Soaring gas prices

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by lynn, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmm... don't want to get into politics, here, lynn. But there are those who hold their elected officials responsible for both the short term (winning reelection for themselves or their party) and the long term impact of their policies. Just another perspective. 8) :D
  2. lynn

    lynn New Member

    of course :) !

    Just strolled through several gas stations....price still @ 3.58US/gallon.....it's making me wanting to dig a hole in my backyard and see if there's an oil well underneath....
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    :roll: Worth a try. Ya never know. :wink:
  4. lynn

    lynn New Member

    *digging out the long-buried shovel in the basement*

    Off to the backyard!!
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    :lol: :lol:
  6. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Hmm, if not oil well, diamond/gold mine would be nice too... 8) :lol:
  7. dnquark

    dnquark New Member

    You may choose a world where you are compartmentalized in your comfy car. It can take you from your suburban house with a manucured lawn to Wal-Marts and drive-throughs. I grew up in suburbia, I'm not going to argue the convenience. But the landscape of suburbs and Wal-Marts is lifeless and monotonous.

    I'm not saying everyone should move to the cities. But having vibrant urban areas is important for the region, the state, the country. And public transit arteries are vital for maintaining flourishing urban centers.

    You have to look beyond the obvious in your analysis before getting riled up about "punitive" taxes. I argue that what's good for the city is good for the region. So this wouldn't be a punitive tax from which you'll have no benefit.

    But you don't even have to give your tax money go to the urbanites. There's plenty to be accomplished on a regional level. Take SF bay peninsula. You can hop in your car and drive to Starlite in Sunnyvale, fine. But why should one be forced to drive to the city? Nobody on the peninusla is far from Caltrain. But for people to regard it as a viable option, it should be convenient to park at Caltrain stations, one should not have to wait too long for an express to downtown SF, and should be able to easily get to the final destination once in the city.

    Such easy access to the city requires major investments in transit oriented development and Caltrain corridor upgrades. But developers don't care about TOD, and Caltrain has a budget shortfall. Not at all suprising. (Although, incidentally, Caltrain's baby bullet express trains showed that people are very happy to take public transit if given practical and convenient options.)

    But, returning to the original argument. Auto-oriented development and auto-oriented economy is a legacy of the 1950s, the age of euphoric belief in the omnipotence of technology, the age that brought us nuclear weapons and thalidomide. This legacy, fueled by bacchanalian consumerism and ruthless competition, is with us to stay, unless we recognize that it is not as harmless to society as we once thought. When we choose to drive, we choose to create gridlock and pollution, we choose to feed the endless spiral of sprawl. We choose to drive for convenience, but those who don't recognize the burden they put on society and aren't ready to pay up for it - those are the ones for whom I have no respect.
  8. luh

    luh Active Member

    the usa definetly needs more public transportation. you guys should once visit europe. it's so nice to be able to get around without car..
    luh
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I wish it was that simple, luh. I agree. More and better public transportation would be nice. But it's a very complex issue.

    I won't get into the politics of it all. But I can use the example of Orlando, where I lived for ten years, all ten of which included an ongoing debate about a potential light rail system -- a publically supported train.

    Okay, so what happened? Every stakeholder you can imagine had a conflicting view. Disney lobbied to have the train go directly from the airport to Disney property. Non-Disney attractions opposed that idea, of course. In a referendum, voters voted for the train, but against a tax to pay for it. Residents along the proposed path wanted the rail, but not in their backyard. And so on and so on. *shrug*

    It's not as simple as just acknowledging that the US needs better public transportation, unfortunately. I agree it does. Yes. I've been to Europe (and even some American cities, btw) and traveled exclusively by train or bus. It was great. :D

    But what do we have right now? Lots of cars on the roads. Inadequate public transportation in many places. Rising fuel prices. Alternative technologies that are years away from widespread availability...

    So out to the backyard I go. You and me, lynn. :wink: :lol:
  10. luh

    luh Active Member

    i don't know how well it's working, but minneapolis got a sub-train. Under the earth. doesn't conflict at least with backyards ;) (so you can still dig holes)

    another thing you guys might want to consider: not buying trucks that take so much fuel. our cars take way less. and everyone has a pickup. sorry, not everyone who has it needs it. (actually there are really few ones who need it and drive it)
    luh
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes. The subway I took to high school was right under the streets (although the stations and access points are above ground.)

    Take a look at the Minneapolis light rail page here, luh. It's a great idea, as you say. But it took over thirty years from the idea phase to the rail line's opening day. Not sure why it took so long. :?

    I do agree. A better public transportation system is a good idea. I just don't think it's a short term fix for a situation that's been fifty-plus years in the making. *shrug*

    http://www.lightrailnow.org/features/f_min004.htm
  12. luh

    luh Active Member

    it's not a short term fix what we need. Look some years ahead. what is it good if we find a solution for the next ten years? and than we have to think again? why not find one that works for few more years?
    luh
  13. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    Good thing about the Olympics here in Greece was that it forced the Government to make better public transport, and now we have a great subway system (though it is admittedly small - but it's expanding). So I use the public transport as much as I can and I'm pretty satisfied with it. I'll try to use my car (future care, to be precise) as scarcely as possible. Frankly, I don't like cars. :lol:
    Oh, and there's always a taxi for what public transport or walking can't do. If you think about it, gas will be costing us more in a few months, perhaps already is!

    Twilight Elena
  14. lynn

    lynn New Member

    i think the problem with public transit is because it's such a huge investment that the government spends a lot of time doing all sorts of analysis - not to mention sometimes the need to acquire private lands and possibly involve in ethical debates! Afterall, no one wants to have a train going through their backyard....

    On the note of the subway idea. I live in an area where no underground digging is allowed (probably b/c the land is below sea level, i'm no engineer, i bet my dad can explain it better), so the only way to go is up. We proposed a skytrain system quite a few years ago and the idea is still being debated because the amount of works in volved and the need to go through residential areas - a very big mess!
  15. luh

    luh Active Member

    you live in greece?
    luh
  16. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Oh, yes, we're having the olympic games here in 2010, and the government is spending all sorts of $$ beautifying the city - paving uneven roads and improving transit included!!
  17. luh

    luh Active Member

    we got the world cup in soccer here next year. everyone is soo willing to spend money. i think they shouldn't just do it to have a nice image of the city, but to do it because we need it.
    luh
  18. lynn

    lynn New Member

    i agree, but because these kind of projects are so expensive, unless there's a really good reason (apparently, citizens complaining aren't as effective as having an world-wide event), the government just isn't willing to do it!

    Their reason: tourists bringing in business and we can very well justify the spending by the increase in economic activity!
  19. luh

    luh Active Member

    i think caring about our future would be a good reason too
    luh
  20. lynn

    lynn New Member

    of course, but i don't think the government is willing to spend billions of dollars and run the budget to deficit with a simple reason of "improving our future" - esp when election season's close.

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