January 20, 2010
Intellectual Freedom at Work
I can't help but note the irony, and admire the freedom of discourse, that Randall O'Toole will appear at Powell's on Friday to promote his book that criticizes urban transit lines.
From the publisher's comments:
As a result, the automobile which is accessible to almost every family in the nation and provides unparalleled access to better housing, low-cost consumer goods, a choice-driven affordable life, and freedom -- is being deliberately forced off the transportation grid by the expensive "solution" of little-used high-speed trains and urban transit lines.
Of course, the eponymous owner of this venue is Michael Powell, chair of the board of Portland Streetcar, Inc.
January 20, 2010 9:35 AM
Powell has always been a stalwart defender of freedom of speech; this isn't the first time (by a long shot) that right-wingers haven't been invited to his store(s) to promote their books.
January 20, 2010 9:37 AM
Ugh, that should say HAVE been invited.
January 20, 2010 11:54 AM
Ron Swaren Says:
I would like to ask Mr. O'Toole if he has seen the recent article on the top 75 most congested commutes in the US.
January 20, 2010 7:09 PM
Jason McHuff Says:
I should see if he considers how it's been government subsidies and policies that has made automobile use so "accessible", and how he thinks transit "forces" out private vehicle use.
January 20, 2010 11:03 PM
Douglas K. Says:
the automobile [snip] is being deliberately forced off the transportation grid
If "they" are trying to "force" automobiles off the transportation grid, "they" are doing a crappy job of it. Is there anywhere in this country where automobiles have been forced off the grid at all? Anywhere where there's a serious proposal to do so? Anywhere that motorists are denied their choice to drive (other than by license revocation)?
January 21, 2010 11:16 AM
Doncha know, Douglas--traffic calming is socialism. :)
January 22, 2010 6:46 PM
al m Says:
January 24, 2010 9:58 PM
Ron Swaren Says:
O'Toole's concept of the electronically controlled "auto train" was interesting, and apparently feasible and already underway in Europe. Yet, this would still COST something, since you would have to pay for the lead vehicles, so even if it proves more convenient I wonder how many people would actually opt for it? And there would still be wear and tear on the vehicle. But then you would have your own vehicle when you got to your destination, and not have to rent one or wait for a bus.
When he was critical of high density urban planning he didn't take into account that many people choose that lifestyle so they can dispense with a car. I mentioned to him that I thought the greater issue in "livability planning" was the cost of the housing....not the costs of mass transit. Until those costs can come down to earth, many Americans will see a relatively cheap suburban home as the only economical choice.