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An Argument for Public Transportation

Okay, so if you thought traffic was shit in places where freeways and sprawl reign supreme, try ever-developing Goliaths such as India, or high-density squeeze boxes such as China. Not only would freeways NOT solve this issue, they'd make it worse. Plus they just look tacky from outer space.

Watch the rather farcical video below for an example of why high-capacity public transportation ought to be of the highest priority in urban development--before capacity needs becomes unmanageably high, not after.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Hi, I don't know where you came from, but "Hello"
After reading a few of your entries (as "My friend?", I think I am allowed) I assume you are from the Bay Area. I grew up in Berkeley during the 30s-40s and 50s. Our move to Sacramento after graduation from Cal seemed o.k. With the G.I. Bill, we were able to purchase a nice, new, "starter house", about 10 miles from my husband's job in the downtown. We had one car and several bicycles. Husband biked to work each day, and when he needed the car, I could carry the youngest in a Gerry-carrier on my back as I shopped for groceries one mile away.
Life happened...
Husband continued to bike to work....and developed the circulation to withstand a heart attack. After a short while, he returned to riding his bike, but somehow we thought two cars might be necessary. After all, the first car was getting old.
When we divorced, I kept beloved old station-wagon, and he got the new one. By this time, we had children who had activities. Fortunately there was a school bus. And I had a job that allowed me to take time off to taxi kids around.
Then is when I noticed it.

They are still building suburban housing here in the central valley. There is no sea-shore, or mountains to prevent it. Soon the houses will be a ocean of ticky-tacky and McMansions from Bakersfield to Redding. We will have to import food from India, because we can't grow it ourselves in the swimming pools, concrete patios and triple car driveways covering the once fertile soil.

Sorry for the scream of frustration from an old lady. But sometimes I can't help it. Of course, I smile sweetly and suggest Alzheimers!
Jun. 21st, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
man. it's great to hear your husband biked. it's like the only thing i do to keep my circulation good enough; i have high blood pressure and i'm in my twenties.

it so often makes a lot of sense for people to move out of the city in order save money, or to reap other benefits. a friend of mine is living at his buddy's house in dixon to save cash because rent in the bay is too expensive, and jobs are scarce/hard to get, while his buddy lives in davis and bikes everywhere so he can put his GI funds towards school and rent, etc.

the catch is, owning a car and driving it is the only way to get around the valley and the delta, and he can't afford to do it, especially because he hasn't begun to get paid yet after moving there. so he has a car he practically can't use. plus, if he could, he'd still have to put up with bad traffic and--if you like--he'd also develop a higher carbon footprint from moving around a lot during the day, which goes against his own politics. we are constrained by gas. we are not free. gah!!!

it seems like the lack of spending on public transportation from both private and public sources has screwed most americans out of having an actual choice, or the freedom, to put their time and money towards alternative forms of transit.

as an engineer put it to me once, automobiles aren't necessarily a form of public transportation, but they are a form of transportation that the public is willing to collectively pay for, which blurs the line...

i'll try the alzheimers...is dementia good enough? better?

Edited at 2008-06-25 01:54 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )