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Old 04-18-2010, 12:21 PM
 
2,943 posts, read 3,691,151 times
Reputation: 1116

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"Light Rail and Commuter Rail systems are merely part of a larger solution to a vast systemic problem with how we behave as a society."

Exactly, cars are evil and us elites know better how you should live your life than you do. You must conform!

"The idea that freeways are in fact "free" is a lie"

But they are paid for almost entirely by freeway users. The light-rail (and surely the future commuter rail) is paid for almost entirely by non-users.

"If Phoenix wants to make it's rail system work, the city is going to have to think seriously about more than just vanity projects"

Yes, the light-rail is a vanity project, and look at how much it cost. Now there is all this debt and taxes were raised... How high should our taxes go to pay for a "working rail system"? Do we need to pay a 5% tax on our groceries?
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,579 posts, read 2,373,986 times
Reputation: 1638
<clap, clap, clap>

Well done for taking the post out of context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie_az View Post
"Light Rail and Commuter Rail systems are merely part of a larger solution to a vast systemic problem with how we behave as a society."

Exactly, cars are evil and us elites know better how you should live your life than you do. You must conform!
Forgetting the part in the following paragraph where I stated:

Quote:
Do you we need highways? Yes. Are they the solution to all our transportation problems? Absolutely not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie_az View Post
"The idea that freeways are in fact "free" is a lie"

But they are paid for almost entirely by freeway users. The light-rail (and surely the future commuter rail) is paid for almost entirely by non-users.
From AustinContrarian:

Quote:
Applying this methodology, revealed that no road pays for itself in gas taxes and fees. For example, in Houston, the 15 miles of SH 99 from I-10 to US 290 will cost $1 billion to build and maintain over its lifetime, while only generating $162 million in gas taxes. That gives a tax gap ratio of .16, which means that the real gas tax rate people would need to pay on this segment of road to completely pay for it would be $2.22 per gallon.

This is just one example, but there is not one road in Texas that pays for itself based on the tax system of today. Some roads pay for about half their true cost, but most roads we have analyzed pay for considerably less.
Though that particularly entry refers to Texas, it is equally valid in Arizona. Of course, that fails to take into account the artificially low price of gasoline as well as social and environmental impacts. I repeat again, we definitely need roads, but they are not the end-all solution to our transportation problems.

Other interesting articles regarding the true cost of roads from Fox (a couple years old) and Planetizen.

Regarding the cost of light rail, most recent light rail projects in the United States were voted on by the citizens of their respective cities, APPROVING small tax increases and bonds to support the building of urban rail. If you wish to cite the "tyranny of the majority", so be it. If I don't use schools, libraries, the fire department or police or the local buses on a regular basis, it does not negate their social value which produces a net benefit for business and residents in the form of security, transportation options across the income spectrum and education opportunities...all of which we have *access* to should we require them. If you don't want to play by the social contract then you are free in America to buy property well away from urban areas where you can trade the benefits and costs of infrastructure and access for lower costs, less taxes, less social and government intrusion and the liberty to do moreso as you please.

Living in a city means we have to deal with the other people in the city, and that means "social contract"...otherwise, why live there? If it's for jobs and schools, then you participate in that social contract, and to continue receiving those benefits must play by those rules. There are always options for those uninterested in that lifestyle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie_az View Post
"If Phoenix wants to make it's rail system work, the city is going to have to think seriously about more than just vanity projects"

Yes, the light-rail is a vanity project, and look at how much it cost. Now there is all this debt and taxes were raised... How high should our taxes go to pay for a "working rail system"? Do we need to pay a 5% tax on our groceries?
Maybe. On the other hand, maybe fares on light rail need to go up as well. Could Phoenix's light rail have been planned better? Certainly, but it's not a bad system and it's a good start. If Phoenix wants to continue sprawling out into the desert, then everyone is going to pay the cost of infrastructure (light posts, stop signs, water pipes and electrical lines don't pay for themselves, and subdivision developers sure don't like paying them...and cities don't like making them pay for them if it might invite more taxpayers in.) On the other hand, if Phoenix wants to start making some smart choices about growing up a little and becoming a bit more dense, then the light rail system can be an integral component in improving the city's future outlook. Much like libraries, fire departments and parks, it may not be a service everyone uses all the time, but everyone *can* use it, and it provides a valuable alternative to getting from one place to another.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,100 posts, read 24,283,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenkonami View Post
Certainly, but it's not a bad system and it's a good start.
Thank you! It IS a good start - and, as someone who uses the light rail regularly, I can attest to the FACT that it is NOT a "bad" system at all. What was built was the "core" and now the expansion begins.

I liken it to the International Space Station - the first piece - the hub - the core - and now the various pieces are making it bigger and more useful.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:36 PM
 
2,943 posts, read 3,691,151 times
Reputation: 1116
Ok, but most people who pay all the various taxes that pay for roads are also using the roads. Just because the gas tax doesn't pay for all of it doesn't mean that it's not still almost entirely paid for by users. Freeways and roads are paid for almost entirely by freeway and road users. Period.

