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  #221  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 5:52 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
This most certainly applies to your arguments, which as yet, remain unsupported by a single citation of a single study or report or even an apt example.



This is an ad hominem attack. You don't offer any evidence of any kind to dispute my assertions for which there are real-world proofs which I have offered up.

You simply attack me. I have not spent my time attacking you or any other poster and I don't wish to.

I have had enough of your endless insults, don't respond to any of my posts, if you can't post politely.

Flame Wars are against the code of conduct.

Either argue substance which means tell me specifically what you think I've said is wrong, and then support that conclusion with evidence, or stay quiet.



Yes, I said that. There is zero argument that expanding highways does not facilitate ongoing sprawl.

There is zero argument that sprawl is not cost-inefficient for government, resulting in either higher taxes or lower service levels or some combination of these, which will invariably hit those with the least income the hardest.

Sprawl also means those without a car are at the greatest disadvantage not only in employment, but in access to shopping, healthcare or simply sending their child to a good school.

Greater density makes the above easier (not easy).

There is no argument that increasing the total number of vehicles on the road does not result in greater pollution.

****



Can you please go back and find where I said "Proponents of highway expansion clearly want to cause more pollution or poverty"?

Because I don't remember saying that, if I did, I will apologize for misspeaking.

But I believe I said that's what the highway expansion program will cause, not that that is what motivated anyone.



Outside of compelling people to move out of the way of floods; I don't believe I proposed 'forcing' anyone to do anything. Its my understanding that Houston has already been doing this to some degree, I simply proposed a larger scale, and a prioritization system based on cost-efficiency for the taxpayer.

The rest is about incentives and disincentives (higher taxes if you cost the rest of us more money); (lower taxes if you don't) and prioritizing better transit service. There is no plot to micromanage everyone's life or tell them where to move. If you want 3 acres in the burbs you can have it. I'm just saying you should expect to pay the cost of it, not freeload on other taxpayers.
I have provided statistics to back up what I say. Once again, this backs up you live in your own world and read and see whatever you want to believe true.

"Its about a policy proposal for Houston to expand its freeway system, resulting n greater urban sprawl, greater poverty, and more pollution.

The presumption implicit in the proposal is that Houston's modal share for transit cannot be materially improved.

You have argued in favour of that position.
"

You are insinuating Jmanc is in favor of creating pollution and poverty. You are placing words in people's mouths and try to spin their beliefs.
     
     
  #222  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 5:53 PM
Northern Light Northern Light is offline
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Originally Posted by JAYNYC View Post
1) Did you or did you not imply that Kitchener, Ontario is comparable to Houston, Texas?

2) If you say you didn't, why am I not the only one to believe you did (Sun Belt being another)?

I very clearly re-stated, what I already stated and there is no room for doubt in those words.

You, like Sunbelt have a political axe to grind, you don't like my POV so you read everything you hate into everything I say, exaggerating and seeing things that aren't there.

My word choice, barring the odd typo or poorly thought out sentence, is almost always precise.

I was comparing transit over land-use and density pattern.

That comparison is valid.

I did not say there were otherwise similar and noted the population difference in the very first post.
     
     
  #223  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 5:55 PM
Northern Light Northern Light is offline
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post

You are insinuating Jmanc is in favor of creating pollution and poverty. You are placing words in people's mouths and try to spin their beliefs.
No, I did no such thing.

Jmanc has argued for a highway proposal. That's what I've said, there's no dispute as to his position.

I did not say he was pro-pollution or pro-poverty. I said he was in favour of a proposal which I believe will cause those things.

That's very different.
     
     
  #224  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 6:03 PM
mhays mhays is offline
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That's the sort of nuance some people aren't going to grasp.
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  #225  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 7:10 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
I did not say he was pro-pollution or pro-poverty. I said he was in favour of a proposal which I believe will cause those things.
Just because you think it will cause those things doesn't mean it will. It is one to state you believe it will cause those things and another to state that someone supports those things because you think they are too stupid to not understand what they are in favor of. Get real. I suppose I took your comment the wrong way much like you whine about my comments being insulting when they aren't.
     
