Skip to main content

View Diary: Sunday Train: Sustaining Our Suburbs (93 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  That's what 'suburban retrofit' means. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, bronte17, JayinPortland

    Rather than trying to get over half of the US population to move into central cities, restructure the opportunities available where they presently live.

    If existing low density housing can be placed within five miles of a point of departure for the regional transport grid, it can be sustainable under current technology, including a substantial reduction in the per seat material requirements of the transport system.

    By narrowing down the question to a one size fits all silver bullet to allow people to live in existing suburbs in the existing way, you've increased the energy and material requirement of the retrofit.

    If we can afford the material and energy resources for your version, we can afford the material and energy resources for what I've sketched above, and with additional energy and resources to spare for other uses. However, if we can afford the material and energy resources for what I've sketched above, there is no guarantee that we can afford the material and energy resources for the more expensive per seat-mile system you are sketching out.

    Start 2010 with Lesbian Creative Works, 100% Yuri from ALC Publishing

    by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:13:45 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  "the material and energy resources" (0+ / 0-)

      for the kind of "retrofit" you describe (including incredibly inefficient "mass transit") is far greater than a simple conversion to efficient point-to-point, which requires nothing more investment wise, and less in "material and energy resources", to replace a vehicle fleet that is rolled over every decade anyway.

      The notion of computing "per seat-mile" falls to pieces when you observe that 90% or more of those "seat-miles" in suburban mass transit are empty seat-miles.  Even the present motor car is more efficient overall, as can be demonstrated by simple passenger-mile calculations (if you remove the mass transit subsidies paid by motor car taxes).  Not to mention the money saved by not having to pay for delivery every time you buy something a little too big or a little too heavy to carry to and from the bus/train, or vehicle rental every time you want to go somewhere even a little "out of the way".

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:32:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  See, Business As Useal ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose

        to replace a vehicle fleet that is rolled over every decade anyway

        Since the material and energy resources required to recreate the motor vehicle fleet is required for Business As Usual, the energy and material cost of doing so does not exist.

        Its only possible to do that trick rhetorically. In the real world, its still real material and energy resources required to provide transport capacity with effective load factors of well under 5%.

        Start 2010 with Lesbian Creative Works, 100% Yuri from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:40:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  here's the reality (0+ / 0-)

          of fuel efficiency:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Even today's cars are more efficient than buses and trains, and the small urban vehicle (some of which already exist) are far more efficient.  Their use could be implemented now, not decades in the future (as it will take for a new transportation infrastructure and re-purposing existing architecture).  Done simultaneously with a rollout of new nuclear (to provide the energy necessary for a growing electric fleet) and we'd be off of fossil fuels far faster, and far cheaper, than some imaginary conversion of all of American society.

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:12:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You cite a source that gives ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RunawayRose

            ... 0.085 MJ/passenger-km in Basel, or 0.024 kWh/passenger-km, versus a General Electric EV1 at 0.23kWh/vehicle-km.

            Should I take it you are putting more than ten people in each electric car?

            Start 2010 with Lesbian Creative Works, 100% Yuri from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 11:40:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We aren't in Basel . . . (0+ / 0-)

              and we're not going to turn the US into Basel.  Why don't you look at the US Passenger Transportation chart?

              Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

              by Deward Hastings on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 12:13:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But the US transportation chart is under ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... current US institutions, so it only tells us what will happen is we continue to do more of the same. However, since we need to cut the resource impact of our lifestyle in half, more of the same is not an option.

                Accepting the current outcome under the current mode share and current policies with massive subsidies for private motor vehicle transport is the limit of what can be achieved is begging the question ... you are building your conclusion into your assumptions, not reaching them on the basis of empirical evidence.

                Start 2010 with Lesbian Creative Works, 100% Yuri from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 09:02:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        Bruce has debunked your phony numbers on "incredibly inefficient" mass transit, as well as your phony numbers on the cost of replacing the gross excess of cars in this country (why do we have an average of more than 1 car per household, pray tell?) and so have others.

        The key point which hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread, however, is parking.  The current ludicrous number of cars driving long distances to land at concentrated destinations is unsustainable simply due to the massive cost of putting parking at those destinations.  Train service should be extended to the point where park-and-ride lots at the outlying stations of the train lines are sufficient, and where those park-and-ride lots don't have to be that big (and can therefore be relatively cheap).

        Spending downtown real estate space on parking -- including on building multi-story buildings just to store cars in -- is what is incredibly inefficient.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Tue Sep 07, 2010 at 09:22:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (128)
  • Community (55)
  • 2016 (43)
  • Environment (38)
  • Republicans (34)
  • Elections (34)
  • Bernie Sanders (33)
  • Culture (31)
  • Hillary Clinton (26)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (24)
  • Labor (24)
  • Climate Change (22)
  • Education (22)
  • Barack Obama (22)
  • Media (21)
  • GOP (20)
  • Civil Rights (20)
  • Economy (19)
  • Affordable Care Act (18)
  • Texas (18)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site