Thursday, November 16, 2006

some changes at just up the pike

"For $125 in advance or $150 at the door, a ticket to the black tie affair will buy you wine and soda and a gourmet buffet, in addition to dancing and valet parking."
Doug Duncan's throwing an inaugural ball? Why didn't I get an invitation? I want one-hundred-and-fifty-dollar soda: what a Montgomery County kind of drink.

FINALLY: You'll notice a few changes already on the home page, such as a cleaner, more straight-forward sidebar and a new background. The picture was taken at this overpass in South Silver Spring.

What you'll see soon is a change in my approach to blogging - "an extended rant," as suggested by the new subtitle. Ranting is my strong suit, and I hope to yell a whole lot more in the coming months. Who cares if the Democrats run everything now? I'm still plenty mad.


Anonymous said...

Nice background. Quite appropos - the chain-linked, barbwired, graffiti-festooned vista of a Metro landscape that soon awaits Purple Line neighbors.

Wouldn't this be better?

Terry in Silver Spring said...

I like the background photo. I can see the train station, the auto repair places, the parking garage, the little Bonifant building, all the things that tell me I'm almost home when I'm looking out the window on the Red Line. :)

Anonymous said...

COOL! Love the "new look" of your blog.

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't forgo interesting content and analysis for the sake of indulging yourself in ranting.

MoCo said...

Cool background, but I hope that you change it every so often to give us various views of the area.

And one more thing: You don't seem "plenty mad". In fact, you don't seem mad at all.

FuturePurpleRider said...

Hey, anonymous,

The background picture is looking away from the Metro, not toward it.

When I ride the Purple Line through Chevy Chase, I'll be able to look out at a beautiful golf course. Much more pleasant than looking at graffiti, I'd agree. Another good reason to build the Purple Line.

Or do you believe that I'm not good enough to see such nice scenery?

Anonymous said...

I assume everyone is worthy of partaking of scenic vistas unless proven otherwise.

But, why would you want the Purple Line?

If built as light rail, it would cost you and me $300+ million, require a fenced-off rail line cutting through communities and greenspace, require additional land for stations and parking, and, with stops at every station, provide a trip speed of about 22 mph traveling New Carollton to Bethesda, not counting waiting for a train to begin your trip. Add ten minutes for that train wait and overall trip speed drops to 17.5 mph.

And since light rail stations are typically placed some distance apart, throw in time to commute to the station from home, park, and walk to the platform, and time to walk from your destination station to your actual destination, let's assume 5 minutes on each end, and the trip speed drops to 14.5 mph. Woohoo- welcome to 1890 commute speeds.

If built underground as Metro, it would cost you and me about $3 billion. It would still require land for stations and parking, still require stops at every station, still require waiting for the next train to arrive, still require many riders to drive to the station.

So, like light rail, Metro would be expensive, inconvenient, slow, and not all that aesthetic. Oh, and those third-shift workers don't really need transporation now, do they? Metro and light rail both shut down at night, adding to the inconvenience.

Instead, how about a system with:
- that costs 1/30th light rail's cost per mile
- that goes directly to your destination without intermediate stops by using offline stations
- that travels at 100 mph
- that autonavigates, without the need for a driver
- that operates around the clock
- that has small, low-cost stations that can be placed in many, many more places, allowing many, many more people to walk to them, thereby avoiding requiring parking lots for each one, driving to them, and finding a parking spot
- individual, aerodynamic cars weighing 500 lbs, saving all the more energy than 58,000 lb train cars
- maglev propulsion that cleanly, quietly zips you along
- that can be built in existing rights-of-way, preserving communities and greenspace.


Dan Reed said...

No, I'm not ready, and I don't think anyone else is, either. I believe the only PRT system like the one you're talking about in operation is in some guy's backyard, so I think we'll go with a light-rail Purple Line for now.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Let's check out a few farflung backyards, shall we? Here's an interesting one. Gee, what's that over there? And, just around the corner. Oh, and how about there, too?

A little closer to home, maybe hopping into the Wayback Machine and going over to WVU 34 years ago might be good, too. This one's been running continuously since then.

FuturePurpleRider said...

Interesting picture from WVU. From underneath (which is where it will be seen), it looks just like an elevated light rail line.

The cost, escalated for inflation, is more than the Purple Line between Bethesda and Silver Spring. The length is the same (assuming the Purple Line is double-tracked, this segment will have around 8 miles of track).

Or can you build it with a magic wand?

Anonymous said...

One magic wand, coming up.

How does $1M/mile (including stations) sound vs. light rail's $40+M/mile?