Friday, July 21, 2017

Localism, piling on DART, Honolulu rail disaster, simple fix for housing, big ice, and more

Apologies again for the posting delay. I recently returned from a great AEI-COU event in DC, including a fantastic speech by Senator Mike Lee on the importance of localism (vs. federal control of everything).  More local control seems like a bipartisan issue both parties could get behind. You may find some of their follow-up links of interest:
"Thank you for your interest and participation in AEI's recent event "Localism and social capital: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on why federalism is key to restoring civic connectedness and faith in the American government." We wanted to share the event summary and video with you; please feel free to share these with friends or colleagues. For more information on this topic, check out Arthur C. Brooks' publication "It’s better when all politics is local," Andy Smarick's publication "The infinite information problem and state centralization," and Peter J. Wallison's publication "Decentralization, deference, and the administrative state." 
Moving on to this week's items:
"Notwithstanding the massive investment in rail over the last two decades made throughout the country, only about 4% of the total daily trips made by Americans are on any form of transit, and less than 2% on rail. Bus ridership has been unchanged for the last two decades. It would be interesting, but ultimately impossible to know how bus ridership might have improved if even a fraction of the billions spent on rail had instead been invested in improving the bus service. 
With the advent of disruptive transportation technologies like ride sharing, self-driving cars and the electrification of transportation power systems, any further investment in this highly inflexible technology would be folly. We need to be building a transportation system for the next century, not the last one. 
But there is something akin to a religious belief in rail that I have never been able to understand. The late, great Bob Lanier best summarized it: 
"First, rail's supporters say 'It's cheaper.' When you show it costs more, they say, 'It's faster.' When you show it's slower, they say, 'It serves more riders.' When you show there are fewer riders, they say, 'It brings economic development. When you show no economic development, they say, 'It helps the image.' When you say you don't want to spend that much money on image, they say, 'It will solve the pollution problem. When you show it won't help pollution, they say, finally, 'It will take time. You'll see.'" 
Dallas' multi-billion dollar experiment with rail has proved Mayor Bob right. Sorry to all my friends that continue to believe rail is the solution to our mobility problems, but time is up."
"It’s really not that complicated. Seattle has a housing shortage. Every occupied new unit of higher cost housing translates to one less higher income household competing for a limited amount of existing housing. And whenever there are more people who want housing than there are housing units, it will be the poorest who lose."
Finally, our Center for Opportunity Urbanism has been creating a series of videos for Texas cities. Houston's isn't ready yet, so this week we'll start with Austin's:



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3 Comments:

At 9:06 PM, July 25, 2017, Blogger George Rogers said...

Houston Video

 
At 9:11 PM, July 25, 2017, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Lol, how did you find that?! We're waiting for final approval before COU officially releases it.

 
At 11:53 AM, July 26, 2017, Blogger George Rogers said...

A video series that I am coming up with

 

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