From the Newtown Pentacle, Feb. 14, 2019
In addition to my original comment on the post.
The new BQX trolley line will be nothing more than a very expensive boondoggle of a real estate advertising gimmick and crony capitalist feeding frenzy. And all because suburban transplants to NYC consider riding on a bus to be beneath their dignity. Suburbanites view the bus as transportation for lowest classes of people as well as people of color. No SWPL would be caught dead on a bus. So there are no good reasons for this BQX trolley line.
A waste of time and money but a project we plebs have no power to put a stop to.
There's a reason the trolleys were abandoned in the late 1940s through early 1950s and no, it wasn't a conspiracy involving GM, Firestone, National City Lines (which never operated in NY). All that is nonsense. As something of a rail fan, I like the old trolleys, have and read a number of books on the subject, and they're my favorite subject for colorizing old black and white photos. But I'm not a foamer or 'trolley jolly' and I understand that there were real reasons the trolleys were replaced with buses. Bear with me as I explain.
Among other things, it was cheaper to run buses than trolleys which required power houses to supply the voltage and current necessary. Trolley tracks required constant inspection, especially curves and switch tracks, and needed replacement after a while. Overhead catenary wires sag over time and need to be tightened or replaced as well as their insulators. Trolleys occasionally derailed or split switch tracks requiring cranes to set them back on track. In addition to derailments and split switches, accidents would shut down that part of the line. Other trolleys would then be stuck until the problems are resolved. Buses, however, had none of the infrastructure needs and not being limited to rails can be re-routed on the fly when there's some kind of obstruction on the route.
And accidents? There's a reason why the city banned ground level subway cars and street grade railroad crossings around 1920.
Trolleys are in fact railroad cars, much heavier than buses and with the increased mass comes increased kinetic energy in the event of an accident. Even at slow speeds, a trolley cannot swerve and cannot stop on a dime and will completely demolish whatever vehicle they hit. Even trucks. Good luck to the vehicle occupants surviving the collision. Forget what those heavy steel flanged wheels can do to human flesh. All in all, think about the liability issues.
Just as electric trolleys replaced horse drawn streetcars because they were more efficient and cost effective, the bus replaced the trolley for the same reason.
I have to wonder at this progressive liberal obsession with old, obsolete technologies.
Folks, some technologies became obsolete for good reasons such as they were inadequate to changing needs, were replaced by more efficient technologies or they didn't work as well as had been hoped. As any honest mortician or grave digger would tell you- if it's dead, then leave it buried to rest in peace.
Shared bus and bicycle lanes isn't a good idea as it presupposes people will generally use common sense and exercise due caution. These qualities are in woefully short supply in the general population so this idea won't work. If implemented, this would promote natural selection by imbeciles eliminating themselves and earning Darwin awards in the process. Think of it as a kind of participation trophy. So maybe this cloud would have a silver lining after all in cleaning out the shallow end of the gene pool. Perhaps our Humble Narrator is in fact thinking along these lines?
This whole vision zero thing is ridiculous. If people are not obeying the first set of laws, then why would they be any more inclined to obey even more laws added. The problem is first, people are not perfect and will make mistakes. You cannot legislate perfect humans. The second problem is a general decline in manners and courtesy. Blaming one group, say motorists, and demonizing them isn't helping. Marginalizing and antagonizing other people never helps in a situation where mutual cooperation is necessary. It's the human element at fault here, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians all acting like pompous, entitled, assholes. Not a dearth of laws, dedicated bicycle and bus lanes or such.
In summary, the real problem is with progressive liberals who simply cannot understand human beings. They cannot see the forest for the trees because they have their heads shoved too far up their ideological asses and try to ram the square peg of human nature into the round hole of their cult-like beliefs.
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