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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dumbest Idea Ever?

Posted by on September 26 at 14:53 PM

Local Shell station gives away free gasbut only at rush hour.


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Umm, how is this prmotion stupid unless you have a personal agenda against automobile transportation.

Probably pretty good promotion for whatever they are trying to sell.

FUCKING AOL!

It's stupid because by giving it away at rush hour they will likely have a line going out of the station and in to clogged rush hour traffic making it more of a mess.

Chris: It's stupid because by giving it away at rush hour they will likely have a line going out of the station and in to clogged rush hour traffic making it more of a mess.

Yes, I imagine quite a few of these folks will get in fender benders. So, for the sake of saving $25, they'll end up spending $500 or $1,000.

Americans would buy gas from Osama bin Laden if they could save 50 cents.

Dink: Umm, how is this prmotion stupid unless you have a personal agenda against automobile transportation.

Hi Dink, is it okay if I have a "personal agenda" against any of the following?

  • global warming
  • subsidizing oil-exporting countries that in turn subsidize the likes of Hezbollah and Al Quaeda
  • smog
  • traffic congestion

Will: Americans would buy gas from Osama bin Laden if they could save 50 cents.

Word.

You urban density no cars weirdos have it all wrong. In order to reduce dependancy on oil and gas, it is neccesary to increase the price of oil to make alternative fuels economically viable on a national and global scale.

therefore, buy as much fucking gas as you can. And while you are at it, support wars in the middle east. anything that brings instability to the middle east will increase oil costs and further your goals.

Peace and considerate consumption will only prolong the problem

The Dummest Rhetorical Tactic Ever?

Erica, please watch this clip of The Daily Show on the utter lameness of cloaking your views in the form of a question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_62ic9HJi8

Can we use the gas to pay for the tolls on the underwater tunnel?

Cressona's gonna be SO disappointed when vehicles that use alternative fuels are developed which don't contribute to greenhouse gases or Saudi Arabia's bank balance.

Hell, I'll even plug for flying cars to get around the traffic congestion thing, too (of course, in other posts, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Cressona take the position that congestion is just swell because it will force people out of their evil, evil cars and onto public transportation, but I'll take him at his word here and assume he really means it when he says that congestion is a bad thing. Hardy har har....)

KING5 news reported that the cops shut down the giveaway shortly after 5 p.m. because it was causing a horrific traffic backup.

Yep, pretty dumb idea.

So THIS is why there was such a traffic jam in LQA!!! We're standing around at the 1st/Mercer stop with cars backed up to all hell waiting for the buses and wondering what the hell all those cars were doing in the left lane.

What a stupid idea, and in such a cramped part of town too!

Mr. X: Cressona's gonna be SO disappointed when vehicles that use alternative fuels are developed which don't contribute to greenhouse gases or Saudi Arabia's bank balance.

Mr. X, it's quite impressive how you're able to branch out from your anti-density, pro-sprawl agenda and become a champion of alternative fuels.

I think alternative fuels are potentially a great thing. They have to be part of the solution as oil becomes more scarce and expensive, but you should try reading the serious literature about alternative fuels. They just are not scalable like oil, the supply of which took hundreds of millions of years to create. Even sugar, the best biofuel material there currently is, has its limits.

Here's Tom Friedman, a sugar ethanol fan, in The New York Times: Over the past five years, the Amazon has lost 7,700 square miles a year, most of it for cattle grazing, soybean farming and palm oil. A similar expansion for sugar ethanol could destroy the cerrado, the Brazilian savannah, another incredibly species-rich area, and the best place in Brazil to grow more sugar.

... I could see some [environmental] groups one day calling for an ethanol boycott — à la genetically modified foods — if they feel biofuels are raping the environment.

Just a wild guess... I bet we could tap all the unfarmed sugar-arable land in the world and still not meet 50% of the United States' insatiable demand for vehicle fuel.

