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File: Coco_007.jpg (37 KB, 573x573)
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Is there any real, concrete reason America hasn't just shut down Amtrak and long-distance passenger rail completely?
All it does is bleed money, surely with such low ridership compared to airlines it can't be stimulating enough economic activity to make up for it.
Doesn't even offer viable competition to airlines, rail tickets are generally just as if not more expensive than flying.
>>
>>1865965
Nostalgia. America once was the best, and they like to keep appearances.
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>>1865965
deploy tanks and armaments across the nation in case of enemy invasion, next question?
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>>1865965
Not from the USA, but similar debate over Canada's interurban passenger rail.
In Canada, the political support largely comes from "flyover" towns. The train won't have a scheduled stop in those towns, but if you buy a ticket and call ahead, the train will do a trackside stop to pick up or drop people off.
This is also why intercity buses get subsidized to shit.

In the longer run, there is some tentative hope that carbon pricing makes interurban passenger rail competitive with flying over prices. Though I don't know if the US has any carbon pricing policy other than "thoughts and prayers!" so maybe Amtrak is just screwed.
There's also the issue of EV ranges, which will affect the attractiveness of interurban personal vehicle trips. Maybe a passenger train will be more convenient than driving yourself, if people can't drive all night? This is why I say interurban passenger rail should start looking seriously at attaching cars for vehicle transport, so people can ferry their car on the same train they are riding.
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>>1865971
Somehow I don't see however many Superliners Amtrak has to be all that useful during troop deployment...
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>>1865965
>Is there any real, concrete reason America hasn't just shut down Amtrak and long-distance passenger rail completely?
Because that would be an implicit admission that the status quo is not working.
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>>1865965
Until Brandon, Amtrak's budget was tiny and axing it gained you no political points. Now it's a ripe target for budget cuts.
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>>1865965
Basically because while nowhere near as powerful as auto industry lobbies, there is a sizable group of Americans who would get upset if they shut it down. Including a lot of people that barely ever use Amtrak lmao
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>>1865965
Is there a country where their long distance non commuter rail systems are profitable? I always figured it was something real countries do to increase commerce and GDP and are run at a loss.
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>>1865965
is that you in the OP?
would sex
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>>1865972
EVs are a meme. They will NEVER be able to replace ICEs to the degree we use them now. It would take like 10 years worth of our world lithium production to replace all the cars in north America/Europe. Not to mention the load on the power grid would be massive. The only solution is public transit, cars are simply too inefficient of a transportation method, they need to be phased out almost completely.
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>>1866308
Passenger rail systems are profitable basically anywhere that isn't America because other countries don't sabotage possible rail ridership by expanding highways every decade or so. All that widening takes demand from somewhere else, and it's the rail that loses customers.
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>>1866383
>Passenger rail systems are profitable basically anywhere
thanks for the laugh
>>
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>>1866382
Once you're around "old style streets", you realized how far we've strayed.

My city still has them, scattered around. This is not an alleyway. Midwest US, post Civil War. It is how wide side streets used to be.
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Another example.
Perhaps more striking because there is a modern-spec road next to it.
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Last one.
You can't even build streets this narrow anymore. Good luck having effective public transit w/o appropriate housing density.
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>>1866382
>>1866392
>>1866393
>>1866396
>EVs
>ICEs
>lithium
>power grid
>cars need to be phased out
>old style streets
>modern-spec road
>public transit
>housing density
Fuck both of you. OP is asking about long distance passenger trains and you're talking about a bunch of unrelated bullshit because you won't just use one of the other "reee cars" / urban planning threads. Can't even have one thread that doesn't devolve into anti-car screeching now. Christ
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>>1866399
You wanted the answer as to why EVs are a meme: there you go. They're not competitive with rail as far as a 0 carbon emitting form of transportation, if that's what you're looking for. The logistics/manufacturing required to go into them are insane and they don't plug into the grid as well as something like a high speed rail. Basically if an anon ever says EVs will overtake rail, they're bullshitting and doing some god awful speculation. Only benefit EVs have is they work with roadways, but normal ICEs work fine for that if you genuinely don't care about global warming. I assume that was the point of this thread: to talk about low/no carbon transport options.

