Dom Just Summarized It Perfectly… Get Ready America, and step away from the car!

Is It Good News or Bad News That Gas Prices Will Soon Be Significantly Higher?

This is a pretty flawless write up, just go read it. I’ve got nothing more to add at the moment.
-Transit Sleuth

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Motor Vehicle Socialism & Subsidies, They Keep Adding Up…

The United States Citizenry, and specifically the Republican Party, seems to have this perspective that roads equate to freedom and car usage increases liberty. But both in the United States are massively subsidized through wealth redistribution, or more commonly known throughout history as socialism and subsidy by the masses.

So why do they so heavily support road, oil, and automobile bail outs and subsidies but stop cold when it comes to anything else?

Well, since I like to really understand the arguments of both sides I really started digging into this more. One blog entry that was interesting was.  In that blog entry the writer, Dom Nozzi linked a report. This report has some really good facts, that most Republicans need to learn and realize they are facts (and don’t worry Republicans, I’ve got the stupid Democrats blog entry coming too). In this report some of the data the writer puts together includes a $28 cent per mile external cost for motor vehicle usage. Remember that’s in addition to the $0.56 per mile cost the Government accepts as a write off (yes, write off for expenses and business expenses – one more subsidy).

He also points out two other facts, that in Canada:

  1. 19.7% of roadway costs are covered with vehicle licensing, tags, etc.
  2. Fuel taxes cover about 34.8% of roadway costs.
So those numbers come from Canada. They have much higher licensing and tag costs. Their fuel taxes are similar to a little less than the United States. So in both cases the costs of roadways get even LESS from these taxes and fees than Canadian Roadways do. Which simply, one can derive, that we subsidize our roads even more from our general Federal, State, and City Budgets.
So I put it simply, to the Republicans and other like minded individuals, stop the socialization of roadways. Make motorists pay 100% of this cost! Of course, we’d have to provide more right of way rights and incorporations for transit, opening up the market for that too. Because if anyone has studied the numbers, one knows that if motorists paid 100% of costs fairly for usage, about 10-20% of motorists wouldn’t be able to afford it anymore.
Especially if we had any decent standards for our roads and automobiles.
If you’re a Republican, chew on that reality for a bit. I’m waiting for the change of attitude so that you don’t sound like hypocrites anymore.  🙂  Cheers!

San Francisco…

I wanted to write more about this trip, but that just didn’t happen. So instead of writing anything I’m going to just post some of the pictures from the trip. Cheers!  🙂

PCC Streetcar (Click for full size image)

PCC Streetcar (Click for full size image)

Philadelphia Arrow Lines

Philadelphia Arrow Lines

Don’t Park Your Car In The Way…

Good solution for improper parking.  Cheers!

The Cold Harsh Truth of Reality

Notes of reality for those that are avoiding it. Also just a few simple observations I’ve made. I’m not trying to convince anyone this, just making the observation that these are truisms of reality. If you disagree, please feel free to form some argument. I may have to re-word a few to be more accurate or even write additional content on the matter.  Cheers!

  1. Transit is not that much more efficient that automobiles for energy utilization or the environment. Almost no transit is as efficient as a mid-size or smaller car with two people in it.
  2. Automobiles consume about 200 sq feet, remember you aren’t entitled to the space your car consumes. You’re borrowing someone else’s property when you’re parked, traveling or otherwise putting your car somewhere. The only place were you’re entitled that that 200 square feet is your driveway/parkway.
  3. If you see a cyclist riding to work or otherwise maybe slowing you down, realize they’re probably going to make better time to where they are going and you OWE it to them that they’re using vastly less tax money and resources than you are. Matter of fact, considering the income range of most cyclists they’re paying vastly more in taxes than you AND using vastly less. So keep mooching and shut the f@#$ up. Learn the stats and know what you’re yelping about.
  4. If you point a car at someone and try to hit them, that’s the equivalent of pointing a gun at someone. Don’t be surprised if someone takes offense to that and decides to mess you up.
  5. The reality of the matter is, if everyone on Earth lived like Americans we’d either be dead or have gas that would be priced 10x what it is. So be happy we have it as easy as we do, because it WILL get harder – especially for automotive users and automotive dependent people. The sooner we decrease that noose around our necks the better for everybody – including the auto-dependent/users.
  6. If you drive a car you’re probably fat (which I have nothing against). Statistically speaking this is true in the United States, so don’t get high and mighty (this raised entitlement is what I have a problem with) and think you’re better off than those on transit, biking, or walking to work. Because the FACT is, you’re screwing yourself over.
  7. At least HALF of all auto users are NOT paying their fair share of taxes to road usage. Just remember, you’re using something that is just as subsidized – if not more so – than transit or bikeways. So you Libertarians (which want all the subsidies to go away), Republicans (which want to keep subsidizing/socialized auto usage), and Democrats (subsidize everything, including auto usage for some reason…) keep that straight in your heads. Just remember ALL modes in the US are subsidized heavily these days and socialized through public funds.

A Small Change Makes a Difference…

So what small change could you make on a daily basis, that might have a bigger than small impact?

If the video doesn’t work because WordPress is lame at embedding stuff, here’s the link:  http://player.vimeo.com/video/25165858

The Rides I’m Looking Forward To… Top 10

There are numerous transit systems that are building out, even in spite of this recession/depression era we exist in. Overall, things are looking bad for transport, transport freedom, and many of these things. But also the winds of change, the attitudes of people, and the human characteristics that we have are starting to come forth and change this outlook!

These rides I’m looking forward to are on some of the systems that will slowly begin to change things for the better. That will help us move forward toward complete streets and better livability! If you know of others I’ve missed, please let me know!  🙂

NOTE: These aren’t particularly in any order of priority, just on the list. The biggest element of these is that they are being built, are already funded, and clearly have a completion in sight or are already done!

  1. Portland Streetcar – East Side Loop.
  2. Portland Milwaukee Light Rail & Transit Only Bridge Crossing.
  3. Seattle Sound Transit Link Light Rail University Extension.
  4. Seattle First Hill Streetcar (and finally being able to enter that city in a classy way via the renovated King Street Station + Streetcar to the coolest place in the city (Cap Hill, etc)).
  5. New Orleans Streetcar Extension from Union Station to Canal Street Streetcar.
  6. San Diego Streetcar/Light Rail.
  7. High Speed Rail in Europe or England – to anywhere, I don’t mind which one. 🙂
  8. Little Rock Arkansas Streetcar – I have a fascination with this streetcar, since it is in such a red state with an oddly small city/downtown.
  9. Paris Light Rail & Subway – Nuff’ Said.
  10. TBD – I know there is something out there that I need to put higher on my priority list, but am keeping it open for now. Any suggestions?