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Steve Fouga

"Officials with the Galveston Park Board of Trustees and the City Council should talk about the trolley system." -- Yes, it seems insane to treat this issue in a compartmentalized manner.

"Taxes on tourism are an appropriate way to fund that system." -- Of course they are! But I don't understand why the source of the tax has anything to do with how it's spent. Why can't the City decide it's priorities, and then spend its tax revenues on those priorities, regardless of where the tax came from? I'm sure this is an old question, and the system evolved to its current state, but is it a good system?

"The park board also said it would support the revival of the rail trolleys, but only after a rubber-tired trolley system was in place." -- This is just plain crazy. There's no good reason for railed trolleys.

"The rail trolleys make sense only if they operate within a larger system of getting visitors where they want to go." -- No they don't.

"On any sunny weekend, Seawall Boulevard looks like a parking lot. Traffic crawls when it moves. And nothing kills the experience of a relaxing getaway like a couple of hours in heavy traffic." -- On any sunny weekend I can drive from Stewart Beach down Seawall to 61st and on to Conroe in a couple of hours. Traffic just isn't much of a problem in Galveston, at least not to me and not compared to other tourist destinations. I just spent the weekend in Miami Beach. If you want more tourists in Galveston, make it a more pleasant and attractive destination.

"The discussion of managing tourist traffic around ought to be a joint priority for the council and the park board." -- Or just leave it to the tourists. They seem to get around just fine. Does the Park Board, Chamber, or City Council have statistics showing that traffic is the top limiting factor on the local tourist industry? If so, they should publish it. Then I would believe it's as important as you say.

"The park board doesn’t have the financial resources to operate a trolley system by itself. And operating a bus system is not exactly the agency’s area of expertise." -- Transportation should be operated by the City or by a private contractor.

"On the other hand, the council can make decisions in a vacuum that could make the traffic problems worse, not better." -- Yes, someone needs to get their arms around the entire issue. It's silly that operating this city is so compartmentalized.

"Eventually, of course, traffic will get so bad that individual companies that manage hotels and attractions will try to do something about it. But a single, coordinated system would achieve more with less expense." -- Yes, obviously! Heber, you MUST have statistics or survey results proving that traffic is an issue in Galveston, or you wouldn't be so strident about it. Your position just doesn't match my experience. I almost never have a hard time getting around on the Island.

"Traffic is a serious challenge. Both the council and the park board — and perhaps some of the major players in the tourism business — should be working together on it." -- I haven't seen any proof that traffic is a big problem in Galveston, at least compared to other issues. Please provide said proof.

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