Don't know anything about this guy:>>1866392 not affiliated with him.
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>>1866393
Seems very claustrophobic and terrible for lighting and airflow, not to mention prohibitive for getting goods delivered. Would be a pain to try to carry a couch home just to find out it doesn't fit down your street
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>>1866382
>>1866407
I agree, picrel is a meme and we're going to spend the next decade wasting insane amounts of money to coddle the car-dependency of previous generations as some kind of grand bargain on climate change only for those same people to betray the pact as soon as a long enough recession starts.
That said, if we manage to thread the needle on that obvious-but-inevitable-betrayal, interurban passenger rail will happen. We get just enough EV adoption that "price of gas goes up" doesn't cause immediate political coups, price of air travel and long distance personal vehicle trips goes up while interurban rail stays about the same, people see rail ticket prices show up in their search results for airfare and start thinking, "Why am I paying more?"
We're lucky that there's enough political will to subsidize our battered rail industry in the mean time, so that it's alive for the moment that inflection point happens. Heck, Canada might even been investing in expanding its passenger rail network and I hope the US can achieve some of the same in the next five years.
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>>1865965
There was some analogy for Amtrak where basically it serves a small community and costs money, like an elevator for people who are disabled or otherwise don't use the stairs, but getting rid of the elevator is just not worth it in the long run. Or something.
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>>1865965
>All it does is bleed money
There's your reason
>>
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God you motherfuckers are so greedy and shortsighted. Not everything needs to turn a profit, you fucking (((())))
Some things are good because they are good, not because they make some capitalists money. You fuckers want the fucking post office to turn a profit too you stupid fucking morons
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>>1868026
>NOOOOOO YOU DONT UNDERSTAND GROWTH MUST BE INFINITE AND I MUST CONSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM
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>>1868026
What the fuck is the point of a passenger rail system if nearly no one uses it and it loses money? For retarded autists like you to sit around and gawk at the trains? Get over yourself
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>>1868136
short sighted jewtard
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>>1866351
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tt2ZmH-3uc&t=90s
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>>1868136
SHit man, I dunno, something like freedom and accessibility
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>>1866392
>>1866393
>>1866396
What do you think an alley is? Because all 3 of those are alleys you blithering idiot.
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>>1865965
The cross country trains are the biggest money vacuums by a longshot. In an ideal future Amtrak would axe all of them and put all their energy into improving the state routes and (especially) the NEC.
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>>1868177
That isn't an alley
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>>1868137
>Hmm, seems tha sales over at our typewriter division have petered off over the past few decades, everyone's using these fancy new "laptop computers" and "cell-phones". Looks like it's time to shut it down.
>Shut it down? How shortsighted! We need to keep making typewriters because... uh... some guy on the internet says they're "based" and "soulful"! And maybe a homeless crackhead will need one!
>>
>>1868652
your absurd analogy rests on the assumption that passenger rail transport is a) obsolete and b) has been surpassed by something more technologically advanced and cheaper to produce and operate. neither of these things are true.
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>>1866308
long distance is usually profitable - what needs subsidies are regional services
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>>1868203
Amtrak gets around 2-2.5bn per year in subsidies. Considering that the US can give 40bn to Ukraine on a whim, or 3.8bn yearly to Israel for teh lulz, it's really not that much of a waste. In return it gives work to 17.500 people and, more importantly, it preserves the tradition of long-distance rail service.
That said, there could and should be many more such regional rail corridors, these are actually the ones with a very positive effect on the economy, less deficit than long-distance, and they would also work as feeders to the long-distance trains. Forseeing the possible stereotypical argument, the total size of the country is of little relevance when looking at "enclosed" regional corridors that serve a specific area.
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>>1868906
Trains have been obsoleted by air travel and the highway system. If you want to get somewhere fast, you can take a plane. If you want to get somewhere cheap, you can drive or take a bus. Trains are more expensive than the cheap option and slower than the fast option, there's no reason to ever take a train that isn't a short-distance commuter line like a subway.
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>>1869237
Well, you're certainly correct, in that planes can be faster than trains (as measured from point A to point B, and ignoring transit time to the airport, waiting time at the airport, collecting baggage, transit time upon leaving your destination airport and so on) and cheaper than personal automobiles (as measured by fuel cost to travel from point A to point B compared to a train ticket, and ignoring purchase and upkeep costs, insurance, parking, etc) and buses (not really, variable). But, still - so what? None of this proves anything other than that varying options for mass transit; trains continue to exist, and people take them to get to places. Why do you think they do this?
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>>1865965
It's a big political porkbarrel full of $$$. It feeds the right people, politicos pander to other people, political cronys profit all around.
Remember, what you think doesn't count and the elites need their $$$ fix.
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>>1866392
>posts a picture of an alleyway
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>>1865965
>Brother lives in Iowa
>Want to visit him
>Maybe an overnight train would be neat
>Costs more than a plane ticket
I guess not
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>>1869237
>Trains have been obsoleted by the highway system.
>If you want to get somewhere cheap, you can drive or take a bus.
Result of decades of building roads mostly at the expense of all taxpayers instead of road users proportionally.
It has been much worse than picrel for a very long time.
Nothing can compete with *free*.

