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il miglior fabbro
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
An academic take on making cycling a bonafide transportation alternative, using the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Britain as examples. It's fairly long and dry but some of us may find it interesting. I wish I could link to the pdf that I've received and now sits on my desktop, but you can find the abstract here:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01441640701806612


Transport Reviews
A Transnational Transdisciplinary Journal
Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713766937

Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The
Netherlands, Denmark and Germany
John Pucher a; Ralph Buehler a
a Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New
Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
First Published: July 2008


"Bicycling share of short trips in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, the UK and the USA (2000–2005). Northern Europeans—even Britons—are far more likely than Americans to cycle for practical, utilitarian purposes. Travel to work or school accounts for only
11% of all bike trips in the USA, compared to 28% in Germany, 30% in the UK,
32% in the Netherlands and 35% in Denmark. Even more strikingly, shopping
trips account for only 5% of all bike trips in the USA, compared to 20% in
Germany, 22% in the Netherlands and 25% in Denmark (U.S. Department of
Transportation, 2003; German Federal Ministry of Transport, 2003; Netherlands
Ministry of Transport, 2006; Danish Ministry of Transport, 2007; Department for
Transport, 2007). Roughly three-fourths of all bike trips in the USA are for recreation,
compared to 38% in Germany, 35% in the UK, 27% in the Netherlands and
only 10% in Denmark.
The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have been among the most successful
countries at promoting cycling for daily travel. Since all three countries are quite
affluent, their high levels of cycling are not due to an inability to afford more
expensive transport modes. Indeed, levels of car ownership in the three countries
are among the highest in the world. The case of Germany is particularly noteworthy.
Although it has a much higher level of car ownership than the UK, the bike
share of trips in Germany is almost ten times higher in Germany than in the UK.
Clearly, high levels of car ownership do not preclude cycling. Thus, an examination
of the successful pro-cycling policies and programmes in the Netherlands,
Denmark and Germany may provide especially useful lessons for increasing
cycling in other countries with high incomes and widespread car ownership."

