Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How Others Did It: Rail Is Back in Perth

NOTE: We've moved! Visit us at the California High Speed Rail Blog.

by Rafael

I stumbled across the videos below on YouTube and thought I'd share them with you. In them, Prof. Peter Newman, a leading rail advocate in Perth (Australia), articulates why and how that city (pop 1.65m, annual growth ~2.5%) has managed to revive its regional rail services in the face of strong opposition from the asphalt lobby and conservative media outlets. The keys to success were strong public demand for speed and capacity, episodes of high gas prices and a few good few men and women in city/regional politics. A boom in the prices of commodities mined in Western Australia has been instrumental in getting the projects funded.

Perth is yet more evidence that passenger rail isn't just about transportation. Stations can and do act as anchors for re-inventing entire neighborhoods and city centers to shift the focus back from cars to pedestrians.

Part 1:


Part 2:


HSR in California will run at much higher speed, so results will be different. However, I expect some parallels at a larger length scale that includes short-hop flights. In particular, there should be similar synergistic ridership effects with connecting transit and pressure to expand freeway capacity should ease.

Will urban planners in car-crazy California be as inspired as their Australian counterparts to invest in local transit and to make room for transit-oriented development near HSR and especially, HSR feeder stations?

UPDATE by Robert: It's worth noting, in advance of the likely "omg Californians will NEVER leave their cars for trains" comments, that such planning and TOD work is already taking place here in the state. The notion of California as a place without alternatives to the car is at least 30 years out of date. Potential HSR stations in downtown San Francisco (whether Transbay or 4th and King), San José, and Los Angeles already are served by significant amounts of local transit (LA Union Station is the hub of the heavily used Metro Rail system as well as the nation's busiest bus system). TOD is also commonplace near those stations.

As Rafael quite rightly points out, of course, there's more that can and should be done. SB 375, the 2008 law which provides clear mandates to planners to include carbon emissions in their studies and gives CEQA exemptions to many TOD projects, will play a significant role in promoting TOD alongside AB 32. Of course, local activism will be necessary to see this through.

59 comments:

BruceMcF said...

Prof. Newman is a top bloke, and will be in the policy mix when it comes to deciding which infrastructure projects get Commonwealth funding.

Anonymous said...

The Southern Railway didn't pay its substantial capital debt off by itself. It relied on the mining boom. Now was this railway some sort of new mining railroad? Of course not. Peter Newman has always been sloppy with his analysis and uses slight-of-hand to mislead. He makes it sound like the the Western Australian government using mining proceeds to pay off the railway cost is some sort of railroad success story.

How is this supposed to make us feel better about CHSRA being able to pay off its capital debt? Oh, the Feds will just pick it up, but someone's paying whether the system works or not.

What's the rail mode share in sprawling Perth?

Adirondacker12800 said...

HSR in California will run at much higher speed, so results will be different.

Doesn't TOD depend on pedestrians? Californians won't be walking faster because they got off a high speed train.

nation's busiest bus system.

Is in NY. LA and Chicago trade places in the ranking depending on who massages the numbers and which way.

Anonymous said...

I hope people recognize the irony that a supposedly "sustainable" rail project was financed by MINING.

What's the lesson? Will CHSRA seek funds from off-shore drilling concessions?

BruceMcF said...

Anon, how did the Interstate Highways pay off its debt? Oh, that's right, it was funded by gas taxes paid by motorists whether they use the Interstate or not. Urban motorists cross-subsidizing Interstate, US, State, County and Township for the benefit of suburban and rural residents, while city streets are funded out of sales and income taxes.

Those who were listening understood that Prof. Newman was describing how it was such a success with the electorate, to motivate state politicians to use the proceeds of the mining boom was used to retire the debt.

And of course, those who were listening to understand will realize that in trying to quibble on that point, you elected to overlook the successes in terms of ridership and farebox revenue, where the naysayers all proclaimed doom and gloom and predicted in no uncertain terms that the ridership modeling would be revealed as rosy optimism - when in reality the ridership modeling was revealed to be conservative and the line substantially outperformed the model.

