The not-planning penalty

If you track the rhetoric of government haters at the John Locke Foundation, you know that one of the things they hate most is planning. Just ask their "expert" from Houses R Us, an objective group of homebuilders who think nothing should stand in the way of them throwing up more houses wherever they want. These folks are fundamentally opposed to smart growth because it costs more than stupid growth. Imagine that! Well, hold on to your hat, because stupid-growth advocates are also hot and bothered about transporation planning. Consider John Hood's silly column today.

Foolish or dishonest advocates of transit argue that there is a huge pent-up demand for bus or rail just waiting to be tapped if only those skinflint conservatives would get out of the way. More sensible advocates realize that building transit must be only part of a far-larger agenda of transforming the way most of us live, work, shop, and recreate.

What Hood doesn't understand - on purpose I assume - is that no "responsible advocate" has a far-larger agenda of transforming jack shit. "Responsible advocates" understand that the path we're on is leading over a cliff. From global warming to dependence of foreign oil to the massive loss of productivity resulting from poor transportation systems, the costs of our current development model are unsustainable. And we can't wait until the the problem is acutely destructive before we act.

The assumption that new employment, commercial, and entertainment centers must be located in downtowns, served by fixed rail, is fundamentally wrongheaded. If used as a basis for public policy, it will have deleterious consequences with regard to economic prosperity, individual freedom, traffic congestion, affordable housing, and other concerns.

I don't know of many serious planners who even remotely accept the assumption Hood is talking about here. It's nothing but a red-herring to cover a point-of-view about planning that's fatally flawed. The only point with a shred of validity is the affordability issue - and that's one policy makers need to take seriously.

Planning requires thinking ahead, and the smart approach says start now to create options that allow sufficient flexibility to respond to likely scenarios in the future. That's a critical dimension of planning, the John Hoods of the world just don't get it. They say they want to run government like a business, but they bristle at making investments in the future that any decent business would make. I call that the not-planning penalty.


Hood is anti-choice

No - not about what you think. He is anti-choice when it comes to providiing anything but suburban cul-de-sac living. People shouldn't be allowed to choose to live in a downtown environment where they don't need a car. Why would anyone want to? That is a completely foreign concept to those who oppose urban planning. They would never want to live that way, so why would anyone else? Any why should their tax dollars subsidize it?

Mass transit opponents argue that there is not enough density in the Triangle to support a rail transit system. However, you have to have the transit system in place for the dense development to occur. Its a circular argument. A chicken and egg thing. And something only public investment can kick off.

The way anti-planning groups act, you would think that urban planners have proposed levelling Cary and forcing everyone to move into high rises within a half-mile of the nearest transit stop. What a bunch of hooey. What they will never acknowledge is that the tax funded transportation system that is built leads directly to the type of growth that occurs. It is market driven.

If government spends all of its transportation dollars on new, bigger, better highways, the result is new development that follows those highway investments. See I-540 in Raleigh, for example. With that road in place, people can now live in NE Raleigh and drive to jobs in RTP in a reasonable amount of time. As long as you can afford $3/gallon gas. Once a few hundred or thousand new homes are in place, commercial development follows. People have to buy groceries.

If a portion of the transportation dollars are spent instead on rail transit from Chapel Hill to Durham to Raleigh, development will still follow. Denser development that doesn't require a 1/2 acre per house or 600 parking spaces per grocery store. Development where people don't need a car as much. Development that is DIFFERENT, and Hood and his cronies can't stand that.

And what they also won't ever acknowledge is that there would still be a choice about how to live. They like to imply that everyone would be forced to live in a downtown urban setting. But if they paid any attention to long term planning documents such as Durham's 2020 Plan, suburban development will still be going gangbusters. It's just that people will be offered a choice of urban or suburban living.

Great framing, Todd.

You've uncovered the real stink of Hood's fish sandwich perfectly. It's a favorite ploy of government haters. Throw in some red herrings and redirect the discussion to fit your ideology. Great response.

An RTP working stiff here

Yesterday it took me TWO HOURS to make a drive that should take 40 minutes in regular traffic from Clayton to RTP. It usually takes about an hour. Yesterday - two frickin' hours! That is batshit nuts! NO! We don't need no stinkin' train!!

People who say that are just stupid. Stupid, I tell ya. Or, they just don't care because they don't have to drive anywhere around here during rush hour.