>inb4 cagers arguing like staunch socialists whenever this topic comes up
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>>1870944
>Fund rail lines at the national level
>Nooo you can’t fund roads at the national level
I say fuck any national level funding for infrastrucutre and think the vast majority of funds should come from the infrastructure they support. It it means a single train ticket for a 40 minute ride costs $80 or a drive through Georgia requires six $20 tolls so be it.

I would still take cars no matter what because you would have to pay me a lot of money to ride on trains with Atlantans.
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>>1870947
>>Fund rail lines at the national level
>>Nooo you can’t fund roads at the national level
It's not so much about the method as it is about scale. I'm not arguing against tax funded infrastructure as much as I'm arguing for efficiency.
USA has over 4 million miles of paved roads, 150000 or so are federal highways, while having 150000 or so miles of railroad.
Those railroads are also mostly exclusive to freight rail, which receive NO subsidies. This is the main reason why long haul trucking exists and can compete with rail even at long distances - because their infrastructure is (comparatively) ubiquitous and almost free to use.

Passenger rail has been forced into the back seat for decades while also being the perpetual boogeyman for any and every "wasted" tax dollar, only for those costs to be shifted to air and road travel which cost the taxpayer much more per passenger-mile.

>you would have to pay me a lot of money to ride on trains with Atlantans
Based.
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>>1870857
this is even true in the uk. I was in London last summer. Friend tells me he's in Edinburgh. I checked out the prices for a night train to and from, it was more expensive then flying + hotel by a wide margin.
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>>1870954
The CAHSR needed no outside help being a clusterfuck.
t. califag
>>
>>1865971
>in case of enemy invasion
Who?
Mexico?
Because the rest are going to be shot down even before becoming an actual danger
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>>1866392
It's definitely an alleyway, but it's an alleyway you were originally supposed to be able to drive through. Which is why it has a road surface for vehicles that interfaces with the main road. But now our cars are too wide to fit in them.
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>>1865965
This is what I hate the most about America.
You make a service bad and then you point at it and say, "Hey, why haven't we gotten rid of this bad service yet?"
Then you'll throw unlimited money at interstate highways while declaring rail to be socialism. Even though you buy a ticket to ride a train, and the roads are paid by taxes.
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>>1871130
Fuck off man.
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>>1871134
What part of that post tilted you so hard you had to let everyone know?
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>>1871175
The part where you pretend interstates aren't the superior method of transportation based on the contents of your anus. The fact that people, given the choice, use highways instead of rail proves you wrong.
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>>1871190
>given the choice
There's your problem
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>>1871192
Are the freeway lobbyists in the thread with us now, anon?
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>>1871193
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>>1871192
>I wish the government would mandate me into using the communal transport pod instead of giving me any sort of choice in my life whatsoever
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>>1871197
>instead of giving me any sort of choice in my life whatsoever
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>>1871199
Look at all that cozy greenspace in the second pic
>>
What's the point in the Amtrak when it's more expensive? What kind of person takes the train for cross country trips? Does the Amtrak just make sense in new England or something
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>>1866392
>>1866393
>>1866396
That's not a matter of new vs. old roads, they're completely different kinds of road. Main boulevards and through routes have always been wide, in some cases even wider in the pre-car era because horse carriages can't back up so you needed enough width to do a U-turn with a 4+ horse rig. Those narrow streets/alleys were never intended to be major roads, they're mostly pedestrian access routes that were built to a standard to allow small carriages through for occasional pickups and deliveries, and we still build similar things in some places.
>>
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>>1871220
That's just a highway ditch. Also you're comparing a black and white picture and a color picture. Density isn't inherently lacking in greenery, and greenspaces aren't inherently valuable if they're all just sterile strips of lawn separating parking lots and highway ramps next to 50 mph traffic.
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>>1871220
I dont understand why anybody cares about "greenspace" in cities at all. Seriously if you care so much about a few extra trees move to the countryside. Why do you like looking at sterile, monoculture lawns all day?
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>>1871274
they host birds and other animals, reduce air pollution, provide shade, are comfy to nap on and minimize flooding
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>>1871274
>"greenspace" in cities
>sterile, monoculture lawns
If this is your idea of greenspace your hometown planners need the guillotine. Also the suburbs are the city only in area code tbqhm.