Even plug-in electric vehicles -- another viable part of the solution -- have to get their energy from somewhere. How well does that scale?

But just for argument's sake, let's suppose that auto fuel really did grow on trees -- and that there was an unlimited supply of trees -- and that auto fuel didn't cause any pollution. A Seattle built on the Vancouver/Portland model would still be a far more livable city than a Seattle built on an LA/Phoenix model.

Also, I find the cops shutting it down rather funny since SPD officers were standing guard at the station's entrances during the AM hours (I saw it while walking to work and never connected the dots).

Y'know, this promotion was such a spectacular success, maybe we could see some variations on it:

How about a free Mariners ticket for everyone who drives to the game? Limit one per vehicle.

Or perhaps our major local employers could subsidize their employees with free gas.

For example, Microsoft could have its own on-campus gas stations where employees could just use their "Prime" card. Quite the perk that would be, and it might be enough to keep some folks from leaving for Google. Sure, if you think 520 and 405 are bad now, watch out. But the Microsoft employees' cars could also be outfitted with the latest gadgets to keep them entertained and distracted while start-and-stopping along.

Cressona,

I'm just having you on, really, but in your last paragraph, I don't accept your fundamental paradigm. Seattle and the Puget Sound region are already built on a hybrid of both models - and there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

You could put every new body Nickels hopes to pack into the City (never mind how we would foot the bill for the infrastructure), and you'll still have sprawl from Olympia to Bellingham. Many of the suburban cities are nearly as old as Seattle, and they aren't going to just disappear because you don't think people should live (or work) there.

Do you have any idea how many people who live within the city limits are actually commuting out to to work? When I was a kid, the commute was all Eastsiders coming to work in Seattle. No more - my understanding is that it's about dead even now. Do you think all of those Seattle residents - who have chosen to live in the City - should just move closer to their jobs in the burbs, too?

Feeding the development beast in Seattle really is driving people of modest means out of the City, and I happen to think that's a real cost of trickle-down - oops - smart growth economics, and one that really pisses me off when otherwise "progressive" people refuse to acknowledge it. Displacing longtime residents should make people uncomfortable - and I'm old school enough to think that gentrification ought to be a dirty word unless you're a redlining banker and/or a shitbag developer.

And, yes, I know it takes energy to make energy, but the internal combustion engine as we know it won't be with us forever - but I'll bet you a nickel that people will be driving cars (or some other form of individual/personal powered transportation) long after you and I are dead.

Mr. X, I'm starting to believe that you're not deliberately distorting and misleading, that your penchant for misinterpretation and twisted logic is just the way your brain is wired. Let's see here:

Mr. X: You could put every new body Nickels hopes to pack into the City (never mind how we would foot the bill for the infrastructure), and you'll still have sprawl from Olympia to Bellingham. Many of the suburban cities are nearly as old as Seattle, and they aren't going to just disappear because you don't think people should live (or work) there.

Who ever said all the growth had to go in Seattle? Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, and Olympia have enormous potential to attract density. And anyway, even if we can't stop 100% of the sprawl in this region, is this an excuse to not bother at all to foster an alternative?

Mr. X:Do you have any idea how many people who live within the city limits are actually commuting out to to work? … Do you think all of those Seattle residents - who have chosen to live in the City - should just move closer to their jobs in the burbs, too?

Not sure what this has to do with the price of eggs. But it sounds to me like a good argument for light rail in the long term and bus rapid transit in the short term.

Mr. X: And, yes, I know it takes energy to make energy, but the internal combustion engine as we know it won't be with us forever - but I'll bet you a nickel that people will be driving cars (or some other form of individual/personal powered transportation) long after you and I are dead.

That's quite an impressive leap of distortion to go from "alternative fuels are not the only answer" to "the automobile will be obsolete."

The funny thing is, Mr. X, your opposition to the tunnel and the surface route are a tacit admission of what everyone from Greg Nickels to Cary Moon has been saying all along: opening up the waterfront will make the downtown a more desirable place to live. And God forbid the law of supply-and-demand should kick in.

