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Texans Against High-Speed Rail

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Texans Against High-Speed Rail

Old 02-08-16, 01:19 AM
  #76  
Roody
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
You "think" that?!?!?!? In other words... you mean you've worked out the math? Or do you really mean your "feel" that would be so?

OMG man.... how could that ever happen?!?! I worked (one of my) an entire career with the federal government. I know of no program... not even one... that wasn't made more expense because of governments involvement. It's true... taxes do lean on the poorest and favor the richest.... on face value. Making anything more costly harms the poorest the most.

You want cost effective transportation? Keep government of it! America by global standards is a geographically large nation. Yet even most of what America calls poor (actually wealthy people in most nations) can get in their cars and drive across this huge land mass as needed or if desired.

I been around a bit myself... and I confident that Americas poor enjoy more affordable transportation than most people (of any income class) in the world. Let things like Googles driverless cars effect the free market... and watch transportation costs drop even more. Throw billions at government-built trains..... where free markets forces are known to not be profitable..... and you create a sink hole for tax dollars and corruption.
Like I said in my post, but you didn't get, I think and feel that highways are an equitable transportation system, and also very useful, affordable, and efficient. (And they happen to be owned and run by the people through their governments.) The rest of your anti-government stuff is off-topic for this forum, IMO, so I'll not debate you here.
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Old 02-08-16, 09:26 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Please stop your trolling, politicking and Bible thumping. We discuss car-free living here, in case you'd forgotten.
That's pretty damned rude, no matter what your beliefs are, or what sort of windmills you enjoy tilting at...
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Old 02-08-16, 09:29 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I'm not a slave to the so-called free market. I don't expect (or even want) the trains I ride on (or the police and fire departments that protect me or the medical service I rely on...) to turn a profit.
Well that is exactly Southwest's winning strategy to stop the train. If it has to be subsidized, then they are against it as an unfair form of competition, and it has been a compelling argument so far.
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Old 02-08-16, 09:32 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
How is this different from airports?
Airports serve a vast number of origination points to feed the end transit system, whereas a train system as discussed here serves a single city pair. There is far more traffic to be captured from an airport.
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Old 02-08-16, 10:07 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Please stop your trolling, politicking and Bible thumping. We discuss car-free living here, in case you'd forgotten.
Childish and false accusations are meaningless. I've never trolled, wouldn't know how to bible thump, and rarely have a political view (mostly I only have mathematical views of political directions).

I love cycling... and see value to car free
(and live very car-lite). But no one here or anywhere else is going to "granted" their desires by some government agency. And someone reading, reciting, and following the teachings of the great environmentalist high priest Al Gore... does not alter other religions.

I find many of the car free posts very touchy-feely in a guttural sort of way. A bit crude in their understanding of the ways of the world. Bicycles are great machines! But they aren't magical. And thinking magically does not produce results. Clear headed honest thinking and planning does accomplish things! I am just bringing clear headed adult realism to the car free posts.
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Old 02-08-16, 10:20 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I'm not a slave to the so-called free market. I don't expect (or even want) the trains I ride on (or the police and fire departments that protect me or the medical service I rely on...) to turn a profit.
You sure said it all there! I'd guess from this post.... you'd prefer the (government produced) Flying Pigeon for your daily ride as well.

I believe you! I believe your enslavement is self-imposed to a government ideology. And that ideology is really what your posts advocate here at the forums.

Last edited by Dave Cutter; 02-08-16 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 02-08-16, 02:40 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
You sure said it all there! I'd guess from this post.... you'd prefer the (government produced) Flying Pigeon for your daily ride as well.

I believe you! I believe your enslavement is self-imposed to a government ideology. And that ideology is really what your posts advocate here at the forums.
Or like myself, ekdog does not feel like government or no-government need be at the heart of the matter and other factors are more important when considering the overall suitability of a given system.
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Old 02-08-16, 03:02 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
What people saw as a result of that highways system was a flood of interstate trade.[/B] It was NOT about "cars". Farmers saw prices for their products rise... and at the same time... consumers saw prices for food drop in the stores. The highway system took the control over shipping out of the hands of the few... and put travel and market forces into the hands of a free nations population.
So you're saying government funded infrastructure is good for the free market. Of course part of the economic miracle of the interstate was not just that the government funded the most massive and expensive infrastructure program EVER, but also in those pre-OPEC days the USA and Britain had a lock on middle eastern oil which they were able to import at lower than market price. So the lack of a free market in oil, combined with massive government spending, is what really accounts for that supposed triumph of the free market.
lol.

