I’ve seen this argument a lot in cases where we’re talking about transit. Paul Burka over at Texas Monthly has written the latest:
I get it now. This is a real estate play. Freeways have changed cities in ways that are less than desirable. They cut off neighborhoods from the rest of the city. They are business-unfriendly, because they move traffic past commercial areas. And, of course, they contribute to sprawl and pollution. Rail changes cities in ways that are desirable. They combat sprawl by concentrating development around rail stations. The provide an opportunity for redeveloping deteriorating residential and commercial areas and adding value to the tax rolls. Freeways are better at moving people. Rail is better at moving civic values. This is why the business community in North Texas has thrown all of its weight behind this bill, and this is why it is going to pass, and Governor Perry is going to let it become law. It’s the oldest of power principles: Let the big dog eat.
But if Austin ever gets to vote on such a plan, I’ll never vote to let my gas tax money be used for rail.
What an abrupt change. He rattles of a list of benefits and then says he’ll never let his money go towards it. I see these sort of “arguments” all the time. My mother is a big proponent of them. It’s the “even though you and your friends want to take transit and this will make my experience driving better because you’re off the road, I’m going to vote against it on the off chance that this will eventually lead to me having to take transit” argument.
It’s amazing the phsycology of the human brain. And so hard to fight against these really base arguments. They seem to be ingrained at a really deep level that logic can’t touch.