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View Diary: What's the matter with "The Google Bus?" (130 comments)

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  •  like I said, complex issue (1+ / 0-)
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    citisven

    I apologize if my tone was offensive; I have no doubt that you mean well.

    The buses are but a symptom,  and addressing only them is a band-aid,  when the fundamental issues and solutions will have to examine and change just how we organize society and politics.  Something as basic as , Gasp!,  urban planning could have seen this coming and been dealing with it decades ago.

    BART-around-the-Bay would have eliminated the need for the buses, especially if the other supporting PubTrans infrastructure was better supported.  The governance system doesn't function correctly,  because of the corrosive influence of money.  The right decisions don't get made a quarter century ago because of it.  And we wind up reduced to slapping Band-Aides on whatever symptom becomes too big to ignore.

    Frustrating.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 02:40:57 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  no worries, claude (0+ / 0-)

      it's kind of a heated subject which only means that people on all sides care about it and because we're all kind of stuck in a system that often makes us choose between bad and worse decisions. You're totally right about the urban planning aspect, we really missed the boat (or the train) in this country on so many levels a long time ago, and we're paying the price now by having to fight over which band aid will prevent more damage rather than operating within a design that naturally encourages basic tenets of sustainability, like access by proximity.

      I wrote about Freiburg, Germany a little while ago, where the planners made a very unpopular decision right after WW2 to rebuild the destroyed urban core in its dense medieval layout. It was during the rise of the automobile and the head of planning was accused of being backwards and old-fashioned. Today, Freiburg is one of the greenest cities in Europe, not necessarily because Freiburgers are that much smarter or more environmentally conscious than others, but because the basic design of their city is built on ecocity principles.

      So yes, if we'd had been forward-thinking enough to extend BART around the bay (connected to light rail in individual towns) but even more importantly, to not build sprawling suburbs that a) are completely unsustainable in a post-carbon world and b) young people don't want to live in anymore, we wouldn't be arguing over Google Buses now.

      However, the argument about Google Buses also gives us the opportunity to perhaps address some of the larger structural issues that while difficult shouldn't be impossible to change, if we really put our minds and money behind it. But if we're just happy applauding these buses for being the perfect solution, we won't even have a chance to ever make the kind of meaningful structural changes that could carry us more smoothly through the coming age of fewer fossil fuels.

      Ecology is the new Economy

      by citisven on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 03:52:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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