But even so, we agree in principle that the right government spending can be a boon to the economy. We just have to find a way to agree on what that right spending should be.
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Old 02-08-16, 03:44 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
..... we agree in principle that the right government spending can be a boon to the economy. We just have to find a way to agree on what that right spending should be.
Absolutely. I am not anti-government. No one has to be all one way or the other. Being pro-bicycle or pro car-free.... shouldn't mean anti-wealth, or anti-mechanization.... or even (heaven forbid) anti-highways.
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Old 02-08-16, 06:49 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Alternatives produce greater elasticity of demand. I think here, with the high speed rails, the price of automobiles isn't really a factor. The rail is not going to replace cars, but will replace trips.
What substitute for automobile ownership exists for most people? I.e. how many people seriously consider cycling or transit as a substitute for auto ownership? Many transit systems are designed to promote auto ownership by limiting passenger to getting to and from work/school. If people want to go out besides for work/school, they are impelled to get a car (or bike, of course)

Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
How does all of that square with history. Sprawl of in reality expansion has been with human societies well before cars and well before capitalism. Road building and transportation has been a part of the civilized world almost as long as recorded history. The city fringes, the suburbs, rural and country free space have been tied to each other as long as we have had trade.
Idk what you mean by sprawl prior to motor-vehicles, but most people didn't get around that much before bicycles and cars, at least not very quickly. There was no multi-mile commuting for anyone except children who spent time walking to school to keep them out of parents' hair. Most people just lived where they worked and worked where they lived; unless they lived in a city, where they could walk to a factory or market.

Road building for trade and transportation existed well before cars. Cars simply made it easier. Just as trains had before cars and even Bicycles. If you read the book "Roads were not built for Cars". You will find it was cyclists that pushed for smooth roads and started the make suburban expansion easier.
Cars have just pushed sprawl to its limits. It is no longer bikeable for most people and there is no more efficient vehicle than cars so sprawl can only expand so far before time-limitations of commuting become a problem. We have reached these limits in the 80s and before. We know we don't want multi-hour driving commutes so why haven't we taken the evolutionary step beyond cars? Only because of economic protectionism and narrow-mindedness about cultural change.

For the HSR to work it will have to be easier to use than cars and planes. It will have to cost less to use and it will have to win over the people. At this point it seems they are having trouble with the winning over part. And it doesn't matter one bit how we got to where our system is today. All that matters is what we are willing to do from here.
No, it just has to exist while cars and planes reach their limits due to demand volume. Strange things happen when air travel demand nears its limits, just as strange things happen when sprawl is nearing its limits. There is not a clear moment of failure. Just as with congestive heart failure, various isolated issues preclude simultaneous system failure at the level of the whole system.


Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Sprawl or urban sprawl is an ancient Old English word originated in Europe. By definition you are misusing the word. However.... as the word is used in it religious context...... I guess Al Gore would be fine with your loose interpretation.
You're misusing etymology in this discussion.

I prefer a more traditional religion... with a higher power that is concerned more about those made in his image.... than vacant lots next to the mall. But I respect your beliefs and your rights to them. I have no desire to argue theology here or anywhere.
Then don't bring it up. You just like to label other people religious fanatics when they deviate from your point of view. There is also religious fervor for defending status quo, promoting fiscally-heavy economics over fiscally-lighter economies, etc. The issue isn't whether a particular viewpoint is believed in a strongly as religion or not but whether you can hold a reasonable discussion about the substance of the belief, which you don't seem to be able to do considering your eagerness to shift to the ad-hom level of calling 'religion.'
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Old 02-08-16, 08:27 PM
  #86  
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Just for interest I tried to look up how many flights there are daily between Houston and Dallas, and it was hard to count as there are sometimes flight partners, so the same flight appears under two different airlines, but it certainly seemed to be well into the double digits.