     
  #226  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 7:44 PM
Northern Light Northern Light is offline
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post
Just because you think it will cause those things doesn't mean it will. It is one to state you believe it will cause those things and another to state that someone supports those things because you think they are too stupid to not understand what they are in favor of. Get real. I suppose I took your comment the wrong way much like you whine about my comments being insulting when they aren't.
Did you notice another posts right above yours, where another poster immediately understood the distinction I was drawing?

You, on the other hand, just repeated two erroneous things.

1) that I accused someone of supporting pollution or poverty etc when I clearly did not and have explained that ad nauseum.

2) You insist that what i say is a feeling when its evidence-supported fact.

More lane-miles of highway WILL mean more cars. Where cars produce 'x' pollution per mile driven in Houston, as if they were driven anywhere else, more cars equals more pollution. There is nothing in Houston's proposal that reduces per vehicle emissions.

Further, I have explained the basic math of property taxes and municipal services in my previous posts. I have noted that increased sprawl does increase the cost burden on Houston/its suburban neighbours. There is no real argument against this (feel free to make one). Living on an acre at the edge of the urban region mean incremental costs to deliver you water, sewer, electricity, roads, school buses, garbage pick-up that would either not exist, or be substantially lower if you located that new resident in an already built up area.

Ergo, taxes must rise (or service quality decline) in order to support sprawl.

That impacts the poorest citizens the most.

An incremental tax hike of 10% on a 6k property tax bill is $600, if paid by someone earning 20k per year, that is much more harmful than if paid by someone earning 100k per year.

Even if the higher earner pays a larger total bill and faces a larger total increase, the impact is more harmful the person who can barely pay their bills than the person who might have to fly economy on vacation instead.

I don't see why you insist on arguing these aren't facts. They aren't feelings. They are the result of sprawl and its a straight-line assessment of construction and operation costs of infrastructure and their resulting impact.

If you wish to defend that, so be it. If you would like to mitigate it in some way, other than the way I have proposed, by all means put that proposal forward.

But the Facts are, that new/widened highways are a negative on muncipal budgets, not only for their direct cost, but the costs of the development that occurs as a result of said highway construction.

That is not ideological; its not partisan, I'm not proposing demolishing all suburbs or 1/2 of them, I'm not proposing extortionist road tolls or banning cars.

I'm suggesting that this particular proposal is not in Houston's best interests, as currently iterated.

Its not an insult to anyone or to Houston to say it can better invest its money to created a greater return in terms of dollars and quality of life for its residents.

***

For the record, I own a car, and drive; and I support this line of policy thinking in my own community, even it increases my costs.
     
     
  #227  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 8:05 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
Did you notice another posts right above yours, where another poster immediately understood the distinction I was drawing?
Whelp, you heard it first folks. If the poster above you disagrees with you then that means you're wrong! Strawman on my part? Sure. Nonstatement by you though what else shall I respond with in this case.

"Its not an insult to anyone or to Houston to say it can better invest its money to created a greater return in terms of dollars and quality of life for its residents."

It's not worsening poverty for Houston to relieve traffic congestion. It's not induced demand to widen freeways to alleviate and facilitate demand that already exists. It's not representative of a city to be anti-transit when in fact many projects to do what you want them to do are U/C or in active planning. The pollution issue is one caused by the engines of cars and you have no real alternative other than suggest everyone walks and bikes everywhere in a city you don't seem to know much about.

You are also making asinine comparison to suburban cities in Canada with populations of less than a quarter million to an American megalopolis of over 7 million. It's hilarious and you make vague statements that you leave open to interpretation and if its one of criticism you use the easiest cop out and act like you didn't mean it in that way.
     
     
  #228  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 8:16 PM
mhays mhays is offline
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You're making a lot of logical leaps plutonicpanda.

Addressing a basic one: while expanding a freeway can smooth traffic at that spot for a while, (a) it'll generally fill up after a while, and (b) it'll tend to add pressure on the rest of the network.

Induced demand is a real thing...it seems to be nearing the "smoking kills" and "humans are causing climate change" level of agreement among experts.
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  #229  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 8:24 PM
Sun Belt Sun Belt is offline
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Originally Posted by benp View Post
Kitchener is also part of the extended Greater Toronto Area of about 6 million people, and it's daily GO service to Toronto supports 18k riders daily (versus 30.5k for the entire Houston P&R system).