>>1871276
This. Also acoustic dampening, reduces echoing.

Anyway a repeat of >>1866399
Amtrak is on life support because shutting it down would make USA a third world country in the eyes of the rest of the first world.
Also letting it die would show that it was dying in the first place because of decades of dogshit urban planning legislation. The worst example being that most stations have to be driven to, defeating the purpose.
Also putting passenger rail at the mercy of freight rail made the service slow and inconsistent.
Shit services attract less customers. Shit services that also have high capital and running costs bleed money.
Also, while freeways/interstates are toll-free and are mostly covered by taxpayers instead of their riders, media incessantly focuses on any and every tax dollar 'wasted' on anything car unrelated.
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>>1871284
>The worst example being that most stations have to be driven to
No real way around this, no matter how centrally you locate a station only the people within a mile or so are going to walk to it. Best you can do is have it share a station with a commuter metro line and encourage people to bike/take taxis there. Buses are irredeemable and useless
>>1871274
Countless studies and even just basic anecdotal show having nature around is good for people psychologically. No one wants to live in a soul-crushing concrete commieblock jungle, why do you think slavs are always so depressed
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>>1871289
>soul-crushing concrete commieblock jungle
You're mistaking commieblocks with modern chinkblocks.
One of the goals of mid-century commieblocks was to provide greenspace while at the same time preserve density and space. Good for children's independence imho.
>why do you think slavs are always so depressed
I think it has more to do with the colder climate and the perpetual feeling of lacking personal agency in a system that constantly attempts (and fails) to gaslight you into thinking you do have it.
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>>1871289
>encourage people to [...] take taxis there
>Buses are irredeemable and useless
fuck off, elon
>>
>>1868026

Honestly, it would be cheaper to give people who ride Amtrak uber credits instead. It would even be more convenient since you could schedule the puckup.
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>>1871476
>it would be cheaper to give people who ride Amtrak uber credits instead
From where did you mutts get this idea that asphalt and two people on rubber tires is EVER cheaper?
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>>1870954
The issue with rail in the US is that it's so much larger and widely spread out than Europe, China, or Russia. There aren't just the hub cities like Moscow, Petersburg, and Vladivostock, almost every state is dotted with 50-100k population towns. This means if I want to go from say Toms River New Jersey to Canton Ohio I would likely have to travel by bus to Trenton and then by rail to Cleveland and then by bus to Canton and once that's done I'm stuck without any personal transport anyway and even if Canton was a walkable city not every destination will be within a walkable distance meaning I will rely on bus transport.

