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The stupidity of light rail in the USA

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posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Great point on the motorcycle and scooters. Never thought of it before, but how many freaking scooters could you buy for the poor for $54 billion? At a $1000/scooter that would be 54 million. That would be like 60 scooters each for every man, woman, and child in Seattle.




posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:13 PM
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originally posted by: luthier
Soccer mom's in suburbans are very dangerous in Boston. Worse than whitie Bulger ever was.


I try to avoid driving there at all costs and take the T.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: MRinder

Nice. But how does that address what's in my post? The 2nd and 3rd sentences in my post even point out that I'm not a fan of light rail; I just don't agree with the OP's reasons for why it's not good.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:23 PM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: MRinder

Nice. But how does that address what's in my post? The 2nd and 3rd sentences in my post even point out that I'm not a fan of light rail; I just don't agree with the OP's reasons for why it's not good.


I can't speak for the guy who wrote the opening post. I am all for helping people get to work, it just has to be effective, and cost effective. Light rail is neither of those. I do believe that if you want to work and are willing to work that even if half your community is a bunch of sorry @$$ losers who want to sit on their rears all day and get high you are still worthy of getting assistance to get to go interview and get to and from work. I wouldn't wish it on anybody that was willing to work hard to be stuck in poverty. The problem is somehow we have created a country where people do work hard for $10/hr and that just leaves them in poverty. Seems we have let our country fall down into a giant sink trap.

Hopefully, I have addressed your concerns.
edit on 7-5-2018 by MRinder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:26 PM
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originally posted by: MRinder
a reply to: Edumakated

Great point on the motorcycle and scooters. Never thought of it before, but how many freaking scooters could you buy for the poor for $54 billion? At a $1000/scooter that would be 54 million. That would be like 60 scooters each for every man, woman, and child in Seattle.


Exactly. Far cheaper than trying to build a light rail system. People don't need to by Ducati sport bikes or big dresser Harleys. They could encourage people to buy Vespas and other small scoots. In most urban areas, you really don't need more than 150ccs. They are fairly popular with the hipsters around here in Chicago. The only problem is that there is no real advantage over a car since you still have to pay for parking and filtering isn't legal.

They could even make a small motorcycle lane. I've read studies saying that if only like 10% or so of commuters just got on a motorcycle, there would be practically no traffic.

Research shows motorcycles reduce traffic by 40%



The study, which was presented at the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM) 2012 Conference in Brussels, found that if 10 percent of all private cars were replaced by motorcycles in the traffic flow of the test area, total time losses for all vehicles decreased by 40 percent and total emissions reduced by 6 percent (1 percent from the different traffic composition of more emission-reduced motorcycles and 5 percent from avoided traffic congestion). A 25 percent modal shift from cars to motorcycles was found to eliminate congestion entirely.



edit on 7-5-2018 by Edumakated because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

In California, if a motorcycle is lane splitting and a car is changing a lane and god forbid, hits the motorcyclist...where does the law fall?
Can you only pass slow/stopped vehicles?



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:32 PM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
a reply to: Edumakated

In California, if a motorcycle is lane splitting and a car is changing a lane and god forbid, hits the motorcyclist...where does the law fall?
Can you only pass slow/stopped vehicles?


Probably depends. Generally, it is probably the cars fault for not checking mirrors. However, if the biker is riding like an ass, it may be his fault too. Usually, the highway patrol doesn't recommend splitting more than 15mph faster than the traffic. When traffic is standing still, you tend to just go some what slow enough to stop if a car cuts into the lane. If traffic is moving, say at 30, the bike might be doing 35-40ish.

There are plenty of videos of "Squids" on sport bikes doing stupid stuff like lane splitting at 100mph but that really isn't an accurate representation.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 03:57 PM
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originally posted by: Fools
This is sort of a rant, but I just am amazed at how the discussion, funding, and political nonsense happens in regard to light rail in the USA.

Here is how it starts, it starts with a genuine need. The need of an American city to solve the problem of congestion of highways and the pollution they create by attempting to get some of those drivers off the road and onto a train to and from work.

Great, that is all good, let's do it!

Then the politicians get involved. And in nearly EVERY SINGLE CASE the train is sent through the most blighted areas of the city in some vain attempt to get "the poor" to work.

Hey, guess what? Some of the poor are poor because they don't want to work.

Why isn't light rail dedicated to the neighborhoods that have a high amount of skilled workers that might actually use them?

So after the initial love affair the media has with the system it starts getting lower and lower ridership due to crime on the trains and physical assaults on the riders.

Then it becomes a tax burden to the local communities they shouldn't have been built through in the first place.

