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Re: [carfree_cities] Transit-First Policies (on Paper)

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  • Jon Koller
    I m convinced that until the salaries of city bureaucrats match the salaries of the average person in a city, they will always support personal auto based
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 25, 2009
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      I'm convinced that until the salaries of city bureaucrats match the salaries
      of the average person in a city, they will always support personal auto
      based transit. In Detroit, the median income of residents hovers between
      $20,000 and $30,000 a year but the decision makes who direct virtually all
      public funds make over $175,000.
      The struggle between transport for the poor masses and the wealthy leaders
      of a city dates back to the the dawn of income inequality as alleys
      perfectly fine for walking were widened to make room for the carriages of
      the elite.

      There are obviously exceptions to this, and there are certainly leaders who
      try to do what's best for the people, but by and large, people who make big
      money think the best thing for the city is to bring in more people who make
      big money (and drive expensive cars). Case in point, Gavin
      Newsom<http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/Newsom_Time_for_a_Hummer_6761.html>
      .

      -Jon

      On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 11:46 AM, Jym Dyer <jym@...> wrote:

      >
      >
      > =v= I was intrigued to learn that Philadelphia has a
      > transit-first policy, and that it seems to just be words
      > on paper. San Francisco has the same situation.
      >
      > =v= In fact, San Francisco politicians would make a point
      > of bad-talking the transit-first policy each time they voted
      > to accommodate more cars. "We have to face realities," blah
      > blah blah. At some point strategists decided to put the
      > policy to the voters, strengthening its wording (to include
      > bicyclists and pedestrians). It was suspected by some that
      > this was a ploy to get the voters to *oppose* the policy,
      > but instead it was supported by a wide margin.
      >
      > =v= Politicians are now less vocal in their opposition to
      > the transit-first policy, and due to the voter mandate and
      > constant citizen activism there are even policies to limit car
      > accommodation in a particular high-density transit corridor.
      > Unfortunately, so far, every request for a variance to provide
      > more parking has been granted. Sometimes they try to make it
      > sound "green" by devoting a space or two to a carshare, or for
      > plugin hybrids.
      >
      > =v= As with Philadelphia, though, the transit-first policy has
      > not resulted in any transit improvements. Two light rail lines
      > were added no thanks to the policy, but rather to revenue from
      > ballot measure passed in 1989, but the city administrations over
      > the last two decades revealed no priority to do this in a timely
      > or efficient manner.
      > <_Jym_>
      >
      >
      >


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