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RE: [carfree_cities] Ranking US cities

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  • Marcus Nielson
    ... Yep. The North Star is a commuter rail from St. Cloud (about 90 miles away) to DT Mpls. ... I ve been getting into local history lately on the area, and
    Message 1 of 23 , Apr 9, 2000
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      >Mr.Gaarder is also against
      >some thing called "North Star" is this a Twin Cities commuter rail project?

      Yep. The North Star is a commuter rail from St. Cloud (about 90 miles away)
      to DT Mpls.

      >On a historical note check out http://www.erha.org/plot2.htm and read the
      >Twin Cities section.

      I've been getting into local history lately on the area, and it's sad how
      much was destroyed and changed, mostly because of cars. Especially
      considering the fine streetcar system and how much rail infastructure they
      had (and still have).

      >PRT is an
      >interesting concept, but the big question is implementation.

      That's going to be it's biggest problem until someone has the guts to try it
      out (although Cincinati looks like a possiblity right now). It's a catch-22.

      >
      >Trolleys and trolley buses are quite nice. Dawson

      Are both these electric? Another little debate in Mpls. is the Midtown
      Greenway - a former train trench from the Mississippi river to the chain of
      lakes) now being converted in a pedestrain/bikeway plus some sort of
      transit. The city wants a busway. The Midtown Greenway colalition wants LRT,
      and opposes buses because of the potiental polution buses would cause in the
      trench. Trolley buses were metioned as a comprimise.
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    • eyrehead
      ... Are the trolley buses you have in mind electric buses attached to power and ground lines? Martha
      Message 2 of 23 , Apr 9, 2000
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        >
        >
        > Trolleys and trolley buses are quite nice. Dawson
        >
        >

        Are the trolley buses you have in mind electric buses attached to power and ground
        lines?

        Martha
      • Ronald Dawson
        ... That s a long trip for a commuter train, if it s St.Cloud then I guess part of the route will be shared with that of Amtrak s Empire Builder
        Message 3 of 23 , Apr 9, 2000
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          Marcus Wrote:
          >>Mr.Gaarder is also against some thing called "North Star" is this a Twin
          >>Cities commuter rail project?

          >Yep. The North Star is a commuter rail from St. Cloud (about 90 miles away)
          >to DT Mpls.

          That's a long trip for a commuter train, if it's St.Cloud then I guess part
          of the route will be shared with that of Amtrak's Empire Builder
          (Chicago-Seattle/Portland). Maybe this train should be partially
          tagged/connected to or on to Amtrak's Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, a up
          coming higher speed train service to Chicago (80-110mph).
          This URL is from WisDOT http://www.dot.state.wi.us/dtim/bop/planning.html
          and this one is from MN-DOT http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ofrw/rail.htm .

          >>On a historical note check out http://www.erha.org/plot2.htm and read the
          >>Twin Cities section.

          >I've been getting into local history lately on the area, and it's sad how
          >much was destroyed and changed, mostly because of cars. Especially
          >considering the fine streetcar system and how much rail infastructure they
          >had (and still have).

          Things can get pretty weird. Let's hope for the best that we have more
          options for traveling in the future.

          >>PRT is an interesting concept, but the big question is implementation.

          >That's going to be it's biggest problem until someone has the guts to try
          >it out (although Cincinati looks like a possiblity right now). It's a
          >catch-22.

          Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          >>Trolleys and trolley buses are quite nice. Dawson

          >Are both these electric?

          Yes they are.

          >Another little debate in Mpls. is the Midtown
          >Greenway - a former train trench from the Mississippi river to the chain of
          >lakes)

          Would this happen to be the former SOO or BN rail line right of way?

          >now being converted in a pedestrain/bikeway plus some sort of
          >transit. The city wants a busway. The Midtown Greenway colalition wants
          >LRT, and opposes buses because of the potiental polution buses would cause
          >in the trench. Trolley buses were metioned as a comprimise.

