It's just another Berlin Wall
Posted by aogTuesday, 10 May 2005 at 11:30 TrackBack Ping URL

Orrin Judd is going on about the evils of cars and the wonders of mass transit again with an article about the increasingly long commute times in the USA. Presumably this shows what a mistake cars are, but as other commentors pointed out the usual case is that one spends far more wasted time when using public transportation compared to driving.

I try to see OJ’s point, but it seems to me that he’s (and other public transport supporters) are looking at the wrong problem. Rather than raising gas taxes and heavily subsidizing public transportation, why not try to fix cities so that people are willing to live in them? Cars are increasingly a necessity because of the spread of suburbs and exurbs. And why is that happening? Because cities are becoming increasingly unlivable. I doubt that there’s a single major city that couldn’t do more to get people on public transport by cleaning up the school system than anything they could do directly with subsidies and taxes. But of course, that can’t happen because the destructive socialism of our decaying cities is strongly correlated with support for public transport (perhaps there’s a lesson in that?). When public transport boosters start to address the underlying issues that push people away from public transport instead of punitive social engineering, then I’ll believe that public transport is a goal and not just an excuse on their part.

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Jeff Guinn Saturday, 14 May 2005 at 05:58

AOG:

As I have mentioned over there, it is purely a network problem.

If people are willing to put up with very high population densities, and employment is similarly arranged, then publicly provided transportation could work.

But that state of affairs requires two things: stack-a-prole flats, and giant manufacturing type industry.

Even if people returned to living in cities—Detroit has some once beautiful, now abandoned, areas—single family housing is nowhere near dense enough.

Never mind the distribution of employment.

Even if OJ was right about the evils of cars (I think it is the freedom they bring that he hates), the devil is in the details.

The only way publicly provided transportation (as opposed to a publicly provided network and privately provided transportation) will work is to give government the kind of power found only in a fascist’s wet dream.

And utterly destroy the value of our nation’s housing stock.

Which OJ so loudly, and justifiably, trumpets as a major source of personal wealth.

oj Tuesday, 17 May 2005 at 23:05

Cities are anti-human. Mass transit is an ideal way to take businesspeople into them to work and visitors in to go to a show or restaurant. But no one with a family should live there.

Trackbacks
Tracked from Tom McMahon: A Sensible Alternative to Public Transportation on 18 May 2005 at 00:31

A seldom-voiced but very sensible idea from Thought Mesh:Rather than raising gas taxes and heavily subsidizing public transportation, why not try to fix cities so that people are willing to live in them? Cars are increasingly a necessity because of

End of Discussion