"The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Jun 18, 2012 1:58 pm

i like the suggestion in the comments for Michigish
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby MrSG1 » Jun 18, 2012 2:28 pm

Canada doesn't have that many bridges? Well we don't have any that are world famous, Confederation Bridge arguably could be considered world famous, but nothing like the Brooklyn Bridge or Golden Gate bridge in terms of how well known it is.

While bridges seem pretty much nonexistant to us in the GTA, there are plenty around Canada, sure they are getting old but a lot of the bridges in Montreal have a nice architectural style to them, I particularly like the Jacques-Cartier Bridge for what it's worth, then there is the Quebec Bridge, even the Seal Island Bridge out there on the west coast is well known. I know a few spots in the GTA where they could have used bridges, but there wasn't that big of a gap in water space, so what's the point. Us in Ontario can say we have the busiest bridge system in the world, the 401 between Yonge and Avenue crosses over the Hogg's Hollow carrying in excess of 420,000 vehicles a day.



Now to the main point, the reason why Canada is so obsessed with getting this project done, is because Canada and Ontario have paramount money invested already into the Highway 401 extension that is to lead to the new bridge. The Highway 401 which has been given a name of "Windsor-Essex Parkway" will cost just as much if not more than the bridge itself, it is to be a sunken freeway filled with tunnels, for you JonathanJam, think I-696, the style of that freeway in Metro Detroit. The current road that leads up to the Ambassador is a 6 lane arterial that is REALLY busy, and citizens of Windsor need a solution really bad, as well a lot of property has been expropriated for full scale construction.

Michiganders will not be the ones who benefit the most, in fact, I would assume that the majority of traffic using this new bridge will be heading to points south of Detroit, the reason? Highway 402 branches off from Hwy 401 already and leads to I-69/I-94, so for the trucker heading westbound, to Chicago and even to California, that would still be the most logical route to take. Detroit bound traffic would still for the most part use the Highway 402 route I would assume. Heading southbound to the southeastern states, using the new Highway 401 bridge would make sense. That's not to say, the auto manufacturing and the constant "back and forth" across the bridges which I've been told happens in Detroit-Windsor, would be made a lot easier though, since long bound traffic would use the 401, perhaps local trucks would more likely use the ambassador.

That's my whole take on the whole project.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby jonathan.jam » Jun 18, 2012 3:45 pm

Yeah, I know about the Windsor-Essex Parkway (is it really an extension though, being signed as such, or will it technically be a feeder-highway?). Once the deal came out, I saw it coming up in various articles that Windsorites were happy that the Windsor-Essex Parkway project would actually become a road to somewhere! :lol:

I think truck traffic will remain in Michigan past what you are estimating. The quickest route from Detroit to Chicago and points westward is I-94 which has a nice run through the state. Grand Rapids (my area) also has a lot of truck-reliant business, so I-96 will probably pick up some new traffic also (although I think Grand Rapids-bound traffic may choose Port Huron as you were pointing out). I would love to see a study on how the new bridge would effect all of the Michigan-Ontario border crossings, but I doubt that will happen.

The Ambassador Bridge will probably become a primary corridor for cars, and trucks will probably prefer using the new crossing. Windsor may even make that a law to help preserve Huron Church, but I doubt they will. The Ambassador Bridge is closer to Downtown Detroit which is were people want to be and where trucks do not. I suspect that the Ambassador Bridge will probably need to undergo extensive renovations once the new bridge is finished, so the initial inaccessibility may drive more people to use the new crossing, creating more comfort with the additional option.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Jun 18, 2012 4:02 pm

now wait a minute. if its Michigander then certainly its Windsorge(e)se.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby MrSG1 » Jun 18, 2012 4:18 pm

The Windsor Essex Parkway from my Ontario roadgeek friends who attended PiCs on the matter have showed that it will be signed simply as Highway 401. Since I have interest in signage a lot, there are a few things that irked me. The MTOs extreme reluctance to show any reference to points or routes across the border (I can count on my fingers how often the MTO puts a US route on a sign). The control city in Windsor for Hwy 401 WEST is get this "Bridges to U.S.A.". No reference whatsoever to I-75, Detroit. Just "Bridge to U.S.A.".

