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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 24th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #1121
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Data from the European Comission:

Car ownership per 1.000 inhabitants as of 2008:
Portugal - 431
France - 542
Italy - 593
Netherlands - 517
Germany - 558
Spain - 503

Data from FHWA:
USA - 794

Not that different, huh? Tokyo, London and, for that matter, Madrid and Amsterdam commuting patterns do not represent not even the majority of their countries' patterns, unless you are proposing that, in the future, everyone should or would live in a Manhattan-like urban environment.

As for thr 0.6% tax increase, it is not masive of course, but it could only fund a limited service in Denver Metro. A decent service, yet limited. I'd bet no more than 4% of daily commuters of Denver Metro ride the T-Rex trains.

(again: not against Denver, it is one of the most interesting metro areas in US along with Houston, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Oklahoma City).
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Old January 24th, 2010, 11:18 PM   #1122
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34-85% higher number of car ownership per capita (among the examples you quoted) is "not that different"?

Well, acutally thats the very thing I am suggesting, it is quite a difference.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #1123
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The statistics do not say how the cars are being used.

Are vans, service vehicles, buses etc., counted as "cars?"

What a pointless rebuttal.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #1124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Not that different, huh? Tokyo, London and, for that matter, Madrid and Amsterdam commuting patterns do not represent not even the majority of their countries' patterns, unless you are proposing that, in the future, everyone should or would live in a Manhattan-like urban environment.

Transport patterns in Tokyo, London, and Paris do not represent the majority of the traffic patterns in Japan, the UK, and France? What planet are you on?

Your so-called Manhattan-like urban environments are present in all "wealthy" countries. Add Milan, Barcelona, Osaka, Nagoya, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Oslo, Stockholm, Vancouver, Chicago, San Francisco, Manchester, etc. The list goes on.

In your own fantasy world, urbanization does not exist.

Last edited by aab7772003; January 25th, 2010 at 06:19 PM.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:15 AM   #1125
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But remember that the best transportation system isn't one that relies on one mode over the other. It's a combination of modes. It's when we start shunning the other modes that leads to an inadequate transportation system.

And it goes both ways. Yes cars are nice, but they have limitations that public transportation can address. The vice versa holds true as well.

That also doesn't mean that our development patterns can't change. Here in Washington, land use is becoming much more strict. New developments in the suburbs are higher density, "urban villages" with mixed use zoning. Most of the low-density suburban areas I see are 10+ years old. It's a relatively new thing in the Western U.S. to develop high-density suburbs, but it doesn't mean that it won't proliferate in the future.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #1126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Yes cars are nice, but they have limitations that public transportation can address. The vice versa holds true as well.
Indeed. I'm answering posts on a webforum on the internet while commuting to work. Try doing that in a car...

Public transport also increases mobility for those who can't drive like children for example, which also means that their parents don't have to drive them around al the time.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:28 AM   #1127
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Quote:
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Public transport also increases mobility for those who can't drive like children for example, which also means that their parents don't have to drive them around al the time.
Plus, not everyone is born to drive.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #1128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7772003 View Post
Plus, not everyone is born to drive.
Not an excuse. If someone is handicapped in some way, he/she will suffer and deal with adaptation in a way or other. Not liking to drive is not an excuse (one could say "I was not born to pay taxes" or "I was not born to avoid smoking in closed spaces").

Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7772003 View Post
The statistics do not say how the cars are being used.

Are vans, service vehicles, buses etc., counted as "cars?"

What a pointless rebuttal.
Those statistics don't account for commercial vehicles, just private ones.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #1129
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The statistics you posted still show a significant difference, I'm not sure how you are reading them if you think they don't. 50% more is significant by most people's standards.

Also public transport is a significant provider for many commuters all around the UK, not just London. Sure for many people that means buses and not trains, but excepting remote rural areas, if even half of commuters had to go by car everything would be [email protected]%*ed.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #1130
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Sure:

United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland, excluding overseas possessions)
Population: 61.113.205 (2009)
Area: 244.820 kmē
Density: 246 ppl/kmē

United States (including Alaska and Hawaii, excluding Guam, P. Rico, Virgin Islands and American Samoa):
Population: 308.549.000 (2009, Census Bureau est.)
Area: 9.826.675 kmē
Density: 32 ppl/kmē