          Rail or Busway, that's a good question, but it also leads a lot of other
          questions. Capital costs, operating costs, type of equipment used,
          distances, air/water pollution and etc. It's a complex situation that seems
          to be best solved on a case by case nature.
          Mr.Crawford would have more info.
          Ron Dawson
        • Ronald Dawson
          ... I think it s a mixture of both which is heavy on the politics. Taxes and spending seems to be a main item, with others it s some sort of a pseudo
          Message 4 of 23 , Apr 10, 2000
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            Martha wrote:
            >Marcus Nielson wrote:
            >>Right now it's probably the hotest issue in Minnesota right now, at least
            >>in the Metro area.

            >Is the opposition grassroots or a few individuals who have businesses
            >threatened by light rail?

            I think it's a mixture of both which is heavy on the politics. Taxes and
            spending seems to be a main item, with others it's some sort of a pseudo
            libertarian thing and not to forget there's still highway/auto interests.
            Last month in Phoenix there was a large referendum about raising a local
            sales tax by 0.4% which passed with a 2-1 vote (the voter turn out some
            thing like 24%). 2/3 of the budget will be spent on buses with the remaining
            1/3 for LRT. Please check out http://www.lightrail.com/news/news03-29.htm .

            >I know here in Michigan there would be a lot of caterwauling if anyone or
            >anything threatened the sacrosanct auto industry. There are these stories
            >that keep turning up, how various cities pulled out their electric trolley
            >systems because it was part of the deal for GM to sell 'em really cheap
            >buses. It feels true.

            GM(National City Lines)and others did do a lot of damage, but there were
            also things like certain taxes and operating rules that had a negative
            effect on streetcars.
            Also oddly enough Adtranz a maker of rail cars, locomotives and LRV's is a
            subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler http://www.adtranz.com/adtranz/index_e.htm.
            Like wise with Airbus http://www.dasa.com/dasa/index_e.htm.

            >Martha

            Ron Dawson
          • Ronald Dawson
            ... There are positive and negative wires, but there is no ground that I know of. ... To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@eGroups.com To
            Message 5 of 23 , Apr 10, 2000
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              Marta wrote:
              >> Trolleys and trolley buses are quite nice. Dawson


              >Are the trolley buses you have in mind electric buses attached to power and
              >ground lines?

              There are positive and negative wires, but there is no ground that I know
              of.
              >Martha Dawson




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            • eyrehead
              ... I would have hoped more for light rail, but detaching people from their automobiles will not be done in one swoop. At least it s mass transit. If there
              Message 6 of 23 , Apr 10, 2000
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                > Last month in Phoenix there was a large referendum about raising a local
                > sales tax by 0.4% which passed with a 2-1 vote (the voter turn out some
                > thing like 24%). 2/3 of the budget will be spent on buses with the remaining
                > 1/3 for LRT. Please check out http://www.lightrail.com/news/news03-29.htm .
                >

                I would have hoped more for light rail, but detaching people from their automobiles
                will not be done in one swoop. At least it's mass transit. If there is some
                permanence (that's why I prefer trolleys to buses) development along the


                > Also oddly enough Adtranz a maker of rail cars, locomotives and LRV's is a
                > subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler http://www.adtranz.com/adtranz/index_e.htm.
                > Like wise with Airbus http://www.dasa.com/dasa/index_e.htm.

                Maybe the auto companies see which way the wind is blowing. There are two
                advertising and design directions that suggest that the auto companies realize that
                the Great American Commute is getting to a be drag, not to mention dangerous.

                One, the increasing number of distracting doodads in the car, phone, computer,
                entertainment systems. Anything to keep some driver from realizing that sitting in
                traffic taking lungful after lungful of exhaust, is no way to spend life.

                Two, the design changes made for old people who drive. So if the dashboard numbers
                are bigger, so if mirrors are angled so you do not have to wrench your head around to
                glance back. Many young drivers have lousy vision, and sometimes stiff necks, but
                their licenses are not suspended for those reasons. These design changes "for the
                older driver" are part of denial that many otherwise capable people should not be
                driving.

                When it is part of sensible, not to mention civilized, urban planning to have car free
                areas, a segment of the population will be able to relinquish their hold on driving
                privileges. They will probably be grateful.

