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Old 07-22-2010, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 28,498,763 times
Reputation: 6847

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
We had a great passenger transportation system in this country--called passenger trains--that was energy efficient, low environmental impact, and convenient--and ran with minimal taxpayer subsidy. We destroyed it and replaced it with something that is none of those things.
I believe jet travel had a little something to do with that too. No asphalt involved other than tarmacs.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:55 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 27,147,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Well for starters the Autobahn was not the brainchild of adolf hitler. He had nothing to do with the first autobahn built in 1931 and merely tapped into building more as a way to keep people employed.

I love interstate highways, they give me the freedom to quickly go to places I need to get to. It enables the free movement of commerce and people around the country, much quicker than slow paced and dangerous 2 lane roads. If anything we need more roads and larger, better prepared ones as well to bring the speeds up.

Resources? Well at least for cars, there will always be cars in our lifetime, whether fueled by gasoline, diesel, bio fuels, electricity, natural gas, whatever, there are plenty of workable options out there.

Trains got pulled back some because they are slow and inefficient for moving smaller loads of goods and people themselves. I think that is fairly common knowledge. Air travel also replaced some of it as well. Trains have a purpose, but they are not efficient for a lot of things.

I'm not going to read Asphalt Nation because I have no interest in reading self hating, self agonizing books about how bad we are as people.

Some people don't like cars and I don't think they do because the car represents personal freedom and they just can't have that. They have to have control and have to have things their way.
Talk about revisionist history. First, Hitler embraced the Autobahn as a tool to be able to rapidly transport military personnel and materiel across the country with strict government control of the right-of-way. Eisenhower embraced the Interstate concept for that same purpose during the Cold War (the Interstates were originally known as "National Defense Highways"). Of course, Hitler's little pipedream was a complete failure because the Autobahn was very energy-inefficient, and Germany had totally inadequate domestic oil reserves to fuel it. Sound familiar? The Allies, who brought their fuel supplies with them, did find the Autobahns quite convenient when they invaded Germany. Of course, they had the roads to themselves--neither the German citizenry nor the German military had any fuel of their own by then.

As for "freedom," I fail to see how "free" a system is that essentially requires every citizen to own an multi-thousand dollar automobile to be able to even function in the society, costs billions upon billions of dollars in taxes to support, squanders natural resources at a voracious rate ("Why is oil cheap? Because we're stealing if from our grandchildren."), and requires massive diversions of capital from other investments that actually might be productive.

As to the railroads, they were far more self-supporting than the highway system ever hoped to be. Consider this example: for nearly three-quarters of a century, Denver's trolley (and later bus) system was a privately-owned for-profit corporation that operated with no government subsidy. Of course, it could not compete with massively government (taxpayer) subisidzed roads when the promoters of the roads figured out how to tap into the public trough. The passenger railroads were not killed by inefficiency--energy or financial--they were killed by their competition being massively subsidized by tax dollars. Anyone who claims that the American automobile/highway system is some magnificent monument to free enterprise is horribly delusional--the whole damned thing has been a socialistic son-of-a-***** from the very beginning. That is the point explained in the books that I cited.

Here's the grand experiment: take away all public subisidies of all forms of transportation in this country. Then see what survives. I guarantee you it will not be highways and Interstates. Or air travel. It will be the railroads. Suburbia as we know it won't live, either. It, too, was/is a grand socialist experiment that will die without its massive pork-barrel taxpayer subsidies. And die it will, because we have reached that magical point where the yoke of taxpayer subsidies and economic distortions has reached the level that our system can no longer bear it. (Which, by the way, was predicted in another very good read--Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.)
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,805 posts, read 17,598,864 times
Reputation: 9435
jazzlover wrote:
As for "freedom," I fail to see how "free" a system is that essentially requires every citizen to own an multi-thousand dollar automobile to be able to even function in the society, costs billions upon billions of dollars in taxes to support, squanders natural resources at a voracious rate ("Why is oil cheap? Because we're stealing if from our grandchildren."), and requires massive diversions of capital from other investments that actually might be productive.
Never have I agreed with you more strongly...especially the part in bold.

And I would add the following...and drive that multi-thousand dollar automobile on crowded highways, populated with aggressive idiots usually in a big hurry to get from point A to point B.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Earth
1,468 posts, read 3,829,434 times
Reputation: 908
Drivers collectively suck these days because they're focused more on primping, talking, and texting more than the practice of driving and being aware of what's going on around them.

I've seen folks driving down I-25 with a book on the steering wheel, reading. WTF?!

It's not just a Front Range thing.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 28,498,763 times
Reputation: 6847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuffler View Post
Drivers collectively suck these days because they're focused more on primping, talking, and texting more than the practice of driving and being aware of what's going on around them.

I've seen folks driving down I-25 with a book on the steering wheel, reading. WTF?!

It's not just a Front Range thing.
My favorite was the woman (in Florida I believe) who got caught grooming her bikini area in traffic.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:32 PM
 
23,100 posts, read 42,262,424 times
Reputation: 23579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuffler View Post
Drivers collectively suck these days because they're focused more on primping, talking, and texting more than the practice of driving and being aware of what's going on around them.

I've seen folks driving down I-25 with a book on the steering wheel, reading.
It's not just a Front Range thing.
I bolded that last sentence to emphasize that I saw the same thing in the DC area too; people reading the sports page of the paper, an academic-looking bearded chap with a book on the steering wheel of his Volve at 60MPH on the DC Beltway, etc. It's everywhere.

Here in COLO SPGS we have it; I was exiting a supermarket via a green light and some gal in an SUV came driving by on Union Blvd with her head up her cell phone (a phrase I coined a few years ago). She drove right through the red light, but I saw her coming -- I always look both ways before I venture into any intersection, been doing that for years now.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Parker, CO
1,135 posts, read 2,911,213 times
Reputation: 1946
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
My favorite was the woman (in Florida I believe) who got caught grooming her bikini area in traffic.
OMG, now that would take some, "talent," LOL! Unbelievable!
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,805 posts, read 17,598,864 times
Reputation: 9435
You are much too kind downtownnola. I wouldn't call it talent...just plain STUPIDITY!
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:00 PM
 
1,619 posts, read 2,245,242 times
Reputation: 3472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuffler View Post
Drivers collectively suck these days because they're focused more on primping, talking, and texting more than the practice of driving and being aware of what's going on around them.

I've seen folks driving down I-25 with a book on the steering wheel, reading. WTF?!

It's not just a Front Range thing.
I saw a driver last week brushing his teeth while talking on his cell phone going 85 MPH driving down the freeway in Wellington.

That's not okay.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Leadville, CO
941 posts, read 1,656,010 times
Reputation: 944
Quote:
Originally Posted by new2colo View Post
I have no idea why the freeway between Longmont and Fort Collins isn't 3 lanes in each direction. It is always uncomfortably clogged. When you get to the wider portion in Longmont it feels a lot safer and traffic flows smoother.
They're working on that. Didn't they only recently open the portion between 470 and Longmont within the past couple years? I'm sure they'll get it done all the way to Cheyenne when money permits.
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