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December 27, 2018

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Dallas is a sprawling urban environment but they have embraced light rail.

Add my name to the volumes who are ignorant. Dave Parish

I voted for light rail, then hated it as it was being built, but now love it again.

I went without a car for six months July to December using both light rail and buses. There were bottom feeders on both but I never felt uncomfortable. I suppose middle class types might feel uncomfortable and the car centric metro Phoenix doesn’t allow for much human interaction between people in general and different socioeconomic classes in particular.

The heat was simply overwhelming and on the buses the passengers badly abused the bus drivers. I don’t like to drive but there is no way I would live in Phoenix without a car.

Metro Phoenix is a sprawling, auto reliant place that has to die. Its problems run far deeper than insufficient light rail. The bottom feeders on the buses and light rail are so badly abused by the system it’s little wonder they act out.

The animals who run the state should be chained and frog marched in the middle of July from Phoenix to Florence.

I wonder how Phoenix would have fared with "sky trains" in the '89 Val Trans proposal, which was borrowed from Vancouver's famous system. My worsening memory seems to recall a hub (downtown) and five spokes radiating out from there. The cost sank the proposal just as it did Rio Salado. Sun City, in particular, voted overwhelmingly against it, which was predictable. https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/valtrans-derailed-6412784

The larger problem is Phoenix with its weak core and low-density sprawl. It's hard to imagine another city less amenable to mass transit. Val Trans, I suspect, would have worked better than the current system if only because it would cover a lot more territory with greater speed.

Phoenix light rail was a second-best application in a city hostile to any real solution for its drive-everywhere urban form. We built it you bastards but the worst bastards are the low density and hot temperatures.

That said, I'm glad it's there if only to give a large middle finger to the bastards in the real-estate industrial complex. Phoenix is a catastrophe in the making. It's fair to ask what the end game is for a city in one of the planet's most sizzling climates, where water resources are now imperiled by increasing temperatures, a worsening drought, and overpopulation.

Vancouver is well served by its sky trains along with its sprawling metroplex. The city proper has no freeways and is situated on a magnificent harbor, much like Seattle. Outside its city limits, it's rather less magical. If you could afford to live there, like my twin sister, you would be a fool to ever leave, which she did.

Ultimately, there's no ideal refuge from climate change. I moved to Portland because living in Phoenix felt almost like the impending doom in Neville Shute's On The Beach. But the last three summers in Portland have been hellish. I won't live to experience the worst of it but the writing is on the wall.


Read todays Republic by Allhands,
Pinal County is about to use a lot more water and that is worse than it sounds.

Link to Allhands' story here.

Jon has a good Seattle Times article in the Front pages

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/after-the-events-of-2018-climate-change-should-be-our-biggest-priority/

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