                Martha
              • eyrehead
                ... Negative would do it. Path for the current. I was trying to get a fix on how it worked. The trolleys could be grounded to the metal rails, but an
                Message 7 of 23 , Apr 10, 2000
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                  >
                  > >Are the trolley buses you have in mind electric buses attached to power and
                  > >ground lines?
                  >
                  > There are positive and negative wires, but there is no ground that I know
                  > of.

                  Negative would do it. Path for the current. I was trying to get a fix on how it
                  worked. The trolleys could be grounded to the metal rails, but an electric bus on
                  rubber tires would have to be worked another way.

                  I find the use of trolley buses attractive because it would be relatively cheap to
                  string the cables, the road is already there.

                  Several varieties of electric motor have already been put into service. The
                  problem is storage of power, but if that came off a line, problem solved.

                  Parts and repair for trolley buses would be available nearly everywhere. If one
                  needed major repair, it could be taken offline and towed.

                  Electric power, point pollution is easier to control that roads full of exhaust.

                  It is a common political tactic to point at large expenditures and scream about
                  waste. This would certainly happen if a city found the political will to put in
                  trolleys. The rails, the blocking of roads while the track was installed, etc.
                  would be grist for political opponents. But trolley buslines could be in in
                  days. I am ready to be corrected in this, the bikers in the group may jump all
                  over me for this, but it seems that a lane devoted to the exclusive use of bicycles
                  and trolley buses might be helpful. If the lane serviced nothing but bikes and
                  regular predictable buses, it would be a lot safer than sharing the road with
                  autos.

                  If a trolley busline was getting a lot of business then the more permanent rails
                  and trolleys could be put in. It's good practice to find out whether there is a
                  market for a service. Trolley buses would be the toe in the water.

                  I am new to this board but I sense some urgency here. The time is ripe for a
                  change to mass transit. Once it was rare to lease a car, but now, autos have
                  become so expensive, leasing is for some families, the only way to have new
                  (reliable) transportation. It is something to point out if you are in a town
                  meeting discussing the subject. Ask how many people lease cars. And how many
                  did ten years ago.

                  Autos are getting way too expensive in more ways than one.

                  Martha
                • Richard Risemberg
                  I remember trolley buses in LA--very quiet, but subject to the same traffic delays and lurching, etc, as regular buses. Rail is smoother and more mechanically
                  Message 8 of 23 , Apr 10, 2000
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                    I remember trolley buses in LA--very quiet, but subject to the same traffic delays and lurching, etc, as regular buses. Rail is smoother and more mechanically efficient, and with grade separation not as subject to
                    traffic.

                    If I recall correctly (I was very young at the time), annoyance at the dual overhead wires of the trolley buses was a major excuse for removing them.

                    Richard

                    --
                    Richard Risemberg
                    editor@...
                    Living Room Urban Ecology Web Magazine
                    http://living-room.org
                  • J.H. Crawford
                    ... In the case of trolleys, there s one overhead hot conductor. The rails serve as the return path (at ground potential, of course). ... Yes, two conductors
                    Message 9 of 23 , Apr 10, 2000
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                      >> >Are the trolley buses you have in mind electric buses attached to power and
                      >> >ground lines?
                      >>
                      >> There are positive and negative wires, but there is no ground that I know
                      >> of.

                      In the case of trolleys, there's one overhead "hot" conductor. The
                      rails serve as the return path (at ground potential, of course).

                      >Negative would do it. Path for the current. I was trying to get a fix on how it
                      >worked. The trolleys could be grounded to the metal rails, but an electric bus on
                      >rubber tires would have to be worked another way.

                      Yes, two conductors are always required, and the amount of
                      hardware that has to be installed up in the air is quite
                      considerable. Also, it is quite common for one (or both!)
                      trolley poles to come off the wire, which results in a
                      delay while the driver tries to get the pole back on the
                      wire. This sometimes takes a fair bit of time.

                      >I find the use of trolley buses attractive because it would be relatively cheap to
                      >string the cables, the road is already there.

                      On the other hand, the cost for the overhead wires is more
                      than double that for a trolley because of the complication
                      of wires having to cross where routes join and diverge.

