oneMadRssn t1_je7ohio wrote

Why isn't that a valid argument? Couldn't basically the same exact program exist without making membership expressly based on race? It could invite participants that are immigrants or first-generation children of immigrants. It could invite participants that come from families having an income below a certain threshold. It could do both in combination. Or, I think it would even be more targeted to open the program to people that are descendants those that were historically oppressed or disadvantaged by a ruling majority in the U.S. I think there are many ways to accomplish essentially the same goal without setting membership criteria based solely on race.


oneMadRssn t1_jdw0afv wrote

Look at this way. In terms of cost per mile, the public chargers are priced to be about the same as gas. But ICE cars cannot charge at home, whereas EVs can.

Also, MA is a bit of an outlier here due to our crazy high electricity prices. On a national average, EVs make more sense.

Depending on the efficiency of a particular EV, routine driving (i.e., our and about within an hour of your home) saves an EV drivers hundreds of dollars compared to the cost of gas. That savings can be used to rent an ICE vehicle as needed for long trips. As long as it's not done often, I would still come out far ahead.

Take these real numbers for example:

  • A good EV gets roughly 4mi/kwh. Some Tesla's get more, some bigger truck EVs get less.
  • Average MPG in the US right now is 25mpg.
  • Regular gas is roughly $3.50/gal right now.
  • So to drive 100 miles would use 4 gallons, which would cost $14.
  • For an EV to beat that, the cost of electricity has to be less than $0.56/kwh.
  • Average electricity costs is $0.15/kwh (I know I know, MA is way higher).
  • Driving 10,000mi/yr in an ICE vehicle would use 400gal and cost $1,400.
  • Driving 10,000mi/yr in an EV would use 2,500kwh and cost $375.
  • The net difference is a savings of $1,025/yr.
  • Looking at some non-airport car rentals nearby, I can get a 2 week-long rentals of a fullsize SUV and a several tanks of gas, and still have some savings left over.

oneMadRssn t1_jd9wnja wrote

I agree about that 4 lane street. If you can believe it, the newer denser side of that street used to basically be just empty space and flat single-level parking lots.

I think long term the plan is to knock down that strip mall (Trader Joes, TJ Maxx, all of it) and build a similar-style development as on the other side. And at the same time, that street will be narrowed.

In terms of parking, as much as I would love to have less parking, look at the reality - those parking structures are almost always full despite the fact that the area has a subway stop and ample bus service. Evidence suggests that the amount of parking there is the minimum amount required, if not less than required. What more can they do? I suppose they could make it all tandem valet parking with car elevators instead of ramps to really maximize space, but that is clearly cost prohibitive. The multi-level and garage parking they build is pretty must as dense as we can go without drastic measures.

I think the biggest problem with Assembly is the fact that it's on a sort of accessibility island. There is water to the north and east. a very very wide almost freeway (Fellsway) to the west, and an elevated highway to the south (I93). So while I think they did about as much as anyone could ask by building a T stop, that whole section of town is not easy to get to quickly without a car unless you happen to coming from somewhere on the Orange Line or happen to be on one of the bus routes that goes to Assembly.


oneMadRssn t1_jd9ieym wrote

>Assembly Row is truly garbage.

I think that's harsh. Parking is unfortunately a necessity, but the new buildings have dense multi-level parking or undergrounds parking instead of a giant lot. I agree it has a suburban shopping mall feel, but new neighborhoods always feel fake until enough time passes for them to develop their own character through the people that live there. It's still all very new and they haven't even finishing redeveloping that whole neighborhood.

I have my beef with Assembly Row, it's far from perfect. But look at they've done. They build a new T stop - the first new T stop in a long time. The car dependency is better managed and controlled there than pretty much any other Cambridge/Boston neighborhood. It's the exact kind of dense mixed-use development that study after study shows we need - light retail, commercial, and a mix of rental and owned residential apartments and condos. Within the new neighborhood, it is walkable and there is T access, there is a small grocery store, there is a variety of restaurants and bars and shops, a state-of-the-art movie theater, and kids activities.

If even a quarter of new development or redevelopment in the Boston area was as good as Assembly Row, I think we would all greatly benefit from it.


oneMadRssn t1_jd7w7sj wrote

In defense of this law, the change required is just zoning. As I am sure you know, there is more to building and development than just zoning. Indeed, zoning is just one step of many.