This explains, almost alone, many of the issues he wave been discussing here. America is huge, sparsely populated, scattered (two major population centers N.Y.C. and L.A. separated by 3800 km of land and two mountain ridges) and has plenty of land to grab on. UK doesn't.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #1131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
America is huge, sparsely populated, scattered (two major population centers N.Y.C. and L.A. separated by 3800 km of land and two mountain ridges) and has plenty of land to grab on. UK doesn't.
Plenty of land to grab on, but looking at real estate prices mostly land that noone wants to live on...
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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #1132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Sure:

United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland, excluding overseas possessions)
Population: 61.113.205 (2009)
Area: 244.820 kmē
Density: 246 ppl/kmē

United States (including Alaska and Hawaii, excluding Guam, P. Rico, Virgin Islands and American Samoa):
Population: 308.549.000 (2009, Census Bureau est.)
Area: 9.826.675 kmē
Density: 32 ppl/kmē

This explains, almost alone, many of the issues he wave been discussing here. America is huge, sparsely populated, scattered (two major population centers N.Y.C. and L.A. separated by 3800 km of land and two mountain ridges) and has plenty of land to grab on. UK doesn't.
China:

Population: 1,338,612,968 (2009)
Area: 9,569,901 sq km
Density: 139 ppl/sq km

So China has half the population density as the UK, so what's it doing investing in all the high-speed railways and highways?

Raw figures tell you nothing. Population distribution and degrees of urbanisation are much more telling. The fact that 80% of the population is concentrated on the East Coast of China gives an effective population density much much higher than Europe.

It's the same with the US, where the majority of the population live in the highly-urbanised coastal states, so the effective population density wouldn't be much different to that of England at all.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #1133
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But there is a huge advantage of a lot of land that is empty and cheap to buy...

Here in the UK I don't think we will ever see a whole new HSR network built, partly to do with the fact that anything above 140Mph is pointless due to the small distances between places, but also because there isn't anywhere to put it...
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Old January 25th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #1134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
But there is a huge advantage of a lot of land that is empty and cheap to buy...

Here in the UK I don't think we will ever see a whole new HSR network built, partly to do with the fact that anything above 140Mph is pointless due to the small distances between places, but also because there isn't anywhere to put it...
Where have you been the last couple of months? I thought you visted the UK transport section ...
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Old January 25th, 2010, 03:10 PM   #1135
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China has a huge desertic area, an autoritarian government that has the right to deny or allow people to migrate from farms or not etc. Imagine if it were illegal for a retiree to leave Buffalo, NY to Tucson, AZ without prior government consent...

Unless you propose that, for high-speed purposes, US should be reduced to both coastal regions, I'd guess (maybe I'm wrong) that high-speed rail projects would stall, at least on federal level. I'd guess (maybe I'm wrong, again) that would be impossible to sell such an expensive project while telling guys from Idaho to Missouri that they won't get any high-speed rail because they live "in the wrong places".

One of the reasons that made the construction of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System was the fact that every state (HI and AK joined after the plan was conceived) was given at least a decent through interstate, even (then) sparsely populated Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota etc. There was, from historical accounts, many opposition that tons of money were to be spent in almost unpopulated strechtes of mountains and desert like the I-70 from Salt Lake City to Reno. However, the comprehensive approach is one of the reasons that made states to accept a degree of intervention of a federal agency in their backyard unherad of until then.

Maybe without a comprehensive plan in which every lower-48 state (plus some compenstation investiment in AK an HI) gets its share of high-speed rail, it will never gain much needed Congress support.

I have a close friend who works for a conservative think-tank and she is adamantly that passing infrastructure viewed as for "yuppies only" would garnish more and more opposition from increasingly "anger-prone" places like the Midwest, where depopulation, weakening of farm indutry etc. would turn them heavily against "unbalanced" spend, like high-speed rail for California, BosWash, Texas, Florida and Seattle-Portland only. And all you need are a hard group of US Senators elected by those "abandoned" states to cool down such projects.

I'd love to read different viewpoints on the politics of HSR investment in America, though.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #1136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
China has a huge desertic area, an autoritarian government that has the right to deny or allow people to migrate from farms or not etc. Imagine if it were illegal for a retiree to leave Buffalo, NY to Tucson, AZ without prior government consent...
This is the most retarted comment I've ever read in my lifetime. I must be hallucinating when I see hoards of rural migrants flooding the cities.

Quote:
Unless you propose that, for high-speed purposes, US should be reduced to both coastal regions, I'd guess (maybe I'm wrong) that high-speed rail projects would stall, at least on federal level. I'd guess (maybe I'm wrong, again) that would be impossible to sell such an expensive project while telling guys from Idaho to Missouri that they won't get any high-speed rail because they live "in the wrong places".
There are already parts of the US with the right geography to warrant a HSR network, without forcing people to move. As for living 'in the wrong place', that happens in Europe too - people of Inverness must object to a HSR line that only goes as far as Glasgow or Edinburgh then? Villages on French LGVs but without stations must have been oppressed then?