                      >Several varieties of electric motor have already been put into service. The
                      >problem is storage of power, but if that came off a line, problem solved.

                      As far as I am aware, no in-service system has used storage
                      (there are some tests with flywheels and batteries, I belive).
                      Fuel cells would solve most of the problem, and some fuel-cell
                      buses are under test.

                      >Parts and repair for trolley buses would be available nearly everywhere. If one
                      >needed major repair, it could be taken offline and towed.

                      These buses are highly reliable. The main components are
                      so long-lived that they are often set under a new coach
                      body after 20 or so years.

                      >I am ready to be corrected in this, the bikers in the group may jump all
                      >over me for this, but it seems that a lane devoted to the exclusive use of bicycles
                      >and trolley buses might be helpful. If the lane serviced nothing but bikes and
                      >regular predictable buses, it would be a lot safer than sharing the road with
                      >autos.

                      My philosophy is this:

                      Allocate space first to public transport (a la Zurich), so
                      there are never any traffic-related delals.

                      Make sure bikes get their own space (the speed differentials
                      mean that the two kinds of traffic do not mix well).

                      What's left over can go to the cars.



                      ###

                      J.H. Crawford _Carfree Cities_
                      postmaster@... http://www.carfree.com
                    • eyrehead
                      ... Delays and lurching yes, there is no reason that would change. But there is a huge advantage over driving a car -- your attention does not have to be on
                      Message 10 of 23 , Apr 11, 2000
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                        Richard Risemberg wrote:

                        > I remember trolley buses in LA--very quiet, but subject to the same traffic delays and lurching, etc, as regular buses. Rail is smoother and more mechanically efficient, and with grade separation not as subject to
                        > traffic.

                        Delays and lurching yes, there is no reason that would change. But there is a huge advantage over driving a car -- your attention does not have to be on the road, and with mobile computing, including e-books, you may
                        even enjoy the time enroute in a trolley bus, perhaps you may even get work done.


                        >
                        >
                        > If I recall correctly (I was very young at the time), annoyance at the dual overhead wires of the trolley buses was a major excuse for removing them.

                        I am sure that the dual overhead wires could be contained in one package so that the current would go from one wire to the trolley's motor, then to the negative line that could be in the same cable though insulated
                        from the other wire.

                        What attracts me to trolley buses is that you could do it on a tiny scale at first, just the rounds of a car free condo/apartment complex out to the bus stop. If there was demand for it to go further, it could be made
                        to do so within weeks.

                        Many of the interstates have been built with huge medians between the opposite lanes. I am pretty sure this was to accomodate future growth. It seems a natural place for light rail or even trolleys which around the
                        teens and 20s used to link towns. Imagine, sitting by the window on a trolley, your lap top or ebook in hand, favorite beverage in a cooler in your knapsack, and you take a sip now and then as you pass a traffic jam,
                        stop and go for miles, but you don't have to look up from the book you are reading or the DVD movie you are playing in your laptop or worry about your BAC because you are not driving.

                        Once upon a time, the image of the car on the road in the US was of freedom, a latter day cowboy. Now it's a cattle drive, and the autos are the cattle.

                        Martha
                      • eyrehead
                        ... I like that! Martha
                        Message 11 of 23 , Apr 11, 2000
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                          >
                          > My philosophy is this:
                          >
                          > Allocate space first to public transport (a la Zurich), so
                          > there are never any traffic-related delals.
                          >
                          > Make sure bikes get their own space (the speed differentials
                          > mean that the two kinds of traffic do not mix well).
                          >
                          > What's left over can go to the cars.

                          I like that!

                          Martha
                        • eyrehead
                          ... I think the image of public transportation as a losers way is a result of auto company PR. You say city bus to someone and they conjure up images of
                          Message 12 of 23 , Apr 11, 2000
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                            > People won't switch from cars to buses, but they will
                            > switch from cars to electrically-powered rail systems.
                            >
                            > "Nobody with a choice ever took a bus anywhere."
                            >

                            I think the image of public transportation as a losers' way is a result of auto
                            company PR. You say city bus to someone and they conjure up images of having some
                            creep walk through an empty bus to sit beside him and then throw up on the floor.
                            Buses could be classic pay your fare and get on or subscription that could be a lot
                            more luxurious and take scenic routes.

