Another forum blamed the car free lifestyle of the people of New Orleans as the reason which prevented them from leaving the city during the disaster. I also heard this same opinion yesterday on the radio as the host declared if the poor people "Only had Cars" the disaster wouldn't have been so great.
Folks. There is plenty of blame to go around as to why this disaster happend in the first place but I'll take this one at a time.
1. High cost of car ownship -- The poor people of New Orleans could not afford a car which is why they were living a car free lifestyle in the first place. When you don't have any money to afford a car, you simple do without. The spiraling cost of motor car ownership is leaving thousands without transportaton and I suspect this will get worse in the future. Furthermore, most of those cars would have been stuck in gridlock once the city got flooded in the first place as CNN showed thouands of vehicles underwater. Bottom line. There no proof at all that tens of thousands of cars would have been the answer.
2. Lack of Rail Service or Public transportation--- The city of New Orleans had very little in the form of public transportation which gave the citizens little options when the disaster struck. Other than Amtrak, there is no commuter rail service leaving the city which could have been used to evacuate tens of thousands to safty. People think in natural disaster, a car would be a savior but when the people are too poor to afford a motor vehicle, rail or bus service would have been a better alternative. What was the first thing the mayor was asking for after the storm? Hundreds of Buses!!
3. Lack of leadership -- It seems everyone is quick to a car free lifestyle as the problem but in fact was the lack of leadership. The Presidents budget cuts for the city of New Orleans prevented the Army Corp or Engineers from completing the necessary work that might have prevented the disaster in the first place. No Emergency assistance from Washington during the crisis, lack of evacuation from the governor, the list goes on and on. Lets put the blame where it belongs and not on the carfree lifestyle.