There's a huge difference between the food stuffs you see at Kroger/HT/Publix and the real deal you can get when you are supporting local farmers--from a nutritional standpoint. The people that eat cheaply will pay for it later in medical cost. The equation always balances. So follow the flavor. From Dan Barber to Vivian Howard to AC--the proof is in the burger. The reason so many chefs cook with so much salt/technique/obfuscation these days is that the proteins most suppliers sell are becoming more and more bland as they have had to use products raised with a focus on yield--as opposed to raising breeds/varietals chosen for flavor. There's an argument to be made that the modern American palate has become dulled as it has been further removed from the practice of food production at the home of any kind. Hence the rise of (gotta admit it's delicious) the pork belly culture--eating only the tasty small parts of the animal, while having no idea or willingness to tolerate off cuts or offal. This loss is at the expense of the appreciation of flavor; the joy of "fishy fish", "grass fed beef", and "heritage breed vegetables." Oh, and pimento cheese sucks.
To answer the headline: yes.
I'm open to rebuttal. I am. But I'm confused. Have patience; I am not that bright.
But first, you are citing a 3 year old op-ed piece from a Cato Institute guy? CI in its history is in favor of funding what programs? ACA? Social Security? Saving puppies from drowning? Anything?
Then, the next source you quote is from an article about Denver's parking models, particularly the choice to not charge for parking at some park -and-ride spots in order to encourage adoption of lite rail: "If RTD charged drivers just $1.50 per day, the agency would raise an extra $8.2 million a year, according to the Colorado Fiscal Institute."
So the first article says LR is a failure and the second one says it's a potential tax windfall?
As I said, I'm no genius, but those numbers translate to what: over half-a-million rides taken on the lite rail? Minimum. That doesn't count car poolers and uberers and people that walk to a station. This kinda signals half-a-million less commuter car rides taken, right? That sounds good. But maybe I'm missing your point.
Is your point that there are multiple revenue streams to be gained by pursuing the lite rail's working commuter first, and then adding routes to the less robust neighborhoods, but it comes at the expense of the traditionally poorer bus rider? Ok, there's a concern there.
Is your point that Colorado used forms of monetary encouragement to get people to use the lite rail, and that's what? Unfair? Because that sounds like how we lure every private business to NC.
Is your point that lite rail is racist/classist because it must follow the tax base first? (Can a lite rail be racist? Policy can, so why not? Ok. I don't know) That's an interesting take.
Do you just really love buses? It's a thing.
The lessons to be learned from the Denver model do include: it's expensive to install/maintain and adoption takes time/effort/carrots&sticks. You're right. And there's upkeep. Like w roads. But, just for giggles, go fly into Denver and see the new lite rail now that it pulls up to the airport. Go visit the newly refurbished Union Station and the vibrant restaurant/convention scene in and around the terminal! The upside to the city is tremendous. Go see how the professional hockey team's fans (ooh similarity), and the professional baseball, football, soccer, and basketball teams' fans pack the thing on every game day. Look at the people using it for plays and concerts and commuting. And think of what the Triangle can become. This is a no-brainer--the equivalent of investing for a vibrant future. And look, not long ago, Denver was considered a "cow town"--now it's one of the most desirable places to live in the US with amazing growth for 10 years running--just like Raleigh.
Just my 2 cents here: I moved here from the Denver area and used their light rail often. The opening premise of someone who wants to use light rail to go to work would also take a bus to get to a light rail station, I believe is largely erroneous. And I think the author knows this.
Most suburban commuters drive/uber/carpool to a station and use the standard "park&ride" model. The local bus, much like the record store, is an outdated model--inefficient and outmoded--due to the confines and time constraints inherent to pre designated bus routes. And further, it is those suburban drivers that can potentially be taken off the road that are the main traget of light rail. By getting the daily drivers out of their cars x% of the time, we get the corresponding benefits (less highways use/cost of maintenance, less traffic, business development).
One can't take advantage of using existing corridors if growth was routed away from them for decades, unless we take advantage of the available space for associated parking and services.
Initially, having a light-rail that feeds to RTP, the universities, and downtown centers I think is a sensible way to start building the infrastructure the region can grow with. Many won't be served by this model, but many more will. And with use, comes revenue, and as I saw in Denver, expansion of the system. Just my two cents, but there's a lot of gobbledygook in this article.
You read 50 Shades Of Grey?
Really enjoyed this piece--(but how was service and the wine list?)-- lovely writing.
apparently no, i do not attach my name. i am a hypocrite :)
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