Anonymous said...

They (highways) paid off their debt by improving productivity to the point that people and goods can actually get where they need to be cheaply, and with complete flexibility of movement, which has improved productivity of ALL US industries, which has more than paid back the cost of the investment in highways.

See, before the highway system, what they had to move people and stuff across the country was trains. Which only go in straight lines, on rails that are fixed to the ground, and don't really get anyone to where they need to be (unless you sleep in train stations). So, when cars came along, people figured out quickly that cars were better, more direct, cheaper, and more productive form of transportation.

The next big industry, and the US's REAL opportunity for health and wealth creation would be to reinvent the auto industry to get off dependence on gas. THAT will revolutionize the world, and nothing less than that will put and keep the US in the economic drivers seat. Other countries can build rail systems until they're blue in the face, there is no 'race' to build rail, because its always going to be there, be available to the US - other countries 'winning' at building rail is a false contest - by being first or last to build rail the US doesn't lose out on the opportunity to build rail next. And building rail doesn't create anyting new that the US can sell to the outside world.

The real contribution to society, to the world's peace, prosperity and a healthy globe would be to concentrate on reinventing the auto industry. THAT's the real cold war/race to the moon/new industrial revolution "race" that we should be forking our investment into. Because THAT's the one that will make or break the prosperity of our future generations. Focus on high speed rail is a diversion, slovenly, exploitative lack of focus on what's important.

Alon Levy said...

See, before the highway system, what they had to move people and stuff across the country was trains. Which only go in straight lines, on rails that are fixed to the ground, and don't really get anyone to where they need to be (unless you sleep in train stations).

When they move stuff across the country, they still use trains. In the US freight has the plurality share of ton-miles transported. Even when the clients don't have rail spurs, they use rolling highways, with trucks loaded on trains and used only for local transportation. Having a crew of 2-4 people run a train of 400 containers is a lot more efficient than having one truck driver haul 2 containers.

Anonymous said...

Local city streets are primarily finaced from property taxes, which makes sense due to enhanced property access and value. Highways are financed by the gas tax, ie, automobile users. Urban highways are much more expensive to build than rural highways. It is considered a user-financed system. Passenger railroads (never forget the heavy capital costs of rail!) don't come remotely close to being financed by their users.

The Western Australian government retired the debt likely because they didn't want the further burden of heavy finance charges. Of course, the farebox did nothing to retire the capital debt, which is why mining proceeds had to be used. Hardly sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Alon, I'm sorry, is CHSRA talking about trying to build HSR for moving freight? No they are not. So its pretty irrelvent to defend freight rail here isn't it?

(In fact, CHSRA is trying to encroach on freight rail on the Peninsula, hoping at every turn to convince that UPRR hardly needs their ROW at all anyway, they should be stripped of that row and turn it over to passenger HSR - isn't that about right?)

But freight hauling is the only version of investment in rail that makes any sense (as you point out).

The moving of people via trains is nowherseville. And shame on the bloggers here to try to comingle the benefits of freight hauling via rail, with HSR.

jim said...

we need a labor party.

Alon Levy said...

Local city streets are primarily finaced from property taxes, which makes sense due to enhanced property access and value.

So do buses and subways.

Highways are financed by the gas tax, ie, automobile users. Urban highways are much more expensive to build than rural highways. It is considered a user-financed system.

I don't know how it is in California. But in Texas, the state DOT investigated total capital and maintenance costs and found that the gas tax revenues they generate are at best half of the total cost and at worst 16% (link). For comparison purposes, the New York City Subway's equivalent ratio is 67%.

But freight hauling is the only version of investment in rail that makes any sense (as you point out).

