Sunday, June 28, 2009

the long squiggly ghost

Reading the PG's Next Page contribution today: The big leap in transit we didn't get -- but could and it's reference to Curibita, Brazil to solve our public transit predicaments.

The references there are all back to the earlier Next Page piece: The Long Squiggly Line.

No time to repeat myself, who wants to endure that anyway. But most of what I would say would be the same as before. The confusion with and idealization of Curibita is just too superficial to be meaningul. In the replicable ways Curibita is already the model for much of the Port Authority design here... Or is it the other way around?! If so what does that say about seeking lessons from them.

The longer rants go like this:

Confusing Counterarguments

False Choices and McAnalysis

Rethinking price elasticity for gas and Curibita

But on the bigger issues facing folks these days: The False Choices phrase is probably the best way to put it. I've been staying out of the current Port Authority system design debate mostly because it was so frustrating having the Port Authority refuse all my requests for information during the route cut debates not so long ago. There just isn't time to deal with that again and it convinced me they don't really want any more than token public comment... I've even had (slightly) better response getting pension data out of the city over the years.

But there is clearly this plan going on to shape the public comment as it were to work like this. Two major options presented. Port Authority will take that in and somewhere down the line, pretty soon I imagine, someone down there will start to say that the public made clear it 'prefers' one option. No mention will be made that there were just a very limited set of options to begin with and the logical leap to being strongly behind one of them will not make much sense. Watch and listen... it will be the spin at some point.


Blogger n'at said...

I understand your gripe regarding "False Choices." However, the scope of the this analysis is about as broad as one consultant can achieve within the extremely short time period to return results. I don't anticipate gross structural changes coming from this study.

However, I would prefer that the plan identifies areas within the route system that could support a new paradigm of service, and provides a guidebook for the authority to build/operate/evaluate/conclude these and other structural changes and repeat ad infinitum.

I wold prefer this, as opposed to concluding gross augmentations with supporting evidence from other cities, but without providing the tools or defining the metrics to conclude whether the proposed changes are working or not. Constant analysis and augmentation works best for maintaining adequate facilities to support "organisms" like public transit, as opposed to, evaluating every other generation, or not all.

We are currently using the same interurban routes from all the defunct private transit companies from the 1960s. Since the authority's creation, they have been operating as though the lines were fixed. What was once an interurban, became a bus - then back to a new interurban in some instances.

Additionally, there was never any consideration for augmenting the total system primarily because the data wasn't there. Sure they had census data, traffic and user counts, but punch cards and outdated algorithms merely produced results which led them to conclude that everyone is moving outside zone 1 and commuting to downtown.

somewhat related but has the city finally gotten their CTRTCS traffic control online in the downtown corridor, yet? that damn thing is almost ten years old!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009 9:01:00 PM  
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