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Something kind of funny happened in the middle of Jerome a Paris' (actually it was Danneel's I think) lengthy and excellent first article in a series about transit:

The fun starts here:


I got into it with a right-wing troll. What was funny is that he is one of those guys that tries really hard to act like he's a reasonable person, but with a different perspective on the issue. So I started by engaging him honestly, mustering reason and research to bolster my points.

But he kept hammering on one single talking point (sound familiar?) and I realized that he was not engaging me...

directly, so I began to suspect something more sinister when he refused to back off a right-wing "think tank" based in Portland, OR whose raison d'etre is generating wingnut propaganda against the fantastically successful planning and transit regime which they have been building in the Portland metro region for the past 30 years.

So, finally, I blasted his key point and started ridiculing him. But I'm fairly proud of some of my research which I compiled on the way, and also I think the community could benefit from one thing: HAMMER THEIR TALKING POINT. Once you destroy the premise they repeat over and over like a mantra, you have employed powerful jiu-jitsu. It is how we need to respond to RW bullshit in all quarters - war in Iraq, universal health care, so on and so on. The right wing does not use facts - it uses talking points. Liberals use facts and are more likely to be "right," technocratically speaking, on any given issue. That has certainly been the case in Portland over the past 30 years of argument about urban planning. But the good liberals of Portland have never aggressively attacked the RW talking points, which is why they are contantly under attack from the vested interests (developers, pro-auto folks) who want to dismantle what is still the best planning regime in the United States.

Here is my last post in the thread:

You're a dishonest hack. Its not a personal attack - I've given you ample opportunity to respond to reason. I spent literally hours researching long substantive replies on the web - only to get obfuscation, lies and RW agit-prop from you in return. To recap:

Azulchico: Bus malls are teh answer to all our transportation woes!

ME: No they aren't.

Azulchico: Even in your own city they are expanding the transit mall!

ME: (linking Trimet) No, they are putting LRT onto the old mall, and letting cars and bikes in too. Kind of the inverse of your proposition.

Azulchico: No, um, "Idea is need to  connect limited light rail to buses to make it work." (Whatever that means - but I think it means that LRT and buses complement each other, which is a point I agree with.) But LRT doesn't work and never will.

ME: endless recitation of facts and figures regarding LRT transit and BRT, and how BRT doesn't work too well in practice, and how the biggest BRT systems are being dismantled or are adding LRT to their transit mix

Azulchico: But LRT has 1/10 of the ridership in Portland!(cites dishonest right-wing study)

ME: No, it has over a third. (cites Tri-met)

ME: Oh, here's the numbers you were citing. You are a dumbass. These figures show LRT carrying almost 40% of the passenger miles at a fraction of the route and vehicle miles. LRT is a boon, you buffoon.

Azulchico: Ken Dueker, Cascade Policy Institute used Metro numbers, Jitneys!

ME: Once you say "jitneys, you are exposed as a right-wing hack who is totally unserious about transport." Jitneys are the absence of transit, not transit. They are the kind of transit that exists in dirt-poor ratholes like Peru and Rwanda, not developed countries which require reliable comfortable safe transport. Hopefully the Perus and Rwandas of the world will someday have real transport and not have to rely on things like jineys. (Okay, I didn't say that, but that's why I got so incredulous)

ME: Ken Dueker, huh? I know that guy. So where did he say "gold plated?"

Azulchico: Blue Oregon cites Cascade, they must not be all bad! (cites Ken's CV)

ME: Blue Oregon ridicules Cascade because they are a joke. Where did Ken say "gold plated?"

Azulchico: You're using bad words and bad words make the Baby Jesus cry. Here is a link to an article co-authored by Ken Dueker that does not say "gold-plated."

Teh awesome. You are a troll.

Originally posted to Oregon guy on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:29 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A penny for the Old Guy? (9+ / 0-)


    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.

    by Oregon guy on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:48:04 AM PDT

  •  BRT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oregon guy, JayBat

    The planning community in Cleveland envies Portland's transit system.  

    But Cleveland is about to complete a long BRT route through the heart of the city.  Why?  Because the initial capital costs for rail are much higher, despite lower operating costs over its lifetime, and because federal matching dollars were available for BRT but NOT for rail.

    Congresscritters take note -- 1) please provide more equal funding for transit relative to funding for highways and airports and 2) despite higher initial capital investments, rail is more efficient and less expensive in the long run -- please preference rail funding over buses and BRT.

    •  Is rail less expensive than bus lines? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think so, especially if you break it down as cost per passenger-mile and include all the debt service a city or state ends up paying on a big capital project, the value of public property that ends up being used for rail, etc.
      The last extension of my city's LRT (San Diego Trolley) cost 87,000,000.00 per mile to build. I don't think that includes a lot of the debt service or value of real estate the city already owned.

      Quick! Man the Blogs!

      by HiBob on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 09:08:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's just the thing. (0+ / 0-)

        Sooner or later, those transit bonds pay off. Portland is still using the original Bombardier railcars which came with the initial LRT network in 1986. I'm pretty sure Tri-Met doesn't have any more mid-80's buses left in the fleet.

        You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.

        by Oregon guy on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 09:31:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  which is just the thing? (0+ / 0-)

          for capital costs, the stuff  bonds pay for, a bus might cost 1/3 as much as a rail car. It only needs to last 1/4 as long as a rail car to compete on capital costs, since you don't have to pay for its replacement until you need it. There's also the cost of land acquisition and construction for trains, which for buses would be put into rolling stock.

          Have you found any good comparisons that break down the total costs for bus vs LRT? I'm having troubles finding ones that include the ALL of the initial capital costs, operating costs and at least some discussion of debt service.

          Quick! Man the Blogs!

          by HiBob on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 10:52:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wow - that stinks (0+ / 0-)

      Especially since Cleveland already has a rail system left over from before the city started to decline in the 1960's. BRT really won't do much for you when you already have a rail system which probably just needs some work. Cleveland's mode split is actually pretty close to Portland's.

      With a little expansion, updating, and polishing, and some good planning in the central city, there's no reason Cleveland can't shine again.

      You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.

      by Oregon guy on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 09:29:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I missed this one! (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry i missed this diary.  Foraker is right though, BRT won because the feds don't invest enough in rapid transit.  Cleveland would have been a good system to connect to but they squandered that chance in the search for a cheap alternative.  

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