I know we are getting off topic sort of, but this always puzzled me, in nearly every other province, most cases show a connecting route and control city on both sides of the border (Montreal is a control city on I-87 from Albany, Vancouver, BC is a control city on I-5 in Seattle). But it wasn't always the case. Here is two shots, one from the early 90s and one for today.

Image
Image

Sure Buffalo and Lewiston are mentioned, but it shows nothing on the connecting routes. Why the MTO used to acknowledge it and not now puzzles me. As well, Buffalo, U.S.A. it just doesn't sound right, even in New Brunswick they use "Me" to refer to places in Maine on signs.


One last thing, back when my father trucked in the 80s, his route when he did runs to Chicago was across I-69 all the way until he met I-94 in the southwest portion of the mitten. :D
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby NWDave83 » Jun 18, 2012 5:53 pm

dont equate mighigans political incompetence with all of Americas, we are currently in the middle of multiple massive public works projects here in Seattle, including but not limited to; drilling miles of subway, replacing and doubling the size of two freeway floating bridges as well as adding lightrail lanes to them, moving an entire freeway from elevated to deep bore tunnel under the city, rebuilding the cities entire seawall, caping a large portion of downtown freeway, rebuilding another bridge accross the puget sound, adding dozens of miles of commuter rail and light rail to our existing network plus much much much more, each one of these projects is bigger than the Michigan-Windsor bridge and all have started in the last five years.

Michigan is just an absolute basket case politically and economicly, but it reflects the very worst out of a massive nation not the norm, Frum is an idiot.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby MrSG1 » Jun 18, 2012 7:06 pm

NWDave83 wrote:dont equate mighigans political incompetence with all of Americas, we are currently in the middle of multiple massive public works projects here in Seattle, including but not limited to; drilling miles of subway, replacing and doubling the size of two freeway floating bridges as well as adding lightrail lanes to them, moving an entire freeway from elevated to deep bore tunnel under the city, rebuilding the cities entire seawall, caping a large portion of downtown freeway, rebuilding another bridge accross the puget sound, adding dozens of miles of commuter rail and light rail to our existing network plus much much much more, each one of these projects is bigger than the Michigan-Windsor bridge and all have started in the last five years.

Michigan is just an absolute basket case politically and economicly, but it reflects the very worst out of a massive nation not the norm, Frum is an idiot.


Sounds great all that stuff you claim is being built. And if you can pull all that off in see that in your lifetime, i'd be shocked. I find what you are saying hard to believe in that "drilling miles of subway" seems doable due to the massive costs of it. The TTC here has a subway extension in place that was announced in 2005 and won't be done until 2015, and this extension is a mere 4 miles, I seriously doubt what you are saying.

But don't take it too hard, if it's one thing Canadians are united on all fronts, even the immigrants is their extreme anti-American hatred. It's been said that anti-Americanism is as Canadian as maple syrup. Even in our ever increasing dumb politically correct world, even after all of this, anti-Americaness gets a free pass from it all.

Even so, Ontario's political system in the mess of a very GRAVE transportation problem exists in the GTA's future in the years to come, the freeway system has remained identical since the 70s (we got one toll road that's INSANELY expensive and private), and there hasn't been a large subway extension since 1978, politics creates an endless flip flop of false starts on projects that have got people nowhere. No one understands the serious problems Toronto faces until society gets to them, where the awful 90 minute commute will seem like paradise to a possible 180 minute commute.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby jonathan.jam » Jun 18, 2012 7:21 pm

Also don't equate the incompetence of the Michigan Legislature with all of Michigan. As a Grand Rapidian (another nice name!), I am very proud of how we are dealing with things on the western side of the state. There are a few exceptions (some that really irk me), but overall, we are doing pretty good over here. After all, we were named by Forbes as the #1 Best city in America to raise a family!

