Monday, February 21, 2011

Density Lobby Uncovered!

So according to Joel Kotkin (only go to the link if you have to), the Density Lobby is made up of the following nefarious groups:
Then there’s what might be called the “density lobby” — big city mayors, construction firms and the urban land owners.
Even Tom Rubin, a self proclaimed train lover and "transit expert" who has never recommended a train in his Reason Foundation consulting history, gets in on the action.
“High speed rail is not really about efficient transport,” notes California transit expert and accountant Tom Rubin. “It’s all about shaping cities for a certain agenda.”
Why would Mayors of big cities surrounded by suburbs ever want to promote density or a (gasp!) agenda!? I mean San Francisco has so much room to grow. The Pacific Ocean is endless! Also, damn those "urban" land owners for wanting to make money. As opposed to the angel pure "suburban" land owners and road construction firms. Seriously Joel? Is Siemens wanting to build more trains not as bad as Ford wanting to build more cars?

I'm also a member of the density lobby as are many other amazing bloggers and activists out there who share a love of density. Perhaps these mayors, construction firms and urban land owners would like to become card carrying members.

Also, this article mentions boondoggle for the third article today (see post below). This must be one of the talking points sent out by the RNC this weekend along with the "Obama is so out of touch he wants to spend money on trains" meme that showed up on the weekend talk shows and in various seemingly random articles this weekend.


Patrick M said...

Wow, Kotkin's even fatter than I expected. Thanks for the link.

The Cranky Diva said...

Could you address some of the points made in the article? Derision isn't useful, but hearing the other side of Kotkin's arguments would be.

I lived in LA, and the Bus Riders Union is right, the MTA routinely shortchanged bus riders in favor the the high income suburbanites that rode the train. I know getting the high end middle-class to ride mass transit is the holy grail of urban planners (mostly a pipe dream, I don't care how much gas costs),but if you're serious about mass transit, shouldn't you improve what you have first?

Andrew in Ezo said...

Ideally, bus transit should be a feeder to rail lines- it's not an either/or proposition. Bus lines are ideal for lower passenger traffic routes, especially cross-city ones. High density routes are better served by rail.

On side note, I consider the reason/libertarian types who claim to be rail enthusiasts the equivalent of those who claim to "not be racists, coz some of their best friends are black"