Is there a word for this sort of lunacy? Like this odd need to pretend that all that matters is to help the "down and out" at the astronomical expense of the tax payer?

We had a vote for mass transit here is SE Michgan. 4 Billion dollars. It got voted down as the plan wasn't to voters liking. What do the local governments do? Now they are trying a 5 Billion plan, pretty much the same one we voted down.

They just don't get it. The proposed plans were unequal for lots of communities and many voters didn't see the benefit. The light rail we just put in Detroit is pretty much a joke. To small of a run that doesn't go to the places we need.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 04:08 PM
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I know we're looking at light rail in the US, but Manchester on the UK seems to be getting it right. They started what we call the met (metrolink) approx 25 years ago. It started off on old train tracks running from Bury to Altrincham through the city centre. It now has 7 lines which run from out lying towns and small conurbations into the city centre and also covers the airport.

It started with about 8 million journeys per year and now does nearly 19 million. It keeps expanding year after year and will soon include one of Europe's biggest shopping centres (Trafford Centre).

I think the key to light rail is constantly adding new routes between key destinations.

Manchester has grown massively over they years (not just due to the met though) thanks to the ability of low wage earners being able to travel into the city centre and beyond for work.

It's not perfect but God only knows what it would be like round here without it.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 05:13 PM
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a reply to: Funem

It is a vastly different issue here. The distance is greater, the urban politicians are in the palms of nonsense, the excuse of bigotry for unrealized success is at about 1000%.

You guys are modeling yourselves after the USA (the fantasy one), I would suggest you take a good look at some real numbers. Right now the USA is succeeding on capital built 60 to 100 years ago. If it keeps up, at least I feel, the misery index will be based on how horrible things are in the so called "new Rome".

Speaking of, why wasn't the British Empire ever considered a "New Rome"?



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: pavil

We see a similar thing with public education, which is dear to me as my wife is a teacher. Instead of asking for 1 percent or whatever they ask for 5, and then the next year 6. And then the teacher unions come out and tell the teachers to preach to us all how we hate our children.

Forgive me for a second, but my wife (the most wonderful woman I have ever known) works 7 hour workdays - works 9 month years - has a 90 percent pension that she will arrive at the age of 52.

And we need to give them more money?

WTF?

(of course my wife disagrees, but I have a feeling if she was in my shoes she wouldnt based on more than a few red wine conversations that were partially honesty syrum.)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 05:23 PM
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Most American cities have the same issues with most mass transit systems, including light rail, IMO.

The cities and the work are spread out, so there is no really efficient way to build such a system neatly ferry enough people around and serve enough people to make such a system pay for itself in the long run. When we moved here, we looked seriously at mass transit for me to get to work, but while I could easily use it to get close to where I needed to go, it wasn't going to help me get home as the buses stopped operating at 5pm, so I would have no way of getting home on them. That made it unrealistic for me as an option.

As for a light rail system ...

This city had about four or five large malls that were basically abandoned around the outer edge of the city. It seemed to me that these could have been repurposed into light rail transit hubs. You had large existing structure with shop space and facilities and plenty of satellite parking usually well placed along travel arteries. You could also make these bus system hubs too to disperse riders further into the city to other places of work.

All you needed to do was lay in tracks along those existing arteries and viola!

Nope.

All those malls got torn down.
edit on 7-5-2018 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

You raise a good point about Malls. They are a dying breed and we better figure out how to re-purpose them other than just letting them sit vacant till they get bulldozed. It seems such a waste to not re-purpose them.
edit on 7-5-2018 by pavil because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 05:42 PM
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originally posted by: Fools
a reply to: pavil

We see a similar thing with public education, which is dear to me as my wife is a teacher. Instead of asking for 1 percent or whatever they ask for 5, and then the next year 6. And then the teacher unions come out and tell the teachers to preach to us all how we hate our children.

Forgive me for a second, but my wife (the most wonderful woman I have ever known) works 7 hour workdays - works 9 month years - has a 90 percent pension that she will arrive at the age of 52.

And we need to give them more money?

WTF?

(of course my wife disagrees, but I have a feeling if she was in my shoes she wouldnt based on more than a few red wine conversations that were partially honesty syrum.)


She also probably has her masters, and has to deal with terrible children and terrible parents.

Not many places require a master's and top you out at around 65k



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: Fools

Yea, I know............dumb right?

I'll fill you in on the genuine workings behind these light rail initiatives.

Lets pretend for a moment, you're a "Democrat" in the typical US Democrat controlled metro area AND, you're on the City Council representing District "A" which is mostly low income substandard housing, etc.

You want to get rich while you can! So you back the Democrat Mayor's initiative to put in light rail! You pal up with some of the biggest real estate Developers in your Democrat city and they hatch a plan to buy up the distressed properties in your District, District "A", so You tell them you'll push for the routes to go where they want to in exchange for their buying the property from XYZ Redevelopment Corporation which YOU are a major owner of!

You then arrange for the line proposals to go through your District, but keep the line proposals secret. You then get your buddy in the Ordinances and Inspections Department to condemn those properties along the line and they go up for sale at the Sheriff's office. Oddly enough when the "Auction" comes up, its held at an unusual place no one else knows about and XYZ Redevelopment Corporation buys up the properties at Auction for pennies on the dollar.

Now............how do you get the Light Rail line built? Well..........you have to get your Democrat buddies in Congress to pass funding dollars to get it done..........that's already been done for other earlier mass transit initiatives, so really all you have to do is get your Democrat pals to approve the line, (shares of stock in your XYZ Redevelopment Corporation) and voila..........the money comes in and off you go!

They start building the line........your shell Corporation "Leases" the lands bordering the route to Big Developer who builds $500,000.00, 1,200 Square Foot Townhouses..........after bulldozing the low income housing and thanks to the magic of Gentrification..............techie nerds making $250,000. a year coding AI start moving in, all the while the poor people are moved out the HUD Redevelopment Mixed Use housing in the suburbs..........built on land YOUR XYZ Redevelopment Corporation, by some miracle of fate, had previously bought and now sells or leases to the Big Developer who was Contracted by HUD to build the new Housing in the Burbs.

So..........if you're understanding all this...........the answer is simple!
Quit complaining, run for office in your city, preferably on City Council and GET RICH QUICK!



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: Fools

Are you referring to Nashville, TN? There was a big uproar these last few weeks about a multi-billion dollar transit plan going up for vote that got shot down faster than a Messerschmidt over Britain. It wasnt really going to solve anything other than make traffic even worse during its 10 year construction period and rumor has it that it was so Google would choose TN to build.

I voted "Hell No" and was ready to go to war to prevent the sh!teshow from happening. They wanted to use money from other places and increase the sales tax here to one of the highest in the country in order to pay for it. We already pay a $55 road tax every year when renewing tags and they still cant fix the damn potholes on that. But a light rail system a tweaking of the traffic lights was going make up for it.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 06:58 PM
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originally posted by: Fools
a reply to: pavil

We see a similar thing with public education, which is dear to me as my wife is a teacher. Instead of asking for 1 percent or whatever they ask for 5, and then the next year 6. And then the teacher unions come out and tell the teachers to preach to us all how we hate our children.

Forgive me for a second, but my wife (the most wonderful woman I have ever known) works 7 hour workdays - works 9 month years - has a 90 percent pension that she will arrive at the age of 52.

And we need to give them more money?

WTF?

(of course my wife disagrees, but I have a feeling if she was in my shoes she wouldnt based on more than a few red wine conversations that were partially honesty syrum.)


Some of my clients are teachers......they make more in retirement than they did working. I'm not joking even. I"m all for good use of taxpayer money to take care of pressing issues, but this wasn't one of them. Fix our Damn roads first, then we can talk about mass transit. Throwing more and more money at education hasn't moved the needle one bit in my area. We need a whole new approach.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: StratosFear

Glad to hear it's not just my Region that is having issues with local proposals for Mass Transit. They seem to miss the obvious home runs that would benefit everyone and get pissy when their horrible plan goes down to defeat by the actual voters.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: Fools

I am waiting for someone to say ALL rail ways will be upgraded to a new universal standard and the government will fund it. Then the government should buy existing lines where necessary for a fair price. The end goal is to build a modern and universal national train network into every city.

We have USA levels of wealth in this country. Wait....

So then we will have USEFUL railways that are on time and FAST. Not moving museums on a hodgepodge of different types of rails owned by many different companies.

The train industry here beyond hauling heavy freight is mostly dead anyways. Currently its STUCK technologically and logistically right where it is. We are falling behind globally in these regards. Our rail system is terrible.


edit on 5 7 2018 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 11:26 PM
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For most cities it is going to take multiple ideas to achieve real success. Atlantans just love their cars and though downtown has seen an influx of more population living there, the out lying areas are exploding and like has been mentioned it is extremely difficult to get the buses and subways to full capacity,not mention stations serving areas farther out. I've been begging my boss to let us tele commute, and only be in office certain days,but they are old school and inflexible. I'd imagine lots of businesses could do that. Stagger operating hours in businesses where it's feasible.

Recently when a section of I 85 going into the city was closed for months, people found other ways to get around, now it's back open and seems as crowded as ever. We live 5 minutes from the subway station but rarely use it, though I have in past, just seemed like every time Id use it there came an issue where I needed my vehicle.




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