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    San Jose is a proverbial parking lot with poorly planned interchanges.



    Totally out of touch. Altamont Pass 580, 680 Pigeon Pass indicate nothing in San Jose is really accessible.



    This is what the United States of America’s approach to complete streets feels like to many of us: 2 steps forward, 1 1/2 steps back.

    Progress…at a snail’s pace.

    *sorry, always get a little cranky after watching videos showing transit modes in the Netherlands. But I still watch, because it gives me hope*


    The Overhead Wire

    Awww so sorry Joe! I need to keep a list! Thanks for the pic, adorable!


    Joe Linton

    It’s her 2nd birthday, and my daughter Maeve is disappointed to have been left out of the Streetsblog kids list! Congrats though to recent parents Clarence, Angie, and Tanya



    NE Ohio’s problems are cultural going all the way back to the old country. My wife’s parents grew up in the old German and Polish neighborhoods in Akron and we think a lot of this is just baked into the place. Blue collar is blue collar and doesn’t want to be anything else. That’s another reason that place looks the way it does. It’s just stubbornness. We left there and went to Dallas in the summer of ’95 and we suddenly felt as if the wind was out our backs instead of in our faces all the time. A lady we met here in Danville taught at Norton a number of years ago (the Coast Guard transferred them here before he retired) and she said “nothing comes easy there” to which I would add that most things end up not coming at all. That can change and must change and if you wanted it to would change. It would take money (serious money, BIG MONEY) and then someone or a collection of someones to back it all when when the old folks and what’s left of the unions and anyone else who feels threatened by change raised hell.


    Marven Norman

    Or roundabouts. The trend with traffic lights is generally to widen to provide storage, so roundabouts can move the same numbers without using as much space. That in turn can give a much more pleasant street environment and help maintain the small-town feel. As long as they don’t destroy the storefronts along that main road with parking lots, it can be a great destination.


    Larry Littlefield

    That economic growth includes population growth. Real, per person living standards are going down.

    “The problem is that almost all the benefits of growth are now going to the very wealthy.”

    And not the merely wealthy anymore. The pattern of each generation being less well off financially than the one before at each stage of its life started with high school dropouts after 1973, worked its way up to high school graduates in the 1980s (heyday of the yuppies) and mere college graduates without advanced degrees in the 1990s. In the 2000s only the one percent got ahead, but after 2008 even they were affected (thus explaining the Team Party). So now it is only the very wealthy.

    They would have been wiped out in the bonfire of bankruptcy in 2008 if the government hadn’t bailed the whole thing out. But now the government is broke too, federal state and local. So how long before even CEOs are a lot less wealthy than CEOs used to be, if only because there is less around to steal?
    You look at the rise in total debt over the past 35 years and tell me there’s no problem.



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    R.A. Stewart

    Not that transit in most of the U.S. will ever reach the bare minimum.


    R.A. Stewart

    Thank you. (Speaking as a member of what Larry calls Generation Greed, whose most gut-grinding worry is the kind of world my children and grandchildren will inherit.)



    A tax of 2 1/2 percent is equal to a year or two of economic growth. People won’t necessarily have less to spend: they will have to wait an extra year or two before they have more to spend.

    The problem is that almost all the benefits of growth are now going to the very wealthy. We need to change the tax system to reduce inequality: higher taxes on the very wealthy, lower taxes on the middle class, a higher Earned Income Tax Credit for the poor.

    Blame this generation of billionaires, rather than blaming past generations, and there is an obvious solution to the problem.


    Larry Littlefield

    The good news: younger generations are making wiser, thrifty choices.

    Bad news: they have no choice because they are paid less, and saddled with prior generations’ debts. So they don’t have more to spend on other things as a result. And it is going to get worse.

    Check out the debt charts that show what was necessary to pay for Generation Greed’s lifestyle. They didn’t sell off the future because they were unproductive, but because it cost more than even they could produce. Who will be paying those debts when they are gone?

    Off the books debts — past infrastructure underinvestment, and pension underfunding, are in addition to this. I just got an e-mail that said the to keep Social Security benefits at current levels taxes would have to rise by 2 1/2 percent of payroll. Or benefits would have to be cut by a quarter. That’s how much less workers and/or the retired will have to spend.