Ultimately I think the issue with rail is that it overlaps with airplanes, both only work traveling to major hubs at high speeds but the planes are unsurprisingly faster. Unless you could develop high speed passenger rails across the US they can never hope to compete and even then you would likely need to subsidize (and advertise) the fuck out of them for years until consumers begin to see it as a valuable alternative to air travel. So this isn't just "invest a few billion on some rails" this is investing tens of billions on new rails, new trains, new industry to replace and repair trains, subsidies for years, massed advertisement. I think it might be worth exploring but it's understandable why it isn't explored much and we just have our token Amtrak garbage.
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>>1871312
>Sterile trees and grass
Greenspace is a meme. Are kids supposed to play there? What the fuck is there to do? I had actual parks within biking distance as a kid, with rivers and lakes and hills, not these boring artificial forests. I absolutely would have stayed inside more as a kid if this was the “outdoors.”
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>>1871542
trains are way more efficient than planes, I know caring about the environment is cringe and climate scientists are WNO jew shills (just addressing what I hear on this site), but planes should be reserved for long distance, and a proper high speed train will be faster than flying for 100-200km because of how annoying it is to fly in the united states, not to mention vastly more comfortable and usually you're going to be able to get internet. but yes it will require a shitload of funding, it's worth it at the end of the day, the US wastes so much fucking money on other shit, even if the CHSR cost 100 billion it'd barely make a dent in the budget.
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>>1871810
>100-200km
There's virtually nowhere in the US where two places worth building HSR between are that close together. LA-SF is almost 650km and that's one of the most reasonable HSR corridors in the country.
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>>1871810
>speed train will be faster than flying for 100-200km
That is an extremely short distance, just Atlantic City NJ to NYC.
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>>1865965
many people can't or won't fly

don't need a RealID to ride a train

rail is much more secure for transport of goods than trucks

Don't have to stop every 70 miles for power like EVs
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>>1871817
>rail is much more secure for transport of goods than trucks
Sure, but this is about passenger rails

>Don't have to stop every 70 miles for power like EVs
Ranges now are closer to the 150-250 range and improving year by year.

I think rails have a role in smaller countries with a few scattered large cities but they cannot hope to fully replace roads because there are simply far too many peripheral communities that still need a connection to said major cities while not being large enough to warrant regular train stops or in some cases regular bus travel.

Sure you could find a bus from a city of 350k to a suburb of 50k without needing to change your schedule much but a town of 5000 or 500? Maybe a bus a day meaning mass transit requires you build your schedule around your transport.
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>>1871814
>>1871816
there are plenty actually, and I should have not put the limit at 200 as there are HSR routes up to or more than 400 km in other countries. and you are also completely ignoring how much better a form of transportation HSR is for both comfort and the environment, if the tickets aren't insane I think many people will choose to take the train instead of flying.
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>>1871832
I support HSR but I see it as limited and it doesn’t remove the need for superhighways in a country like the US as people simply don’t like paying $50 a day to rent a car meaning that if your destination might require long range travel you might be better off driving especially since 400km is like a four hour drive, perfectly tolerable for a longer destination, maybe not a day trip but a week or even a weekend trip its fine.

Truth be told I think HSR would be better as a general replacement for air travel rather than a short ranged equivalent. I was the poster >>1870857 I would rather take a train than a plane in most cases where I wouldn’t drive. Plane travel should be reserved for across bodies of water or distances of thousands of miles.
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>>1871795
>>Sterile trees and grass
Mowed grass and weed culling doesn't mean sterile. These host loads of wildlife especially in spring.
>Are kids supposed to play there?
There is playground equipment scattered under the trees, a very large playground outside of view, a huge park with biking distance to the left with most of it outside of view.
>with rivers and lakes and hills
This is just outside of downtown. You're trying to tell me you had a river in your backyard AND had the amenities of the dense part of the city with independent mobility as a child?
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>>1871849
>These host loads of wildlife especially in spring.
So does the average urban backyard.