"Regarding the cost of light rail, most recent light rail projects in the United States were voted on by the citizens of their respective cities, APPROVING small tax increases and bonds to support the building of urban rail."

I'll post this again:
Quote:
As I recall, the top two reasons we were told we "needed" the light-rail and to vote "yes" were 1) reduce traffic and 2) reduce emissions. I wonder if folks would have voted yes if they were told: 1) it'll cost twice the national average per-mile to build, 2) ticket prices will only cover 1/4 of the annual operating costs, so we'll be adding a new tax to your groceries, 3) there will be no noticable difference in traffic or emissions, except that there will be more accidents along the route, and 4) less than 1% of you will actually use the light-rail on any kind of regular basis. If those truths were said up-front, I somehow doubt it would have passed. Now, you can't go and change history, but we can certainly learn from it.
"If I don't use schools, libraries, the fire department or police or the local buses on a regular basis, it does not negate their social value which produces a net benefit for business and residents in the form of security, transportation options across the income spectrum and education opportunities...all of which we have *access* to should we require them."

I don't put light-rail anywhere near the same as schools, police and fire. But the funny thing, though, is that, because of the expense of light-rail, police and fire budgets were on the brink of steep cuts... until a 1% grocery tax came along. Apparently, to many of our local politicians, the light-rail is more impartant than police and fire. Sad.

"If you don't want to play by the social contract then you are free in America to buy property well away from urban areas where you can trade the benefits and costs of infrastructure and access for lower costs, less taxes, less social and government intrusion and the liberty to do moreso as you please."

I'm also free to live where I live and vote against these things and speak out against these things, am I not? Why do pro-mass transit folks on here keep wanting to quiet any opposition? Why not engage in debate? I've asked many really good and important questions on here, all of which have been ignored. I'd be glad to ask them again, if you'd like to try and answer and debate. But, please, I haven't told you to go away, and I'd appreciate if you'd give me the same courtesy.

"Living in a city means we have to deal with the other people in the city, and that means "social contract"...otherwise, why live there? If it's for jobs and schools, then you participate in that social contract, and to continue receiving those benefits must play by those rules. There are always options for those uninterested in that lifestyle."

In other words, one only should live in a city if he or she is a socialist, right? Give me a break!

"maybe fares on light rail need to go up as well."

By a significant amount.

"Could Phoenix's light rail have been planned better? Certainly"

Absolutely!

"If Phoenix wants to continue sprawling out into the desert, then everyone is going to pay the cost of infrastructure (light posts, stop signs, water pipes and electrical lines don't pay for themselves, and subdivision developers sure don't like paying them...and cities don't like making them pay for them if it might invite more taxpayers in.)"

That is what most people want because most people choose to do that and don't choose to live an urban lifestyle. And those folks do pay for those things in taxes and fees. Imagine that, the users paying for the service they get! What a concept. Now if we could get the light-rail to work that way....

"On the other hand, if Phoenix wants to start making some smart choices about growing up a little and becoming a bit more dense, then the light rail system can be an integral component in improving the city's future outlook."

Again, that's smart TO YOU but dumb to me. Most people don't want to live an urban lifestyle, or else they'd already be choosing to live that way. So why do you think that folks need to live their lives the way YOU want them to live their lives? That's called elitism. You can't force people to live a certain way, except to purposely make their current situation miserable, and then the option they normally wouldn't choose becomes a less miserable choice ("lesser of two evils"). One thing we do not need to do is purposely make folks feel miserable in their suburban choice just so the urban choice looks better. Let folks who want to live the urban lifestyle do so, and let those who want to live their suburban lifestyle do so. No more deamonizing their choices, please. No more taxing them to death so the few that choose the urban lifestyle can benefit (let the urban folks pay for it if they want it).

"Much like libraries, fire departments and parks, it may not be a service everyone uses all the time, but everyone *can* use it, and it provides a valuable alternative to getting from one place to another."

Yet, less than 1% do use it on any kind of regular basis. I wonder if the 99%+ that don't use it on a regular basis feel that they got their 1.5 billions worth. I wonder, if we could do the vote over again knowing what we know now, if it would pass.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:52 PM
 
723 posts, read 1,425,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie_az View Post
I'm "offended" because you are stereotyping, which is a logical fallacy. Use logic, not stereotypes, to make your point.
It just seems funny and phony how offended you are over my 'demonizing' of big trucks but then most of your Posts are demonizing Light-rail. What's the difference between my demonizing and yours?????

Quote:
Also, who are YOU to tell me what my rights are or are not? You seem to think it's everyone's "God-given right" to have access to a city bus and light-rail. (Also, a side note, you might be surprised to learn I don't own a truck).
Dude, do you even know what your Rights are?????? Where does it say in the Arizona state Constitution that driving is a Right?

No I don't think it's a God-given Right to have access to a Bus or Light-Rail - it's as much of a Privilege to have that as it is to have a Vehicle!!!!!!

