Re: Railblogging

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And an even more tempting prospect: LA to SF in two and a half hours!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:10 PM
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The temptingness of the SFward route only increases if you change the other end to my actual hometown.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:12 PM
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Oh man, that looks awesome. It would draw more tourists if it went closer to the coastline, but I imagine that going up the Central Valley decreases the cost of the project.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:18 PM
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3: makes the project feasible, rather. There's no way you get the right-of-ways along the coast; people would pitch a fit.

Wikipedia seems to think it'll be done eleven years from whenever.

So I'd wager 2020 is the earliest we'll see it.

Will be nifty, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:28 PM
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On the other hand it really sucks that they're proposing funding it via bond measure. Stop that, California!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:31 PM
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God, how the fuck else is California supposed to fund anything? We are so fucked.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:36 PM
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3: Plus, there are a lot of people who live in the valley. If the train brought business, including agritourism, to the valley (hey, let's head up to Fresno this weekend to get some peaches!) that would be great for those cities. Not to mention making it a lot easier for the people in Fresno to get down to LA for a day. I am pro-the valley.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:41 PM
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I would prefer if it went up the coast north of LA as far as Santa Barbara, since that's an important place in my field for beachesconferences.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:42 PM
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8: Well, so would I, selfishly. But if you could grab the metrolink down to LA and then the high-speed to Stockton or SF, that would still be incredibly awesome.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:44 PM
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Yeah, I mean, there are already good (well, average) rail links between LA, San Diego, and SB, so I feel like those are lower priority to high-speed-ize than getting the actual SF-LA link done.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:51 PM
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9, 10: Fair enough, but at three hours it does seem excessively slow. (Same for LA to San Diego.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 2:59 PM
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Things like rails and roads and parks (capital investments) are the right things to fund with bonds.

Me, I want to see true HSR in the NE. Fuck the Shore route from Boston to NYC. I want the old air line through CT. We can deal with the hills.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 3:03 PM
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the train brought business, including agritourism, to the valley (hey, let's head up to Fresno this weekend to get some peaches! watch the artichokes grow!.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 3:06 PM
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Even better: heading out to Bakersfield to watch the grapes dry.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 3:07 PM
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I suspect this proposal makes no economic sense at all. And California is not exactly in a position to be funding expensive boondoggles.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 3:22 PM
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I suspect you're an idiot and a troll, Shearer.

Let's investigate!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 3:24 PM
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I suspect this train won't actually get from LA to SF in two and a half hours if it stops everywhere else in between. All the cities between New York and the District won't let me have my wonderful, beautiful dream of NY/DC high-speed rail. Hence I spent six hours on the bus yesterday and four today.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 4:50 PM
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!

Naturally, To become law the bill would also have to be signed by President Bush, who has threatened to veto it.

Wtf is his problem?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 4:54 PM
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!

Naturally, To become law the bill would also have to be signed by President Bush, who has threatened to veto it.

Wtf is his problem?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 4:54 PM
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I rode DC-NYC in 2.75 hours last week. I sure there are poeple who need to do it yet faster, but I'm not sure there are enough of them to make it worthwhile.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 4:56 PM
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Republicans hate passenger rail. McCain has repeatedly tried to kill Amtrak funding, iirc. It's really a nearly religious thing for them. At least with Cheney he has a logical reason (being buddies with CSX). I have no idea what the fuck is up with the rest of them, although I suppose Shearer's bullshit about "makes no economic sense" above gives us a clue as to the standard wingnut take on the issue; poor understanding of second-order effects, plus poor understanding of the publicly subsidized nature of driving, plus belief that somebody, somewhere is plotting to make them get rid of their cars and sit next to swarthy, unwashed types on a train.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 4:58 PM
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All the cities between New York and the District won't let me have my wonderful, beautiful dream of NY/DC high-speed rail. Hence I spent six hours on the bus yesterday and four today.

How long would it have taken on the train?

