15 July 2009

Stupid O'Toole Quote

Randall O'Toole is given a fair write-up in the NY Times since he was called by Congress to testify on transit funding. But he cannot avoid sticking his foot in his mouth when he speculates that the smart growth movement is just a reaction of the upper classes against the working class moving into the suburbs. What kind of crack is this guy smoking?
...Smart-growth advocates see another flaw in O'Toole's argument. They say he focuses narrowly on transit's carbon footprint but never considers how transit can reshape communities.

... vast research shows that if transit serves a dense area where people can meet many of their daily needs by biking and walking, the whole "transportation system" shrinks its carbon footprint. ....

Other cities see something in the hype. According to the American Public Transportation Association, light-rail systems or extensions have been proposed in 37 cities, among them Phoenix, Atlanta and Jacksonville, Fla.

O'Toole, of course, sees another force behind the movement -- class warfare.

"I think a lot of the anti-suburban sprawl crowd is made up of middle-class people who resent the fact that working class people have adopted their lifestyles," he said. "Many of them have moved into their neighborhoods, and they don't want to see those kind of people in their neighborhoods, because they have different lifestyles. Maybe they drink more, maybe they're noisier. I don't know."

But it it not just about shrinking carbon footprint either, it is about building places that people want to be. Building places for people, not for cars.

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