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Car-Free Living and New Urbanism

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TPTB hate public transit, sustainable development

  • NYC_SKP (88 posts)
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    TPTB hate public transit, sustainable development

    I’ve recently become deeply involved in the debate but have always been fighting for rail transit.  The more I fight the more I learn and the more I realize why the corporations hate progressive ideas like TOD and rail transit.  Too much to list in one post but I’ll bullet list some of the things being pushed that need to be resisted:

    Hydrogen cars– These keep us dependent on fuel middlemen and natural gas, 95% of hydrogen comes from reforming natural gas.

    Self-driving cars– These are the only way to manage congestion and will require all of us to replace existing technology (more debt).

    BRT- Bus Rapid Transit– Resist this ploy to continue building lanes- insist on rail transit.  Steel wheels have 1/25 the rolling resistance of rubber.

    Rail-banking– A ploy by rail haters to promote removal of tracks for “temporary” conversion of a right of way to a bike trail.  Restoration of a ROW to active rail line has never been successfully accomplished.

    That’s all for now.  Stay active, shop locally, avoid malls and big box stores that serve the automobile fetish/habit.


    LWolf, beemerphill, Spanishprof27 and 4 othersolddots, Banned, historylovr, bbgrunt like this

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  • nxylas (297 posts)
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    1. Rail-banking

    This happened in my hometown, with the conversation of the former Midland Railway into the Bristol-Bath Railway Path for cyclists and pedestrians.  I had no idea it was part of a wider anti-transit strategy.

    "Slavery followed, even voluntary slavery; the weak eagerly submitted to the strong, on condition that the latter aided them to subdue the still weaker. Then there were saints who came to these people, weeping, and talked to them of their pride, of their loss of harmony and due proportion, of their loss of shame. They were laughed at or pelted with stones." - Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
  • Herman4747 (1347 posts)
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    2. I likewise prefer trains to buses.

    It is easier to read & write on trains than on buses.  If they get enough passengers, trains may well be more environmentally friendly than buses.

  • Lydia Leftcoast (7 posts)
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    3. Another tactic, seen in the Twin Cities, is to plan

    a rail line that fails to meet its stated goals and misses major destinations.

    The latest line to open runs from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul through the University of Minnesota campus. Sounds good, huh?

    Not so fast.

    The St. Paul terminus is a (beautifully) remodeled train station that also serves our one Amtrak run per day. Buses also leave from the lower level. However, the light rail line completely bypasses the biggest St. Paul destinations for Minneapolis residents: the Ordway Theater (home of the Minnesota Opera, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Xcel Energy Center, and touring shows),  and  the Science Museum of Minnesota.

    Sure, there’s bus service, but when I rode the line just to see what it was like, I decided to return via the bus that serves these destinations. It took an hour and fifteen minutes, as opposed to 40 minutes for the train.

    There are two proposed lines. The first one is supposed to bring residents of the largely African-American near north side to jobs in the suburb of Eden Prairie. However, it barely ventures into the north side, and the one stop would require most passengers to take a bus to get there. Then it runs through a rather exclusive residential area between two lakes, where most of the NIMBYism has arisen. Its good point is serving two woefully underserved walkable neighborhoods, but then it goes off into Eden Prairie, which is the epitome of “the geography of nowhere.”

    There’s also a proposed northwest line, which, as far as I can tell, goes from nowhere to nowhere.

    The Twin Cities have many good qualities, but transit planning is not one of them.