The Locker Room

December 31, 2008

Year End Literary Reflection

Posted by Hal Young at 11:29 AM

What was the most significant, impressive, thought-provoking or enjoyable book you've read this year?

I have several I might suggest, but the one that comes to mind first is Clarence Thomas' 2007 autobiography, My Grandfather's Son, which I found profoundly moving.

I find it interesting, too, that the copy I have was one of many donated by Justice Thomas for participants at an international homeschool leadership conference I attended this fall -- I suppose he considered that group would share his appreciation for the strong, sacrificial parenting he received growing up.

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HOT lanes for the Triangle?

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 10:58 AM

This article in the N&O raises a question in my mind. Why doesn't the Triangle have HOT lanes or a toll beltline or even HOV lanes?  The article explains how High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes in Houston, Miami and other cities save commuters time and money. In addition, the higher speeds on toll roads prevents the pollution created by cars caught in stop and go congestion.

 My Christmas vacation to visit Wendy's daughter in Denver and my son in Longmont illustrates the point.  The 56 mile trip from southeast Denver north to Longmont is a nightmare if traveled through Denver on "free"ways I-225 and I-25.  Fortunately, there is a toll road that runs 47 miles from I-25 in the south along the eastern half of Denver and reconnects with I-25 in the north.  We used the toll road for 33 miles for a $10 toll or about 30 cents per mile.  The pre-purchased, electronic toll system, Express Toll, is cheaper at $9 and vehicles can pass the toll booths at 70 mph. See the nifty toll road map and cost calculator here. The system could be improved if it used congestion pricing, higher tolls during rush hour.

We also visited family in Phoenix.  Travel from the airport to Mesa, 22 miles east of Phoenix, is facilitated by a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane that requires only 2 passengers. While rush hour commuters dealt with stop and go traffic, we buzzed by in the HOV lane.

Since I have lived in Raleigh for only a few years, perhaps someone can explain why the four lanes of the I-40 south and north of Raleigh merge to two lanes near Cary creating a huge bottleneck.  Is this part of the "master transportation" plan to create more congestion in order to justify a rail system?

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Today's Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:11 AM

Today's Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Kristen Blair's report about the success of the private Thales academies. 

John Hood's Daily Journal focuses on the dangers associated with overregulation.

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