Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    RE the Gothamist post. I had previously seen the “Republican” point of view compared with Abe Simpson in The Economist magazine, when discussing health care and financial reform.

    It’s what happens when a philosophy one might agree or disagree with gets modified by self interest and well funded lobbyist, with the difference papered over by rationalizations and shouting. Similar to what will happen to Democrats when public employee early retirement destroys public services.

  • DingDong

    I don’t understand why creating more pedestrian space is something libertarians or conservatives would be against. It has virtually nothing to do with taxation policies, a laissez-faire attitude towards the market, racial neutrality, sexual conservatism and “family values,” muscular foreign policy or any of the other things that supposedly define either conservativism or libertarianism. In fact, a large strain of conservatism is about the importance of creating and preserving the ties of community, which public pedestrian space arguably furthers. So why do conservatives and libertarians consistently line up against creating more pedestrian space?

  • DingDong,

    My guess is that they conservatives/libertarians view it as “social engineering.” Of course this presupposes, incorrectly, that the current state of auto hegemony in urban planning somehow reflects a “state of nature,” or at least the perfectly calibrated invisible hand of free-market choices. the latter appraoch is of course preposterous since there is no “free market” in urban transport–every street has a “monopoly” on the right of way to access the buildings hat front on it, and that monopoly has to be administered by the state for the good of all who use it, not just motorists.

  • You are under the impression that neo-conservatives truly do value the “free market,” and efficiency in government, as they say they do.

    If that were the case, why do so-called “conservatives” constantly defend a system of transportation that requires insane amounts of government subsidies to run (automobiles, expressways, etc.). Why do they consistently look down upon a system of transportation that runs entirely on “hard work and self-initiative” (i.e. the bicycle), values which are supposedly at the cornerstone of conservative ideology?

    The lesson is that modern-day neo-conservatives just hide behind these so-called values to cover up what they really care about: Their house in the suburbs, their car, their flatscreen TV, and themselves. They don’t care AT ALL about what the society really looks like, or what values it is constructed upon. They don’t want less taxes because they actually care about how large of a hand the government has in the economy. They want to pay less taxes so that they can afford a larger flatscreen TV. And who gives a shit if people suffer in poverty due to financially-starved social programs? That’s not going to change the view from your windshield, or your flatscreen TV!

    What if we truly moved to a system that reflects REAL conservative values? Hah! Good luck driving your automobile when there’s no more subsidized expressways! Good luck having your house in the suburbs, when there are no longer FHA subsidies for new construction, and you have to pay the true cost of extending infrastructure to all corners of the earth so that you and your neighbors can have your precious lawns!

  • cops in jail

    I hope when pogan goes to prison he doesn’t slam his face into some con’s fist or run straight into a shiv. Nobody likes a cop in the can, especially one who has proven he is willing to lie to send innocent people there.

  • Everyone Agrees Peds and Buses Come First on 34th Street, Except the Guy From ‘Reason’ (NYT)

    and, uh, me.

  • I don’t understand why creating more pedestrian space is something libertarians or conservatives would be against.

    Reason and Cato get so much money from ExxonMobil and the Big Three that it’d be shirking its duty if it weren’t against non-car modes of transportation. The level of doublethink there is so bad that Reason has one guy denying global warming, and another guy who says more highway investment is the best way to fight global warming.

    Away from the liberto-sphere, many conservatives don’t mind mass transit as much. Social conservatives often don’t: Heritage cofounder Paul Weyrich was strongly pro-transit, and so are Ray LaHood (who’s a pro-life Republican) and William Lind (who believes the Confederacy was right). Nowadays Heritage has been coopted by Exxon contributions, but people who predate this era are often not car boosters. Those so-cons talk about the importance of walkability and transit to a healthy community, and complain that cars promote too much individualism.

    Non-religious conservatives who are not anti-transit, e.g. the Manhattan Institute people, are often anti-pedestrian, though. It’s a not-invented-here issue: the people who came up with the importance of pedestrians first are the livable-communities types, who appeal to liberals and some communitarian conservatives, but not to the business class. Once conservatives have decided pedestrian-friendliness is a liberal issue, most won’t listen to economic arguments for it, for example that it requires less government spending to maintain than auto-friendliness.