David (borkencode) wrote,
David
borkencode

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Random Things I'm Interested In, Part 2

Here is the second of the multi-part series where I detail the random things I find interesting.


I grew up with a fascination with trains, the concept of moving goods and people across great distances was captivating. Aircraft grabbed my interest later, the incredible advances from the short flights in North Carolina to super-sonic craft in such a short time is still somewhat awe inspiring. I was disappointed when the Concorde was retired. Since moving to Chicago I've picked up quite an interest in the public transportation system, mostly the El (and partly Metra, but it affects me less directly). I look at maps from London and New York with envy. The economist in me sees the inefficiency of thousands of 3/4 empty cars idling in traffic. The environmentalist in me sees the same cars spewing CO2 and other pollutants into the air.

I would love to see a shift away from subsidizing road travel toward mass transit. If mass transit were subsidized as much as roads it would be insane not to take. Transit systems, like all networks, increase in utility as they increase in interconnectivity. I think the circle line plan is a good idea, and a great start to increase the connectivity in Chicago, allowing trips to various parts of the city without needing to connect through the loop. A possible continuation of this plan is outlined in "A CTA Map for 2055", which on one hand seems a bit ambitious considering the slow development of public transit, but on the other hand (at least to me) seems to not demand enough. I feel with the further expansion of its public transit system and smart urban planning, Chicago can improve its position as a world class city.
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