Posted in the Santa Cruz Forum
Comments (Page 11)
I agree its a great idea and step up into planning for future transportation needs.
Im glad that we have leaders that are aware and planning ahead !
Since: May 08
Knock it off, Jimi. You're really bad at this, you know.
I can smell the urine and garbage now...ahhhhhhhhhhhh!
What are we buying?
- Frieght trains or bike path?
- Paved or 'hard surface'?
- Higher ongoing maintenace or rental income?
- Fixing 30+ bridges or its fine?
- EIR before or after purchase?
- EIR allowing our goal or disallowing it?
- Running a profitable short line business or not?
I don't TRUST our government. Do you?
I don't believe this statistic of 1 out of every 5 people commute to
work on a bike in boulder.. Why do I say this as I live in colorado...
and if you want to see what the commute is like in boulder let me show
the highway 36 corridor in the morning during the week. Or better yet
how about 28th, 30th, arapahoe, etc.. in boulder.. it is jammed during
There is a freight-carload of unstated value judgments in that sentence. First, it doesn't take much foisting or convincing to sell people the freedom of the open road. It's something they WANT. With a personal vehicle, you can live where you want, shop where you want, travel at will, take your own mini-environment with you, etc. Who would not want that? Well, I guess that some, who have convinced themselves that a mobile lifestyle is both undesirable and somehow "unsustainable" might not value such freedom. But that position comes from a personal choice of values and lifestyle. Another reaction might be to find ways to make personal conveyances sustainable, not abandon the idea altogether.
It doesn't matter how "efficient" something is if it doesn't make your life better. In any case, Mass Transit is efficient only when lots of people use it. Running sparsely occupied buses down roads, or nearly-empty train cars along tracks, is not very efficient at all. If Mass Transit isn't available where people are, or where they want to go, then not very many people will ride it. If Mass Transit isn't comfortable, convenient, secure, or safe, then not very many people will ride it. As patronage dwindles, so does any hope of realizing "Efficiency."
The movement against cars and roads has based recent opposition on three things primarily: 1) Roads and parking lots pave over too much land, and urban sprawl leads to "inefficient" land use; 2) Exhaust from internal combustion engines causes pollution; 3) Relatively inefficient use of fuel for transportation via individual vehicles draws excessively on our energy supply, while dependence on traditional fuels keeps us tethered to unfriendly foreign regimes. The development and promotion of Electric Vehicles addresses #2 and #3 very well. EVs use fuel more efficiently, and the electrons that propel them can be generated from a wide variety of sources, many of them "clean," "renewable," and "sustainable." It would take some time to convert the US vehicle fleet to electricity. But once that was done, would the environmentalist argument that we shouldn't pave over so much land for the benefit of cars be compellingly persuasive to most people? I'm doubtful about that.
The compulsion of laws that make it too expensive or inconvenient to own and drive one's own vehicle will only go so far. In the end, frustrated and exasperated citizens will see that they can change the law -- and end the careers of politicians and bureaucrats who are viewed as being responsible for motorists' misery.
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Motorists will get out of their cars when they perceive that doing so gives them clear advantages over those who won't. Rather than lecturing people on what they "should" be doing, and how they "should" conduct their lives, it makes more sense to provide an attractive alternative -- attractive to the motorist, I hasten to add, not just to the would-be reformer.
Those who would usher in a new transportation paradigm should ask -- and have good answers for -- the same questions anyone would ask when trying to decide which mode of transit to use in any particular case. Here are some of those questions, as they might be asked by a motorist, trying to decide whether to use his car or hypothetical Transit Mode X instead:
1. Is it less expensive for me to take the car or Mode X?
2. Will I arrive sooner if I drive or take Mode X?
3. Will I be more comfortable during the journey if I go by car or by Mode X?
4. Will I have as much or more personal space using Mode X as I have in my car?
5. Can I sleep, drink, eat, use my computer, take phone calls, listen to music, shave, put on my makeup, read a book, watch a video, text my friends, or any of a number of other things while using Mode X, or can I do such things better and more safely via Mode X than in my car?
6. Will using my Car or Mode X better protect me from the weather conditions, door-to-door?
7. Am I more likely to be delayed by an accident or get into one myself using the car or using Mode X?
8. Which is ready to go RIGHT NOW: The car or Mode X?
The answers to those questions will vary with each trip that someone might want to take. Sometimes the car will win, sometimes Mode X will win, sometimes it will be hard to pick between them. Try answering the questions, comparing the car with light rail, commuter trains, bus, bicycle, ferries, aerial gondolas, or whatever you wish. Modes that stack up well against the car in a wider variety of circumstances and a greater number of instances will be the ones that people are more likely to use instead of the personal car.
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