Once you start quoting Thomas Friedman you have lost all credibility.

...and God forbid the rest of the City that has the misfortune to live west
of SR99 should pick up the tab so the very wealthiest among us (who are evidently too lazy to walk to Myrtle Edwards Park) can have nicer views.

Seriously, though (since you apparently have no capacity to absorb irony), you really do have a knack for parsing the positions you have taken after someone questions them, and the attributing your own interpretations of the world in defining what someone else said. For just one example - you have no idea what my position on light rail is. I voted for it in 1996 before the route was fully defined (elevated through the Rainier Valley in the middle of the street was still on the table, fe), though I became skeptical of how it was being used to redevelop the city when it didn't cover the areas of need you cite - other cities on the I-5 corridor (and then there were the lies and cost overruns, but that was just icing on the cake).

I had similar problems with the evolution of the monorail, which soured for me when the most convenient routes that required the fewest acquisitions of new rights-of-way were forgone in favor of using a mass transit project to create opportunites for redevelopment (and, not coincidentally, help a lot of people well connected w/monorail leadership make a buck) and ostensibly create new demand rather than addressing the significant regional demand for transit that already exists. But I digress...

OTOH, though you encourage development in suburban cities in your previous post (which, by the way, is already policy under the GMA, and is also why what Greg said about his goals to attract maximum growth in the City seemed pretty kooky regionwide, given Seattle's huge existing backlog of deferred maintenance and other needs), I don't think you really get how that will drive the kind of sprawl you hate. The underying assumption whenever I've bickered with you (and those who buy into the new urbanist mantra), is that it's worth tearing down whatever you have to in Seattle to build bigger stuff so you prevent suburban sprawl - and that doing so will result in lower housing prices in Seattle.

Try this likely scenario. Lynnwood builds a mid/highrise central business district as is now being considered - and which theoretically smart growth folks would encourage in terms of a second-ring suburban city densifying at its core.

The problem is - jobs drive housing, and people who work at the new jobs (primarily office, presumably, in a market that doesn't even have much class B office space, let alone class A) will need places to live. Being suburban types (remember - we're talking about Lynnwood), where do you think they'll settle? In brand new apartments near Alderwood Mall? Perhaps some will, but many more will also want the new single family housing that's being built in Mukilteo, or Monroe, or even as far north as the Skagit Valley. There are some buses as you go north, but even the apartment dwellers in the suburban cities mostly have cars. HWY 2 and I-5 from Everett to Monroe will swell with new traffic, and since Snohomish County isn't King County when it comes to growth management (not that King County is any great shakes when a really big developer wants an exception to some land use restriction), exurban housing for suburban workers will be built further and further into Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

I'm not saying it's good, but it just IS, and nothing we do in Seattle will change a bit of it - but it will jack up the cost of living to the point that a lot of longtime residents will be unable to stay in Seattle.

My key problem with your position (and that of the Stranger ed staff) is that you apparently think Seattle can absorb way more new residents than our infrastrucure is equipped to handle, and that all growth in the City is intrinsically good and sustainable in and of itself. Under the GMA, this really isn't the case. Where I think growth (particularly in a built city, where building something new usually means that an existing structure - and set of residents - has to go) is a necessary evil that needs to be planned for and where necessary accomodated, you all seem to think it's a good in and of itself, and that it must be subsidized by government. More than that - it is really subsidized by current residents (particuarly in Seattle - which has been loathe to assess impact fees) when property tax breaks like the MultiFamily Tax Exemption shift the increased costs to government of new construction onto the rest of Seattle's property owners and their renters.

The irony of this - which I doubt you'll see for 20 years - is that these policies will drive a lot of longtime residents who might be able to afford to stay but value the liveability of Seattle further afield. I'd laugh if it weren't so ridiculous and sad.

Fun sparring with ya, tho...really.

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