No, it's the only version of rail that's profitable in today's America. In countries that didn't spend hundreds of billions on national freeway networks over multiple decades, passenger rail does work well. In Japan, even the commuter lines make a profit. In Europe they don't, but the high-speed lines do, even after depreciation.

jim said...

Anonymous said...
They (highways) paid off their debt by improving productivity to the point that people and goods can actually get where they need to be cheaply, and with complete flexibility of movement, which has improved productivity of ALL US industries, which has more than paid back the cost of the investment in highways.

yeah if you want to ignore the health costs, the environmental costs, and the costs of lives of soldiers.

of course those costs are convenient to overlook as some kind of intangible right?

And trains don't go in straight lines. They go wherever you want to put tracks. Just like cars and trucks go wherever you want to put roads. ( we aren't really commuting or delivering goods across open fields of poppies)

and what part of building high speed rail as an additional option doesn't not mean taking away the other options, do you not understand?

The arguments that deniers use are the exact kind of flawed, transparent rhetoric that most of the right uses on every single issue.

The most annoying part of it is that is so lame its boring. Its not even a challenge.

neroden@gmail said...

"They (highways) paid off their debt by"

Sucking wealth out of our economy. You can look it up, but expressway funding has amounted to deadweight loss to the economy since containerization was invented (quite some decades ago now).

Long-distance trucking *should not exist* outside of really sparsely populated places like Alaska and Wyoming, which don't need expressways 'cause there just isn't enough volume.

Roads are fine for short hauls and low volumes, but for long hauls trains are absurdly more efficient. Same applies with passengers. The thing is, expressways are usually only useful with high volumes. But with high volumes, trains are more efficient....

---

I'll have to start using that 16% number; I was working with Wisconsin numbers before, where I think the gas tax funds slightly more of the state highways (but still far less than half).

TomW said...

Re potential "omg Californians will NEVER leave their cars for trains" comments...
I often watch a property shows featuring people relocating or seeking holiday homes 'abroad' (meaning outside the USA). What I find significant is that people from California always seem to go for the propeties that don't require a car to access amenities. If Californians were as wedded to their car as some people make out, that wouldn't be the case.

dave said...

anonymous 9:41 P.M

If you want to talk about improving society and a REAL benefit to our lives, this is way better.

It's funny, you mention revolutionizing the auto industry by getting the auto off of gasoline, I've got news for you;

It's Been Done long ago and been supressed.

There is NOTHING more revolutionary than that!

YESonHSR said...

Anno sounds like a Reason foundation "employee"..sprawl and more cars and more sprawl.American will be much better off with a more balanced transportation..DONT woory nobody is taking your car/Suv away and you can still live in your Mcmansion 60 miles form your job but stop trying to convince people that this is the only way

Anonymous said...

Where does transit currently get its state and federal funding?

The state and federal gas taxes, ie, automobile users. Transit is currently a parasite. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

We said...

This blog is so one-sided. There is very little debate. Practically all of you are train huggers on the same side of the issue. Some of the arguments you have simply don't hold water. For example you always fail to consider the huge cost that this project entails for our public finances for the benefit of a limited number of people. Consider that most of the users will be people who now are already using public transportation (airplanes), therefore from an environmental standpoint you are not even progressing much, because you're transferring peoople from air to rail. The big issue is not how to move people from city to city, it is how to move people WITHIN a city (or metro area). So your project is simply sucking all the resources from the state to move people from city to city when they could be more effectively used to finance more efficient urban transit systems to move people within the city, which is where the real problem is. If I want to go from SF to LA I can keep using the plane, if I need to go to Fresno I can keep using my car or my truck (and if gas is a concern I can buy a hybrid or an EV). The problem I face is when I need to cross the Bay Bridge, or go from the San Fernando Valley (where I go often) to the LAX or BUR airports, and I have to spend a lot of time trapped in a car because there are no good transit option to move me within the city. That's the problem I have with HSR. It addresses the minor problem (moving people between cities) instead of the main problem (moving people within the same city), while at the same time absorbing all resources that could be used for urban and metro transit. Answer to this one socialist smarty pants!