John Hood-wink, Paul Stam and Liddy Dole swear to God that "no one will ride a train". Bullhockey. Who are they, anyway to make such a stupid assumption and repeat it like it was fact? These guvmint haters are all out of touch consultants or attorneys, none of whom works an 8-6 salaried job. They have no clue what us working people want or what we need. They need to shutup and listen.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

This is the same problem Carolina North

is having with Transit. The people at UNC who are against it have good parking.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Rand-y thoughts Ayn't right

A business without a business plan would be laughed out of the bank but apparently government planning is so redolent of Stalin that the logic is exiled to a gulag on some intellectual archipelago.

Planning bad, chaos good? Apparently "collective wisdom" gets spell checked at JLF as "collectivist wisdom"

Speaking of Wacko's Pope supporters! Nathan gets wack again!

Re: Had Enough?Sharing Email traffic FYI..

----- Original Message -----
From: Nathan Tabor
To: Jack Dawsey
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 8:52 PM
Subject: Re: Had Enough?


That is what the liberal media has called Hunter, not me. Even the Democrat party called Hunter a racist.


On 7/26/06 8:51 PM, "Jack Dawsey" wrote:

Go ahead and resort to name calling, i.e. racist, Looney tune, etc.etc.....(and throw in a little gay-bashing while you are at it), and bingo, you have what the Republican Party has come to in the last 20-years. Sadly, that is one of many reasons why I left the RP last year after 42-years.

----- Original Message -----

From: Nathan Tabor

To: Jack Dawsey

Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 8:10 PM

Subject: Re: Had Enough?


If your political philosophy is inline with Rachel Lea Hunter you are a racist and a loony tune.

Nathan Tabor

On 7/26/06 6:05 PM, "Jack Dawsey" wrote:

Had enough?
After seeing the 3-stooges in the Republican Party make disastrous blunders in Iraq for five consecutive years, and after watching the sheepish body language of Curley in his most recent press conference with Iraq's Prime Minister demanding more American troops to MP the streets of Baghdad; and, seeing how ineffective the Secretary of State is with respect to curtailing the widening of the Middle East war, I think the American voter will be energized in November. Will the political slogan "had enough" (as in 1946) bring about changes of biblical proportion?

Jack Dawsey
Salemburg, NC
(919) 621-2399

May the Force wack Nathan and Pope again and again!

Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 20:15:56 -0400 [07/26/2006 08:15:56 PM EDT]
From: Tom Zook
Subject: Good luck!
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It's hot and humid up here in Northern Michigan, but I want to take some time to offer you words of encouragement.
You must be getting to the neocons as they are using such tactics against you. You must be doing something right.
Don't quit! It is obvious you are a fighter for the real America, not the america of some neco zionist wetdream.
Even though it is obvious by my greeting from Michigan(the landfill state) I am not of your judicial district, I find myself in complete agreement with you. There are far too many people with their heads buried in the sand or are too afraid, or just simply too party loyal to see what is happening to our Nation.
A wise man once said "America will not fall to the forces from without, but to the forces from within". It is obvious this is now happening.
The frustration, anger and fear sometimes keeps me awake at night and I wonder what has happened to the land of freedom, justice and liberty.
More and more I think about leaving America out of fear of what it is becoming. Between the neocon facists and the religious right, I feel that America may become"undone".
Kepp up the good fight and don't let the fools get you down. They know not what they say for their ignorance.
John Zook
P/S I am currently running for precinct delegate for the Democratic party in my home town and this will be my first forray into the world of politics. Yecchh.

Lance Supports Racist . . . Again


Glad to see you are openly supporting a racist again. Even Anglico joins in the fun. Is Hunter paying you again?


PS - never got that invitation to debate the issues

Sign here Nathan and learn to speak French?

PS - never got that invitation to debate the issues* Short
Order Cook on the 2nd shift at the Golden Corral

Sure you did head cook! You must be confuse again about
your therapy anger mangement sessions about your deep rooted
obession and addiction issues that control your former
political life. Have you consider joining the French Foreign
Legion to escape from your former political life?

I understand they are looking for few good village Bush
RoBat idiots to patrol the French UN zone just south of
the City of Tyre.

First of all...

since you are not joining we can just assume you are the same idiot that always attacks Hunter just using a more well-known alias this time.

Second, I don't see Lance listed on this post anywhere. I know Republicans are not big on facts, but maybe next time take a glance before opening your coffee hole.

Third, I'm sure there is a suitable place for the "Hunter" dialogue, but I fail to see why "Max" posted this here in the firstplace, or why you felt the need to respond.

Lastly, ads are ads, they pay the bills. In Democratic circles, we don't have big oil, big pharm, and lobbyists to pay us to blog, unlike the Republicans.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.