The train from Pittsburgh to Philly takes at least a couple hours less than the bus. Which means it still takes 8 hours, which is much longer than it takes to drive on the highway.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 4:59 PM
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16

Does that mean you think high speed rail would be a wise investment for California? Or do you just want to change the subject?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:00 PM
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Don't ask how long it took to get from Penn Station to White Plains. Or, the next day, from Penn Station to Newark Del. (Which is pronounced differently from Newark NJ, everyone is quick to note). The need to spend big buckaroos on shaving 30 minutes or whatever off the DC-NY run, or set up some high speed CA line, instead of the lines that people actually use isn't immediately obvious.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:00 PM
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How many routes are there in this country where taking the train is faster than driving? Just the Acela?


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:00 PM
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I can't beat a train DC-NYC in my car, even with no traffic on the NJ turnpike, and the cruise mostly set to 80.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:02 PM
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23: it means I think high speed passenger rail is almost always a wise investment, yeah, but mostly because (as I said above) of second-order effects of driving further investment and changes in transit patterns. It also means that I sure as hell don't want to argue with you about it because you (as a particularly clever troll) will roll out all sorts of thoughtful-sounding irrelevancies in the service of your Heinlein-esque approach to social policy that I have neither the time nor the inclination to look up when, likely as not, they've already been debunked many times over. See, for an example of the latter issue, your recent attempt to hang the financial bubble on the CRA, for which effort I can laud you for both prefiguring the wingnut consensus and wasting a lot of everybody's time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:03 PM
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Metroliner to NYC is faster than I can drive. I can't beat the Metroliner to Philly, even, but it's closer.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:04 PM
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On the other hand, I can drive to Cleveland and back before the train gets there. I'm not saying this investment would be worth it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:11 PM
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27

... See, for an example of the latter issue, your recent attempt to hang the financial bubble on the CRA, for which effort I can laud you for both prefiguring the wingnut consensus and wasting a lot of everybody's time.

I don't believe I did this. I did link to a Village Voice article that blamed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's current problems on among other things political pressure to increase lending to poor and minority areas. The recent NYT article made similar points. But this is different from the CRA which I don't recall mentioning.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:12 PM
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21 27

I don't hate passenger rail. I have actually taken the train between San Jose and LA (I don't recall it taking 11 hours, has service gotten worse in the last 35 years). But high speed rail is to ordinary rail as the SST is to ordinary planes just an expensive boondoggle.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:17 PM
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Nowhere on Earth has high-speed rail been a success.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:20 PM
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But high speed rail is to ordinary rail as the SST is to ordinary planes just an expensive boondoggle.

See? This, in addition to violating the analogy ban, is a ridiculous fallacy. You're saying that the reduced carrying capacity, increased regulatory hurdles, vastly increased environmental impact, and safety implications vary equivalently between regular passenger rail and high speed rail as they do between regular jets and the concorde? That's absurd, and exactly the kind of assertion I could while away many pointless hours debunking while you came up with all sorts of reasons to assert that hey, maybe it could be true, thus offloading the burden of proof -- but I don't want to! So instead I gripe.

I don't know if it's better, but it's more efficient for me, personally.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:26 PM
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I suspect this train won't actually get from LA to SF in two and a half hours if it stops everywhere else in between

Well, that is the projected time, which I presume accounts for stops in between; at 220ish mph, the ca. 400 miles between SF and LA would take 104 minutes, rather than 150. That gives you 45 minutes left over, and there are only ten projected stops between the two cities (not including the endpoints).

Probably five minutes to slow down, pull in, debark, embark, and get up to speed per city is optimistic, but not wildly so.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:27 PM
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Sorry, 104 minutes is based on a distance of 380 miles, which google informs me is reasonable. I changed one figure but not the other.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:28 PM
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(I don't recall it taking 11 hours, has service gotten worse in the last 35 years).

Quite probably, yes.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:31 PM
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Quite probably, yes.

Who knows why!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:32 PM
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|(

Unlike Grand Central Terminal, Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station still has an electromechanical arrivals/departures board. The whirling-clicking noise is like a madeleine to me.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 5:40 PM
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38: Oh my God, I love that thing. Philly's station had one (I don't know if they still do.) It was always so dramatic when a train would depart and they would move everything up.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 6:25 PM
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Minnesota: too nice for the 4-way stop.

I've noticed it too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 6:29 PM
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Philly's station had one (I don't know if they still do.)

