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Well who else even reads this thread? ;)

As for the sustainability index, a lot would depend on the size and sprawliness of the city... the Mets and Red Sox would have a chance but maybe noone else. You'd definitely be looking at a team in a big enough city that there's a critical mass of rich people living in the city, it's inconvenient to live far out, and taking the subway is easier than driving due to traffic volumes, lack of parking, and efficiency of the transit system. Maybe could handicap it so that players who live near transit but don't take it lose more points than players who live in an urban area that should have transit but the city doesn't provide it, or we could compare the players' lifestyle part to the average resident of their metro area.

They all drive.

They all drive HUMMERS.

They all drive Hummers with 24" Heats.

And dual cat backs.

Definately.

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They all drive.

They all drive HUMMERS.

They all drive Hummers with 24" Heats.

And dual cat backs.

Definately.

Weams, dude, why you ain't be answerin' my PMs, dawg??

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I give props to the MTA today. Probably the first time I've waited less than 5 mins before and after the game for a train. I might have just been lucky, but I do believe that the problems are slowly being addressed and dealt with. We can only hope.

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Here's something I'm sure will make a few of you happy.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.marc24sep24,0,5095732.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout

The Maryland Transit Administration is planning a sweeping expansion of its popular but crowded MARC commuter train service, including weekend runs and additional weekday trains by next year and a tripling of the system's capacity by 2035.

The detailed blueprint, outlined in a briefing by MTA Administrator Paul J. Wiedefeld, envisions a system that eventually would stretch from Virginia to Delaware and have the capacity to carry more than 100,000 riders a day.

The plan, the cost of which would amount to billions of dollars over the next 28 years, would add tracks in areas that are bottlenecks and would increase the frequency of train arrivals. It would bring new interconnections with existing and future transit lines and create a new transportation hub at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

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There is no reason NOT to add more runs to the MARC schedule today. And I understand that more tracks need to be laid down, etc... but will it take 28 frickin' years? Wow.

^^^I'm going to assume that's what you meant?

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2035? That doesn't bode well folks. There is no reason at all those projects can't be done over the next few years (it makes more sense to do them asap so that they're in place for BRAC, instead of scrambling around afterwards to satisfy lost patrons who will have moved onto cars by then.).

They know damn well that projects come and go with each administration, as the next political body always has questions about the work of the previous one and wants to put their own stamp on the organization. Has anyone actually heard the phrase, "GBBI" lately, for example? Many of those changes planned in the Greater Baltimore Bus Initiative's (which was the primary, "achievement" of the previous administration) second phase will never come to pass, or will only do so piecemeal after a period of years, and I suspect planned MARC expansion will see a similar fate once this administration is done. Because of that, planning so far ahead seems unproductive to me. Its like tossing current transit advocates a bone and appearing productive when nothing--or very little--is actually happening.

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Yes, amazing how one missing word can change a sentence!

And to respond to your comment: There IS a reason that MARC service can't expand right now, and that is that the State doesn't own those tracks.

If they were smart, they'd buy or rent land alongside the existing MARC tracks and build their own tracks. It shouldn't be that hard or expensive.

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http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/politics/bal-taxes0924,0,3297624.story?page=1&coll=bal_tab01_layout

O'Malley looks to gas tax

Governor favors linking rate to cost of road work

By Andrew A. Green | Sun reporter

9:32 PM EDT, September 24, 2007

Maryland's gasoline tax would go up in 18 months -- and possibly sooner -- if Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to add $400 million a year in transportation funding is approved by the General Assembly.

Although an immediate increase in the gas tax is not part of the $2 billion revenue plan the Democratic governor has been rolling out over the past week, he said Monday that he will push to tie future increases to the rising cost of road and bridge construction materials.

At present rates of inflation, that would average $63 million a year, an increase of about 0.8 cents a year on the current 23.5-cents-per-gallon rate, state officials said.

The way the proposal is structured, new rates wouldn't take effect for about 18 months. But O'Malley also suggested he would be open to supporting an immediate increase in the gas tax, which was last changed in 1993, if the legislature approved it.

Business leaders, including the Greater Baltimore Committee, have been pushing for an immediate 10 cents-per-gallon increase to fund transportation needs.

"So very much of what we are putting forward is our best estimate of where we can find consensus among the members of the General Assembly," O'Malley said. "There is always the possibility that there will be a greater amount of consensus by the time we reach a special session."

