Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

See his Right Wing connection, Part II

Yesterday's comment traffic over at Dump Bachmann was oh so entertaining. Here's a clip of highlights by Ken's Platoon member "Beckfeld":

If you think PRT is a good thing and [the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] thinks its [sic] a bad thing then he is more of an expert then [sic] you.
one of the reason [sic] I hate the PRT is because Olson and Swanson like it and they have yet to be right on anything so I figure the laws [sic] of averages says this must be a really bad idea also.
. . .
If the Discovery Inst. is backing this why hide it? I would think it could use all the help it can get.

This guy follows Avidor unquestioningly. Uncritically. An unskeptical skeptic. Who hates (and is no friend of punctuation either).

And if a couple of Resmuglicans are for PRT, then he's ag'in' it!

What then does Beckfeld make of the fact that a huge supporter of light rail is Paul "Goo-Goo" Weyrich of the ultra conservative Free Congress Foundation? FCF has a great deal in common with Michelle Bachmann and Slappy Olson where the Resmugs' big "cultural" issues are concerned (Weyrich also co-founded the Heritage Foundation).

And who should praise Weyrich but Light Rail Now, which reproduced one of his op-eds on its site -- the same site that continues to offer a long-debunked "analysis" of PRT that regurgitates Avidor's flawed propaganda points.

Now, does this mean light rail is tainted by right-wing connections? Should progressives oppose light rail because of support by one of the leading promoters of social-conservativism? Of course not! One of the main points of this blog's anti-propaganda effort has always been that transit technology is not inherently political -- left and right, Democratic and Resmuglican, support for transit crosses party lines.

And, in fact, Weyrich's support of transit includes praise for PRT: Weyrich's New Electric Railway Journal has ranked the West Virginia University PRT as better than the Disney World Monorail.

So why does a certain Minneapolis cartoonist insist that Personal Rapid Transit can only be a right wing scam, and that PRT and anyone -- or any thing -- supporting PRT must be an anti-transit con artist because Olson and Bachmann got their cooties on it?

Archive (on litmus tests): Are You Exsmearienced? (12/1/2005)

The CW has canceled Ken Avidor due to low ratings

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Innovative ideas from an unlikely source

The biggest skeptic of Personal Rapid Transit has done the technology a favor, and his actions are winning praise from PRTistas and gadgetbahners everywhere.

Mr. Len Humidor, the PRT critic from Minneapolis, read recent coverage in The Times of London about ATS Limited's Heathrow PRT project, and he noticed something amiss. The story describes the PRT as traveling on elevated guideways and, in later phases, "along ground-level routes separated from other traffic by 8ft walls."

The reference to 8 foot walls grabbed Mr. Humidor's attention. In his blog, he commented:

... so if your battery-powered, glorified PRT golf cart breaks down, you'll either be up in the air or trapped between 8-ft walls. Source

This observation quickly spread like wildfire across the World Wide Web, and made its way to ATS. Company CEO Marvin Polson knows a genius when he encounters one, and he soon had his design team taking up Humidor's challenge.

"It seemed obvious what he was telling us," Polson said. "And that was that if we use walls to separate on-ground guideway from traffic and pedestrians, we need to put doors in the walls."

"Len Humidor is like some kind of modern-day Einstein," continued Polson. "I mean, my team and I have cumulatively hundreds of years of advanced engineering experience. We would never have thought of something so advanced as putting doors in walls, so PRT riders can get out of the vehicles and off the guideway in an emergency."

K. Bedford Andreson, engineer and foremost PRT thinker, slapped his forehead when he heard of the innovative door proposal. "Good lord, we have to remember to put doors on the vehicles as well," Andreson exclaimed.

"Leave it to a cartoonist to be the true expert in technology innovation," said Barry Mabian, treasurer of the PRTista Advanced Transit Association. "I've been critical in the past of Humidor and his tactics, but PRT owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude for pointing out this serious design flaw," Mabian said.

"Truly, Len Humidor shall henceforth be known as the man to whom PRT owes its success. In my book, Len Humidor is from this day forward a gadgetbahner," said Mabian.

Ken Avidor - some kinda freakin' genius

Monday, May 07, 2007

See him blow the call

Mock Journalist

Guten tag, gadgetbahners!

When is ball four a strikeout? When the blind umpire is the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist!

ATRA & Personal Rapid Transit Strike Out (Again)

How pathetic that Larry Fabian and ATRA went on a pilgrimage to the hills of West Virginia to praise the Nixon-era gadgetbahn boondoggle, the Morgantown PRT.

ATRA's Fabian poured the PRTista Kool-aid.... [ellipses in original]
. . .
but, the guy in charge of the troubled WVU PRT wasn't drinking it:
“That is a possibility, but it is an expensive proposition,” said Robert Hendershot, assistant director for PRT operations at WVU.

A more scaled-down "feeder system" might be more practical, Hendershot said. That could use small cars to transport five people or less. PRT cars seat eight, but can fit many more.
There you have it from the guy in charge... "too expensive". [ellipses in original] Source

Not only does
Ovendoor misquote the quote he just quoted, but he chooses to ignore the rest of the content: the feeder system Hendershot is describing as "more practical" exactly describes the current generation of PRT designs!

Far from being a flat refusal, this is in fact in no way a refusal.

Read an accurate report about the ATRA seminar and local news coverage here. The university is sticking with its old PRT, and there is demand to expand it.
Update, PRTistas! (5/8)

The Daily Mail quote attributed to Larry Fabian,

Lawrence Fabian, treasurer of Advanced Transit Association and a member of the Committee on Major Activity Circulation Systems of the U.S. Transportation Research Board, calls the feeder system cars "glorified golf carts."
was taken out of context, but Ovendoor is treating it like gospel.

Fabian says he was applying the "golf carts" term to Automated Guideway Vehicles (AGVs, like the ParkShuttle at Schiphol Airport) in order to differentiate them from PRT. Thus, PRT used as a Morgantown feeder system would be PRT, not an AGV.

How do I know this? I asked Larry Fabian. Labridor cannot ask Boston-based Fabian, because -- well, let's just say the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist needs to work on his telephone manners.


Don Imus also called the Rutgers women's basketball team "Ken Avidor s"

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Where's the challenge in that?

Oops! Yesterday Labridor didn't hide his Easter Egg. It'll be the worst Easter Egg Hunt ever; the children are going to so disappointed (and again with the false advertising: he applies the PRT tag, despite no mention of PRT).

News from China reports that Ken Avidor feed has been contaminated with melamine