Originally Posted by CTKook
You edited this heavily, in again a telling way. As for the CDC stats, yeah, I already noted in post #70, just right up above, that DC scores well on telephone surveys of obesity. The CDC explicitly states that it is looking at self-reported obesity rates, not actually measuring anything. If you walk around all of DC, you can see for yourself the limitations of self-reporting.
You seem a big fan of centralized planning, and to support exactly what many public transit advocates do in fact support, namely forcing people to live close together and taking away their ability to drive. I'm glad you do acknowledge at least that we can't wipe out entire cities to achieve this. It's one view of the world, one that has failed miserably with the beautiful planned cities of the Eastern Bloc among other places.
I bolded the bit in the middle for SkiDude, because I think it illustrates nicely that one argument often used for public transit by its advocates is in fact the fitness argument.
If you want to have a conversation about public transport, I am willing.
If you live in the boonies, as I suspect you do, public transport likely seems like a major waste of tax dollars, and in those contexts, it most likley is. However if you live in any major city, and commute to its major business centers, you will see that without public transport these cities would literally grind to a halt. You dont need to be an expert in public transport to see this either:
The worlds great cities rely heavily on public transport to keep them functioning:
The list goes on and on.
The private car simply does not have the efficiency (ie number of people it can move through a given space in a given amount of time) to manage the shear numbers of people that come into, and out of, the central business districts of cities everyday. One only needs to look at the "parking lot" on massive freeways of cities like LA to see buidling more roads, simply doesnt work.
Building more roads to cure traffic congestion, is like loosening your belt to cure obesity. (there I stayed on topic!)
Whether we like it or not, the issues of our global population expansion is coming to western society, and in many respects it is already here - over population is no longer just an issue in asian countries. Western cities are becoming massive, and high capacity transport systems are needed to cope with this massive movement of people - often all happening within morning and afternoon "peaks" as people arrive and leave work. There simply isnt enought space amongst the buildings for enough roads and parking for everyone to drive privte cars.
While its true many public transport organisations could be run better; this is often due to the failings of goverments that fund them, rather then any inherient failure in the public transport concept. I agree with you, that public transport has been used for many years as a work for the dole program, particularily in western societies, however as the fuel crunch gets worse, and western cities are experiencing population growth like asian countries experienced, there is only one viable option and that is public transport - namely rail (metro and light rail).