Jan. 9 — To the Editor:
In John Tabor’s Jan. 6 thoughtful opinion piece, he calls for “less reliance on cars”. I totally agree! But I disagree with his suggested solution of expanding Uber and Lyft. How will increasing rides for hire decrease reliance on cars?! Uber and Lyft have actually resulted in more cars on city streets across the county. They are also very pricey for low/moderate income wage earners.
The article suggests the use of autonomous cars. Currently there are unsolved safety issues, as the recent deaths involving these cars illustrate. The technology hasn’t evolved to a truly autonomous vehicle, drivers are still required to have hands on the wheel and pay attention.
Mr. Tabor suggests a commuter loop around town. COAST currently provides that with stops at major employment districts – downtown, Pease, Borthwick Avenue, Commerce Way, and Lafayette Road, and the Newington Malls. It’s reliable, affordable, and with increased service levels during peak rush hours.
Let’s also consider a completely connected system of protected bicycle paths that loop around Portsmouth to all the major work and shopping areas. That would appeal to millennials (who have the lowest car ownership rates in recent history) and to new or tentative bike riders. Cities across the country and the world have invested in bike infrastructure that created livable communities with fewer cars on the road.
To answer Mr. Tabor’s question of, “What can the seacoast do to attract young workers”, my answer is create safe routes for bicycling and walking and encourage people to use the COAST bus system.
Manager, CommuteSMART Seacoast
Vice-President, Seacoast Area Bicycle Riders