I'm also confused. The article makes it sound like Leger is talking about a light rail line between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, but that would require all new infrastructure and would be impractical in the extreme. It sounds more like a commuter rail proposal.
Remember when they installed the cameras, and a lot of people noted that they were nothing more than cash cows that fed political corruption? On behalf of all of those people, I'd like to say "we told you so."
More than that, can we please dismantle these things? Can we finally see that they're more trouble than they're worth?
Good for Jindal. Cigarettes have fairly inelastic demand and the financial burden they create tends to fall largely on the poor. Raising cigarette taxes to high levels, as so many other states have done, is more about grandstanding and revenue generation than it is about public health. Moreover, to the extent it has anything to do with public health it's paternalistic. The government shouldn't make "bad habits" more expensive to save us from ourselves.
Oh, and by the way, Louisiana has the 48th highest cigarette tax in the country, not 49th. Missouri only taxes at 17 cents per pack.
This clearly should be left up to the bar owner. It's their establishment, and they should make the decision. If the market demands that they go non-smoking, they probably will. There are already many non-smoking bars in the New Orleans area; nobody is being forced into being exposed to second-hand smoke.
The same goes for employees; there are many bars in which to work, and nobody is being forced to work at smoking establishments. Employment is normally considered at-will, meaning that an employee can be hired or fired for virtually any reason. We're talking about a purely voluntary relationship where both sides are supposed to weigh the pros and cons, including risks.
I've always thought that Unity Temple resembles Jabba the Hutt's palace.
"Eventually, the RTA made decisions like a lot of cities, where streetcars were taken out and buses put in, but that's what everybody was doing at the time."
The RTA wasn't created until 1983. Before that, NOPSI ran both utilities and transit in New Orleans. NOPSI did indeed phase out streetcars, but it wasn't because the were yielding to peer pressure -- it was because they weren't as cost-effective as buses, which was also true in other cities as well.
Also, the New Orleans City Council for some dumb reason required two operators per streetcar, which made operating costs even more expensive.
That said, streetcars are at least cheaper than modern light rail in terms of capital costs, and should be considered where appropriate. We are a vacation destination and streetcars are a core part of New Orleans' image.
However, New Orleans is a poor city and where buses are cheaper and more cost-effective, we should stick with those. I'd hate for us to have half as many transit lines and have those run half as often because we decided to go with rail at the expense of buses and the overall transit network. If buses will get people from point A to point B faster and cheaper, we need to stick with buses.
In short, simply going with rail because it's 'sexier than buses' is a sure-fire way to waste money and wind up with less effective transit.
RFrancisR - I don't think they meant that as a pedophile reference. "Boys" often refers to fully grown men, just as "girls" can refer to fully grown women.
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