Quote:
Oh, yeah, sure, everyone was just so sick of driving! So how many people so far who voted yes have given up driving to take the light rail? .5% of them? (Notice the decimal point just before the number 5). Yes, that may have been a reason, but it certainly wasn't anywhere close to being one of the top two reasons.
It's a Starter line that runs from Downtown to Tempe and Mesa - not everyone is going to use it; and those that ride it usually have to drive and park to get on the Train - that was expected anyway.

Seeing how Ridership has exceeded expectations I'd say it's more than .5% anyway!!!!!!!

I think there'd be more Skeptics if hardly anyone rode the Trains but they are usually full. So far only you and maybe 1 or 2 others on this Forum are the Debbie Downers when it comes to this Topic.

The best thing it has done is give people more Transportation choices and makes this City seem more like a big City than it used to be. Maybe Phx. is getting too citified for you so why don't you move to a rural place that you can drive all you want and not have to worry about Light-rail or Transit taxes??????
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:59 PM
 
723 posts, read 1,425,143 times
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From the amount of Riders it's clear to me Light-rail is a success!!!!! Why does anyone still dispute this fact?????



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Old 04-18-2010, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Maple Lake, MN
8,673 posts, read 9,902,385 times
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Was that picture that crowded because of a special event going on? If not, I could not imagine it being comfortable being packed in like a sardine like that for any distance at all...
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:26 PM
 
2,943 posts, read 3,691,151 times
Reputation: 1116
"It just seems funny and phony how offended you are over my 'demonizing' of big trucks but then most of your Posts are demonizing Light-rail. What's the difference between my demonizing and yours?????"

I don't deamonize light-rail. If it was a private company or if ticket prices paid or nearly paid for it, I'd have no problems. I do, however, "deamoize" high taxes and big government, and, so far, that's all the light-rail has done. Oh, and thanks for calling me "phony". Why all the name-calling?

"Dude, do you even know what your Rights are?????? Where does it say in the Arizona state Constitution that driving is a Right?"

I really don't get your point. I can drive because I pay taxes and fees that pay for roadways, etc, and have a valid drivers license and vehicle registration. But what does this have to do with anything?

"It's a Starter line that runs from Downtown to Tempe and Mesa - not everyone is going to use it; and those that ride it usually have to drive and park to get on the Train - that was expected anyway."

Great use of money, eh? One and a half billion and millions annually. Good thing there isn't a budget crisis... oh, wait....

"Seeing how Ridership has exceeded expectations I'd say it's more than .5% anyway!!!!!!!"

Ridership is less than 1% of daily commuters. Considering not everyone voted "yes", it seems pretty reasonable to say that about .5% of those that voted now use the light-rail. So over 99% who voted likly don't use the light-rail. I wonder if many of those folks (especially in light of the grocery tax) would still have voted "yes" knowing what we know now.

"I think there'd be more Skeptics if hardly anyone rode the Trains but they are usually full. So far only you and maybe 1 or 2 others on this Forum are the Debbie Downers when it comes to this Topic."

The trains may be full, but it's still an extremely small percentage of folks that ride the train. That wouldn't bother me if those riders were the ones paying for it. Instead, the 99%+ of people who don't ride the trains are stuck with the bill.

"The best thing it has done is give people more Transportation choices and makes this City seem more like a big City than it used to be."

Great, but most people still choose not to ride it. And yet everyone in Phoenix is paying for it everytime they shop at Safeway, etc. Imagine those on extremely tight budgets, who can barely afford to put any food on the table, and now have 1% less to put towards groceries. I'm sure they appreciate the light-rail....

"Maybe Phx. is getting too citified for you so why don't you move to a rural place that you can drive all you want and not have to worry about Light-rail or Transit taxes??????"

So what is this, if you're not liberal you're not welcome in Phoenix? Why I'm I advised to leave or shut up by the pro-mass transit types on here? Why do my words threaten you? Are you afraid to debate? Are you afraid of someone who disagrees? If you are so confident in your arguement, you should welcome my opposition as a chance to explain why you are right. So when you name-call and suggest I leave or suggest I stop arguing, what does that say about your argument?
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,100 posts, read 24,283,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie_az View Post
"It's a Starter line that runs from Downtown to Tempe and Mesa -


Great use of money, eh? ?

Yes, it is
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Mesa,AZ
23 posts, read 32,681 times
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There was an article in the AZ Republic the other day about the future extensions possibly being rerouted on streets that actually have high bus ridership. The only dilemma that MAG faces is that the medians in between the freeways where the light rail extensions were supposed to go are only designated for public transportation. The other dilemma is that MAG only has about 10-15 more years. If the problem isn't resolved by then the medians by the 51 and I-10 will probably be taken over by future HOV lanes which MAG wants to refrain from doing.

I am currently a student in the Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning at ASU and one of my teachers actually submitted a proposal to MAG for the I-10 W median. His proposal was a BRT (BUS RAPID TRANSIT) to be put in the I-10 median. For now this seems to be the only viable solution for the empty medians that the light rail was supposed to fill. Unfortunately MAG and my professor both have different views on how the BRT should be inserted into the I-10 median. My professors proposal is to have "various" feeder buses from outlying areas pick up commuters and then go into the I-10 median where the BRT is waiting for commuters that will be traveling downtown.
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