Conclusions: Policies to Make Cycling Irresistible
The most important approach to making cycling safe and convenient in Dutch,
Danish and German cities is the provision of separate cycling facilities along
heavily travelled roads and at intersections, combined with extensive traffic calming
of residential neighbourhoods. Safe and relatively stress-free cycling routes
are especially important for children, the elderly, women and for anyone with
special needs due to any sort of disability. Providing such separate facilities to
connect practical, utilitarian origins and destinations also promotes cycling for
work, school and shopping trips, as opposed to the mainly recreational cycling in
the USA, where most separate cycling facilities are along urban parks, rivers and
lakes or in rural areas.
As noted in this article, separate facilities are only part of the solution. Dutch,
Danish and German cities reinforce the safety, convenience and attractiveness of
excellent cycling rights of way with extensive bike parking, integration with
public transport, comprehensive traffic education and training of both cyclists
and motorists, and a wide range of promotional events intended to generate
enthusiasm and wide public support for cycling.
Would such pro-cycling policies as those listed in Tables 1 and 2 be possible in
a country like the USA? Some of the same policies are already used, but to a much
lesser extent, in many American cities (Pucher et al., 1999). Moreover, there has
been considerable expansion of such measures in recent years, with even more
expansion planned. Generous federal funding has helped finance 6165 km of bike
lanes, 3483 km of multi-use bike-ped paths and 36 195 bike parking racks in the 50
largest U.S. cities (Thunderhead Alliance, 2007). Bike parking at rail stations has
Downloaded By: [Rutgers University] At: 18:04 23 June 2008
524 J. Pucher and R. Buehler
been increasing, and as noted earlier, over 50 000 buses in the USA already come
equipped with bike racks to facilitate bike and ride. Moreover, all states now have
federally funded Safe Routes to School programmes designed to help children
walk or bike to school.
With the highest bike share of work trips (4%) of the 50 largest U.S. cities, Portland,
Oregon, probably has the country’s most successful bicycling programme (City of
Portland, 2007a, b, c). Portland has more than tripled the total annual number of
bike trips since 1991. That is partly due to a range of pro-bike measures such as
vastly expanding its bikeway network, increasing bike parking and integrating
cycling with bus and rail systems. In addition, bicycling in Portland benefits from
the country’s most famous land-use planning reforms, which have restricted leapfrog
suburban sprawl and encouraged compact, mixed-use development conducive
to shorter, more bikeable trips. Portland has also reduced the supply of car parking
in the city centre while improving public transport services. Very few American
cities can boast of such an integrated range of policies to promote cycling.
While Portland has been a model bicycling city, Chicago and New York provide
some impressive examples of what can be done to promote cycling even in two
megacities which for decades had been extremely hostile to cycling. In the past ten
years Chicago has added over 160 km of bike lanes and paths, established a citywide
cycling network, installed 7000 racks for bike parking and equipped over
2000 buses with racks to encourage bike and ride. Moreover, the latest official
bicycling plan calls for further expansion to create an 800 km bikeway network
(City of Chicago, 2007). New York has added 392 km of bike paths and lanes in the
past ten years and plans an additional 900 km of bike paths and lanes in the coming
ten years (New York City Department of Transportation, 2007a). From 2001 to
2007, New York installed over 3000 new bike racks. Official city plans call for a
network of 2880 km of bike lanes and mixed-use greenway paths by 2030. Cycling
levels in both Chicago and New York have increased considerably. Annual cordon
counts conducted by the City of New York at a wide range of locations throughout
Manhattan indicate that cycling levels more than doubled (116% increase) between
2000 and 2007 (New York City Department of Transportation, 2007b).
In short, such pro-bike ‘carrot’ policies are indeed possible even in a caroriented
country like the USA. By comparison, there is almost no political support
in the USA for adopting and implementing the sorts of car-restrictive ‘stick’
policies listed in Table 3 that indirectly encourage cycling in the Netherlands,
Denmark and Germany. In those three countries, car use is far more expensive and
much less convenient than in the USA due to a host of taxes and restrictions on car
ownership, use and parking. Moreover, strict land-use policies foster relatively
compact, mixed-use developments that generate more bikeable, shorter trips.
Promoting cycling is surely not the main purpose of such policies, but they clearly
provide important incentives and supportive conditions for cycling.
With very few exceptions, such as Portland, Oregon, neither car-restrictive
measures nor stringent land-use controls have yet been politically acceptable in
American cities (Pucher et al., 1999; Banister et al., 2007). The public and the media
vigorously oppose even slight increases in the petrol tax, for example, and thus
discourage politicians from even considering increased taxation on car use. Similarly,
there is little support for restrictions on car parking, speeds and passage of
cars through city centres and residential neighbourhoods. Thus, there appears to
be only very limited potential for implementation in the USA of these crucial ‘stick’
approaches that would encourage cycling.
Downloaded By: [Rutgers University] At: 18:04 23 June 2008
Making Cycling Irresistible 525
Even in a city such as New York, where a majority of residents have no cars, it
has been an uphill battle trying to approve the proposed congestion pricing scheme
for Manhattan. It would involve a charge of $8 for cars and $21 for trucks to enter
Manhattan south of 86th Street on weekdays between 6 am and 6 pm (New York
City Department of Transportation, 2007a). Both Mayor Bloomberg (of New York
City) and Governor Spitzer (of New York State) strongly support congestion pricing,
and the U.S. Department of Transportation has offered $353 million in subsidy
to help finance the programme. The plan remains highly controversial, however,
and a combined state and city commission has been established to evaluate it. The
federal government has set a deadline of 31 March 2008 for final city and state
approval of the congestion pricing plan, and a deadline of 31 March 2009 for its
implementation. Based on the London experience, it seems likely that congestion
pricing in New York would increase cycling levels, especially since the city plans
to greatly expand its cycling facilities at the same time.
The key to the success of cycling policies in the Netherlands, Denmark and
Germany is the coordinated implementation of the multi-faceted, mutually
reinforcing set of policies summarized in Tables 1, 2 and 3. Not only do these countries
implement far more of the pro-bike measures, but they greatly reinforce their
overall impact with highly restrictive policies that make car use less convenient as
well as more expensive. It is precisely that double-barrelled combination of
‘carrot’ and ‘stick’ policies that make cycling so irresistible.
 