They did last time I was there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 6:34 PM
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Yeah, those boards sound like a busy railroad.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 6:41 PM
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40: You could replace 'Minnesota' with 'Portland' in Myers' post, as you know. 'Passive-aggressive' is the key term, though some call it 'nice'.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 6:47 PM
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I really like the Baltimore Penn Station, actually, yeah. Plus, 50 minutes to DC for 7 bucks (during the week)!

The new-ish giganto sculpture they put up outside the station is another thing, however. Huh, funnily, the most obvious link to show it is at wikipedia. (You see a female silhouette when the sculpture is viewed from the side.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 6:53 PM
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Actually, when you're on a bicycle, you like passive aggression. You don't get killed when someone passively expresses his hatred for you by ostentatiously and hypocritically stopping to let you cross the road.

That kind of passive aggression is not characteristic of Portland, fortunately.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 6:57 PM
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I was amazed at the PZ comments. I think that the point should have been that 4-way stops are inefficient, and secondarily that it's really silly to be too polite, but a lot of people seemed to feel real anger and contempt.

My own most unpleasant traffic moments have been with people who try to bully pedestrians out of thr crosswalks, which is something that passive aggressives don't do, and after that it's traffic in Taipei, where traffic laws are regarded as suggestions, traffic policemen are laughed at, driving is a power struggle, and pedestrians have only themselves to blame. Excessive politeness at 4-way stops amuses me, but doesn't bother me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:11 PM
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My own most unpleasant traffic moments have been with people who try to bully pedestrians out of thr crosswalks

I had an unpleasant moment like this just yesterday, which, oddly, happened in New York. The car continued blocking traffic in the middle of the intersection so the guy could continue yelling as I walked away down the block. I expect people to get angry at pedestrians in suburbs or other places where people don't walk, but not in NYC.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:32 PM
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The only intersection in Cairo where anyone obeys the traffic lights is the one with a guard tower in the middle, and a guy with a machine gun on top of the guard tower.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:34 PM
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The polite New Yorker's response to that sort of behavior is to stand in front of the car in question, and pound on the hood, in an attempt to leave dents. You don't have to do this often, but there is a civic responsibility to do it when necessary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:40 PM
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I think that the point should have been that 4-way stops are inefficient

I'm sure it's fine if two people want to sit at a 4-way stop gesturing at one another. They'll iron it out in a few minutes, no doubt. Probably they don't mind doing it that way much.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:42 PM
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49: I once (in my car) basically cut off a pedestrian who then wheeled about and harangued me about it at length, the whole while I was apologizing and shaking my head and saying, yep, yep, I know, I'm really sorry .... And finally I said: You're from San Francisco, aren't you?

He was!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:45 PM
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In Brooklyn, a car sitting at a stoplight will sometimes not go when the light turns green. This is unnerving for the pedestrian, who wishes to cross the street but does not wish to be tossed over the hood like a dead deer. The pedestrian makes eye contact with the driver, who gives a soft little wave with his hand while tilting his head, to make it obvious that his intention is to try to look at the pedestrian's butt as she walks past. The pedestrian rolls her eyes and waves the car on, as the driver yells, "Fine, you fucking bitch!" and zooms on through the intersection.

Living here has made me incredibly suspicious of "nice" drivers. They're up to no good.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:01 PM
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I've actually gotten into physical altercations twice with drivers who blocked crosswalks. Perhaps 20% of my altercations ever.

In Taipei in the narrow side roads drivers will actually physically nudge you out of the way. Slowly and gently, but you're supposed to move.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:02 PM
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But AWB, your ass is only to be admired. It's flattery, right?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:04 PM
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to make it obvious that his intention is to try to look at the pedestrian's butt as she walks past

This would never, ever in a million years occur to me as a driver's intention. I don't see butts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:08 PM
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It wouldn't occur to me, either, which is why it's such a shock.

The one time a guy masturbated at me in public while walking alongside me in Cleveland, telling me to look at him in increasingly specific ways, it took me a block and a half before I realized what was going on. I was just like, "Oh, hey, you there! Hello back!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:11 PM
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All I can say is: wow, people must be really bored with themselves. (Stories about flashers and public masturbators seem of a different order than offering to let a pedestrian go ahead so you can look at her butt.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:23 PM
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I saw public masturbators a couple of times in Portland. (Obviously they weren't waiting for me.)

