Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shanghai Maglev Train - 250 MPH


Kyle said...

By posting this video, are you suggesting that we should have a meglev from dt W-S to PTIA? That would be really cool, but I would settle for a 100 to 125 mph DMU or EMU from Bombardier or Alstom using upgraded existing rail right of way that passes right by the airport.
Our community needs a pro-transit/pro brownfields development/anti-greenfields development/pro-green infrastructure/pro-bike and ped equality on the road/slow foods citizens' group.
Basically a community-led education and advocacy group for the smart stewardship of our built and natural environments--a community based planning initiative that voices our concerns regarding the traditional planning activities based on our county's green fields and vanishing farms. A group to help focus our government's efforts at economic development back on our central hubs which are still neglected dispite the exciting strides made in downtown W-S's livability over the last few years. We still have a way to go--where are the groceries and a sprinkling of block-sized mini-parks. When are we going to get some trams on their tracks and widen more sidewalks. What are we going to do about the ugly scars cutting through downtown (US 52 and Bus. 40)--dividing our community and creating unsightly overpasses. Are we going to wait for the Triagle or Charlotte to set the tone for regional commuter rail when we have our own resource right here in W-S; underused tracks running to several outlying "bedroom" communities--Mocksville, Mount Airy, King, Lexington, Kernersville--even Elkin and North Wilkesboro.
Not only can our city benefit from improved connectivity through walkability and bikeability; but all the communities I listed (and more) can benefit from the improved connectivity supplied by fast and efficient (grade separated) rail travel using DMUs or EMUs (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SJ_X40 a 124 mph example)
Upgrading track, improving right-of-ways and employing drivers, machanics and so forth as well as saving the gas buying consumer money will keep funds in our community longer than just sending dollars to oil companies.
Anyway, these are thoughts off the top of my head and should probably go toward putting together a more coordinated plan or policy through some sort of community smart growth advocacy group like I mentioned earlier. Any ideas out there about how to get something like that off the ground? Raliegh already has one: http://wakeupwakecounty.com/cms/ so we are already behind. Their's is called Wake Up Wake County. Maybe we should have "Forsyth (or Foothills) Forsight" or "Work it out Western Piedmont" to take an active sort of name like WUWC has. Or something more simple like "Northwest Piedmont/Foothills for Sustainable/Appropriate Regional Evolution/Development/Progression"
I would enjoy being an integral part of a group like this. Who knows, our region could become the avant-garde of sustainable development.

Kyle said...

By posting this video are you advocating for a meglev from DT W-S to PTIA? That would be cool; however, I would settle for a 100 to 125 mph DMU or EMU (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:X40.jpg for an example).
What W-S and the rest of the Northwestern RPO needs is a pro-transit and passenger rail/pro-green infrastucture/pro-bike and ped/pro-brownfields development/anti-greenfields development/pro-appropriate technology sort of citizens' advocacy group. A group to help guide and refocus the shortsightedness of the traditional community planners, developers, elected officials and business leaders who look to green spaces and farm land to put a new factory (eg. Dell) or build a new acre lot housing development or retail center--all without multimode transportation connectivity (i.e. no sidewalks, no bus route, no rail, no bike lanes...).
We need to voice our concern that we will simply grow into one continuous paved tangle of roadways, parking lots and urban space from Mocksville to Burlington and King to Asheboro with no more ease of navigating our ways around then we already have.
This can come with better stewardship of our land--travel in higher occupancy vehicles (like EMUs) at higher speeds--preservation of farmland between and around our urbanized areas--reducing the need for new expressways and giant arterials like Hanes Mall Blvd and University Pkwy--looking to green technology and innovative building materials and designs. There are so many exciting, promising and tried methods available which are being ignored by the current momentum in practiced public administration and planning.
I say let's get together as a community/region and rediscover our identity through taking the decisions about our growth/development out of the hands of commercial developers and NC DOT and into the hands of our people. Afterall our evolution as a community of cities, towns, crossroads and farms shapes our character as a livable and nurturing place for ideas, innovations, art, expressions, individuals and family groups.

Anonymous said...

If this is indeed a viable option for transportation then let the private industry invest in it, build it, manage it and either take the profits or the loss. The Federal, state and local governments have no business investing or "stealing" taxpayer money to fund something as useless as a high speed rail service.

Anonymous said...

We should apply the same logic to road construction then. Roads are heavily subsidized but you do not seem to have a problem with that, or do you?

Kyle said...

Sorry for posting the same thing twice. My computer had a glitch that day, and I thought I had lost the first posting.
Anyhow, we all get passionate about government providing or partially paying for (subsidizing) a service which we do not realize or understand directly benefits a vast majority of the population. Perhaps this is so since it is so easy to forget the less tangible benefits we might experience. Or, as one response to this post points out, we simply forget the great level of subsidy the government provides for a service we might personally enjoy (whether we need it or not); and consequently we see no problem in criticizing other citizens who propose a service people may actually need, when we don't think we will personally benefit from said service.
When it comes to mass transportation (including transit), it can be argued there is great need for its development in the USA from ecological, social, economic and even safety stand points. When speaking of high-speed rail, it is really interesting to look at the safety records of any high-speed system around the world and compare them to the records for safety on expressway systems and even the record for airlines (although technically commercial air travel is also mass transportation).
But bringing this comment home to the point about handling tax revenue--I just need to remember that there are many services the government provides from which I will likely never personally benefit; however, I still support our governments providing these. Plus, in the current economic climate, I am reminded of the lessons we were supposed to have learned from the Works Progress Administration. This was not funded by congress until almost 6 years after the 1929 stock market crash, so maybe it will take that long to get the current government to actually fund projects that get people back to work on large scale infrastructure projects like rail and other forms of transit and high-speed rail. Of course, I would be nice if they have a more eco-friendly approach to all infrastructure projects this time around.

Coach said...

Actually I do feel the private sector should be able to invest more into the roadways and infrastructure. There are cities where the private sector has gone to the expense of installing "turnpike" like freeways and they have shown to not only be profitable but also lessen traffic congestion. As far as the road construction overall the federal gas tax should be eliminated all together and an increase in the state gas tax would be acceptable. There is no use of sending North Carolina dollars to Washington only to have the same money watered down and then sent back to NC. Same would apply to education. I am all for downtown investment and bringing some nightlife and entertainment to downtown Winston Salem but it is obvious investors and business people have found it is not a viable profitable endeavor without some types of government subsidies.

Player said...

Road Construction and infrastructure installation to support sprawl is the subsidy! Sprawl does not pay for itself! Everybody else is supporting the sprawl with their taxes. Your fiscal concerns should be directed at sprawl and the cost of that.