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D. P. Lubic

That US PIRG study is certainly drawing interest, if not always praise:

Wow! Check out this critical assessment of the US PIRG report. Funny thing is, mass produced cars require mass sales. If a lot of people don't buy cars, there goes the money to be invested in newer, better cars.

Here are some comments from a toll roads advocacy site on the study:

Whooee! Check out the closing arguments from this story:

"But expansion aside, highways need to be better maintained, operated and managed because they are an important contributor to the economy and quality of life. They need modernization whether traffic is down 10% or 20% or not at all. And the major arm of transit - buses - needs good roads too.

Rail transit is a minor niche mode and destined to get even less competitive as sensing, communications and traffic management technologies take us toward self-driving, self-parking vehicles."

"The notion that vehicle guidance still requires flanged steel wheels on rails is nostalgic and reactionary - but it still has a grip on the minds of the likes of Dutzik and Baxandall.

"Investments are best directed where users see aggregate value in projects that will cover costs with voluntary user fee payments and make a return on capital… we argue. And that's all highways."

Are you sure this is going to die down in 4 to 8 years?

William A. Draves

D.P., yes 4-8 years for this to solidify. But the action on the local and state level is really exciting. Even Wisconsin is supporting some (not all) trains here.

D. P. Lubic

More on the shift from DC Sreetsblog:

Earlier story on toll roads, and how they no longer are the cash cows they once were–something a credit rating agency would look at:

From NPR via the Streetsblog link–and check the comments from young people who may like cars, but don’t want to pay for duplicating all their gizmos in the car, check out the car they say they really want. Detroit, Wolfsburg, and other places ought to listen:

And from NBC. I don’t think I would want to be in the car business, at least not as a mass-production builder:

Other things on the subject, some from interesting sources. This is getting a lot of play:

Whooee, check out the toxic comments from Michigan! Of course, that includes Detroit, so maybe some people there feel threatened.

One of the things that stands out about all these stories is how everyone is so “mystified” as to why this is happening. Good grief, read what’s here, read the comments from the NPR story in the collection of links above, heck, read what I’ve had to say. Think about what driving looks like now compared with how it was in the past. Sheesh!

How do we wind up with leadership that’s so clueless? More importantly, how do we turn this around? Do you still anticipate that it will take another 4 to 8 years for this to solidify in real action? There are still huge fights going on to keep trains away, and I have to confess, my own efforts turned out to be pretty worthless.

D. P. Lubic

More on the shift, this time from Seattle. Some caustic comments following the article, too, including one by a fellow who says part of the problem is that the road system hasn't been expanded enough. Considering what some cities look like now, I wonder where he would put the road capacity without destroying what was left of the city, and thus not having a reason to drive there except to park your car.

D. P. Lubic

Some comments from a program on road safety:

I have trouble with these people saying these roads are "dangerous." "Dangerous" is being in combat with people shooting at you. Dangerous is being a fireman going into a burning building, or other people in rescue and recovery work. A road? It's not going to jump up at you and bite you. It just lays on the ground like a rug. Now, I will say some of these roads can be very unforgiving of human error, but that doesn't make them inherently dangerous, at least not in my opinion, but then, I spend most of my time on secondary roads in mountainous territory, so maybe I've had stronger experience than most drivers.

D. P. Lubic

More on the generational shift:

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