We've Got no Money for Toys said...

The previous post was from me.

Peter said...

@ We

For one, rail transportation is a lot more energy efficient than air transportation over the distances CAHSR is looking at. I forget the exact numbers, but recall rail to be something around 30% more efficient (can someone back me up on this?). This means that rail is producing a lot less pollution over airplanes for the same trip.

Second, for a number of the major cities in question, HSR will be serving either an existing transportation hub, or have a fast connection to one. I'm thinking of LA Union Station, San Jose Diridon, Transbay Terminal (to be seen whether this actually becomes a good hub), and Anaheim. I'm not certain about the other cities. HSR will not be dropping most people off thirty miles from where they need to be without offering them a public transit option to get there, as happens with most airports here in the US, including the ones you referred to by name.

Peter said...

Then my post was addressed to Toys, sorry.

Rafael said...

@ dave -

time to put down the tin foil hat, there is no conspiracy. Water is the end product of hydrogen combustion, it has no energy left to give. Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen requires more energy input than ends up stored in the hydrogen, the rest is dissipated as heat.

Please look up "perpetual motion machine", it's clear you don't understand the first thing about thermodynamics.

BruceMcF said...

Money for Toys said...
"For example you always fail to consider the huge cost that this project entails for our public finances for the benefit of a limited number of people. Consider that most of the users will be people who now are already using public transportation (airplanes), therefore from an environmental standpoint you are not even progressing much, because you're transferring peoople from air to rail."

First, this assumes zero population growth. If there is population growth, there will be an increase in demand for inter-regional transport along with that, and the question must be asked what is the most effective way to provide that.

Second, even in the UK study of CO2 impacts that MADE that ZPG assumption by including the operating and construction CO2 impacts to the operating CO2 impacts of air and road - the combined construction and operating CO2 impacts of HSRail was lower than the operating impacts alone of air transport.

And that was assuming just taking electricity off the UK grid, where the California HSR will source renewable power, leading to combined operation and construction CO2 impacts below the operating impacts of cars alone.

Third, the assumption that almost all of the HSRail will be from air markets is confused on the way that transport markets work. Yes, the two hour train trips will take over any existing air markets, and yes, the three hour train trips will be competitive in existing air markets, but they will also recruit from existing car trips.

Indeed, they will also generate new travel, particularly in regional origin cities that are under-served by air because of the massive time penalties in adding a "stop" to an air-route.

dave said...

@ Toys -

As I read the post by "We", I thought, It sounds alot like something toys would write. Then I find out its you. You can't hide your ignorance.

Notice in your "We" post, you Put "I" on everything. Well I don't know if you've noticed, But the world dosen't revolve around you. It's about the people/public in general, not you!

anonymous 9:41

Other countries can build rail systems until they're blue in the face

It's the Ego of Americans that always gets in the way of good ideas. I also see this when someone says, "Why don't we just build Maglev instead of copying other country's?". Its the American Ego that says, "We'll build it if its better or forget it." Others say what anonymous said, "They can build all the trains we want we need cars or we will die."

Yet we are the Fatest, laziest population in any country because nobody wants to lose the convinience of driving to walking.

dave said...

Scratch that last one, I meant to say we are the fatest, laziest, country on the planet.

dave said...

@ Rafael

Yeah, whatever you say.

bossyman15 said...

to the ones to said stuff about electric car. well you keep forgeting that electric don't slove traffic congestion! So even with electric or water whatever car we would still have to widen our freeways and take over all those mother nature lands. Think of those cute rabbits that live in the forest!

Can you look straight into rabbit's eyes and say "sorry we have to widen our freeway just because we don't want HSR."?

bossyman15 said...

Oh don't get me started on HSR would run over the grassland. Two rails can carry more people than 4,6,8 lanes of Highways!

