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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Missed Again

Desperate in his continued attempts to politicize transit research and development, propagandist Ken Avidor has returned to trawling (or trolling) for controversial messages at the Transport-Innovators discussion group on Google.

Let me say some things here about that group: many if not most of the active members in the group are highly opinionated inventors, engineers and scientists. So looking there for controversy is the lazy person's research, as difficult as looking for moisture in the ocean.

I try to avoid reading Transport-Innovators unless absolutely necessary. The group often seems less about discussing transportation so that it can be understood by an ill-informed cartoonist, and more about who's right about a laundry list of issues. Or wrong.
Some of the "Innovators" have political views that can be characterized as libertarian, others positively neanderthal. It takes all kinds to make a world.

But Ken Avidor has decided to take two persons' extreme views and cram all PRT proponents in that pigeonhole.

1. Jerry Roane of TriTrack, who apparently doesn't care much for man-on-man love:

I did some more study on why Portland has an affinity for little bicycles and why they resonate with Washington DC money givers. There seems to be a naked bike ride they do and they had the first openly homosexual (male on male) mayor. This money is being passed out to the constituents. It has very little to do with mobility. The naked bike ride looks more like a men's locker room than 800 randomly chosen citizens. Portland is not even a metropolitan city. It is in a metropolitan area but the city is only 1/2 million.

Jerry Roane
Ehhhh whatever, Jerry. Like I said, it takes all kinds.

2. Jack Slade of god-only-knows, who wants to draft Halal dietary rules into the global war agin terr':
If you really want to put the fear of Allah into these terrorists, you should make it be known that ALL your bullets have been dipped in pig blood. All the Military bullets, too.

Jack Slade
I think that misspeaks for itself.

If these cries for help prove anything, the first is that PRT has a right wing (as well as a left, e.g., Donn Fichter, Joan Bokaer, World Wildlife Fund, Debbie Cook, me) -- just like light rail had Heritage Foundation founder Paul Weyrich, and high speed rail has the LaRouchies. The second thing is that the world of PRT advocates doesn't have a single centralized messaging apparatus. Unfortunately.

Not that such an apparatus would have kept Roane and Slade's mouths shut, because they were expressing their opinions about world events. PRT is a technology. PRT doesn't have opinions.

Which brings us to an interesting concluding note: Roane is not a PRT designer, his Tri-Track system is Dual Mode -- private road vehicles that can be placed on a guideway. The words "personal rapid transit" aren't even used on Roane's website.


Not all Transport Innovations are PRT -- you missed again, Ken. Stop calling Roane's system "TriTrack PRT."

And what of Jack Slade? His technology is shrouded in mystery; even a source of mine who is regarded as the leading archivist of transportation technology isn't sure what Slade is working on. My source guesses it might be passenger cabins on a conveyer belt. Which wouldn't be PRT either, since the definition says no moving parts in the guideway.


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