|Stop the Edmonton Valley Line LRT||Home Q1 Q2 Q3 Why Day RSD|
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Surface trains are harmful, dangerous and far too costly to own and operate in this day and age. But the train vendors make billions off them so they keep saying all this good sounding stuff about them.
The problem is all that the good sounding stuff they keep saying turns out to be bogus. All of it. Every shred. And in the end, there is actually nothing good about these trains at all.
Don't believe me? Check the table below.
|Table of Bogus Claims Made by Train Supporters|
|Topic||People Who Want Trains Say||People Who Want Roads Say||Facts||Cynical Comments|
|Congestion||Trains are needed now and forever to combat congestion||Trains cause congestion||Trains cause congestion1||Trains in Edmonton will cause serious congestion unless everyone moves to Calgary to get away from the trains. Ghost towns are rarely congested.|
|Capacity||Trains are needed to carry lots of people now and far more well into the future||Trains will run nearly empty most of the time. At peak times, trains are too slow to carry enough people per hour to make them worth owning since buses are faster and can carry far more people during that same hour. Also, transit usage is dropping as is the number of jobs in the city. So the projections of increasing ridership are likely incorrect unless the city plans to use force or coercion to make people ride the trains against their will.||Trains are much slower than buses. The city is presently losing jobs. Public transit usage is dropping all over the world||See the Metro Line performance for real world train capacity and the sum of human history for lessons on what actually happens when governments adopt policies that include using force and coercion on their own citizens.|
|Comfort||Trains are comfortable||So are buses, cars, trucks and other vehicles like helicoptors and ocean liners for example||All are fine||Is personal preference justification for removing roads, parks and billions from the public coffers as well as cause permanent congestion, delays and air pollution along with endangering the public and making ugly infrastructure?|
|Commute Times||No comment||Trains lengthen commute times, often by quite a bit||Trains are slow||See the Metro Line for real world travel time performance|
|Urban Sprawl||Trains are needed to prevent further urban sprawl||Trains are a prime enabler of urban sprawl||Trains enable sprawl2||Totally obvious|
|Air Pollution||No comment||Trains cause excess air pollution, both by their own direct emissions plus the extra emissions they cause other forms of transportation to create by causing delays and traffic congestion||Trains add to pollution levels and run empty most of the time||Trains around here run on coal. Don't believe me? Visit the local power plant and watch the coal trucks some day.|
|Safety||No comment||Surface trains are inherently dangerous. Running them slowly only partially compensates for this danger but does not eliminate it.||Trains are dangerous3||See the issues with the Metro Line.|
|Business Development||Trains will greatly enhance business development||Trains displace car, bus and foot traffic and will therefore harm business by reducing the amount of traffic that will realistically visit that business||Trains displace other forms of traffic4||If trains are so great, why are all the business owners along every proposed train line so upset? I'd be worried too if I were facing bankruptcy. Letting go of all the employees when a business folds is not exactly fun stuff either.|
|Attractiveness||Trains are beautiful||Trains, particularily the tracks, overhead power grid and other concrete infrastructure are ugly||Most people dislike train tracks and overhead power grids in the parks and on the roads||Beauty is in the eye of the taxpayer|
|Cost||Trains cost money||Trains cost too much money||Trains cost a lot more than buses||Trains are very expensive5|
|Popularity||People employed by the city or train vendors express support for trains||Almost everyone else does not want trains6||Trains are popular among train vendors and some people who work for the city. Trains are very unpopular among the public.||Elected governments do not always reflect the will of the people. But they sometimes reflect the will of certain vested interests.|
|Honesty||Train supporters often engage in dishonest behavior such as misleading graphics, misrepresenting popular support and expressing falsehoods such as saying trains prevent congestion when they know perfectly well trains actually cause congestion||Road supporters say they don't like trains, don't want them and don't need them.||Trains supporters seem to have some issues here. The lack of comment from train supporters on safety, commute times and pollution issues is troubling as well.||Is it lying if you are elected?|
1 See the cities own traffic report on this subject. Yes, the report the city tried to have suppressed and the local media had to make an official FOIP request to get released. Then the city tried to delay its publication, unfortunately with with some success. Anyway, once published, it made it perfectly clear that city officials have known all along that trains certainly do cause traffic congestion and they will never relieve it.
2 The Economist and other well respected media has published articles making it amply clear that trains enable sprawl.
3 Most people don't realize that this city has had lots of open rail systems here in the past. But they're gone now. Removed mostly for safety and cost reasons. The only one that survived is the NE LRT, which is actually a closed-off rail line with right-of-ways, bridges, berms, bells and all of that. Otherwise there are one or two industrial lines left that are far removed from pedestrians. All the rest are gone. The north line that ran past Northgate? History. The Jasper Ave line? History. All the rest? History. All for the same reasons. Too dangerous, too big, too ugly and too expensive to operate. Return on investment is abysmal. Loud. Annoying. Traffic problems. Crushed children. And so on and so forth. Fact is, these open surface trains are simply wrong in a modern city, and they always have been and always will be. And since our leaders appear to feign ignorance on this one, well, lets just say that history repeats itself once again. So, like ugly steel zombies that just won't die, these trains keep coming back. And this time they aren't even remotely useful. The only reason they are here now is to gobble up our land and money for the benefit of the zombie keepers at the expense of everyone else.
4 Colliers recently published a report that debunked the myth that surface trains help business. They used real world data to show that trains mostly harm the local businesses along the train route.
5 The current estimates have trains costing the City of Edmonton well over 10 billion dollars over the next decade. This is enough to buy a fleet of brand new electric cars for every single person in the city and we would still have many billions left over. For that kind of money we could even set up our own electric car factory and give away free cars to anyone who wants one. And to go with these cars, we could easily affort to also build lots of tunnels, roads and even a bunch more parks with that kind of money. But instead we're wasting it on some stupid trains that go far slower than buses and can't stop quickly or even turn for that matter. And for this we wreck our parks and a bunch of perfectly good roads. And when we do that we needlessly endanger people, make massive ugliness and block traffic. Plus we even make the bus riders waste a bunch of time transfering to some train they don't need, is well out of their way and is really slow. An express bus will take you pretty much door to door and is a lot faster. So, spending ten or more billions on these trains is just plain dumb compared the some of the other things we could get for this money.
6 A poll cited in the Edmonton Journal indicated that well over 95% of the people in this city oppose trains. That was a few months ago. By now, its probably over 99%. And over 5000 people signed a petition to have the valley line halted long before most people here even realized it was even going to be built. During that period, the city tried really hard to hide the route and details from the public. The actual route was not even made public until after thousands of trees were already cut down and construction had in fact started. This project was started this way because the city officials knew very well the railway was massively unpopular and they wanted to bypass the protests and foist this thing on us before we could react in time to stop it. Sadly, this unethical strategy seems to be working. But it's still wrong and when a city acts this way it only serves to undermine any trust and faith we have in our system. In fact, when stuff like this goes on, places like Russia and China start to look attractive since, as ruthless as their leaders seem to be, at least they give the appearance of sticking up for their people. But when it comes to these trains, the government here obviously prefers to stick it to the people instead.
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