Maybe a better comparison is to compare Kitchener to Katy? If anything, it makes Houston look worse overall from a transit standpoint.
I'm not really seeing that comparison either.

Kitchener is about a 70 mile drive from downtown Toronto, a 2 hour ride via public transit, or 1 hour 30 minute drive.

Katy to downtown Houston is 29 miles, a 1 hour ride via public transit or a 37 minute drive.

Kitchener is part of an entirely different metro, Katy is not. Katy is 100% a Houston bedroom community fringe suburb.

Katy [population - 19,216]: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ka...!4d-95.8245093

Kitchener [population - 233,222]: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ki...!4d-80.4925337
     
     
  #230  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 8:27 PM
Northern Light Northern Light is offline
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post
It's not worsening poverty for Houston to relieve traffic congestion.
I have clearly discussed the impact on property taxes. You have not rebutted that argument. Its specific, not general, its math. I challenge you to explain how any other conclusion is possible.

Quote:
It's not induced demand to widen freeways to alleviate and facilitate demand that already exists.
It most certainly is; unless, of course, you're suggesting that all sprawl will stop, that Houston will have no further population growth, and that no new cars will occupy the newly created lanes.

Perhaps that's what you believe, but I won't make assumptions.

I will simply say I don't find that to be a credible scenario.

Where you create new capacity for cars, primarily from existing and u/c and planned suburban areas, those lanes will be back-filled by additional cars creating the effects previously described.

Quote:
It's not representative of a city to be anti-transit when in fact many projects to do what you want them to do are U/C or in active planning. The pollution issue is one caused by the engines of cars and you have no real alternative other than suggest everyone walks and bikes everywhere in a city you don't seem to know much about.
I am not suggesting that everyone walk, how absurd.

I haven't suggesting forcing a single existing car off the roads.

I have suggested that strategies be focussed on providing people other, better options, at a lower cost, primarily transit and commuter rail; along with some relocation of some people, whose homes are in danger from floods, w/priority going to areas that are the least cost-effective to service. The result over time is a modest uptick in transit/walking/cycling; which would have the same effect as the new lanes on the highways, because those new riders previously would have been drivers, and such their new choice freed up space on the existing highway at much lower cost.

Quote:
You are also making asinine comparison to suburban cities in Canada with populations of less than a quarter million to an American megalopolis of over 7 million.
The comparison is apt, no matter how often you jump up and down turning funny colours suggesting otherwise.

I compared it for land-use, density and modal split.

The suggestion that somehow lessons can't be learned from larger communities to smaller or vice versa makes no sense.

Of course they can.

You haven't refuted any of the facts in the comparison......

There are a comparatively limited number of cities in North America where a comparison can be drawn.

Most US cities, NYC and Chicago, and maybe DC excepted have fairly poor transit systems.

None of those three are Houston's identical twin either.

We could use Calgary or Edmonton.

But it doesn't matter, because instead of discussing the substance of the idea, you attack me, the messenger.

If you could rebut the idea with something other than an insult/attack on me or a simple 'its laughable' without in fact showing that to be the case.....we could discuss.

But you remain committed to evidence-free discussion.
     
     
  #231  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 8:44 PM
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@ Sunbelt. Katy is a weird animal. There is the city of Katy which is just a small town but much of we call "Katy" is "unincorporated and is much bigger and about 270,000. But very suburban throughout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
No, I did no such thing.

Jmanc has argued for a highway proposal. That's what I've said, there's no dispute as to his position.

I did not say he was pro-pollution or pro-poverty. I said he was in favour of a proposal which I believe will cause those things.

That's very different.
Except, you are twisting things a bit. The proposal is to replace an existing obsolete and outdated freeway infrastructure. The freeway is already there and is a vital artery connecting several major routes. No one is being displaced that wasn't already displaced 50 years ago. Yes, we need this replacement. And we also need transit as well but that is a totally different bureaucracy.
     
     
  #232  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 8:51 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
You're making a lot of logical leaps plutonicpanda.

