Morning Fix: Just Like Everybody Else Does

Morning Fix: Just Like Everybody Else Does

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Comment by Doc Mara on February 27, 2008 at 8:06am
Yeah, now that the commuter train is almost finished, it would be stupid to actually connect the ABQ station to other places. We should spend more tax money on ever-expanding roads instead.
Comment by Doc Mara on February 27, 2008 at 8:21am
It does for some. Others won't take it. Multimodal usually works best.

I personally take the bus, but elevating some corridors above others via dedicated transit helps density and gets cities further away from the highway-car-oil subsidy mindset.

It evens the playing field and introduces people to their future. Hell, even Phoenix saw the light with much less of an obvious impetus.
Comment by Doc Mara on February 27, 2008 at 8:35am
Why? People choose based on perceptions, and the buses, rightly or wrongly, have been characterized as "poor people" transportation. Light rail and street cars don't have that same stigma. It's been pretty well documented.

Elevating certain corridors (creating density on particular routes) breaks a transportation subsidy mindset. The vast majority of our tax transportation dollars are spend subsidizing roads, law enforcement for drivers, and other auto-centric approaches. Creating these corridors would begin to bring the balance away from the HEAVILY tax subsidized, inefficient, and costly auto paradigm. It would begin to end the subsidies to the sprawl industries and bring it closer to more traditional living and working patterns.
Comment by Phil_0 on February 27, 2008 at 8:52am
@Doc - agree 150%. There's oodles of research suggesting that rail transit attracts a much wider spectrum of users than bus transit. And yes, the stigma many Americans attach to bus transit is probably at least in part to blame. On the other hand, bus use in ABQ is skyrocketing, and it's certainly not just street people getting on board.

I thought the streetcar was a good idea, and that Albuquerque was ready for it. Unfortunately, the city completely fumbled their presentation of the issue, creating the perception of an undemocratic process and gifting the no-tax crowd with ample ammunition.

Eventually this issue will come to life again, be put before voters, and be approved. It took Tucson 3 or 4 tries before they got their streetcar plan off the ground. And let's not even talk about Phoenix, which reached a population of more than 2 million before they started running buses on Sunday, let alone began implementing light rail.
Comment by akoolstik on February 27, 2008 at 9:05am
whoa! kids give each other, and their families, the flu!! what a breakthru.
Comment by Doc Mara on February 27, 2008 at 9:13am
I understand your skepticism Phil, but it wasn't population that finally got Phoenix on the ball. I was living there for two of the failed votes. It was always the same "it will cost too much" mantra. Meanwhile, fringe sprawl kept adding to the burden of infrastructure that could not keep up with growth. The change in political opinion came from the young people and progressives moving to town and the moderates getting sick of the pollution, increased infrastructure costs, and neverending commuting increases. I saw a range of people riding the Rapid Ride when I was there, but it is nowhere NEAR the kind of ridership I have seen with dedicated transit. I would like to see the rapid ride increase in other corridors and eventually "pave" the way for a few dedicated lines. I think that the density I saw on Central will eventually carry the day in the argument. The east-west axis along Route 66 seems like a no brainer. Much like the Route 66 crossover making a perfect directional legend, the N-S Railrunner, E-W streetcar intersection would define Albuquerque in a way that nothing else could.
Comment by brendisimo on February 27, 2008 at 9:42am
I would love to see the streetcar in albuquerque, and I think it would have to connect to the sunport to be a good plan. I just wish the city had presented it correctly and ASKED the voters if they wanted to extend the transportation tax. If they had done it the right way, people might have been less scared. As a long term, sustainable solution to transportation in this city, trains and buses are much better use of our tax dollars than building more and bigger roads...
Comment by Spring Griffin on February 27, 2008 at 9:54am
Hey Somegye, thanks for the Charmed/Smith's Wednesday morning pick-me-up.
Comment by John on February 27, 2008 at 10:04am
On the issue of bus vs. rail, there's a great study from the American Public Transit Association evaluating the benefits of rail over bus, as well as bus over rail.

I was definitely a big fan of the streetcar, and I thought Albuquerque was ready for it, but it's good that the city has decided to scrap it and go back to the drawing board. They totally bungled their presentation of it. If it takes a few years to figure out how to get the public to accept it, then I'll wait a few years.

On a side note, the Transportation Task Force which was created in response to the streetcar has started meeting up, so hopefully there will finally be some progress towards getting some great mass transit implemented in the city.
Comment by ridin on February 27, 2008 at 11:38am
...Streetcar funding...? Easy! Put red light cameras at every intersection in abq and raise fines to $1k per. This uncontroversial and hassle-free funding plan will immediately garner widespread public support!

:-D :-D :-D

...I understand there is also some low-priced beef the city could re-sell across the border for a profit...This funding thing is easy if you just have the right attitude...


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