All this law requires is that the zoning not prohibit development of 15 units per acre. It does not override any other limiting concerns, such as sanitation and water. If a developer cannot adequately provide safe sanitation and drinking water to the development, they won't be allowed to build it no matter what the zoning says. On the flip side, if that 100+ acre farm that is for sale can be turned into a denser subdivision of town houses with safe sanitation and drinking water, then why shouldn't it be built? You're right that it will infuse more students into the local schools and more cars into the local roads*, but it will also infuse a lot more tax revenue into the town coffers to pay for those things.

* This is the only issue I take with the law. I worry this denser housing will only lead to more cars on the road instead of more MBTA commuters. The purpose of the law - access to MBTA - will be a failure unless we first fix and drastically expand the MBTA. For this reason, I am actually generally against this MBTA communities thing.


oneMadRssn t1_j9gnj1o wrote

"Built better" is subjective. What you consider to be "built better" is also why they're energy inefficient, and frankly not that good at washing either. To draw an analogy, a Unimog is built for longevity, but I think I'd rather drive my kids to soccer practice in Volvo XC90.

I hope I am not jinxing myself here, but I have had pretty good luck so far with brands that people advise against on this sub. The key, I think, is to keep up on maintenance. Clean the filters, check it every so often for balance, investigate weird sounds before they turn into bigger problems (e.g., easier to replace a failing bearing before it burns out the drive motor), and don't run stupid loads (e.g., a load full of shoes). And most importantly, set realistic expectations: a typical Costco washer and dryer set will cost less than half of an equivalent Speed Queen set (not to mention the energy savings. If I end up putting $1500 of repairs into my set before year 10, I'm still coming out ahead compared to a Speed Queen.


oneMadRssn t1_j6olsms wrote

Those single ride fares seems fine to me. We should incentivize people that live further away to use it.

The monthly pass costs make no sense though. Someone going to Zone 1 needs to pay only $214, but someone going to Zone 8 needs to pay $388. If the difference in single fare is only 4%, why is the difference in monthly pass a whopping 81%?


oneMadRssn t1_j6nle5y wrote

I would dispute whether the cops we have would actually help in the situation you describe. Thanks to the Supreme Court, we already know that cops don't have a duty to intervene or save you during a crime. If anything, a cop being there might have caused the kid to pull the trigger sooner. The better way to prevent that kid from robbing you is ensuring he has a job available that provides him with better income and benefits than going around robbing people, and strengthening public unions is one small piece of doing that.

Back to the topic at hand, I think there is a middle ground available. I'd say public unions can only strike during contract negotiations and only after their current contract has expired. They shouldn't be able to strike mid-contract absent some very exigent circumstances.


oneMadRssn t1_j4vp6bl wrote

I don't really understand this reasoning. Both hydrogen fuel-cell cars and EVs ultimately use an electric motor as the drivetrain. The difference is energy storage. Of course in-house designed batteries would be optimal, but generally lithium batteries and controllers are available off-the-shelf. So at least some of Toyota's investment into electric motors and the related controllers would still bear fruit with an EV, and they have the cash to go get batteries on the market until they can spin-up their own in-house solution.

So what is the problem?


oneMadRssn t1_j3d2zkf wrote

> what is wrong with giving people basically a free coffee or soda or snack on me.'s-a-Tip_Torfason,Flynn,Kupor-Tipping-and-Bribery-6-6-12-SPPS.pdf

“We suggest that tips and bribes both emanate from similar norms of exchange—indeed, the timing of the gratuity may be the key distinguishing feature between these two acts. This subtle temporal distinction may help explain why tipping and bribery practices are positively correlated across countries even though many individuals perceive them as diametrically opposed from a moral standpoint.”


oneMadRssn t1_izf4yxf wrote

First, how is the subsidy being too large a problem?

Second, the cost of solar is lower long-term, but requires a very large up-front expense. Many organizations, especially non-profits, don't have enough cash on hand to pay all of it up front. That's the point of the subsidy - to make the upfront cost hurt less.


oneMadRssn t1_ivpd6l3 wrote

This is it exactly. I think people have to keep in mind that it's pretty rare to see 70-30 blowouts in this state on anything. A 55-45 victory is a very solid win in MA. Hell, I think the 52-48 win on Q1 is pretty solid.

I'm actually far far more surprised the dental regulation one was a 70-30 blowout. I mean, I knew we all universally hate Delta Dental, but I didn't think we could get 70% of MA voters to agree on anything.