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I HATE that Jim Crow approach to infrastructure. It is really hard on us road bikers. In some parts, they end up banning bikes from the roads.

I hate to say it, but infrastructure is NOT the answer. Attitudes are very different here in Europe than in the US. Drivers generally respect cyclists, so it is not regarded as suicidal to be on the roads. It is a serious offense to hit a biker--- unlike the in US. Additionally, you don't have all the cyclist hatred that is easily found on talk radio (or other internet forums).

Another key difference is city planning and zoning. There are many places in the US where you cannot even walk. I stayed in a hotel in Boston almost across the street from the airport--- and there was literally no way to walk to the airport. In most parts of the nations cited in the "study" it is impossible NOT to live within walking distance of a grocery store. Also, Denmark and the Netherlands are exceptionally small countries geographically. You can literally drive north to south across all Denmark in half a day.
 

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filtersweep said:
I HATE that Jim Crow approach to infrastructure.
Filter, you've lived here. How much of the vibrant twin cities cycling culture do you think is attributable to the investment in infastructure? If we didn't have things like the Greenway, CLT, The Grand Rounds, etc etc..... would it still be the same as far being a place that is if not 100% friendly, at least somewhat welcoming and inclusive of bikes as transportation.

There's "Jim Crow" and there's "If you build it they will come". Don't you think both are in play (and neither is a perfect analogy). Come back for a visit, the $4.00 a gallon has made a noticable difference to the number of riders at commute times. Not entirely anecdotal either. TLC had 50% jump in cyclist volume across the Lake Street bridge between Mpls and St. Paul compared to last years same day/same time count (good weather both years luckily).

Scot
 

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the US has a lot to overcome. Most of our cities avoided the density europe has. Coming later to the game, the auto shaped what our development looks like. Most europeans have a growcery within a mile, few americans do. Their strong train network works well in harmony with cycling. Buses surcome to traffic so why would one want to be packed on one of those if it takes just as long?
 

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You make a good point. When I lived there, I regarded those trails as mostly recreational.

In my opinion the CLT and Greenway really are not separate--- but rather their own unique infrastructure. The original article referred to separate facilities along side of busy major roads--- and specifically contrasted them against recreational trails (of which the Twin Cities have in abundance).

I generally avoided the "paths" when I could, and used them to connect up with the areas I actually wanted to bike--- what I liked were wide shoulders on highway 13, for example--- rather than the path along 13. Imagine if you could not bike on any roads and were expected only to use paths. I am slightly overstating the problem to make a point. In much of Europe, there really are no shoulders. Either you bike in a lane with 80 kph traffic, or you bike on a separate path.

But the point that you are missing is that there are a few major arteries as you describe in the Twin Cities--- relative to the total number of roads and streets. In much of Denmark, the Netherlands, (Norway), this level of infrastructure is "everywhere"--- and akin to biking on "sidewalks." Even though they are not called sidewalks, they are effectively the same thing, replete with the same problems of sightlines, crossing streets and driveways, odd cut-outs near roundabouts, dubious rights of way over zebra crossings, etc. Would you bike on Co Rd 42? Would you bike on the sidewalk along 42? Would you bike on the sidewalk if it were painted blue?

