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Everything posted by august948

  1. I can't imagine that the current road network would ever be chucked. That represents a sunk cost that we can continue to benefit from, even if we choose to spend expansion money on alternate forms of transport. It's not an either/or debate since bus and rail can and do coexist in a comprehensive system. How we manage it is up to us. But, the reason to build rail is what I stated before. Predictability. In order to evolve to meet what I believe are going to be much higher energy costs and still remain a vibrant city we are going to have to adapt. That's going to mean evolution towards more density in the city and also in outlying communities. People and businesses are going to cluster around the transport network that affords the least personal cost. It's not going to be pretty, but I don't believe the future holds the same convenience of transport that the post WW2 era held. I would think, though, that express and local buses would be used in conjunction with rail to get people where they want to go. Who knows, we might even see the re-advent of private bus or shuttle services that compete or complement the existing public system.
  2. We made that change when we started building the highway system 50+ years ago. You can locate anywhere you want, but you still have to pay more in time and money the farther you are from the highway. Since express buses also have limited stops, I'm not sure how different this really is since you are either going to be driving to a bus stop or driving to a rail stop.
  3. Here's another positive argument for rail. Developers, businesses and residents need predictability. When you make a massive infrastructure investment, it's not likely that the routes are going to change. Rail alignments, once they are built, aren't easily subject to change. That predictability is what people need to make other long-term decisions about how and where they will live and work.
  4. I suspect you'll find even more examples if you look at public transit in the US and abroad over a longer range of years. Having a predictable, long-term investment in the transportation network drives development in those areas over the long term. You can even make that argument using our current primary infrastructure, the highway system, and see that development tends to occur more frequently on or close to the highways. If you build a rail system, they will come.
  5. Being primarily concerned with what benefits you is, unfortunately, a common human condition. As soon as gas prices spike back up and the cost of commuting rises again you'll see those arguments subside and general interest resume in public transportation. Hopefully, our public officials will take this likelihood into account and prepare the groundwork so we won't be so far behind the curve when the need hits. Interestingly, during last summer's gas price spike I started seeing more of what looked like middle-class white folks waiting at bus stops on the west side. When the prices went back down, they disappeared.
  6. I'm not saying you can't entertain outdoors here, quite the contrary. However, if there is one place on earth that has a better environment for outdoor entertaining than Houston it's San Diego.
  7. Lol...my point was that San Diego has nearly perfect outdoor entertaining weather all year round. It rarely gets very hot or cold there, the humidity is lower and they get more days of sunshine than we do...plus no hurricanes. I suspect they have fewer bug problems, too.
  8. Come get some from the median of Dairy Ashford just north of Westheimer and transplant them. A few months after the city announced the million tree program some idiot planted hundreds of trees literally three or four feet apart there.
  9. I feel for you. I've had those apt cable deals in the past, too. They are the only thing that sucks worse than Comcast, which is saying a lot.
  10. Now THAT is funny. Is that court-ordered?
  11. I'm glad to hear you can handle math. However, it wasn't budget promises that got people in a tizzy about change last November. Personally, I'd put two in Bin Ladin. Pelosi and Reid will be out in just over a year anyway.
  12. You would think that would be the case, but instead of laying down the law to the congressional leaders of his own party and getting things done, the President has opted to let Pelosi, Reid, and others in Congress run the agenda. It shouldn't be that hard to do if you've got majorities in both houses of Congress, should it?
  13. Gracias por la lección español. I had to look up 'changos'. Hilarious!
  14. Actually, Pelosi is a leader. I'm mostly opposed to where she is leading us but the point is the one who should be leading, President Obama, seems to be taking a back seat to the more experienced Washington insiders. To tie this into the thread topic, the administration spends a lot of time worrying about Fox News when you would think they would be leading the way on their agenda.
  15. Why bother watching Fox News when you can get prepackaged opinions from any number of bloggers and liberal commentators? It would take way too much time to actually absorb and consider the differing opinions on a great variety of topics and then come to logical and fact-based conclusions that you could then defend with factual citations and references.
  16. If you ever have to drive across Kansas or any other Great Plains state you'll realize that doing 96 seems like you're not even moving. What I'm curious about is how Red got 96mph out of a minvan. The best I've been able to do in an minivan is about 90 and even then it felt like it was going to flip at any moment.
  17. People often say one thing and then do another. Especially when large sums of money are concerned. I'm sure they really would like to do a lot of outdoor entertaining (and probably did in California), but if they are from San Diego then they are going to have a hard time adapting to what that means in Houston.
  18. Or perhaps they've come to grips with the reality that outdoor living isn't the same here as what they were accustomed to in Southern California.
  19. Frankly, what more is there to discuss? This administration doesn't like the pundits on Fox and the pundits on Fox don't like this administration. That's never going to change. There always needs to be an opposition to those in power. There certainly was opposition in the media to the Bush administration. It's the checks and balances that keep us relatively free. It's stupid of the WH to pick fights with Fox, though, since all it does is increase their viewership. Their base already hates Fox and won't watch it no matter what happens. It's the independents who take a second look at Fox since they can appreciate the need for hearing both sides of the issues.
  20. That's a common real estate trick. Never follow those signs unless you can see the development from the sign or you already know where you are going.
  21. Yes. Thank god we have Nancy Pelosi. Otherwise we might be leaderless now.
  22. You're welcome...I wouldn't want to see a member of the intelligentsia getting basic historical facts wrong.
  23. You might be right. All the pieces fit except the one he was looking for...the cover art. I don't think any of them featured the Houston skyline.
  24. Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten that the US Congress has been working since before 1759. Oh, wait, that was almost 30 years before the US Constitution was ratified. Nevermind. Also thanks for reminding me that our political system allows for strong leaders to take the forefront regardless of their positions. Otherwise we might almost be leaderless. Sorry...I was being sarcastic, too. Thanks for taking me literally.
  25. You're making some assumptions that might not bear out in the real world. Regardless of that, shouldn't it be the President who was elected by vote of the entire polity who leads rather than a Congresswoman elected by the voters of San Francisco? I'm glad we agree on something. Your assumptions are interesting, too.
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