Why I Am Opposed
to The Jonesboro MPO Draft
(To be voted on
sometime in February, 2011)
In you google Principles of Smart Growth Walkable Communities, you will find
plans for ending urban sprawl through codes and regulations and moving people
into densely populated areas where they can walk rather than drive. This
stuff is all over the web if you know where to look and many citizens are
waking up to where to look. I wrote three articles in the past couple of
years with these titles: On the Road To A "Carless” Society, Brummet
Says Amen to A World Without Cars, and How Obama and Governor Beebe
Are Weaning Us Off Cars. See links to these at end of email.
The Jonesboro MPO plan includes numerous quotes that are very similar to
quotes in the Smart Growth Principles. 2
How can anyone deny that the following quote Smart Growth will not be
attained except by force, " Land use and community design plays a pivotal
role in encouraging pedestrian environments. By building places with multiple
destinations within close proximity, where the streets and sidewalks balance
all forms of transportation, communities have the basic framework for
encouraging walkability" 3
Goal Number 1 in Chapter 9 of the Jonesboro MPO draft, "Adopt and
maintain policies, codes, and land-use patterns that promote walking,"
means the same things as the quote above by Smart Start and tells us it will
be done through policies and codes, and land-use patterns that won't allow the
citizens a choice. Even our own Arkansas journalist John Brummet said in an
article in 2009, " Let me be candid: I know some liberals very well and these
expressions of Michael Moore reflect exactly how they talk among themselves.
They believe government policy can compel better and more responsible
human behavior and force us, if that’s what it takes, to operate more
co-operatively and efficiently [doing without cars]. They think cars are
destructive to the earth both in what is required to run them and in what they
This MPO plan as government policy will compel and force people
to walk and bike rather than drive cars and move them into more dense areas
rather than give them the choice as Mr. Ulkarim and others are saying.
Among numerous others, the quotes below from the MPO draft further illustrate
Develop a regional pedestrian and bicycle transportation plan for a safe and
connective non-motorized transportation system.
Work towards specific short and mid-term implementation objectives of
increasing trips by bicycle and foot by a certain percentage over 2010 levels.
Coordinate a comprehensive bicycle safety program between cities, counties,
and state. [Quite a goal]
Continue developing and implementing walking and bicycle routes that provide
access to schools. Seek grant funding under the Safe Routes to School Program
and others to finance such improvements." 5
Think about what those words really mean. No one is going to use bicycle and
walking for transportation (for recreation but not transportation) unless they
are forced to.
How many children are they going to force to walk to school? It is not even
safe for children to walk in our world today, or for others either, especially
females. With 28 registered sex offenders in Jonesboro, what parents feel
their kids are safe walking to school? We even have to put in security guards
to guard them at school. Just during the Thanksgiving week-end several of
the teenagers in our family and adults were playing basketball at the church
gym off Highland. My daughter and her future daughter-in-law went for a walk
but called shortly and wanted assistance from our guys because three guys in
a truck had approached them and then followed them back to the church gym.
All this stuff on increasing sidewalks and bikeways, and bus, and transit is
coming from the environmentalist like Michael Moore who said in an article:
"Goodbye, GM," June 1, 08, "The things we call cars may have been
fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother
Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our
species and much of the planet." Information like this is all over the web
as well. See footnotes for articles below.
Yet government officials and the media are deceiving the people and claiming
it is being done for the elderly, safe walking for children, health and
exercise for citizens. Some of these government officials are gaining
prestige and notoriety like the may or Hernando, Mississippi who
by the White House for his contributions to providing a healthier environment
for children in his town." He
even received an invitation to the White
House to meet Michelle Obama and had an interview with an NPR reporter about
it that is posted on the web.
Our own Jonesboro Sun totally misrepresented the
last meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee by saying: "The
MPO was established in 2003 to give local residents a greater voice," and
that, "Several people voiced opposition to any federal funding for sidewalks."
(Only one person out of 20 public citizens at the meeting had a positive
comment, and that person was the one cited in the Sun story.)
The fact that the US Department of Transportation and at least 43 other
national organizations want to make this stuff mandatory as you, Mr. Ulkarim
sent in your email, is enough to let us know this stuff is not going to be
On the Road To A "Carless" Society and
How Obama and Governor Beebe Are Weaning Us Off Cars
2 Ten Smart Growth Principles:
3. Smart Growth Principles/Create Walkable Neighborhoods.
4 Link to John Brummet article World Without Cars – Amen
Below are other articles on a society without cars.
Article: "Walking, parking, bikes, and rail in the
"The Smart Growth Network is a partnership between the EPA [United
States Environmental Protection Agency]
and a number of nonprofit,
public, and governmental organizations working together to raise public
awareness and promote smart growth principles. In its popular first volume of
the manual Getting to Smart Growth
, released in 2001 (a second volume
was released in 2003), the Smart Growth Network
suggested that towns should return to the
designs of the early twentieth century. In those earlier times, land
uses were more integrated, enabling people to walk to the corner store, to
work, or to school. Today, such uses are more often placed so far apart they
can only be reached by car. Numerous communities have sought to reverse this
trend. Portland, Oregon, is an oft-touted model of sprawl containment. The
city established an “urban growth boundary” in 1980 that protects nearby
farmland surrounding the city and tightly limits development in outlying
areas. Portland’s approach has not been without controversy. From
"Sprawl, The New Manifest Destiny? By Charles W. Schmidt 2004"
“Three things change people’s behavior at the
societal level,” says Rees. “One is price; more good has been done by high
energy prices about moving us towards thinking about sustainability than all
the policy that any government anywhere has implemented in the last 10 years.
Higher energy prices create real behavioral change.”
Note: Many leftists are celebrating the higher gas prices and are not
concerned in the least that alternate fuel will cost so much. It will only
enhance their chances to move faster toward doing away with our cars and
saving Mother Earth.
2209 Indian Trails Street
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401
Phone 870-935-9438 Cell
Posted December 13, 2010