    Driving is expensive and unduly stressful. Once transit reaches the bare minimum for service, it’s so easy to leave driving for any other option.



    The point is not to get to West Virginia. The point is to get to wherever you need to go in the shortest amount of time and to provide convenient routes for the purpose of manufacturing and distribution, not to mention convenience for individuals.

    You do realize that U.S. 23 goes to Atlanta and Jacksonville, don’t you? Even if you wouldn’t take U.S. 23 the entire way to reach your destination, lots of people use lots of parts of it. It is a very important route.

    U.S. 23 is all freeway in Michigan and about half freeway in Ohio.



    Well, if the goal of ODOT is to use Ohio taxpayer money to speed people from West Virginia to Michigan without stopping in Ohio, then good work, they’re well on their way to doing it. But the question is: is that really a good use of Ohio taxpayer dollars? At least the people speeding past Ohio on the Ohio Turnpike pay tolls!



    Bypassing a struggling small town basically destroys its economy. I’ve watched it happen more than once. Punching an expressway through the middle is worse, but what the town *really* wants is for everyone driving through to hit stop lights, and pull off at local businesses. Horseheads, NY found this out the hard way when Route 17 was elevated through town.



    Kasich is one of the smoothest of the lying slimeballs in the Republican Party.

    He’s not as obvious a criminal as Scott Walker (child porn rings run out of his office on his secret email system) or Rick Scott (biggest defrauding of Medicare in history) or Pete LePage (currently getting himself impeached) or Chris Christie (Bridgegate). But he’s a bad one. He manages to make himself look good enough to get reelected though, sadly for Ohio.

    And by the way, sweetcheeks, there is zero chance of Jeb “I Would Take Advice From My Deranged Idiot Brother” becoming President. Trump is more likely.



    ODOT is run by Governor “I hate cities” Kasich, and he’s going to ignore the pleas of the city governments and municipal planning organizations. Unfortunately. Elect someone else to replace him if you possibly can.



    The motel owners can operate HOtels; the roadside diner owners can operate streetside diners; the gas station owners can operate convenience stores (which is basically what they’re operating now anyway)….

    The mechanics can repair things which aren’t cars (there are plenty of ‘em), though I’d advise them to learn to do electrical work because mechanical stuff is being replaced by electrical stuff throughout the economy (including in autos).

    And as for the auto dealers, they can go get useful jobs, or they can go become salesmen selling something else.



    As a person who chooses not to drive, I would LOVE to see the kind of investment in bus rapid transit and rail, as well as proper bicycle infrastructure (meaning fully separated from cars) that would allow for trips to that roadside diner, or stays at a motel.

    That gas station owner could expand inventory and services to provide for car-free tourism. Ditto that mechanic.

    But as far as that car dealership…well, F ‘em! They have pimped that grotesque vehicular monopoly for far too long, and our lives have been lessened in very important ways because as a result.



    Ohio is spending more than $400 million on a bypass around the city of Portsmouth, population 20,000

    That is misleading and it’s propaganda. The reason a bypass is being constructed around Portsmouth is because U.S. 23 (and U.S. 52) is a major artery into and out of Ohio and traffic through Portsmouth created a major bottleneck. It was slated to be Ohio’s portion of the proposed I-73 and is long overdue since U.S. 23, 30, 33 and 35 are major arteries into and out of the state of OHio.

    Saying there shouldn’t be a bypass around Portsmouth because it only has 20,000 people is like saying that I-71 should be running through Downtown London, Ohio because London is too small to have a bypass.


    Joe R.

    There will be winners and losers every time the economy changes. There’s no much demand for horse shoes these days, but somehow the economy managed to adapt. All those people who might have been making horse shoes if we used horses are doing something else. All the people you mention can learn another trade.



    Or you are a small business person who owns a roadside diner, or you are an auto dealership, or you are a mechanic, or you are an independent gas station owner, or you are a motel owner…



    Good news. Unless your name is Koch.



    Trains bring in a decidedly Williams element.



