Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Michael Medved On Mass Transit

Check out his Townhall article here, and dont' skip the comments. In one comment I copied a large portion of a year-old post, The Misery of Mass Transit. I added this, in response to a commenter who took issue with my sentiments:

Read my comment again. I said that depending on mass transit is a miserable experience. It has one advantage - not having to buy a car. The disadvantages are enormous - tripling commute time (I have no chores that can be accomplished during commutes), limited choices as to where to shop, long periods of time standing in inclement weather, being forced to budget time around a transit schedule.

I took the bus because I had to. I couldn't afford a car at the time. Sometimes the resources you have to depend on are unpleasant. Mind-numbing jobs, tiny apartments, exasperating and convoluted bus routes. The American Dream is to get out of poverty and to graduate to better resources.

Now, if the light rail went directly to my place of work, going to the park-and-ride and commuting to work would be sensible. But in a spread-out place like the Dallas-Fort Worth area, only a small percentage of employers are accessible that way. Relying on the bus to get to DFW Airport (when one lives on that route) also makes sense.

I did some checking - if I had to rely on the bus today to my current place of employment - which is only SIX MILES AWAY - I'd still have to get to the bus stop an hour and a half before work.

Steve mentioned HOV lanes in a comment, so I threw this in:

Study: HOV/Carpool Lanes Cause Accidents

"A newly released Texas Transportation Institute study suggests that High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or carpool lanes that are not separated from regular lanes with a physical barrier experience a 41-56 percent increase in injury accidents. Almost all new freeway lanes are set aside for HOV use only because federal environmental regulations strongly favor their use.

"The main benefit promised by HOV lanes -- faster travel for carpoolers -- is what causes the accidents, according to the study. During peak traffic times, the speed differential between the regular lanes and HOV lanes ranges between 21 and 35 MPH. For example, a slower car trying to merge into the HOV lane may be rear-ended by faster moving HOV traffic that cannot slow down in time. Overall, the general purpose traffic lane closest to the HOV lanes experienced a 153-188 percent increase in injury accidents."

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