The most significant portion of the article, I believe, is as follows:
As noted in this article, separate facilities are only part of the solution. Dutch,
Danish and German cities reinforce the safety, convenience and attractiveness of
excellent cycling rights of way with extensive bike parking, integration with
public transport, comprehensive traffic education and training of both cyclists
and motorists, and a wide range of promotional events intended to generate
enthusiasm and wide public support for cycling.
These speak to attitudes of motorists and awareness. When I read about cycling attitudes on non-cycling forums, and all the hatred towards bikers, it really is depressing. The only person I have ever heard complaining about cyclists around here, as an American ex-pat coworker.



Scot_Gore said:
Filter, you've lived here. How much of the vibrant twin cities cycling culture do you think is attributable to the investment in infastructure? If we didn't have things like the Greenway, CLT, The Grand Rounds, etc etc..... would it still be the same as far being a place that is if not 100% friendly, at least somewhat welcoming and inclusive of bikes as transportation.

There's "Jim Crow" and there's "If you build it they will come". Don't you think both are in play (and neither is a perfect analogy). Come back for a visit, the $4.00 a gallon has made a noticable difference to the number of riders at commute times. Not entirely anecdotal either. TLC had 50% jump in cyclist volume across the Lake Street bridge between Mpls and St. Paul compared to last years same day/same time count (good weather both years luckily).

Scot
 

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I can't speak for the country as a whole, but my city is doing one hell of a job making cycling irresistible.

It's not impossible to get people to ride in the US, but it's not going to happen overnight. The abstract is correct- right now, most Americans see bikes as recreation, not as transportation.

If you look through the average bike shop, not many of the bikes for sale are even practical for commuting or shopping, though that's been changing lately.

But, I am hopeful- bikes like schwinn's coffee are a great start towards inexpensive, bulletproof bikes you can ride across town in a pair of long pants. Bike paths and bike lanes are getting more and more plentiful. And I'm seeing more and more bike riders every morning when I ride to work.
 

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Filter, did you read what you wrote?:

filtersweep said:
I hate to say it, but infrastructure is NOT the answer......

Another key difference is city planning and zoning. There are many places in the US where you cannot even walk. I stayed in a hotel in Boston almost across the street from the airport--- and there was literally no way to walk to the airport.
Ummm, that's the definition of infrastructure. Infrastructure is what would have gotten you to the airport. I actually have that situation here at work. I work 1/4 mile from a huge airport (Dulles), and I rent cars all the time to drive down to Richmond. The rental car agencies at the airport are open 24/7, but the rental car agency near my house (at the mall) has lousy hours). I normally ride my bike to pickup and drop off the rental car. but I can't get to the airport to rent a bike, because there is literally no way to get there without using a limited access highway (toll road).

I agree that the facilities need to be there to get people to commute. I couldn't bike commute without the MUT I have. There simply is no safe way to get from point A to point B by bike where I live, without it. (I'm not going to ride on Rt28!!)

If you give the people a carrot, they will bite. I have first hand proof/experience with that. In my old office, which literally sits across the street from the MUT, I got 5 people on my project to start bike commuting. These are people who were otherwise inactive, and I got them to do a 12 mile (one way) commute. They were willing to accept the time required, but without the safety of a way to do it, would never have considered it.

If you simply tell drivers to Share the Road and respect cyclists, it'll just never happen. This is exactly what we now have. Without a LOT of cyclists on the road, drivers will never respect the cyclists, and you'll never get them on the road without the respect. Hence, a Catch 22. There is also the fact that adding more cyclists to the roads may only piss off divers more, because they will get aggrivated by slow cyclists.

At a minimum, they need to re-stripe the roads to add bike lanes and shoulders. But if they ever get really serious about it, they need to add (and maintain) bike paths/MUTs that are separated from the auto traffic where the speed limits are above 35.
 

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I was referring to cycling specific infrastructure, if that really needs to be clarified. But I might end up rethinking all of this.

