The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the category “transportation”

Letter to editor opposing Metrolink expansion

I am writing again on one of my favorite topics, the foolishness of Metro Link expansion. I am afraid that while other local controversies such as the airport privatization and Better Together occupy our time, the Metro Link expansion will sneak through. Let us review the problems with this expansion:

First, it is paying huge sums of money for a transportation system that is obsolete. People no longer work as much in centralized fixed locations. Many more people work at home. Others travel from site to site as part of their jobs. Metro Link was made for a time when most office workers were employed downtown.

Second,, the trains almost never get you door to door. Often you need to drive to the station or connect with buses. This is inefficient and adds greatly to travel time.

Third, the Metro Link is very costly to operate. It would be far cheaper to subsidize rides for people on Uber or Lyft.

Fourth, Metro Link has proven unsafe. More people are reluctant to ride it due to safety concerns.

Fifth, it will not be possible to use trains from the old system on the new one. This is highly inefficient.

Proponents of light rail expansion point to economic development as a reason. This is a false and misleading argument. All of the economic development located anywhere near a Metro Link station would have occurred anyway. Cortex is not dependent on Metrolink. We need to stop using questionable inflated economic development claims to support a transportation system that is obsolete.

In a poll conducted some months ago, a huge majority of St. Louis Business Journal readers were opposed to Metro Link expansion. These people need to share their views with elected officials, the Metro Board, and other decision makers.

The Loop Trolley is a debacle. Metro Link expansion will dwarf that as a horrible decision.

Loop Trolley Debacle

The Loop Trolley in test runs has twice hit autos , knocking mirrors off of cars in minor accidents. Apologists say people did not park right. That is the point, we should not require perfection for the system to work. Written by Paul Dribin

A Very Good Article About Housing Policy From Brookings

www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2018/05/02/nine-rules-for-better-housing-policy/

I particularly like that they talk about income subsidy as well.

Commute Times in St. Louis

A recent study has shown that St. Louis has a relatively high number of people whose commute is 90 minutes or more each way. On the surface this seems surprising. But these long commutes are not people driving in from Columbia or Cape but low income people who rely on public transportation.

Interestingly it is our region’s investment in Metrolink that contributes to the problem. Due to Metrolink we do not have a robust bus system which runs frequently and takes lots of routes. Think of how much better off we would be if everyone could get by bus to work in a 1/2 hour or less. It is possible with the right planning and leadership. Written by Paul Dribin

Families Living in Areas With Access to Good Public Transportation do not Necessarily Spend Less on Transportation

nlihc.org/article/study-questions-whether-transit-rich-neighborhoods-lower-household-transportation-costs

This article based on heavy research concludes that people who live near transit that takes them to jobs do not necessarily spend less on transportation. The reason they spend less is that they have lower incomes.

Metrolink Security

The rapid transit system in St. Louis known as Metrolink is an albatross. Mostly due to security concerns ridership is down and the operating deficit is increasing. The St. Louis Post Dispatch ran an article today about Metrolink which is quite disturbing. There is still no overall security plan linking St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County. The standards for policing these three jurisdictions are all different. The prosecutor in St. Louis County will not allow prosecutions for riders who do not pay fares. St. Louis City hardly provides any policing at all. Why are they talking about expanding a system that does not work now. Written by Paul Dribin

Trolley Follies Again

The St. Louis Business Journal has written an editorial called Trolley Follies, criticizing the trolley effort in University City. I am disappointed they stole my headline and more disappointed I have been proven correct on this issue. Now we are stuck with the unsightly tracks that disrupt traffic flow. When will we learn? Written by Paul Dribin

Privatizing Lambert Airport

The Post had a long article this weekend on the pros and cons of privatizing Lambert Airport. This idea was proposed by Rex Sinquefield, a very wealthy conservative in the area who had the ear of former Mayor Francis Slay. I honestly don’t know if the idea is good or not, but I am suspicious of most things put forward by Rex. It may be a case of cognitive dissonance. It is hard for me to understand how the city would save money by this privatization. Written by Paul Dribin

Calm Street Project

St. Louis has received federal funds through East West Gateway for a Calm Street Project. This project will be located in the Benton Park=Gravois area and try to create a long quite street that is amenable to bikers and walkers and will slow traffic with speed bumps. The idea is good except for speed bumps; snow plows and garbage trucks have trouble getting over. This is a nice but fairly expensive idea for a city that is really struggling. Written by Paul Dribin

Good Decision by Stenger

County Executive Steve Stenger has said he will probably not approve another $500000 of county money for the loop trolley project. I consider this project a boondoggle. Good decision

Post Navigation