                            Jumping now to another topic under the same subject -- the switching as an
                            electrical trolley bus comes to a fork in the road and chooses one road. In
                            plants for years, there has been an overhead mimic of the railroad switching
                            system. For the point of switching the cable could be rigid and radio switched,
                            so the cable would follow one route or the other.

                            Martha
                          • eyrehead
                            ... Well, the lines can be condense into what appearsto be one line, and the visual pollution is small beside the chemical and noise pollution of all those
                            Message 13 of 23 , Apr 11, 2000
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                              > In Montreal one of the reasons(excuses) to get rid of the trams and trolley
                              > buses was visual pollution of the lines.

                              Well, the lines can be condense into what appearsto be one line, and the visual
                              pollution is small beside the chemical and noise pollution of all those combustion
                              engines.

                              Martha
                            • eyrehead
                              ... Like it or not, biometrics are here to stay, and your trolley fare may be linked to the times you get your irises or fingerprints scanned on your way
                              Message 14 of 23 , Apr 11, 2000
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                                >
                                >
                                > In Montreal on our Duex-Montangne EMU(Electric Multiple Unit) commuter line,
                                > a ten car(5 married pairs) train can handle 900(seated) to 1200(standing
                                > room) people with a crew of two. Rolling stock information can be found at
                                > the following URL http://www.transportation.bombardier.com/htmen/A2H.htm.
                                > Hey I rode them today. During off peak periods trains can be 4,6 or 8 cars
                                > long.
                                > Montreal commuter trains work on the honour system and time to time fare
                                > inspectors come around. A friend of mine calls the inspectors "POP
                                > COPs",(POP being for "Proof of Payment").
                                > For a map of the line look at http://www.amt.qc.ca/tc/train/plan.asp. I live
                                > near the Bois-Franc station and can see the pantographs from my kitchen
                                > window. The two other commuter lines use Diesel-Electric trains.
                                >

                                Like it or not, biometrics are here to stay, and your trolley fare may be linked to the times
                                you get your irises or fingerprints scanned on your way aboard.

                                Martha
                              • Ronald Dawson
                                ... Not long ago (1998 or 1999) Ford ran an ad campaign called bye, bye, bus . Dawson
                                Message 15 of 23 , Apr 12, 2000
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                                  Martha wrote:
                                  >I think the image of public transportation as a losers' way is a result of
                                  >auto company PR.

                                  Not long ago (1998 or 1999) Ford ran an ad campaign called "bye, bye, bus".
                                  Dawson
                                • Marcus Nielson
                                  ... a Twin ... miles away) ... guess part ... Initiative, a up ... http://www.dot.state.wi.us/dtim/bop/planning.html ... .mn.us/ofrw/rail.htm . High speed?
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Apr 15, 2000
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                                    --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "Ronald Dawson" <rdadddmd@t...>
                                    wrote:
                                    > Marcus Wrote:
                                    > >>Mr.Gaarder is also against some thing called "North Star" is this
                                    a Twin
                                    > >>Cities commuter rail project?
                                    >
                                    > >Yep. The North Star is a commuter rail from St. Cloud (about 90
                                    miles away)
                                    > >to DT Mpls.
                                    >
                                    > That's a long trip for a commuter train, if it's St.Cloud then I
                                    guess part
                                    > of the route will be shared with that of Amtrak's Empire Builder
                                    > (Chicago-Seattle/Portland). Maybe this train should be partially
                                    > tagged/connected to or on to Amtrak's Midwest Regional Rail
                                    Initiative, a up
                                    > coming higher speed train service to Chicago (80-110mph).
                                    > This URL is from WisDOT
                                    http://www.dot.state.wi.us/dtim/bop/planning.html
                                    > and this one is from MN-DOT http://www.dot.state
                                    .mn.us/ofrw/rail.htm
                                    .