Another gripe is we have a bike lane in my neighborhood along the major artery--- that is maybe 2ft wide or less in places. Cars pass much more closely when there is a marked bike lane, since I am "not in their lane." If there were no bike lane at all, I would feel safer. The alternative is to take the bike path, along the road, which is basically a sidewalk (multi-use). I often end up taking the lane, which makes me look like I have a bad attitude, when there are two alternatives for bikes readily available.

Of course your point is well taken---and more cyclists result in more awareness and shifts in attitudes.

Still, it seems there are enough roads. The traffic calming techniques improve life for everyone, as an example, and promote more sharing of the road.

JohnnyTooBad said:
Filter, did you read what you wrote?:



Ummm, that's the definition of infrastructure. Infrastructure is what would have gotten you to the airport. I actually have that situation here at work. I work 1/4 mile from a huge airport (Dulles), and I rent cars all the time to drive down to Richmond. The rental car agencies at the airport are open 24/7, but the rental car agency near my house (at the mall) has lousy hours). I normally ride my bike to pickup and drop off the rental car. but I can't get to the airport to rent a bike, because there is literally no way to get there without using a limited access highway (toll road).

I agree that the facilities need to be there to get people to commute. I couldn't bike commute without the MUT I have. There simply is no safe way to get from point A to point B by bike where I live, without it. (I'm not going to ride on Rt28!!)

If you give the people a carrot, they will bite. I have first hand proof/experience with that. In my old office, which literally sits across the street from the MUT, I got 5 people on my project to start bike commuting. These are people who were otherwise inactive, and I got them to do a 12 mile (one way) commute. They were willing to accept the time required, but without the safety of a way to do it, would never have considered it.

If you simply tell drivers to Share the Road and respect cyclists, it'll just never happen. This is exactly what we now have. Without a LOT of cyclists on the road, drivers will never respect the cyclists, and you'll never get them on the road without the respect. Hence, a Catch 22. There is also the fact that adding more cyclists to the roads may only piss off divers more, because they will get aggrivated by slow cyclists.

At a minimum, they need to re-stripe the roads to add bike lanes and shoulders. But if they ever get really serious about it, they need to add (and maintain) bike paths/MUTs that are separated from the auto traffic where the speed limits are above 35.
 

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In order to make a serious move away from motor vehicles as a means of transportation, gas prices are going to have to be $8 - 10.00 per gallon. Right now people are pretty much whining. Some are carpooling more, buying smaller, more efficient cars, and public transport is slightly up. For sure those are all positive steps. If gas costs doubled from what they are now drivers would begin to take drastic action...immediate drastic action.

Another extremely serious problem (as previously stated) is our infrastructure. This is a huge country, almost the size of all of Europe. Because distances are great, folks have to think twice about traveling, especially if/when the price of oil continues to rise. Another problem is that much of our country and many, many of our cities were designed specifically with auto transport in mind. People work far from their homes. Stores aren't convenient, or even possible for some people to walk or cycle to. I live smack dab in the center of a city of 75,000. The nearest grocery store is 3 miles from my house. That's OK, but yesterday they announced that the store was closing. When it does, in another month, the nearest grocery store will be 11 miles away. All right, I'm an excellent rider, so even if I don't like it (I don't) it's still possible. But what if you're a single mother with a couple of kids, and the farthest you've ever ridden on the Schwinn Varsity you got when you were in 8th grade was 4-5 miles? What if you're 75 years old? What if you're physically injured or handicapped? The changes to our way of life would be incalculable. It's, IMO, very frightening to think of the changes that would have to be made. After all, when you think about it - not including some of us enthusiasts - the whole way of life in the US revolves around the automobile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Some people are already sounding the death knell for the suburbs: That, as gasoline hits five or six bucks a gallon (never mind $8-10), people will be inclined to live closer to where they work; that, in a few decades, the suburbs will become the "slums." I think it a bit far-fetched, too much has been invested in homes and the infrastructure to serve those homes for people to be moving away from their 10,000 sq. ft. palaces out in the burbs.
Nevertheless, as private, fossil-fuel-powered transportation becomes more expensive, people will be seeking alternatives: telework; more "convenient" and comfortable public transit; electric powered vehicles; and, yes, safer and smoother commuter cycling routes.
My one-way commute is 15 miles and already I've met a precious few people whose trips are 10 miles longer - we're in the minority, but I'm hoping we're the thin edge of the wedge for better things to come.
 

