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The Official Transit and Urban Development Thread

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Exactly. And BT, "no politics" means no arguments about political OPINIONS. Stating that the Iraq War is being funded on credit - i.e. on the backs of people like you and me, too young to have created the policy - is indisputable.

"Clusterf&%#"?

;)

Ok, how about off-topic :P

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"Clusterf&%#"?

;)

Ok, how about off-topic :P

OK, sorry about that, but it was much shorter, and to the point than:

"the single most ineptly planned and executed occupation of a medium sized country ever attempted by the worlds only superpower...clearly the result of how difficult it can be to plan, and communicate your plans, when your head is wedged squarely where the sun doesn't shine!" :rolleyes:

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Sorry for the double post, everyone, but I found a couple of good articles that shed a lot of light into the relation between public transit and federal funding.

While this first article is from Jan. 2006, it is still quite germane to the issues at hand.

Also, the numbers given in this article (ridership of the subway, Fed requirements) are kosher and line-up with what I was told by various MTA departments, engineering in particular. Note the lack of vision (ie, in terms of expading Baltimore's population and encouraging usage of a potentially developed heavy rail system by county folk) by both the state and Feds, and total skepticism as to Fed support from the MTA's corner.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4183/is_20060113/ai_n16009985

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/26/AR2007082601189.html

The federal budget for transit projects--relative to the amount of transit projects going on nation-wide and compared to the amount given to highways--is simply sad. But of course, there is plenty of money for Iraq. :rolleyes:

This is really great info. Thanks.

Let's get away from the Iraq discussion, shall we? ;)

The FTA process just seems maddeningly stupid, to be frank. And I wonder how much funding they give compared to the highway administration's road funds? The disparity is probably even larger than what we saw in the recent MD plan that was widely ridiculed.

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This is really great info. Thanks.

Let's get away from the Iraq discussion, shall we? ;)

The FTA process just seems maddeningly stupid, to be frank. And I wonder how much funding they give compared to the highway administration's road funds? The disparity is probably even larger than what we saw in the recent MD plan that was widely ridiculed.

Iraq is a convenient (and worthy) target, but it's not the real issue. There are enough problems just within the transportation budget and not just at the federal level but on state and local levels as well. The other big problem is zoning which discourages or flat out prohibits development at densities that will reasonably support transit. Funding is an easier concept to grasp and debate, but the biggest part of our transportation problem is not what projects we fund but what types of transportation or current urban form is able to support.

The implications of a lot of planning decisions on the local level are twofold, and in the aggregate, probably even bigger at this point than federal funding decisions. Let's say a suburban county approves a massive development of McMansions and a power center anchored by a Wal-Mart superstore on land that was previously farmland served only by a small rural road. As part of that approval, the county agrees to provide road infrastructure to support both developments, perhaps with some contribution from the developers, perhaps not. Not only has the county committed that money to roads instead of transit, but they have also allowed a large area of land to be developed in a way that will never support mass transit even if transportation policy and funding priorities change in the future. Short of having the homes of hundreds of rich people declared an area in need of redevelopment (which ain't gonna happen) you're not going to get that land back and turn it into development which could be served by mass transit in any remotely efficient manner. As much as it sounds like a nice idea to just build transit everywhere and expect people to ride it if it's clean and attractive, the fact is that more than anything else it has to be convenient and if all you build is development designed for the car, you simply can't establish a level of transit service that will be competitive (until peak oil hits and then people in these sprawly areas will be screwed because they won't be able to get to a transit station without their car).

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Lets not forget that even when transit is done, it's rarely done well.

People love to talk about how "great" the Metro is in DC, and yeah, it's a "great" transit system, when it's 70 degrees out and sunny, but increasingly, it's not a very pleasant way to get in and out of DC. There's no fun like the kind of fun you have stuck in the tunnel between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn, standing in a tube full of strangers at a 15 degree incline with the A/C broken in mid-July.

We were promised a seat, and a pleasant ride...but what we now have is the charm of New York City and the efficiency of, oh, I don't know...that thing we're not talking about any more?

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The esteemed OH member, Rolliefingers, has asked me to post this link here. I don't know why he can't do it himself, but I have fulfilled his request anway.

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The esteemed OH member, Rolliefingers, has asked me to post this link here. I don't know why he can't do it himself, but I have fulfilled his request anway.

I believe he has decided to turn over a new leaf at his new job and swear off the OH during business hours. How annoying it is when your friends decide they're grown up and starting acting responsible! :P

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I believe he has decided to turn over a new leaf at his new job and swear off the OH during business hours.

In the spirit of the Ashley Olsen thread, how rude!

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In the spirit of the Ashley Olsen thread, how rude!

You know, as horrible as Full House was, it just occured to me that it may have been the last sitcom featuring white people with children that took place in an urban neighborhood instead of a sprawl subdivision... can anybody think of any more recent?

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You know, as horrible as Full House was, it just occured to me that it may have been the last sitcom featuring white people with children that took place in an urban neighborhood instead of a sprawl subdivision... can anybody think of any more recent?

I think the later series the Olsen twins did (I forgot the name of it, which makes me feel a WHOLE lot better about myself) was set in Chicago, in the city (at least similar to Full House).

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I think the later series the Olsen twins did (I forgot the name of it, which makes me feel a WHOLE lot better about myself) was set in Chicago, in the city (at least similar to Full House).

Hah! I had no idea such a series ever existed. I feel even better about myself than you do. :P

So wait... now the Olson twins are carrying the torch for urbanism in popular culture?!:eek: That makes me feel pretty bad about my country! :(

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The infernal InterCounty Connector is back! :mad:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/bal-icc1108,0,3186913.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout

A federal judge today gave Maryland the go-ahead to begin construction of a long-debated highway in the Washington suburbs, rejecting environmentalists' challenges to the $2.4 billion project.

A part of me hopes this judge meets Sidney Ponson on a beach sometime soon.

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