Monday, July 03, 2006
11 Days and Counting: I Check the RailRunner Platform at El Pueblo
NORTH VALLEY--I was amazed at the progress of the work on the north valley platform at El Pueblo. The last time I wrote about it they were just grading what is to be the huge parking lot. But I think the work has proceeded in a timely manner, considering the track ownership issues brought up by Attorney General Patsy Madrid.
Not only that, the platforms are beautiful. Look at the hand-done tile work accenting the columns. Look at the human scale of everything. I am so sick of looking at minimalist utilitarian structures for public use. It is as if politicians are afraid that anything nice would be attacked for being wasteful. We are people...we NEED nice. Not only that, how do you attract riders if the stations look like concrete bunkers.
It is the hand-wrought nature of the finishing touches that impresses me, right down to the bee-hive pattern of the brick pavers. We have been told we are a "consumer" society. All work seems to have been shipped overseas to the cheapest maker. All we do is consume the cheapest product.
Craft work, even the minor elements shown in the platforms, empower us. They show that somebody here still knows how to make stuff!
By the way, their is a bike path exit right into the platform. Just thought you would like to know.
We have less than two weeks until the opening of the rail line: July 14th. I wonder how excited everybody connected with this project is? I know I am.
Let me make a prediction. Martin Chavez will be "mountin' to the cabin" on the first day. Chavez will drive this engine and blow that horn. Also, none of us...the people who actually paid for it...will be on the first train.