Friday, August 16, 2013

Decrying Anti Road Faddism

whether against railroads or freeways

(One can find comments as this which are way more sensinble than the faddish ideology of "Streetsblog")


It's based on the mistakes that were made in Ireland and Britain during the 1960's when too many railways were shut down and in some cases, removed - 'ah sure, there was no need for them as everything would eventually be done by road - sure why have trains when you have buses' - now our generation knows why we need rail and we very much regret what was done 50 years ago (we only have the very main lines left in Ireland).

You guys will probably have the same regret in 50 years time and balk at the idea of 'sure everything can be done by rail' and think instead - 'oh why, oh why did we get rid of the freeways like the 280?' - it will just be like the Harcourt Street Railway Line in Dublin that was shut at the close of 1958 - we have just spent hundreds of millions in putting much of it back as a light rail transit route.  How many million dollars will SF spend in 50 years rectifying the probable mistake of tearing down the I-280 and the other freeways?  Tearing down the I-480 along the Embarcadero I can understand (you will probably end up having to provide a link to the Golden Gate by 2050 though), especially with the nice ferry building at the end of Market Street - I could even see the logic of taking out the section of the Central Freeway over Market Street (I take this as your main thoroughfare) - however, I seriously see no case for tearing out the I-280 - to me, it's just a fad - I mean what civic amenity is there in the vicinity of the 280???

All I'm saying is that we had exactly that 'let's get rid of' attitude (in Ireland and Britain) to the railways in the 1960's - in London, they simply can't provide enough railways to keep pace with demand - AFAIK, the latest stats show that in Britain, there's as many passengers on the railways as there were in the 1920's - all for there being no need for railways - I'm almost prophesying here regarding SF and freeways in the future!!!  In short, you need freeways and railways - two essential tools for getting around - Back in Ireland, I have a car and regularly use both the M1 Freeway and Northern Railway - every week that is!  I wouldn't like to make do without either tool - life would just be too difficult!

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