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bigbri said:
Some people are already sounding the death knell for the suburbs: That, as gasoline hits five or six bucks a gallon (never mind $8-10), people will be inclined to live closer to where they work; that, in a few decades, the suburbs will become the "slums." I think it a bit far-fetched, too much has been invested in homes and the infrastructure to serve those homes for people to be moving away from their 10,000 sq. ft. palaces out in the burbs.
Nevertheless, as private, fossil-fuel-powered transportation becomes more expensive, people will be seeking alternatives: telework; more "convenient" and comfortable public transit; electric powered vehicles; and, yes, safer and smoother commuter cycling routes.
My one-way commute is 15 miles and already I've met a precious few people whose trips are 10 miles longer - we're in the minority, but I'm hoping we're the thin edge of the wedge for better things to come.
I agree- I'd be willing to bet that the cities (or enterprising entrepreneurs) will just run more bus lines out to the suburbs. It wouldn't be a stretch to see some smart folks running private, extra-comfy bus lines to and from the 'burbs.

I don't quite understand this zeal that some people have about the death of the suburbs... The neighborhood I'm in now is a charming place with lots of big trees that provide a canopy over the roads, it's quiet and the houses are cute. I can ride my bike to work or downtown in about 30 minutes. And, 55 years ago, it was a suburb built way out in the country. Houses have to come from somewhere, and suburbs are mostly where they come from.
 

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Right!

Scot_Gore said:
Filter, you've lived here. How much of the vibrant twin cities cycling culture do you think is attributable to the investment in infastructure? If we didn't have things like the Greenway, CLT, The Grand Rounds, etc etc..... would it still be the same as far being a place that is if not 100% friendly, at least somewhat welcoming and inclusive of bikes as transportation.

There's "Jim Crow" and there's "If you build it they will come". Don't you think both are in play (and neither is a perfect analogy). Come back for a visit, the $4.00 a gallon has made a noticable difference to the number of riders at commute times. Not entirely anecdotal either. TLC had 50% jump in cyclist volume across the Lake Street bridge between Mpls and St. Paul compared to last years same day/same time count (good weather both years luckily).

Scot
The Star-Tribune had an article last week about his rider volume is up so much that
there are actually "bike traffic jams" on the Greenway trail during rush hour.

If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have believed it a few years ago.
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
In order to make a serious move away from motor vehicles as a means of transportation, gas prices are going to have to be $8 - 10.00 per gallon. Right now people are pretty much whining. Some are carpooling more, buying smaller, more efficient cars, and public transport is slightly up.

Higher gas prices will NOT help public transit. They will ONLY hurt it.


Currently the City of NowHere just issued new bus routes for the fall ~4 weeks ago.......


They are about to issue revised new routes----cutting down service, from what was already a pathetic system, because the city, itself, can no longer afford the fuel to operate the busses.
 

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I would love to see more of us riding to and from work. I do think in large part it comes down to attitude and city planning. For many of us our cities are not very bike friendly, I'd like to think we could start seeing that change. The first two things that come to mind is a little space on the road and the removal of glass where they want us to ride.

I read a very discouraging article that suggested that our fast economic growth was largely tied to the automobile. The fall out to this is that few of our major urban centers can be retrofitted to provide better public transportation systems and would require us to build new cities. I thought it might be a little doomsday but it reminded me again that we're hooked on cars.

Hopefully we start seeing positive change due to higher fuel prices. It would be great to see more people car pooling, just for a start. It could give us cyclists more room on the road.
 

