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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I’d respond to #1 with, “It depends”. At 3-4 mpg, my bus with only 40 people on it gets the equivalent of 120-160 mpg per person vs about 100 in a Prius with 2. If you look at averages then you’re probably right. However, I’d focus on ways to improve utilization of Transit. Cutting back on wasteful “empty bus milk runs” and focusing more on key transit corridors, like much of Sound Transit’s express bus system as well as upcoming Rapid Ride service, will dramatically improve the efficiency of transit.
I agree, absolutely. However most systems run a vast number of empty buses. Someone was mentioning recently that the average bus load provides a fuel efficiency of about 20-25 MPG, which is barely an improvement over regular automotive transport. Of course, transit takes vastly less space to carry those people at that efficiency level. 🙂
The problem with this is if you only have the key transit corridors you sometimes end up cutting ridership because people cannot get there. You can only expect people to walk a certain distance not everyone can ride bikes.
Good examples of this include the times branch lines have been closed in Britain even while the high speed corridors have seen significant investment. There is always a loss of ridership. And then a cry of “investing in railways doesn’t work”. Well it does if you do it right. You have to funnel people to the corridors.
This is also the way a street system works too, lots of local streets taking people to collector streets which connect to the arterials – it will not work if you only have arterials.
How are you calculating #1?
Overall, most transit is break even or at best 5-15% better in efficiency. Which basically equates to the resources consumed still being massive.
Which negates the whole idea that if we all moved our transport to transit options that things would dramatically improve. They would not.
Zoning, designing to human scale, and living better is what will improve our lives. Transit is good, but it is by no means a panacea solution to the energy/dependency/distance problem. Transit, just as the automobile ruins “place” and makes things less desirable as compared to a park, a good home, a good “human” oriented pedestrian design.
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Is this written by the same Adron Hall that I know, who used to live in Portlandia?
The reason I ask is that this little article sounds DOWNRIGHT LEFT WING to me?