Comment 25617

By Social Ecologist (anonymous) | Posted June 20, 2008 at 16:53:19

A Smith: In Scotland, your home country, which I've visited several times, the transit system is privatised. The result is less efficiency: empty buses fighting each other for passengers. The "invisible hand" is throwing money and energy down the sewer. You also neglect to note that car use is heavily, heavily subsidized in many ways.

The real Adam Smith was a great thinker - 300 years ago, before anthropology, before ecology, before social psychology - BEFORE DARWIN FOR PETE'S SAKE! His theories draw from a static and flawed conception of human nature. That's why classical economics can't deal with the earth crisis.

Some points about the mountain for the "new urbanists." First off, it's a misconception that all of it is sprawl. North of Mohawk in the central and east mountain is just as "urban" as many parts of the lower city. Concession is quite dense. The Upper Ottawa, Upper Gage, Upper Sherman, Upper Wentworth, and Upper Wellington lines aleady have good ridership and service many low income and blue collar families. But those parts will not benefit from an upper james line. That's why it's imperative to keep those lines feeding downtown along Concession and Queensdale. It would have been more sensible for mountain residents to build a Mohawk LRT down Kenilworth to the industrial areas. That and the downtown LRT could easily be linked by the above-mentioned bus lines (we're an east-west city in the final analysis.)

Nevertheless, an Upper James LRT, simultaneous to skyrocketing oil, could provide an interesting case in redevelopment. I don't know about "European style boulevards" though. As far as wild ideas go, I think the city should subsidize a showpiece eco-village south of Stone Church, something like Village Homes in Davis, California, which has south facing, passive solar orientation on all the homes, greywater and rooftop harvesting, community gardens throughout, and no cars inside the survey. That would go well with LRT.

Campbell Young

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