HSR, Trains = takes less land
Freeway, Airport = takes more land

also

City = takes less land
urban sprawl = takes MORE land

This should be Califoria's new motto:
"Just because we have plenty of land, doesn't mean we should use it."

Peter said...

@ Dave (or anyone else who knows the answer)

Beyond the original sensationalist news report, have they done any further studies on the actual energy consumption and output of the salt water hydrogen cell?

I remember reading about it in the beginning, and it does appear to violate all the Laws of Thermodynamics.

jim said...

toys' real concern is about money. If it's not being spend on him he doesn't want it built.

HSR is an investment. It will pay dividends in many ways.

The younger generations and newcomers are not averse to such things.

HSr will create jobs in its construction and jobs adjacent that support those on the project.

HRS will allow, whether you want to admit it or not, more mobility for more people than currently exists and this gives more people more choices of where to live and work.

WIth hsr as a centerpiece of transportation in the cities it serves, local transit will improve.

As new populations arrive, there will be a market for living and working in and around transit oriented development. No not everyone will do it, but a lot of people will do it.

I suggest you move here

Peter said...

They have a railroad. Toys wouldn't want to live there. Admittedly it's a steam engine on their website.

Peter said...

And re the Kanzius hydrogen burner, I haven't found anything that indicates they've come anything close to 100% efficiency. So, it doesn't violate the Laws of Thermodynamics, after all. It's just another way to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Nothing else.

jim said...

One of the best aspects of hrs is the potential for cities to reinvigorate their cores.

Fresno already has a plan in motion for the various parts of downtown that surround the proposed station.

and downtown bakersfield is ripe for urban living as well,

jim said...

oh yeah, peter, I forgot - alturas is a big railroad town actually, museum and everything. ( for some reason I bought property up there once) its actually an absolutely gorgeous part of the state. ( and they actually voted yes on hsr)

Anonymous said...

"HSR will not be dropping most people off thirty miles from where they need to be without offering them a public transit option to get there"

Oh really? Well it doesn't exit today, so is HSR funding this vast door to door public transportation network too? And about how much will that cost? Or are you just talking about some big huge long term parking garages installed in the middle of suburban small towns which you're kindly planning on remodeling to turn in to these airport-like transportation hubs?

Peter said...

@ Anon

Well, for one, the bonds measure will in fact be funding development of public transportation to improve accessibility to HSR. I believe 900 million is allotted to that.

Most of those "suburban" towns you're referring to won't be served directly with HSR, but towns like Fresno and Bakersfield already have bus networks in place that will of course have to optimized and expanded. I believe that process is already taking place.

The major stations for HSR already have extensive links to public transit options: Metrolink, LA transit agencies, Caltrain, BART, MUNI, Sprinter, VTA buses and light rail, etc.

jim said...

anon,

I've traveled all over the state and used local public transit. Even the smallest of towns have it.

I currently book people via slow train, and thruway bus service to every corner of the state and I have lists of all the local connecting transit.

YOu don't know what you are talking about.

The state of california already has as a goal, to make the state more connected thats why the state put in the thruway feeder system.

YOu are thinking only of your own lifestyle and preferences and disregarding those of millions of other californians who not only use, but rely on, transit in cities and towns of every size throughout the state. These local agencies get federal funds and combine them with local taxes per local voters wishes, to provide these services.

With HSR as a core, amtrak california 9 and metrolink/coaster/caltrain etc) as an intermediate and feeder, the statewide thruway system, and the local agencies that exist in nearly every burg statewide it will make californians for more mobile and connected.

Southwest isn't gonna do it and neither is greyhound.

I know who these people are and I know what they want, where they are going, and what they are doing when they get there and contrary to your vision of what it means to live in california, there's a whole world of other folks out there who don't live your particular lifestyle and this will serve them if not you.

john said...

As best i can imagine that "water fuel cell" must have several batteries to preform the electrolysis of the water. That is going to create a lot of excess weight and result in ground pollution when the lead-acid batteries die and get tossed in the landfill (right next to all the Prius batteries)

Regular 'ole hydrogen fuel cells are more efficient but don't get the sexy (though bullshit) moniker of being "water powered". About as grounded in reality as GM saying the Volt gets 230mpg - horseshit.

As far as fuel economy goes, diesel, specifically direct-injection turbo-diesel is going to be the way forward for at least the next decade.

As for a real hydrogen car:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_Hydrogen_7

you got an extra $120,000 laying around?

AndyDuncan said...

there's a whole world of other folks out there who don't live your particular lifestyle and this will serve them if not you.

I think it's also important to remember that the ridership projections, the ones that the deniers keep saying are inflated BS (though most have never bothered to read the reports), actually say that after HSR is built, the majority of people will still drive for inter-regional trips. The point is the number of people making those trips is so large that even capturing a relatively small slice of those represents something like twice as many trips as they expect to attract from flights.

jim said...

connecting the state

AndyDuncan said...

As best i can imagine that "water fuel cell" must have several batteries to preform the electrolysis of the water.

And if you're performing electrolysis onboard, then you might as well just use the electricity you're using for that to run the electric motor your fuel cell is powering.

Batteries are going to be a better source of electrical storage than fuel cells + fuel tanks for a while.

jim said...

connecting plus hsr

how can this not be usefule?

bossyman15 said...

jim @ 1:19 PM

connecting plus hsr
how can this not be useful?

it would be useful if those amtrak routes are vastly improved. higher speed, shorter trips.

jim said...

bossyman - exactly that is already in the long range plan.

jim said...

and the hsr core will automatically vastly improve travel times for the entire state system by hours.

Alon Levy said...

Oh really? Well it doesn't exit today, so is HSR funding this vast door to door public transportation network too? And about how much will that cost?

California already has decent monocentric rail. If you want to go to LA Union Station or Downtown SF, transit can get you there. You may not know it, but both LA and SF have more subway route-km than Lyon, where lack of transit options never hampered the TGV.

Rafael said...

@ dave, Peter -

the fuel isn't the water. It's the electricity used to generate the radio waves. The overall process is incredibly inefficient, that's ok for medical but not for transportation applications.

As always, please engage grey matter. Conservation of energy and the production of entropy in real-world loop processes are basic high school physics.

Peter said...

@ Rafael

Yes, I know. I didn't have the time to do the research to see whether it had been debunked yet. Although given that we aren't using the process large-scale yet, I assumed it had in fact been debunked.

Side-note: If in fact said process did in fact produce more energy than the activation energy, wouldn't the water be considered fuel?

Alon Levy said...

Where does transit currently get its state and federal funding?

From fares. The New York City Subway recovers 67% of its costs at the farebox. Much of the rest comes from a dedicated payroll tax and some government money (funded by income taxes). Bridge tolls are only a small part of this - and on the whole the bridges compete with the subway more than they fund it.

Rafael said...

@ Peter -

energy cannot be produced at all, it can only be converted from one form into another.

In 1989, two US physicists (Pons and Fleischman) claimed to have found a cold fusion process that converted mass into photons, something E = mc^2 does permit. Unfortunately, their specific claim was subsequently debunked.

Peter said...

Rafael, yes, energy cannot be produced. Again, I used imprecise terminology.

Not only was thermodynamics ten years ago for me, but it was in German, so something is bound to get lost in the translation. Please forgive my lax use of terms.

BruceMcF said...

Anonymous said...

""HSR will not be dropping most people off thirty miles from where they need to be without offering them a public transit option to get there"

Oh really? Well it doesn't exit today, so is HSR funding this vast door to door public transportation network too?
"

Remember that its only a major factor at the destination station, and substantial local public transport systems actually do exist at most of the key destination stations.

For a suburbanite in the hinterland of an HSRail station, driving to a suburban HSRail station is more convenient than driving to an airport, because the massive stopover time penalty of airplanes prevents the multi-stop services that are provided efficiently be trains, so there are more stations, so there is a station closer to the average suburbanite than an airport with an equivalent level of service.