Discussion of the gas tax Monday came as O'Malley formally unveiled his plan to add about $392 million a year to the state's transportation trust fund.

The infusion of cash for roads and mass transit would come from an increase in the tax on car sales, known as the titling tax, a rise in the corporate income tax and a few other measures.

Although the governor is offering his transportation plan in conjunction with a broader budget package, the measures announced Monday would not go toward closing Maryland's projected $1.7 billion budget shortfall.

O'Malley announced his plans at a Gaithersburg park-and-ride lot overlooking Interstate 270, using the backdrop of traffic-choked Montgomery County to make his point, though the highway was running free and clear during the news conference.

The governor said the state is facing a $40 billion backlog in transportation projects and that without new money, Maryland's economy would be at risk.

"Marylanders in the Washington area waste a full week of work every year sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic," O'Malley said. "It's a different kind of tax. It's a tax by circumstance. A tax based on our failure to invest."

Response unclear

Whether the General Assembly would be amenable to an immediate gas tax increase is unclear. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Southern Maryland Democrat, backed a 12-cent increase earlier this year, but House Speaker Michael E. Busch has been wary of raising the gas tax.

"The average family has struggled with increases in energy costs from electricity and heating, and they're now seeing gas costs of between $2.70 and $3 a gallon," said Busch, an Anne Arundel County Democrat.

"It has eaten up a lot of their discretionary income, and it becomes very hard for any elected official to support an increase in the gas tax."

Sen. David R. Brinkley, the minority leader from Frederick County, said Republicans are generally opposed to a gas tax increase. The GOP caucus has opposed all of O'Malley's proposals to increase taxes to balance the budget, but their objections to the gas tax are different, he said.

Half of the transportation trust fund goes toward mass transit, which is of little benefit in the rural communities that most Republicans represent, Brinkley said. Creating a dedicated funding source for mass transit, paid for by the communities that use it, would free up enough money at the current gas tax rate to maintain and expand the road system, Brinkley said.

"We favor the investment in roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure," Brinkley said. "I am very much opposed to the motoring public paying for most of the mass transit in the current system."

However, business groups stand behind a transportation tax increase. Greater Baltimore Committee President Donald C. Fry has publicly called for O'Malley to add a gas tax increase to his proposal, saying the state needs $600 million annually to keep up with its needs.

....

Note, of course, its by their own choice that mass transit has little impact on their areas. Living in an area without the density or infrastructure (SIDEWALKS!) to make transit efficient or even practical, and then yelling at the MTA whenever lines are planned in the area, and then they complain when the service they shunned doesn't effect them enough? I don't complain that my tax dollars and those of my family and friends go to highways and roads that we'll never use and have no impact on us at all.

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http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/politics/bal-taxes0924,0,3297624.story?page=1&coll=bal_tab01_layout

Note, of course, its by their own choice that mass transit has little impact on their areas. Living in an area without the density or infrastructure (SIDEWALKS!) to make transit efficient or even practical, and then yelling at the MTA whenever lines are planned in the area, and then they complain when the service they shunned doesn't effect them enough? I don't complain that my tax dollars and those of my family and friends go to highways and roads that we'll never use and have no impact on us at all.

Yeah, um, that's kind of the point of taxes, guys. :)

This is good news. I think O'Malley has done a good job of balancing tax increases and spending reductions to close the deficit. If he's pissing everyone off, that means he's probably doing something right. And raising the gas tax is long overdue.

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"O'Malley announced his plans at a Gaithersburg park-and-ride lot overlooking Interstate 270, using the backdrop of traffic-choked Montgomery County to make his point, though the highway was running free and clear during the news conference."

Oops! :)

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"O'Malley announced his plans at a Gaithersburg park-and-ride lot overlooking Interstate 270, using the backdrop of traffic-choked Montgomery County to make his point, though the highway was running free and clear during the news conference."

Oops! :)

Thats ok, it sounds like you never have to take that road during rush hour. That and 95/495 are the worst areas to drive during rush hour in the country it seems.

Not a fan of the gas tax because I have a far travel to work everyday, but what can you do.

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Thats ok, it sounds like you never have to take that road during rush hour. That and 95/495 are the worst areas to drive during rush hour in the country it seems.

Not a fan of the gas tax because I have a far travel to work everyday, but what can you do.

Have you ever sat on 270 in rush hour? It's pretty bad, no better or worse than any other freeway in the area.

Sorry about the gas tax, but it's the right thing to do.

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