Quote:
One of the reasons that made the construction of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System was the fact that every state (HI and AK joined after the plan was conceived) was given at least a decent through interstate, even (then) sparsely populated Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota etc. There was, from historical accounts, many opposition that tons of money were to be spent in almost unpopulated strechtes of mountains and desert like the I-70 from Salt Lake City to Reno. However, the comprehensive approach is one of the reasons that made states to accept a degree of intervention of a federal agency in their backyard unherad of until then.

Maybe without a comprehensive plan in which every lower-48 state (plus some compenstation investiment in AK an HI) gets its share of high-speed rail, it will never gain much needed Congress support.

I have a close friend who works for a conservative think-tank and she is adamantly that passing infrastructure viewed as for "yuppies only" would garnish more and more opposition from increasingly "anger-prone" places like the Midwest, where depopulation, weakening of farm indutry etc. would turn them heavily against "unbalanced" spend, like high-speed rail for California, BosWash, Texas, Florida and Seattle-Portland only. And all you need are a hard group of US Senators elected by those "abandoned" states to cool down such projects.
So state intervention is alright as long as it helps people with their cars, genious.

Quote:
I'd love to read different viewpoints on the politics of HSR investment in America, though.
Oh really now ...
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Old January 25th, 2010, 04:06 PM   #1137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
Where have you been the last couple of months? I thought you visted the UK transport section ...
erm I do don't I? lol. What do you mean?
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Old January 25th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Not an excuse. If someone is handicapped in some way, he/she will suffer and deal with adaptation in a way or other. Not liking to drive is not an excuse (one could say "I was not born to pay taxes" or "I was not born to avoid smoking in closed spaces").
Stop making your own "excuses" for car driving. Crazy about driving is an excuse too.

So, you mean that society should not invest in all the facilities to improve the mobility for handicapped people?

The fact that some people simply cannot drive or drive very well is NOT a matter of choice.

Last edited by aab7772003; January 25th, 2010 at 06:20 PM.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #1139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Sure:

United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland, excluding overseas possessions)
Population: 61.113.205 (2009)
Area: 244.820 kmē
Density: 246 ppl/kmē

United States (including Alaska and Hawaii, excluding Guam, P. Rico, Virgin Islands and American Samoa):
Population: 308.549.000 (2009, Census Bureau est.)
Area: 9.826.675 kmē
Density: 32 ppl/kmē

This explains, almost alone, many of the issues he wave been discussing here. America is huge, sparsely populated, scattered (two major population centers N.Y.C. and L.A. separated by 3800 km of land and two mountain ridges) and has plenty of land to grab on. UK doesn't.

It depends on which parts of the US you are talking about. There are several big pockets across the 48 contiguous states perfect for HSR. In fact, all Americans now are actually saying that it is crazy to turn every inch of wilderness into lawns with picket fences.

Do everyone here a favor by stopping to profile Trenitalia nonstop without meaningfully benchmarking it with the leading rail operators around the world. It is obvious that you do not know other rail operators well. Since when Trenitalia has become the rail operator par excellence?

If there were no migration controls in China, more young people would work and live in the mega cities within China and more of them would make even more trips to visit their families in the provinicial towns, which are way bigger than many major European cities. The case for HSR would be even more compelling for China; double-decker high speed rail carriages would be the norm then. Take sometime to seriously study the operational history of the Wuhan-Guangzhou line before sounding off more of your ignorant remarks.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #1140
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Quote:
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Stop making your own "excuses" for car driving. Crazy about driving is an excuse too.

So, you mean that society should not invest in all the facilities to improve the mobility for handicapped people?

The fact that some people simply cannot drive or drive very well is NOT a matter of choice.
There are a lot of solutions for people who cannto drive due to illness, disabilities etc. Many wealthy cities in Houston Metro, for instance, have public services of modified vans that transport those who cannot drive around.

Remember that most physical disabilities do not preclude the use of a car, like deafness, paraplegy, lack of one arm and others. There a lot of handicap-aid solutions so these people can still drive with computer-aided mechanisms, adaptations and so on.

I'm all for acessibility, which is different than convenience. Nobody is talking albout shuttind down old subways because the cannot be feasible updated to accomodate people with reduced mobility, for instance.
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