@MrSG1: Makes sense what you're proposing. I never have really noticed what our signs say when I go to Detroit; I'll look into it! I think it would be nice if certain highway routes in Canada (Ontario) were harmonized with their American counterparts (i.e. 402 = I-69) as a policy thing. It is, in the end, just a name, but I think it would make things a little bit more user-friendly--A person could drive from Indianapolis all the way to Toronto without ever having to worry about any other street except I-69! I guess this would come with annexation though...

Most people/truckers do use I-69 to I-94 in Marshall, but that is mainly to avoid the congestion in and around Detroit-Windsor. With the freeway-to-freeway bridge and larger inspection plazas, I think some of the traffic will move a little south. It is hard to predict though until we see how things are built.

I must say though, I really applaud Ontario on the Windsor-Essex Parkway. From all of the concept work I've seen, it really looks beautiful! It would have been nice if more of the city freeways were built like this. It isn't too bad in West Michigan yet, but once you go more towards Detroit, the freeways are rather ugly.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby jonathan.jam » Jun 18, 2012 7:26 pm

I completely understand what you're saying MrSG1, but I don't think it is a purely GTA problem. The closest thing we have in Michigan to mass-transit are buses and a few Amtrak lines; it is something we seriously are slacking on. :|
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby MrSG1 » Jun 18, 2012 7:38 pm

Yes, Jonathan, but remember, Detroit has an awesome freeway network as is, sure parts of it are not in the greatest shape, but the system works great to get to many parts of the city. In terms of planning the massive freeway building did lead to some less than desirable conditions in areas around the freeway, I think the Lodge Fwy is the best example of this.

The 401 becomes in essence in the GTA, the only route to get across the city, a trucker who starts in Detroit and wants to get to say Kingston or even Montreal has to use the 401 to get through the city. As I've stated many of times, if you haven't seen it, the 401 because a massive 18 lane roadway at points utilizing an express-collector system that is seen in the western limits of Detroit on I-96.

As for route numbers remaining the same, I know with BC most if not all of the US Highway routes continue into British Columbia as a BC Provincial Highway with the same number. New Brunswick's Route 95 is what you think of it is, what I-95 is when you hit NB, however, the route is not very long, it acts merely as a collector to bring I-95 traffic to NB Route 2 which is also the route of the Trans-Canada through NB. (The route of the Trans-Canada Highway once you hit Ontario changes its number through each province thereafter). As well, it just came to me, Ontario has Highway 61 is a continuation of US Highway 61, yup that same road Bob Dylan immortalized.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby NWDave83 » Jun 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Sounds great all that stuff you claim is being built. And if you can pull all that off in see that in your lifetime, i'd be shocked. I find what you are saying hard to believe in that "drilling miles of subway" seems doable due to the massive costs of it. The TTC here has a subway extension in place that was announced in 2005 and won't be done until 2015, and this extension is a mere 4 miles, I seriously doubt what you are saying.

But don't take it too hard, if it's one thing Canadians are united on all fronts, even the immigrants is their extreme anti-American hatred. It's been said that anti-Americanism is as Canadian as maple syrup. Even in our ever increasing dumb politically correct world, even after all of this, anti-Americaness gets a free pass from it all.

Even so, Ontario's political system in the mess of a very GRAVE transportation problem exists in the GTA's future in the years to come, the freeway system has remained identical since the 70s (we got one toll road that's INSANELY expensive and private), and there hasn't been a large subway extension since 1978, politics creates an endless flip flop of false starts on projects that have got people nowhere. No one understands the serious problems Toronto faces until society gets to them, where the awful 90 minute commute will seem like paradise to a possible 180 minute commute.



yes I know many Canadians have a huge inferiority complex with America that makes them all into xenophobic anti-American bigots. it's ok, we don't care, we are above Canadian pettiness and whining because we hear much worse from all the other people who also hate us despite making their lives better (eurotrash for example) but even despite the bigotry I cant see why you would doubt me when it's easily available info.

