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Capitol Rioters Can’t Stop the Economic Forces Undermining Their Tribe

I disagree that the USA “needs HSR” tied to subway systems, Zed. Both are the most expensive and disruptive rail proposals to construct. My planning philosophy is based on Peter Calthorpe (Berkeley) and William Fulton’s book “The Regional City,” based on basic principles of New Urbanism at the larger level of metropolitan area regions. Regionalism predicts the BART system can serve more transit patrons with 4-car trainsets all day than with 10-car trainsets during rush hours. I always try to reply to your posts without putting words in your mouth or distorting their intent.

I’ve followed the CAHSR project since its inception in 2008. I do NOT support the Pacheco Pass route from Madera to San Jose. Instead I support the Altamont route from Stockton to Fremont and across a rebuilt Dumbarton Bridge to Redwood City and north to San Francisco. That route serves more people and undermines plans for suburban sprawl, car-dependent development of Gilroy and Los Banos.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on compensation also makes that statement quite well.

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Here is the problem, for a long time, a radical right wing subset of the apartment industry has been quietly undermining laws that protect tenants in our major cities.

Here’s whats likely to happen soon. Something like this but on a nationwide scale. And it didn’t work out well.

Sounds like you live in the Bay Area. Do you realize how many San Franciscans (especially) as well as people from other Bay Area cities have been displaced? A lot. Probably millions. And that also means in many cases losing most of all of your stuff. I was extremely lucky, I had far better outcome than most. But I am still quite scarred, The ordeal I went through seriously damaged my health and took years out of my life, those were in many respects lost years. There is a war going on against non-rich people.

The redevelopment of the Western Addition was many years ago, and it was almost over when I first moved to the Bay Area. It was long before the displacements of today which are happening everywhere. But they should serve as a cautionary tale. Because they ruined a great many lives.

I still remember walking through these buildings, marked with the big X for demolition. Some of those houses were incredible places. It was not so long after the hippie era some some of them had become squats at the end. I still have dreams about those explorations.

There were similar neighborhood wide “redevelopment” campaigns in NYC. I had friends in Lower Manhattan wholived in buildings that had been taken over from their slumlord landlords under a City program allowing tenants to buy their own buildings from the landlord if they let them fall too deeply into disrepair. That was a great way to handle the slumlord problem. But it didnt take long after that (this was likely connected to GATS) for the city to decide to redevelop neighborhoods where artist coops had fixed up buildings. They targeted the most vibrant areas.


I lived in Frisco 1970-71, years that don’t compare very well to current times. My efforts then to be environmentally conscientious were with economy cars to reduce smog. Such efforts reduced air pollution, but when traffic everywhere only got worse, I transitioned in 1992 from a career in home energy efficiency to become an advocate for (and designer of) mass transit which necessarily includes land-use planning. That’s when development became a part of the equation for me.

The basic principles of “New Urbanism” (NU) of mixed-use, infill, transit-oriented development still hold potential to guide development whereby the need for cross-county commuting and long-distance travel may be reduced and more needs met closer to home. That’s where the principles of NU make the leap into “Regionalism” - or how the many NU districts within a metropolitan area connect. The theory suggests BART could run 4-car trainsets all day because the need to commute is reduced and transit patronage off rush hours increases for short trips between local stations.

I draw comparisons between BART and Portland’s MAX ‘regional’ light rail system. Such rail systems fail to reduce traffic because they direct most development to central cities instead of throughout their lengths. Most young or established older yuppie planners consider “density” as the be all end all of development. I disagree and say economic “diversity” of mixed-use development is closer to the ideal by which we should guide growth throughout metropolitan regions. I hope this makes sense to you, Zed.

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What do you think about the story of National City Lines (best known as the racist company that operated the buses that Rosa Parks was asked to give up her seat in) and the hundreds of other companies that systematically bought up and then destroyed the still beloved electric trolleys? Only a few cities got to keep them. In the rest of the country now less complete systems are now being rebuilt at tremendous expense.

That’s the main reason we are addicted to cheap oil today. The loss of affordable public transport was a major driver behind the creation of a permanent underclass. Redevelopment of cities will require a lot of car buying and new indebtedness, for sure.

Churning isn’t good. Why do neoliberals try to churn so much?





Zed, I’ve laid out many light rail line routes, several subways, station area development. What you see as a vast surface parking lot, I see a simpler bus transfer network opening up pedestrian networks. Simpler buses than our decrepit GM/Ford 1970’s tech Paratransit lift-vans LONG overdue for replacement. Should be easy boarding Low-Floor for seniors and disabled and all transit patrons. Nope! GM/Ford give us more truck chassis buses that ride like hell. They can’t afford to build better buses “cuz these wear out cheaper.” Terribly unsafe road vehicles our municipalities keep buying like they’re better built. The 1970’s chassis are obsolete. Guess which other public conveyances are also obsolete? The 40’ standard bus is 1970’ tech. The Yellow School bus tech is 1950’s tech. None of these chassis convert to EV very well. Who ate Roger Rabbit. I get it.