>There is playground equipment scattered under the trees, a very large playground outside of view, a huge park with biking distance to the left with most of it outside of view.
Why not just make playgrounds? Also most kids don't care much for walking paths.

>This is just outside of downtown. You're trying to tell me you had a river in your backyard AND had the amenities of the dense part of the city with independent mobility as a child?
What amenities does a city have that a suburb lacks from the perspective of a child or teenager? Groceries, police, hospitals, restaurants, theatres, malls. All of that was within a 10 minute drive at worst. As for my backyard, no, my backyard was about 0.25 acres with a few trees, a jungle gym, a swing set, and a pool, but there were forests and parks within biking distance and a cool abandoned farm house within a mile.

Greenspace is like someone read a study that said "seeing pictures of trees and grass makes people happy" and decided that if they added a few acres of manicured lawns to their urban hellscape that they could decrease suicide rates by 0.23%.
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>>1871894
>So does the average urban backyard.
Sorry I meant suburban backyard
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>>1871817
>rail is much more secure for transport of goods than trucks
No
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>>1871894
>child or teenager
>10 minute drive at worst
>drive
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>>1871922
>A child will pick up groceries for themselves
>A child will walk or bike to a hospital by themselves
Teens can drive cars, parents often travel with children to stuff like theatres and malls. Point being however I have never experienced a lack of amenities in suburbs relative to cities. Sure you lack shit like opera houses but it isn't like you're going to an opera every other day, you can afford to make a day trip to the city to see an opera or high class play or a baseball game, you don't lose out on life because going with your kids to a ball game is a 30-60 minute drive instead of a 10-20 minute drive/walk/bike.
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>>1871542
>The issue with rail in the US is that it's so much larger and widely spread out than Europe, China, or Russia
This bullshit argument again. Quite apart from the fact that the US is denser than fucking Russia, there's lots of the US that's plenty dense enough to support meaningful HSR (economically). You don't run passenger trains to every podunk village in the back of beyond unless they explicitly pay for it; Buttfuck, Idaho will have to pay up or do without. But guess what? That applies to everyone else in the world too. And is also just as valid a reason why you shouldn't run roads to everywhere.
Why not stop being a pussy and admit the real reason why you don't want trains? It's because you're addicted to having a massive murdercage to cover up just how impotent and small you are. Help is at hand! You can talk to your mom about it, and she'll understand: your dad was just the same way and she still managed to have you.
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>>1871921
derailings are far less common than truck crashes, which happen all the fucking time, I see "30,000lbs of turkeys, beer, etc. on the side of the road after semi trailer crash" like multiple times a month.
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>>1865965
lekker OP
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>>1872074
My point being suburbs partially strip children of their independence.
You seem like someone who really only experienced the suburban childhood and that's okay.
Your parents made a compromise for more space, a yard and some peace and quiet at the expense of distance.
If you couldn't go somewhere on your own, your parents had to drive you there.
Now I don't know If it's a denser 1930s-40s gridded suburb or a post 70s (in my opinion) hellscape so the "severity of your situation" is unknown to me.
But let's please stop pretending suburbs are a no-compromise solution, you're just saying it's not a big deal and fine, maybe it really isn't for you.
But as someone who has lived in the city his whole life the thought I could've grown up in some satellite town designed intentionally hostile to non-motorized traffic terrifies me.
My parents chose to compromise space, peace and quiet and a bit of safety for my fully independent mobility and I'm really grateful for that.
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>>1872116
>I see "30,000lbs of turkeys, beer, etc. on the side of the road after semi trailer crash" like multiple times a month.
Because wrecks on the highway directly affect people and generate clicks. No one cares about a flatcar full of lumber that got written off because it derailed in the yard, and that happens every day. In terms of real security, trucks and planes offer a more secure transit than trains can.
>>
>>1871921
>>1872116
>>1872314
>transport high level consumer products with extremely high value density on a train
>no human surveillance, nearest humans are in the train engine far away from most goods
>train crawls at 10 mph to not upset the pasty suburboids who've complained to the gov't
>only takes large bolt cutters or a battery powered angle grinder and a bit of courage
>trough LA
I mean I get it



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