                                    High speed? That would be really nice. As for the long trip to St.
                                    Cloud, unfortunitly that's the fastest growing part of the TC area.
                                    Soon, sadly, it maybe one continuos strip of ugly development from
                                    Mpls. to St. Cloud.



                                    > >Another little debate in Mpls. is the Midtown
                                    > >Greenway - a former train trench from the Mississippi river to the
                                    chain of
                                    > >lakes)
                                    >
                                    > Would this happen to be the former SOO or BN rail line right of way?

                                    I don't keep track of fromer R.R. owners, but I believe it's SOO
                                    line's.

                                    > >now being converted in a pedestrain/bikeway plus some sort of
                                    > >transit. The city wants a busway. The Midtown Greenway colalition
                                    wants
                                    > >LRT, and opposes buses because of the potiental polution buses
                                    would cause
                                    > >in the trench. Trolley buses were metioned as a comprimise.
                                    >
                                    > Rail or Busway, that's a good question, but it also leads a lot of
                                    other
                                    > questions. Capital costs, operating costs, type of equipment used,
                                    > distances, air/water pollution and etc. It's a complex situation
                                    that seems
                                    > to be best solved on a case by case nature.
                                    > Mr.Crawford would have more info.
                                    > Ron Dawson

                                    There's also the hot idea of turning old R.R. beds into bicycle
                                    trails
                                    in the Midwest right now. Minneapolis has and is planning a few. As a
                                    all-season bike commuter, I obviously like the idea of having a
                                    separate right of way, but something bugs me about the idea. Maybe I
                                    think that these corridors are valueable and should be use for some
                                    kind of public t
                                  • Ronald Dawson
                                    ... No offence but, Minneapolis-St.Paul must really be sprawling, St.Cloud is like 70 miles away. ... Thanks, but what I should have also asked is where along
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Apr 16, 2000
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                                      Mr Nielson wrote:
                                      >High speed? That would be really nice. As for the long trip to St.
                                      >Cloud, unfortunitly that's the fastest growing part of the TC area.
                                      >Soon, sadly, it maybe one continuos strip of ugly development from
                                      >Mpls. to St. Cloud.

                                      No offence but, Minneapolis-St.Paul must really be sprawling, St.Cloud is
                                      like 70 miles away.

                                      >> Would this happen to be the former SOO or BN rail line right of way?

                                      >I don't keep track of fromer R.R. owners, but I believe it's SOO
                                      >line's.

                                      Thanks, but what I should have also asked is where along the Mississippi
                                      River that the line started. If the line was SOO's then it is either near
                                      Marshall St. and Lowry Ave. or near Kellogg Blvd. I should have asked this
                                      earlier, because just west of Vadnais Lake there was a place called Cardigan
                                      Jct. where the line use to split up.

                                      >There's also the hot idea of turning old R.R. beds into bicycle
                                      >trails in the Midwest right now. Minneapolis has and is planning a few. As
                                      >a all-season bike commuter, I obviously like the idea of having a
                                      >separate right of way, but something bugs me about the idea. Maybe I
                                      >think that these corridors are valueable and should be use for some
                                      >kind of public transport

                                      One of the positive things about the rail-trails movement is that right of
                                      ways would be preserved for future rail access or "railbanked". It is one
                                      thing to preserve a ROW of a line that was ripped up, but it's another to
                                      rip up a track and make a trail.
                                      Here is a good example http://www.railtrails.org/ . New Hampshire is one
                                      state that makes a good example of protecting its rail ROW's for future rail
                                      use that should be copied by other places.
                                      http://members.xoom.com/KenyonKarl/aband-69.htm,
                                      http://members.xoom.com/KenyonKarl/ROW-law.htm please also check
                                      http://members.xoom.com/KenyonKarl/ .
                                      There is also a group of people in California trying to rebuild the rail
                                      line back toward Yosemite National Park! The original line was ripped out in
                                      1945! One of the reasons to rebuild is to reduce the number of cars going in
                                      to the National Park. http://www.yvrr.com/ http://www.yvrr.com/draft.shtml

                                      Dawson
                                    • Marcus Nielson
                                      ... St.Cloud is ... Offense? It s not my fault. Mpls/St. Paul has some nice things, but by far it s #1 fault is it s such a car city. I believe at last count
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Apr 17, 2000
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                                        > No offence but, Minneapolis-St.Paul must really be sprawling,
                                        St.Cloud is
                                        > like 70 miles away.

