16 Replies to “Podcast #71: Not Broke”

  1. The podcast feed’s RSS isn’t correct, my podcatcher sees a post without any audio file to download.

      1. Seems like the link in the feed is now pointing to episode #70, not episode #71. Am I missing something?

  2. Excellent point about defense reference, Frank. Right now, all any terrorist has to do is kick back at his sin-observation control panel in his penthouse in Vegas and wait for next collapse, fire, flood or wheel-loss and put “Infidel Dog” somewhere in his claim he did it.

    Well, at least explains lack of any action toward what you’re suggesting. Every Democrat lost a dog named Fido at 9-11, and has been too stricken with grief to go search out all those news pics from 1944 showing standing loads of sailors boarding the North Shore interurban cars at Great Lakes Naval Air Station north of Chicago.

    Was too young at the time to remember when the Interstates lost any serious claim to being anything but two way escape routes for the affluent to flee the cities. But since a seven year old doesn’t draw much suspicion, do recall general mindset among transit and its users that at streetcars and buses would always be there to be sure not everybody would have to bring a car.

    This is really what streetcar museums should include in their duties: providing perspectives to point out that belong with the other fossils. Chicago has some fantastic museums reachable by bus and subway.


  3. It seems that real discussion never quite gets addressed. After seventy years of borderless living patterns, nothing on wheels can move. To every horizon. “De-sprawl” sounds lame, but carries the meaning of what we have to do,

    How do we re-organize such wide expanses of territory cars, homes, and work-places? My own emergency beginning: As developers do, buy wide tracts of land, level the buildings on it, and rebuild so that people work and travel along distinct corridors. With what’s now pavement returned to farming and/or other natural uses.

    Streetcar suburbs did this once with unbuilt land. Transit system will have to buy the land and reorganize it. So to me first move it…..where can we do it once, wide and long enough that people can actually see for themselves what a de-sprawled life will be like. First project should concentrate oIs anybody thinking about anything anywhere near close?

    Hate word “affordable”. So mind’s eye shows a corridor supporting itself with advanced pollution-free light industry, and populated with its workers, whose wages will buy them decent comfortable homes they can afford until they feel like leaving. Hate to say this, but best chance could be when 2008 Part 2- somebody gimme reason to think this is not going to happen again leaves thousands of houses occupied by nothing but dust.

    Meantime also, keep thinking about that move in big-time tug-of-war where at max tension, one team suddenly just all lets go of the rope. Works best if field is solid mud. “Ok! We give up! All the lanes our yours! Transit taxes? Why? We’re not going to make anybody pay for something they hate. Also, why put buses where they’ll only get stuck?

    Make a good “War of the Worlds” re-hoax. Which was many decades before Social Media and still caused mass panic. Also remember a 1 April broadcast about thirty years ago from the wheel-house of a giant tugboat taking up slack to tow Whidbey Island into Elliott Bay. Over the engine and the chains, people calling in furiously demanding an EIS!

    Ever since Inauguration Day last year, our country and the world have been subject to a torrent of similar efforts, changing by the hour, let alone the day. My bet is this time we can catch the perpetrators flat footed and fat bottomed. Or at least get some inquiries about delivering Mercer Island to be a high-end suburb of Vladivostok. Wouldn’t rule out offer of some Mercer Island money to help evacuate their home to save it from LINK.


  4. Converting HOT lanes to HOV-3: That was my original recommendation all along. Convert the HOV-2 lanes to HOV-3 and forget about the tolls. If we back into that, great. But there’s one other issue with the tolls: how much are they paying the debt for the freeway widening? The 99 tunnel tolls are paying for the tunnel, so setting them to low or zero means somebody else will have to pay instead of the drivers, somebody who didn’t agree to this scheme. Is that fair?

    1. All over the country political whining by the autoistas has gotten HOV-3 downgraded to HOV-2 and in many places HOC-2 eliminated. If the legislature doesn’t have “skin in the game” (e.g. the toll revenue) it will cave to the first Republican governor.

      After all, is it fair that “our struggling” agribusiness barons from Ephrata should pay a toll to drive on a highway to which each of the them contributed $0.07? That is an outrage!!!!!

    2. Oh, and what about the “we have to pay the Feds back” kerfuffle when the proposal to repeal or at least cap the tolls at a much lower rate was raised back in 2015? Is that now a non-issue for some reason?

  5. One of the huge costs of tunneling is dealing with what is already in the ground. Did Musk choose the demonstration location because it didn’t have many obstacles? Large water lines a block over? So deep that it avoids all the obstacles? How many decades has the area in question been developed? If since the 1950s like many suburbs there are probably good records of what is there. If since the 1850s like Seattle the records might not be as good and/or be complicated to research.

    1. Exactly true in all details. IIRC, North Link is costing just under $3 billion. That includes about three miles of two-way tunnel and two underground stations. Cost the stations at $700 million each, the elevated station/TC at $300 million and the half-mile of TALL structure north of the portal at $100 million, and you’re left with $1.2 billion for six linear miles of tunnel, or about $200 million per mile, and that includes the several dozen 30 to 40 foot cross-tunnels each probably about one Musk in diameter.

      So he hasn’t “revolutionized” tunneling nearly to the degree that everyone is thinking.

      1. If we want to talk cost effective tunneling, how about a tunnel built by the city of Portland that is 22 feet in diameter and six miles long, and was built for $450 million?

        Look up East Side Big Pipe, which is part of the City of Portland sewer rebuilding project. The difference is they were able to build it 150 feet down, and thus below any potential obstacles. They also didn’t need to add a whole bunch of lighting, emergency exits, etc.

      2. That’s essentially what his Tesla Tunnel is, albeit smaller in diameter There ARE lights, but nothing else, and the “stations” are freight elevators. Portland also did very well on the Robertson tunnels, even with their geological surprises.

  6. You’ve linked the MP3 for the previous podcast, so that’s what my podcast app downloaded!

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