1) the subway extention is in the drilling/station construction stage right now they've already done roughly 3.15 miles including underwater and started on multiple stations. this extention will be 100% done by 2016. the entire project which goes elevated in the suburbs and will connect the entire region, like BART in the San Fran bay area, will be done by 2030

2)the elevated freeway which is being converted to tunnel is already half demolished and surface work is begining that project will be done by 2019.

3)the Seawall replacement is connected with the freeway tunnel (which is along the water) and includes a complete redevelopement of the waterfront and will also be done in 2019.

4) the two freeway floating bridge spans across lake washington being replaced with larger floating bridges already have funding and are in the final stages of design (one of the few holdups being figuring the best way to put the light rail tracks on them.

5) the freeway cap is also paid for and designed, site prework has begun and I believe actual construction starts next year.

6)the rebuilt bridge across pueget sound has already reopened as a toll bridge to help cover costs of its rebuild

7) the light rail and commuter rail extentions are currently underway, I believe they are currently working on another 5 mile or so extention from tacoma to lakewood right now and another extention from Seatac to Des Moinse starts next year, they also just broke ground on the second of six streetcar lines in Seattle, the entire Sound Transit system will be complete by 2030.

it's all true we've got our problems as well (the Sound Transit plan started in the early '90s but didn't even really start building untill about 5 years ago, so thats slow) but American cities and states can still get shit done.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby MrSG1 » Jun 19, 2012 12:15 am

Interesting plan, now since I don't know exactly where to look, can you tell me what the plan is to pay for all of this. How much percentage each level of government is involved in each project, it may be of some used to me. :D

Say how much Seattle/King County is involved with one part, how much the State of Washington is with another, and if the Feds are involved at all.

Which leads me to my next question, what's the current fare structure in Seattle, I find it peculiar that you have this megaplan when the region of Sea-Tac to my knowledge isn't growing very rapidly. Juxtaposition this with Toronto's GTA and look at all the plans for condos and exurban expansion. Reports say that the GTA will have a higher population than LA metro does currently by 2040. As I said we are involved in some serious trouble.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby NWDave83 » Jun 19, 2012 12:52 am

the Freeway and bridge plans are all Washington state Dept. of transportation with federal help (dont know the percentage of federal $ vs. State) the Subway/Lightrail/Heavy commuter rail are all "Sound Transit" which is a regional transportation authority which is responsible for mass transit in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties, and paid for by taxes on gas, car tabs etc. from the local areas it serves (they also recieve federal dollars on a project by project basis) things are really starting to steamroll for soundtransit right now (in a good way) like I said it all started in the early '90s but went through multiple plans that were eventually rejected.... finally in the early 2000s a scaled back plan was accepted. so if you guys are just getting started I know the frustration, democracy sucks like that sometimes. :wink:

so we've now got dozens of miles of commuter rail with a 5+ mile extention under construction.
around 16 miles of elevated/subway rail with just under 4 more currently under construction and dozens more miles (mostly suburban lines) ready to go after that.
and streetcars being built downtown to replace bus routs.

it's taken over ten years (with 10/20 yet to go before final lines completed) and its not perfect, they've had to scale back plans, but it's finally happening.

sad, the feds offered to build us a subway in the '60s and we rejected it, 50 years later were just now building one. stupid nimbys.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby MrSG1 » Jun 19, 2012 1:35 am

Yeah, you have a great plan, if you have reached a point of no return with it. Such a shame really, here in Toronto, the leftist idiots all think that subways are obsolete, or that every street should have bike lanes, and suburban avenues should have light rail running down the median of the streets. Protests killed Toronto's expressway plans in the early 70s (done by a New Yorker who got expressways cancelled there too).

