During my research on accidents involving Light Rail I found many roadblocks in obtaining information. I couldn’t find a site that was dedicated to the subject, and what little information I got came from television news sites. The problem with these sites is that I could not get factual statistics on accidents with automobiles, pedestrians, bicycles, buses, etc… I did finally contact someone at “DORA” Public Utilities Commission. http://www.dora.state.co.us/puc/#. I was informed that that they could not give out that information, and that I would have to contact RTD. And with that my research hit a brick wall. I am still waiting to hear back from someone there. It appears that RTD does not want to share this information with the public.
Although the preservation of human life is absolutely a scientific subject, I decided to switch gears and approach the light Rail or FasTracks subject from a different perspective. Through my research it has come to my attention that Light rail is a large contributor of high emissions of carbon pollution through their high electricity use. It is commonly believed that light rail train systems are virtually pollution free, and good for the fight against greenhouse gases. The burning of coal produces electricity that Excel energy supplies to FasTracks. Coal is one of the cheapest ways to produce energy, but it is also one of the most contaminating ways.
I will create a campaign that will educate the public on the true impact that an existing and growing Light system has on the public’s health. It is important that people are not deceived and mislead, and that all pertinent information is available. My objective is not to stop the needed public transportation system, but to educate it’s public of the true impact it has on them.
Minnesota is a State that is similar to Colorado and our Light rail situation. http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2008/11/dirty-little-secrets-about-light-rail-and-clean-environment. This article will lend some insight on the environmental impact that they go through. John A. Charles has a column that addresses the myths of Light rail. http://cascadepolicy.org/pdf/env/drain.htm.
Environment Colorado explains the health related problems of carbon pollution caused by coal burning. http://www.environmentcoloradocenter.org/page/coc/clean-air-healthy-families. And the champion of this cause is Randal O’Toole. His Paper on FasTracks is what opened my eyes to this problem. http://www.cato.org/search_results.php?q=The+full+truth+about+Fastracks&btnG.x=37&btnG.y=9&btnG=Search&site=cato_all&client=cato-org&filter=p&lr=lang_en&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=cato-org&proxyreload=1&getfields=summary. My challenge is what type of communication device will I use to get the message to the general public. Billboards would be expensive and have a limited audience. Flyers would be too temporary and selective in distribution areas. A blog or web site with Light rail in the address may connect to people looking for Light rail information. This site will contain information on coal burning and Light rail energy consumption. A similar You Tube spot may also reach a large audience. In any case an effective image showing the connection between Light rail and carbon pollution must be produced. I will use a basic explanation if how Light rail is dependent on mass electricity, which comes from pollution making coal consumption.