I just became a member on the Alibi website. I think it's a fantastic paper and a great look at life in my new home town(I just moved here). Ask A Mexican is brilliant, I'm glad the Alibi is running it.
I've got my own blog about Albuquerque going...
Not much yet, it's mostly about the Albuquerque Bicycle Park, but I'll get other stuff in there. It's a work in progress. ;-)
The argument that our current buses would be more environmentally-friendly than a rail system doesn't hold a lot of merit. Yes, streetcars and light rail systems are fueled by electricity, which could come from a coal-fired power plant, but doesn't have to. In fact, check out Calgary, Canada's light rail system. The city purchases wind power from a local wind farm and feeds it into their light rail system. You could use also use solar.
While it is true that it requires carbon emissions to manufacture rail vehicles and rails, the same is true of buses. And one major factor to consider is what the vehicles are actually running on. Bus tires are made from rubber, roads are made from asphalt. Both are by-products of oil and cause some pretty major environmental problems of their own (see tire dust, failed "tire ocean reef" experiments, and asphalt "heat traps"). They also wear down far faster than steel, which is what rails and rail wheels are made from. Consider that the average life-span of a bus is around 20 years, while the average life-span of a rail vehicle is at least double that, on the order of 40-50 years.
However, you make a good point of capacity. One major environmental benefit of rail vehicles over buses is that they have higher capacity, which generally means less energy consumed per passenger mile. Of course these streetcars, being about the same size as a Rapid Ride bus, don't have much more benefit. For real energy savings you need to go for full-on light rail trains. Unless you can tie streetcar vehicles together to make a train...
This is an excellent article, and a very balanced one at that. I want to see the lobo saved as much as the next guy, but many environmentalists seem to have a bad habit of overlooking the dangerous elements of wolf reintroduction and not listening to ranchers, who are believed to just be looking out for their own self-interests.
Well done, Jim. Great article.
You know, this could make a great enpowerment tool. It feels good to be rich.
7meds, I think you're dead on.
Really, doesn't anyone in Rio Rancho realize they live in a DESERT? Perhaps you shouldn't be leaving your cats outside at night, huh?
As for the cell phone driving ban, kudos to Sanchez! Just about everytime someone almost hits me, it's some idiot talkng on his/her cell phone. Glad to see someone finally making sure they'll be taken to court.
I agree with you that the Westside bus service does stink, but what do you expect? The housing is really low-density over there, so whenever they run a bus line into the suburbs, it only serves this tiny amount of people because everyone lives outside of walking distance from streets where you can run a fixed-line bus service. When ridership gets low enough, you can't keep running the buses there because it's a major money drain.
If you're ADA-certified, you can look into ABQ Ride's paratransit service. Otherwise, my only advice is that you try to find housing closer to major streets where there's definitely always going to be public transit, or an area where the housing is much denser.
Whoa, like six of the top seven are words from the Colbert Report. I bet Stephen is happy. (Say, isn't tonight the first Colbert episode of 2007...?)
V For Vendetta was a brilliant film. Thank you for putting it on the list, Devin.
Also thank you for NOT putting Superman Returns on this list. That movie was probably the biggest drain of money I have ever seen.
You're a little late. Service to Los Lunas was going yesterday. I was on the mid-day train there.
But otherwise, yay Rail Runner! I hear they're going to get it to Belen sometime early next month.
The Modern Streetcar is hardly a "tourist trolley". Anyone who calls it that should drive down to the proposed streetcar route and walk around. Behind the businesses you see on Central itself are thousands of residents who would benefit from the streetcar. These areas of town have some of the densest housing in the city(south of the UNM campus, in-between Old Town and Downtown, etc.) not to mention commuters coming off of the Rail Runner. And there are a lot of locals who don't like riding the buses(I'm not one of them, but I'm confident they're out there). This is a system as much for locals as it is(if not more than) for tourists.