Denver has been saved from the scourges of clean air, lower taxes, good bus service, revitalized neighborhoods, and fat wallet chiropractic issues!
The Monster That Devoured Denver | The Antiplanner
Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah, to the great light rail god!
More beyond the cut.
Now, with wallets thin, no Denverite will ever need worry about low back problems from sitting on a full, thick wallet!
"The train that saved Denver? Give me a break! Politico‘s Colin Woodard claims that the effects of new rail transit lines on Denver “have been measurable and surprising.” In fact, his article is all hype with hardly a touch of reality.
Let’s start with same basic “measurable” numbers. In 1990, before Denver built its first light-rail line, the decennial census found that 4.74 percent of the region’s commuters took transit to work. By 2014, the region had four light-rail lines, and the American Community Survey found that the percentage of commuters taking transit to work was all the way up to 4.76 percent.
Yes, that’s a measurable 0.02 percent increase in transit’s share of commuting. If it is a surprise, it is only that it wasn’t a decrease."
If there were 100 billion people in Denver that .02% increase would be a pretty big number. Sadly, there are no where near 100 Billion people in Denver. So, you ask, how much did it cost to raise commuter transit a whopping .02%?
"In 2004, when the region’s voters agreed to raise sales taxes to pay for six new rail lines, they were promised that part of the money would also be used to improve bus service. Instead, rail cost overruns forced a 19 percent decline in vehicle miles of bus service. The region is lucky that, so far, that hasn’t been reflected by a decline in bus ridership.
Here’s another measurable (but unsurprising) effect: when voters were asked to approve the rail lines, the transit agency told the system would cost $4.7 billion. As Woodard notes, the actual cost so far looks to be $7.6 billion.
The new rail line to the airport that opened last month was supposed to cost $350 million. In fact, it cost $1.2 billion. After adjusting for inflation, that’s well over twice as much as projected. We have no idea what first-year ridership will be, but we know that first-year ridership on Denver’s West line was less than 60 percent of the projections."
Promises broken! It's the urban and transportation planner way! To recap, 20% less icky bus service, $3 billion or so in cost overruns, so far (so far is a latin legal term, which means bring MOAR Vaseline), and likely only a handful of riders compared to projections.
But think of the environment saved, the birds, the bees, which makes me think of Maddogswif! But back on the subject at hand. The environment! Clean, refreshed, renewed, it will be wonderful.
"Denver’s rail construction, says Woodard, was “originally intended to unclog congested highways and defeat a stubborn brown smog that was as unhealthy as it was ugly.” Some people might have thought so, but actual plans written for the rail projects concluded that they would do almost nothing to relieve congestion and would actually make air pollution worse because Denver gets most of its electricity from burning fossil fuels. The most optimistic analysis projected that the new rail lines would take, at most, a half a percent of cars off the road and that the power plants would pollute more than those cars."
Whut? Mon Dieu! More air pollution? No congestion relief? Why build this rattletrap bus killing, pollution creating, congestion causing, money sucking canker? It is almost like the politicians, and bureaucrats get some benefits from building this outside of the transit non-effect. You know like graft, and corruption! Spoon me another helping of campaign financing, please!
OK, ok, but we know it revitalized neighborhoods, and that is a good on its own, it will raise tax monies, and greatly improve the local.
"Instead of relieving congestion and cleaning the air, Woodard continues, “the new rail system has proven that its greatest value is the remarkable changes in land use its stations have prompted, from revitalizing moribund neighborhoods, like the area around Union Station, to creating new communities.” Say what? Denver taxpayers spent $500 million rebuilding the area around Union Station. One of the new communities mentioned in the article, Stapleton, cost taxpayers another $400 million. These areas were “revitalized” by the taxpayer subsidies, not by the rail lines.
No money was spent subsidizing redevelopment along the West light-rail line. As a result, there has been virtually no redevelopment along that line. Redevelopment has taken place mainly, if not only, where tax-increment financing and other subsidies have supported it."
Stunning, just stunning, they are batting 0. Really. It's T ball, they are adults, and they are batting 0. Batter up! Well, other than the chiropractic issues.
There is even more, so go read it all. But I am tapped out. This light rail stuff is clinical madness, driven by a Clintonian desire for money, graft, and corruption. If you let this come to a town near you, it will slowly but surely destroy your bus service, and then slowly destroy your transit service, and then in 30 years when it all needs to be recapitalized (at a cost equal to the initial capital construction costs, so Denver is facing another $7.6 million, "so far") it will begin to kill at rates unheard of in the quaint burg of Denver. Oh, and light rail, already kills per passenger mile at rates higher than commercial aircraft, commercial buses, and even autos. I don't know how that is even possible. Maddogsdog would be a better driver than the average person, so how could a professionally operated light rail line kill more people than autos? But they take the challenge, and win!
Denver has cleverly pulled off the impossible Triple Lindy of light rail fail here. We Portlandians welcome Denverites to the family of "so far" legalities. Grab some Vaseline and lube up you're gonna need it.