Addressing a basic one: while expanding a freeway can smooth traffic at that spot for a while, (a) it'll generally fill up after a while, and (b) it'll tend to add pressure on the rest of the network.
How is your second paragraph explaining me making logical leaps? I'm adressing basic points yes and I'm reaffirming and defending my support of freeways and their expansion.

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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Induced demand is a real thing...it seems to be nearing the "smoking kills" and "humans are causing climate change" level of agreement among experts.
I never said it isn't real. I believe it is vastly overstated and the real threat is induced demand. I'd disagree that experts have decided on it like you claim and the evidence is nowhere near to back up facts like smoking or climate change. If you're up to it, how about giving these question a shot...

Do we have a percentage of the cars on the freeway that account for induced demand? How is induced demand defined and how do they determine cars using a widened freeway wouldn't have used it without the extra lanes? It is latent demand or induced demand? Why do the majority of freeways flow just fine if induced demand is real? Why do induced demand studies only look at the widened project zone and not the entire corridor of which can cause backups into the widened freeway(ie defunct interchange, inadequate capacity... etc.). Why do induced demand studies not take into account local traffic using the freeway where it didn't before? Why do induced demand study's not factor in traffic from other corridors shifting to the widened corridor? I can go on and on. There are so many variables left out of these induced demand studies it is unreal. I've read so many studies and articles about induced demand and rarely have I ever seen any of these questions addressed.

Do these "experts" view induced demand as an issue and simply existing to that extent or it virtually rendering new expansions obsolete? If it is the former than what is your point? Otherwise the latter tells me that is malarkey or there is a broader issue at play like rising raw goods costs, and it being easier to make excuses to do simple projects like re-striping roads(diets), or shifting to rail based transit though perhaps supported by many not necessarily used by many. It's a classic example of a person wanting the train for one reason or another(more than likely a flawed belief it will reduce traffic congestion) but for that reason alone is so they can continue using their car.

At any rate, another issue rarely address is no build alt. increase in travel times and growth happening regardless of a widened freeway. I also fail to understand what seems to be a mentality of why should we have to widen a freeway that has already been widened? It's like getting mad that a train has become so successful we should increase the number of trains per hour or consider extension. Induced demand is also never used as a reason against train expansion and yet the argument always seems to shift from environmental impact and the goalposts move whenever I have brought this up in the past.
     
     
  #233  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 8:53 PM
Northern Light Northern Light is offline
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
@ Sunbelt. Katy is a weird animal. There is the city of Katy which is just a small town but much of we call "Katy" is "unincorporated and is much bigger and about 270,000. But very suburban throughout.



Except, you are twisting things a bit. The proposal is to replace an existing obsolete and outdated freeway infrastructure. The freeway is already there and is a vital artery connecting several major routes. No one is being displaced that wasn't already displaced 50 years ago. Yes, we need this replacement. And we also need transit as well but that is a totally different bureaucracy.
I don't think I'm twisting things at all.

I'm not in objection to routine maintenance on the existing highway(s).

My objection is to net new lane miles through widening, which it is my understanding is a substantial portion of the project.

I'm also looking at the new outer-ring highway which isn't widening but is included as part of on-going infrastructure spending, and will create new lane miles of highway.

That's the money I want to see re-allocated to other priorities. I have no objection pothole filling.
     
     
  #234  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 9:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
I don't think I'm twisting things at all.

I'm not in objection to routine maintenance on the existing highway(s).

My objection is to net new lane miles through widening, which it is my understanding is a substantial portion of the project.

I'm also looking at the new outer-ring highway which isn't widening but is included as part of on-going infrastructure spending, and will create new lane miles of highway.

That's the money I want to see re-allocated to other priorities. I have no objection pothole filling.
You are. Houston is a city that overwhelming relies on freeway infrastructure and this is thread is about replacing obsolete freeway infrastructure. We are well beyond routine maintenance. It has to be replaced.
     
     
  #235  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 9:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Induced demand is a real thing...it seems to be nearing the "smoking kills" and "humans are causing climate change" level of agreement among experts.
I'm sure everybody agrees with "making transportation easier means people take more trips". But not everybody agrees that "making transportation easier means people take more trips" is automatically a bad thing when it happens to be cars.

