City gets $25 million for streetcar (Wilson: price, military, dangerous)
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Let it go, man. It's not gonna happen this time around. It will eventually.
Although I'm sure this would eventually happen, it's just kind of frustrating to see something that was promised get dumped in the trash. Even after all of the politics and opposition, it was nice to see that things actually were in place to move forward with this project. I, along with several other people I know, were very happy for the city, and felt as if the streetcar would truely get the momentum going.
The timing for the project was perfect, and if all went according to plan, the bigger vision for regional rail would have progressed nicely over the decade. This was awesome news, considering the ever rising prices for gasoline could be countered by a regional system that would be in place. Instead, we'll the the oil prices rise, and have a later start date for the regional rail. Buses should be improved as well, but to truely be efficient they must work hand in hand with rail.
It's really hard for me to grasp why people think cars are the only way. I love cars too. As a matter of fact, I love my car so much, that I'd love to be able to make it last longer by having other options rather than having to use it for EVERYTHING and run up the mileage and wear out the tires on these s**t highways. I recently fixed a window, and that alone cost me $300, and that was just a window. God forbid I need 4 new tires.
The one person, one vehicle model doesn't promote transit oriented, centered, planned and sustainable growth. I keep hearing people saying that getting dropped off at a train station and walking a mile home isn't efficient, but they have these things called 'park and ride' In D.C. it works nicely. Besides, a mile walk is nothing. We live in a city that was built on, and designed for mass transit, and we won't reach our full potential until we utilize it again.
Salt Lake, Charlotte, Austin and countless other cities would die to have walkable urban neighborhood like we do. Here, people just drive past them on freeways that have disected them in half and left vacant remnants of once great communities. I'm listening to both sides of the argument, and to say cars are the only way is just...
Amen. The thing that sticks with me 35 or 40 years after being a regular bus rider in Lexington was the waiting, waiting, waiting and more waiting for the bus to come along. At my current age and physical condition that would go way beyond inconvenience to actual physical hardship.
But yeah, it boggles the mind to think what could be done to improve and expand the bus system with the total $$$ involved in the streetcar project.
With fixed rail, folks know exactly when the train will arrive. The guesswork involved in riding buses is one of the most inefficient aspects of using autos to move groups of people. Developers and businesses also feel confidence in investing on fixed rail routes b/c they aren't going anywhere. Even if the streetcar never expanded past the original downtown-uptown phase, the streets and corridors along the route would improve dramatically.
If you subsidize something you get more of it. If you make it easier, cheaper and more convenient for people to live 30 miles from Cincinnati, guess what will happen? There is tons of affordable attractive housing close to Cincinnati. Why pay people to move away from it?
Public transit is feeling the pinch like everyone else. Pittsburgh Port Authority announced a 15%reduction in overall transportation service effective Mar. 27, 2011 (tomorrow). This is despite a short term increase in ridership due to gas prices. Reduction is due to drop in public funding. Similar service cuts are being announced in other cities.
Like it or not, public transportation, including the streetcar, is geared to public funding subsidy. There are those who say it is investing in the future. Others say it is an on-going expense to benefit only a specific area to the detriment of everyone else.
I happen to be one who is against large sums of public money being expended to increase the property values of a select few. If the property is worthy as contended, let the owners and benefactors from its value put up the money to improve it and the surroundings.
Unless a miracle occurs, the Cincy streetcar project appears to be dead at the present time. But from what I am reading, many projects across the country are now facing similar demise, and existing systems are facing cuts in service which may severely hamper their operation.
All of the arguments concerning the superior efficiency of rail, then why are the advocates not welcoming the current economic condition to prove the superiority and gain the public confidence? Very simple, it is spending someone else's money, not yours. But the public will rebel. For all of you convinced of rail's superiority then put up your money and buy stock in a private company to promote it. You won't do that, why? Oh you realize without public subsidy it has absolutely zero chance of success.
The current escalation in gas prices is going to put some severe hurt on many people and dampen our economic recovery. But it still boils down to an individual decision, pay the price for gas or not. There are many choices, impact your lifestyle, schedule, and either take exisiting public transportation, or start and encourage a car pool to/from work to share the cost, etc. Bite the bullet and trade in your gas-guzzling SUV for a small skateboard car, lowering your self-esteem, but improving your pocketbook.
Any rational person can see our dependence on fossil fuels is a problem, not only short term due to the oil prices, but long term due to the availability. But the current crisis in Japan, a long way from being solved, is going to put a crimp on Nuclear Energy for another 30 years at least.
Remember the one we had a building down along the river, the Zimmer Plant? Originally estimated to cost $230 Million the plant's cost soared to $3.4 Billion before the decision to convert it to a coal-fired plant. As you drive by, the appearance of the cooling tower is a clue the plant was originally designed to be nuclear. Another public utility whose costs, shared by 3 utilities, C.G.&E., D.P.&L., and Amer. Elec. Power, was able to be distributed back aginst all of their customers.
Bad decisions in the public sector, whether utilities, transportation, simple water and sewer, affect us all. The public has the right, no I will say the obligation, to question every decision in how government is going to spend ourmoney.
Great post KJ on the role of public subsidy in public transportation.
What statists fail to accept is that it is wasteful of resources, financial, human, and natural to pick winners and losers in the economy. When gas is $8 per gallon, the economic response should be to travel less and in the most efficient means. I can't say if an electric car will consume less resources. If it does, it will be a more economical alternative to gas. But if government always has its thumb on the scale we will always be making bad economic decisions in response to that thumb.
Trains are the most visible example of that thumb on the scale. In Portland, the government pays $12-20 per person per trip for people to take the train. Is it any surprise that people in Portland take the train? But someone is paying for that trip other than the rider. And that means that the people in Portland are getting more of something that may not be a good economic decision to get.
Central planning by statists with a thumb on the scale of personal choice never works, always fails, and leaves another generation saddled with the unintended consequences. I would like to see all publicly funded transportation schemes limited to responses to bona fide consumer demand. Like highway travel improvements. Too many cars on the road? What does that say. People want cars. So help them make that work instead of deciding they don't need cars and paying people to not have cars.
While this is totally of topic I just wanted to say that appearance of a cooling tower has nothing to do with a facility being nuclear or not. Just a personal pet peeve of mine.
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