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I'm not arguing for roadworks. If you go back to my original comment, I said that unless we change the way we regulate land use, then HSR will contribute to sprawl. Hamilton, NJ is a prime example of how this works. The state's desire for growth in that region was likely the sole reason for building this station in the first place. The growth they got was sprawl because there is nothing but local level laws governing development. It's still far too easy for a developer to scoop up farmland, go to the local zoning board and get them to approve a huge subdivision. The appeal is too great to ignore, the local politicians see real benefits (at least short term) with new jobs and increases in tax revenues. Until this formula changes, then this process will continue.

I'm assuming that in terms of development when you have autos as feeders, the mode or type of trunk makes no difference because, as evidenced by Hamilton, it doesn't make a difference. If somehow the state improved the highways to allow a similar door to door travel time improvement, then yes, you'd get the same result. That's typically why these projects are done in the first place.

Obviously the best thing for a railroad is to have every seat filled end to end each and every time. On certain corridors like NY-Washington you have enough demand to get that, but what about NY-Buffalo or pretty much any of the Chicago corridors? If the railroad has the ability to tap significant traffic along the way, it should and it will. In the US, one of the justifications given for HSR is that it expands the catchment area of a city. That is commuter traffic, not bridge or overhead traffic.

As for Amtrak, yes they're trying to maximize yield, but if they were to do this, every seat would be filled every time. From my own experiences on this line, this is definitely not the case. Their prices are causing commuters to drive from the Philadelphia area to Trenton or Hamilton to catch NJT while their own trains are running at less than capacity. That to me is less then optimal.

by Jace on Fri Jun 3rd, 2011 at 07:34:44 AM EST
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