Now hear this, although the Mayor is a conservative in nature, they don't have parties for the Mayoral elections in Toronto, he can be voted in by the whole city, but at the end of the day, he's just another councillor, he had great plans for a subway network that council defied him on. The City of Toronto itself runs the two main expressways into the city, and nope, the downtown routes are not ran by the province, we have an attitude that wants to cut off the elevated expressway and have a new 8 lane urban boulevard.

Gas taxes already exist in Ontario, they were supposed to be for roads, yet it seems every thing they have a plan for enters a general slush fund. Lets not forget all the other damn taxes Ontarians pay for as well. Sigh, I really think this great city will be ran into the ground by idiots. It's such a shame.

So the subway we do get, will be running north to a spot that no one will use, I'm sure you have heard that song lately that goes "I just came to say, hello, hello, hello". That annoying song, the person's father is a cabinet member in the Ontario Parliament and that subway extension will be ending right in his district, in fact, he said the province would not fund it unless it got up there. Now riddle me this, there is absolutely no vision for this once great city, it's all politics and buying votes that controls this. It looks like you people in Seattle have finally got it figured out, despite being seen as an ultra left city.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby NWDave83 » Jun 19, 2012 2:22 am

dude, believe me, we had our hurddles to, the NIMBYism here is crippling.

if you count the 1960 and 70s plans we've been trying to figure out mass transit here for 50 years (we actually had a world class streetcar/interurban light rail system here from the 1880s to 1940s and tore it out for "progress") and we've been trying to get this specific system started since the 90s in the early 2000s I think we had about four ballot measures before a plan (the cheapest least effective) was finally approved and its been slowely building up since. first Heavy commuter rail (easiest, uses existing track) which goes from the city of Tacoma in the south through all northern and southern suburbs and Seattle all the way north to the city of Everett. then a lightrail line starting elevated at the airport running north through a couple suburbs then into a tunnel into Seattle, right now it stops at the main "hub" station in the center of the city, the current work is extending it farther north through the city all the way up to the University of Washington, the next phases will extend it through the northern suburbs. another line will extend from the downtown hub east across the lake through the eastern cities and suburbs, and another southern extention will go from the airport station through the southern suburbs.

it's also integrated with BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), local county bus services the Washington Stae Ferry System and the Seattle streetcar system which has one completed line, another under construction and a third built back in the '80's along the waterfront which is unusable till 2019 when
the seawall/waterfront redevelopement is complete, plus another four or so lines on the drawing board.

It's not a world class system by any stretch of the imagination but it works well so far is heavily used and expanding quickly.

Im a bit of a perfectionist and frankly think we kinda half assed it, but a half assed system is better than no system (depresing to think if we would have kept our 1940s system and took the feds 1960s system we'd likely have the best in North America) but Im hapy it's finally done.

it sounds like you guys are where we were circa 2002/05, just starting out and having massive teething/gov. inefficiancy/corruption/NIMBY problems, dont worry once you get through the initial phases thing do get better, projects start to snowball once they get rolling and some day in 5-10 years you'll wake up and be like "holy shit, where did this transit network come from?"
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby jonathan.jam » Jun 19, 2012 9:57 pm

Your posts really frustrate me, Dave. With the stuff you are talking about, Seattle sounds like it is doing pretty good for itself. Why can't they get that kind of action in Detroit? Seattle has 608,660 residents in 142.5 sq miles. Detroit has 713,777 residents in 143 sq mi. Seattle is on the up and up, but Detroit seems to be struggling. If Seattle can do it, why can't Detroit? Mind sending some of your guys over here? Granted Seattle has a lot less total land area, but I would say the two cities are still fairly comparable. I just don't get how this huge difference happens; it shouldn't. This is the tough thing about living in Michigan. We all know that Detroit can and should be a great city; there is no reason for it not to be! Yet, somehow, the government there is just soooo ineffective. :(
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby MrSG1 » Jun 20, 2012 12:29 am