    So, why is it that the discussion is always about raising revenue? What about cutting costs? Have you ever seen the paperwork that goes along with a federal aid project? There are reasons why they cost so much more than similar state- or municipally-funded transportation projects.

    There are two ways to cut red tape, but congress only knows how to cut it lengthwise.


    Tyson White

    Your point about “the USA” is very broad. Cities like New York and London are too overcrowded to allow everyone to drive. It’s unreasonable to give away 80% of the public space to a small minority who drive. The amount of public spaces used for dedicated cycle lanes is under 0.5%. The majority of residents in both above cities know how to ride bikes. Most own bikes and do enjoy riding them. The reason they unwilling to use them for transportation is because of your insistence that cars are a priority and there’s no room (really?!) for cycling…


    Tyson White

    You just described why walking is dangerous. You also didn’t respond to Dan’s point that in Utrecht, they don’t need “drivers to subsist”.


    Utopia Builders

    I hope they ‘earmarked’ some money for the (apparent) “GravTrans” below ((apparently) labelled “Potential Multi-Modal Freeway Corridor):



    J. Koz – impossible not to agree with your conclusion.

    Suffice it to say that while the redoubtable Mr. Palm and his fellow nit-pickers, with all due respect, were busily “scrutinizing the arrangements of the deck chairs on the Titanic” in this case, Chief Special-iInterest Toady Ridley and company were sinking the whole ship in order to limit low-cost transportation alternatives improbably left here for our grandchildren by past generations.

    It was simply a smaller-scale replay of the scenario laid out by Bradford Snell and others in “Taken for a Ride” and “Who Shot Roger Rabbit?”


    Tracy Campbell

    Nice spelling and grammar. It’s a bit difficult to take you seriously.


    Marek B.

    It’s simple. For example in Prague you simply have to overload the cargo from big truck to small one outside banned area. There are 2 zones ( Within blue zone are banned trucks over 6t 24/7. Within red zone, no cars above 3,5t are allowed Mo-Fr 8-18, to make deliveries there, you have to come there outside these hours.


    Miles Bader

    Make the charge proportional to the cube of the weight. Something small, say a mini, can be “1”, so:

    charge = basic_charge × (weight / weight_of_mini



    This makes sense. You’re still going to have a lot of smallish delivery trucks running around, though, so I think safety measures for them should be a higher priority.



    London has a number of problems which are attributable to the destruction of the many, many railway freight terminals within London. Those have been built over, so it’s practically impossible to bring them back. Unfortunately, the result is that London absolutely requires a large amount of truck delivery traffic. :-P



    We would not have developed asphalt roads without bikes. Simple historical fact. Automobiles were designed to run on dirt roads and were quite good at it. Nobody would have paved roads just for autos.



    I was wondering how they were going to ban trucks in city centers when they need to get there to make deliveries. Apparently the idea is only to ban them during peak hours, so they’ll still come in at midday and overnight.


    Marven Norman

    Well to be fair, quite a few toll roads are owned by banks by way of P3 schemes.



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    I worked for Cash America, and this is a skewed article at best. I used to think that title loans were horrible too until I worked in the industry (disclaimer: Cash America doesn’t do them anymore). But most people that get title loans have newer cars, because “old beaters” aren’t worth anything. This article puts all of the responsibility on the lender; what about the borrower’s responsibility? And the banking industry’s practice of not loaning anything under $1500??? Sometimes people just need some money fast. Now, the wise borrower would pawn something of value first and foremost. But, what if they didn’t have anything of value except a car or their job (payday loans)?? What is their alternative? Many folks are in the pawnshop or title loan store because they don’t know how to manage their money in the first place. I didn’t always have much money but I lived very frugally. My wife can stretch a dollar farther than any human being alive. So I don’t have a lot of pity for the person with a decent job, yet “they can’t seem to make ends meet” as they pull their latest Iphone from the latest Michael Kors designer purse and then brag about how they just got a 70″ flat screen/ Smart TV and then climb into their Cadillac Escalade.

