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[@ccess] Negative thoughts on metro in general (and on from there)

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    Eric Bruun writes on this date: It seems pretty paradoxical to me that as the world supposedly gets wealthier, and cities get larger, that the justification
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 22, 2000
      Eric Bruun writes on this date: "It seems pretty paradoxical to me that as
      the world supposedly gets wealthier, and cities get larger, that the
      justification for Metros gets more difficult? What would you suggest for
      Athens if the decision to invest was being made today if not a metro? Eric
      Bruun "

      Excellent question. I have some slight advantage with this city choice
      having lived and worked there on two occasions for several moths at each
      time. Thanks for asking, Eric. So here's what I'd do. Step by step:

      1. Ask by way of reminder to have in front of us the best estimates of costs
      of the metro project as planned, with of course additional estimates for
      externalities, including the cost to commerce, traffic, etc., of the
      disruptions created by and during the process of construction.

      2. That will yield a number... whatever it is, along with, hopefully, a very
      brief summary of who is going to pay for what and when.

      3. I then will ask for a brief point to point resume (say on 1-3 pages) of
      what are the exact targeted benefits, to whom, when, etc.

      4. I then would put these numbers and short documents before this august
      group for a first set of ideas, reactions, and comments
      5. Then I will move to Athens.

      6. In parallel I will start to work with the budget which I have requested
      and been given - exactly 5% of the estimated total cost (incidentally less
      than the annual interest otherwise paid on the total bill) - and will go to
      work to achieve a substantial proportion of the objectives within the next
      two years (so as to be in time for the Olympics with our new transportation
      infrastructure), along with a whole bunch of objectives and programs of my

      7. One of my first steps will be to organize a REAL Car Free Day (not to be
      confused with the laconic variants that one sees in some places.. see
      http://www.ecoplan.org/carfreeday/ for more on that) - which will not only
      give ma lot of my policy and investment targets, but which will also give me
      the overwhelming political base I shall need in order to get done what we
      need to do.

      8. I'll put up traffic cams all over the place (say a couple of hundred)
      linked to the Web.

      9. All of this will be posted on the world's best bilingual Web site with
      all details, proposals, progress, etc. available for public information,
      discussion, and international expert comment and feedback.

      10. We'd then also develop the world's best All-Mode Advanced Passenger
      Information System (see our first rough attempt ins Bilbao on this at

      Two years later, you'd see world level results and probably 80% of the
      Athenians would want me to run for mayor. Or maybe get the Elgin (or
      Parthenon, to give them their rightful name) Marbles back.

      Or should we just give the money to Bechtel and all go on vacation?

      With all good wishes,

      Eric Britton

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