The one I remember looked as though he were already in hell. Just this most terrible look of shame and self-hatred and desperation on his face. I think he was homeless.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:28 PM
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pound on the hood, in an attempt to leave dents

A friend of mine likes to knock bad-behaving cars with his (mini) U-Lock. Almost always they stop and he stops and inquires (holding the U-Lock) whether they'd like him to call the cops or if they should.

Way more asshole-ish than I'd be willing to do, but it's effective, I guess, until he meets a real hot head.

Plus, it's a bit of a gamble. My take is that cops tend to rule on the side of the car drivers.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:33 PM
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At a music festival the other weekend, someone stepped on my fingers, and after he let up, I reached and swatted his ankle. It was instinctive, but he gave me a look like I was a freak, probably not having realized that the true faux pas was his.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:39 PM
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Way more asshole-ish than I'd be willing to do, but it's effective, I guess, until he meets a real hot head.

This sort of depending on others not to escalate the asshole sweepstakes behavior on the part of bikers is really very obnoxious. See also, Critical Mass. I can't imagine that it's good for relations between bicyclists and others; I know that it's knocked my level of sympathy for bikes in the city from "leave them a bunch of room" to "just don't hit them".

And I even ride my bicycle through the city on occasion.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:41 PM
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61: Eh, I brought up being an asshole pedestrian above, and the value of it isn't so much the "counting on the other guy not to escalate", it's making them notice that they did something dangerous or otherwise unacceptable. I've actually only pounded on the fender of a car once that I can remember -- while you could frame that as "counting on the driver not to get out of the car and beat me up" which I was, given that beating me up would be a socially somewhat unlikely thing to do, you could also frame it as making the driver notice the interaction more than he would have noticed nearly hitting me.

It's very easy for a driver to do something dangerous to others and blow it off as no big deal, and making them notice that close calls are going to mean socially unpleasant interactions is worth something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:48 PM
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it took me a block and a half before I realized what was going on.

I had a similar experience my first weekend in Germany the year I was there. Wandering around early on a Sunday morning, my German was still shaky enough that I couldn't quite understand what the guy said, and I frankly looked straight at the damn thing for like 30 seconds before I figured out what he wanted to show me. "Is that a Weisswurst... Oh!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:49 PM
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I had the same thing happen to me in college -- guy called me over to his car to 'ask directions', and I was looking right at his dick in his hand for what seemed in retrospect like an awfully long time before I processed what it was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:53 PM
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The one time a guy masturbated at me in public while walking alongside me in Cleveland

That seems to require more coordination than I think I have.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:03 PM
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65: Yeah, I hear Cleveland's underwhelming in that way.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:07 PM
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He was a very young man, maybe 15, if that. They have a lot more coordination at that age.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:07 PM
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I have on not one, but two occasions as a pedestrian been slowly pushed into an intersection by a driver looking to make a right turn paying all of his/her attention to the traffic coming from the left. I start to cross, driver catches me with the front of the car and shove-shove-shove as they nose forward paying no mind. The last time it happened I was pounding and screaming and the driver paid me no mind -- and I was a few seconds from either being run over or forced onto Clark St. CA was crossing ahead of me, turned around, saw what was up, ran back and nearly busted out the driver's side window. CA could be kind of scary back then (6'2", shaved head, leather jacket, combat boots) and the driver then nearly wet his pants apologizing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:15 PM
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62 describes the way I used to act on a bike, until I realize the threat of reprisal was too high.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:20 PM
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There's no turn on red here, so pedestrian incidents like 68 are less likely to happen. I have been hit by a car while cycling, however - I was going straight through and the car was turning across me into the side street. It actually overtook me to do so (I would always just hang back for a turning car aead of or level with me). I actually put my palms on the car and was carried along on the turn for a minute before falling. My bicycle was several feet behind me. The fall didn't injure me too much but I would have been in trouble if another car had been turning behind the first one.

I think the driver just wasn't looking for cyclists and processed me out of her vision (like the basketball game - gorilla example).


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 5:08 AM
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52 -- I don't know, couldn't the driver just be waving a pedestrian halfway across the street to go ahead and cross? And then be taken aback by the haughtiness of 'you just want to watch my butt' refusal to accept the favor?

