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Old 02-16-2013, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,136 times
Reputation: 217

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Apparently you missed some of the other threads. Bus mass transit is no more efficient than the automobile, so switching from personal cars to buses doesn't work. Electric rail mass transit is far too expensive in most areas, and if you implemented it in less-dense areas you'd see its efficiency drop precipitously. Transportation is expensive and uses a lot of energy, no matter what the mode.

Also, the "$8000+" turns out to be household spending, not per-car spending. And that's not the "average American", it's the average over all Americans.
The answer is:
+ To use less expensive and more fuel-efficient cars
+ To build efficient mass transit (and especially rail) and make it sustainable.

Mass rail can be sustainable, and require little or no subsidy if there is enough mixed use Density around the rail stations, and the area around the stations is well designed. Paradoxically, that may require moving the parking slightly away from the stations to make way for people, housing, and mixed use. (see the ST podcast on Transit .)

Other countries do this, and why can the US not do it too?
The average European uses only 1/3 as much oil per capita as the average American. We can do much better, but we have to move towards a less car dependent living arrangement - which I have been arguing tirelessly here, and elsewhere.

I think the figures about car cost are still being debated. It seems that one of the Mods changed the title of MY thread, but I do not necessarily agree that the figure is per household. When I have more time, I will muster my sources on this.


MY TWO RANTS - in #68 and #69 are heart-felt !!

and maybe important, and I hope people will flip back one page to read them !

Last edited by Geologic; 02-16-2013 at 05:23 PM..

 
Old 02-16-2013, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,085,690 times
Reputation: 12641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
The answer is:
+ To use less expensive and more fuel-efficient cars
+ To build efficient mass transit (and especially rail) and make it sustainable.

Mass rail can be sustainable, and require little or no subsidy if there is enough mixed use Density around the rail stations, and the area around the stations is well designed. Paradoxically, that may require moving the parking slightly away from the stations to make way for people, housing, and mixed use. (see the ST podcast on Transit .)

Other countries do this, and why can the US not do it too?
The average European uses only 1/3 as much oil per capita as the average American. We can do much better, but we have to move towards a less car dependent living arrangement - which I have been arguing tirelessly here, and elsewhere.

I think the figures about car cost are still being debated. It seems that one of the Mods changed the title of MY thread, but I do not necessarily agree that the figure is per household. When I have more time, I will muster my sources on this.


MY TWO RANTS - in #68 and #69 are heart-felt !!

and maybe important, and I hope people will flip back one page to read them !
Buying less expensive and more fuel efficient cars isn't anything difficult. The market provides them readily on just about every new car lot in the country. They're likewise easy to find used. So one half of your solution is already met, and they're really two separate ones. The other separate solution is to build rail that's affordable. There are no examples of that. Even the one system that's pretty darn cost efficient as more than just commuter service (NYC subway) it's impossible to call affordable. Just look at the 2nd avenue extension.

Europe's high-priced life | The Economist

While they might use less oil, Europe is as a whole much more expensive than the US -- unless we're talking about Eastern Europe or something. Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria are quite inexpensive.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 10:58 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,979,923 times
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Buying less expensive and more fuel efficient cars isn't anything difficult. The market provides them readily on just about every new car lot in the country. They're likewise easy to find used. So one half of your solution is already met, and they're really two separate ones. The other separate solution is to build rail that's affordable. There are no examples of that. Even the one system that's pretty darn cost efficient as more than just commuter service (NYC subway) it's impossible to call affordable. Just look at the 2nd avenue extension.
Eh, the 2nd avenue extension is perhaps the world's most expensive rail line per mile, or very close to it. It'd be difficult to build a full subway system at that price. Both Paris and London managed build subway extensions for much cheaper.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,085,690 times
Reputation: 12641
It's by far the most expensive per mile, in excessive of $2 billion per mile. But welcome to transit it America. Entire metro systems have, in fact, been built for less than half of what 2nd avenue extension costs.
 
Old 02-17-2013, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,136 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
It's by far the most expensive per mile, in excessive of $2 billion per mile. But welcome to transit it America. Entire metro systems have, in fact, been built for less than half of what 2nd avenue extension costs.
Well it sounds like the problem is not The Plan for a Mass Transit system, but rather the execution.

Poor execution, of a low return project seems to have turned this project into a loser. It is better to plan the mass transit system early, before the city is too densely built.

