[LMB] OT: Cars, independence, and haut bubbles

Elizabeth Holden alzurite at gmail.com
Fri Sep 3 22:33:56 BST 2021

Tidsel and I discuss transportation and she cited places where public
transport and rail travel is efficient. I asked where she meant and she

> Smaller ones..Denmark, Sweden, the UK..which is what I know of. I > guess
shorter distances.

Yes. Canada is 232 times the size of Denmark. Denmark is about the size of
Lake Ontario - a little less.


And our population is clustered, not evenly distributed or in a pattern.
One third of the country's population is in southern Ontario.

I cited trail travel as a good way to link the country (as it was in 1867)
and added:

> But it still isn't an efficient way to link small rural communities.


> But aren't you saying that it used to work??

Yes, but the world of the 19th century and the world of the 21st  century
are quite different in their needs. Eastern Canadian communities tend to be
clustered around waterways: the Atlantic, the St. Lawrence River, the Great
Lakes. The west was, first, along the waterways, then along the railway,
then the Trans-Canada Highway. That's a narrow line of population near the
border of the United States. (This is no accident, for a lot of
geographical reasons. The rail line and the highway were put through the
land most easy to access and build on.)  The North in particular - which is
where a lot of our rural communities are - remains difficult to access,
many communities being without road or rail access. I once took a train to
Moosonee - I think that's as far as the rail lines ever went. The south tip
of James Bay.

I don't see that self-driven cars would help the north, and the cost of
railway lines was and is prohibitive.

But in somewhere like southern Ontario, where there is a grid of roads
everywhere, and a high density of population, I think they would work well.

So what am I wishing for? Self-flying planes?


Elizabeth Holden <azurite at azurite.ca>

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