    Why don’t you focus on BANKS and their predatory fees, and how they take “extra time” to process a deposited check if you deposit on Friday so that it doesn’t post until Monday, yet all of your checks that you have sent out to pay bills post on that Sunday….hmmm? Come Monday, there could be 3 or more bounced check fees. But, I see that one of the authors of this article came from the banking industry so how should we get a fair point of view.
    And anyway, whatever happened to personal responsibility?


    Drivers E. Midlands

    The point is that society wasn’t built on manpower transport including cycles. It was all about load, speed and distance. Society would now collapse without motor transport and now only needs walkers and drivers on the road. Please don’t try to pretend otherwise.

    Oh I see you cite that rabid anti driver Carlton Reid’s ‘Roads weren’t Built for Cars selective tome on history. Do you really believe that we wouldn’t have developed roads and tyres without bikes?.

    I am not prejudiced against cycling at all. But you are clearly prejudiced about drivers and driving or else you would acknowledge that we can manage without cyclists but not drivers. Of course I will never change your mind, but most readers will acknowledge that point. So why ban trucks? Why must we have cyclists? Is the very first question we must ask. So far no-one has a good answer.

    So far as history, yes of course the cycle had a short heyday in the early part of the last century when poor people didn’t own horses and traps, and so could travel a bit further to work on them, but because they were not viable and very restricted, they soon ditched them when private motor transport became common. Now our whole economy is based on private car use. Cycling is going backwards to the first half of the last century. If it was any good, most of us would be doing it most of the time wouldn’t we?

    It’s like jogging as a means to get anywhere. Very restricted, hard work and uncomfortable. As we don’t need joggers so we don’t need cyclists either. It’s a fact.


    Opus the Poet

    The bicycle was invented in the 19th century, long after man had domesticated all of the beasts of burden you listed. That one fact alone says volumes about your point of view. Oh, and the roads you travel were initially paved by and for cyclists so that they could get from town to town without becoming spattered with mud from head to toe, but were then declared part of the commons by the people who built them for the good of all, before the motor vehicle came and usurped the roads. This is all recorded history that you could look up if you weren’t so prejudiced against cycling.


    Opus the Poet

    Just a correction: 8 cyclists have been killed this year in London, 7 by trucks of some description, and 6 of the cyclists killed by trucks were female. So 2 males killed, one by a heavy truck, and 6 females all killed by trucks.



    You’re brave? Please, you accuse me of personal attacks, when I point out the absurdity of your arguments. If driving was a fair ground ride, it would be four or five roller coasters going off the rails and killing everyone every week. You think cycling is “unnatural”, and suggest driving instead? You’re either utterly stupid (a personal attack this time), or intentionally misleading. And your failure to check facts don’t end there. Should we be encouraging cycling? Even with the ridiculous safety issues for cycling in North America, cycling is so much better for your health than sitting in a car, the health benefits outweigh the health risks. So yeah, we should encourage it, and we should do so by improving the safety of it. Just because “intelligent” people like you, don’t like facts doesn’t change that.


    Bicycle Driver

    Knowledge and Skills need to be acquired when bicycling in traffic, especially where trucks are a part of the traffic composition:


    Bike Five

    Narrow minded? I didn’t advocate for anything. I merely suggested that motor vehicles haven’t been around long and probably aren’t going to be around much longer at least in their present form. If that’s narrow minded, so be it. Have a nice day.


    Keith Peat

    From the time society took to the horse, camel and bullock it did not expand on manpower transport.

    The predecessors to today’s motor vehicles, the chariots, waggons, carts, carriages, stages, traps etc were what expanded the USA not cyclists. The motor vehicle is the successor to all this, hence horsepower and carriageways, which, in the UK, the part of the road vehicles use, is still legally called the carriageway. So there is nothing ‘deeply flawed’ at all. Are you really suggesting that USA can run on cyclists and walkers? Well it cannot run without walkers but it sure as hell wouldn’t miss cyclists.

    You demonstrate admirably how narrow minded the cycle lobby is.

    But this is all about the UK Prime Minister banning essential infrastructure, for a very hazardous pursuit that no-one actually needs. Isn’t anyone allowed to query that without being abused? That’s your Cycle Lobby for you.