I guess to lack of experience with public masturbation gives one an unduly naive view of human interaction.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:46 AM
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I guess to lack of experience with public masturbation gives one an unduly naive view of human interaction.

Give it a shot some time, CharleyC.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 7:09 AM
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I want to go on record commending Sifu for his deft and entirely appropriate shooing of Shearer in this thread. For had he not done so, I would have felt obliged to undertake the fool's errand of engaging Shearer on the substance of high speed rail.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 7:19 AM
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I tend to assume very strong elements of intent in others' behaviors in public rather than acknowledge that mostly no one is thinking about anyone or anything other than their own priorities and very rarely do they do something to another with their car so much as they just happen to do something around them, as in 70.2. This makes me do a lot of flipping people off, etc., then when I do something stupid of my own I feel a burning shame and spend a good minute or so thinking, Fuck, now they think I'm an asshole.

That said, this weekend I got cussed at in Morganton, NC, by a young Larry the Cable Guy lookalike who needed me to move my Prius so he could block two sets of pumps in order to get the hose to the gas tank on his king-cab, dually, long-bed truck. That guy was just an asshole, plain and simple.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:42 AM
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As for high-speed rail, I would love a rail line that was more reliable and a little faster between NC and DC. The one we have is doable but I don't plan on using it again anytime soon when I can go cheaper on my own.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:44 AM
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Nowhere on Earth has high-speed rail been a success.

FAIL.

Let's have a thinkypoos; France, late 60s, Turbotrain and the Capitole - success; UK, 1976, Intercity 125 (like Acela but in 1976), big success; Japan, early 70s, Shinkansen, big success; France, early 80s and onwards, TGV, huge success; UK, ECML electrics, early 90s, success...the record shows that once you break vitesse commerciale on average, good things happen.

Corridorisation is to be expected, and embraced, because it spreads the benefits; any good HSR project should provide enough increase in frequency that you can share the stops out between trains


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:09 AM
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Not that everything you say isn't perfectly accurate, Alex, but I think you missed the fact that Ben's comment was sarcastic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:11 AM
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Alex, you're trying to confuse us with facts. Cut t out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:11 AM
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76 makes me feel that all of our work here has been wasted. Maybe we should have all been door-to-door insurance salesmen like our fathers wanted.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:24 AM
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A couple of weeks ago, my parents took Amtrak from the Bay Area to Denver. The trip took about a day and a half, went along some beautiful scenery, and, SHAMEFULLY, the train arrived in station about FOUR HOURS LATE. Apparently, once the passenger train gets off schedule at all, the freight trains on the same track take priority, with the result that a late Amtrak train gets later and later and later. In Denver, my parents learned, the Amtrak has a 0% on-time record for the last month or so.

It should be a national scandal. But I guess nobody really cares about trains.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:38 AM
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Apparently, once the passenger train gets off schedule at all, the freight trains on the same track take priority, with the result that a late Amtrak train gets later and later and later.

I thought everyone knew that.

I think the Pennsylvanian route takes the inevitable supersedings by freight trains into account when the schedule is created, so if there aren't any freight trains around to trump the passenger train it still slows down and stops periodically for no reason in order to stay on schedule. I've only experienced it being late in the winter. Any sort of snow means the schedule no longer applies anywhere.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:42 AM
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78: Cut t out.

There's no "i" in Unfogged.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:52 AM
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I thought everyone knew that.

As far as I know, the priority thing is true, but it doesn't always work out to making the train later and later. I've been on trains that made up an hour or two of lateness (over a period of hundreds of miles). A big problem is that the freights are getting busier and busier; some of the areas that went to single track after being double track could use going back to double track.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 2:35 PM
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The weird thing is that the US did the opposite to what we did with the railways - you've got a nationalised monopoly that runs (main line passenger) trains over a gaggle of competing private railways, whereas we've got a gaggle of (supposedly) competing private operators running over a renationalised railway, and we used to have a privatised monopoly railway until it turned out that not replacing the rails when they wore out had certain negative consequences.

As the railroads run their own freight (and I think suburban too?) operations, whereas Amtrak is an open access service, they have a conflict of interest; no percentage in expanding capacity on the passenger routes.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10- 7-08 3:01 AM
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