Auburn Mass Transit (Part I)
I had just finished teaching my afternoon urban planning class. I started walking to my office in Maher Hall when I got a call from an unknown number.
“Good Afternoon. This is Brittany Carson from the mayor’s office. Mayor Gordon is interested in having a meeting and discussing several important issues with you. The Mayor is extremely busy later this week and was wondering if you could meet with him in about 30 minutes at City Hall?”
“Yes! Sure, I finished teaching my class so I will be able to come right away!”
“Great! I’ll let him know.”
“Thank you and good-bye.”
“Goodbye and have a good day.”
I hung up the phone and was excited! The mayor wanted to see me!?! What an honor! I turned back and walked to the parking garage and went to B5 where I parked my brand new toy, a Camaro SS! Pretty good on a teacher’s salary, huh?
Anyway within 5 minutes I was on the freeway heading toward downtown.
As I got closer traffic worsened,
I got off on Broadway and made my way to City Hall on First Ave. I parked in the garage under City Hall and grabbed my briefcase from my trunk.
I walked into City Hall and asked the receptionist where the Mayor’s office was.
“Third Floor, north wing.”
I walked up to the third floor and found the secretary to the mayor sitting behind her desk.
“Hello. I’m Chris Brewer and I have a meeting with the mayor.”
“Ok. I’ll let him know. Please take a seat.”
I found a chair and sat down and picked up a magazine. It showed the mayor on the cover of Auburn Weekly, a weekly magazine obviously. I glanced at the article but before a could read it Brittany Carson interrupted me and told me the Mayor was ready.
I entered the Mayor’s office. It was a lot better than mine in terms of space and ammenities! On the walls he had pictures of numerous skylines from cities from around the world, framed magazines and newspapers about famous events over time, and of course his diploma from the University of Auburn.
“Greetings! I have been looking forward to speaking with you. You are a legendary urban planner since you fixed the problems of Detroit. Let’s sit down and get right to business. Would you like anything? Coffee? Tea? Water?” said Mayjor Jim Gordon.
“I’ll take a coffee with cream and sugar. “(he paged his assistant and asked for two coffees) “Thanks for the great words. That problem in Detroit was a pain but eventually it all worked out.”
“Yes it did. Auburn faces a different problem: too much traffic. City roads are always congested and highways are choked. Auburn is exploding with people and it’s hard to keep up with it. I have twenty building construction approvals that are pending. There is a lot to do to cope with all these people moving in.”
“Yes, I know. There was a lot of traffic heading into downtown. Actually, my class has come up with a few mass transit solutions. Buses are already packed so something new is needed.”
“What ideas have you and your class come up with.”
“Well,” I started. “One idea is to build a subway but that’s way too expensive. Another idea is to have an elevated system coexisting with a ground light rail system.” I showed him a few drawings from my class notes.
“I’m listening,” said Mayor Gordon sipping his coffee.
Stay tuned for the Part II of Auburn's Mass Transit!