Monday, June 18, 2007

Avidor Debunks Himself!

Here's an interesting comment from Ken Avidor, from a DumpBachmann comment thread:

...anti-rail transit individuals and groups have used PRT to block rail transit, particularly LRT for thirty years in several cities...

...I recently discovered two reports from the U.S. Congress published in 1976 that detail how PRT was used to block real transit in the Twin Cities and Denver in teh early 1970's

Voters in Denver approved a half cent sales tax to pay for a PRT. They never got a PRT. But, that tax was used to fund their first LRT line and they are adding more lines.

Let's analyze this. First, he claims that PRT groups have blocked rail transit in several cities. This has been a recurring theme in recent Avidor rants.

Forget for a moment that this is akin to accusing Pepsi of "blocking" Coke - of course PRT proponents are going to push PRT, just like rail proponents are going to push rail! Isn't that the definition of proponent - someone who advocates their solution over competing ones?

Not in Avidor's narrow world view. For him, trains are sacrosanct and PRT is evil; it follows that PRT proponents must also be evil, therefore any act of advocacy on behalf of PRT is viewed as some crooked scheme to block his beloved trains. See how easy that is: start with a simple, childlike good-vs-evil premise, and you are bound to arrive at a fairy tale conclusion.

But back to the original quote by Avidor. Just after blaming PRT proponents for blocking trains everywhere, he tells us that Denver PRT money was used to build light rail! That's right! Voters in Denver voted to pay for PRT, but that money was diverted to the light rail project!

Think about this: as evidence that PRT blocked rail, Ken presents a case where PRT directly enabled rail! PRT funding (which was approved by voters who expected to get pods, not trains) was actually responsible for getting Denver its first light rail line!

So, if PRT funding enabled rail in Denver, and PRT proponents enabled that PRT funding, doesn't it follow that light rail in Denver would not exist today without the efforts of PRT proponents?

And I bet Avidor didn't even bother to thank them.


Blogger Mr_Grant said...

I don't think Humidor has ever mentioned the 1995 RTA (Sound Transit) long range plan up here in Seattle. It contained an Innovation Fund which was supposed to be used to demonstrate new technologies, and specifically mentioned PRT.

In other words, the agency used PRT to gain public support for its light rail program, by implying it would look to innovative technology for future phases!

Avismores and his Seattle disciples never thank PRT for that either.

And dare we ask why Sound Transit was perpetrating the PRT scam in the first place?

6/18/2007 2:35 PM  

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