                                        Offense? It's not my fault. Mpls/St. Paul has some nice things, but
                                        by
                                        far it's #1 fault is it's such a car city. I believe at last count it
                                        was the 3rd (behind K.C. and Alanta) worst sprawling area in the US
                                        (and probably the world). And I'm getting pretty bitter about it.

                                        > Thanks, but what I should have also asked is where along the
                                        Mississippi
                                        > River that the line started. If the line was SOO's then it is
                                        either
                                        near
                                        > Marshall St. and Lowry Ave. or near Kellogg Blvd. I should have
                                        asked this
                                        > earlier, because just west of Vadnais Lake there was a place called
                                        Cardigan
                                        > Jct. where the line use to split up.

                                        Well this line crosses the Mississippi just a few blocks north of
                                        Lake
                                        (Mpls) /Marshall (St.Paul). The Ped/bikeway will end just before the
                                        river on the Mpls side. Tracks (for trains) are still being used form
                                        the old Sears building (soon-to-be Great Lakes Center) to DT St. Paul
                                        I believe. I'm not sure about Cardigan Jct., although it maybe near
                                        Ayd Mill road (another car vs parkwway debate).


                                        > One of the positive things about the rail-trails movement is that
                                        right of
                                        > ways would be preserved for future rail access or "railbanked".

                                        Preserved for trains, people waiting for trains or pedestrains?


                                        > There is also a group of people in California trying to rebuild the
                                        rail
                                        > line back toward Yosemite National Park! The original line was
                                        ripped out in
                                        > 1945! One of the reasons to rebuild is to reduce the number of cars
                                        going in
                                        > to the National Park. http://www.yvrr.com/
                                        http://www.yvrr.com/draft.shtml
                                        >
                                        > Dawson

                                        I think in National Parks, like, but esp like Yosimite, PRT would be
                                        a
                                        great place for
                                      • eyrehead
                                        ... How astonishing that you should post this message. You must be psychic! There is a car ad running now, in which three people on a commuter train look
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Apr 23, 2000
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          > Martha wrote:
                                          > >I think the image of public transportation as a losers' way is a result of
                                          > >auto company PR.
                                          >
                                          > Not long ago (1998 or 1999) Ford ran an ad campaign called "bye, bye, bus".

                                          How astonishing that you should post this message. You must be psychic!

                                          There is a car ad running now, in which three people on a commuter train look
                                          enviously on a couple moving fast in a red convertible.

                                          It occurred to me as soon as I saw it 1) that for realistic commuting, the car
                                          should have been doing bumper to bumper stop and go.
                                          2) that the people on the train would not have looked so envious.

                                          Especially in view of what you wrote, I think that the auto companies are realizing
                                          that people are sick, sick, sick of the commute. They are trying to build
                                          diversions into the car, but there is no way around the need to have your attention
                                          on the road.

                                          The companies are trying to keep people from resorting to the obvious alternative.
                                          Mass transit is for losers. They must sell that idea. They're scared.

                                          The roads are getting more congested, interstates down to the secondaries.
                                          Several years ago I was taking a class at a community college, and because one
                                          stretch of road was badly designed (still is) nearly every day I drove it, there
                                          was a traffic slowing accident on it. I could give myself twice the time I needed
                                          to get to class and that would not guarantee that I arrive on time.

                                          Now, as roads grow more crowded, it seems to me that we are going to soon reach a
                                          point, that drivers cannot say with any certainty, "when I leave A, I will be at B
                                          in 45 minutes." Like the Italian postal system, driving will not be considered a
                                          reliable method to get something someplace on time.

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

                                          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
                                          now.

                                          Martha
                                        • J.H. Crawford
                                          ... 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
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Apr 24, 2000
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                                            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
                                            >now.

                                            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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