If you add the car traffic it certainly seems like the potential pool of riders for a high speed rail line would be in the many thousands or tens of thousands every day, and the train might lure more people to travel more often it was very convenient and well priced. The benefit for car-free or car-light people would be the convenience of downtown stations - no need for an expensive and time consuming trip to and from the airport at both ends, and hopefully a cheaper fare than air. Of course these cities are spread out, so for some people the airport might be more accessible than the train station, but in general a central location is likely to be more convenient for most people, especially if they are travelling on business to a downtown conference, and business organizers will put more events (and offices too) downtown if the train becomes a reality.

As I have often mentioned, I already do car-light travel by train to Montreal or Ottawa once in a while and always preferred the train, but I must say the downtown Toronto island airport has made the flight to Ottawa a little more of a contender.

EDIT: apparently in 2009, 50,000 people lived in Dallas-Fort Worth and worked in Houston, so that's a lot of people who might appreciate a 200+ mph train ride.

Last edited by cooker; 02-09-16 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 02-08-16, 08:40 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Alternatives produce greater elasticity of demand. I think here, with the high speed rails, the price of automobiles isn't really a factor. The rail is not going to replace cars, but will replace trips.
Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
What substitute for automobile ownership exists for most people? I.e. how many people seriously consider cycling or transit as a substitute for auto ownership? ...
In the case of high speed rail between cities, the rail will be as substitute for trips, not car ownership.

I don't think you'd seriously expect proponents to say that one high speed rail could replace car ownership?
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Old 02-08-16, 08:46 PM
  #88  
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agree

Originally Posted by mtnroads View Post
Of course Texans don't want to give up their "way of life", which last I observed included very large air-conditioned homes and use of an F350 to go everywhere. They will cling to their "way of life" as will many Americans, until it turns into a living hell of climate change - from mosquito born disease, floods, drought, super tornadoes, etc. Then they will of course expect disaster relief from the government. Nothing new here.. just don't challenge their right to "live free or die", lol.
Totally agree with this comment.. Most people take it as a personal attack on them. I am an AMERICAN BY GOLLY AND I WILL DRIVE MY 455 cu in 8 mile per gallon truck whether I need it or not. Im an Amerikan.....
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Old 02-08-16, 08:50 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
While I like the idea of high-speed rail, I wonder how the economics for it will look if/when autonomous cars become common. Sure the train would still be much faster, but personally I wouldn't be that concerned about having a 3-hour travel time vs. 1.5 hours by train if I could relax in the car while watching a movie/reading a book/surfing the web/catching up on email/etc. And if you include the total end-end time it probably wouldn't be much different when including the time to get to the station, wait for the train, get a rental car at the other end, and drive to the destination.

Wouldn't even need fully autonomous cars to seriously dent the demand for long distance trains since only limited-access highway travel would have to be autonomous and that's an easier technological problem to solve.
If the autonomous car is really smart, it will drive to the train station and board the train. Save a lot on battery life and general wear and tear.
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Old 02-08-16, 09:00 PM
  #90  
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Meanwhile, the United States falls behind... Nigeria.

Nigeria?s First Ever High-Speed Rail Is Finally Here - How Nigeria
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Old 02-08-16, 09:02 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
It seems to me that essentially 100% of the potential traffic for a high speed rail system would be those people who currently fly.
I disagree. They will also draw on people who aren't travelling now because it takes too long or is too expensive, even though they wish they could see their grandchild more often, or whatever; as well as people who live in one city and work in the other and have to maintain two residences or stay in motels - they may sleep over less and commute more.
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
One issue that comes up, especially in Houston, is that the area is not a city-suburb type of layout as much as some other urban areas. At rush hour, you've got people headed every which way. That makes it harder to work local transit, but also makes city to city rail transportation harder to work out as well.
Cities are always remodelling themselves. Put a couple of Grand Central Stations in key locations and business and residential density will grow around them.

Last edited by cooker; 02-08-16 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 02-08-16, 09:53 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
...... You're misusing etymology in this discussion.
No I am NOT. The word sprawl had a meaning LONG before cars. The examples you give for sprawl are best suited to the word "growth". Since the nations population has expanded rapidly most cities have GROWN (no sprawl). The fact that some environmentally religiously faithful have adapted that word as part of their faith.... does NOT alter it's meaning. America has experienced no actual sprawl (with the possible exception of Detroit).

