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137Re: [carfree_cities] Ranking US cities

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Apr 24, 2000
      Martha wrote:

      >Here mass transit will shine. Each bus will take so many drivers off the road,
      >easing the difficulty.

      Well, only if you can entice people out of their cars. I don't
      think you can do this with buses except in parts of the world
      where standards of living are much lower than in Europe and
      the USA. People who have a choice almost always prefer to drive
      rather than take a bus. It's different with LRV and metros--
      these are high-quality services and almost anybody will use
      them. Not so with bus service, which is clearly intended only
      for the poor. Europe does well in getting people who DO have
      a choice to take rail-based public transport.

      >Even if a bus can get places no more quickly than cars,
      >the riders will be able to turn their attention to other matters, watch that movie
      >on their laptops, write letters, talk on the phone, smirk at people in the
      >inevitable traffic jams. There could even be privately run, subscription luxury
      >bus services, that will not pick up every loony at bus stops.

      This is the problem--we've built a society that includes more
      looneys than it used to, mainly because we have disenfranchised
      and marginalized some fairly large groups. That's coming back
      to haunt us. Deciding to unload all the mental patients into
      the community (read: inner city) also didn't help any. The idea
      was that these people would receive continuing mental health
      services after their release. The reality was, of course, different.
      Even so, there aren't so very many looneys on buses in any case.

      >Though it is worth everyone's while to promote car free areas, in metro areas of
      >the US, we can almost wait for the system to fail. It is heading that way right

      Carfree cities will only work if the available public transport
      compares favorably with driving (in its current degraded state,
      it's not hard to improve on driving, with faster service and
      much lower costs).


      J.H. Crawford _Carfree Cities_
      postmaster@... http://www.carfree.com
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