The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Thursday, August 15, 2002


From the Cabalmaster:

Don‚t just take our word for it!

THE NEMESIS OF URBAN RAIL. We ever-opinionated TransitCabalists are willing to bet that Wendell relishes this title, publicity hound that he is.

However, we are also willing to bet that you’ll find the short, astute critique that bears this title well worth reading (“The Nemesis of Urban Rail - Impressions of Wendell Cox”. See: Choice quotes from this analysis are excerpted below:

“Mr. Cox is closely tied to both the libertarian and republican agendas. His funding is seldom disclosed, but many of his critics claim he is not simply interested in the facts, as he claims, but in the pocket of industrial and political concerns affiliated with traditional suburban development and high dependence on the highway system.”

“To dispute someone's true motivations is not to refute his arguments, of course. Mr. Cox's speeches are powerful, but not unanswerable by any means. He has been frequently accused of selecting misleading and non-representative facts to support highly controversial conclusions.”

“Cox's favorite examples often suffer from the lack of a demonstrable causal relationship. For example, his frequent observation that European cities with high-density urban areas and extensive urban light rail systems suffer from heavy traffic congestion is used to suggest that light rail worsens congestion where it is built. The correlation might just as easily be used to show that light rail has seen significant success in congested urban areas and is therefore appropriate for analogous U.S. cities.”

“Wendell Cox is characterized as confident, intelligent, impassive, chiding, and persuasive. Chances are he believes his own arguments are genuine and formulated for the ‘public purpose.’ Their sheer volume, however, is not enough to make them authoritative, for Mr. Cox is a perfect example of how a sufficiently complicated body of socio-economic facts can yield any amount of information supporting any position. Unlike some of his peers, Cox's assertions have substantial research efforts behind them-but they in no way exhaust the mines of information. There is always more to say.”

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