Thursday, July 30, 2009

Moving more expensively

Another good post by Randall O'Toole on the Anti-Planner:

July 30, 2009

Environmental groups just published Moving Cooler, a report that argues we need to reduce driving in order to reduce global warming. Transportation expert Alan Pisarski has written a critique of this report, saying it is more of a sales document than a credible analysis.

“The benefits and the costs involved” in the report “are so corrupted to be meaningless,” says Pisarski. For example, the time penalty from forcing someone to switch from a 15-minute auto trip to a 60-minute transit trip is assumed to be zero, transit subsidies are not counted, and all mobility losses from coercing people out of their cars are counted solely as benefits.

Everything I have seen suggests that we can make technological improvements to cars and highways that will reduce greenhouse gases at costs ranging anywhere from minus $50 to $50 a ton. Meanwhile, rail transit and more compact development will reduce greenhouse gases at costs ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 a ton — if they reduce them at all. Until all technological options have been used, we shouldn’t even be talking about the behavioral ones.


At 2:08 AM, Anonymous Philip said...

"Until all technological options have been used, we shouldn’t even be talking about the behavioral ones."

Why Not?

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Lawrence said...

yes, please explain. shouldn't we be looking at all options? or is this merely a convenient justification for your convenience-comes-first worldview?

At 10:09 PM, Blogger Jerry the Faerie said...

Thank you so much for defending the vast majority of San Franciscans who drive or take public transportation from the fanatical tyranny of the bicycle coalition. I hope the insane plan to eliminate 2000 parking spaces and dozens of car & bus lanes can be stopped.
We already have the nightmare of Octavia Blvd. where cars are diverted 1/2 mile approaching and leaving the freeway because a bike lane could not be moved one block Westward on Market St.
I would join a class action suit of San Francisco drivers and users of public transportation to stop the plans of the Bicycle Coalition if there were such a lawsuit. I hope that if the worst comes to worst and you get an averse judgment in the upcoming court case, you will appeal to higher courts and seek an injunction against the bicycle plan which will make already difficult SF driving into a hellish nightmare!
Jerry Berbiar

At 5:35 PM, Blogger John G. Spragge said...

If you can make the improvements, make them. The day the first actual zero-emission production car rolls off the assembly line, I'll pay attention (and head down to the dealership of a look).

Until then, we have a zero emission vehicle that promotes health and longevity, helps fight debilitating and productivity robbing health problems such as depression, reduces urban congestion, allows modal shifts (you can take your bike on a bus or train but not a car).

But while no conceivable technology can replace the bicycle's advantages at the price of a bicycle, I agree we should explore the technology. But the technology means the things we can get to work now, not some wonderful whiz-bang that will solve all out problems just as soon as someone gets it to work.


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