The word sprawl is used to explain a spreading out of a population despite a lack of growth. As an example: Your cat can sprawl across a chair, couch, bed.... taking up considerably more space than when snuggled in. This occurs without the cat becoming large in mass or numbers. However... if your cat grows very large and heavy and as a result of it's "growth" now takes up more area than previously.... this is NOT called sprawl.
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Old 02-08-16, 10:10 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Meanwhile, the United States falls behind... Nigeria.
Nigeria?s First Ever High-Speed Rail Is Finally Here - How Nigeria
PERFECT!!!! I think this is the best actual example of why many if not most the those that support such projects do so. It's the old.... Would you jump off a bridge/cliff if your friends did syndrome.

Old Europe has bullet trains... so we should too. Forget that many of those nations are on the border of complete bankruptcy and economic failure.

Japan has bullet trains... so we should too. Sure... except the comparisons with America and a heavily over-populated island nation are nil.

Nigeria is hoping to finish their bullet train... so we should too. Maybe we will be just as honest as Nigeria and admit to the projects CORRUPTION ON A MASSIVE SCALE. After all... that is what these big national projects are best at.
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Old 02-09-16, 08:49 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
If the autonomous car is really smart, it will drive to the train station and board the train. Save a lot on battery life and general wear and tear.
I read somewhere that a car manufacturer involved in autonomous car said that there would be two categories of users. The rich people would buy luxury cars and the others would use car-sharing services rather than owning cars. Then, one could use that service both at the starting point and at the destination and take the train between them. I already use car sharing services. Recently, I made a trip between Montreal and Quebec city and one of the provider I am member of services both cities. I took the train instead of renting a car and used the service a couple of times at the destination. I can imagine how convenient it would be when autonomous cars will be available.
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Old 02-09-16, 10:53 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
In the case of high speed rail between cities, the rail will be as substitute for trips, not car ownership.

I don't think you'd seriously expect proponents to say that one high speed rail could replace car ownership?
Any form of transit requires the ability to get around car-free at the destination points unless people tote their cars along with them (e.g. auto train). There's no simply economic relationship between cars and transit. There are different ways to connect destinations and different ways that demand is elasticized or inelasticized according to the connectivity of the network.

Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
Totally agree with this comment.. Most people take it as a personal attack on them. I am an AMERICAN BY GOLLY AND I WILL DRIVE MY 455 cu in 8 mile per gallon truck whether I need it or not. Im an Amerikan.....
Maybe some people think like this, but think about the people who would actually like to use transit more but there schedules don't mesh with the transit schedule; or they don't want to depend on taxis to get to stations/ports, etc. It's not that everyone wants to drive a car no matter what; it's that it's difficult to find adequate alternatives at the practical level of planning a reliable round-trip between A and B.

Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
No I am NOT. The word sprawl had a meaning LONG before cars. The examples you give for sprawl are best suited to the word "growth". Since the nations population has expanded rapidly most cities have GROWN (no sprawl). The fact that some environmentally religiously faithful have adapted that word as part of their faith.... does NOT alter it's meaning. America has experienced no actual sprawl (with the possible exception of Detroit).
Growth can occur in dense cities. Densification is a form of growth. Regardless of how you understand the word, "sprawl," it is the word commonly used to describe driving-dependent areas that are driving-dependent precisely because they have expanded for many miles in various direction with a level of density low enough to discourage alternatives to driving at the practical level. I don't accept you trying to obfuscate discussion by scuttling a word that is commonly understood in a contemporary context to refer to driving-dependency sprawl.

The word sprawl is used to explain a spreading out of a population despite a lack of growth. As an example: Your cat can sprawl across a chair, couch, bed.... taking up considerably more space than when snuggled in. This occurs without the cat becoming large in mass or numbers. However... if your cat grows very large and heavy and as a result of it's "growth" now takes up more area than previously.... this is NOT called sprawl.
The issue with geographical sprawl is increased driving-dependency. That's the only issue that's relevant in a discussion of car-free living.
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Old 02-09-16, 11:18 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
......Regardless of how you understand the word, "sprawl," it is the word commonly used to describe driving-dependent areas...... a contemporary context to refer to driving-dependency sprawl..
No... you are mistaken! Growth is growth... period. Sprawl is sprawl. Only the zealously faithful environmentally religious use the word sprawl in place of the appropriate word: growth. I am OK with you using religions terms... but you should restrict religious postings to P&R forums.

