An Open Letter to the Skeptics

We’re still early in the life of this site. I’d like to clarify its purpose and ask for the help of our users in achieving that purpose.

This site unquestionably has a point of view. The agenda is not hidden. The contributors in large part are advocates for, or responsible for implementing, alternative modes of transportation. My intention in creating this blog was to give those folks an opportunity to converse with each other and cross-pollinate their ideas, while allowing a more public audience to share in the conversation.

In our first few weeks, we have attracted the attention and participation of what I will call ‘transit skeptics’ (I apologize if you feel that’s not an appropriate label). This has led to some long and heated debates about the appropriateness of investments in transit and light rail in particular.

While I recognize that this is an important debate, I would strongly suggest that this blog is not the appropriate venue. While we want to keep the site open to everyone, if every post that mentions transit descends into a debate about whether transit is or is not a good investment, the site will never serve its purpose of exchanging ideas to make transit and other modes even better for our community.

To put it another way, it just isn’t good manners to be invited to a party and then start an argument that drives the other guests away. If everyone who posts an idea here has their thoughts dissected line-by-line with a view to discrediting them, I expect that the quality and quantity of the contributions is going to drop pretty quickly.

I absolutely believe that folks who do not share our views on transportation have a right to speak, but perhaps another forum may be more appropriate?

So my request to the skeptics is to understand what this particular conversation is about, and be respectful of that. By all means hang around and keep us honest, but please be good guests.


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