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Rob P said:
I read a very discouraging article that suggested that our fast economic growth was largely tied to the automobile.
Who said that? America's fast economic growth through its history is directly tied to innovation and entrepreneurs. That was the case in the industrial age, that was the case with the dot com boom, and we are perfectly positioned for a huge boom in bio-technologies and nano-technologies; most hedge investors agree that these are the future sectors of the world economy- waiting to boom.

Room 1201 said:
Higher gas prices will NOT help public transit. They will ONLY hurt it
Why, because your city in the middle of nowhere can't make the economics work? Public transit will succeed with more usage and regular commuting. Remember, public transit is not just buses. Metro systems use electric power, largely generated from US coal plants. Also, many cities are converting buses over to natural gas and electric power.

The margins are there for public transit- the culprit is that you have government's trying to run a business. That normally doesn't work well.
 

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Kestreljr said:
Who said that? America's fast economic growth through its history is directly tied to innovation and entrepreneurs. That was the case in the industrial age, that was the case with the dot com boom, and we are perfectly positioned for a huge boom in bio-technologies and nano-technologies; most hedge investors agree that these are the future sectors of the world economy- waiting to boom.
I was in the doctors office reading a paper, but I forget which one. I'll see if I cannot dig it up.

The point was that the automobile allowed us to grow without laying down expensive infrastructure. For example a truck can go door to door, where as a train requires more steps along the process. Also rail lines are limited to the areas they service and for some reason we stopped developing rail and moved to roadways. So our transportation system is largely based on automobiles. Which allows for fast and cheap growth.

I agree that we've seen a lot of innovation, but not in isolation. There are many factors, one large one being transportation.
 

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Kestreljr said:
Why, because your city in the middle of nowhere can't make the economics work? Public transit will succeed with more usage and regular commuting. Remember, public transit is not just buses. Metro systems use electric power, largely generated from US coal plants. Also, many cities are converting buses over to natural gas and electric power.

The margins are there for public transit- the culprit is that you have government's trying to run a business. That normally doesn't work well.
Because the City of NowHere is sprawled, and it is impossible to get effective coverage. Thus difficult to get any kind or ridership. Also, with the city nearly bankrupt-there are calls everywhere to cut funding on everything....everyone is wanting stuff-and no one wants to pay for it.


BTW-natural gas isn't a solution either out here....there's a fight brewing because the public util is wanting to raise costs to all consumers 11%...and would have if certain officials hadn't dug their heels in.

If there isn't money for buses there sure as h*ll isn't money for a Metro to just be dug out of nowhere.


Out here, the only way to get around is by car. Period. There is no light rail, that was killed by Firestone and the Detroit Autos. There is barely even bus service (it would be a joke to call it "public transit". The airlines are cutting flights. The Amtrak only comes through once (each way) per day.

The above is true for most of the US excepting the East and West coasts, and major urban centers.
 

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Room 1201 said:
If there isn't money for buses there sure as h*ll isn't money for a Metro to just be dug out of nowhere.
Your original post made it sound like you were saying that ALL public transit doesn't work. I don't doubt that public transit might not work in east bumble where-ever...
 

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holy crap there's a lot of long posts here.....wtf...........I can't read all that fine prints after 4 beers.............

My take is....you know what makes cycling irresistible......CYCLING...I love it....oh yeah...the oil companies are helping....
 

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I think the point about the car is an interesting one, but I see it as a line of communication as well as a line of transportation. Used to be that people needed to be in the same office to be able to have meetings and communicate in a meaningless way. Now we have the net.

I don't see bus lines cropping up. I see satellite offices coming into play. The loathesome Wal-Mart came about through the idea that every small rural hick town should have their own department store, that it shouldn't be necessary to drive 2 hours into "the city." And it was huge. I think we'll see an expansion of small-time local stores, such as those that do still exist in urban areas... corner stores, local shops, and such.

Separately, it would be nice to see the emphasis on "driver and cyclist training." It would really be nice to see cycling legitimized in that way.
 
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