From: hancock4 on
On Nov 21, 4:58 pm, Stephen Sprunk <step...(a)> wrote:

> Not every accident causes the complete closure of a road, no, but every
> accident _does_ cause additional congestion, in addition to the severe
> congestion in most cities that exists during peak hours _without_ any
> accidents or other events.  Complete closures are _not_ all that matter..

Even minor fender benders seriously disrupt traffic when they occur on
main roads. Usually only one lane is getting by, so there is the
bottleneck right there.

Motorists on _both_ sides of the higway creep along "rubbernecking

But if the accident is serious, the road will be closed to facilitate
rescue and clean up. Usually spilled gasoline and broken glass has to
be dealt with. Vehicles towed.
From: Bolwerk on
Brent wrote:
> On 2009-11-21, Stephen Sprunk <stephen(a)> wrote:
>> Ask someone from NYC or a non-US major world city like London or Paris,
>> though, and you'll get an entirely different answer. Why would they
>> want to deal with the hassle of owning a car, driving in congested
>> traffic, trying to find (extremely expensive) parking, etc. when the
>> subway is faster, cheaper, and more convenient?
> However that transit is subsidized by lots of people who don't use it.
> That's how it becomes "cheap".

The same way most roads become cheap, or free, rather, in many cases.
All transportation, save perhaps freight rail, is subsidized by "lots of
people who don't use it."

> And even in cities like London a lot of
> people still drive because even with the crushing costs and congestion
> it's still works better for them. In a big city I would live close
> enough to walk or bike most if not all year to avoid the hassles of
> driving and transit.

Even in NYC, there are plenty of examples of low-subsidy or even
slightly profitable transit. MTA Bus, IIRC, turned a slight profit last

The Subway system in 2007 covered its own operating costs to the tune of
around ~68%, which is similar to the highway system. With fare hikes,
it should be closer to around 85% until labor costs catch up.

The egregious problems with U.S. public transportation come mostly from
intractable labor/union problems or poor regulation, which is why high
ridership/low frequency commuter rail still tend to be amongst the most
subsidized forms of public transportation.
From: Matthew Russotto on
In article <he9pbg$ppf$1(a)>,
Stephen Sprunk <stephen(a)> wrote:
>For instance, imagine that item X costs $1 if made in China or $8 if
>made in the US. Imagine that item X costs $5 to transport from China
>and $1 within the US. The vast majority of consumers are going to buy
>the Chinese one because the total cost is lower. However, double the
>transportation costs for both and customer buying will shift to the
>American one, resulting in less transportation demand, lower total
>transportation costs, less pollution, more American jobs, a lower trade
>imbalance, etc.

Since the stuff gets to the US by ship and not by truck, doubling
trucking costs will make the item $10 for the US item and $7 for the
Chinese item, not helping you.
>Does it really make sense for us to be shipping produce several thousand
>miles across the country--or even from other continents--when we can
>grow the same crop a few dozen/hundred miles away?

Yes, usually, in cases where it is done.

The problem with socialism is there's always
someone with less ability and more need.
From: Matthew Russotto on
In article <b8a91dd7-d1cc-4c4b-982a-db63343952f8(a)>,
<hancock4(a)> wrote:
>On Nov 20, 9:50=A0pm, russo...(a) (Matthew Russotto)
>That depends on how bad the traffic is. Some places have bad traffic
>much of the time, limited the window of opportunity. And obviously
>some places have no problem with traffic. (see below).

I'm unaware of any place in the US -- NYC not excepted -- where
transit is actually more flexible than using the automobile. Most
places with absolutely horrendous traffic have horrendous transit as
The problem with socialism is there's always
someone with less ability and more need.
From: Matthew Russotto on
In article <14001ec5-9e97-45f1-9710-85f6abd69a32(a)>,
<hancock4(a)> wrote:
>On Nov 20, 10:05=A0pm, russo...(a) (Matthew Russotto)
>> The transit commute that takes longer than driving is the rule, not
>> the exception.
>Which is irrelevent.

I think you don't know the meaning of the word.

>> Lately I've been commuting to another location than my usual office
>> (I'm doing consulting). It's 51 miles; takes just about an hour door
>> to door by car. SEPTA suggests minimum of 3hr 8 min, a four seat ride
>> (bus, train, train, bus).
>That average speed door to door in rush hour traffic seems awfully
>good. Many places in the SEPTA service territory get congested at
>rush hour, such as longer waits at major traffic lights. Traffic near
>office parks can get bad.

I have experience, you have generalities.

>So obviously SEPTA is not a good solution for you. But SEPTA
>obviously is a good solution for thousands of other people because
>they choose to ride it every day.

SEPTA is mostly the choice of last resort; people take it because they
can't afford better. If you can get a single-seat ride on a regional
rail line, and live near it and work near it, it can be advantageous.
The problem with socialism is there's always
someone with less ability and more need.