Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Google Search: trafficway group:misc.transport.road

Misc.transport.road has always been home to two related but different discussions about the word "trafficway".

One is the controvery over the building of the "South Lawrence Trafficway" in Lawrence, Kansas.

The other is, what the does "trafficway" mean, anyway? This, btw, was the original topic of discussion that caused misc.transport.road to be created.

The relationship between these two subjects is a microcosm of misc.transport.road (and also misc.transport.rail, misc.transport.urban, etc.): there are basically two kinds of threads on these groups.

One kind of thread is where pro- and anti- road (or rail, etc) folks duke it out over the social and political issues.

The other kind of thread is pure roadgeek (or railfan, etc) obsession over the details of the transportation infrastructure. These discussions are far removed from moral arguments for or against that infrastructure, almost as if it were a natural phenomenon to be observed. This is the kind of thing that I like, and is why I read these groups. I wish the other kind of discussions could be moved to talk.politics.

However, there is enough overlap between the people involved in both kinds of discussions, and topics tend to drift from one to the other so easily, that I don't think any separation is possible.

Besides the same thing happens in almost every newsgroup. How about that Heinlein..