Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Time to think outside the transport truck

Personally, I have intentionally kept out of the massive border crossing debate for numerous reasons. The main reason for my absense? The lack of real solutions being discussed.

I have stated in the past that all the differing sides of the debate are actually arguing the same thing - just at different elevations. They see no problem (or at least they don't verbalize it) with the method with which our nation relies on transporting our manufactured goods, they just have a problem with the route this method of transportation takes - normally through their communities.

So, whether it's a completely buried truck route, a twinned span of the Ambassador Bridge, or the complete repaving of Essex County, it all amounts to the same thing. We're still stuck with these 30,000 daily truck trips! Nobody is proposing any real solutions, so I abstain. Well, maybe it's time to re-evaluate that decision.

Discussing many reasons for objecting to our current transportation model, Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl have written the book "Transportation Revolutions". From their website...

"Before considering future transport we explore past transport revolutions, to gain insight into the nature and dynamics of profound change. We also examine current transport, with a focus on energy use and adverse impacts. We highlight some of transport’s determinants and analyse the politics and business of transport and how these could undergo major changes. We propose organizational and technical innovations that could ensure effective, secure movement of people and goods in ways that minimize environmental impacts and make the best use of renewable sources of energy.

We conclude that 2008 and 2009 could be pivotal years in preparing transport for the era of oil depletion, the many decades after about 2012 when world oil production could well decline gradually and unavoidably. In considering how to respond, we focus on what could be done in the U.S. and China by 2025. These are the most challenging cases among richer and poorer countries. Transport revolutions should be well under way by 2025, but far from complete.

"Transport Revolutions" could become essential reading for professionals in transport, energy, business, engineering, town planning, and local and national governments as well as students at many levels in transport, civil engineering, geography, town planning, environmental studies, public policy, and political science. "

I suggest that it is time to start questioning the motives of many of the people pushing the status quo, whether that be politicians, the bridge owners, N.Y traffic consultants, etc. They all have a vested interest in the survival of this method of transportation.

I just have the feeling that their priorities aren't the same as ours.

So tell that candidate knocking on your door to take their full tunnel "fix" and go back to the drawing board. It's not a real 21st century solution. It's pandering, and it's insulting.

No comments: