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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Paradigm Shift in Houston

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  • Chris Loyd
    The fares certainly look reasonable. Wonder how subsidized it is. The schedule shows 1h 11m to get from one end of the line to the other. Mapquest shows that
    Message 1 of 26 , Jul 1, 2003
      The fares certainly look reasonable. Wonder how subsidized it is. The
      schedule shows 1h 11m to get from one end of the line to the other.
      Mapquest shows that it takes about 38m to get from downtown Fort Worth to
      downtown Dallas. Are there any first-hand accounts of how fast it takes
      during the morning and evening rush hours? That's the train's potential
      time advantage.

      Houston plans on having a commuter rail, too, but as an extension of the 1
      Jan 2004 LRT line. Metro claims that the trains will average 17 mph as a
      bus-replacement, but reach top speeds of 66 mph if part of an actual
      commuter rail.

      Throughout Texas, budget shortages have prompted TX-DOT to offer toll roads
      as way of furthering road construction
      (http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stories/2003/05/19/story5.html), and
      the proposed San Antonio-Austin railway is still alive after five years of
      almost no activity on that front
      (http://www.texastransit.org/archives/000625.html)

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Mike Harrington" <mike@...>
      To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, 30 June, 2003 08:13
      Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Paradigm Shift in Houston


      > Here's a commuter rail timetable that serves two downtowns. TRE didn't
      > exist a few short years ago:
      >
      > http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/newweekeb.html
      >
      > Here's one of my photographs of it:
      >
      > http://abpr2.railfan.net/abprphoto.cgi?january03/01-04-03/tre09.jpg
      >
      > If it can happen in Dallas, it can happen anywhere.
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
      > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Monday, June 30, 2003 2:10 AM
      > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Paradigm Shift in Houston
      >
      >
      > >
      > > On the long-winded topic of communter rail:
      > >
      > > In Carfree Times for March 2001:
      > >
      > > http://www.carfree.com/cft/i018.html
      > >
      > > I wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > We are awarding the first Golden Spike to a somewhat surprising
      > > candidate - not the French TGV or Japan Rail, but to a small
      > > but vital commuter railroad that links Lisbon with the coastal towns
      > > that lie to its west. The simple two-track railroad serves 17 stops
      > > using skip-stop expresses. The railroad has been there for about
      > > a century, and entire towns have grown up around it. The line
      > > was electrified decades ago and provides service four times an hour
      > > to Lisbon from each of the towns. Service begins early in the morning
      > > and runs until very late at night. Trains are crowded at all times
      > > of day, not just rush hour, and traffic is brisk between stations
      > > along the line, not just to and from Lisbon. ...
      > >
      > > This is an example of urban railroading at its best - huge numbers
      > > of riders are provided with fast, safe, comfortable, inexpensive service
      > > using a minimum of land, natural resources, energy, and labor.
      > > Hats off to Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses for operating this wonderful
      > > service. Commuter operators everywhere could do well to study this
      > example.
      > >
      > >
      > > Since I wrote that, alas, the service frequency has been reduced
      somewhat
      > > during off-peak hours (budget shortages), but the rest of what I said
      > > is still valid. The most important point is that, because this service
      > > has been predictable, fast, and reliable for decades, living and working
      > > patterns in the area have adapted to using the train for many trips.
      > > It is probably so that a majority of riders are not going to/from Lisbon
      > > but between other towns on the line. When you achieve this, you no
      longer
      > > have "commuter rail" but really a sort of wide-area metro. (The stops
      are
      > > on average about 2 km apart, I think, which is several times the
      distance
      > > typical of metro systems.)
      > >
      > > Commuter rail to downtown DOES help, as it gets some of the traffic off
      > > the road, but until you have a rail system that is used throughout the
      > > day and not just to downtown, you haven't achieved what is really
      needed.
      > > Likewise, traffic should be moving in both directions at all times.
      > >
      > > Regards,
      > >
      > >
      > > -- ### --
      > >
      > > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      > > mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
      > >
      > >
      > > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
      > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
      > > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
      > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
    • Mike Harrington
      The fares are reasonable. I am sure they are heavily subsidized. Houston Metro s commuter buses are almost three times as expensive per mile as TRE s. The
      Message 2 of 26 , Jul 2, 2003
        The fares are reasonable. I am sure they are heavily subsidized. Houston Metro's commuter buses are almost three times as expensive per mile as TRE's. The fares in Dallas, including the TRE, have gone up since March. The TRE costs 50¢ more now between Big D and Fort Worth. This is due to the major funding source, sales tax, plummeting after the Y2K crash.

        I've had problems with Mapquest before. They seem to do alright with small towns but their estimates break down in big cities. Their travel times by auto are apparently close to the ideal. For instance, most hours of the week, it will take you more than an hour to get from downtown Houston to downtown Galveston, fifty miles, but an hour is what they show. At rush hour, which is turning into all day in Houston, or with weekend beach traffic, it takes an hour and a half. I would suspect the same applies between Dallas and Fort Worth. Traffic on I-30, which the railway parallels, is usually just creeping along when I've seen it, at least on the Dallas end. Unless you travel the entire distance by car close to the speed limit, you're not going to be able to drive the 32 miles between downtown Dallas and Fort Worth in 38 minutes, or a fifty miles per hour average, which would include time spent on local streets getting to and from I-30. The distance from the Texas & Pacific station in Fort Worth to Union Station in Dallas is 33 miles, so that means that the train runs about 28.5 mph, including stops. The T&P station is only about a mile from the Fort Worth Intermodal Transit Center, but the timetable says it takes five minutes to go the one mile from the downtown Fort Worth ITC and the T&P station. This is the slowest part of the line, and runs through a railroad yard. I think that the T&P station was added mainly to provide free parking, which is not available at the kiss & ride ITC. If you calculate only from the FWITC, the speed is a bit faster, 30 MPH.

        Obviously, what slows the train down is the half-dozen stops in between Dallas and Fort Worth. If you compare this with the average running speed of a Houston commuter bus, forty-two miles per hour, it seems slow. But the Houston HOV commuter bus doesn't make any intermediate stops, so the comparison is misleading. For instance, Houston Metro's 228 Addicks makes no stops between the end of the line at the Addicks park & ride and Smith and Congress in downtown Houston. The 228 bus misses at least six important potential transit markets on the nineteen miles between the western suburbs and downtown Houston. The intermediate areas not served by the 228 are either entirely without any bus service or else have the standard-issue slow, infrequent city bus service of eight miles per hour. The TRE, on the other hand, serves the Dallas and Fort Worth suburbs, employment centers, particularly Bell Helicopter and the Medical Center, and has a good bus connection to DFW airport from a point near the Tarrant County line. You've got people in Tarrant County using the train to get to Fort Worth. The Houston commuter bus, on the other hand, is entirely dependent on the number of people that want to ride from west Houston to downtown in the morning and back again in the evening, period. If you want to go to, say, shopping or the hospital at Gessner Rd., shopping at West Belt, to work at Dairy Ashford Rd. or Eldridge Rd., or you live near one of those locations or residential areas around Heights Blvd., Post Oak Rd., Bingle Rd., Bunker Hill Rd., or Wilcrest Rd., you either can't do it by transit or else it's by eight-mile-per-hour local bus. I think it is better to have a thirty percent reduction in speed and serve a larger area, rather than the downtown workday niche market that Houston Metro has catered to.

        The T&P Station in Fort Worth is an architectural gem, and it is indeed fortunate that it hasn't been torn down and is still in use as BNSF RR offices. One of the little details of the station that the following pictures don't show is the enamel-colored T&P emblem on the main entrance door handles. These pictures predate the TRE commuter service, which is only about two years old:

        http://www.trainweb.org/stations/texas/ftworth/ftworth.htm



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Chris Loyd" <tybalt@...>
        To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 1:06 PM
        Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Paradigm Shift in Houston


        > The fares certainly look reasonable. Wonder how subsidized it is. The
        > schedule shows 1h 11m to get from one end of the line to the other.
        > Mapquest shows that it takes about 38m to get from downtown Fort Worth to
        > downtown Dallas. Are there any first-hand accounts of how fast it takes
        > during the morning and evening rush hours? That's the train's potential
        > time advantage.
        >
        > Houston plans on having a commuter rail, too, but as an extension of the 1
        > Jan 2004 LRT line. Metro claims that the trains will average 17 mph as a
        > bus-replacement, but reach top speeds of 66 mph if part of an actual
        > commuter rail.
        >
        > Throughout Texas, budget shortages have prompted TX-DOT to offer toll roads
        > as way of furthering road construction
        > (http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stories/2003/05/19/story5.html), and
        > the proposed San Antonio-Austin railway is still alive after five years of
        > almost no activity on that front
        > (http://www.texastransit.org/archives/000625.html)
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Mike Harrington" <mike@...>
        > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Monday, 30 June, 2003 08:13
        > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Paradigm Shift in Houston
        >
        >
        > > Here's a commuter rail timetable that serves two downtowns. TRE didn't
        > > exist a few short years ago:
        > >
        > > http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/newweekeb.html
        > >
        > > Here's one of my photographs of it:
        > >
        > > http://abpr2.railfan.net/abprphoto.cgi?january03/01-04-03/tre09.jpg
        > >
        > > If it can happen in Dallas, it can happen anywhere.
        > >
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
        > > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Monday, June 30, 2003 2:10 AM
        > > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Paradigm Shift in Houston
        > >
        > >
        > > >
        > > > On the long-winded topic of communter rail:
        > > >
        > > > In Carfree Times for March 2001:
        > > >
        > > > http://www.carfree.com/cft/i018.html
        > > >
        > > > I wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > We are awarding the first Golden Spike to a somewhat surprising
        > > > candidate - not the French TGV or Japan Rail, but to a small
        > > > but vital commuter railroad that links Lisbon with the coastal towns
        > > > that lie to its west. The simple two-track railroad serves 17 stops
        > > > using skip-stop expresses. The railroad has been there for about
        > > > a century, and entire towns have grown up around it. The line
        > > > was electrified decades ago and provides service four times an hour
        > > > to Lisbon from each of the towns. Service begins early in the morning
        > > > and runs until very late at night. Trains are crowded at all times
        > > > of day, not just rush hour, and traffic is brisk between stations
        > > > along the line, not just to and from Lisbon. ...
        > > >
        > > > This is an example of urban railroading at its best - huge numbers
        > > > of riders are provided with fast, safe, comfortable, inexpensive service
        > > > using a minimum of land, natural resources, energy, and labor.
        > > > Hats off to Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses for operating this wonderful
        > > > service. Commuter operators everywhere could do well to study this
        > > example.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Since I wrote that, alas, the service frequency has been reduced
        > somewhat
        > > > during off-peak hours (budget shortages), but the rest of what I said
        > > > is still valid. The most important point is that, because this service
        > > > has been predictable, fast, and reliable for decades, living and working
        > > > patterns in the area have adapted to using the train for many trips.
        > > > It is probably so that a majority of riders are not going to/from Lisbon
        > > > but between other towns on the line. When you achieve this, you no
        > longer
        > > > have "commuter rail" but really a sort of wide-area metro. (The stops
        > are
        > > > on average about 2 km apart, I think, which is several times the
        > distance
        > > > typical of metro systems.)
        > > >
        > > > Commuter rail to downtown DOES help, as it gets some of the traffic off
        > > > the road, but until you have a rail system that is used throughout the
        > > > day and not just to downtown, you haven't achieved what is really
        > needed.
        > > > Likewise, traffic should be moving in both directions at all times.
        > > >
        > > > Regards,
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > -- ### --
        > > >
        > > > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        > > > mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > > > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        > > >
        > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • J.H. Crawford
        Hi All, Some posts have been getting very long. Please remember, when replying to an earlier post, to trim off all the quoted material from the previous posts
        Message 3 of 26 , Jul 2, 2003
          Hi All,

          Some posts have been getting very long. Please remember,
          when replying to an earlier post, to trim off all the
          quoted material from the previous posts that is not relevant
          to your response.

          Thanks!


          -- ### --

          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
        • Chris Loyd
          Message 4 of 26 , Jul 2, 2003
            <<The fares are reasonable. I am sure they are heavily subsidized. Houston
            Metro's commuter buses are almost three times as expensive per mile as
            TRE's. The fares in Dallas, including the TRE, have gone up since March.
            The TRE costs 50¢ more now between Big D and Fort Worth. This is due to the
            major funding source, sales tax, plummeting after the Y2K crash.>>

            What do you mean plummeting? Did the Metroplex lower sales taxes after 1
            Jan 00? Did they actually experience problems in the new year? A year head
            start on the recession?

            <<I've had problems with Mapquest before. They seem to do alright with
            small towns but their estimates break down in big cities. Their travel
            times by auto are apparently close to the ideal.>>

            They probably assume that you'll be traveling at the speed limit. Time
            spent at traffic lights or in slow downs is compensating by speeding the
            rest of the time. They show that it takes more than three hours to get from
            my San Antonio house to the University of Houston. I can make that trip in
            about two-and-a-half hours, but I'm doing 84 mph, not 70.

            <<For instance, most hours of the week, it will take you more than an hour
            to get from downtown Houston to downtown Galveston, fifty miles, but an hour
            is what they show. At rush hour, which is turning into all day in Houston,
            or with weekend beach traffic, it takes an hour and a half.>>

            It's only bad all day on the west side, West Loop 610, Energy Corridor,
            Galleria, 290 near 610, and I-45 as passes next to downtown. I've never had
            problems on the inner loop Gulf Freeway unless there's an accident. And
            Hardy Toll is apparently sparse all day long, maybe because it parallels the
            toll-less North Freeway.

            <<I would suspect the same applies between Dallas and Fort Worth. Traffic
            on I-30, which the railway parallels, is usually just creeping along when
            I've seen it, at least on the Dallas end. Unless you travel the entire
            distance by car close to the speed limit, you're not going to be able to
            drive the 32 miles between downtown Dallas and Fort Worth in 38 minutes, or
            a fifty miles per hour average, which would include time spent on local
            streets getting to and from I-30.>>

            So the train is worth it much of the time. That's the only advantage that
            Metro has during rush hour: it can use the HOV lanes, but as you said, only
            to downtown and back. Of course, slugging is free except for the driver.

            <<Obviously, what slows the train down is the half-dozen stops in between
            Dallas and Fort Worth.>>

            Well, it has to make some stops, otherwise it falls under your criticism
            below of the Metro HOV.

            <<If you compare this with the average running speed of a Houston commuter
            bus, forty-two miles per hour, it seems slow. But the Houston HOV commuter
            bus doesn't make any intermediate stops, so the comparison is misleading.
            For instance, Houston Metro's 228 Addicks makes no stops between the end of
            the line at the Addicks park & ride and Smith and Congress in downtown
            Houston.>>

            The same could be said for Kingsland (my slugging stop-over), Kuykendahl,
            etc.

            <<If you want to go to, say, shopping or the hospital at Gessner Rd.,
            shopping at West Belt, to work at Dairy Ashford Rd. or Eldridge Rd., or you
            live near one of those locations or residential areas around Heights Blvd.,
            Post Oak Rd., Bingle Rd., Bunker Hill Rd., or Wilcrest Rd., you either can't
            do it by transit or else it's by eight-mile-per-hour local bus. I think it
            is better to have a thirty percent reduction in speed and serve a larger
            area, rather than the downtown workday niche market that Houston Metro has
            catered to.>>

            We'll see what the Katy LRT has in store for their specific lines. The
            Metro Solutions map still shows Westheimer road being avoided at all costs
            (Galleria via Katy Fwy? What??).

            OK, then, how do increase access to this commuter bus, or hypothetical
            train, without the five minutes it would take to get off the freeway and
            serve the Heights? Inner loop Katy is below grade, so build on top of it,
            with the train running at grade. The Southwest Freeway is also being
            lowered.

            The previous days' discussion has inspired me to conceive of how to make
            some parts of Houston or San Antonio carfree. I will write it up and post
            it on my website, but would it go against Mr Crawford's wishes if I proposed
            ideas here on this discussion?
          • J.H. Crawford
            ... I ve been getting a bit concerned that the discussion on Houston was getting very deep and possibly not of real interest to people who don t live in Texas.
            Message 5 of 26 , Jul 2, 2003
              Chris Loyd said:

              >The previous days' discussion has inspired me to conceive of how to make
              >some parts of Houston or San Antonio carfree. I will write it up and post
              >it on my website, but would it go against Mr Crawford's wishes if I proposed
              >ideas here on this discussion?

              I've been getting a bit concerned that the discussion on Houston was
              getting very deep and possibly not of real interest to people who
              don't live in Texas. I have to confess, in fact, that I have only
              been skimming the postings myself.

              I don't have any objection to posting ideas for carfree developments
              in Houston or San Antonio, but I don't think we want this to devolve
              into detailed planning for these cities.

              I have in mind a detailed planning for a carfree area sometime in the
              coming year, but I would expect to move that onto a separate list
              when it gets very far along.

              Regards,




              -- ### --

              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
            • Chris Loyd
              ... It will mostly be a contrast on how one would develop a carfree district in two different urban environments. Downtown Houston is mostly hi-rise, with a
              Message 6 of 26 , Jul 3, 2003
                > I don't have any objection to posting ideas for carfree developments
                > in Houston or San Antonio, but I don't think we want this to devolve
                > into detailed planning for these cities.

                It will mostly be a contrast on how one would develop a carfree district in
                two different urban environments. Downtown Houston is mostly hi-rise, with
                a grid street pattern, no zoning, and has a light rail system. Downtown San
                Antonio is mostly lo-rise, with twisty, curvy, narrow streets throughout,
                zoning, historically preserved, and no light rail system. Since both cities
                are in the same State (thus, the laws are the same), and have not entirely
                dissimaler cultures, they could be treated as archetypes, not necessarily
                detailed case studies.

                > I have in mind a detailed planning for a carfree area sometime in the
                > coming year, but I would expect to move that onto a separate list
                > when it gets very far along.

                When that list is created, there'll be need to focus exactly what is the
                difference between carfree_cities and this new list. One might be general
                information or discussion, the other could be more specific.
              • David Forbus
                One thing that makes it difficult for people to live close to their work is the fact that few people today have only one job in a lifetime. Many people have
                Message 7 of 26 , Sep 16, 2003
                  One thing that makes it difficult for people to live close
                  to their work is the fact that few people today have only
                  one job in a lifetime. Many people have jobs that last only
                  a few years, then they are laid off or go to a better job.
                  In Houston, you could get a new job that is 10 - 20 miles
                  from the first. For an apartment dweller this might not be
                  much of a problem, but for someone who owns a home, it is.

                  DLF

                  --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, mtneuman@j... wrote:
                  > > Everything else has been tried, and only rail remains as an
                  > > alternative.
                  > No, I don't believe EVERYTHING else has been tried. Most people
                  > have NOT tried to minimize the distance they need to travel each
                  > day. (I mean REALLY minimize it, not just make a feeble attempt
                  > at it.) As you say, gas is still relatively cheap (because of
                  > subsidies). If people were given rewards for not using their
                  > vehicles so much, and the price of gas was increased significantly
                  > to fund those rewards, their surely would be more of an attempt by
                  > lots of people to be more efficient in their travel budgets.
                  > No, it has not been tried elsewhere. But if we go by that
                  > rule, nothing new would ever be tried.
                • mtneuman@juno.com
                  There are many people who hold onto their same job for years. Besides myself, most of the people I know have done that. I decided 28 years ago I was going to
                  Message 8 of 26 , Sep 16, 2003
                    There are many people who hold onto their same job for years. Besides
                    myself, most of the people I know have done that. I decided 28 years ago
                    I was going to bike (bicycle) to work, so I chose a place to live in the
                    city where I work.