jonathan.jam wrote:Your posts really frustrate me, Dave. With the stuff you are talking about, Seattle sounds like it is doing pretty good for itself. Why can't they get that kind of action in Detroit? Seattle has 608,660 residents in 142.5 sq miles. Detroit has 713,777 residents in 143 sq mi. Seattle is on the up and up, but Detroit seems to be struggling. If Seattle can do it, why can't Detroit? Mind sending some of your guys over here? Granted Seattle has a lot less total land area, but I would say the two cities are still fairly comparable. I just don't get how this huge difference happens; it shouldn't. This is the tough thing about living in Michigan. We all know that Detroit can and should be a great city; there is no reason for it not to be! Yet, somehow, the government there is just soooo ineffective. :(


It is not fair to judge places simply on population within city proper. Detroit's metro area goes on for quite a distance and has close to 5,000,000 people, i'm talking about the suburbs all the way north as 26 mile road, sure qutie a distance from the boundary with Detroit, the point is, it is all part of the same city. Seattle is close to 2,000,000 if I remember, but these projects he is talking about I'm pretty sure go beyond city lines. Toronto's region is over 6,000,000, and has no end in site currently on the increase. And to suggest that Seattle is still building subways and stuff, when the Toronto attitude has them as extremely expensive and obsolete frustrates me massively. Seattle is nowhere near the size as the GTA yet it gets all this stuff. If I also recall, the Toronto Transit Commission is the least funded transit system by state/province governments in North America, despite it being the most used system after NYCs MTA. As I've said, stupid political bickering has given Toronto a doom scenario for congestion that no one seems to get their ass around.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby jonathan.jam » Jun 20, 2012 12:53 am

Seems to be a common thread in a lot of cities though...I think this will change quite a bit when my generation ('94) starts to take the offices. We tend to be more city-oriented and less automobile-oriented than older generations. Once that hurdle is completed, I imagine that there will be huge growth in our cities and what they offer. For now, a car/suburban-centric population is weighing us down.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby NWDave83 » Jun 20, 2012 4:08 pm

@jonathin jam- although I've never been there in person I agree, detroit should be one of our greatest cities, it used to be considered the paris of north America... I dont know enough about its politics (other than hear about the corrupt black politicians always getting arrested) to know why it has no transit, I would assume the auto industry may have something to do with wanting to keep it all bus, but even in the auto industrys heyday you guys had a wonderful world class streetcar system that like us you tore out. I think another problem may be the crime/ declining population in detroit, declining population means smaller tax base and less money for big projects, crime means suburbanites dont want to vote to invest money on a system that will cheaply take "undesirables" out into their communities.

@mrsg1- you are right, its a "regional" metro project it covers three counties, four cities and about a couple dozen suburbs and small towns, I believe the puget sound metro is 3-4 million people, and like I said, just because it's all coming together now doesn't mean we've had our own hurdles and false starts, like I said, we've been trying to figure it out since the '60s, and the plan we have is really the weakest one thats been proposed since then (yes we are cheap) but the earlier you do it the best price on ly goes up, if we built the 1960s system we would have gotten a bigger better system for a mere fraction of what we're paying for this one. If you really want change I suggest starting a campaign, people in seattle really fought for this system (and many NIMBYs fought equally hard against it) you'll have to start pages advocating on the internet, start going to council and planning meeting and speaking your mind etc. getting like minded people together advocating and actually presenting a plan. and you'll have to be patient even if you are successfull you will likely have to wait 10-15 years to take a ride in the new system you advocated for.

I wish you guys luck, north American cities really do need more and better mass transit, it improves cities on so many levels and so many ways.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Jun 20, 2012 4:28 pm

it doesn't help that rob ford is a nincompoop
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