Re: [carfree_cities] Re: An Argument for Fee-based Roads (long)
> A few months ago the book "The Elephant in the Bedroom" was=v= By Stanley Hart, who's got lots of experience and expertise
> mentioned on this list. I recommend it as an economically-
> and even mildly libertarian- (how's that for a reversal?)
> oriented book on autos and sprawl.
in accounting for the hidden subsidies of car transportation.
He was the one who calculated the substantial parts of the
budgets of police, fire, and emergency medical teams that cars
=v= A friend of mine read this book and immediately put it to
work on the parking situation in our city, pointing out that the
market rate for parking downtown is $14/day, so all the free
and even metered street parking ought to be raised to that rate.
(Though even $14/day is subsidized because of wrong-headed tax
incentives to encourage off-street parking!)
=v= I would advise against adhering to the so-called libertarian
approach, since they have a persistent blind spot in that they
hold economic forces as laws of nature even above and beyond the
actual laws of nature. Ecological processes are ignored because
economics ignores them (as "externalities"). Even when you put
things in terms of "property rights," which is the the primary
obsession of so-called libertarians, their answer is to try to
adapt the loopier tenets of their ideology to it.
>> The standard argument is that buses can be re-routed as=v= Underlying both of these is the question of what underlies
>> demand changes.
> The rebuttal to this, as I understand it, is that fixed
> systems inspire long-term confidence; people move towards
> trolley stops.
a change in demand. A transportation infrastructure designed to
accommodate a change works to *expedite* such change, and as far
as I can tell the primary reasons for such changes are corrupt
and do not benefit people living in cities.
=v= The transportation infrastructure that municipal buses use
are generally designed on the premise that people will use cars.
The buses are just a retrofit.
> Also, there is some (unknown, at least to me) psychological=v= Trains are generally smoother and thus more comfortable.
> element: people like trains and ride them, but dislike buses
> and avoid them.
- Louis-Luc said:
>It's relative...I'm with you up to this point.
>Knowing there is an environment spoiled with cars, and
>an underground city filled with life (Montreal Underground Network), I
>prefer the subway way over the
>bus, because you can ride it and walk through the underground city for hours
>(or repetedly for days), without knowing cars even exist.
>However, in a city with no car, or where car drivers yield to human-powered
>traffic both in theory and 100% in practice, then streetcars or buses become
>much more attractive, because you don't have the stress of walking through
>car traffic when you ride them and walk in the city.
>The ideal is a monorail:We've had more than enough experience with elevated transport systems to
>- it runs in the air (over street level) NONONONONONO!!!!!
>- it frees the street for human uses true
>- when you ride it, you see outdoors, true, but not at eye-level
>but I think it's more vulnerable to the weather than a metro. probably so
decide right now never to build another one of the damn things. It's
true that newer technology is better in this respect than older stuff,
but it will never be acceptable. (Well, ok, some breakthrough in materials
that allowed the construction of spider-web thin supports for the tracks
(or whatever) might change the picture somewhat, but it still is not
the right way to do it. If you need above-ground transport, trams are
the way to go. If there's too much traffic from the trams to be acceptable,
then you HAVE to build a metro, no matter what the cost. If there's that
much traffic, the cost is not unreasonable (per rider).)
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J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities