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Re: [carfree_cities] big box parking & tolls

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  • Mike Harrington
    ... routing ... urban? It must be a lobbyist, employee, stockholder or supplier that originated this. Every time high speed intercity trains come up in state
    Message 1 of 32 , Dec 3, 2003
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      > Chris Loyd wrote:
      > >What's bonkers is the Trans Texas Corridor :
      > >http://www.dot.state.tx.us/ttc/ttc_home.htm
      > >I don't care if it is providing all those rail tracks, most of the
      routing
      > >is through the middle of nowhere. Is it really expected that the
      > >"triangle"
      > >of San Antonio-Austin-Dallas-Houston is going to become continuously
      urban?

      It must be a lobbyist, employee, stockholder or supplier that originated
      this. Every time high speed intercity trains come up in state politics,
      hordes of well-paid lobbyists from Southwest Airlines show up in Austin.
      The circus is in town.

      Texas light pollution map:

      http://users3.ev1.net/~glennlray/Astro/TX_Light_Pollution_Map.jpg

      The line of light on the above map from Dallas through Fort Worth, Austin
      and San Antonio is an urbanized population corridor, although far from the
      densest in the US. Between Houston and the other two points of the
      triangle, there is roughly 100 hundred miles of relatively little artificial
      light. The darkest is between the two brightest metropolitan areas and
      biggest intercity transportation markets, Houston and Dallas, followed by
      the space between Houston and San Antonio. Houston and Dallas are two of
      the brightest clusters in North America, and are easy to find:

      http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0011/earthlights_dmsp_big.jpg

      Maybe it should be called the Twin Star State. The area to the northwest of
      Houston is not like west Texas or North Dakota-Montana, but it is darker
      than Ohio-Indiana. Therefore not all corridors are urban. High speed
      trains typically are the best choice for distances in major corridors of up
      to 600 miles at speeds of 180 MPH. Unlike aircraft they can serve corridors
      where trains make frequent stops, with fast acceleration to return the train
      to speed after the stop. Express TGV trains that make no or few stops run
      at average speeds that are equivalent to a DC-3. A high-speed train between
      Dallas and Houston would be faster than Southwest Airlines and certainly
      requires less fossil fuel than jet aircraft, and at the same time serve
      smaller communities on the way, something airlines can't do.

      Southwest Air figure they will be around forever, and their lobbyists are
      real nice guys, well-fed and generous contributors to politicians. It's
      called representative democracy for our most important citizens,
      corporations. All the fit-to-print news articles tell us there's plenty of
      oil, it just bubbles up. After that we'll have used grease from freedom
      fries to fuel "our" lifestyle. Maybe you also think that Bush blows up
      women's and children's houses in Iraq for humanitarian reasons. If the
      price of oil goes up, and I think that likely based on both geology and
      demographics, Southwest Airlines has no future.
    • Karen Sandness
      On 03.12.3 10: Message: 10 ... Actually, that s every twenty minutes during the off-hours. During peak hours the trains run every *five minutes*--and that s
      Message 32 of 32 , Dec 3, 2003
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        On 03.12.3 10:> Message: 10
        > Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2003 07:28:12 -0800
        > From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
        > Subject: HSR
        >
        > Was recently on the bullet trains in Japan. 2000-passenger loads
        > leaving every twenty minutes from downtowns everywhere, the station a
        > short subway or taxi ride from anywhere in any town (think twenty
        > minutes max), three levels of service (pay a little more for fewer
        > stops). And they turn a profit!
        >
        Actually, that's every twenty minutes during the off-hours. During peak
        hours the trains run every *five minutes*--and that's just the bullet
        trains.

        On my trip three years ago, I was planning to take the train from Tokyo to
        visit some friends in Kamakura (home of the emblematic Great Buddha), which
        is perhaps 40 miles south. I phoned my friends to make arrangements and said
        that I would have to find out when the trains left.

        "Don't bother," my friend said. "The trains run every 12 minutes. Just give
        us a half-hour window of when you plan to leave Tokyo Station, and we'll be
        there to meet you."

        On that same trip, I road a country train that literally served as a school
        bus for junior and senior high school students who lived in villages that
        were too small to support a secondary school.

        Japan truly is transit heaven. On my last trip (spring 2002), I found a
        whole new railroad line running into Tokyo Station that had not been there
        before, and the subways are constantly under construction. They also have a
        second Shinkansen bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka on the drawing board
        (it would pass through different cities), because the existing one is
        reaching capacity.

        Despite their huge auto industry and some regrettable trends in the
        direction of car-oriented development in suburban areas, Japanese will be as
        ready as anyone in the world when the oil runs out.

        In transit,
        Karen Sandness
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