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NJ R
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What many cities are terrified to realize, is that the answer to their transit and congestion problems isn't to bring transit out to far-flung neighborhoods, but to drag those neighborhoods toward the transit grid. It requires letting the suburbs suffocate on their congestion, and exercising the sort of political pressure on developers and residents that would have prevented the problem in the first place. Moreover, this isn't just a transit problem. *All* city services--transit, police, fire, schools, water, sewer, etc., etc.--has to be dragged across Hell's half-acre to get to those suburbs, and you can bet that no one, least of all the developers, wants to pay the excess cost.
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We had a half-penny transit tax in Miami, only to watch new routes eventually cut, planned improvements never built, and money diverted to all sorts of nonsense like cockroach extermination and office equipement. Also, there was never even a pretense of an organized transit plan. Also, the venality of our city officials is legendary. Also, the cost estimates were wholly absurd, across the board. Also, part of the money had to go to taking the transit system from being grossly underfunded to merely sadly underfunded. An unqualified failure, of course. Worse, good luck getting these voters to fund transit, ever again.
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May 15, 2012