So what if a new freeway fills up as long there are more passenger-miles and ton-miles of goods being carried than before.
     
     
  #236  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 9:07 PM
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Induced demand is almost impossible to count...there's no "control" scenario unless we're talking parallel universes. Even polling every grownup in the region with detailed questions wouldn't work...you'd be missing the people who left, for example. But it's still pretty much a given based on how location decisions are made and where development has actually gone over time.

Commercial real estate (my world) and residential real estate don't work like academia. There's very little good data out there. So people go with theories that aren't reliant on stats, and on whatever information is available. We also go on anecdotal information...why tenants locate where they do for example. I pay more attention to urban projects rather than sprawly ones, but it's pretty much a given that in a growing metro, a free-flowing freeway will attract development (the auto-dependent type) along it if the land use codes allow it.

This plays out at speaking events. Attend forecast breakfasts for organizations like NAIOP (re: industrial and office properties) and transportation's role in growth patterns will be clear, both for the Houston types and the more urban cities.
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  #237  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 9:08 PM
Northern Light Northern Light is offline
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post

It is latent demand or induced demand?
Latent demand, by definition, is cars using newly created capacity, because it was previously impossible or undesirable.

It looks identical to 'induced' demand.

It still means more cars backfilling the newly created capacity.

Quote:
Why do the majority of freeways flow just fine if induced demand is real?
They do, until they do not, no change in infrastructure causes a mass switch to driver/rider habits in a day, these thing accrue over time.

Quote:
Why do induced demand studies not take into account local traffic using the freeway where it didn't before?
They do in fact account for such demand. Origin-destination models are a standard part of transportation planning. That you are unaware of this indicates you have never read a study on induced demand, nor have you read a transportation planning study, an environmental report etc.

If you had, you would know that model is present in all such work.

Quote:
Why do induced demand study's not factor in traffic from other corridors shifting to the widened corridor? I can go on and on. There are so many variables left out of these induced demand studies it is unreal. I've read so many studies and articles about induced demand and rarely have I ever seen any of these questions addressed.
As noted above, you have read zero studies. These questions are routinely examined using cordon counts, speed monitors, origin-destination models, intersection capacity analysis. etc etc.

Quote:
It's like getting mad that a train has become so successful we should increase the number of trains per hour or consider extension. Induced demand is also never used as a reason against train expansion and yet the argument always seems to shift from environmental impact and the goalposts move whenever I have brought this up in the past.
huh?

The train is a preferred model because it pollutes less per passenger. It also occupies much less land/space vs a highway moving the same number of people.

So yes, 'experts' are happy to see growth in demand which pushes expansion of train service.

The expansion of train service indicated, on a per capita basis, lower costs per capita to provide infrastructure, and lower levels of pollution.

The effect of a 2-track corridor of transit or commuter rail at grade or in a trench is an order of magnitude less than a 20-lane freeway or even a six-lane freeway.
     
     
  #238  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 9:09 PM
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houston needs freeways for boats. if the sea is rising.
     
     
  #239  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 9:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Induced demand is almost impossible to count...there's no "control" scenario unless we're talking parallel universes. Even polling every grownup in the region with detailed questions wouldn't work...you'd be missing the people who left, for example. But it's still pretty much a given based on how location decisions are made and where development has actually gone over time.
There's very little good data out there. So people go with theories that aren't reliant on stats, and on whatever information is available. We also go on anecdotal information...why tenants locate where they do for example.
I can't speak for Seattle, but there certainly is clear data in Toronto.

The 401 has been steadily widened from 4-lanes to 20-lanes and commute times have gotten worse not better.

We also built the 407 as the new Toronto by-pass about 25 years ago.

Those suburbs near the highway exploded in size and the by pass is damn near as full as the 401 even though its tolled and fairly heavily so.
     
     
  #240  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2019, 9:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
You are. Houston is a city that overwhelming relies on freeway infrastructure and this is thread is about replacing obsolete freeway infrastructure. We are well beyond routine maintenance. It has to be replaced.
The entire proposal is not as-is replacement.

It clearly involves net new capacity.

That's the point of disagreement.

I'm not arguing for letting a highway fall down or a bridge collapse.
     
     
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