BruceMcF said...

Anonymous said...

""HSR will not be dropping most people off thirty miles from where they need to be without offering them a public transit option to get there"

Oh really? Well it doesn't exit today, so is HSR funding this vast door to door public transportation network too?
"

Remember that its only a major factor at the destination station, and substantial local public transport systems actually do exist at most of the key destination stations.

For a suburbanite in the hinterland of an HSRail station, driving to a suburban HSRail station is more convenient than driving to an airport, because the massive stopover time penalty of airplanes prevents the multi-stop services that are provided efficiently be trains, so there are more stations, so there is a station closer to the average suburbanite than an airport with an equivalent level of service.

And it is indeed no uncommon that when a suburbanite in a suburb is making an inter-regional trip, it is to a city - it is at times cities that have the destination that are not available in the local suburb.

Of course, this does require an ability to break free of one-size-fits-all thinking and realize that there are a range of reasons for making inter-regional trips, and a range of transport options each with their own distinctive advantages will result in some trips better suited to one mode and other trips better suited to another mode.

In the end, the fight against making a full range of modern inter-regional transport choices available is a fight against freedom of choice.

jim said...

@bruce - you can't use big complicated thought out explanations like that. Don't you realize that trains only go in straight lines and they don't take anyone where they want to go?

DUMMMAMMERICAN said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jim said...

"HSR will not be dropping most people off thirty miles from where they need to be "

and studies do in fact show that 4 out 5 californians live and work exactly 30 miles from the nearest train station.

Rafael said...

@ DUMMMAMMERICAN -

I deleted your comment because it was ad hominem and sexually explicit.

This blog is intended for civilized and substantive discussion of HSR issues.

BruceMcF said...

jim said...
"@bruce - you can't use big complicated thought out explanations like that. Don't you realize that trains only go in straight lines and they don't take anyone where they want to go?"

Also all trains serve the same transport task, also massive subsidies of suburban driving do not exist, despite appearing in black and white in publicly available records, also "freedom" is a word that means forcing developers to devote so much valuable commercial real estate to parking that it is in such over-supply that the parking space is then provided to motorists "for free", which means paid for without choice by everyone who uses the commercial establishment.

That is, supposing "realize" is short for "seeing anti-rail advocates make shit up while ignoring reality because it leads to the conclusions they already decided on in advance".

But Toy Cars for the Boys lamented the lack of debate, which means that Toy Cars for the Boys is willing to have his claims subjected to critique for logical flaw and factual error.

And I also lament the lack of debate - all too often anti-rail advocates come here to post repeats of bullshit that has been debunked numerous times already and then flee. And when they don't flee, they so rarely actually respond with a logically coherent, factually grounded argument.

Instead, they seem to think that debating online is supposed to be like one of those meaningless shouting matches on one of those meaningless cable infotainment networks.

jim said...

also "freedom" is a word that means forcing developers to devote so much valuable commercial real estate to parking that it is in such over-supply that the parking space is then provided to motorists "for free"

for just a split second I thought you were gonna say...

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee....


Instead, they seem to think that debating online is supposed to be like one of those meaningless shouting matches on one of those meaningless cable infotainment networks.

In olden times, back in the 70s and 80s there was no such thing as the interweb, and people a) didn't really know anything, and b) had no way to tell the world that they didn't know anything. SO there was no shouting and it was lot quieter in those days. We could broadcast our ignorance to close friends and neighbors.


I must beg getting old lol cuz I long for the days when we still had our black dial telephone, no microwave, you had to go to the bank between 10-2 m-f no atms. and mastercard and visa were known as mastercharge and bankamericard.

... and there were only channels 2,4,5,7,9,13 and 36,44, and 56.

seriously I tried to figure out how to twitter,, forget it. waaaay over my head. lol