If a city manages its affairs wisely... it may grow. Growth is a positive effect. Growth is not sprawl.
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Old 02-09-16, 11:33 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
No... you are mistaken! Growth is growth... period. Sprawl is sprawl. Only the zealously faithful environmentally religious use the word sprawl in place of the appropriate word: growth. I am OK with you using religions terms... but you should restrict religious postings to P&R forums.

If a city manages its affairs wisely... it may grow. Growth is a positive effect. Growth is not sprawl.
Growth can occur outward and/or or upward in different ways. Growth can 'sprawl' outward or occur in a more dense way. When it sprawls, it makes it harder for people to bike around town and harder for transit routes to cover the many sprawling destinations without running up costs too much.

Denser growth means better walkability/bikeability and more compact transit routes. That's the different between sprawl-growth and dense-growth.

Another option is reducing area-per-dwelling ratios and other ratios between built-area and population numbers. It is possible, for example, to have more small dwellings with people working in smaller offices, have smaller roads, and thus more people can bike and walk less distance between home and various destinations. In this sense, you don't have to build upward to get more density. You can keep trees and green space and still keep destinations close enough to walk and bike most places.
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Old 02-09-16, 11:41 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by denis123 View Post
I read somewhere that a car manufacturer involved in autonomous car said that there would be two categories of users. The rich people would buy luxury cars and the others would use car-sharing services rather than owning cars........
That sounds like some who doesn't understand the use of technology.

Autonomous cars are as high-tech today... as the radar-range was in the early '60's... or CompuServe was in the early '80's. But it won't be long (however long... long is) before every car made will have a (government mandated) autonomous option. People will select it based on need and how it effects the resale value of their purchase (or rental). It might be pricey at first... but the cost (and price) will quickly plummet.

But... autonomous cars do make the position of cab driver a little "dated". Just like elevator operator, typist, telephone operator, pinsetter (bowling), and milkman..... expect to see far fewer cab drivers.
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Old 02-09-16, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Growth can 'sprawl' outward or occur in a more dense way.
No. If you open a restaurant and do a great job... you may need to expand to seat all the people who desire to eat there. You might even need to open a 2nd location. That is called "growth"... NEVER is that called sprawl.

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Old 02-09-16, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
What substitute for automobile ownership exists for most people? I.e. how many people seriously consider cycling or transit as a substitute for auto ownership? Many transit systems are designed to promote auto ownership by limiting passenger to getting to and from work/school. If people want to go out besides for work/school, they are impelled to get a car (or bike, of course)


Idk what you mean by sprawl prior to motor-vehicles, but most people didn't get around that much before bicycles and cars, at least not very quickly. There was no multi-mile commuting for anyone except children who spent time walking to school to keep them out of parents' hair. Most people just lived where they worked and worked where they lived; unless they lived in a city, where they could walk to a factory or market.


Cars have just pushed sprawl to its limits. It is no longer bikeable for most people and there is no more efficient vehicle than cars so sprawl can only expand so far before time-limitations of commuting become a problem. We have reached these limits in the 80s and before. We know we don't want multi-hour driving commutes so why haven't we taken the evolutionary step beyond cars? Only because of economic protectionism and narrow-mindedness about cultural change.


No, it just has to exist while cars and planes reach their limits due to demand volume. Strange things happen when air travel demand nears its limits, just as strange things happen when sprawl is nearing its limits. There is not a clear moment of failure. Just as with congestive heart failure, various isolated issues preclude simultaneous system failure at the level of the whole.
There are a lot of options to cars being used everyday by people in the forum alone. Rail, bus, subway, walking, taxi, shuttle and for this forum bicycles. The fact that people have decided not to use those options doesn't mean they aren't there. The only difference between now and how it used to be is the time it takes to travel. If people simply lived and worked and died where they were born everyone would still live in the Fertile Crescent. The Romans would never have invaded England, the US would never have been established. The coastal natives would have never traded sea shells with the Zuni in New Mexico or have feathers from Mexico.

People have always been on the move and have always been looking for an easier way to do so. If not the car would never have caught on.
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