Hollywood Subway 1946
Hollywood Subway, 1946 photo by Army Arch

In 1946, the first passenger train public address system was unveiled in a New York City subway car. Link’s in-car public-address system has technology that will automatically adjust volume to take into account street noise. Also in 1946, Toronto voters approved a subway system by a nearly ten-to-one vote.

14 Replies to “News Round Up: 46 Days”

  1. “Why is the technologically most advanced nation on earth so far behind on rail?”

    Because the most technologically advanced nation was too busy giving money to the Military industrial complex, to build weapon systems that nobody really needs or should have.

    1. Well the military industrial complex is simply a jobs program, but I would also point out that the countries with advanced rail systems such as Germany and Japan had their national defense essentially underwritten by the US as well, thus freeing up additional funding capacity

      1. That’s a fallacy. Japan spends the 5th most of any nation on their military and Germany is 6th. Pro-Imperialism Americans love to make that claim because it serves two funcitons:
        1) justifies our ridiculous military spending (half of the whole world’s total) by saying “we need our overbuilt military to defend places like germany and japan!”
        2) Justifies our imperialism by saying “we need our over seas bases because we have to defend places like germany and japan”.

        Neither is true. We could cut our spending in half and still spend more than twice what China and Germany spend in total.

      2. Which is the fallacy? That the military-industrial complex is a jobs program? or that our defense spending in the those two theaters has allowed Germany and Japan to use that GDP offset over the past 60 years to invest in other areas of their economies?

        I am pro-imperialism American? are you? What about the children?

      3. The fallacy is this statement:

        advanced rail systems such as Germany and Japan had their national defense essentially underwritten by the US as well, thus freeing up additional funding capacity

        That is simply not true. It was only in the last ten years that China was ahead of these two in military spending. From about 1950 to today, these two countries – the ones that you specifically mention as having their military underwritten by the US – have in fact been spending more of their own money than nearly every other country on Earth.

        Just because we spend even more than they do doesn’t mean we were “underwriting their military spending”.

        Even if it had something to do with some war 65 years ago, why should the same arrangement hold today? 65 years is a long long time. We don’t need to keep our military spending held to some stable point from 1948 or whatever.

        I am not a pro-imperialism American, and any one with any sense wouldn’t be either. If you really think that the preferable arrangement for Americans is that we spend all our money “defending” foreigners who would rather we left, while they are able to spend a reasonable amount and have money left over for infrastructure and education, then you are a fool.

      4. Japan is constitutionally capped at 3% of its total government budget for defense spending. It has an utterly huge economy, of course, so 3% of total government expenditures is A LOT of moolah still. But as a percentage of its economy, that is insubstantial at around 1%, probably the smallest percentage of any of what is now the G-20 both throughout the Cold War and today.

        When thinking of economic effects, don’t look at total dollar amounts, look at expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Otherwise, it is you who are the moron.

        NB: The US spends about 4% of GDP on military expenses which is about twice the EU average. If we reduced our total expenditures to EU levels as percentage of GDP, we’d still have the largest military expenditures in the world by virtue of having the largest economy. But an extra 2% of GDP to be spent on other things would be beneficial.

      5. If we cut $500 billion from the defense budget we would still spend more than twice what China (#2 in defense spending) does.

        $500 billion per year buys quite a lot of rail.

  2. Does anyone know if there is a recording of Link’s in-car public-address system on the web? I’d be curious to hear it.

  3. that article about home prices is just the slightest bit deceiving. not to say that light rail won’t (and hasn’t already) add(ed) value to the rainier valley and beacon hill neighborhoods, but the data considered were new sales data, year-over-year. the article also mentions that, “The number of sales in the neighborhood plummeted in 2008, as it did elsewhere.” it would have been nice for them to add some context in terms of previous years before categorically stating that these neighborhoods are doing great. finally, six other neighborhoods also saw year-over-year improvements.

    1. Yes, the talkbacks in the article pointed that out. Their numbers seem suspiciously outdated from before the recession. Rainier has been quietly gentrifying since before the rail project. No doubt a few people have moved down there because of the train, but I doubt it’s a measurable number. Especially since there’s precious little housing within walking distance of the train, not counting the severely overpriced New Holly and the single-family houses.

      I’ve thought about moving down to Rainier for a decade but never have because there wasn’t enough to walk to. But now the train is making me reconsider it, especially if it would increase the ridership numbers and shut up those who say it’ll never succeed. But it’s hard to leave the extreme walkability of Capitol Hill, and it would be a longer commute to northeast Seattle. So I’m undecided.

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