Without good planning and good execution mass transit can be a huge drain on limited resources, worse even than cars, I suppose.
 
Old 02-17-2013, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,382 posts, read 6,005,983 times
Reputation: 3558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Cash drains hitting the USA... Car-dependency, etc.

The idea for a thread like this originated on another thread.

My premiss is that many Americans just do not "get" it. They see their country losing wealth, but have not taken the time and effort to understand why it is happening. I want to discuss the REAL CAUSES of loss of American wealth on this thread.

Please join in, whether you agree, or disagree.

Here are the posts which inspired this:



You can love all that... completely fine.

But, please at least TRY to address these questions:

1. Are you concerned about the vulnerability that car-dependent people, and a car-dependent country have to rising oil prices?

2. Have you thought deeply about why America is getting poorer, and why some other countries, which are also oil importers (but much less per capita) are getting richer? And I mean getting behind the headlines, and superficial nonsense you read in the mainstream media, and trying to really understand what is happening.

(#2 might be a very interesting topic for discussion, if people want to take the thread that way.)
This is interesting. Out of curiosity, did you actually respond to him on that original thread? Or was is it easier to start up a new thread to have an intelligent discussion; I know how threads can devolve and digress into emotional rhetoric on C-D.
 
Old 02-17-2013, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,085,690 times
Reputation: 12641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Well it sounds like the problem is not The Plan for a Mass Transit system, but rather the execution.

Poor execution, of a low return project seems to have turned this project into a loser. It is better to plan the mass transit system early, before the city is too densely built.

Without good planning and good execution mass transit can be a huge drain on limited resources, worse even than cars, I suppose.
But then you end up with Sacramento "built it and they will come," not that Sacramento's rail system would be anywhere near adequate for a large, dense city. Light rail hasn't exactly spurred the development that was hoped for here.
 
Old 02-17-2013, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,136 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
But then you end up with Sacramento "built it and they will come," not that Sacramento's rail system would be anywhere near adequate for a large, dense city. Light rail hasn't exactly spurred the development that was hoped for here.
I wonder if they made the usual mistakes with rail:

+ Not dense enough development
+ Not enough mixed use development at/near the stations
+ Too much parking in the immediate vicinity of the station

Americans are so car-centric, it is hard for them to approve and build successful mass transit systems. And if you fight the car-focus, you just get push-back rather than understanding. Even if you SHOW THEM what works in other countries, they will never tire of telling you that you do not understand their communities. It never occurs to them that they might be the ones that do not understand, and they have lots to learn about non-car transportation from the rest of the world.

Get it right, and more commuters will use it, and the subsidies required will be less - helping to shrink the cash drain on the middle class rather than increase it
 
Old 02-17-2013, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
I wonder if they made the usual mistakes with rail:

+ Not dense enough development
+ Not enough mixed use development at/near the stations
+ Too much parking in the immediate vicinity of the station

Americans are so car-centric, it is hard for them to approve and build successful mass transit systems. And if you fight the car-focus, you just get push-back rather than understanding. Even if you SHOW THEM what works in other countries, they will never tire of telling you that you do not understand their communities. It never occurs to them that they might be the ones that do not understand, and they have lots to learn about non-car transportation from the rest of the world.

Get it right, and more commuters will use it, and the subsidies required will be less - helping to shrink the cash drain on the middle class rather than increase it
How much parking in the immediate vicinity of the station is "too much"? Has it occurred to you that "getting it right" in most American cities means having enough parking to encourage multi-modal trips? Doing things the exact way they are done in some foreign countries is no guarantee of success here, even if other countries have been successful with certain things. In your ideological zeal, you want to remake everything from the ground up, perhaps forgetting that you may in fact not "understand their communities". The outsider who arrogantly proclaims, "This is the way we did it in foreign city X", should not be surprised if urban planners here fail to jump up and down in delight and gratitude for the enlightenment.
 
Old 02-17-2013, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,378,199 times
Reputation: 2388
Cash drains and fiscal stress are not only hitting the car-dependent United States, they're also hitting other countries which aren't car-dependent. Car dependency isn't a major driver of wealth drain on the part of the people or fiscal stress on the part of governments, considering that there's more than enough tax revenue to cover essential infrastructure (just not all the other programs they're running ).

Car dependency is an undesirable state to be in, but there are many problems throughout the developed world that have a far bigger impact than car dependency.
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