Glenn Morton wrote:
<< I don't think the metro would work in an American city
like Houston or Dallas. One would have to dig thousands
of miles of tunnels to allow people to be within 6 blocks
of the Metro. Without that, no one will ride it. Besides,
the living patterns appear to be different in European cities.
Everyone lives downtown. In the US everyone wants to be in
the burbs. >>
Living in Tokyo area, I would have to agree.
I am able to do almost everything by way of buses and trains
here in Japan, and I do not own a car. The major reason
mass transit works in Japan is (1) as Chuck Vandergraaft said,
[Tokyo ---WD] "was designed before the advent of the motor car
and that, consequently, it's not exactly a driver-friendly city",
(2) the lay out for living and working is organized around the
railroad, not around the cars and freeways and comfortable places
to live. (3) The density of population traveling along those
railroads is enormous.
Rural areas of Japan have the same basic problems that the big
cities in the US have with respect to busing. The area is too
spread out, and the buses just don't run often enough to really
make such a system very practical for most people except those
who have absolutely no other option.
To succede in the US with public transportation, we would have to
vastly modify our living circumstances. "Subburbs"
would have to be built around a rail system. Moreover,
people would have to be determined to use that rail system rather
than jump in their cars. It would probably also mean packing
living quarters much closer together to help optimize distance,
time, and minimize automobile usage.
All and all, it would mean a radical change of life style that
would defy that "American dream" that we have all been told was
our right to have. The house, the car, the 2.3 kids....... that's
what it means to be a real person.....
Yes, by Grace alone do we receive that wake up call.
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