                    But a majority of the people made the swift shift to suburbia or the
                    country as soon as they saved up enough for buying a house. So they
                    commute to the city every day, emitting things out of their automobile
                    that are know to cause respiratory illness, cancer, stroke and heart
                    attack, especially when they accumulate with 10 thousand other sources of
                    the same stuff. And each gallon of fuel burned in an automobile or other
                    internal combustion engine adds another 22 pounds of the greenhouse gas
                    carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which adds to the global warming
                    problem that confronts all of us. But that's the way it is most of the
                    large cities I know of, and people are not going to stop driving. But it
                    would be best for all if they at least car pooled -- until they are able
                    to move in closer -- because carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for
                    120 years, on average. So global warming is essentially irreversible, at
                    least within our lifetimes, if not our children's lifetime, and their
                    children's lifetime, assuming humanity lasts that long.

                    Changing jobs is no excuse for excessive driving. If a job is too far
                    away, they should either move there, or not take the job. It's a matter
                    of whether or not we want a healthy planet in 20 years, or an overheated
                    one. We have an obligation to pass down a planet that's livable, and the
                    way we're going about it now, it ain't gonad happen.

                    "It is incumbent on us here today to so act throughout our lives as to
                    leave
                    our children a heritage for which we will receive their blessings and not
                    their curses".

                    Theodore Roosevelt
                    - from a speech he gave in Dickinson, North Dakota, July 4, 1886

                    MTN

                    On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 17:26:23 -0000 "David Forbus" <forbus@...>
                    writes:
                    > One thing that makes it difficult for people to live close
                    > to their work is the fact that few people today have only
                    > one job in a lifetime. Many people have jobs that last only
                    > a few years, then they are laid off or go to a better job.
                    > In Houston, you could get a new job that is 10 - 20 miles
                    > from the first. For an apartment dweller this might not be
                    > much of a problem, but for someone who owns a home, it is.
                    >
                    > DLF
                    >
                    > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, mtneuman@j... wrote:
                    > > > Everything else has been tried, and only rail remains as an
                    > > > alternative.
                    > > No, I don't believe EVERYTHING else has been tried. Most people
                    > > have NOT tried to minimize the distance they need to travel each
                    > > day. (I mean REALLY minimize it, not just make a feeble attempt
                    > > at it.) As you say, gas is still relatively cheap (because of
                    > > subsidies). If people were given rewards for not using their
                    > > vehicles so much, and the price of gas was increased significantly
                    >
                    > > to fund those rewards, their surely would be more of an attempt by
                    >
                    > > lots of people to be more efficient in their travel budgets.
                    > > No, it has not been tried elsewhere. But if we go by that
                    > > rule, nothing new would ever be tried.
                    >
                    >
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                  • J.H. Crawford
                    ... We have to be careful here. There isn t ANY excuse for excessive (whatever that may turn out to be) driving. However, in the economy we have built, which
                    Message 9 of 26 , Sep 16, 2003
                      Neuman said:

                      >Changing jobs is no excuse for excessive driving. If a job is too far
                      >away, they should either move there, or not take the job. It's a matter
                      >of whether or not we want a healthy planet in 20 years, or an overheated
                      >one. We have an obligation to pass down a planet that's livable, and the
                      >way we're going about it now, it ain't gonad happen.

                      We have to be careful here. There isn't ANY excuse for "excessive" (whatever
                      that may turn out to be) driving. However, in the economy we have built,
                      which depends utterly on intense specialization of many workers, it is
                      necessary that people be able to get to the jobs, and to find new ones
                      when the multi-national they work for goes bankrupt because of accounting
                      fraud. In a household with two earners, it is often impossible to find a
                      residence where neither person has to drive.

                      What we need is to reconcentrate our cities along transit corridors,
                      so that you can, as in the Reference Design, take public transport to
                      any job, in a fairly short time and without extreme distance being
                      covered.

                      (Spoken by a man whose commute takes him across his bedroom.)

                      Regards,


                      -- ### --

                      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                      mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
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