[LMB] OT: Alternative Transport

James Clary coachclary at gmail.com
Wed Sep 3 19:21:24 BST 2008

Exactly the point. You need population density to make public transportation
systems work. Now, the question becomes, how do you develop that density.
You could take a restrictionist model that place controls on where people
can develop communities and which encourage high density development. Then
you would have the population density in place to make public transport
feasible in the first place.

Or you could place rail/bus lines in preexisting neighborhoods, and believe
that overtime the density near those lines will increase (almost always does
on a sufficiently long time horizon). Often, you have issues with
preexisting housing fighting a) the new rail line, b) the high density
development it encourages.

My own backyard has a new rail line being developed that hopefully will
serve as the starter line for a larger system. Several Problems
1) It doesn't go anywhere. It is only 7 miles long, and it does have a minor
league baseball park and down town on its route, but it does not connect to
any other draws for the population.

2) No one lives on the line. The are a few low density neighborhoods on the
line, but a great opportunity was squandered when public housing was
redeveloped into a standard suburban sprawl neighborhood. Very few people
are willing to ride a bike from the back of a neighborhood to get to a rail
station during winter or rainstorms.

3) None of the expansions seem to be very near to happening. One option is
to cross a river, which is very expensive. Another is to go to the navy base
and major college in the region, very expensive. It does not have the
airport on the line and their is no obvious way to get there. The only
obvious route for expansion (unused freight rail line already in place) does
not want to bear the cost, nor risk certain urban 'elements' from
contaminating their resort community unless the navy base (which will allow
for more commuters) is hooked up.

Sorry for the poor grammar and only mildly thought out ideas.

On Wed, Sep 3, 2008 at 2:04 PM, Tony Zbaraschuk <tonyz at eskimo.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 03, 2008 at 01:39:54PM -0400, JenL wrote:
> > > Yes, but the reason public transport is so inconvenient is
> > > because so few people use it.
> >
> > I think we have a chicken-or-the-egg question here.  Personally, I don't
> use
> > it because it's so inconvenient.  I've heard others tell me the same
> thing.
> > Make it more convenient, and we'll gladly use it.
> This essentially means "more capacity" or "faster service" and this
> only works in areas of sufficiently high population density.  Large
> areas of the US, regardless of whatever else may be going on, don't
> have sufficiently high population density to make this practical.
> Tony Z
> --
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> you know caution has gone too far. -- Joanne Jacobs
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James Clary
7436 Muirfield Rd
Norfolk, VA 23505
CoachClary at gmail.com

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