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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/

Let’s wait for a light rail train in the middle of the street with traffic going 45 to 50 miles per hour right in front of us. Who thought this was going to work? Then we get on the train and it is basically a “free for all” because the driver is on the other train and you are basically trapped if there is a homeless nut job having a meltdown because they bought some bad crack. Wow ! The money would have been better spent buying the homeless nut jobs some $800 government approved toilet seats that they could then sell on the street corner for some good crack.

We need more routes!!! Light-rail needs to go to Westgate, reducing Cardinals/Coyotes traffic, needs to go south and further east and north!! Wish we had Sounder-like options here.....

And why the HELL are the Koch Bros inserting themselves into our light-rail conversations???

I think some opposition comes from the fact that transportation technology is changing so rapidly that financing light rail is a misallocation of public money. Self driving vehicles and larger bike lanes would be what I expect to see in 30 years.

I lived in Phoenix for a very long time, moved to DC right after 9/11. I came back to attend some buisness and used the light rail a few times. It always reminds me of the cantina scene in Star Wars. I would never suggest my wife or my mom use the light rail. I am sure a bunch of people made a ton of money off building it, and some made money from appreciation of real estate they bought next to it, but the low density of Phoenix makes mass transite problematic. I think a lot of people who support light rail never use it themselves, they want other people to get their cars off the road.

For the record, I use light rail all the time. I haven’t owned a car in 10 years. Cantina scene? You must get uneasy around anyone who doesn’t look like you. DC sniper operated from a car.

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