE MITCHELL, ATLANTA