I’ve laid out many light rail line routes, several subways, station area developments. Where others see vast surface parking lots, I see simpler bus transfer networks opening acres of pedestrian along natural networks. Question: Is the GM/Ford 1970’s tech Paratransit lift-van LONG overdue for replacement? Should they be easy boarding Low-Floor for seniors and disabled and all transit patrons. Nope! GM/Ford give us more truck chassis buses that are hard to board and ride like hell. They can’t afford to build better buses because these wear out cheaper. They’re terribly unsafe road vehicles, but our municipalities keep buying them like they’re better built. The 1970’s chassis are obsolete. The 40’ standard bus is also 1970’ tech. The Yellow School bus tech is 1950’s tech. None of these chassis convert to EV very well, which ‘they’ know very well for ‘their’ purposes. Car dependency. Oh and next they’ll be empty robotaxis that read your mind and take you wherever you wish to go… /^:

When I go across the country, last time a couple of years ago, sometimes I see huge abandoned towns of new houses that are just sitting there half built. Like one I remember was not far (South) of Denver. I would have checked it out more but it was in the middle of a torrential rainfall and he radio kept advising people to watch out. Maybe the biggest rainstorm Ive ever been in. So these houses were just soaking up water and would most certainly be too moldy to ever live in if they were just left that way. I bet they were, though.

Whats up with that?

What’s up with that? More or less, if that’s not an impeachable offense, I don’t know what is. Someone should write a good dancing music song about doing what’s right instead of what’s wrong.

I mean what is the planning community’s take on building these housing developments in the middle of nowhere. (Where if gas prices rise a lot they will literally be marooned) and then abandoning them.

I wouldn’t trust a driverless car. I know that even if you keep a GPS up to date, the maps always have mistakes. Even if it has multiple redundant systems, any system always has issues. A driverless car could one day, just end up driving off the end of the bridge to nowhere.

Use quotation marks to differentiate “driverless” as Level 5 nonsense, impossible, unproductive. Level 3 “driver assist” is fine. If so, why go further to Level 5 “no steering wheel” like it isn’t pretentious flim-flammery? I’m calling AV tech at Level 5 “driverless” a “fraudulent ruse” to distract attention from actual solutions. And to bust teamster and transit unions. And pretend “multi-lane tailgating” in traffic can be safe or safer at any speed. Why not prevent tail-gating at Level 3. “Platooning” is the USDOT and state Departments of Highway Robbery have cooked up to rig their ongoing studies of freeway “widenings” supposedly only safer if “driverless” is possible, when they know it isn’t. It’s a ruse to make fools of the public and keep us all driving.

The thing they may want is to sell lots of new cars (force old ones off the road).

Also cashless highways.

This will become a huge cash cow for the corporations that collect the money. Once corporations do it, the government cant do it.

Its the same with healthcare and banking.

Automobile-related business interests [finance, insurance, construction, parking as well sales and manufacture]
all certainly want to sell more cars. They won’t build modern mass transit because that cuts into car sales.
They will continue to finance the construction of car-dependent suburban sprawl of lookalike housing compounds,
choked with traffic. Uber could double VMT (vehicle miles travelled) with or without AV tech. I’m only beginning
to study replacement service for Uber/Lyft to use less fuel/energy and reduce traffic. Imagine the return of
the corner grocery store short-distance home delivery.

People aren’t going to have the choice to buy cars, its not a matter of not wanting to. People will be struggling to eat, and heat, let alone drive around.

A potentially huge number of jobs, quite possibly tens of millions of jobs have been promised away. Maybe even more. Its all revolving around the WTO.

We’re too expensive.

People are forgiven for not knowing this because for a story with such huge implications, its been completely hidden.

These jobs were traded away back in the 1990s so they had a different idea of what people would be doing, or something. Anyway, they potentially promised away a lot of jobs. Professional jobs. We could lose them for good because the wages would plummet to levels that made them hard to live off of. And these are good jobs. People will have to go back to school and become politicians. That will probably be the only stable career besides “inheritor of wealth” .

I have as much an idea about it as you, Zed, in many ways I know more.
I have proved a “robolimo” future is nonsense. This leaves EVs ideally garaged
and near home to become household backup power supplies ‘matched’ to “rooftop” solar arrays.
Don’t assume the odds against a better world and survival are unlikely. Keep up the study though.
I’d go after Californee DOT agencies as most corrupt. I’ve built my case against current and former ODOT
and Wsdot directors colluding in “4” highway “widening” projects that clearly ‘worsen’ traffic hazards.
Municipal DOTs and transit agencies in both states are complicit in tens of millions of taxpayer funds
distributed to crony planners who take years to “plan” projects the public votes down. And then claim
the only flaw on these roadway projects is “funding” rather than vindictively destructive “engineering”
as if (they know good engineering from bad and the plan was to get paid for planning).
ODOT, Tri-Met, Metro & three City Halls conspired to waste public funds and conceal the evidence.